Astronomy

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Problem with Curiosity

    Astronomy News
    Tom
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:05 pm
    A picture of the drilling section of Curiosity from the rover’s MAST cam. This is a raw image directly from the camera and not white balanced. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS A problem has developed with the Mars Science Laboratory also known as Curiosity. The image above shows the drill section of the rover after it finished drilling into “Telegraph Peak” on 24 February 2015. On 27 February 2015 as the sample was being transferred the sample powder obtained from the drilling process an electrical “irregularity” triggered a fault-protection event. The…
  • Book Review: Space Architecture

    Universe Today
    Mark Mortimer
    5 Mar 2015 | 7:30 am
    Have you ever had one of those days when you just couldn’t complete another Fourier Transform no matter how many chocolate covered cacao nibs you consumed? You need to perk yourself up, maybe imagine something a little more exotic than a Volkswagen diesel scooting down a gravel road. Well then, pull up a chair and grab a copy of the last Architectural Design issue of 2014 entitled “Space Architecture – The New Frontier for Design Research”. Sure it’s got some pretty involved speculative prose, but the graphics are stupendous and will knock you right back into a…
  • The Sky This Week - Thursday March 5 to Thursday March 12

    Astroblog
    3 Mar 2015 | 5:21 am
    The Full  Moon is Friday March 6. Venus is prominent in the twilight evening sky. Mars is lost in the twilight. Jupiter is the brightest object in the late evening sky. Saturn is in the head of the Scorpion and is visited by the waning Moon on March 12. Mercury is prominent in the morning sky .The Full  Moon is Friday March 6.  The Moon is at apogee (furthest from the Earth) on March 5.Evening sky on Saturday March 7 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:30 (8:30 pm) ACDST in South Australia.  Mars is low in the twilight, with Venus above it. Similar views will be seen…
  • normal modes in stars

    Hogg's Research
    2 Mar 2015 | 8:59 pm
    At lunch Huppenkothen gave the brown-bag talk, on neutron star normal modes and their possible use in constraining neutron-star equation of state (and thus nuclear physics). She was pessimistic in the end, because there are so few modes measured, but in a precision sense, the data (taken at face value) do rule out some models.After the talk, Andrei Gruzinov and I argued about the relationship between Huppenkothen's normal-mode constraints and spin constraints on neutron stars (mentioned also last week by Kaspi in our Physics Colloquium). He made a nice argument, which I will butcher to this:…
  • Why isn’t the universe as bright as it should be?

    Astronomy Cmarchesin
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:10 pm
    This Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxy NGC 1275 reveals the fine, thread-like filamentary structures in the gas surrounding the galaxy. The red filaments are composed of cool gas being suspended by a magnetic field, and are surrounded by the 100-million-degree Fahrenheit gas in the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster. The filaments are dramatic markers of the feedback process through which energy is transferred from the central massive black hole to the surrounding gas. Courtesy of NASA (edited by Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)Study explains why galaxies don’t churn out as many stars as they…
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    Astronomy News

  • Problem with Curiosity

    Tom
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:05 pm
    A picture of the drilling section of Curiosity from the rover’s MAST cam. This is a raw image directly from the camera and not white balanced. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS A problem has developed with the Mars Science Laboratory also known as Curiosity. The image above shows the drill section of the rover after it finished drilling into “Telegraph Peak” on 24 February 2015. On 27 February 2015 as the sample was being transferred the sample powder obtained from the drilling process an electrical “irregularity” triggered a fault-protection event. The…
  • Rosetta’s Shadow

    Tom
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:05 pm
    Rosetta’s shadow on Comet 67/C-G taken on 14 February 2015. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA Here’s something you don’t see very often or ever for that matter. We can see the shadow of ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. During the close flybys of a couple week ago, only 6 km separated spacecraft and comet. During the flyby the sun was directly between sun and comet so a shadow of about 20 x 50 meters (66 x 164 feet) was projected onto the comet. ESA was able to capture the image with the OSIRIS…
  • Dawn Almost Home

    Tom
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:05 pm
    Click for a larger version. The Dawn spacecraft is just days away from entering an orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. The pictures are becoming better and more detailed raising anticipation for what we might learn. For starters, what makes the mystery bright spots bright and how was that “pancake” feature / crater formed? You can see the latter on the right hand image on the lower horizon and a nice view of it here (taken on 19 February 2015). This image was taken on 25 February 2015 from a distance of 40,000 km / 25,000 miles. Dawn website Image(s) Credit:…
  • Hubble’s View of NGC 4424

    Tom
    1 Mar 2015 | 9:04 pm
    Hubble’s image of NGC 4424 in the Virgo Cluster. Copyright ESA/Hubble & NASA The Virgo Cluster of galaxies, home to NGC 4424 is about 15.6 million parsecs (54 million light-years) away. ESA’s caption: The galaxy pictured here is NGC 4424, located in the constellation of Virgo. It is not visible with the naked eye but has been captured here with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Although it may not be obvious from this image, NGC 4424 is in fact a spiral galaxy. In this image it is seen more or less edge on, but from above you would be able to see the arms of the galaxy…
  • Goodbye Spock

    Tom
    1 Mar 2015 | 6:55 am
    A nice piece from Channel 4. Video (with links to Channel 4) by
 
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    Universe Today

  • Book Review: Space Architecture

    Mark Mortimer
    5 Mar 2015 | 7:30 am
    Have you ever had one of those days when you just couldn’t complete another Fourier Transform no matter how many chocolate covered cacao nibs you consumed? You need to perk yourself up, maybe imagine something a little more exotic than a Volkswagen diesel scooting down a gravel road. Well then, pull up a chair and grab a copy of the last Architectural Design issue of 2014 entitled “Space Architecture – The New Frontier for Design Research”. Sure it’s got some pretty involved speculative prose, but the graphics are stupendous and will knock you right back into a…
  • Watch the Aurora Shimmer and Dance in Real Time

    Jason Major
    4 Mar 2015 | 1:05 pm
    I for one have never witnessed the northern lights in person, and like many people I experience them vicariously through the photography and videos of more well-traveled (or more polar-bound) individuals. Typically these are either single-shot photos or time-lapses made up of many somewhat long-exposure images. As beautiful as these are, they don’t accurately capture the true motion of this upper atmospheric phenomenon. But here we get a look at the aurora as it looks in real time, captured on camera by Jon Kerr from northern Finland. Check it out above or watch in full screen HD on…
  • What Your Breakfast has in Common with Ceres

    Nancy Atkinson
    4 Mar 2015 | 8:40 am
    On March 6, the Dawn spacecraft will ease into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. This is the visit to a dwarf planet (New Horizons will flyby Pluto later this year) and scientists are eager to see its surface in detail. But did you know that Ceres got its name from the ancient Roman goddess of agriculture and grain crops? Think about that when you enjoy your breakfast! (...)Read the rest of What Your Breakfast has in Common with Ceres (323 words) © nancy for Universe Today, 2015. | Permalink | One comment | Post tags: ceres, dawn Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh
  • Bright Spots on Ceres Likely Ice, Not Cryovolcanoes

    Nancy Atkinson
    3 Mar 2015 | 12:40 pm
    Ceres rotates in this sped-up movie comprised of images taken by NASA’s Dawn mission during its approach to the dwarf planet. The images were taken on Feb. 19, 2015, from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). Dawn observed Ceres for a full rotation of the dwarf planet, which lasts about nine hours. The images have a resolution of 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) per pixel. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA As the Dawn spacecraft prepares to enter orbit around Ceres on March 6, the science team provided the latest images and a mission preview during a briefing on March…
  • Book Review: Emigrating Beyond Earth

    Mark Mortimer
    3 Mar 2015 | 8:22 am
    Do you believe that humans are the ultimate species and that we have a destiny to rule? Perhaps you’re being optimistic according to Cameron Smith and Evan Davies. Their book “Emigrating Beyond Earth: Human Adaptation and Space Colonization” provides an anthropologist’s view that splashes a certain amount of chagrin on the hubris of our culture. Yes, they say we can and indeed should become a spacefaring species. However, they do caution that this future for our species can be attained only if we proactively try. (...)Read the rest of Book Review: Emigrating Beyond…
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    Astroblog

  • The Sky This Week - Thursday March 5 to Thursday March 12

    3 Mar 2015 | 5:21 am
    The Full  Moon is Friday March 6. Venus is prominent in the twilight evening sky. Mars is lost in the twilight. Jupiter is the brightest object in the late evening sky. Saturn is in the head of the Scorpion and is visited by the waning Moon on March 12. Mercury is prominent in the morning sky .The Full  Moon is Friday March 6.  The Moon is at apogee (furthest from the Earth) on March 5.Evening sky on Saturday March 7 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:30 (8:30 pm) ACDST in South Australia.  Mars is low in the twilight, with Venus above it. Similar views will be seen…
  • Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy Occasional Views January to February

    2 Mar 2015 | 5:06 am
    Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy imaged on 17 January 2015. MEDIAN stack of 3x180 second luminance images BIN2, taken with iTelescope T14. North is left, East is bottom. Image inverted for easier tail viewing. Click to embiggen.Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy imaged on 18 January 2015. MEDIAN stack of 5x180 second luminance images BIN2, taken with iTelescope T14.Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy imaged on 23 January 2015. MEDIAN stack of 5x180 second luminance images BIN2, taken with iTelescope T14.Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy imaged on 12 February 2015. MEDIAN stack of 3x180 second luminance images BIN2, taken with…
  • Southern Skywatch March, 2015 edition is now out!

    1 Mar 2015 | 4:37 am
    Western horizon as seen from Adelaide on 23 March at 8:00 pm ACDST . Click to embiggen.The March edition of Southern Skywatch is now up.This month a bit of  planetary action  and Jupiter is still prominent.Jupiter rises higher in the early evening sky and although opposition has massed, it is still an excellent object this month. Mars is becoming harder to see in the western evening twilight.  Mars is close to the crescent Moon on the 22nd.Venus is readily visible in the evening sky. Venus is close to the crescent Moon on the 23rd.Saturn is now high in the morning sky. It is in…
  • Geomagnetic alert for February 28- March 1

    27 Feb 2015 | 12:42 am
    A geomagnetic alert a has been issued  by the Australian IPS, the activity is due to a high speed solar wind stream form a coronal hole. The activity is likely to peak late in the evening of the 28th to the early morning of the 1 March, possibly lasting to the night of the March 1. If aurora occur, this may be visible in Tasmania, New Zealand, and possibly Southern Vic, WA and Southern South Australia. However, geomagnetic storms are fickle, and the storm may arrive in daylight or may fizzle out entirely .. or might just be spectacular.However, the waxing Moon may make it difficult to…
  • The Sky This Week - Thursday February 26 to Thursday March 5

    24 Feb 2015 | 3:48 am
    The First Quarter Moon is Thursday February 26. Venus is prominent in the twilight evening sky. Mars is lost in the twilight. Jupiter is the brightest object in the late evening sky and is visited by the waxing Moon on the 3rd. Saturn is in the head of the Scorpion. Mercury is prominent in the morning sky .The First Quarter Moon is Thursday February 26. The Moon is at apogee (furthest from the Earth) on March 5.Evening sky on Saturday February 28 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:30 (8:30 pm) ACDST in South Australia.  Mars is low in the twilight, with Venus above it. Similar…
 
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    Hogg's Research

  • normal modes in stars

    2 Mar 2015 | 8:59 pm
    At lunch Huppenkothen gave the brown-bag talk, on neutron star normal modes and their possible use in constraining neutron-star equation of state (and thus nuclear physics). She was pessimistic in the end, because there are so few modes measured, but in a precision sense, the data (taken at face value) do rule out some models.After the talk, Andrei Gruzinov and I argued about the relationship between Huppenkothen's normal-mode constraints and spin constraints on neutron stars (mentioned also last week by Kaspi in our Physics Colloquium). He made a nice argument, which I will butcher to this:…
  • IBM Watson

    27 Feb 2015 | 8:59 pm
    I spent my day today at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, hosted by Siyuan Lu (IBM). I had great discussions with the Physical Analytics team, and got in some quality time with Bruce Elmegreen (IBM), with whom I overlap on inferences about the initial mass function. I spoke about exoplanet search and population inference in my talk. The highlight of the trip was a visit to the Watson group, where I watched them talk to Watson, but we also looked into the data center, which contains the Watson that won on Jeopardy!. We made some plans to teach Watson some things…
  • Vicki Kaspi

    26 Feb 2015 | 8:59 pm
    Vicki Kaspi (McGill) gave the Physics Colloquium talk today. She compared the fastest-known millisecond pulsar (which her group discovered) to the fastest commercial blenders in spin period. The pulsar wins, but it wins far more in surface speed: The surface of a millisecond pulsar is moving a significant fraction (like 0.1) of the speed of light! She talked about the uses of pulsars for precision measurement and testing of general relativity. It is just incredible that nature delivers us these clocks! I got interested during the talk in the spin constraints on the equation of state: We often…
  • stellar modes, reading minds

    25 Feb 2015 | 8:59 pm
    At group meeting today Angus talked about her attempts to reproduce the asteroseismological measurements in the literature from Kepler short-cadence data. I think there is something missing, because we don't observe all the modes as clearly as they do. Our real goal is not just to reproduce the results of course; we discussed our advantages over existing methods: We have a more realistic generative model of the data; we can do multiple frequencies simultaneously; we can handle not just non-uniform time sampling but also non-uniform exposure times (which matters for high frequencies), and we…
  • Planck and needles in haystacks

    24 Feb 2015 | 5:56 pm
    On the way to #astrohackny I learned that I can write usefully on the subway on my mobile phone, which possibly justifies its immense cost (in dollars and in valuable personal attention). At the meeting I pitched my proposal for foreground source separation in the Planck imaging. Price-Whelan pointed out that the incredibly flexible model I am proposing could be a model for absolutely anything in any domain. It is also massively degenerate. Undaunted, I proposed that we perform a first experiment using fake data. The idea is to generate data using a physical model and then fit it with this…
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    Astronomy Cmarchesin

  • Why isn’t the universe as bright as it should be?

    4 Mar 2015 | 7:10 pm
    This Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxy NGC 1275 reveals the fine, thread-like filamentary structures in the gas surrounding the galaxy. The red filaments are composed of cool gas being suspended by a magnetic field, and are surrounded by the 100-million-degree Fahrenheit gas in the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster. The filaments are dramatic markers of the feedback process through which energy is transferred from the central massive black hole to the surrounding gas. Courtesy of NASA (edited by Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)Study explains why galaxies don’t churn out as many stars as they…
  • Far from Home: Wayward Cluster is both tiny and distant

    4 Mar 2015 | 7:00 pm
    GMOS image of Kim 2, in g band(The image is 4 arcminutes acros) Like the lost little puppy that wanders too far from home, astronomers have found an unusually small and distant group of stars that seems oddly out of place. The cluster, made of only a handful of stars, is located far away, in the Milky Way’s “suburbs.” It is located where astronomers have never spotted such a small cluster of stars before. The new star cluster was discovered by Dongwon Kim, a PhD student at the Australian National University (ANU), together with a team of astronomers (Helmut Jerjen, Antonino Milone,…
  • Abell 2597: NASA's Chandra Observatory Finds Cosmic Showers Halt Galaxy Growth

    4 Mar 2015 | 11:59 am
    Abell 2597Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Michigan State Univ/G.Voit et al; Optical: NASA/STScI & DSS; H-alpha: Carnegie Obs./Magellan/W.Baade TelescopeJPEG (493 kb) Large JPEG (3.8 MB)  Tiff (9.3 MB) More Images This galaxy cluster comes from a sample of over 200 that were studied to determine how giant black holes at their centers affect the growth and evolution of their host galaxy, as reported in our latest press release. This study revealed that an unusual form of cosmic precipitation enables a feedback loop of cooling and heating, stifling star formation in the middle of these…
  • New technique allows analysis of clouds around exoplanets

    3 Mar 2015 | 7:00 pm
    Analysis of data from the Kepler space telescope has shown that roughly half of the dayside of the exoplanet Kepler-7b is covered by a large cloud mass. Statistical comparison of more than 1,000 atmospheric models show that these clouds are most likely made of Enstatite, a common Earth mineral that is in vapor form at the extreme temperature on Kepler-7b. These models varied the altitude, condensation, particle size, and chemical composition of the clouds to find the right reflectivity and color properties to match the observed signal from the exoplanet. Courtesy of NASA (edited by Jose-Luis…
  • The huge “Y” in the atmosphere of Venus due to a wave distorted by the wind

    2 Mar 2015 | 7:30 pm
    Venus is covered by a dense layer of clouds which does not display any noteworthy characteristic. However, when looked in the ultraviolet wavelength, it presents conspicuous dark structures. The biggest one, which practically covers the entire planet, is shaped like a “Y” and it has been a mystery since its discovery more than half a century ago. Recently, a study led by astronomers from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), in collaboration with the university of the Basque Country and the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences of Portugal, has described the…
 
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    The Urban Astronomer

  • A Fantastic Conjunction: Moon, Mars and Venus

    20 Feb 2015 | 9:20 pm
    ConjunctionThis evening three celestial objects form an impressive tight grouping: Venus, Mars and the Moon. On Friday they are all in a group, and on Saturday the Moon moves on but Venus and Mars are even more closely aligned in a conjunction. All you need is a clear western horizon and the rest will take care of itself.More details on Sky & Telescope's website. Image courtesy of Sky & Telescope.
  • The King of the Night Sky

    7 Feb 2015 | 10:48 pm
    Jupiter has taken its place as the dominant object in the night sky, outshining everything else around it for the coming months. It just reached 'opposition' as it has its closest approach to the Earth for the next year. At opposition, Jupiter and the Earth and Sun are in a straight line, and Jupiter is visible for the entire night, rising in the east as the Sun sets in the west, towering high overhead during the night, and setting in the west just as dawn breaks.Details of JupiterThe disk of Jupiter is at its maximum visible size, a clear ball with dominant cloudtops in backyard telescopes,…
  • KFOG Broadcast: January 21, 2015

    21 Jan 2015 | 6:02 pm
    Had a good show with Renee, Irish Greg and No Name at KFOG. The Morning Show is always a lot of fun, with twists and turns along the way. We talked about Astronomy apps, Aliens, Star Parties, Orion, Comet Lovejoy, Pluto and New Horizons, and more. Click here to listen.
  • Moon and Venus in the West

    20 Jan 2015 | 10:53 pm
    lender Moon and VenusWednesday January 21st, a very slender young Moon and Venus form a compact group immediately after sunset. You'll need binoculars to spot this grouping, as the thin crescent Moon will be easily lost in the glare of the sunset sky, but bright Venus should be easier to spot. There's something magic about the sight of the thin crescent Moon, just barely glowing as a small bit of its illuminated side is visible to us, and that small light has to be seen through the glowing atmosphere with the refracted sunlight still filtering through it.In San Francisco, the Sun sets around…
  • Close Encounters

    9 Jan 2015 | 3:19 pm
    Close EncountersThe evening sky features a close encounter with the two inner planets, Venus and Mercury. When two celestial objects align, the visual effect is usually quite brilliant. Venus is 100s of times brighter than smaller and more distant Mercury, but nonetheless the two make an impressive pair this weekend. You'll need a clear view to the south-west just after sunset. Binoculars will make it faster and easier to locate the pair. The two planets will remain in close proximity for several days. And next week, the old Moon and Saturn will also have a close encounter. There's always…
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    sci.astro

  • ON YOUR FEET, EVOLUTION! NEXT STOP IS THE GLUE FACTORY

    5 Mar 2015 | 3:32 am
    EXCLUSIVE VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjoMQJf5vKI ============== GREATEST CONSPIRACY IN THE HISTORY OF HISTORY Evolutionists, their interests so vested And Poor Truth, for too long molested. Their deceit and deception Near the point of perfection If it w
  • MODERATOR: You must be 21 to view this disgusting message

    4 Mar 2015 | 6:56 am
    ATHEISTS, EVOLUTIONISTS TO GET THE MIDDLE FINGER ============================== BREAKING NEWS ============================== WASHINGTON, DC (Rueters) -- The Smithsonian Institution has happily announced that Ed Conrad soon will give it the middle finger. Wayne Clough, Sec
  • HERBERT DINGLE'S UNANSWERED QUESTION

    3 Mar 2015 | 11:43 pm
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/ ON THE ELECTRODYNAMICS OF MOVING BODIES, A. Einstein, 1905: "From this there ensues the following peculiar consequence. If at the points A and B of K there are stationary clocks which, viewed in the stationary system, are synchronous; and if
  • ED CONRAD TO GIVE PSEUDO-SCIENTISTS THE MIDDLE FINGER

    3 Mar 2015 | 12:08 pm
    ============================== BREAKING NEWS ============================== WASHINGTON, DC (Rueters) -- The Smithsonian is tickled pink to announce that it soon will get the middle finger from Ed Conrad. Wayne Clough, Secretary, will be the recipient of the petrified human
  • Re: THE SPEED OF LIGHT VARIES WITH THE SPEED OF THE OBSERVER

    2 Mar 2015 | 3:23 am
    http://popist.com/s/7528c2e/ "To the researchers' surprise, the light continued to travel at the slightly slower speed even after leaving the confines of the mask. Because the two photons were produced simultaneously from the same light source, they should have crossed the finish line simultane
 
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    Big Picture Science

  • Skeptic Check: The Me in Measles

    SETI Institute
    2 Mar 2015 | 7:45 am
    Wondering whether to vaccinate your children? The decision can feel like a shot in the dark if you don’t know how to evaluate risk. Find out why all of us succumb to the reasoning pitfalls of cognitive and omission bias, whether we’re saying no to vaccines or getting a tan on the beach. Plus, an infectious disease expert on why it may take a dangerous resurgence of preventable diseases – measles, whooping cough, polio – to remind us that vaccines save lives. Also, a quaint but real vaccine fear: that the 18th century smallpox vaccine, made from cowpox, could turn you…
  • Surviving the Anthropocene

    SETI Institute
    23 Feb 2015 | 7:42 am
    The world is hot, and getting hotter. But higher temperatures aren’t the only impact our species is having on mother Earth. Urbanization, deforestation, and dumping millions of tons of plastic into the oceans … these are all ways in which humans are leaving their mark. So are we still in the Holocene, the geological epoch that started a mere 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age? Some say we’ve moved on to the age of man – the Anthropocene. It’s the dawn of an era, but can we survive this new phase in the history of our planet? Guests: …
  • Sesquicentennial Science

    SETI Institute
    16 Feb 2015 | 8:35 am
    Today, scientists are familiar to us, but they weren’t always. Even the word “scientist” is relatively modern, dating from the Victorian Era. And it is to that era we turn as we travel to the University of Notre Dame to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its College of Science with a show recorded in front of a live audience. Find out how the modern hunt for planets around other stars compares to our knowledge of the cosmos a century and a half ago. Also how faster computers have ushered in the realm of Big Data. And a science historian describes us what major science…
  • Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat

    SETI Institute
    9 Feb 2015 | 7:49 am
    herlock Holmes doesn’t have a science degree, yet he thinks rationally – like a scientist. You can too! Learn the secrets of being irritatingly logical from the most famous sleuth on Baker Street. Plus, discover why animal trackers 100,000 years ago may have been the first scientists, and what we can learn from about deductive reasoning from today’s African trackers. Also, the author of a book on teaching physics to your dog provides tips for unleashing your inner scientist, even if you hated science in school. And newly-minted scientists imagine classes they wish were…
  • Digging Our Past

    SETI Institute
    2 Feb 2015 | 7:47 am
    ENCORE  What’s past is prologue. For centuries, researchers have studied buried evidence – bones, teeth, or artifacts – to learn about murky human history, or even to investigate vanished species. But today’s hi-tech forensics allow us to analyze samples dug from the ground faster and at a far more sophisticated level. First, the discovery of an unknown species of dinosaur that changes our understanding of the bizarre beasts that once roamed North America. And then some history that’s more recent: two projects that use the tools of modern chemistry and…
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    StarDate

  • More Dawn at Ceres

    damonddb
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:00 pm
    For Ceres, timing was everything. Had the largest asteroid formed just a few million years earlier, it likely would be almost completely dry. Instead, water appears to account for about half of its volume. Most of the water is frozen, but some may be liquid. We should learn more about that over the next few months as a spacecraft known as Dawn takes a close look at Ceres, which is also classified as a “dwarf planet.” Dawn is scheduled to enter orbit around it this week. It’ll become the first craft ever to orbit two different solar system objects beyond Earth. Ceres is roughly 600 miles…
  • Dawn at Ceres

    damonddb
    3 Mar 2015 | 10:00 pm
    An asteroid-chasing spacecraft is about to make history. If all goes well, it’ll enter orbit around the largest asteroid this week. That will give it two notes in the history books: It’ll be the first spacecraft to study Ceres from close range, and it’ll be the first to orbit two bodies beyond Earth. Dawn was launched seven-and-a-half years ago. It entered orbit around its first target, the asteroid Vesta, in July 2011, and stayed there for 14 months. It then fired up its engines again and headed toward Ceres. Those engines are quite different from those on most spacecraft. Most…
  • Final Approach

    damonddb
    2 Mar 2015 | 11:13 pm
    The dwarf planet Ceres spins on its axis in this animation compiled from 27 images from the Dawn spacecraft, which will enter orbit around Ceres on March 6. These images were snapped from roughly 26,000 miles (47,000 km) on February 19. They show impact craters, including some fairly recent ones that may have exposed ice below the surface, as well as two mysterious bright spots on the floor of a crater. This sequence shows almost a full turn, which takes about 9.5 hours. [NASA/JPL/Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA] Text ©2015 The University of Texas at Austin McDonald ObservatoryFor more…
  • Moon and Regulus

    damonddb
    2 Mar 2015 | 10:00 pm
    The almost-full Moon glides past the heart of Leo, the lion, tonight. Regulus huddles close to the lower left of the Moon at nightfall. The planet Jupiter, which far outshines Regulus, stands well above them. Because it was the brightest star of a prominent constellation, Regulus played a major role in the astronomy and skylore of many cultures. And they gave it names to match. In fact, Regulus means “the little king.” That name was bestowed by Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer who showed that Earth orbits the Sun, not the other way around. He adapted the name from an…
  • Moon and Jupiter

    damonddb
    1 Mar 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Most of astronomy is strictly “hands-off.” Astronomers can look at the objects they’re studying, but they can’t touch them. Sometimes, though, they can simulate those objects in the lab. That helps them better understand what they see with telescopes and spacecraft. An example is a recent study of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot — a storm that’s wide enough to swallow Earth. Scientists have pieced together a pretty good picture of the Great Red Spot. They’ve mapped its clouds and winds and taken its temperature. Yet they’re still not sure why it’s red. The color could come from…
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    A Pacific View

  • Goodbye, JAC, long live the JAC.

    28 Feb 2015 | 1:40 am
    A sad day today, the Joint Astronomy Centre (JAC) will close for business on Saturday 28th February. The JAC has been around for decades and supported both UKIRT and the JCMT. UKIRT left in November 2014 but still used JAC staff for support, but now JCMT will be moving to new ownership this weekend.The building still exists and both JCMT and UKIRT staff are still there, but the whole organisation that glued us together will be gone. It's quite a sad time but also, a new beginning for both telescopes.Will Montgomerie, a telescope system specialist at the JCMT, just published this wonderful…
  • 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…
 
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    Remanzacco Observatory - Comets & Neo

  • Possible Nova in Sco - (PNV J17032620-3504140)

    Team
    13 Feb 2015 | 11:10 am
    Following the posting on the Central Bureau's Transient Object Confirmation Page about a possible Nova in Sco (TOCP Designation: PNV J17032620-3504140) we performed some follow-up of this object remotely through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer) of iTelescope network (MPC Code  Q62 - Siding Spring).On our images taken on February 13.7, 2015 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart with R-CCD magnitude 8.6 at coordinates:R.A. = 17 03 26.19, Decl.= -35 04 18.1(equinox 2000.0; UCAC3 catalogue reference stars).Our annotated confirmation image. Click on it…
  • Close Approach of Asteroid (357439) 2004 BL86

    Team
    23 Jan 2015 | 7:26 am
    The asteroid (357439) 2004 BL86 was discovered  (at ~ magnitude +18.6) on 2004, January 30 by Linear Survey (MPC code 704) with a 1.0-m f/2.15 reflector + CCD.Asteroid (357439) 2004 BL86 has an estimated size of 420 m - 940 m (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=19.0) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 3.1 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0080 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) on 2015, January 26 at 16:20UT. This asteroid will reach the peak magnitude about +9.0 between Jan 26 & 27. Astronomers at Goldstone will try to observe it "as the…
  • Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) puts on a show

    Team
    19 Jan 2015 | 4:18 am
    Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) was discovered (at magnitude +14.8) by T. Lovejoy (Birkdale, Qld., Australia) on 17 August 2014 on CCD images obtained with a 20-cm f/2.1 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. It is the fifth comet discovered by Terry Lovejoy.On 7 January 2015, comet C/2014 Q2 passed 0.469 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) from Earth and it will reach the perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 30 January 2015 at a distance of 1.29 AU from the Sun. Comet Lovejoy reached few days ago its peak brightness at about magnitude +3.8, as bright as it should get, making it a naked-eye object.
  • New Comet: P/2014 X1 (ELENIN)

    Team
    13 Dec 2014 | 4:42 pm
    CBET nr. 4034, issued on 2014, December 14, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18) by Leonid Elenin on three CCD images taken on 2014, December 12 with a 0.4-m f/3 astrograph at the ISON-NM Observatory near Mayhill, NM, USA. The new comet has been designated P/2014 X1 (ELENIN).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, December 12.4 from H06 (iTelescope network - Mayhill) through a 0.43-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer, under bad seeing conditions,…
  • 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…
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    Internet Archive

  • Dstar Feb 14

    14 Feb 2015 | 6:52 pm
    Dstar audio W5FC repeater Feb 14, 2015.This item has files of the following types: Archive BitTorrent, Columbia Peaks, Essentia High GZ, Essentia Low GZ, Metadata, Ogg Vorbis, PNG, Spectrogram, VBR MP3
  • TelescopeMan Favorites

    5 Feb 2015 | 5:56 pm
    TelescopeMan Favorites.This item has files of the following types: Archive BitTorrent, JSON, Metadata
  • Old Band 1964 Short

    4 Dec 2014 | 6:15 pm
    The People- a band from the 1960s. I played rhythm guitar..This item has files of the following types: Archive BitTorrent, Metadata, Ogg Vorbis, PNG, Spectrogram, VBR MP3
  • Dstar Audio K5TIT Net

    9 Mar 2014 | 6:24 pm
    TelescopeMan records part of the K5TIT Dstar repeater net on Sunday, March 9, 2014. Notice the good quality audio from ham radio operators located all around Texas and Oklahoma checking into the Net.Dstar- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-STARwww.telescopeman.orgwww.telescopeman.infowww.telescopeman.u....This item has files of the following types: Archive BitTorrent, Metadata, Ogg Vorbis, PNG, VBR MP3
  • March 2014 Observing List

    7 Mar 2014 | 2:09 pm
    TelescopeMan gives his observing list for March 2014. Remember to adjust your viewing angle above the horizon- TelescopeMan lives at 32 degrees North, by 96 degrees West. UTC -6Music is by Snowflake under a Creative Commons license....This item has files of the following types: Archive BitTorrent, Metadata, Ogg Vorbis, PNG, VBR MP3
 
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    Astronomy and Space News - Astro Watch

  • Mars Lost an Ocean’s Worth of Water

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    5 Mar 2015 | 1:30 pm
    A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean, and covered a greater portion of the planet’s surface than the Atlantic Ocean does on Earth, according to new results published today. An international team of scientists used ESO’s Very Large Telescope, along with instruments at the W. M. Keck Observatory and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, to monitor the atmosphere of the planet and map out the properties of the water in different parts of Mars’s atmosphere over a six-year period. These new maps are the first of their kind. The results appear online in the…
  • A Missing Link in the Family Tree of Cosmic Black Holes

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    5 Mar 2015 | 12:55 pm
    A black hole discovered wandering all by itself inside one of the spiral arms of the galaxy NGC 2276 may present an important clue that would fill the gap in the evolutionary story of black holes. This discovery has been reported recently by a research team which is led by Mar Mezcua from the Harvard Centre for Astrophysics in Boston and includes Andrei Lobanov from the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR) in Bonn. They identify this elusive black hole, called NGC 2276-3c. The astronomers had to look at it simultaneously at radio waves with the European Very Long Baseline…
  • ALMA Performs Its First Very Long Baseline Observations

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    5 Mar 2015 | 12:25 pm
    ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, has successfully combined its immense collecting area and sensitivity with that of APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) to create a new, single instrument through a process known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). “The entire team is immensely gratified at achieving this success on the first VLBI attempt with ALMA. It marks a huge step toward making first images of a black hole with the Event Horizon Telescope," said Shep Doeleman, the principal investigator of the ALMA Phasing Project and assistant director of the…
  • Planet 'Reared' by Four Parent Stars

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    5 Mar 2015 | 11:48 am
    Growing up as a planet with more than one parent star has its challenges. Though the planets in our solar system circle just one star -- our sun -- other more distant planets, called exoplanets, can be reared in families with two or more stars. Researchers wanting to know more about the complex influences of multiple stars on planets have come up with two new case studies: a planet found to have three parents, and another with four. The discoveries were made using instruments fitted to telescopes at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego: the Robo-AO adaptive optics system, developed by the…
  • Single Site on Mars Advanced for 2016 NASA Lander

    Astro
    5 Mar 2015 | 5:16 am
    NASA’s next mission to Mars, scheduled to launch one year from today to examine the Red Planet’s deep interior and investigate how rocky planets like Earth evolved, now has one specific site under evaluation as the best place to land and deploy its science instruments. The mission called InSight -- an acronym for "Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport" -- is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The launch period runs from March 4 to March 30, 2016, and will mark the first California launch of an interplanetary mission.
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    Life of Controversy

  • Oscars 2015

    Word Smith
    1 Mar 2015 | 7:26 pm
    Tensions ran high and emotions ran higher at this year’s Oscars which served as a platform for the provocation of a lot of controversial issues, naturally demanding my attention. Racism is the first thing that comes to mind as the Oscars have been anointed many choice names from “Whitewashed Oscars” to “Oscarssowhite” and so on due to all of the acting nominees being Caucasian to which the Host Neil Patrick Harris cheekily remarked  “Tonight we honour the best and the whitest…I mean brightest”.The bias of the Academy probably stems from the capitalistic nature of…
  • Digging Up Diamonds: The 3rd Rock from the Sun

    Word Smith
    23 Feb 2015 | 2:12 am
    Dear Readers Welcome to the to the first ever installment of Digging up Diamonds. I didn’t have to dig deep to find today’s gem of a TV show pertinently and poetically phrased 3rd Rock from the sun.  Now I know you might say that this is quite a popular serial but sadly it is unheard of amongst our current generation and that is an injustice I must seek to right. 3rd rock,as it is lazily referred to as, is a sitcom about a group of alien explorers that have come to earth (the 3rd rock from the sun) and disguised themselves to blend in amongst us and observe…
  • Techs-Tiles: From the Titilating to the Terrifying to the not very well Thought out

    Word Smith
    10 Feb 2015 | 9:03 pm
    Dear ReadersSince its inception in 30,000 BC Clothing has been one of the defining pinnacles of human civilization. The evolution of the utility of clothing started from humble Paleolithic beginnings as protection against the elements and transformed to encompass uniformity, self expression, culture, religion and many other facets.   We are now reaching a milestone of great proportion as we seek to further add to its utility a wide range of functions by meshing clothing with circuitry.The age of wearable technology is at hand. I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the Intel…
  • Phraseology: "Calling Shotgun"

    Word Smith
    11 Jan 2015 | 10:03 pm
    Dear readersWelcome to first installment ofIt is in human nature to take for granted the things we use, the people we associate, and the phrases we say. Too long have we tossed around words like “sorry”, “love” and “mazletov” without giving a single thought to the weight the carry. But it is one particular phrase, impenitently caterwauled by every dense jock, dumb blonde and dim frat boy, which we have chosen to enlighten the populace about this day. That notorious phrase is “Calling Shotgun”It infuriates me when I see the dull gleam in some ignoramus’ eye, froth…
  • 2015:The Age of the Lightsaber-wielding Jurassic Goat Max of Panem

    Word Smith
    3 Jan 2015 | 8:26 am
    Dear Readers A New Year dawns….………………From Countries to societies to organizations to people, everyone is gearing up and getting ready to face 2015. Filled with new possibilities and plans, new desires and dreams, new aims and ambitions, new goals and resolutions but above all else the new year fills in our hearts the hope for a better future. But what can we expect besides hope? The answer to that, my esteemed readers, lies in the scribblings that have been etched upon the computer screen you view this very instant. United Nations Year DesignationThe UN has anointed…
 
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    Telescope Observer

  • Review: Orion SpaceProbe 3 Equitorial Reflector

    teladm
    17 Feb 2015 | 4:10 am
    The Orion SpaceProbe 3 is a simple, equatorial mount telescope designed to open up the nighttime sky to beginner stargazers. Falling into the category of telescopes within the $100-$200 price range, the telescope is hard to beat when it comes to affordability. Its equatorial mount makes it easy even for novices to track objects in […]
  • Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ

    teladm
    17 Feb 2015 | 4:01 am
    The Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ combines affordability and simplicity, power and performance, into a single telescope. Easy to set up and use, as well as being and inexpensive telescope, it makes a good choice for beginning star gazers. At the same time, its optical capabilities enable even experienced star gazers to enjoy discovering their favorite celestial […]
  • Review: Orion SkyScanner 100mm Table Top Reflector

    teladm
    17 Feb 2015 | 3:51 am
    The Orion SkyScanner is an affordable entry-level telescope designed for beginners to the world of astronomy. This compact, lightweight, quality telescope promises consumers a convenient and easy way to enjoy stunning views of the nighttime sky. From the moon to Saturn to even deep sky objects, the SkyScanner’s views are hard to beat for telescopes […]
  • Review Of Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ (20136)

    teladm
    17 Feb 2015 | 2:00 am
    The Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ is an extremely low cost telescope designed to provide families, amateurs, and even children an appealing and affordable glimpse of the nighttime sky. Despite being a budget telescope and costing less than $100, this scope offers the consumer a variety of eyepieces and magnifications, detailed views of certain celestial objects, and […]
  • The Best Budget Telescopes: Under $200

    teladm
    15 Feb 2015 | 5:10 am
    High quality telescopes under $200 can be a good choice for beginning stargazers, because they provide exciting views of the nighttime sky without requiring a heavy financial investment. All to often beginner’s waste many hundreds of dollars in pursuit of the highest-rated telescope. The best budget telescopes generally offer sound views of the nighttime sky. For instance, most of them provide […]
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    Stargazing in the UK

  • Best Stargazing Locations in the UK

    Stanley Siekel
    8 Feb 2015 | 12:00 am
    If you are passionate about stargazing and you never want to miss any chance to observe the fascinating Universe, then you should know that the United Kingdom is amongst the countries with the largest dark sky areas on the continent! From stars and galaxies to the Milky Way, you can observe a wealth of different celestial bodies, be it with the naked eye or with a telescope. Having said that, here you will find a brief overview of some of the most sought-after stargazing UK locations that you should put on your list. Top 7 Best Stargazing UK Locations The Llangorse Lakes First of stargazing…
  • Night Sky Tonight and This Month: February 2015

    Stanley Siekel
    1 Feb 2015 | 12:00 am
    Stargazing is a wonderful hobby, and one can never get bored of the vastness of the Universe. Luckily for both professional and amateur stargazers, January and February are amongst the best months of the year as most of the nights are long and clear enough to allow people to see the ever-changing display of celestial objects without using telescopes, binoculars or state of the art equipment. There are several notable celestial events that take place in February this year: not only can you enjoy the Moon in different phases, but you can also have a closer look at the famous Lovejoy…
  • 10 Interesting Facts about the Solar System for Kids

    Stanley Siekel
    25 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    Although we have been studying it for thousands of years, the Universe never ceases to amaze us. We find out something new and exciting about our solar system every year, and with every new discovery we are one step closer to the question that has been haunting us since the dawn of civilisation: are we alone in the Universe? As complex and puzzling as it may be, our solar system can be easily explained in several simple, fun and entertaining facts, and here you will find the top 10 most interesting facts about the solar system for kids: 1. All Celestial Bodies in Our Solar System Revolve…
  • Top 100 Astronomy Websites in 2015

    Stanley Siekel
    18 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    Hi all, I have put together the following list – my own take on Top 100 space and astronomy websites in 2015. Stargazing beginners and amateur astronomers may find there some helpful and free resources for their favourite hobby. Thanks for sharing this with fellow stargazers! Space.com Combines space exploration, astronomy and technology content with daily news covering space science discoveries, space flight, and technology behind all this. Cloudynights.com Contains reviews of astronomy equipment and accessories prepared by expert and amateur astronomers. N2yo.com Provides web-based…
  • Best Beginner Telescope: Celestron Cosmos 90GT WiFi

    Stanley Siekel
    11 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    Every experienced astronomer knows that having the right telescope is invaluable. Whether you are pursuing astronomy for academic and professional reasons or for pure pleasure, the right telescope is the first step towards success. As such, the first piece of advice which is offered to novice astronomers is “find a good telescope”. Unfortunately, this is easier said and done. If you are an absolute beginner, you may not even know what to look for in a telescope. Luckily for all stargazers, there is one telescope which has been recently described as “the best telescope for beginners”.
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