Astronomy

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  • Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring Edges Closer to Mars (17-18 October)

    Astroblog
    18 Oct 2014 | 6:57 am
    Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring amidst the rifts of the Milky Way  on 17 October (you have to click on the image and embbigen it to see the comet at all) Mars is just out of the field at bottom right, you can see the glow. Stack of 6 x 30 second luminance images taken with iTelescope T12, SUMMED in Image J.Images stacked on the comet and SUMMED in ImageJ then cropped down to show the comet (fuzzy blob centred)Siding Spring on 18 October, the comet has come over the dust clouds, so is easier to see. Mars if now in view at the bottom of the image grossly overexposed. Stack of 2 x 30 second…
  • Live Webcasts of the comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring Encounter with Mars October 19.

    Astroblog
    18 Oct 2014 | 7:47 am
    Simulated in Celestia: Mars and comet C/2013 Siding Spring on October 19, at 18:51 UT when the comet is 138,800 Km from Mars. From Earth they will be a mere 1' 51" apart (that's one arc minute 53 arc seconds, about the width of a human hair).If you are clouded out on the night of closest approach, there are a number of  live webcasts of the event on the early evening of the 19th.  You will see a fuzzy blob and a bright bob, but this is a scpecial occasion, so there wll be a lot of interesting discussion.There is a Google Hangout in Australia. 11:00 UT (around 10 pm…
  • An Early Morning Eclipse

    Astronomy Today
    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…
  • A Rover View of Comet

    Astronomy News
    Tom
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:40 pm
    NASA Rover Opportunity view of the Mars comet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./ASU/TAMU This is the (annotated) view of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity about two-and-a-half hours before the close encounter with Mars. Want an non-annotated version? You will notice some cosmic ray hits are labeled. Very common artifact as anyone who dabbles even a little in astrophotography will attest. This image has been processed to remove detector artifacts and a slight twilight glow. The processing was very well done, sometimes the processing is half…
  • MRO Spies Tiny, Bright Nucleus During Comet Flyby

    Universe Today
    Bob King
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:55 pm
    High resolution image pairs made with HiRISE camera on MRO during Comet Siding Spring’s closest approach to Mars on October 19. Shown at top are images of the nucleus region and inner coma. Those at bottom were exposed to show the bigger coma beginning of a tail. Credit: NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona Not to be outdone by the feisty Opportunity Rover, the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) turned in its homework this evening with a fine image of comet C/2013 Siding Spring taken during closest approach on October 19. (...)Read the rest of MRO Spies Tiny, Bright…
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    Astronomy Today

  • 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…
  • Crossing off the Bucket List: Zodiacal Light

    Kelly
    27 May 2014 | 12:11 pm
    The Zodiacal Light looks pyramidal shaped from horizon stretching upward. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky Amateur astronomers never really take a vacation from stargazing. And in fact, sometimes vacations provide for the best stargazing. Over spring break this year my family and I did a tour of the national parks, starting and ending our vacation in Las Vegas, one of the most light polluted locations on Earth. But McCarran International airport made for a good spot to begin our travels first to Utah’s national parks, then to Great Basin National Park in Nevada along the loneliest highway in…
 
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    Astronomy News

  • A Rover View of Comet

    Tom
    20 Oct 2014 | 9:40 pm
    NASA Rover Opportunity view of the Mars comet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./ASU/TAMU This is the (annotated) view of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity about two-and-a-half hours before the close encounter with Mars. Want an non-annotated version? You will notice some cosmic ray hits are labeled. Very common artifact as anyone who dabbles even a little in astrophotography will attest. This image has been processed to remove detector artifacts and a slight twilight glow. The processing was very well done, sometimes the processing is half…
  • HAYABUSA 2

    Tom
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:07 pm
    The JAXA Hayabusa2 spacecraft at the Sagamihara Campus. Credit: JAXA On 30 November 2014 JAXA will launch the Haybusa2 mission to asteroid 1999JU3. This mission is a successor to Haybusa which launched in 2003 to the asteroid Itokawa. The spacecraft arrived in 2005 and released a little probe called “Minerva” which actually touched down on the asteroid twice. There was a sample return on the Hayabusa mission which eventuualy did make it back but not until major obstacles were overcome. In December 2005 communications with the spacecraft was lost. JAXA never once gave in, they regained…
  • Rosetta Orbital Plans

    Tom
    19 Oct 2014 | 7:27 am
    A great ESA animation depicting Rosetta’s orbits and separation of the Philae lander. On 12 November, Rosetta will move to 22.5 km from the comet and release Philae. The lander will take about seven hours to get to the surface. In the meantime Rosetta will be maneuvered back to about 50 km from the comet so the lander stays visible. The lander communicates via Rosetta so the visibility is important. Eventually Rosetta’s orbit will be moved back to 20 km. The actual rotation rate of the comet is 12.5 hours so yes the animation is sped up considerably – it does help the…
  • Liftoff!

    Tom
    17 Oct 2014 | 10:12 pm
    on 16 October Ariane 5 VA220 left the pad in Kourou, French Guiana. Placing two telecommunications satellites, Intelsat-30/DLA-1 and Arsat-1 into their orbits. Video Source
  • Widowiak Ridge

    Tom
    16 Oct 2014 | 9:52 pm
    The rover Opportunity looks north. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ. Here’s a look at Widowiak Ridge on Mars from the rover Opportunity on sol 3,786! The color approximates natural color on Mars. The ridge is on the western rim of Endeavour crater, this look is about 70 compass degrees from north-northwest on the left to east-northeast on the right. Widowiak Ridge rises about 12 meters / 40 feet and runs about 150 meters / 500 feet. The view of the area from above. The name Widowiak is an informal name given to the feature given as a tribute to Opportunity…
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    Universe Today

  • MRO Spies Tiny, Bright Nucleus During Comet Flyby

    Bob King
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:55 pm
    High resolution image pairs made with HiRISE camera on MRO during Comet Siding Spring’s closest approach to Mars on October 19. Shown at top are images of the nucleus region and inner coma. Those at bottom were exposed to show the bigger coma beginning of a tail. Credit: NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona Not to be outdone by the feisty Opportunity Rover, the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) turned in its homework this evening with a fine image of comet C/2013 Siding Spring taken during closest approach on October 19. (...)Read the rest of MRO Spies Tiny, Bright…
  • Water On The Moon Was Blown in by Solar Wind

    Matt Williams
    20 Oct 2014 | 1:53 pm
    Near-infrared image of the Moon’s surface by the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 mission. Image credit: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown Univ./USGS When they first set foot on the Moon, the Apollo 11 astronauts painted a picture of the landscape as a bone-dry desert. So astronomers were naturally surprised when in 2009, three probes showed that a lot of water is locked up in minerals in the soil. There has been some debate as to where the water came from, but now two researchers with the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France, have determined that most…
  • Video: Fly Over a Weird Landscape on Mars in 3-D

    Nancy Atkinson
    20 Oct 2014 | 12:19 pm
    This isn’t quite like Luke’s trench run in the Battle of Yavin, but it’s waaay more awesome in that this is real. Go grab your red–green or red–blue 3-D glasses (you always have a pair right by your desk, right?) and enjoy this great flyover video from ESA showcasing some very interesting landforms on Mars that planetary geologists refer to as ‘chaotic terrain.’ There’s nothing quite like this on Earth, and scattered throughout a large area to both the west and east of Valles Marineris are hundreds of isolated mountains up to 2,000 meters high. “Seen from…
  • Awesome Photo Shows Monster Sunspot Aiming Our Way

    Jason Major
    20 Oct 2014 | 8:43 am
    Visible light image of the Sun captured on Oct. 19, 2014. © Alan Friedman. All rights reserved. It’s a-comin': a “monster” sunspot is steadily rotating around the Sun’s southern hemisphere and will soon be in position to fire flares and CMEs in our direction — and this past weekend master solar photographer Alan Friedman captured it on camera! The image above was taken in full-spectrum visible light on Sunday, Oct. 19 by Alan from his backyard in Buffalo, New York. Sunspots 2186 (at the top limb), 2187 (upper center), 2193 (the small middle cluster) and the…
  • How to Safely Enjoy the October 23 Partial Solar Eclipse

    Bob King
    20 Oct 2014 | 7:13 am
    The partially eclipsed sun sets over Island Lake north of Duluth, Minn. on May 20, 2012. Similar sunset photo opportunities will happen again during Thursday’s partial solar eclipse. Credit: Jim Schaff 2014 – a year rich in eclipses. The Moon dutifully slid into Earth’s shadow in April and October gifting us with two total lunars. Now it’s the Sun’s turn. This Thursday October 23 skywatchers across much of the North America and Mexico will witness a partial solar eclipse. From the eastern U.S. the eclipse will reach maximum around the time of sunset,…
 
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    Astroblog

  • Relive the Comet Siding Spring - Mars Encounter

    20 Oct 2014 | 6:27 am
    Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring captured 6-7 hours before its closest approach to Mars (big object down the bottom) on October 19. Image by Peter Lake at iTelescope, colours inverted to make the comet easier to see.Here's the YouTube video he madehttp://youtu.be/ehufS2GcWO0Here's the link to the recording of the live hangout form the encounter that night.https://plus.google.com/events/c37ac7ps3n0va5j6tibeblnkpfc The NASA Siding Spring site has links to Flika albums of the encounterhttp://mars.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/Terry Lovejoy's Animationhttp://vimeo.com/109365734 Via Dan Fischer, all…
  • An Image of Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring - Taken from the Martian Surface!

    20 Oct 2014 | 5:57 am
    This is comet Siding Spring, imaged from the surface of Mars, by a robot (Opportunity, the Energiser Bunny of Mars robots). Image credit NASAhttps://twitter.com/nivnac/status/524111689399406592/photo/1
  • My Image of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring just before closest approach.

    19 Oct 2014 | 6:45 am
    Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring at 9:00 pm ACDST, when it was approximately 18' from Mars (bright glow bottom right-hand side).Stack of 3x30 second luminance images taken with iTelescope T9.
  • Live Webcasts of the comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring Encounter with Mars October 19.

    18 Oct 2014 | 7:47 am
    Simulated in Celestia: Mars and comet C/2013 Siding Spring on October 19, at 18:51 UT when the comet is 138,800 Km from Mars. From Earth they will be a mere 1' 51" apart (that's one arc minute 53 arc seconds, about the width of a human hair).If you are clouded out on the night of closest approach, there are a number of  live webcasts of the event on the early evening of the 19th.  You will see a fuzzy blob and a bright bob, but this is a scpecial occasion, so there wll be a lot of interesting discussion.There is a Google Hangout in Australia. 11:00 UT (around 10 pm…
  • Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring Edges Closer to Mars (17-18 October)

    18 Oct 2014 | 6:57 am
    Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring amidst the rifts of the Milky Way  on 17 October (you have to click on the image and embbigen it to see the comet at all) Mars is just out of the field at bottom right, you can see the glow. Stack of 6 x 30 second luminance images taken with iTelescope T12, SUMMED in Image J.Images stacked on the comet and SUMMED in ImageJ then cropped down to show the comet (fuzzy blob centred)Siding Spring on 18 October, the comet has come over the dust clouds, so is easier to see. Mars if now in view at the bottom of the image grossly overexposed. Stack of 2 x 30 second…
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    Hogg's Research

  • single transits, new physics, K2

    20 Oct 2014 | 5:57 pm
    In my small amount of research time, I worked on the text for Hattori's paper on single transits in the Kepler data, including how we can search for them and what can be inferred from them. At lunch, Josh Ruderman (NYU) gave a nice talk on finding beyond-the-standard-model physics in the Atlas experiment at LHC. He made a nice argument at the beginning of his talk that there must be new physics for three reasons: baryogenesis, dark matter, and the hierarchy. The last is a naturalness argument, but the other two are pretty strong arguments! In the afternoon, while I ripped out furniture, Ben…
  • three talks

    17 Oct 2014 | 5:58 pm
    Three great talks happened today. Two by Jason Kalirai (STScI) on WFIRST and the connection between white dwarf stars and their progenitors. One by Foreman-Mackey on the new paper on M-dwarf planetary system abundances by Ballard & Johnson. Kalirai did a good job of justifying the science case for WFIRST; it will do a huge survey at good angular resolution and great depth. He distinguished it nicely from Euclid. It also has a Guest Observer program. On the white-dwarf stuff he showed some mind-blowing color-magnitude diagrams; it is incredible how well calibrated HST is and how well…
  • regression of continuum-normalized spectra

    16 Oct 2014 | 5:22 pm
    I had a short phone call this morning with Jeffrey Mei (NYUAD) about his project to find the absorption lines associated with high-latitude, low-amplitude extinction. The plan is to do regression of A and F-star spectra against labels (in this case, H-delta EW as a temperature indicator and SFD extinction), just like the project with Melissa Ness (MPIA) (where the features are stellar parameters instead). Mei and I got waylaid by the SDSS calibration system, but now we are working on the raw data, and continuum-normalizing before we regress. This gets rid of almost all our calibration issues.
  • measuring the positions of stars

    15 Oct 2014 | 8:59 pm
    At group meeting, Vakili showed his results on star positional measurements. We have several super-fast, approximate schemes that come close to saturating the Cramér–Rao bound, without requiring a good model of the point-spread function.One of these methods is the (insane) method used in the SDSS pipelines, which was communicated to us in the form of code (since it isn't fully written up anywhere). This method (due to Lupton) is genius, fast, runs on minimal hardware with almost no overhead, and comes close to saturating the bound. Another of these is the method made up on the spot by…
  • software and literature; convex problems

    14 Oct 2014 | 6:22 pm
    Fernando Perez (Berkeley), Karthik Ram (Berkeley), and Jake Vanderplas (UW) all descended on CampHogg today, and we were joined by Brian McFee (NYU) and Jennifer Hill (NYU) to discuss an idea hatched by Hill at Asilomar to build a system to scrape the literature—both refereed and informal—for software use. The idea is to build a network and a recommendation system and alt metrics and a search system for software in use in scientific projects. There are many different use cases if we can understand how papers made use of software. There was a lot of discussion of issues with…
 
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    Astronomy Cmarchesin

  • Tiny "Nanoflares" Might Heat the Sun's Corona

    20 Oct 2014 | 7:00 pm
    This image from the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) shows emission from hot plasma (T ~ 80,000-100,000 K) in the Sun's transition region - the atmospheric layer between the surface and the outer corona. The bright, C-shaped feature at upper center shows brightening in the footprints of hot coronal loops, which is created by high-energy electrons accelerated by nanoflares. The vertical dark line corresponds to the slit of the spectrograph. The image is color-coded to show light at a wavelength of 1,400 Angstroms. The size of each pixel corresponds to about 120 km (75 miles) on the…
  • 'CT Scan' of Distant Universe Reveals Cosmic Web in 3D

    19 Oct 2014 | 7:00 pm
    Figure 1: 3D map of the cosmic web at a distance of 10.8 billion light years from Earth. The map was generated from imprints of hydrogen gas observed in the spectrum of 24 background galaxies, which are located behind the volume being mapped. This is the first time that large-scale structures in such a distant part of the Universe have been mapped directly. The coloring represents the density of hydrogen gas tracing the cosmic web, with brighter colors representing higher density. Credit: Casey Stark (UC Berkeley) and Khee-Gan Lee (MPIA).  Larger version for downloadFigure 2: Close-up of…
  • The Debris Disk of a Solar-Type Star

    18 Oct 2014 | 8:00 pm
    An artist's conception of the planetary system around the nearby solar analog star, Tau Ceti, showing its five putative planets. Astonomers using far infrared observations find a debris disk around the star, and find a model that is consistent with five planets lying within the disk's inner edge at five astronomical units. Credit: NASAAlthough thousands of exoplanets and hundreds of planetary systems (stars with multiple exoplanets) are now known, astronomers still don’t know whether our solar system is typical. The distributions of known planetary system parameters are strongly affected by…
  • Revealing the secrets of galaxies – second CALIFA Data Release

    17 Oct 2014 | 8:00 pm
    Figure 1: CALIFA data example: Top row: Poststamp images of five galaxies.  Bottom row: Colour coded gas velocity maps of the same galaxies based on CALIFA IFS data.  Credit: Top row: SDSS | Bottom row: CALIFA team Today, the second large data release of the CALIFA-Survey has been published to the astronomical community and the public. It contains an unprecedented amount of data on 200 galaxies in the local universe allowing astronomers to study in detail numerous galaxy properties regarding their composition, kinematics, formation history and evolution. The Calar Alto Legacy…
  • Milky Way Ransacks Nearby Dwarf Galaxies, Stripping All Traces of Star-Forming Gas

    16 Oct 2014 | 8:10 pm
    Artist's impression of the Milky Way. Its hot halo appears to be stripping away the star-forming atomic hydrogen from its companion dwarf spheroidal galaxies. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, along with data from other large radio telescopes, have discovered that our nearest galactic neighbors, the dwarf spheroidal galaxies, are devoid of star-forming gas, and that our Milky Way Galaxy is to blame. These new radio observations, which are the highest sensitivity of their kind ever undertaken, reveal…
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    The Urban Astronomer

  • 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…
  • Red 'Stars' and White Moon

    24 Sep 2014 | 12:01 am
    Slender Moon, Mars and moreFor the next week, the twilight sky will feature a close alignment of two bright shiny red objects, Mars and Antares, and the slender Moon wending its way through the southwestern sky. The Moon encounters the ringed planet Saturn on Saturday 27th and then brackets the close pairing of orange-red Mars and the red supergiant star Antares in the constellation Scorpius. This first lunar cycle of autumn should start out beautifully with the waxing Moon and some lovely alignments. Look south and west shortly after sunset each evening for the best viewing.Image courtesy…
  • Luxury Star Gazing

    10 Sep 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Ritz Carlton Half Moon BayFall in the San Francisco Bay Area means clear skies and mild temperatures, and clear skies along the coast - a welcome change after the fog of summer. If you are in the Bay Area in the coming months, stop by the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Resort in Half Moon Bay for a Friday night star party. I am running star parties there a couple Fridays per month and love the setting, the reasonably dark skies, and the fun interaction with guests from all around the world. The patio is located on a stunningly beautiful stretch of California coast next to the 18th green of the Ocean…
  • Celebrate the Moon - Saturday September 6th

    2 Sep 2014 | 10:54 pm
    This Saturday is International Observe The Moon Night. Where will you be for this special evening? I'll be conducting sidewalk astronomy in front of the Exploratorium in San Francisco along with other astronomy enthusiasts. The Moon will be a few days away from another Supermoon, and if the skies cooperate, we should have a lovely view of Earth's natural satellite in gibbous phase between first quarter and full. Click the link for more information on International Observe The Moon Night. Hope to see you at an event.
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    sci.astro

  • Re: Solutions manuals for Fluid Mechanics 1e 1/e Russell Hibbeler

    20 Oct 2014 | 2:56 pm
  • To change the location of the special "Documents" folder... 

    20 Oct 2014 | 2:52 pm
      To change the location of the special "Documents"[*] folder... [ *: a.k.a. "My Documents", a.k.a. "Personal" ] See, "http://Jeff-Relf.Me/Win_8_.REG.TXT". ; Use Short, Friendly Paths, all under "C:\__" ( Home ). ; ; First, "Right·Click Properties -> Location -> Move" the current folder. ; ; Make Su
  • chaos

    20 Oct 2014 | 12:27 pm
    there is a lot of chaos for center of mass associated with solar system center of mass moves a lot there are a lot of things that create this chaos there is not any water around hell there is not any cherry pepsi around hell God will punish people of the U.S. if judges, district attorneys and p
  • Things looking up for Ed Conrad

    20 Oct 2014 | 5:06 am
    < This is a copy of a stern warning I've just received from the International Internet Commission (IIC) about a photograph I've posted showing a Smithsonian executive searching for truth. May I apologize to anyone I may have offended, especially the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Califor
  • What about the deaths of the smallest stars in the universe?

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:25 am
    We all know about the life and death processes of stars from about the mass of the Sun on upto super-sized blue stars. The end results are white dwarfs, neutron stars, and blackholes. But there are a class of extremely tiny stars, the smallest red dwarfs, which I can't imagine go through the same pr
 
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    Big Picture Science

  • Tale of the Distribution

    SETI Institute
    20 Oct 2014 | 7:24 am
    We all have at least some musical talent. But very few of us can play the piano like Vladimir Horowitz. His talent was rarefied, and at the tail end of the bell curve of musical ability – that tiny sliver of the distribution where you find the true outliers. Outliers also exist with natural events: hurricane Katrina, for example, or the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. Such events are rare, but they often have outsized effects.  In this hour we imagine the unimaginable – including the unexpected events labeled “black swans” – and how we weigh the risk…
  • Who's Controlling Whom?

    SETI Institute
    13 Oct 2014 | 8:02 am
    A single ant isn’t very brainy. But a group of ants can do remarkable things. Biological swarm behavior is one model for the next generation of tiny robots. Of course, biology can get hijacked: a fungus can seize control of an ant’s brain, for example. So will humans always remain the boss of super-smart, swarming machines?We discuss the biology of zombie ants and how to build robots that self-assemble and work together. Also, how to guarantee the moral behavior of future ‘bots. And, do you crave cupcakes? Research suggests that gut bacteria control what we eat and how…
  • What's the Difference?

    SETI Institute
    6 Oct 2014 | 12:00 am
    We make split second decisions about others – someone is male or female, black or white, us or them. But sometimes the degrees of separation are incredibly few. A mere handful of genes determine skin color, for example. Find out why race is almost non-existent from a biological perspective, and how the snippet of DNA that is the Y chromosome came to separate male from female. Plus, why we’re wired to categorize. And, a groundbreaking court case proposes to erase the dividing line between species: lawyers argue to grant personhood status to our chimpanzee cousins. Guests: David Page…
  • Land on the Run

    SETI Institute
    29 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    Hang on to your globe. One day it’ll be a collector’s item. The arrangement of continents you see today is not what it once was, nor what it will be tomorrow. Thank plate tectonics. Now evidence suggests that the crowding together of all major land masses into one supercontinent – Pangaea, as it’s called – is a phenomenon that’s happened over and over during Earth’s history. And it will happen again. Meet our future supercontinent home, Amasia, and learn what it will look like. Meanwhile, as California waits for the Big One, geologists discover that major earthquakes come in…
  • As You Were

    SETI Institute
    22 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    ENCORE We all want to turn back time. But until we build a time machine, we’ll have to rely on a few creative approaches to capturing things as they were – and preserving them for posterity. One is upping memory storage capacity itself. Discover just how much of the past we can cram into our future archives, and whether going digital has made it all vulnerable to erasure. Plus – scratch it and tear it – then watch this eerily-smart material revert to its undamaged self. And, what was life like pre-digital technology? We can’t remember, but one writer knows; he’s living life circa…
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    StarDate Online

  • New Names

    damonddb
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Upsilon Andromedae might not dazzle the eye, but one fact really makes it sparkle: It’s one of the brightest stars in the night sky known to have four or more planets. The star is bigger, brighter, and heavier than the Sun. It has a distant companion star that’s a faint cosmic ember. The two stars are known as Upsilon Andromedae A and B. The planets orbit star A, so they’re known as Upsilon Andromedae A-b, A-c, A-d, and A-e. That’s a neat system for the astronomers who study planets in other star systems — it helps them know just where everything is. For the rest of us, though, the…
  • Orionid Meteors

    damonddb
    18 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    A thin but reliable meteor shower is at its best the next couple of nights. The view is best in the wee hours of the morning, when you might see a dozen or two “shooting stars” per hour. The Orionids occur when Earth sweeps through the orbital path of Comet Halley, which has been making periodic trips through the inner solar system for more than two millennia. It sheds bits of dusty debris on each trip, which spread out along the comet’s path. These particles zip into Earth’s upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 140,000 miles an hour. They quickly vaporize, forming the glowing streaks…
  • Meteor Showers

    damonddb
    17 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Mars is low in the southwest as night falls. It looks like a fairly bright orange star. And if you have strong binoculars or a telescope, you might make out a fuzzy companion quite close to the planet the next few evenings. Comet Siding Spring will be just to the left of Mars tonight, and closer to the right of Mars tomorrow night. The comet could create a brief but intense meteor shower on Mars tomorrow, as a barrage of dust grains slams into the planet’s upper atmosphere. Debris from a different comet will strafe Earth over the next few nights, spawning our own meteor shower. It’s not a…
  • Mars to Have Comet Close Encounter Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Rebecca
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:20 am
    Mars is about to dodge a big snowball — a comet that will swing just 82,000 miles above the planet’s surface on Sunday, according to the editors of StarDate magazine. That’s just a third of the distance between Earth and the Moon, so it’s quite a close call. Comet Siding Spring will not be visible from Earth with the unaided eye, but it will be a spectacular sight under the dark Martian sky. It could even spawn a short but brilliant meteor shower caused by the dust grains plunging into the Martian atmosphere. read more
  • Close to Mars II

    damonddb
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The fleet of Mars-orbiting spacecraft will hide behind the Red Planet on Sunday morning. They’ll be trying to avoid a possible bombardment by tiny cosmic missiles — grains of dust from a comet. Although many of those grains are no bigger than a BB, they’ll be moving at about 125,000 miles an hour — fast enough to damage or even destroy a spacecraft. Comet Siding Spring will pass about 82,000 miles from Mars early Sunday — only a third of the distance from Earth to the Moon. That should create quite a show in the Martian sky — not just the view of the comet itself, but a possible…
 
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    Remanzacco Observatory - Comets & Neo

  • New fragmentation event in C/2011 J2 (LINEAR)

    Team
    13 Oct 2014 | 11:51 am
    Starting from 2014, Sept 26.9 we are constantly monitoring comet C/2011 J2 (LINEAR) and his fragment B through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD (La Palma-Liverpool Telescope). The video below shows an animation we made using our recent obs of this comet. Time span is 9 days (from 1 Oct. to 9 Oct). The projected velocity of the fragment is of about 0.3 arcsec/day.While performing follow-up of component B of comet C/2011 J2 on 2014, Oct 09.9  we detected a possible new diffuse fragment located in the very near proximity of main component A. Nothing was visible on our images taken on…
  • Follow-up of splitting event in Comet C/2011 J2

    Team
    30 Sep 2014 | 3:01 pm
    CBET 3979, issued on 2014 September 19, announced that observations of comet C/2011 J2 (LINEAR) (by F. Manzini, V. Oldani, A. Dan and R. Behrend) on Aug. 27.95, 28.85, and 30.91 UT led to the detection of a second, fainter, nuclear condensation (from now on Component B) located 0".8 east and 7".5 north of the main, brighter nuclear condensation (component A). For more info about comet C/2011 J2 please see our May 2011 post on this blog by clicking here. Whilst working on a long term morphology study on comet C/2012 K1 with N. Samarasinha and B. Mueller using the 2-meter Liverpool Telescope,…
  • Close Approach of Asteroid 2014 RC

    Team
    5 Sep 2014 | 6:10 am
    The asteroid 2014 RC was discovered (at ~ magnitude +20.0) on 2014, September 01.2 by Catalina Sky Survey (MPC code 703) with a 0.68-m Schmidt + CCD (and independently detected the next night by the Pan-STARRS survey).2014 RC has an estimated size of 12 m - 26 m (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=26.8) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 0.1 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0003 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 1801 UT on 2014, September 07. This asteroid will reach the peak magnitude about +11.5 on Sep 7 between 17UT and 18UT.We performed some…
  • New Comet: C/2014 Q3 (BORISOV)

    Team
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:24 am
    Cbet nr. 3936, issued on 2014, August 24, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17) by G. Borisov (Observatory MARGO, Nauchnij) on CCD images obtained with a 0.3-m f/1.5 astrograph telescope on 2014, August 22.02. The new comet has been designated C/2014 Q3 (BORISOV).We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely on 2014, August 23.4 from H06 (iTelescope network - Mayhill) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet: coma about…
  • Rosetta has arrived at comet 67P!

    Team
    6 Aug 2014 | 5:26 am
    After an epic 10-year journey, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft arrived today August 06, 2014 at comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko becoming the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet.  Launched in March 2004, Rosetta had to make three gravity-assist flybys of Earth and one of Mars to help it on course to its rendezvous with the comet. This complex course also allowed Rosetta to pass by asteroids Šteins and Lutetia, obtaining unprecedented views and scientific data on these two objects. Rosetta woke up from deep space hibernation on 20 January 2014, nine million…
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    Brown SpaceMan

  • Once in a Lifetime Comet Siding Spring Skimming by Mars Today!

    Zain Husain
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:36 am
    Comet Siding Spring Skimming Mars and Giving Our Satell […] The post Once in a Lifetime Comet Siding Spring Skimming by Mars Today! appeared first on Brown SpaceMan.
  • Carnival of Space 375

    Zain Husain
    12 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    Welcome to Carnival of Space 375!     Hello s […] The post Carnival of Space 375 appeared first on Brown SpaceMan.
  • 17 Amazing Reasons to Why We Should Be Excited About Space

    Zain Husain
    15 Sep 2014 | 3:44 pm
    17 Amazing Reasons to Why We Should Be Excited About Sp […] The post 17 Amazing Reasons to Why We Should Be Excited About Space appeared first on Brown SpaceMan.
  • Mission to Jupiter’s Moon Europa: 2014 Edition

    Zain Husain
    19 Jul 2014 | 8:54 pm
    2014 Update on the Mission to Jupiter’s Moon Euro […] The post Mission to Jupiter’s Moon Europa: 2014 Edition appeared first on Brown SpaceMan.
  • Carnival of Space 356

    Zain Husain
    1 Jun 2014 | 7:06 pm
    Welcome to Carnival of Space 356!     We have […] The post Carnival of Space 356 appeared first on Brown SpaceMan.
 
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    Astronomy and Space News - Astro Watch

  • First Italian Woman Astronaut Ready for Space Station Research Action

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    20 Oct 2014 | 3:12 pm
    Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian female astronaut will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 23, as a part of the Expedition 42/43, and her five and a half month mission will be loaded with scientific experiments. Recently she presented the details of her research at the headquarters of the Italian Space Agency (ASI). "The microgravity condition allows us to study the behaviour of the elements from a privileged point of view; space can reveal many surprises on the behaviour of the human body and fluids in the absence of gravity," she said about the value of space…
  • Busy Week on ISS: Cosmonauts Prepare for Spacewalk, SpaceX's Cargo Craft Set for Departure

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    20 Oct 2014 | 2:27 pm
    Busy week has just started for the international crew on the International Space Station (ISS) as a pair of Russian cosmonauts suited up for a dry run of Wednesday’s spacewalk while SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will hang on to the ISS for a few more days. Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev spent Monday readying the Russian Orlan spacesuits they will wear when they exit the Pirs docking compartment for a six-hour spacewalk. Meanwhile, the departure of SpaceX CRS-4 mission has been delayed until Saturday, Oct. 25, because of high sea states in the splashdown and…
  • China Launches Yaogan-22 Remote Sensing Satellite

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    20 Oct 2014 | 1:01 pm
    China launched the Yaogan-22 remote sensing satellite into scheduled orbit Monday, using the Long March-4C rocket, at 2:31 p.m. Beijing Time from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The satellite will be used for scientific experiments, natural resource surveying, estimating crop yields and disaster relief. As was the case in the last launches of the Yaogan Weixing series, western analysts believe this class of satellites is used for military purposes.The previous launch in this series took place on September 8, when a Long March-4B launch vehicle orbited a satellite believed to be the third…
  • Sun Releases a Significant Solar Flare

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    20 Oct 2014 | 12:13 pm
    The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 1:01 a.m. EDT on Oct. 19, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft, which is always observing the sun, captured an image of the event. This flare, classified as an X1.1-class flare, produced a strong HF radio blackout over Asia and Australia. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc. The next X-flare, if one occurs, will be even more geoeffective as the AR2192 sunspot turns toward Earth.Big…
  • Russia to Have 9 New Advanced Military Satellites by 2020

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    20 Oct 2014 | 11:54 am
    The Russian military will add nine advanced communications satellites to its orbital grouping by 2020, a senior military commander said Monday. “By 2020, the orbital grouping of military communications satellites will be strengthened with nine modern satellites,” said Maj. Gen. Khalil Arslanov, the chief of the Main Communications Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces. Arslanov said additional satellites will allow the Russian military to quadruple communications traffic and increase average data transfer speed to 8 Mbit/sec and up to 100 Mbit/sec on some directions.According to open…
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    Life of Controversy

  • 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…
  • Em Drive: The Little Engine That Could

    Word Smith
    5 Sep 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Dear Readers In this vast Blogosphere it is vital to differentiate yourself from the rest of the faceless mass. I have done this by always being fashionably late and thus keeping stories alive. By giving you outdated news, I strive to combat their extremely high mortality rate. In this day and age People yearn for new and fresh things, it’s like they have this bottomless pit in their souls which they try to fill up by cramming the latest trend, radical acronyms, hip songs, etcetera, etcetera. First things first I’m the realest; so to those people I say screw you sirs and madams and while…
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