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Astronomy (General/Chat)

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  • A Blue, Neptune-size Exoplanet Around A Red Dwarf Star

    11/26/2015 10:09:42 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies ^ | November 25, 2015 | arXiv
    A team of astronomers have used the LCOGT network to detect light scattered by tiny particles (called Rayleigh scattering), through the atmosphere of a Neptune-size transiting exoplanet. This suggests a blue sky on this world which is only 100 light years away from us. The result was published in the Astrophysical Journal on November 20 (and is available on ArXiV). Transits occur when an exoplanet passes in front of its parent star, reducing the amount of light we receive from the star by a small fraction. When the orbit of an exoplanet is aligned just right for transits to occur,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Gravity's Grin

    11/26/2015 9:28:08 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | November 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, published 100 years ago this month, predicted the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. And that's what gives these distant galaxies such a whimsical appearance, seen through the looking glass of X-ray and optical image data from the Chandra and Hubble space telescopes. Nicknamed the Cheshire Cat galaxy group, the group's two large elliptical galaxies are suggestively framed by arcs. The arcs are optical images of distant background galaxies lensed by the foreground group's total distribution of gravitational mass dominated by dark matter. In fact the two large elliptical "eye" galaxies represent the brightest members...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planets of the Morning

    11/26/2015 9:20:51 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Planet Earth's horizon stretches across this recent Solar System group portrait, seen from the southern hemisphere's Las Campanas Observatory. Taken before dawn it traces the ecliptic with a line-up familiar to November's early morning risers. Toward the east are bright planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter as well as Regulus, alpha star of the constellation Leo. Of course the planets are immersed in the faint glow of zodiacal light, visible from the dark site rising at an angle from the horizon. Sometimes known as the false dawn, it's no accident the zodiacal light and planets both lie along the ecliptic....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unusual Pits Discovered on Pluto

    11/26/2015 9:18:56 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 30 replies
    NASA ^ | November 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why are there unusual pits on Pluto? The indentations were discovered during the New Horizons spacecraft's flyby of the dwarf planet in July. The largest pits span a kilometer across and dip tens of meters into a lake of frozen nitrogen, a lake that sprawls across Sputnik Planum, part of the famous light-colored heart-shaped region named Tombaugh Regio. Although most pits in the Solar System are created by impact craters, these depressions look different -- many are similarly sized, densely packed, and aligned. Rather, it is thought that something has caused these specific areas of ice to sublimate and...
  • Why Do Red Dwarfs Live So Long?

    11/24/2015 9:08:08 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 37 replies ^ | November 23, 2016 | Fraser Cain
    To understand why red dwarfs have such long lifespans, we’ll need to take a look at main sequence stars first, and see how they’re different. ... In the core, immense pressure and temperature from the mass of all that starstuff bears down and fuses atoms of hydrogen into helium, releasing gamma radiation. Outside the core is the radiative zone, not hot enough for fusion. Instead, photons of energy generated in the core are emitted and absorbed countless times, taking a random journey to the outermost layer of the star. And outside the radiative zone is the convective zone, where superheated...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Aurora over Clouds

    11/23/2015 9:57:24 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | November 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Auroras usually occur high above the clouds. The auroral glow is created when fast-moving particles ejected from the Sun impact the Earth's magnetosphere, from which charged particles spiral along the Earth's magnetic field to strike atoms and molecules high in the Earth's atmosphere. An oxygen atom, for example, will glow in the green light commonly emitted by an aurora after being energized by such a collision. The lowest part of an aurora will typically occur at 100 kilometers up, while most clouds usually exist only below about 10 kilometers. The relative heights of clouds and auroras are shown clearly...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A 212-Hour Exposure of Orion

    11/22/2015 11:03:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | November 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The constellation of Orion is much more than three stars in a row. It is a direction in space that is rich with impressive nebulas. To better appreciate this well-known swath of sky, an extremely long exposure was taken over many clear nights in 2013 and 2014. After 212 hours of camera time and an additional year of processing, the featured 1400-exposure collage spanning over 40 times the angular diameter of the Moon emerged. Of the many interesting details that have become visible, one that particularly draws the eye is Barnard's Loop, the bright red circular filament arcing down...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars

    11/22/2015 6:33:53 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    NASA ^ | November 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This moon is doomed. Mars, the red planet named for the Roman god of war, has two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names are derived from the Greek for Fear and Panic. These martian moons may well be captured asteroids originating in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter or perhaps from even more distant reaches of the Solar System. The larger moon, Phobos, is indeed seen to be a cratered, asteroid-like object in this stunning color image from the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, recorded at a resolution of about seven meters per pixel. But Phobos orbits...
  • Astronaut Scott Kelly's 'UFO' photo generates extraterrestrial buzz

    11/21/2015 12:58:19 PM PST · by Momaw Nadon · 52 replies ^ | November 21, 2015 |
    The truth is out there . . . maybe. A photo tweeted by astronaut Scott Kelly is generating plenty of extraterrestrial buzz. Kelly, who recently broke the U.S. record for most days in space, tweeted the picture taken from the International Space Station Sunday.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Recycling NGC 5291

    11/21/2015 10:45:19 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | November 21, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Following an ancient galaxy-galaxy collision 200 million light-years from Earth, debris from a gas-rich galaxy, NGC 5291, was flung far into intergalactic space. NGC 5291 and the likely interloper, also known as the "Seashell" galaxy, are captured near the center of this spectacular scene. The sharp, ground-based telescopic image looks toward the galaxy cluster Abell 3574 in the southern constellation Centaurus. Stretched along the 100,000 light-year long tidal tails, are clumps resembling dwarf galaxies, but lacking old stars, apparently dominated by young stars and active star forming regions. Found to be unusually rich in elements heavier than hydrogen and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Leonids and Friends

    11/21/2015 10:43:22 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | November 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Leonid meteors rained down on planet Earth this week, the annual shower of dusty debris from the orbit of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. Leonids streak through this composite night skyview from a backyard observatory in southern Ontario. Recorded with camera fixed to a tripod, the individual frames capture the bright meteor activity throughout the night of November 16/17, about a day before the shower's very modest peak. The frames are registered to the fixed field of view, so the meteor trails are not all aligned to the background star field recorded that same evening when nebula-rich Orion stood above the southern...
  • New detector perfect for asteroid mining, planetary research

    11/21/2015 8:16:42 AM PST · by Red Badger · 9 replies ^ | November 20, 2015 | by David Salisbury & Provided by: Vanderbilt University
    Concept of an asteroid redirect mission. Credit: NASA ==================================================================================================================================== The grizzled asteroid miner is a stock character in science fiction. Now, a couple of recent events - one legal and the other technological - have brought asteroid mining a step closer to reality. The legal step was taken when the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee passed a bill titled H.R. 2262—SPACE Act of 2015. The bill has a number of measures designed to facilitate commercial space development, including a provision that gives individuals or companies ownership of any material that they mine in outer space. According to one estimate,...
  • Galactic Monster Mystery Revealed in Ancient Universe [Galaxies that shouldn't exist!]

    11/19/2015 12:26:11 PM PST · by Red Badger · 34 replies ^ | Nov 19, 2015 07:00 AM ET | by Ian O'Neill Source: ESO
    ESO's VISTA survey telescope has spied a horde of previously hidden massive galaxies that existed when the Universe was in its infancy. By discovering and studying more of these galaxies than ever before, astronomers have for the first time found out exactly when such monster galaxies first appeared. The newly discovered massive galaxies are marked on this image of the UltraVISTA field. [RED CIRCLES] ================================================================================================================ Astronomers have detected something baffling at the furthest frontiers of our observable universe: massive galaxies -- lots of massive galaxies -- that shouldn't even exist. Depending on the wavelength you observe the universe in,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Centaurus A

    11/19/2015 3:42:37 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | November 19, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's the closest active galaxy to planet Earth? That would be Centaurus A, only 11 million light-years distant. Spanning over 60,000 light-years, the peculiar elliptical galaxy is also known as NGC 5128. Forged in a collision of two otherwise normal galaxies, Centaurus A's fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, pinkish star forming regions, and imposing dark dust lanes are seen here in remarkable detail. The colorful galaxy portrait is a composite of image data from space- and ground-based telescopes large and small. Near the galaxy's center, left over cosmic debris is steadily being consumed by a central black...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Sudden Jet on Comet 67P

    11/18/2015 1:29:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | November 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: There she blows! A dramatic demonstration of how short-lived some comet jets can be was documented in late July by the robotic Rosetta spacecraft orbiting the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The featured animation depicts changes in the rotating comet with three illuminating stills. Although the first frame shows nothing unusual, the second frame shows a sudden strong jet shooting off the 67P's surface only 20 minutes later, while the third frame -- taken 20 minutes after that -- shows but a slight remnant of the once-active jet. As comets near the Sun, they can produce long and beautiful tails...
  • How Global Warming Science Ate The NASA Budget

    11/18/2015 6:39:53 AM PST · by Purdue77 · 6 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | 11/17/2015 | Andrew Follett
    The Daily Caller (11/17, Follett) reports that according to Representative Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, NASA's dedication toward climate research has reduced the funding available for its planetary science and exploration efforts. In an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Smith stated, "The Obama administration has consistently tried to cut NASA's space exploration budgets in order to fund increases for Earth science programs," adding, "Just this year, the president proposed drastically cutting NASA's exploration systems by more than $440 million dollars while Earth Science accounts have increased by 63 percent over the...
  • Image: A supermassive black hole in action

    11/17/2015 10:55:45 AM PST · by Red Badger · 48 replies ^ | November 17, 2015 | Provided by: European Space Agency
    Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Baum & C. O’Dea (RIT), R. Perley & W. Cotton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) =============================================================================================================== Scientists often use the combined power of multiple telescopes to reveal the secrets of the Universe – and this image is a prime example of when this technique is strikingly effective. The yellow-hued object at the centre of the frame is an elliptical galaxy known as Hercules A, seen by the Earth-orbiting NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. In normal light, an observer would only see this object floating in the inky blackness of space. However, view Hercules A with...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Pelican Nebula in Gas, Dust, and Stars

    11/17/2015 10:28:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 17, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Pelican Nebula is slowly being transformed. IC 5070, the official designation, is divided from the larger North America Nebula by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust. The Pelican, however, receives much study because it is a particularly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds. The featured picture was produced in three specific colors -- light emitted by sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen -- that can help us to better understand these interactions. The light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming the cold gas to hot gas, with the advancing boundary between the two, known as...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Blazing Fireball between the Orion Nebula and Rigel

    11/15/2015 10:46:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | November 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening to that meteor? A few days ago, a bright fireball was photographed from the Alps mountain range in Switzerland as it blazed across the sky. The fireball, likely from the Taurids meteor shower, was notable not only for how bright it was, but for the rare orange light it created that lingered for several minutes. Initially, the orange glow made it seem like the meteor trail was on fire. However, the orange glow, known as a persistent train, originated neither from fire nor sunlight-reflecting smoke. Rather, the persistent train's glow emanated from atoms in the Earth's atmosphere...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Leonids Over Monument Valley

    11/15/2015 10:45:26 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: There was a shower over Monument Valley -- but not water. Meteors. The featured image -- actually a composite of six exposures of about 30 seconds each -- was taken in 2001, a year when there was a very active Leonids shower. At that time, Earth was moving through a particularly dense swarm of sand-sized debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle, so that meteor rates approached one visible streak per second. The meteors appear parallel because they all fall to Earth from the meteor shower radiant -- a point on the sky towards the constellation of the Lion (Leo). The yearly...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Gegenschein Lunar Eclipse

    11/14/2015 12:50:55 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is there anything interesting to see in the direction opposite the Sun? One night last month, there were quite a few things. First, the red-glowing orb on the lower right of the featured image is the full moon, darkened and reddened because it has entered Earth's shadow. Beyond Earth's cone of darkness are backscattering dust particles orbiting the Sun that standout with a diffuse glow called the gegenschein, visible as a faint band rising from the central horizon and passing behind the Moon. A nearly horizontal stripe of green airglow is also discernable just above the horizon, partly blocked...
  • Mystery object WT1190F comes down over Indian Ocean but fails to make a splash

    11/13/2015 7:19:42 AM PST · by yoe · 13 replies
    Geek Wire ^ | November 12, 2015 | Alan Boyle
    Was it a spent Apollo rocket stage from the ’60s? A scary space rock? Whatever it was, the mysterious object known as WT1190F zoomed in from deep space and went out in a largely unseen blaze of glory today. WT1190F The red arrow indicates WT1190F in this image taken by the University of Hawaii 2.2-meter telescope. (Credit: B. Bolin, R. Jedicke, M. Micheli) Experts on orbital debris said WT1190F was probably a low-density object measuring just 6 feet (2 meters) long. Astronomers with the Catalina Sky Survey first observed the object in October. When they looked back at archived telescope...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Tadpoles of IC 410

    11/12/2015 11:49:42 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 13, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This telescopic close-up shows off the otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410. It also features two remarkable inhabitants of the cosmic pond of gas and dust below and right of center, the tadpoles of IC 410. Partly obscured by foreground dust, the nebula itself surrounds NGC 1893, a young galactic cluster of stars. Formed in the interstellar cloud a mere 4 million years ago, the intensely hot, bright cluster stars energize the glowing gas. Composed of denser cooler gas and dust, the tadpoles are around 10 light-years long and are likely sites of ongoing star formation. Sculpted by winds...
  • How To Go To Space (made simple) -- 3min YouTube video

    11/12/2015 1:53:00 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 6 replies
    YouTube ^ | 11/10/15
    Click Here
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Kenya Morning Moon, Planets, and Taurid

    11/12/2015 4:32:17 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 12, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On November 8, a waning crescent Moon joined the continuing parade of planets in Earth's morning skies. Captured here from Amboseli National Park, Kenya, even the overexposed moonlight can't washout brilliant Venus though, lined up near the ecliptic plane with faint Mars and bright Jupiter above. As if Moon and planets aren't enough, a comparably bright Taurid meteor also streaks through the scene. In fact November's Taurid meteor showers have had a high proportion of bright fireballs. Apparently streaming from radiants in Taurus, the meteors are caused by our fair planet's annual passage through debris from Comet 2P/Encke. The...
  • Earth-sized rocky planet orbiting a nearby star

    11/11/2015 10:21:44 AM PST · by Red Badger · 42 replies ^ | November 11, 2015 | Provided by: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    This cartoon shows the transiting planet GJ 1132b to scale against its host star GJ 1132. Credit: Zach Berta-Thompson ==================================================================================================================== Scientists have discovered a new exoplanet that, in the language of "Star Wars," would be the polar opposite of frigid Hoth, and even more inhospitable than the deserts of Tatooine. But instead of residing in a galaxy far, far away, this new world is, galactically speaking, practically next door. The new planet, named GJ 1132b, is Earth-sized and rocky, orbiting a small star located a mere 39 light-years from Earth, making it the closest Earth-sized exoplanet yet discovered. Astrophysicists from...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Unexpected Rocket Plume over San Francisco

    11/11/2015 9:36:16 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | November 11, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is that unusual light in the sky? A common question, this particular light was not only bright but moving and expanding. It appeared just as the astrophotographer and his friend were photographing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California against a more predictable night sky. They were not alone in seeing this unusual display -- at least hundreds of people in California reported a similar sight. The consensus of experienced sky observers was that the plume resulted from a rocket launch -- an explanation that was soon confirmed as an unpublicized test of a submarine-launched, unarmed, Trident...
  • Mountains on Pluto believed to be ice volcanoes, scientists say

    11/10/2015 4:41:49 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 5 replies
    Reuters on Yahoo News ^ | 11/9/15 | Irene Klotz
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Scientists have discovered what appear to be ice-spewing volcanoes on the surface of Pluto, raising questions about how the tiny, distant world has been so geologically active, according to research presented on Monday. The findings, released at an American Astronomical Society meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, paint a far more complicated picture of Pluto and its moons than scientists imagined. "The Pluto system is baffling us," planetary scientist Alan Stern, with the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, told reporters during a webcast news conference. Stern heads the team working on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft,...
  • New derivation of pi links quantum physics and pure math

    11/10/2015 10:54:08 AM PST · by Red Badger · 34 replies ^ | November 10, 2015 | Provided by: American Institute of Physics
    Two pages from the book "Arithmetica Infinitorum," by John Wallis. In the table on the left page, the square that appears repeatedly denotes 4/pi, or the ratio of the area of a square to the area of the circumscribed circle. Wallis used the table to obtain the inequalities shown at the top of the page on the right that led to his formula. Credit: Digitized by Google ============================================================================================================= In 1655 the English mathematician John Wallis published a book in which he derived a formula for pi as the product of an infinite series of ratios. Now researchers from the University...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula

    11/09/2015 10:01:43 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | November 10, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is star AE Aurigae on fire? No. Even though AE Aurigae is named the flaming star, the surrounding nebula IC 405 is named the Flaming Star Nebula, and the region appears to have the color of fire, there is no fire. Fire, typically defined as the rapid molecular acquisition of oxygen, happens only when sufficient oxygen is present and is not important in such high-energy, low-oxygen environments such as stars. The material that appears as smoke is mostly interstellar hydrogen, but does contain smoke-like dark filaments of carbon-rich dust grains. The bright star AE Aurigae, visible toward the right...
  • Astronomers Found the Ghost of a Rare Giant Radio Galaxy

    11/09/2015 6:14:29 AM PST · by Red Badger · 33 replies ^ | 11/08/15 4:05pm | Kiona Smith-Strickland
    Image: J021659-044920. The red and yellow lobes are the galaxy’s radio lobes. The red spot in the center is the visible galaxy. Prathamesh Tamhane/Yogesh Wadadekar. ================================================================================================================== Astronomers in India have discovered a very unusual galaxy, and it’s dying. By now, in fact, it’s probably already dead. The new galaxy, known as J021659-044920, is 9 billion light years away from Earth. That means it’s really old in cosmic terms (but not quite as old as the oldest object astronomers have ever found, a galaxy 13 billion light years away called UDFy-38135539). Viewed in the visible spectrum, J021659-044920spans about 100,000 light years...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Assembly of The International Space Station

    11/09/2015 12:21:09 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 09, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is the largest and most sophisticated object ever built off the Earth. It has taken numerous spaceflights and over a decade to construct. The International Space Station (ISS) is currently the premiere habitat for humans in Earth orbit, and an amalgamation of sophisticated orbiting laboratories that have examined everything from the formation of new materials and medicines created in microgravity -- to the limitations of the human body -- to the composition of the universe. This month, the ISS is celebrating 15 years of continuous human habitation. The ISS has been visited by astronauts from 15 countries, so...
  • Photographer Caught Stunning Meteor Instead of Spooky Asteroid

    11/08/2015 7:45:00 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | November 02, 2015 | Attila Nagy [Photo: Peter Komka/MTI]
    Hungarian photographer Pter Komka wanted to capture the Halloween asteroid that looked like a skull, as it made its closest approach to Earth. What he got instead was a striking image of a meteor streaking across the sky. Komka set up his camera gear on an equatorial mounted tripod near the medieval castle of Salg, and took several long exposure shot of the night sky, hoping to get some good enough image of the 2015 TB145 asteroid. Sadly the spooky space rock was too faint and did not appear in his photos. But what he finally captured in one photo...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Quadruple Sky Over Great Salt Lake

    11/08/2015 1:01:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | November 08, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This was a sky to show the kids. All in all, three children, three planets, the Moon, a star, an airplane and a mom were all captured in one image near Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA in early September of 2005. Minus the airplane and the quadruple on the ground, this busy quadruple coincidence sky was visible last week all over the world. The easiest object to spot is the crescent Moon, which is easily the brightest sky orb in the featured image. Venus is the highest planet in the sky, with Jupiter to its right. The bright...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Earth and Milky Way from Space

    11/07/2015 11:17:46 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 07, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Since November 2000, people have been living continuously on the International Space Station. To celebrate humanity's 15th anniversary off planet Earth, consider this snapshot from space of our galaxy and our home world posing together beyond the orbital outpost. The Milky Way stretches below the curve of Earth's limb in the scene that also records a faint red, extended airglow. The galaxy's central bulge appears with starfields cut by dark rifts of obscuring interstellar dust. The picture was taken by Astronaut Scott Kelly on August 9, 2015, the 135th day of his one-year mission in space.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unraveling NGC 3169

    11/06/2015 4:19:29 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | November 06, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Spiral galaxy NGC 3169 appears to be unraveling in this cosmic scene, played out some 70 million light-years away just below bright star Regulus toward the faint constellation Sextans. Its beautiful spiral arms are distorted into sweeping tidal tails as NGC 3169 (top) and neighboring NGC 3166 interact gravitationally, a common fate even for bright galaxies in the local universe. In fact, drawn out stellar arcs and plumes, indications of gravitational interactions, seem rampant in the deep and colorful galaxy group photo. The picture spans 20 arc minutes, or about 400,000 light-years at the group's estimated distance, and includes...
  • Black hole awakens after 26 years

    11/05/2015 2:13:20 PM PST · by Red Badger · 16 replies ^ | November 5, 2015 | Provided by: Oxford University
    On 15 June 2015, V404 Cygni (V404 Cyg), a binary system comprising a sun-like star orbiting a black hole, woke up. A huge outburst of energy across the electromagnetic spectrum 'lit up' the sky. The last such outburst was 1989. Dr Kunal Mooley, a Hintze Research Fellow at the University's Centre for Astrophysical Surveys works on cutting-edge research based on the discovery and detailed study of transients at radio and optical wavelengths using a wide range of telescope facilities such as the Jansky Very Large Array, the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager (AMI), the Palomar Transient Factory, and the Giant Meterwave Radio...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 1333: Stellar Nursery in Perseus

    11/05/2015 5:10:13 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | October 05, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: NGC 1333 is seen in visible light as a reflection nebula, dominated by bluish hues characteristic of starlight reflected by interstellar dust. A mere 1,000 light-years distant toward the heroic constellation Perseus, it lies at the edge of a large, star-forming molecular cloud. This striking close-up spans about two full moons on the sky or just over 15 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 1333. It shows details of the dusty region along with hints of contrasting red emission from Herbig-Haro objects, jets and shocked glowing gas emanating from recently formed stars. In fact, NGC 1333 contains hundreds...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Great Orion Nebula M42

    11/04/2015 11:49:43 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | November 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion, also known as M42, is one of the most famous nebulas in the sky. The star forming region's glowing gas clouds and hot young stars are on the right in this sharp and colorful image that includes the bluish reflection nebulae NGC 1977 and friends on the left. Located at the edge of an otherwise invisible giant molecular cloud complex, these eye-catching nebulas represent only a small fraction of this galactic neighborhood's wealth of interstellar material. Within the well-studied stellar nursery, astronomers have also identified what appear to be numerous infant planetary systems. The...
  • Want to Be an Astronaut? NASA's Looking

    11/04/2015 10:35:05 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 19 replies
    Discovery News ^ | 11/4/15 | IRENE KLOTZ
    It’s been four years since NASA put out a recruitment call for more astronauts, but on Wednesday the U.S. space agency said it would be hiring again soon. A two-month application period opens Dec. 14. The agency hired just eight astronaut candidates during its last recruitment. Applicants who didn’t make the cut were in good company – nearly 6,400 people applied for the job. NASA currently has 47 astronauts available for flight assignments – less than one-third the size of the corps in 1999 at the peak of the shuttle program. Typically, crews of six or seven flew on the...
  • Mystery bright spots could be first glimpse of another universe

    11/03/2015 9:09:00 PM PST · by amorphous · 36 replies ^ | 28 Oct 2015 | Joshua Sokol
    THE curtain at the edge of the universe may be rippling, hinting that there's more backstage. Data from the European Space Agency's Planck telescope could be giving us our first glimpse of another universe, with different physics, bumping up against our own. That's the tentative conclusion of an analysis by Ranga-Ram Chary, a researcher at Planck's US data centre in California. Armed with Planck's painstaking map of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) - light lingering from the hot, soupy state of the early universe – Chary revealed an eerie glow that could be due to matter from a neighbouring universe...
  • Artificial object in trans-lunar orbit to impact Earth on November 13 [FRIDAY!]

    11/03/2015 1:00:33 PM PST · by Red Badger · 34 replies ^ | November 3, 2015 | by Bob King, Universe Today
    WT1190F observed on October 9, 2015 with the University of Hawaii 2.2 meter telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The object moves from left to right across the center of the field. Credit: B. Bolin, R. Jedicke, M. Micheli ================================================================================================================ Get ready for a man-made fireball. A object discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on Oct 3rd temporarily designated WT1190F is predicted to impact the Earth about 60 miles (100 km) of the southern coast of Sri Lanka around 6:20 Universal Time (12:20 a.m CST) on November 13. The objects orbits Earth with a period of about three weeks. Because it...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Seeking Venus under the Spitzkoppe Arch

    11/03/2015 9:33:59 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that in the sky? Although there was much to see in this spectacular panorama taken during the early morning hours of a day in late September, the brightest object in the sky was clearly the planet Venus. In the featured image, Venus was captured actually through a natural rock bridge, itself picturesque, in Spitzkoppe, Namibia. The planet, on the left of the opening, was complemented by a silhouette of the astrophotographer on the right. Above and beyond the rock bridge were many famous icons of a dark night sky, including, from left to right, the Pleiades star cluster,...
  • WATCH: ISS Nasa live cam cuts after 'suddenly locking on to mystery glowing UFO'

    11/03/2015 7:42:59 AM PST · by Red Badger · 36 replies ^ | 02:53, Tue, Nov 3, 2015 | UPDATED: 08:17, Tue, Nov 3, 2015 | By Jon Austin
    A "UFO was intercepted" by the International Space Station (ISS), claim alien hunters, who allege footage from a NASA live camera feed which zoomed in on a mysterious glowing orb suddenly cut out. The "orb UFO" allegedly monitored by ISS crew ================================================================================================================== A UFO hunter claims the ISS camera locked on and zoomed into a “mystery glowing orb”, but after monitoring the ball of light, Nasa cut the live stream from public viewing. The "Unidentified Flying Object (UFO)" was visible in the distance between the ISS and Earth, according to Scott C Waring, editor of UFO Sightings Daily, before the...
  • The speed of light is... slooooooow

    11/02/2015 11:04:54 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 80 replies
  • Did Jupiter Bumped The Giant Planet From Our Solar System?

    11/02/2015 7:03:39 PM PST · by Beowulf9 · 65 replies ^ | NOV 1, 2015 | PTI
    Toronto– A close encounter with Jupiter about four billion years ago may have resulted in another planet’s ejection from the solar system altogether, scientists have found. The existence of a fifth giant gas planet at the time of the solar system’s formation — in addition to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune that we know of today — was first proposed in 2011, researchers said.
  • Northern Lights May Glow Over Northeast, Midwest This Week

    11/02/2015 5:38:40 PM PST · by PghBaldy · 3 replies
    Accuweather ^ | November 2 | Brian Lada
    Stargazers may be in for a rare cosmic light show this week as the northern lights dance across the night sky. Monday night and Tuesday night will both bring the chance for people in Canada and the northern United States to see the northern lights as an influx of charges particles from the sun interacts with the earth's atmosphere. People from New Hampshire to Nebraska will have the best conditions for viewing the aurora, with mainly clear skies expected on both nights.
  • New 'Star Trek' TV Series a Go at CBS All Access

    11/02/2015 9:48:55 AM PST · by Red Badger · 105 replies ^ | November 02, 2015 7:30am PT | by Lesley Goldberg
    Just in time for its 50th anniversary, Star Trek is returning to the small screen. Prolific producer Alex Kurtzman is developing a new take on the beloved sci-fi classic for TV, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The new Star Trek has been picked up straight to series at CBS, with the premiere slated for the network in January 2017. Subsequent episodes will air on its digital and VOD platform, CBS All Access. The premiere and all subsequent episodes will then be available in the U.S. on CBS All Access, the network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service....
  • Want to fly at 2,500mph? BAE Systems does and is willing to pay £20m for it

    11/02/2015 9:37:22 AM PST · by Red Badger · 10 replies ^ | 12:01AM GMT 02 Nov 2015 | By Alan Tovey, Industry Editor
    Defence giant BAE Systems to buy a stake in Britain's Reaction Engines, which is developing revolutionary SABRE engines for ultra-fast aircraft How an aircraft fitted with the SABRE engines might look ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hypersonic air travel and cut-price satellite launches will move a step closer when BAE Systems buys a stake in a UK company developing engines able to power aircraft at 2,500mph and into space. The FTSE 100 group is set to purchase 20pc of Oxfordshire-based Reaction Engines for £20.6m, in a deal that will see the defence giant’s expertise applied to research on the privately-held company’s engine, which combines...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet ISON Being Destroyed by the Sun

    11/01/2015 10:24:46 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Most comets don't survive a close encounter with the Sun. Two years ago this month, though, Comet ISON was thought by some to be big enough to withstand its perilous sungrazing dive. The featured video shows the drama as it was recorded by NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite. As many Earthlings watched in fascination, a bright area did emerge from closest approach, but it soon faded and dispersed. It is now assumed that no large fragments of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) survived. Besides the comet, the active Sun is seen to eject puffs of plasma known as...