Astronomy (General/Chat)

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Computing the origin of life

    12/16/2018 11:40:52 AM PST · by ETL · 45 replies
    Phys.org ^ | December 14, 2018 | Keith Cooper, Astrobiology Magazine
    As a principal investigator in the NASA Ames Exobiology Branch, Andrew Pohorille is searching for the origin of life on Earth, yet you won't find him out in the field collecting samples or in a laboratory conducting experiments in test tubes. Instead, Pohorille studies the fundamental processes of life facing a computer. Pohorille's work is at the vanguard of a sea-change in how science can tackle the complex question of where life came from, how its biochemistry operates and what life elsewhere might be like. Rather than relying on the hit-and-miss of laboratory experiments, Pohorille believes that theoretical work is...
  • A young star caught forming like a planet

    12/15/2018 11:50:54 AM PST · by ETL · 10 replies
    Phys.org ^ | Dec 14, 2018 | University of Leeds
    Astronomers have captured one of the most detailed views of a young star taken to date, and revealed an unexpected companion in orbit around it. While observing the young star, astronomers led by Dr. John Ilee from the University of Leeds discovered it was not in fact one star, but two.The main object, referred to as MM 1a, is a young massive star surrounded by a rotating disc of gas and dust that was the focus of the scientists' original investigation.A faint object, MM 1b, was detected just beyond the disc in orbit around MM 1a. The team believe this...
  • See a passing comet this Sunday

    12/15/2018 9:47:16 AM PST · by ETL · 26 replies
    Phys.org ^ | Dec 14, 2018 | NASA
    On Sunday, Dec. 16, the comet known as 46P/Wirtanen will make one of the 10 closest comet flybys of Earth in 70 years, and you may even be able to see it without a telescope. Although the approach will be a distant 7.1 million miles (11.4 million kilometers, or 30 lunar distances) from Earth, it's still a fairly rare opportunity. "This will be the closest comet Wirtanen has come to Earth for centuries and the closest it will come to Earth for centuries," said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in...
  • Apollo 8 and Intelligent Design, Then and Now

    12/13/2018 12:55:38 PM PST · by Heartlander · 5 replies
    Evolution News ^ | December 13, 2018 | Evolution News
    Apollo 8 and Intelligent Design, Then and Now Evolution News | @DiscoveryCSC December 13, 2018 Public violence, politically motivated and otherwise, is a common occurrence. Sports figures stage public protests against racism. Women rally against exploitation and abuse. Young people push for radical cultural and social changes. Belief in God is declining. Americans are deeply and bitterly divided. These summary headlines certainly describe 2018, but they would just as well apply to 1968. To be sure, 2018 also has its share of positive headlines. The economy is booming. Unemployment levels are at historic lows. Our country is no longer energy-starved....
  • Potato Earth: Gravity satellite reveals what our planet REALLY looks like

    03/31/2011 5:40:51 PM PDT · by Free ThinkerNY · 48 replies
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | March 31, 2011 | Daily Mail Reporter
    At first glance it looks like a potato-shaped asteroid flying through space. But this multi-coloured image is actually the Earth - and shows how gravity varies on different parts of the globe. The images were unveiled today by the team behind the GOCE satellite at a conference in Munich and are the most accurate ever released. The 'geoid' map, as it is known, is used to illustrate how oceans would look in the absence of currents or tides. The bright yellow colours show gravity at its strongest, while it is at its weakest in the blue areas. There appears to...
  • Geminid meteor shower peaks this week: What to know about the 'strongest meteor shower of the year'

    12/11/2018 3:21:42 PM PST · by ETL · 20 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | Dec 11, 2018 | Jennifer Earl | Fox News
    Stargazers, get ready to bundle up as you catch one of the best meteor shows of the year — the Geminid meteor shower. A sprinkle of stars will be visible in the night's sky this week as the winter meteor shower makes its annual appearance. The meteor shower, which contains debris from 3200 Phaethon, is expected to peak Thursday night into Friday morning, shooting anywhere between 60 to 120 meteors per hour. The space rocks will zoom by, hitting Earth at around 22 miles per second, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS). ..." Geminid meteors are small chunks of rock that break off the famous 3200...
  • Hubble Captures Striking New Image of Grand Design Spiral Galaxy Messier 100

    12/11/2018 8:51:35 AM PST · by ETL · 14 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Dec 10, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    Messier 100, also known as M100, NGC 4321 and LEDA 40153, is located approximately 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices.This galaxy is one of the brightest members of the Virgo Cluster, a group of about 1,300 (and possibly up to 2,000) galaxies.Its apparent magnitude of 10.1 means that, while it can be seen through small telescopes, it will appear only as a faint patch of light. Larger telescopes can resolve more details of the galaxy.The galaxy was discovered on March 15, 1781 by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain, Charles Messier’s fellow comet hunter who discovered eight...
  • Ultima Thule in Sight! New Horizons Probe Snaps New Photo of Its Target

    12/10/2018 8:00:02 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    Space.com ^ | December 10, 2018 03:07pm ET | y Mike Wall,
    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has beamed home another glimpse of the distant, icy body it will zoom past just three weeks from now. The small object Ultima Thule swims amid a sea of distant stars in the new composite photo, which New Horizons snapped with its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera at around midnight EST (0500 GMT) on Dec. 1. At the time, the probe was 24 million miles (38.7 million kilometers) from Ultima and more than 4 billion miles (6.4 billion km) from Earth New Horizons took the picture 33 hours before performing a record-setting engine burn to...
  • Stephen Curry is pretty sure the moon landing was faked, just in case you cared

    12/10/2018 6:35:08 PM PST · by EdnaMode · 218 replies
    Yahoo Sports ^ | December 10, 2018 | Ben Rohrbach
    I think what we’re learning here is that NBA players are huge fans of conspiracy theories. Nearly two years after Kyrie Irving said the Earth is flat on a podcast with then-Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, fellow All-Star point guard Stephen Curry informed us that man never landed on the moon during an appearance with Golden State Warriors teammate Andre Iguodala on a new podcast featuring Atlanta Hawks players Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore. Curry even tipped his cap to Irving, suggesting, “They’re gonna come get us,” an ode to the social media firestorm that followed Irving’s...
  • Voyager 2 spacecraft enters interstellar space

    12/10/2018 10:27:35 AM PST · by ETL · 48 replies
    ScienceNews.org ^ | December 10, 2018 | Lisa Grossman
    Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space. The spacecraft slipped out of the huge bubble of particles that encircles the solar system on November 5, becoming the second ever human-made craft to cross the heliosphere, or the boundary between the sun and the stars.Coming in second place is no mean achievement. Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to exit the solar system in 2012. But that craft’s plasma instrument stopped working in 1980, leaving scientists without a direct view of the solar wind, hot charged particles constantly streaming from the sun (SN Online: 9/12/13). Voyager 2’s plasma sensors are still working,...
  • NASA’s InSight beams back breathtakingly clear photo of Mars

    11/27/2018 8:13:31 AM PST · by heterosupremacist · 98 replies
    https://nypost.com ^ | 11/27/2018 | Ben Feureherd
    NASA’s spacecraft that landed on Mars on Monday has beamed back its first clear photo of the desolate Red Planet. “There’s a quiet beauty here. Looking forward to exploring my new home,” NASA tweeted late Monday, hours after its new InSight lander touched down. The image came after the rover had earlier sent back a somewhat blurry photo. The space agency said that in the interim, the spacecraft had opened its solar panels, which allowed it to recharge its batteries for the mission.
  • 'Mars Is Hard': Tension Rises for NASA's InSight Landing on Red Planet

    11/25/2018 5:44:07 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    Space.com ^ | November 25, 2018 03:24pm ET | Mike Wall,
    NASA's InSight Mars lander is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet tomorrow afternoon (Nov. 26), and mission team members and agency officials are understandably nervous about the make-or-break moment. … The difficulty for landed missions stems chiefly from the fact that Mars features both a relatively strong gravitational pull and a wispy atmosphere, which is just 1 percent as thick as that of Earth, said Tom Hoffman, InSight project manager at JPL. So, approaching spacecraft get accelerated to high speeds and then have a hard time dissipating enough energy to slow down before landing, he explained during today's...
  • NASA’s Insight Lander Spreads Its Solar Wings. It’ll Fly To Mars In May, 2018

    01/26/2018 8:47:31 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 2 replies
    May 2018 is the launch window for NASA’s next mission to Mars, the InSight Lander. InSight is the next member of what could be called a fleet of human vehicles destined for Mars. But rather than working on the question of Martian habitability or suitability for life, InSight will try to understand the deeper structure of Mars. InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. InSight will be the first robotic explorer to visit Mars and study the red planet’s deep interior. The work InSight does should answer questions about the formation of Mars, and those...
  • InSight Records Sound of Wind on Mars

    12/10/2018 9:43:16 AM PST · by ETL · 2 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Dec 10, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    On December 1, 2018, NASA’s InSight lander captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the Martian wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 15 mph (5-7 m/sec) from northwest to southeast. The wind was consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks in the landing area, which were observed from orbit. “Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat. But one of the things our mission is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars, and naturally that includes motion caused by sound waves,” said InSight principal investigator Dr. Bruce Banerdt, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.The vibrations...
  • Brightest comet of 2018 to pass the closest to Earth in Decembe

    12/09/2018 2:54:09 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    nbc ^ | Dec. 9, 2018 / 12:07 PM ‎PST | Angel Torres
    The comet 46P/Wirtanen, which passes Earth every 5.4 years, was one of three comets discovered by Carl Wirtanen in 1948 at the Lick Observatory in California. This orbit will be one of the closest comet orbits to Earth since the 1950s, according to Space.com. The comet 46P will likely not have a large observable tail because of its relatively small size, according to Space.com. It measures 0.68 miles in diameter, one-tenth the size of the popular Halley's Comet. Currently, 46P is a small blueish object in the night sky. The comet will be passing in the Southern sky, near the...
  • This Fluffy Alien World Farts Helium

    12/09/2018 11:38:01 AM PST · by ETL · 27 replies
    Space.com, via LiveScience ^ | Sarah Lewin, Associate Editor, Space.com
    As a Jupiter-size world swings around its small but active star, bombarded by radiation, the planet leaves behind a tail of escaping helium as wide as itself — and researchers have spotted this tail from the ground, 163 light-years away. Since scientists first found planets around other stars, many of their most striking discoveries have come from off-Earth instruments like NASA’s Kepler and Hubble space telescopes. Kepler has identified more than 2,000 verified planets passing by their stars, while Hubble observations have helped scientists characterize exoplanet atmospheres. But two new papers published today (Dec. 6) in the journal Science pinpoint...
  • SETI Astronomers Find No Evidence for Artificial Transmitters on Oumuamua

    12/09/2018 9:53:48 AM PST · by ETL · 36 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Dec 7, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    Following its discovery in October 2017, ‘Oumuamua was the subject of popular speculation about a possible non-natural origin. Its highly elongated shape and the fact that no coma was observed strengthened this hypothesis for some, as these are uncharacteristic of asteroids and comets.A recent paper by Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics researchers Dr. Shmuel Bialy and Professor Abraham Loeb has also suggested the possibility that ‘Oumuamua is a deliberate construction.The scientists argued that the slight, unexpected acceleration observed for this object could be caused by pressure from sunlight as ‘Oumumua swung around the Sun. Their hypothesis is that the object...
  • A humorous description of life on various planets, by Henry Livingston, 1789

    12/09/2018 9:17:56 AM PST · by mairdie · 12 replies
    YouTube ^ | 1789 and 1791 | Henry Livingston
    A Russian astronomer observed the planets thru a telescope made of ice. Henry describes his observations. Ever wondered what the opinion of equality of the sexes was in 1789? Henry's position is that "Love, and all its delectable concomitants was utterly unknown there [on Venus]; as that passion exists but where equality is found or understood." Interesting?
  • A True Story?

    12/07/2018 12:46:40 PM PST · by sodpoodle · 17 replies
    unknown | 7/20/1969 | Neil Armstrong
    IN CASE YOU DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW THIS LITTLE TIDBIT OF WONDERFUL TRIVIA............... ON JULY 20, 1969, AS COMMANDER OF THE APOLLO 11 LUNAR MODULE, NEIL ARMSTRONG WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO SET FOOT ON THE MOON. HIS FIRST WORDS AFTER STEPPING ON THE MOON, "THAT'S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND," WERE TELEVISED TO EARTH AND HEARD BY MILLIONS. BUT, JUST BEFORE HE RE-ENTERED THE LANDER, HE MADE THE ENIGMATIC REMARK "GOOD LUCK, MR. GORSKY." MANY PEOPLE AT NASA THOUGHT IT WAS A CASUAL REMARK CONCERNING SOME RIVAL SOVIET COSMONAUT. HOWEVER, UPON CHECKING, THERE WAS NO...
  • After botched launch, orbiting atomic clocks confirm Einstein’s theory of relativity

    12/07/2018 12:39:21 PM PST · by ETL · 72 replies
    ScienceMag.org ^ | Dec 7, 2018 | Adrian Cho
    Making lemonade from lemons, two teams of physicists have used data from misguided satellites to put Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity, to an unexpected test. The opportunistic experiment confirms to unprecedented precision a key prediction of the theory—that time ticks slower near a massive body like Earth than it does farther away. As Einstein explained, gravity arises because massive bodies warp space-time. Free-falling objects follow the straightest possible paths in that curved space-time, which to us appear as the parabolic arc of a thrown ball or the circular or elliptical orbit of a satellite. As...