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Archive for November 29, 2011

AstroNews Is Now On Diaspora!

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Diaspora, an alternative to Facebook, has just opened up and allowed users to sign up for accounts – so I went ahead and created one for AstroNews 🙂

You can find it at https://joindiaspora.com/u/astronews

Enjoy!

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Categories: Site News

Astronomer David Levy’s Logbooks Now Online

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) in conjunction with Jarnac Observatory is pleased to announce the launch of the David Levy Logbooks archive. The project offers full and free access to digital facsimiles of over sixteen thousand observing sessions by David H. Levy chronicling more than half a century of astronomical exploration and discovery: http://www.rasc.ca/logbooks/levy

Dr. David H. Levy, co-discoverer of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, is one of the most acclaimed amateur astronomers of our time. He is the discoverer or co-discoverer of twenty two comets and more than 150 asteroids, and is the first person to have discovered comets visually, photographically, and electronically. Dr. Levy is a well-known popularizer of astronomy, who has spent a lifetime advancing the active engagement of others in the rich cultural pursuit of astronomy by personal example and through live appearances, and print and electronic media. The conviction that astronomical observation, both recreational and scientific, provides a way to discover more about our place in the universe and to better know ourselves is shared by Dr. Levy and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC), an organization of which he has been a member for nearly as long as he has been an astronomer.

Full Story: http://astronews.us/2011-11-29-1228.html

Coverage Set For Next Soyuz Crew Launch And Docking

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Fresh off the arrival of three new crew members at the International Space Station, the next trio of residents is set to launch to the outpost Dec. 21. NASA Television will cover prelaunch activities, launch and docking to the orbital laboratory during the next several weeks.

Expedition 30 NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers are scheduled to launch at 7:16 a.m. CST on Dec. 21 (7:16 p.m. local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft to begin a two-day trip to the station. They are set to dock to the station’s Rassvet module at approximately 9:20 a.m. on Dec. 23.

Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers will join Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank of NASA and Russian Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who have been on the station since Nov. 16. Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers will remain on the station until May as members of the Expedition 31 crew.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/nov/HQ_M11-241_Exp_30_coverage.html

Puzzle Piece for Confirming Dark Matter Seems Unlikely Fit

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

In 2008, the European-Russian satellite PAMELA scanned the cosmic ray spectrum and picked up something curious — an excess of antimatter positrons. It was a startling discovery, in part because it could have been a sign of the existence of dark matter, long pursued by the worldwide physics community.
Now, in a paper submitted to Physical Review Letters, and originally published on the Internet physics archive, researchers with the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University are confirming the previous detection, and that the excess seems to grow at higher energies in the spectrum, which is consistent with many theories about how dark matter might produce positrons.

Full Story: http://www.kavlifoundation.org/kavli-news/KIPAC-earth-magnetic-dark-matter

Fermi Reveals a Cosmic-Ray Cocoon in Cygnus

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration/I. A. Grenier and L. Tibaldo

Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration/I. A. Grenier and L. Tibaldo

The constellation Cygnus, now visible in the western sky as twilight deepens after sunset, hosts one of our galaxy’s richest-known stellar construction zones. Astronomers viewing the region at visible wavelengths see only hints of this spectacular activity thanks to a veil of nearby dust clouds forming the Great Rift, a dark lane that splits the Milky Way, a faint band of light marking our galaxy’s central plane.

Located in the vicinity of the second-magnitude star Gamma Cygni, the star-forming region was named Cygnus X when it was discovered as a diffuse radio source by surveys in the 1950s. Now, a study using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope finds that the tumult of star birth and death in Cygnus X has managed to corral fast-moving particles called cosmic rays.

Cosmic rays are subatomic particles — mainly protons — that move through space at nearly the speed of light. In their journey across the galaxy, the particles are deflected by magnetic fields, which scramble their paths and make it impossible to backtrack the particles to their sources.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/cygnus-cocoon.html