Astronomy

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  • Hubble Sees 'Ghost Light' From Dead GalaxiesGalaxy Cluster Abell 2744

    Astronomy Cmarchesin
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:10 pm
    Galaxy Cluster Abell 2744Credit: NASA ESA, M. Montes (IAC), and J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, and the HFF Team (STScI Release images NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has picked up the faint, ghostly glow of stars ejected from ancient galaxies that were gravitationally ripped apart several billion years ago. The mayhem happened 4 billion light-years away, inside an immense collection of nearly 500 galaxies nicknamed "Pandora's Cluster," also known as Abell 2744. The scattered stars are no longer bound to any one galaxy, and drift freely between galaxies in the cluster.By observing the…
  • Targeting Sagittarius

    Astronomy Today
    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…
  • Possible Supernova in M61 (NGC 4303)

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

    StarDate Online
    damonddb
    30 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    For the most part, astronomers aren’t a superstitious lot. And they certainly don’t believe in ghosts. Yet it would be hard to blame them for getting a few chills on a lonely Halloween night, when the motors groan and the dome rattles in the blustery wind — especially when there are graves right outside the door — or even below the dome itself. Until well into the 1900s, it wasn’t uncommon for astronomers to be buried at their observatories. In part, that’s because many of the observatories were privately built and owned. So one of America’s first astronomers, David Rittenhouse,…
  • Boom!

    Astronomy News
    Tom
    29 Oct 2014 | 9:10 pm
    Wow! No early word on what happened. I don’t think it will take a long time to figure this out. I could be wrong of course. As bad as this seems and no one got hurt so it could have been much worse, Orbital Sciences is going to learn a great deal from this incident and will wind up a stronger company because of it. I’ve not seen enough Antares launches to know what is normal but there seemed to be venting in places where it might not supposed to be. Have a look frame by frame in the video and see what you think. From Orbital Sciences: Orbital Sciences Corporation confirms that…
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    Astronomy Today

  • My Observing Wish List

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

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

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

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

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

  • Orbital Aftermath

    Tom
    30 Oct 2014 | 9:24 pm
    Damage to the Wallops Flight Facility. Image Credit: NASA/Terry Zaperach Here is a look at the area around the launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility after the failed Orbital Antares flight. As dramatic as the scene is it appears visually at least to be less damage than I would have expected. I wonder how much damage the heat caused, can’t really tell. I am happy to see NASA is standing behind Orbital with William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Directorate saying in a press release:…
  • Boom!

    Tom
    29 Oct 2014 | 9:10 pm
    Wow! No early word on what happened. I don’t think it will take a long time to figure this out. I could be wrong of course. As bad as this seems and no one got hurt so it could have been much worse, Orbital Sciences is going to learn a great deal from this incident and will wind up a stronger company because of it. I’ve not seen enough Antares launches to know what is normal but there seemed to be venting in places where it might not supposed to be. Have a look frame by frame in the video and see what you think. From Orbital Sciences: Orbital Sciences Corporation confirms that…
  • The Eye of Jupiter

    Tom
    28 Oct 2014 | 9:48 pm
    Spooky shadow on Jupiter see by Hubble. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center) Acknowledgment: C. Go and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Hubble captured “the Eye of Jupiter”. Okay, it’s not an eye at all, it is the shadow of the moon Ganymede in the Great Red Spot. Hubble is in a seasonal mood and it does look like a 16,200 km / 10,000 mile wide eye on Jupiter. See more at Hubblesite.   Spooky
  • Giant Sunspot

    Tom
    27 Oct 2014 | 9:51 pm
    A sunspot almost as big as Jupiter! Credit: SDO/NASA. From the Solar Dynamics Observatory: The largest sunspot of this solar cycle has now rotated around so that it is just about facing Earth. The video clip of filtered light images (Oct. 18-22, 2014) show this substantial active region is 125,000 km wide, almost as big as the planet Jupiter, and many times the size of Earth. The region appears to have the kind of unstable magnetic field that suggests it might well produce more solar storms. It has already blasted out three substantial flares and numerous smaller ones. Sunspots are darker,…
  • 2014 UF56

    Tom
    27 Oct 2014 | 3:36 pm
    A newly discovered 11-meter wide asteroid passed by Earth at about 164,244 km/ 102,056 miles or 0.43 LD (lunar distance) at 21:20 on 27 Oct 2014. JPL Small-Body Database. The asteroid discovery credit goes to a Mt. Lemmon Survey observation at 0521 UT 25 Oct. 2014 This asteroid will come back around in 2018 but shouldn’t be anywhere near as close according to NEODys.
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    Universe Today

  • BREAKING: Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Suffers ‘In-flight Anomaly,’ Crashes in Test Flight

    Nancy Atkinson
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:01 pm
    Feathered Flight during Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo’s third powered flight on January 10, 2014 over the Mojave desert. This image was taken by MARS Scientific as part of the Mobile Aerospace Reconnaissance System optical tracking system. According to reports on Twitter, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo exploded in midflight, and debris was seen scattered on ground in the Mojave Desert in California. Virgin tweeted that the rocket plane suffered an “in-flight anomaly” during a powered test flight on Friday. Other witnesses said it involved a fatal explosion and…
  • Launch Pad Damage Discernible in Aftermath of Catastrophic Antares Launch Failure – Exclusive Photos

    Ken Kremer
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Damage is visible to Launch Pad 0A following catastrophic failure of Orbital Sciences Antares rocket moments after liftoff from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA, on Oct. 28, 2014, at 6:22 p.m. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com Some damage is clearly discernible to the Antares rocket launch pad in the aftermath of the sudden catastrophic explosion that completely consumed the rocket and its NASA contracted cargo just seconds after its liftoff NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Va, at 6:22 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, October 28. From a public viewing area about two miles away, I captured some…
  • Weekly Space Hangout – Oct. 31, 2014: Bad Week in Space

    Fraser Cain
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:55 am
    Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain) Guests: Morgan Rehnberg (cosmicchatter.org / @cosmic_chatter) Ramin Skibba (@raminskibba) Alessondra Springmann (@sondy) Ken Kremer (kenkremer.com / @ken_kremer) (...)Read the rest of Weekly Space Hangout – Oct. 31, 2014: Bad Week in Space (219 words) © Fraser for Universe Today, 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Post tags: Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh
  • Earth Dodges a Bullet — New Radar Images of Asteroid 2014 SC324

    Bob King
    31 Oct 2014 | 11:46 am
    Goldstone delay-Doppler images of 2014 SC324 obtained on October 25. The images span about 45 minutes and show its rapid rotation. The asteroid has an irregular and elongated shape. Credit: NASA/JPL Looks like we dodged a bullet. A bullet-shaped asteroid that is. The 70-meter Goldstone radar dish, part of NASA’s Deep Space Network, grabbed a collage of photos of Earth-approaching asteroid 2014 SC324 during its close flyby last Friday October 24. These are the first-ever photos of the space rock which was discovered September 30 this year by the Mt. Lemmon Survey. The level of detail…
  • A History of Launch Failures: “Not Because They are Easy, but Because They are Hard”

    Tim Reyes
    31 Oct 2014 | 8:43 am
    Words of Kennedy’s Rice Speech hold especially true when NASA’s goals seem challenged and suddenly not so close at hand. (Photo Credit: NASA) Over the 50-plus years since President John F. Kennedy’s Rice University speech, spaceflight has proven to be hard. It doesn’t take much to wreck a good day to fly. Befitting a Halloween story, rocket launches, orbital insertions, and landings are what make for sleepless nights. These make-or-break events of space missions can be things that go bump in the night: sometimes you get second chances and sometimes not. Here’s a look…
 
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    Astroblog

  • Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS in November

    29 Oct 2014 | 6:35 am
    Evening sky on Saturday November 1 looking south  as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 (10:00 pm) ACDST in South Australia. Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS is just above Canopus.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).Animation of the path og comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS from 1 November to 30 November. The point of view changes mid animation as the comet rises towards the zenith. Click to embiggen.Printable B&W chart of the comets path over the month of November. Click to embiggen and printPrintable B&W Binocular chart of the comets path over…
  • The Sky This Week - Thursday October 30 to Thursday November 6

    28 Oct 2014 | 5:44 am
    The First Quarter Moon is Friday October 31. This is a "blue" First Quarter Moon. Saturn is low in the twilight. Mars is in the star clouds of Sagittarius and is close to the globular clusters M28 on November 3 and M22 on the 6th.  Jupiter is prominent in the morning sky. Comet C/212 K1 PanSTARRS is visible in binoculars before midnight.The First Quarter Moon is Friday October 31. This is the second First Quarter Moon this month and thus a "blue" First Quarter Moon. The Moon is at Perigee, where it is closest to the Earth, on the 3rd of November.Evening sky on Monday November 3 looking…
  • Near Earth Asteroid 2013 SC324 flies by (25 October)

    25 Oct 2014 | 7:48 am
    NEO 2013 SC324 imaged with iTelescope T14 (New Mexico) on 25 October 2014 at 5:45 am. The image is a stack of 7 x 60 second Luminance exposures. The images were  stacked in ImageJ, a MAX Z project made. Click to embiggen so the track is clearer.Animation of 2013 SC324 using the frames in the previous image. Click to embiggen.Near Earth Asteroid 2013 SC324 is a 65 meter space rock that buzzed by on the 25th, coming within 1.5 Earth Moon distances at 19:20 24 October UT (that was early in the morning of the 25th, Australian time). I imaged it using the New Mexico iTelescope T14 just on…
  • Giant Sunspot AR2192, Easy Viewing Target, Unleashes X class Flare

    24 Oct 2014 | 6:23 pm
    Sunspot AR 2192 imaged using my Canon IXUS  (400 ASA) and 4" Newtonian (infinity to infinity focussing with a 25 mm eyepiece), there are multiple sunspots, AR 2192 is the large obvious complex to the right of centre. Click to embiggen3x Zoom under the same conditions as the previous image. Still blurred a bit with 1/640 second exposure. Sun drift and atmospheric turbulence. Click to embiggen Giant Sunspot AR 2192 is big enough to be seen without magnification, just using eclipse viewing glasses. I could easily see it this afternoon with just eclipse glasses over the past few days. I did…
  • The Sky This Week - Thursday October 23 to Thursday October 30

    21 Oct 2014 | 5:05 am
    The New Moon is Friday October 24. Saturn is low in the evening sky. The crescent Moon is near Saturn on the 25th. Mars is in the star clouds of Sagittarius and is close to the Lagoon Nebula on the 27th and 28th. The crescent Moon is also near Mars on the 28th. Jupiter is prominent in the morning sky. Comet C/212 K1 PanSTARRS is visible in binoculars.The New Moon is Friday October 24.Evening sky on Tuesday October 28 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:45 (8:45 pm) ACDST in South Australia. Saturn is under the head of  Scorpius. The crescent Moon is close to Mars. The inset shows…
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    Hogg's Research

  • single transits, redshift likelihoods

    29 Oct 2014 | 8:06 pm
    A high research day today, for the first time in what feels like months! In group meeting in the finally-gutted NYU CDS studio space, So Hattori told us about some single transits in Kepler and his putative ability to find them. We unleashed some project management on him and now he has a great to-do list. No success in CampHogg goes unpunished! Along the way, he re-discovered a ridiculously odd Kepler target that has three transits from at least two different kinds of planets, neither of which seems periodic. Or maybe it is one planet around a binary host, or maybe worse? That launched some…
  • text, R, and politics

    28 Oct 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Today at lunch Michael Blanton organized a Data Science event in which Ken Benoit (LSE) told us about quanteda, his package for manipulating text in R. This package does lots of the data massaging and munging that used to be manual work, and gets the text data into "rectangular" form for data analysis. It also does lots of data analysis tasks too, but the munging was very interesting: Part of Benoit's motivation is to make text analyses reproducible from beginning to end. Benoit's example texts were amusing because he works on political speeches. He had examples from US and Irish politics.
  • nuclear composition of UHECRs

    27 Oct 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Today Michael Unger (Karlsruhe) told us over lunch about ultra-high energy cosmic rays from Auger. There are many mysteries, but it does look like the composition moves to higher-Z nuclei as you go to higher energies, or at least that's my read. He told us also about a very intriguing extension to Auger which would make it possible to distinguish protons from iron in the ground detectors; if that became possible, it might be possible to do cosmic-ray imaging: It is thought that the cosmic magnetic fields are small enough that protons near the GZK cutoff should point back to their sources. So…
  • Math-Astrophysics collaboration proposal

    26 Oct 2014 | 8:59 pm
    I spent a big chunk of the day today trying to write a draft of a collaboration proposal (really a letter of intent) for the Simons Foundation. That is only barely research.
  • exoplanet compositions

    24 Oct 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Today Angie Wolfgang (UCSC) gave a short morning seminar about hierarchical inference of exoplanet compositions (like are they ice or gas or rock?). She showed that the super-Earth (1 to 4 Earth-radius) planet radius distribution fairly simply translates into a composition distribution, if you are willing to make the (pretty justified, actually) assumption that the planets are rocky cores with a hydrogen/helium envelope. She inferred the distribution of gas fractions for these presumed rocky planets and got some reasonable numbers. Nice! There is much more to do, of course, since she cut to a…
 
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    Astronomy Cmarchesin

  • Hubble Sees 'Ghost Light' From Dead GalaxiesGalaxy Cluster Abell 2744

    30 Oct 2014 | 7:10 pm
    Galaxy Cluster Abell 2744Credit: NASA ESA, M. Montes (IAC), and J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, and the HFF Team (STScI Release images NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has picked up the faint, ghostly glow of stars ejected from ancient galaxies that were gravitationally ripped apart several billion years ago. The mayhem happened 4 billion light-years away, inside an immense collection of nearly 500 galaxies nicknamed "Pandora's Cluster," also known as Abell 2744. The scattered stars are no longer bound to any one galaxy, and drift freely between galaxies in the cluster.By observing the…
  • A galaxy on the edge

    30 Oct 2014 | 7:00 pm
    NGC 4762Credit:  ESA/Hubble & NASA  This spectacular image was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The bright streak slicing across the frame is an edge-on view of galaxy NGC 4762, and a number of other distant galaxies can be seen scattered in the background. NGC 4762 lies about 58 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin). It is part of the Virgo Cluster, hence its alternative designation of VCC 2095 for Virgo Cluster Catalogue entry. This catalogue is a listing of just over 2000 galaxies in the area of…
  • LOFAR discovers largest carbon atoms outside our Milky Way

    30 Oct 2014 | 7:29 am
    The starburst galaxy M82, the size of the carbon atoms and the observed spectral line Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Click here for hi-res image An international team of astronomers under the guidance of graduate student Leah Morabito of Leiden Observatory has for the first time discovered the largest carbon atoms outside our Milky Way with the LOFAR radio telescope. In the future astronomers will be able to measure how cold and dense the gas around these atoms is that influences star formation and the evolution of a galaxy. The results are published in the…
  • Existence of a group of “quiet” quasars confirmedQuasar Host Galaxies

    29 Oct 2014 | 7:00 pm
    Quasar Host GalaxiesPG 0052+251, PHL 909, IRAS04505-2958, PG 1012+008, 0316-346, IRAS13218+0552Credit: John Bahcall (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Mike Disney (University of Wales), and NASA About this image An artist´s view of the heart of a quasar Credit: NASAApart from very distant, ultraluminous quasars -evolving rapidly and associated with galaxy mergers - there is likely another population of quasars that evolves slowly Aeons ago, the universe was different: mergers of galaxies were common and gigantic black holes with masses equivalent to billions of times that of the…
  • Planet-forming Lifeline Discovered in a Binary Star System

    29 Oct 2014 | 11:32 am
    PR Image eso1434aArtist’s impression of the double-star system GG Tauri-A   PR Image eso1434bView of the sky around the multiple star system GG Tauri    Videos PR Video eso1434aArtist’s impression of the double-star system GG Tauri-A ALMA Examines Ezekiel-like “Wheel in a Wheel” of Dust and GasFor the first time, researchers using ALMA have detected a streamer of gas flowing from a massive outer disc toward the inner reaches of a binary star system. This never-before-seen feature may be responsible for sustaining a second, smaller disc of planet-forming material…
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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: SSTO's would have made possible Arthur C. Clarke's vision of 2001.

    31 Oct 2014 | 11:58 am
    Green Fanatic and self-indicting Enviro Turd "Alain Fournier" wrote: > hanson a écrit: Bob, the operative word is = "Environmental" = in the 2nd line of your > This disaster was precipitated by non other then being a direct consequen
  • Re: EINSTEIN'S RELATIVITY CLASHES WITH REASON

    31 Oct 2014 | 10:12 am
    It follows from Einstein's 1905 false constant-speed-of-light postulate that unlimitedly long objects can be trapped inside unlimitedly short containers: http://www.einsteins-theory-of-relativity-4engineers.com/images/Ladder_paradox_garage_irf1.png http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQHPAeiiQ3w "How
  • Smithsonian denies calling Ed Conrad an asshole

    31 Oct 2014 | 4:14 am
    On Sept. 6, 1996, Ron Cittesiano wrote to talk.origins and alt.catastrophism: < Beneath the Header: < < "ED CONRAD WILL WIN IN THE LONG RUN." < < The SEM image makes it clear to anyone not < blinded by evolutionism that Mr. Conrad has found < a bone, a human bone. < (Response from an anonymous veste
  • Re: IS SPACETIME DOOMED ?

    31 Oct 2014 | 3:56 am
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyRO8Wv4BaY The Doom of Space Time by Nima Arkani-Hamed: "Back then it was determinism that had to be lost. Today it is spacetime that has to be lost, and we have to figure out how to make do without spacetime. (...) By insisting on describing the physics in the way
  • EINSTEIN'S RELATIVITY CLASHES WITH REASON

    30 Oct 2014 | 5:42 pm
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/einstein-s-theory-of-relativity-clashes-with-common-sense-1.1972774 "Einstein's theory of relativity clashes with common sense (...) Albert Einstein's starting point for his theory was his insistence that the laws of physics must be the same for observers at r
 
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    Big Picture Science

  • Skeptic Check: Friends Like These

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

  • Halloween

    damonddb
    30 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    For the most part, astronomers aren’t a superstitious lot. And they certainly don’t believe in ghosts. Yet it would be hard to blame them for getting a few chills on a lonely Halloween night, when the motors groan and the dome rattles in the blustery wind — especially when there are graves right outside the door — or even below the dome itself. Until well into the 1900s, it wasn’t uncommon for astronomers to be buried at their observatories. In part, that’s because many of the observatories were privately built and owned. So one of America’s first astronomers, David Rittenhouse,…
  • Morning Mercury

    damonddb
    29 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The only spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury has gotten especially close to it over the past few months — as close as 15 miles. It’s moving back away from the planet right now as it nears the end of its mission. Messenger was launched 10 years ago, and entered orbit around Mercury in 2011. During roughly 3,500 orbits, it’s clicked off more than a quarter of a million pictures of the solar system’s tiniest planet. They reveal impact craters, volcanic plains, and fault lines edged by cliffs that are miles high. Messenger has also mapped the mineral and chemical makeup of the…
  • Getting Closer

    damonddb
    29 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    A bright, fresh impact crater gleams at the top left corner of this image of Mercury from the Messenger spacecraft, which has been orbiting the planet since 2011. Flight controllers briefly lowered its orbit to as close as 15 miles, which will allow scientists to map Mercury's gravitational field in greater detail. Messenger is expected to end its mission next spring. [NASA/JHUAPL] Text ©2014 The University of Texas at Austin McDonald ObservatoryFor more skywatching tips, astronomy news, and much more, read StarDate magazine.
  • Local Bubble

    damonddb
    28 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Ten million years ago, some massive stars close to our own solar system blew themselves to bits. These exploding stars carved a big bubble in space and filled it with superhot gas. And today, our solar system is plowing through that bubble — a peanut-shaped region that’s about 300 light-years long. By earthly standards, the space between the stars is a hard vacuum — there’s just not much there. But there are a few atoms and molecules, known collectively as the interstellar medium. Shock waves from the exploding stars swept away most of the material around them. So the interstellar…
  • New Distance

    damonddb
    27 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Measuring the distances to astronomical objects is hard work. But it’s critical for understanding the universe. Unless you know how far away an object is, you can’t know its brightness, its size, its gravity, or anything else about it. An example of just how tough the job is is the Pleiades star cluster — also known as the Seven Sisters. It climbs into good view in the east by around 10 p.m., and looks like a tiny dipper. Astronomers have been studying the Pleiades since the invention of the telescope. Even so, measuring its distance hasn’t been easy. The most accurate technique is…
 
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    A Pacific View

  • End of an era

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

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

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

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

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

  • Possible Supernova in M61 (NGC 4303)

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

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

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

  • China's Chang'e-2 Lunar Probe 100 Million Km Away from Earth

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:26 pm
    China's second lunar probe, Chang'e-2, was 100 million km into deep space in July, the longest journey of ant Chinese spacecraft, a senior engineer said Thursday. The lunar probe, launched on Oct. 1, 2010, has extended its service by several years and remains in good condition, Zhou Jianliang, chief engineer of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center told Xinhua. Chang'e-2 tested technology for Chang'e-3, the landing mission. It left lunar orbit for outer space in June 2011 after completing all of its tasks.Chang'e-2 is expected to travel as far as 300 million km from the earth, after which it…
  • Oceans Arrived Early to Earth, Study Finds

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    31 Oct 2014 | 3:05 pm
    Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: where did Earth’s water come from and when? While some hypothesize that water came late to Earth, well after the planet had formed, findings from a new study led by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) significantly move back the clock for the first evidence of water on Earth and in the inner solar…
  • Orion Spacecraft Complete and Ready for Integration with Delta IV Heavy Rocket

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    31 Oct 2014 | 1:54 pm
    NASA and Lockheed Martin have completed final assembly and testing of the Orion spacecraft. The spacecraft will remain inside NASA’s Launch Abort System Facility at Kennedy Space Center until it rolls to launch pad 37 in November. “An empty shell of a spacecraft arrived to Kennedy Space Center two years ago, and now we have a fully assembled Orion standing 72 feet tall,” said Michael Hawes Lockheed Martin Orion program manager. “We’re ready to launch it into space and test every inch.” The final assembly stages of the spacecraft included installing Orion’s Ogive panels, which…
  • Astronomers Discover a Low-density Exoplanet That Won’t Stick to a Schedule

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:04 pm
    Yale University astronomers and the Planet Hunter program have found a low-mass, low-density planet with a punctuality problem. The new planet, called PH3c, is located 2,300 light years from Earth and has an atmosphere loaded with hydrogen and helium. It is described in the Oct. 29 online edition of The Astrophysical Journal. The elusive orb nearly avoided detection. This is because PH3c has a highly inconsistent orbit time around its sun, due to the gravitational influence of other planets in its system. “On Earth, these effects are very small, only on the scale of one second or so,”…
  • When Did Galaxies Settle Down?

    Tomasz Nowakowski
    31 Oct 2014 | 10:07 am
    Astronomers have long sought to understand exactly how the universe evolved from its earliest history to the cosmos we see around us in the present day. In particular, the way that galaxies form and develop is still a matter for debate. Now a group of researchers have used the collective efforts of the hundreds of thousands of people that volunteer for the Galaxy Zoo project to shed some light on this problem. They find that galaxies may have settled into their current form some two billion years earlier than previously thought. Dr Brooke Simmons of the University of Oxford and her…
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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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