Astronomy (General/Chat)

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  • Why Easter 2019 Could Have Been in March

    03/20/2019 9:52:38 AM PDT · by SMGFan · 12 replies
    Space ^ | March 18, 2019
    Wednesday (March 20) brings us the first full moon of the new spring season. The official moment that the moon will turn full is 9:43 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Just 3 hours and 45 minutes earlier, the vernal equinox — the official start of astronomical spring — will occur. The first full moon of spring is usually designated as the Paschal Full Moon or the Paschal Term. Traditionally, Easter is observed on the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. If the Paschal Moon occurs on a Sunday, Easter lands on the subsequent Sunday. Following these rules, we find that Easter...
  • A new Einstein cross is discovered

    03/20/2019 12:42:50 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 14 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | 3/18/19 | Daniela Bettoni et al.
    A new Einstein cross is discovered March 18, 2019, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias The newly discovered Einstein Cross J2211-3050. An elliptical galaxy (the yellow object)  is acting as a lens, producing the four blue objects (marked ABCD) that are the images of a galaxy about 3 times more distant. With GTC it was possible to isolate and disperse the light of objects ABC, demonstrating that they belong to the same light source. Credit: Hubble Space Telescope Credit: Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias This study, which has combined images from the Hubble Space Telescope with spectroscopic observations from the GTC,...
  • 173 Kiloton Explosion Over Bering Sea Was Asteroid Breaking Up

    03/19/2019 9:51:44 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 45 replies
    YouTube ^ | March 19, 2019 | Scott Manley
    Almost nobody noticed this, but back in December a chunk of space rock slammed into the Earth's atmosphere at 32km/sec over the Bering sea. The aerodynamic forces tore it apart and it released energy equivalent to a 170 kiloton weapon. And almost nobody noticed. Find out more about the asteroid hazard and how you can help at the B612 Foundation. | 173 Kiloton Explosion Over Bering Sea Was Asteroid Breaking Up | Scott Manley | Published on Mar 19, 2019
  • First Evidence of a Giant Exoplanet Collision

    03/18/2019 11:59:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    Discover ^ | February 18, 2019 | Jake Parks
    To determine exactly why Kepler-107c is so dense, first the researchers considered what they already knew. Previous research has shown that intense stellar radiation can strip the atmosphere from a planet that sits too near its host star. But if the innermost planet lost its lighter atmospheric elements, it should be more dense than its twin, not less. According to the study, this would "make the more-irradiated and less-massive planet Kepler-107b denser than Kepler-107c," which is clearly not the case. However, there is another way that a planet can lose a lot of mass: by getting smacked with another planet....
  • Glassy debris points to relatively recent asteroid impact in southeast Asia

    03/18/2019 10:49:29 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Science Magazine ^ | January 3, 2018 | Katherine Kornei
    A kilometer-size asteroid slammed into Earth about 800,000 years ago with so much force that it scattered debris across a 10th of our planet's surface. Yet its impact crater remains undiscovered. Now, glassy remains believed to have come from the strike suggest the asteroid hit southeast Asia as our close ancestors walked the Earth... Aaron Cavosie, an astrobiologist and geochemist at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, and his colleagues examined the chemical composition of three tektites from Thailand. They searched for evidence of reidite, a rare mineral formed only by extreme pressures and temperatures, like those of an asteroid impact....
  • Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight

    03/17/2019 5:35:03 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    Phys.org ^ | 03/15/2019
    "NASA astronauts endure weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation—not to mention the extreme G forces of take-off and re-entry," says senior author Dr. Satish K. Mehta of KBR Wyle at the Johnson Space Center. "This physical challenge is compounded by more familiar stressors like social separation, confinement and an altered sleep-wake cycle." "During spaceflight there is a rise in secretion of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which are known to suppress the immune system. In keeping with this, we find that astronaut's immune cells—particularly those that normally suppress and eliminate viruses—become less effective during spaceflight...
  • There's Something About Space That's Triggering Herpes in Astronauts

    03/17/2019 7:09:26 PM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 88 replies
    Science Alert ^ | 18 Mar 2018 | JON CHRISTIAN
    Tests show that dormant herpes viruses reactivate in more than half the astronauts who travel on the Space Shuttle and International Space station, according to new NASA research - a phenomenon the space agency says could pose problems for deep space missions. ..."In keeping with this, we find that astronaut's immune cells - particularly those that normally suppress and eliminate viruses - become less effective during spaceflight and sometimes for up to 60 days after."
  • The Day the World Burned

    03/16/2019 10:59:38 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    University of California - Santa Barbara ^ | Friday, March 8, 2019 | Sonia Fernandez
    When UC Santa Barbara geology professor emeritus James Kennett and colleagues set out years ago to examine signs of a major cosmic impact that occurred toward the end of the Pleistocene epoch, little did they know just how far-reaching the projected climatic effect would be... the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, which postulates that a fragmented comet slammed into the Earth close to 12,800 years ago, causing rapid climatic changes, megafaunal extinctions, sudden human population decrease and cultural shifts and widespread wildfires (biomass burning)... suggests a possible triggering mechanism for the abrupt changes in climate at that time, in particular a...
  • An unusually big asteroid will soon pass closer to Earth than the moon

    03/15/2019 4:28:01 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    cnet ^ | March 15, 2019 | Eric Mack
    An asteroid twice as big as the bolide that exploded over Russia in 2013 will whiz by us next week at a distance that's closer to Earth than the moon. Despite what tabloid headlines might lead you to believe, small asteroids zip by the Earth on a fairly regular basis... and astronomers discover many of them when Earth is already in their rear-view mirror. Asteroid 2019 EA2 could be up to 128 feet (39 meters) wide. It's the rare rock making a close flyby that's also large enough that astronomers spotted it well in advance. The asteroid, detected earlier this...
  • Uranus Makes a Surprise Appearance

    03/15/2019 3:14:51 PM PDT · by BeauBo · 64 replies
    Space.com ^ | 15 March 2019 | Hanneke Weitering
    Can you spot Uranus in this photo? You may be surprised to learn... it is possible to see it with the naked eye — no telescopes or binoculars required. All you need is... an idea of where to look for it... Although telescopes and binoculars are not required to see Uranus on a dark, clear night, binoculars can come in handy when you're trying to locate it — especially for those with less-than-stellar eyesight.
  • This is the Final Photograph from Opportunity (Mars)

    03/15/2019 1:21:52 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 40 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 3/14/19 | Evan Gough
    Posted on March 14, 2019March 14, 2019 by Evan Gough This is the Final Photograph from Opportunity Sad.But beautiful.NASA has shared Opportunity’s final photograph from the surface of Mars. The rover’s final resting place is in Endeavour Crater, and barring any statistically unlikely event, it will sit there for centuries, millennia, or even longer. And instead of a tombstone, we have this final image. The image is a panorama, captured at the end-point of Opportunity’s 15-year, marathon-plus journey. Opportunity’s odometer is now stopped at 28 miles, or 45 kilometers, and its chronometer at 5,111 sols.354 individual images make up...
  • Asteroid Bennu keeps spinning faster and scientists aren't sure why

    03/14/2019 2:53:36 PM PDT · by ETL · 60 replies
    Space.com ^ | Mar 13, 2019 | Meghan Bartels
    On a distant space rock being explored by a NASA probe, days are slowly shortening — and scientists are still trying to figure out why.Right now, the asteroid known as Bennu is spinning once every 4.3 hours. But scientists working on NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission to the space rock have used data gathered before the probe's arrival to calculate that Bennu's rotation rate is speeding up over time — by about 1 second each century."As it speeds up, things ought to change, and so we're going to be looking for those things and detecting this speed up gives us some clues...
  • "Apollo 11" movie review (Spoiler: We land on the moon!)

    03/13/2019 7:18:05 PM PDT · by LS · 51 replies
    self | 3/13/2019 | LS
    So far this year, if there is one move you should see it's a space movie. No, not "Captain Marvel." It's "Apollo 11," and believe it or not, it's by (gulp) CNN. That's right. Well done, CNN. Using often the highest quality documentary footage from NASA's moon mission, this film follows the spacecraft from its slow slothlike transit to the launch pad to the three Apollo astronauts climbing aboard to the army of engineers, scientists, and technicians in both Florida and in Houston as Apollo 11 makes its epic voyage. With the exception of a very few well-placed simple animations...
  • Who Discovered Uranus? [ March 13th, 1781 ]

    03/13/2019 10:55:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 49 replies
    Universe Today ^ | April 16, 2017 | Matt Williams
    The first recorded instance of Uranus being spotted in the night sky is believed to date back to Classical Antiquity. During the 2nd century BCE, Hipparchos - the Greek astronomer, mathematician and founder of trigonometry - apparently recorded the planet as a star in his star catalogue (completed in 129 BCE). This catalog was later incorporated into Ptolemy's Almagest, which became the definitive source for Islamic astronomers and for scholars in Medieval Europe for over one-thousand years... This included English astronomer John Flamsteed, who in 1690 observed the star on six occasions and catalogued it as a star in the...
  • Physicists reverse time using quantum computer

    03/13/2019 10:16:18 AM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 56 replies
    Phys .Org ^ | 13 Mar 2019
    Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology teamed up with colleagues from the U.S. and Switzerland and returned the state of a quantum computer a fraction of a second into the past. "This is one in a series of papers on the possibility of violating the second law of thermodynamics. That law is closely related to the notion of the arrow of time that posits the one-way direction of time from the past to the future,"
  • ‘Oumuamua “Sped Up” in the Inner Solar System. This Might Be Why.

    03/13/2019 9:01:54 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    .skyandtelescope.com ^ | March 12, 2019 | Camille M. Carlisle
    ‘Oumuamua appeared to hit the gas on its way out of the inner solar system. The body went a tiny bit faster than it should have if the only effect on its motion was the Sun’s gravity dragging on it. The best guess... was that ices vaporized from ‘Oumuamua’s surface by the Sun’s stark glare had given the body an extra kick. However, no observations had detected such outgassing. ...The team revisited all the observations made during ‘Oumuamua’s whiplash visit and have concluded that outgassing could indeed be to blame. The researchers looked at what would happen if incident sunlight...
  • QUANTUM TIME Scientists have built world’s first ‘time machine’ experiment which defies the laws...

    03/13/2019 6:42:06 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 62 replies
    The SUN - UK ^ | 13th March 2019, 1:12 am Updated: 13th March 2019, 1:29 pm | By Greg Wilford
    FULL TITLE: QUANTUM TIME Scientists have built world’s first ‘time machine’ in experiment which defies the laws of physics ============================================================ Lead researcher Dr Gordey Lesovik said by putting scattered electrons back into their original shape they had effectively created a state which went against the 'direction of time' ============================================================ SCIENTISTS have built the world’s first time machine — sort of. Working with electrons in the bizarre realm of quantum mechanics, they first created the equivalent of a break for a game of pool. The “balls” scattered and, according to the laws of physics, should have appeared to split in a...
  • Dinosaurs thrived before fatal asteroid impact

    03/13/2019 4:47:46 AM PDT · by vannrox · 37 replies
    earthSky ^ | 12MAR19 | By Paul Scott Anderson
    Scientists have debated whether the dinosaurs were already in decline before a massive asteroid impact finished them off 66 million years ago. New research shows they were thriving in their final days. Help EarthSky keep going! Please donate what you can to our annual crowd-funding campaign.Dinosaurs once reigned on Earth, until a cataclysmic event – now thought to have been a massive asteroid impact, or possibly intense volcanic activity – wiped them out about 66 million years ago during the Maastrichtian age at the end the Late Cretaceous epoch. This mass extinction event was sudden and brutal, powerful enough to...
  • Geologist Accuses Apple of Political Bias in Removing App Countering Climate Alarmism

    03/12/2019 8:32:44 AM PDT · by CedarDave · 23 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | March 11, 2019 | Kevin Mooney
    Political figures who support the so-called Green New Deal and other proposals to restrict carbon dioxide emissions are up against some “inconvenient facts” that Americans may access immediately through a smartphone application, a geologist and author says. But there’s one big problem. The app, called Inconvenient Facts, is available only to Android users through the Google Play Store. Since March 4, users of Apple’s iPhone no longer can access the app through the tech giant’s App Store. Gregory Wrightstone, a geologist with more than three decades of experience, told The Daily Signal in an interview that he has his own...
  • “The Phantom Universe” –There’s a New ‘Unknown’ Messing with the Cosmos

    03/10/2019 1:28:42 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 39 replies
    There’s a crisis brewing in the cosmos. Measurements over the past few years of the distances and velocities of faraway galaxies don’t agree with the increasingly controversial “standard model” of the cosmos that has prevailed for the past two decades. Astronomers think that a 9 percent discrepancy in the value of a long-sought number called the Hubble Constant, which describes how fast the universe is expanding, might be revealing something new and astounding about the universe. The cosmos has been expanding for 13.8 billion years and its present rate of expansion, known as the Hubble constant, gives the time elapsed...