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Astronomy (Bloggers & Personal)

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  • NASA now has an official plan for taking out asteroids

    06/23/2018 1:13:15 PM PDT · by TBP · 29 replies
    Glenn Beck website ^ | June 22, 2018 | Glenn Beck
    The next time asteroids menace the earth, we'll be ready. Because NASA has created a plan. But before you get too excited, unfortunately, NASA's just-released plan does not include a Bruce Willis-led crew of roughnecks landing on an asteroid and blowing it to smithereens with a nuke. Which begs the question, if that's not part of the plan, what's a potential "Space Force" actually for? Yesterday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a report titled, the "National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan." Okay, see, this is the problem with government bloat. That title is...
  • Mysterious 'Planet Nine' gets more evidence from weird space rock

    05/21/2018 2:30:59 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 35 replies
    Fox News ^ | May 21, 2018 | Elizabeth Howell, Space.com
    The solar system just got a bit stranger. As astronomers continue their ongoing quest to find the elusive Planet Nine, a team found a space rock that lends credence to the idea that a huge super-Earth planet really exists in the outer reaches of our solar system. The newfound asteroid, called 2015 BP519, adds to a growing body of evidence about little worlds in the solar system being perturbed by something big. Astronomers detailed its discovery and description in a new paper, adding that its bizarre angle of its orbit gives more weight to the idea that a big planet...
  • "Earth's Magnetic Field not flipping tonight, perhaps.." John Batchelor Show

    05/02/2018 6:45:59 AM PDT · by Voption · 4 replies
    The John Batchelor Show WABC- NY ^ | May 2, 2018 | John Batchelor/Robert Zimmerman
    Blue Origin test flight, China's space-program, SLS, earth's magnetic field flipping?
  • What if the Moon was split in half?

    If you simply flew up into space and sawed the moon in half with a giant hacksaw, most likely, nothing would happen. This is because gravitational force would hold the two halves together, sort of like a couple of magnets. But what if you were able to get a couple of giant crowbars and put a person on the other side and then count to 3 and totally separate the two halves of the moon? With enough strength applied, you could theoretically push the two halves far enough apart where the gravitational force no longer pulls them together and now...
  • Alien World [Mars Meridiani Planum]

    04/30/2018 11:48:22 AM PDT · by Voption
    Behind the Black ^ | April 30, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    "Meridani Planum is located on the equator due east of the giant canyons of Valles Marineris. It is a subsection region inside Arabia Terra, the largest of the transition zones between the lower elevation vast plains of the northern hemisphere and the higher elevation crater southern highlands."
  • "Mars rover update: April 27, 2018."

    04/27/2018 3:35:49 PM PDT · by Voption · 14 replies
    Behind the Black ^ | April 27, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    Summary: Curiosity’s exploration of Vera Rubin Ridge is extended, while an attempt by Opportunity to climb back up Perseverance Valley to reach an interesting rock outcrop fails.
  • SpaceX Does it Again; Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)launched

    04/18/2018 5:37:08 PM PDT · by Voption · 3 replies
    SpaceX ^ | April 18, 2018, 6:51 p.m. EDT | Elon Musk
    "SpaceX launched NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, April 18 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch occurred at 6:51 p.m. EDT, or 22:51 UTC. TESS was deployed into a highly elliptical orbit approximately 49 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, SpaceX successfully landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • "The First Sunspots of the Next Solar Cycle"

    04/15/2018 11:04:45 AM PDT · by Voption · 39 replies
    Behind the Black ^ | April 15, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    In linking to my sunspot update this week, there has been a lot of speculation at the climate website WattsUpWithThat that the next solar cycle has begun...which suggested that this sunspot was the first such sunspot this cycle, was not quite accurate however. This sunspot with an opposite polarity, which decayed so quickly that it did not rate getting a sunspot number, was not the first... The grand minimum of the 1600s, dubbed the Maunder Minimum in honor of the scientist who first identified it, was a century where almost no sunspots were visible. There was no apparent solar cycle....
  • Zimmerman/Batchelor Podcast: Unusual sunspot decline & What is to be done? (7:11)

    04/12/2018 6:11:25 PM PDT · by Voption · 15 replies
    John Batchelor Show/WABC Radio/ ^ | April 11, 2018 | Bob Zimmerman/John Batchelor
    It surely looks like the solar minimum has arrived, and it has done so far earlier than expected! On Sunday NOAA posted its monthly update of the solar cycle, covering sunspot activity for March 2018...the least active month for sunspots since the middle of 2009, almost nine years ago. In fact, activity in the past few months has been so low it matches the low activity seen in late 2007 and early 2008, ten years ago when the last solar minimum began.
  • Amateurs Measure ISS Using the Moon

    04/10/2018 12:07:11 PM PDT · by messierhunter · 86 replies
    YouTube ^ | 4-7-18 | me
    Let's see how long this thread lasts, the mods pull everything I post that offends or upset the delicate little flat earth and science hating snowflakes that have taken over FreeRepublic these days. Here's a simple method anyone can use to measure the altitude, size, and velocity of the International Space Station by capitalizing on a lunar transit (where ISS is silhouetted against the moon within a narrow corridor - you can find opportunities on transit-finder.com). Anyone can do this with a friend using a good high magnification camera like a P900 or other long focal length telephoto lens on...
  • Sunspot update for March 2018: the sun crashes!

    04/09/2018 2:11:54 PM PDT · by Voption · 48 replies
    Bethind the Black ^ | April 9, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    March 2018 was the least active month for sunspots since the middle of 2009, almost nine years ago. In fact, activity in the past few months has been so low it matches the low activity seen in late 2007 and early 2008, ten years ago when the last solar minimum began
  • I just heard that there might be "Russian Collusion" between Trump and the Russians

    04/05/2018 4:16:29 PM PDT · by SamAdams76 · 53 replies
    I think Trump has done a splendid job so far as president of the United States. However, I heard just today that there is a possibility that there might be some collusion (col-u-son) between Trump and the Russians. Apparently the Russians wanted Donald Trump to be president just as much as we did and so they did some collusion type things to make sure that Trump won the election. I'm not quite sure what kind of things they were but it could be that Russians were sent over here during the election to dance outside of Trump tower and hold...
  • "Hubble confounds cosmology by not finding Dark Matter"

    03/31/2018 4:26:19 AM PDT · by Voption · 64 replies
    The John Batchelor Show ^ | March 31, 2018 | John Batchelor/Robert Zimmerman
    Using the Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have discovered a nearby galaxy that apparently has little or no evidence of dark matter. The unique galaxy, called NGC 1052-DF2, contains at most 1/400th the amount of dark matter that astronomers had expected. The galaxy is as large as our Milky Way, but it had escaped attention because it contains only 1/200th the number of stars.
  • "Curiosity and more clues of past surface water on Mars."

    03/26/2018 6:27:09 AM PDT · by Voption · 16 replies
    The John Batchelor Show ^ | March 24, 2018 | John Batchelor/Bob Zimmerman
    "...On Earth quartz veins indicate past water flow, and also indicate the presence of valuable minerals like gold. What these veins on Mars mean is presently unknown, though I guarantee the Curiosity science team is using the rover to find out everything they can. Almost certainly the veins suggest the past presence of liquid flows, probably water (but I make no promises)."
  • Mars Rover Update for March 2018

    03/21/2018 3:08:28 PM PDT · by Voption · 7 replies
    Behind the Black ^ | March 21, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    Summary: Curiosity continues its exploration of Vera Rubin Ridge, including several drilling attempts.Since my February 8, 2018 update, the Curiosity science team has apparently been loath to leave Vera Rubin Ridge... Opportunity is currently halfway down the inside of Perseverance Valley...when the Mars winter ends, Opportunity will begin to move more aggressively.
  • The John Batchelor Show: Tom Corbett and the Space Corps 2018 with Bob Zimmerman

    03/20/2018 7:39:49 PM PDT · by Voption · 4 replies
    John Batchelor Show ^ | March 20, 2018 | John Batchelor Show
    Batchelor discusses the politics of "Tom Corbett and the Space Corps 2018"... with science-writer & space-historian Robert Zimmerman.
  • "Mind over Matter" Stephen Hawking; An Obituary by his friend Dr. Roger Penrose

    03/14/2018 8:19:50 AM PDT · by Voption · 40 replies
    The Guardian ^ | March 14, 2018 | Dr. Roger Penrose
    The image of Stephen Hawking – who has died aged 76 – in his motorized wheelchair, with head contorted slightly to one side and hands crossed over to work the controls, caught the public imagination, as a true symbol of the triumph of mind over matter. As with the Delphic oracle of ancient Greece, physical impairment seemed compensated by almost supernatural gifts, which allowed his mind to roam the universe freely, upon occasion enigmatically revealing some of its secrets hidden from ordinary mortal view.
  • Dry Tortugas National Park Astronomical time-lapse tour (3:54)

    03/13/2018 7:38:09 PM PDT · by Voption · 27 replies
    YouTube ^ | August, 2016 | Harun Mehmedinovic
    On a remote island hours away from Key West lies the largest masonry structure in the Americas: Fort Jefferson. Built with 16 million bricks, but never finished, the fort served as a prison during Civil War. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, upon visiting the island, named it a National Monument, and in 1992 it became part of Dry Tortugas National Park. Besides serving as a safe haven for the most preserved coral reef in the United States, the set of islands that comprise the national park also protect countless marine animals and bird species. However, the true treasure of...
  • An even more spectacular movie of Jupiter’s storms!

    03/12/2018 12:27:29 PM PDT · by Voption · 8 replies
    Behind the Black ^ | March 12, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    "Cool image time! Yesterday I posted a short gif created by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt, using twelve Juno images, that showed some cloud changes over time... Today, I discovered that Eichstädt has created an even more spectacular movie, which I have embedded below the fold, based on images taken during Juno’s tenth close fly-by."
  • Martian Craters go splat!

    03/09/2018 2:24:14 PM PST · by Voption · 4 replies
    Behind the Black ^ | March 9, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    Cool image time! In continuing my exploration of this month’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) image release, I found two interesting images of small craters, one as part of that image release, the other found completely by accident...The map on the right, taken from the MRO HiRISE archive page, shows the locations of these two images...Both are located in the lava plains that surround the giant volcano Pavonis Mons, the central volcano of the three volcanoes to the east of Olympus Mons.