Astronomy

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  • My Observing Wish List

    Astronomy Today
    Kelly
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:48 am
    Aurora Photo by John Chumack All amateur astronomers have a wish list of objects they would like to observe. When they first start observing, the list is modest, with objects such as the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, craters on the Moon, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Orion Nebula, and so forth. By this point in my life, I have seen these objects multiple times. They are beautiful and always worth a look, but they certainly wouldn’t be something to put on my wish list anymore. My current wish list is a bit more exotic. Some of the items I have seen but want to see again, while others I…
  • Futura Launch Replay

    Astronomy News
    Tom
    24 Nov 2014 | 2:02 am
    Here is a replay of yesterday’s beautiful Futura launch as the Soyuz TMA-15M left from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency join Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of Roscosmos. Among the investigations during the mission involves “Space Headaches” which are often caused by intracranial pressure change. The goal is to come up with…
  • Antares Doomed Descent into Hellish Inferno – Up Close Launch Pad Photo Exclusive: Pt. 1

    Universe Today
    Ken Kremer
    23 Nov 2014 | 8:58 pm
    Antares descended into hellish inferno after first stage propulsion system at base of Orbital Sciences Antares rocket exploded moments after blastoff from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA, on Oct. 28, 2014, at 6:22 p.m. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com NASA WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, VA – All was calm, the air was crisp with hope and the skies were clear as far as the eye could see as the clock ticked down to T MINUS Zero for the Oct. 28, 2014 blastoff of an Orbital Sciences commercial Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA, – on a mission of critical…
  • The Sky This Week - Thursday November 20 to Thursday November 27

    Astroblog
    18 Nov 2014 | 5:58 am
    The New Moon is Saturday November 22.   Mars is easily visible in the early evening and is visited by the crescent Moon on the 26th.  Jupiter is prominent in the morning sky. Comet C/2102 K1 PanSTARRS is visible in binoculars in the early evening.The New Moon is Saturday November 22.Evening sky on Wednesday November 26 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 (9:00 pm) ACDST in South Australia.  The Moon is close to Jupiter. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen). Venus is comes out the glare of the Sun by the end of the…
  • new capabilities for Kepler and TESS

    Hogg's Research
    23 Nov 2014 | 1:58 pm
    I worked a bit today on building new capabilities for Kepler and TESS and everything to follow: In one project, we are imagining getting parallax information about stars in Kepler. This has been tried before, and there are many who have foundered on the rocks. We (meaning Foreman-Mackey and I) have a new approach: Let's, on top of a very flexible light-curve model, permit a term proportional to the sine and the cosine of the parallactic angle. Then let's consider the amplitude-squared of those coefficients as something that indicates the parallax. The idea is similar to that of the "reduced…
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    Astronomy Today

  • My Observing Wish List

    Kelly
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:48 am
    Aurora Photo by John Chumack All amateur astronomers have a wish list of objects they would like to observe. When they first start observing, the list is modest, with objects such as the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, craters on the Moon, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Orion Nebula, and so forth. By this point in my life, I have seen these objects multiple times. They are beautiful and always worth a look, but they certainly wouldn’t be something to put on my wish list anymore. My current wish list is a bit more exotic. Some of the items I have seen but want to see again, while others I…
  • An Early Morning Eclipse

    Kelly
    10 Oct 2014 | 6:41 am
    A Partial Lunar Eclipse during Moonset The total lunar eclipse was going to occur from about 5:30 to 6:30 on Wednesday morning. My alarm was set for 6:00, like usual, and the forecast was for perfectly clear skies. I was awake fifteen minutes before my alarm but patiently waited until six o’clock, because the only upstairs windows that face west where the eclipsed Moon was setting are in my children’s bedrooms. I was not awake enough to go downstairs nor mean enough to wake them unnecessarily early. At 6:00 I walked into my son’s bedroom and raised his blinds, like I do every morning to…
  • Losing the Comet but Winning the Ring

    Kelly
    16 Sep 2014 | 9:22 am
    The Ring Nebula, M57 in Lyra, by John Chumack When the clouds finally cleared from overhead, they were replaced by clouds upon the ground. I stood in my driveway looking up at the stars arrayed above while fog swirled around my feet. These are not ideal conditions for observing, but at least the stars can be seen, whereas the clouds had been blocking all manner of wonders, including the recent aurora, for nights on end. My goal has been to find Comet Jacques and – spoiler alert – I still have not accomplished it. Even though I’ve used the finder maps and zeroed in on exactly where it…
  • Targeting Sagittarius

    Kelly
    31 Aug 2014 | 7:55 am
    M8, The Lagoon Nebula in Sagittarius, by John Chumack Sagittarius is an incredibly rich area for stargazing, but it’s only easily viewable for a short time. Summer is the best season for observing, but even then it stays low on the southern horizon. Sagittarius is an easy constellation even for children to spot because it has a grouping of stars that looks almost exactly like a teapot. Get out a pair of binoculars or use the finderscope on your telescope and scan the area until you find a fuzzy patch in the sky. Then look through the eyepiece of the telescope to see if you’ve captured a…
  • Observing Summer Constellations

    Kelly
    28 Jul 2014 | 12:45 pm
    The Milky Way and Vega by John Chumack On summer evenings as adults sit around bonfires and kids run in the yard playing flashlight tag, eyes turn skyward. Teach your friends and family the most important summer constellations with this handy guide on what star formations are overhead. Start with the easiest constellation just to orient yourself in the star-filled sky. The Big Dipper is neither a true constellation or a specifically summer constellation, but it will help you get started. The Big Dipper is easy to located in the northwest on summer evenings and is circumpolar, meaning that it…
 
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    Astronomy News

  • Futura Launch Replay

    Tom
    24 Nov 2014 | 2:02 am
    Here is a replay of yesterday’s beautiful Futura launch as the Soyuz TMA-15M left from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency join Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of Roscosmos. Among the investigations during the mission involves “Space Headaches” which are often caused by intracranial pressure change. The goal is to come up with…
  • Futura Ready for Launch

    Tom
    23 Nov 2014 | 7:10 am
    The Futura mission launches in just hours as launch preparations draw to a close and ESA’s Samantha Cristoforetti, Roscosmos’ Anton Shkaplerov and NASA’S Terry Virts board the Soyuz TMA-15M for launch to the International Space Station. One launched, the 274 tonnes of rocket propellant will get the crew at the station in just six hours. Launch site: Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Launch time: 21:01 GMT –  23 November 2014 A very nice launch and all is well upon reaching orbit. Arrival: 24 November at 02:30 Watch this launch LIVE at ESA- coverage begins at 20:00 GMT…
  • Saturn Swirls

    Tom
    22 Nov 2014 | 8:01 am
    Atmospheric swirls on Saturn. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute Originally meant to publish yesterday: Cassini took this image of the Saturn swirling atmosphere. Planetary atmospheres (including our own) are a study in fluid dynamics and that is clearly evident here. The image was taken on 23 August 2014 in red light from about 1.8 million km / 1.1 million miles with the narrow-angle camera. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute…
  • Philae’s Adventure

    Tom
    22 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    This is special edition of ESA’s Comet Hunters series. Filmed during Philae’s landing at ESA in Damstadt and DLR’s Philae comtrol room in Köln. This video is available in different languages at the YouTube site.
  • Sunburn on Jupiter?

    Tom
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:09 pm
    Cassini gives us clues about the Great Red Spot’s color. New research on the Great Red Spot of Jupiter based on Cassini’s flyby nearly 14 years ago (Dec 2000) suggests the red color is from the “sunburn” of particles and the variable color comes from cloud altitudes. From NASA: The ruddy color of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is likely a product of simple chemicals being broken apart by sunlight in the planet’s upper atmosphere, according to a new analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini mission. The results contradict the other leading theory for the origin…
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    Universe Today

  • Antares Doomed Descent into Hellish Inferno – Up Close Launch Pad Photo Exclusive: Pt. 1

    Ken Kremer
    23 Nov 2014 | 8:58 pm
    Antares descended into hellish inferno after first stage propulsion system at base of Orbital Sciences Antares rocket exploded moments after blastoff from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA, on Oct. 28, 2014, at 6:22 p.m. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com NASA WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, VA – All was calm, the air was crisp with hope and the skies were clear as far as the eye could see as the clock ticked down to T MINUS Zero for the Oct. 28, 2014 blastoff of an Orbital Sciences commercial Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA, – on a mission of critical…
  • Carnival Of Space #381

    Susie Murph
    23 Nov 2014 | 8:38 pm
    Carnival of Space. Image by Jason Major. This week’s Carnival of Space is hosted by Joe Latrell at his Photos To Space blog. Click here to read Carnival of Space #381 (...)Read the rest of Carnival Of Space #381 (89 words) © susie for Universe Today, 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Post tags: Carnival of Space Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh
  • Orion Passes Key NASA Flight Review – “GO” for Maiden Test Flight on Dec. 4

    Ken Kremer
    21 Nov 2014 | 10:42 pm
    At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the agency’s Orion spacecraft pauses in front of the spaceport’s iconic Vehicle Assembly Building as it is transported to Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. After arrival at the launch pad, United Launch Alliance engineers and technicians will lift Orion and mount it atop its Delta IV Heavy rocket.Credit: NASA/Frankie Martin After a decade of hard work, numerous twists and turns, and ups and downs, NASA’s new Orion deep space crew vehicle is finally, and officially, marching towards its maiden blastoff in less…
  • NASA’s “Remastered” View of Europa is the Best Yet

    Matt Williams
    21 Nov 2014 | 1:31 pm
    The cracked, icy surface of Europa. The smoothness of the surface has led many scientists to conclude that oceans exist beneath it. Credit: NASA/JPLredit: NASA Europa, Jupiter’s sixth-closest moon, has long been a source of fascination and wonder for astronomers. Not only is it unique amongst its Jovian peers for having a smooth, ice-covered surface, but it is believed that warm, ocean waters exist beneath that crust – which also makes it a strong candidate for extra-terrestrial life. And now, combining a mosaic of color images with modern image processing techniques, NASA has…
  • Weekly Space Hangout – Nov. 21, 2014: New Images of Europa

    Fraser Cain
    21 Nov 2014 | 11:59 am
    Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain) Guests: Morgan Rehnberg (cosmicchatter.org / @cosmic_chatter) Brian Koberlein (@briankoberlein) Ramin Skibba (@raminskibba) Dave Dickinson (@astroguyz / www.astroguyz.com) (...)Read the rest of Weekly Space Hangout – Nov. 21, 2014: New Images of Europa (219 words) © Fraser for Universe Today, 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Post tags: asteroid, dawn, ddwarf galaxies, Europa, GPS, jwst, meteorite, Moon, Oort cloud, Orion, philae, quasar, Satellites, solar eclipse, Uranus, vesta Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh
 
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    Astroblog

  • The Sky This Week - Thursday November 20 to Thursday November 27

    18 Nov 2014 | 5:58 am
    The New Moon is Saturday November 22.   Mars is easily visible in the early evening and is visited by the crescent Moon on the 26th.  Jupiter is prominent in the morning sky. Comet C/2102 K1 PanSTARRS is visible in binoculars in the early evening.The New Moon is Saturday November 22.Evening sky on Wednesday November 26 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 (9:00 pm) ACDST in South Australia.  The Moon is close to Jupiter. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen). Venus is comes out the glare of the Sun by the end of the…
  • SmallestOne turns a prime number old

    15 Nov 2014 | 3:45 am
    In case you're wondering why I have not been posting on the historic Philae landing on comet 67P, I have been involved in SmallestOne's birthday party. SmallestOne is a prime number old, the sum of the two digits of his age is an even number and a prime number too. There was swimming, trampolining, table tennis and lots of screaming. We will return to astronomy tomorrow
  • Philae Made It! We have Landed ona a Comet!

    12 Nov 2014 | 1:59 pm
    The landing as seen by XKCD. After all the waiting and agonising, the Philae lander separated cleanly form Rosetta and made a slow, 7 hour journey to comet 67P.And landed. Story here. 
  • The Towering Cliffs of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

    12 Nov 2014 | 5:02 am
    Agilkia, the Philae landing site, looks pretty okay in this image (image credit ESA). Click to embiggenBut with a different lighting angle you can see it (indicated by box) is perched near a pretty worrying cliff. (image credit ESA). Click to embiggenLighting angle can  make a huge difference to how a place looks. With the lighting above, Philae's landing environs look relatively smooth, with some scalloping. With the light at a different angle, the "scalloping" is revealed as terrifying cliffs.
  • Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in Celestia

    12 Nov 2014 | 4:08 am
    Comet 67P//Churyumov–Gerasimenko and the Rosetta orbiter rendered in Celestia.As usual, I have been trying to make a Celestia file for comet 67P.And failing miserably. I tried to convert the ESA public shape model to celestia 3Ds format and failed miserably. So I ended up using Jack Selden's Rosetta files, with a surface map taken from this thread on the Celestia. The Celestia comet looks nothing like the rubber duck shape of 67P, but until some kind person points me to a pubic Celestia shape model that is what I am stuck with. I utterly failed to make any of the XYZ orbital files work for…
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    Hogg's Research

  • new capabilities for Kepler and TESS

    23 Nov 2014 | 1:58 pm
    I worked a bit today on building new capabilities for Kepler and TESS and everything to follow: In one project, we are imagining getting parallax information about stars in Kepler. This has been tried before, and there are many who have foundered on the rocks. We (meaning Foreman-Mackey and I) have a new approach: Let's, on top of a very flexible light-curve model, permit a term proportional to the sine and the cosine of the parallactic angle. Then let's consider the amplitude-squared of those coefficients as something that indicates the parallax. The idea is similar to that of the "reduced…
  • exoplanet blast

    21 Nov 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Dave Charbonneau (Harvard) was in town today, to give the Big Apple Colloquium, which he did with flair. He emphasized the importance of exoplanets in any study of astrophysics or in any astrophysics group or department. He emphasized the amazing value of M-dwarfs as exoplanet hosts: Exoplanets are abundant around M-dwarfs, they are easier to detect there than around Sun-like stars, they are shorter-period at same temperature, and they tend to host small, rocky planets. He showed beautiful work (with Dressing) on the population statistics and also on the compositions of the small planets,…
  • ExoLab-CampHogg hack day

    19 Nov 2014 | 8:59 pm
    John Johnson (Harvard) came to NYU today along with a big fraction of his group: Ben Montet, Ruth Angus, Andrew Vanderburg, Yutong Shan. In addition, Fabienne Bastien (PSU), Ian Czekala (Harvard), Boris Leistedt (UCL), and Tim Morton (Princeton) showed up. We pitched early in the day, in the NYU CDS Studio Space, and then hacked all day. Projects included: Doing the occurrence rate stuff we do for planets but for eclipsing binaries, generalizing the Bastien "flicker" method for getting surface gravities for K2 data, building a focal-plane model for K2 to improve lightcurve extraction,…
  • AAAC, day 2

    18 Nov 2014 | 8:59 pm
    In the second day, we heard from Ulvestad (NSF) about how budgets are planned at the agencies, from the presidential request through to the divisions and then adjusted over time. It was remarkable and scary! Although the granting is all peer-reviewed, there is a huge amount of decision-making within NSF that is certainly not. That said, astronomy does well at NSF in part because it has well-organized, unified community support for certain big projects.We spent a long time talking about principles for access to shared facilities and federally funded observatories and surveys and other such…
  • AAAC, day 1

    17 Nov 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Today was the first day of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee meeting at NSF headquarters. The Committee is established by an act of Congress to oversee the interagency cooperation and interaction and etc between NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics and NASA Astrophysics (and also DOE Cosmic Frontiers). I learned a huge amount about science at the meeting, including about a conflict between VLBI and Hipparcos parallaxes to the Pleaides. That's Huge. Of course we looked at the outrageously awesome ALMA image of HL Tau showing actual Oh-My-God rings. I learned that the black hole at…
 
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    Astronomy Cmarchesin

  • NASA's Swift Mission Probes an Exotic Object: ‘Kicked’ Black Hole or Mega Star?

    23 Nov 2014 | 6:00 pm
    Zoom into Markarian 177 and SDSS1133 and see how they compare with a simulated galaxy collision. When the central black holes in these galaxies combine, a "kick" launches the merged black hole on a wide orbit taking it far from the galaxy's core. Related multimedia from NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio The dwarf galaxy Markarian 177 (center) and its unusual source SDSS1133 (blue) lie 90 million light-years away. The galaxies are located in the bowl of the Big Dipper, a well-known star pattern in the constellation Ursa Major. Image Credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey Using the Keck…
  • A spiral in a furnace

    20 Nov 2014 | 6:00 pm
    NGC 986Credit:  ESA/Hubble & NASAThis new Hubble image is a snapshot of NGC 986 — a barred spiral galaxy discovered in 1828 by James Dunlop. This close-up view of the galaxy was captured by Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2).NGC 986 is found in the constellation of Fornax (The Furnace), located in the southern sky. NGC 986 is a bright, 11th-magnitude galaxy sitting around 56 million light-years away, and its golden centre and barred swirling arms are clearly visible in this image.Barred spiral galaxies are spiral galaxies with a central bar-shaped structure…
  • The riddle of the missing stars

    20 Nov 2014 | 11:06 am
    PR Image heic1425aFour globular clusters in Fornax PR Image heic1425bFour globular clusters in Fornax — annotated PR Image heic1425cGlobular cluster Fornax 1 PR Image heic1425dGlobular cluster Fornax 2 PR Image heic1425eGlobular cluster Fornax 3 PR Image heic1425fGlobular cluster Fornax 5 PR Image heic1425gFornax galaxy with four globular clusters markedPR Image heic1425hFornax dwarf galaxyVideos PR Video heic1425aHubblecast 80: The riddle of the missing starsPR Video heic1425bHubble and the sunrise over EarthPR Video heic1425cGlobular cluster in 3DPR Video heic1425dStructure of a…
  • Subaru Telescope Detects Sudden Appearance of Galaxies in the Early Universe

    19 Nov 2014 | 6:00 pm
    Figure 1: Color composite images of seven LAEs found in this study as they appeared 13.1 billion years ago. This represents the combination of three filter images from Subaru Telescope. Red objects between two white lines are the LAEs. The LAEs of 13.1 billion years ago have a quite red color due to the effects of cosmic expansion on their component wavelengths of light. (Credit: ICRR, University of Tokyo)Figure 2: This shows evolution of the Lyman-alpha luminosities of the galaxies. The yellow circle at 1 billion years after the Big Bang is used for normalization. The yellow circles come…
  • Spooky Alignment of Quasars Across Billions of Light-years

    19 Nov 2014 | 3:52 am
    PR Image eso1438aArtist’s impression of mysterious alignment of quasar rotation axes PR Image eso1438bSimulation of large scale structure Videos PR Video eso1438aArtist's impression of mysterious alignment of quasar rotation axes VLT reveals alignments between supermassive black hole axes and large-scale structureNew observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the Universe. A European research team has found that the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars are…
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    The Urban Astronomer

  • Leonid Meteor Shower 2014

    15 Nov 2014 | 11:30 pm
    I enjoy the annual Leonids meteor shower for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is my birthday meteor shower, peaking on my birthday each year. The peak of the Leonids comes on the evening of November 17 into the early morning hours of November 18, and this year the Moon is a thin waning crescent in the early morning and won't disrupt the viewing of meteors. So, get a warm blanket and a clear view of the sky and enjoy this annual shower that promisesLeonid 'Radiant'Like all meteor showers, they are caused by a remnant of a celestial object, most often a comet or asteroid that…
  • Shiny Pre-Dawn Sky

    8 Nov 2014 | 8:05 pm
    The Moon and JupiterMornings are splendid this time of year, with plenty of darkness to make it easy to see the sky when you first get up, and so much to look at right now. Jupiter shines brightly high in the eastern and southern sky before sunrise, and all of the magnificent winter constellations dominate the sky to the south and above, glimmering in the quiet of the early morning. I savor the moments when I am up early and have a few minutes to take in the spectacle, starting my day on a good note.Over the coming week, the waning Moon graces the southern and eastern skies and passes near…
  • Amazing Sunset and Sunrise Colors

    31 Oct 2014 | 6:36 pm
    Every sunrise and sunset provides a wide range of visual effects, ranging from the elongation of the disk of the Sun as it hugs the horizon, to the amazing range of colors you see in the minutes before and after the Sun’s passage through the horizon. One of my favorite effects is the curious coloration of the opposite horizon from the sunrise or sunset where one sees a colorful and rapidly changing band of sky called the Belt of Venus. Belt of Venus at 35,000 FeetDespite the name, the effect does not have anything to do with Venus the planet. Rather, the effect is due entirely to the shadow…
  • What's Up in Astronomy and Space Exploration

    14 Oct 2014 | 4:47 pm
    Last night a friend asked me "what's up in space exploration and astronomy in the coming weeks?" and I wrote down this list. Enjoy!October 19 - Watching a comet from Mars with NASAOctober 23 - Partial Eclipse of the SunOctober 25 - Bay Area Science Festival astronomy nightNovember 12 - Rosetta probe to land on a cometNovember 17 - A meteor shower: the Leonids
  • The Next Blood Moon: October 8, 2014

    4 Oct 2014 | 2:02 pm
    Total Lunar Eclipse of October 8thWe're in for the second of four total lunar eclipses in 2014-2015. Next week the Full Moon slips into the shadow of the Earth and reveals itself as a 'blood moon' in the early morning sky of Wednesday October 8th. You'll need to be up in the wee hours of the night, as the eclipse reaches total phase at 3:25 am pacific time, where it will remain in total eclipse for an hour. Given our good weather in San Francisco, this should be nicely on display and the view from the west coast should be nice, if you can get out to the beach. The Moon itself will not be a…
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    sci.astro

  • Re: FAUT-IL TUER LE TEMPS ?

    24 Nov 2014 | 1:10 am
    Le physicien le plus célèbre en France n'est pas d'accord avec Einstein - le futur n'est pas préexistant, on ne peut pas voyager dans le futur: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDYIdBMLQR0 (1:06:45) "Est-ce que l'avenir existe déjà dans le futur ? C'est une question fondamentale ... Les relativistes
  • Re: Spooky alignment of quasars across billions of light-years

    23 Nov 2014 | 7:53 pm
    Maybe, but why would they be parallel to each other? I can understand them being parallel to the flow direction of the filament at that particular location of the filament, but the filament meanders in many different directions all over the place. Yousuf Khan
  • Re: EINSTEIN OR NEWTON ?

    23 Nov 2014 | 2:21 am
    Einstein's relativity and Newton's emission theory of light give different predictions for the variation of the speed of light in a gravitational field. Which prediction is compatible with the Pound-Rebka experiment? Let us see: The top of a tower of height h shoots a bullet downwards with initial
  • Re: FAUT-IL TUER LE TEMPS ?

    22 Nov 2014 | 2:02 pm
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaiWosXnEP4 Quels temps font-ils ? (version intégrale) 46:59 : "Les physiciens pensent qu'un temps universel existe, mais la relativité générale permet d'imaginer qu'il n'existe pas." George Orwell appelle cela "doublepensée": http://www.librairal.org/wiki/George_O
  • Yes, Virginia, Man INDEED as Old as Coal

    22 Nov 2014 | 7:18 am
    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/121206110536-goose-story-top.jpg < http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5123/5288567887_5fc89ab2c5.jpg < <                  ============ < PANDEMONIUM AT THE SMITHSONIUM http://www.edconrad.com/oldascoal/index_files/body_data/manasoldemboss.gif GREATEST CONSPIR
 
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    uk.sci.astronomy

  • Re: Comet lander (delayed) TV coverage in UK?

    14 Nov 2014 | 6:03 am
    I'd love to be a fly on the wall of the committee room currently discussing the pros/cons of deploying ptolomy versus battery life for "main sequence" experiments and chance of moving into more sunlit posistion, versus flipping over or off into space
  • Re: Comet lander (delayed) TV coverage in UK?

    12 Nov 2014 | 12:29 am
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30012854 Key timings for landing effort (GMT) • Rosetta delivery manoeuvre - shortly after 06:00 • Latest Go/No-go decision - before 07:35 • Philae separates from Rosetta - 08:35 • Confirmation signal at Earth of separation - 09:03 • Rosetta's pos
  • Re: Comet lander (delayed) TV coverage in UK?

    11 Nov 2014 | 10:27 am
    Make that 19:00 GMT (20:00 CET)
  • Re: Comet lander (delayed) TV coverage in UK?

    11 Nov 2014 | 7:44 am
    Webcasting on Livestream http://new.livestream.com/ESA/cometlanding Login required. Program starts 20:00 GMT on 11th Nov and runs for 24 hours Full schedule is apparently given here. http://www.esa.int/esatv/Television
  • Re: Comet lander (delayed) TV coverage in UK?

    10 Nov 2014 | 9:31 am
    It seems 08:35 is the release time of the lander and comet-fall is some hours after that
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    Big Picture Science

  • This Land Is Island

    SETI Institute
    24 Nov 2014 | 12:09 am
    There are many kinds of islands. There’s your iconic sandy speck of land topped with a palm tree, but there’s also our home planet – an island in the vast seas of space. You might think of yourself as a biological island … until you tally the number of microbes living outside – and inside – your body. We go island hopping, and consider the Scottish definition of an island – one man, one sheep – as well as the swelling threat of high water to island nations. Also, how species populate islands … and tricks for communicating with…
  • Surfeit of the Vitalest

    SETI Institute
    17 Nov 2014 | 7:04 am
    In the century and a half since Charles Darwin wrote his seminal On the Origin of the Species, our understanding of evolution has changed quite a bit. For one, we have not only identified the inheritance molecule DNA, but have determined its sequence in many animals and plants. Evolution has evolved, and we take a look at some of the recent developments. A biologist describes the escalating horn-to-horn and tusk-to-tusk arms race between animals, and a paleoanthropologist explains why the lineage from chimp to human is no longer thought to be a straight line but, instead, a bush. Also, New…
  • Skeptic Check: Are You Sure You're Sure?

    SETI Institute
    10 Nov 2014 | 7:21 am
    Nuclear fission powers the Sun. Or is it fusion? At any rate, helium is burned in the process, of that you are certain. After all, you read that article on astronomy last week*. You know what you know. But you probably don’t know what you don’t know. Few of us do. Scientists say we’re spectacularly incompetent at recognizing our own incompetency, and that sometimes leads to trouble. Find out why wrongness is the by-product of big brains and why even scientists – gasp! – are not immune. Plus, a peek into the trash bin of history: the biggest scientific blunders…
  • Sounds Abound

    SETI Institute
    3 Nov 2014 | 7:24 am
    The world is a noisy place. But now we have a better idea what the fuss is about. Not only can we record sound, but our computers allow us to analyze it. Bird sonograms reveal that our feathery friends give each other nicknames and share details about their emotional state. Meanwhile, hydrophones capture the sounds of dying icebergs, and let scientists separate natural sound from man-made in the briny deep. Plus, native Ohio speakers help decipher what Neil Armstrong really said on that famous day. And, think your collection of 45 rpm records is impressive? Try feasting your ears on sound…
  • Skeptic Check: Friends Like These

    SETI Institute
    27 Oct 2014 | 7:22 am
    We love our family and friends, but sometimes their ideas about how the world works seem a little wacky. We asked BiPiSci listeners to share examples of what they can’t believe their loved-ones believe, no matter how much they hear rational explanations to the contrary. Then we asked some scientists about those beliefs, to get their take. Discover whether newspaper ink causes cancer … if King Tut really did add a curse to his sarcophagus … the efficacy of examining your irises – iridology – to diagnose disease … and more! Oh, and what about string…
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    StarDate Online

  • Playing Frisbee

    damonddb
    22 Nov 2014 | 10:00 pm
    A Frisbee-shaped disk of dust with a star in the middle begins to pass in front of the giant star Epsilon Aurigae in this artist's concept. The system's light fades every 27 years, and remains dim for two full years. This model best explains that odd behavior. [NASA/JPL/Caltech] Text ©2014 The University of Texas at Austin McDonald ObservatoryFor more skywatching tips, astronomy news, and much more, read StarDate magazine.
  • Epsilon Aurigae

    damonddb
    22 Nov 2014 | 10:00 pm
    It’s not unusual for a star to change brightness over a period of days, months, or even years. In many cases, such a star is actually a binary — two stars bound by gravity. The stars periodically pass in front of each other, eclipsing some of the system’s light. But Epsilon Aurigae takes things to the extreme. Its light fades once every 27 years, and the star remains dim for two full years. The most recent of its eclipses ended in August of 2011. Astronomers kept an eye on it with telescopes on the ground and in space. Their observations helped refine the explanation for this odd…
  • Wang Liang

    damonddb
    21 Nov 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Beautiful Cassiopeia circles high across the northern sky on autumn evenings. Its brightest stars form a letter M or W. The constellation has played a prominent role in the skylore of many cultures. In western culture, it represented the mythological queen of Ethiopia. And in ancient China, it represented a four-horse chariot driven by a famous warrior, Wang Liang. A real historical figure, he lived in the fifth century B.C., and was particularly known for his integrity. In his honor, astronomers named the star at the bottom left point of the “M” for the warrior himself — “the first…
  • More Edwin Hubble

    damonddb
    20 Nov 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Hubble Space Telescope has been peering deep into the universe for almost a quarter of a century. Among many accomplishments, its observations have demonstrated that the universe is expanding faster as it ages. That the universe is expanding at all was established by the telescope’s namesake, Edwin Hubble, who was born 125 years ago this week. Hubble earned his doctorate in astronomy during World War I, then joined the army and was sent to France. When he came home, a job was waiting for him at Mount Wilson Observatory in California. The observatory had just built the world’s largest…
  • Edwin Hubble

    damonddb
    19 Nov 2014 | 10:00 pm
    [AUDIO: 3, 2, 1, and liftoff of space shuttle Atlantis on the final visit to enhance the vision of Hubble...] When Atlantis headed toward Hubble Space Telescope back in 2009, its cargo included a basketball that the University of Chicago had used in a game against Indiana exactly a century earlier. One of the Chicago stars that year was a lanky 6-2 forward: Edwin Hubble, the namesake of Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble was born 125 years ago today in Missouri. He was bright and athletic, and set records in high school track and field events. He was interested in science — especially astronomy…
 
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    A Pacific View

  • End of an era

    31 Oct 2014 | 1:12 am
    Tonight is the last night UKIRT operates as a UK telescope. We are closed Friday night during which the changeover to a new operator, the University of Arizona, takes place.I have worked at UKIRT for 18 years and have observed there since 1991. My feelings are mixed. I am very excited about the future as UKIRT moves ahead and reinvents itself once again. We are moving into areas UKIRT was never designed for but we demonstrated this summer it was quite capable of carrying out its new science mission. I am also sad because I know so many people I have worked with in the past in the UK will…
  • Hurricane Iselle's aftermath

    12 Aug 2014 | 12:38 am
    Hawaii, especially the district of Puna on the Big Island, rarely makes the news, even on the local TV stations in the State. It's a neglected district with many quite poor people living here. Some areas are very beautiful and have many vacation rentals for visitors, some are ravaged by lava flows, but overall it is a large area (roughly the size of Oahu) with thousands of relatively poor families.Hurricane Iselle devastated much of the district last Thursday night. Thousands of people are without power or running water, some are still trapped on their streets by downed trees. Houses have…
  • Well, it's in the public domain now - UKIRT's future

    24 Apr 2014 | 2:05 am
    Latest news can be seen here -SFGate news about UKIRT. I'm sure other media sources will pick things up over the next day or so. Local rags picked it up quickly but aren't the places I want to direct people to. Don't know anything about SFGate, but haven't hit a paywall there yet.
  • The Long Goodbye

    15 Mar 2014 | 1:23 am
    Eddie, the cat on the right, has been with me almost since the day I arrived in Hawaii. She's approaching 18 years old now and as a kitten wasn't expected to survive her first year. She was 10-weeks old and just skin and bones and clearly the runt of the litter when I adopted her. The person at the Humane Society told me she needed a lot of love and care to survive, and when her adopted sister, Patsy, died just a few weeks later from FIP, the vet said it was likely she had contracted the disease as well and would die young.Well, over 17 years later she is still with me, nearly as energetic as…
  • A room with a view

    18 Dec 2013 | 9:33 pm
    Well, Pam opened her Christmas present early, so I can post it here now as well! This was the view from our hotel room in Astoria, Oregon, of the Columbia River and the Astoria-Megler Bridge (you can click on the picture for a much larger version). I can't say enough good things about the Cannery Pier Hotel, it's one of the best places we have ever stayed at, I highly recommend a visit if you ever get the chance. I now have only a short trip in the future to achieve and complete a small ambition of mine, which is to have driven the entire coast of California and Oregon: Los Angeles to San…
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    Remanzacco Observatory - Comets & Neo

  • New Comet: C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS)

    Team
    21 Nov 2014 | 4:49 am
    CBET nr. 4019, issued on 2014, November 21, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18.7) by PANSTARRS survey in four w-band CCD exposures taken with the 1.8-m Pan-STARRS1 telescope at Haleakala on Nov. 17. The new comet has been designated C/2014 W2 (PANSTARRS).We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp.  Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 120-sec each, obtained remotely on 2014, November 18.9 from I89 (iTelescope network - Nerpio) through a 0.43-m f/6.8 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet: diffuse coma about 6" in…
  • PHILAE HAS LANDED!

    Team
    13 Nov 2014 | 3:58 am
    On 12 November 2014, Philae landed of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Actually looks like Philae landed 3 times on the comet's surface. In fact, magnetic field data from Philae’s ROMAP instrument revealed it touched the surface on  15:33UT, 17:26 and 17:33 UTC. In the weak gravity of the comet the first bounce took about 2 hours and now the lander is thought to be about 1 km away from the original landing site. Below you can find a selection of the most important images (click on each image for a bigger version) & info arriving from Philae and Rosetta in these exciting hours. For…
  • Possible Supernova in M61 (NGC 4303)

    Team
    30 Oct 2014 | 6:44 am
    Following the posting on the Central Bureau's Transient Object Confirmation Page about a possible Supernova in the barred spiral galaxy Messier 61 (or NGC 4303 - TOCP Designation: PSN J12215757+0428185) we performed some follow-up of this object through a 0.10-m f/5.0 astrograph + CCD from MPC Code H06 (iTelescope, New Mexico). On our images taken on October 30.5, 2014 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart with unfiltered CCD magnitude 13.2 and at coordinates:R.A. = 12 21 57.61, Decl.= +04 28 17.8(equinox 2000.0; UCAC-3 catalogue reference stars).   Our…
  • Close Approach of Asteroid 2014 SC324

    Team
    24 Oct 2014 | 7:49 am
    The asteroid 2014 SC324 was discovered (at ~ magnitude +21.4) on 2014, September 30.2 by Mt. Lemmon Survey (MPC code G96) with a 1.5-m reflector + CCD. 2014 SC324 has an estimated size of 40 m - 90 m (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=24.1) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 1.5 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0038 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 1921 UT on 2014, October 24. This asteroid will reach the peak magnitude about +13.6 at close approach.We performed some follow-up measurements of this object on 2014, October 24.3 remotely from…
  • Comet C/2013 A1 & Mars - Images & Results

    Team
    24 Oct 2014 | 6:44 am
    Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) was discovered by Australian observer R. H. McNaught with the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt telescope on 2013, Jan. 03 (discovery magnitude +18.6).  After its discovery, due to the uncertainty within the orbital calculations, there was thought to be a chance of a collision with Mars, but this possibility was excluded when its orbit was determined more accurately. Instead C/2013 A1 passed the planet Mars very closely on 2014, 19 October at 18:29UT. According to JPL website (With an observation arc of 733 days) the comet passed at a Nominal Distance of about 139,500…
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    365 Days of Astronomy

  • Nov 23rd: Dishes

    avivah yamani
    23 Nov 2014 | 4:15 am
    Podcaster: Steve Nerlich
  • Nov 22nd: Mysterious Outer Solar System Series – The Family of Dwarves 2

    avivah yamani
    22 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    Podcaster: Samir Dhurde
  • Nov 21st: Holy Rosetta! We Landed on a Comet!

    avivah yamani
    21 Nov 2014 | 4:53 am
    Podcaster: Host : Fraser Cain ; Guest :Morgan Rehnberg, Brian Koberlein, Alessondra Springmann, Ramin Skibba
  • Nov 20th: Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet 2014

    avivah yamani
    20 Nov 2014 | 4:00 am
    Podcaster: Alice Enevoldsen aka Alice’s AstroInfo
  • Nov 19th: Rosetta/Philae Landing Celebration!

    avivah yamani
    19 Nov 2014 | 4:15 am
    Podcaster: Nicole Gugliucci, Georgia Bracey Title: Rosetta/Philae Landing Celebration! Organization: CosmoQuest Link : http://cosmoquest.org Rosetta educational content:http://www.esa.int/Education/Teach_with_Rosetta You can watch the video in: http://youtu.be/PGV5aOF37tc Description: Learning Space is a weekly Hangout on Air about topics in astronomy education, outreach, and other ways to share science. We bring you interviews, hands-on demonstrations, lists of our favorite resources and more. This week we’ll be celebrating the landing of Philae from the Rosetta spacecraft on Comet…
 
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    Astronomy and Space News - Astro Watch

  • New Expedition 42 Trio Arrives at Space Station

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    23 Nov 2014 | 11:26 pm
    The Russian Soyuz TMA-15M vehicle docked to the International Space Station (ISS) at 02:48 UTC, above the Pacific Ocean, approaching the coast of Ecuador. “The spacecraft berthed to the docking unit of the Rassvet (MIM-1) module in an automatic mode at 5:48 Moscow Time [2:48 UTC],” the Baikonur space center said. NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency joined their Expedition 42 crewmates when the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft and the International Space Station…
  • Soyuz TMA-15M Spacecraft with Expedition 42 Crew Successfully Launches to Space Station

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    23 Nov 2014 | 2:58 pm
    A Russian Soyuz-FG rocket with the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazahkstan on Sunday to deliver three new Expedition 42 crew members to the International Space Station (ISS), including Italy’s first female astronaut. The launch took place at 4:01 p.m. EST (3:01 a.m. on Nov. 24 Baikonur time). Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA) now are safely in orbit. "Congratulations one more time on the successful insertion, but still you have a lot of…
  • Lockheed Martin Keeps Fingers Crossed for Orion's First Test Flight

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    23 Nov 2014 | 11:05 am
    As we move closer to the highly anticipated first ever test flight of the Orion spacecraft, there's an aerospace company which would be keeping its fingers tightly crossed during this nail-biting moment for the U.S. spaceflight. Lockheed Martin which built the manned capsule that will take American astronauts far beyond Earth, is much more than excited about the milestone flight. "We live for this kind of project. We will tell our kids and our grandkids about this," Allison Rakes, Lockheed Martin spokesperson told astrowatch.net. The company's hard working crew literally lives for this first…
  • Soyuz Rolls Out to Launch Pad for Sunday's Lift Off, Commission Approves New ISS Crew

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    22 Nov 2014 | 2:49 pm
    A trio of new Expedition 42 crew members is in its final preparations before Sunday’s launch and six-hour ride aboard a Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). The rocket with the Soyuz capsule rolled out to the launch pad Friday morning at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. On Saturday, the state commission at Baikonur has approved the new ISS crew. "Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, a European Space Agency's astronaut and the ISS flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti, as well as NASA astronaut and the leader of the new ISS-43 expedition Terry Virts will…
  • The Launch of European Space Plane Set for February 11, 2015

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    22 Nov 2014 | 11:07 am
    The European Space Agency (ESA) together with the French National Center of Space Studies (CNES) plan to launch a light-weighted experimental spacecraft, worth 150 million euros, on February 11, 2015, French commercial launch service provider Arianespace reported Friday. "Based on joint work by ESA and CNES, the date for the IXV mission to be launched by Vega has been set for February 11, 2015. Arianespace will resume launch preparations in early 2015," the company said in a statement.Earlier, ESA planned that Intermediate Experimental Vehicle, more commonly known as IXV, will be carried into…
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    Life of Controversy

  • Nobel Prize 2014 : Medicine and Physiology Front Runners & Winners

    Word Smith
    22 Nov 2014 | 9:54 am
     Dear ReadersFirstly I apologise for the extensive delay. My grandmother took ill and was hospitalized due to a pulmonary embolism. She’s recovering now, so all’s well that ends well I suppose, if you can call a brush with death being well.  Modern Medicine saved her life and I felt I needed to pay homage, give thanks and acknowledge its journey of continuous improvement and innovation. What more appropriate way is there to achieve this than to recognize the men and women whose unyielding efforts lead to the breakthroughs that improve the overall health of humankind. These…
  • Nobel Prize 2014 : Physics Front Runners & Winners

    Word Smith
    17 Oct 2014 | 3:01 am
    Dear Readers Yes! The Nobel Prize award ceremonies are just a couple of months off and from what I hear it’s going to be dynamite! (Pardon the ill choice of words)The prize winners were announced over the past couple of days as we gear up towards December. I decided to do a series of articles covering the Prize Categories  But where is the controversy? You may ask. Well firstly there will be the controversy as to why I’m writing about this seemingly non-controversial topic thus diverging from the central theme of the blog itself.Secondly competitions themselves are in their…
  • Release the KRAKEN: 20,000 leagues of controversy

    Word Smith
    3 Oct 2014 | 8:17 am
    Dear Readers My love and curiosity of the grandiose ocean realm began the day I picked up Jules Verne’s classic sublime masterpiece where we follow Professor Pierre Arronax as circumstance lands him in the bowels of the infamous Nautilus. Here we encounter the mystifying and frightful wonders of the deep sea and all its inhabitants including the mysterious Captain Nemo as they travel 20,000 leagues under the sea.Although that promo was “the bomb” we are here to talk about another equally thrilling enigma that happened to be one of the most memorable characters in the book. The…
  • HeForShe:The Peaceful Coexistence of the Sexes

    Word Smith
    25 Sep 2014 | 9:31 pm
    Dear Readers I’m sure by now you’ve all seen or heard of the UN pro-gender equality campaign #HeForShe, and especially the very eloquent Emma Watson‘s emotionally stirring speech.   The quiver in her voice I felt emphasized the direness of the situation and served to further strengthen the whole message.  Truly inspiring.This set me off on an exciting, gear crunching thought process. What is sexism derived from?Sexism stems from the biological differences between a male and a female, or in scientific terms the sexual dimorphism that arises due to the DNA…
  • Double O Desperation: Cloud Fall

    Word Smith
    8 Sep 2014 | 7:21 pm
    Dear readersLast week saw the fall from favour of the infamous cloud storage system.Some equally famous Celebrities have found themselves in an extremely awkward predicament as some sorry sexually frustratedSOBs caught them with their pants down……………literally. I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I too was subjected to this invasion of privacy as a..Ahem.. Slightly revealing photograph was released to a seedy part of the internet. But as internet amendment 34 states “If it exists…. Oh pardon me wrong amendment. I believe its amendment 43 that states “once it’s…
 
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