Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) is Now Available On Amazon

September 18, 2014 Leave a comment

The Astronomical Year

The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019)

Designed for astronomers of all levels, the almanac provides details of thousands of astronomical events from 2015 through to 2019.

Written by a former freelance writer for Astronomy magazine, the guide includes almost daily data and information on the Moon and planets, as well as Pluto, Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta.

  • The phases of the Moon
  • Conjunctions between the Moon, planets and asteroids (including angular separation for conjunctions involving the planets and asteroids.)
  • Lunar and Solar eclipses
  • Annual summaries of when to observe the planets and asteroids
  • Annual summaries of notable close planetary conjunctions
  • Peak dates for the major meteor showers with moon phase
  • Dates of perihelion, aphelion, perigee and apogee for the planets and asteroids
  • Inferior and Superior conjunction for Mercury and Venus
  • Greatest Eastern and Western elongation for Mercury and Venus
  • Opposition and solar conjunction dates for the outer planets and asteroids
  • Apparent diameter…

View original post 46 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

Soft Shells And Strange Star Clusters

October 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

PGC 6240 is an elliptical galaxy that resembles a pale rose in the sky, with hazy shells of stars encircling a very bright centre. Some of these shells are packed close to the centre of the galaxy, while others are flung further out into space. Several wisps of material have been thrown so far that they appear to be almost detached from the galaxy altogether.

Astronomers have studied PGC 6240 in detail due to this structure, and also because of its surrounding globular clusters — dense, tightly packed groups of gravitationally bound stars that orbit galaxies. Over 150 of these clusters orbit our own galaxy, the Milky Way, all composed of old stars.

All the globular clusters around a certain galaxy form at approximately the same time, giving them all the same age. This is echoed within the clusters — all the stars within a single cluster form at around the same time, too. Because of this, most galaxies have cluster populations of pretty similar ages, both in terms of overall cluster, and individual stars. However, PGC 6240 is unusual in that its clusters are varied — while some do contain old stars, as expected, others contain younger stars which formed more recently.

Link To Full Story

Stanford Scientist Closes In On A Mystery That Impedes Space Exploration


New research by Stanford aeronautics and astronautics Assistant Professor Sigrid Close suggests she’s on track to solve a mystery that has long bedeviled space exploration: Why do satellites fail?

In the popular imagination, satellites are imperiled by impacts from “space junk” – particles of man-made debris the size of a pea (or greater) that litter the Earth’s upper atmosphere – or by large meteoroids like the one that recently exploded spectacularly over Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Although such impacts are a serious concern, most satellites that have died in space haven’t been knocked out by them. Something else has killed them.

The likely culprit, it turns out, is material so tiny its nickname is “space dust.”

These natural micro-meteoroids are not directly causing satellites harm. When they hit an object in space, however, they are traveling so fast that they turn into a quasi-neutral gas of ions and electrons known as plasma. That plasma, Close theorizes, has the potential to create a radio signal that can damage, and even completely shut down, the satellites they hit.

Full Story: http://news.stanford.edu/pr/2013/pr-space-dust-threat-022613.html

The 3D Fireworks Of A Star

February 5, 2013 Leave a comment

T. Liimets, R.L.M. Corradi, M. Santander-García, E. Villaver, P. Rodríguez-Gil, K. Verro, I. Kolka

T. Liimets, R.L.M. Corradi, M. Santander-García, E. Villaver, P. Rodríguez-Gil, K. Verro, I. Kolka

In 1901 the star GK Persei gave off a powerful explosion that has not stopped growing and astonishing ever since. Now a team of Spanish and Estonian astronomers has reconstructed the journey of the emitted gas in 3D which, contrary to predictions, has hardly slowed down its speed of up to 1,000 km/s after all this time.

Thanks to the images captured from the Isaac Newton Telescope and the Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain), a European team of astronomers has constructed a three dimensional map of the remnant of a nova, or in other words, what was left of the star after its explosion. The results have just been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Full Story: http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=127875&CultureCode=en

Slooh Space Camera Presents Fright Night Along With The Hunter’s Moon

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Slooh will take visitors on a scary journey through the cosmos as we explore celestial objects that have been historically associated with spooky tales or outright fear. The live program will begin on Monday, 29 October 2012, at 4 p.m. PDT / 7 p.m. EDT / 23:00 UTC with real time views from Slooh’s Canary Islands observatory. The event is free to the public on Slooh.com and viewers can watch live on their PC or iOS/Android mobile device.

The Hunter’s Moon will be up that night — a perfect prelude to Halloween, since the Moon plays a rich role in Halloween lore. But, unknown to most of the public, other prominent celestial objects are even more deeply associated with “the darker side” of the night. Slooh will also observe and discuss the “Seven Sisters” or Pleiades star cluster, whose date of midnight culmination was the very origin of the original Black Sabbath, which evolved into All Hallows Eve and ultimately Halloween. Why was this beautiful blue cluster so associated with death and evil?

Slooh will examine these stories and more as we view the Hunter’s Moon live. Slooh’s Fright Night will be hosted by Slooh President Patrick Paolucci, who will be joined by Slooh Outreach Coordinator Paul Cox and Astronomy Magazine columnist Bob Berman.

Live Program: http://events.slooh.com/

Space Apps Company Seeking Crowd Funds To Launch, Further Space Research And Education


Uwingu LLC, a space-themed, for profit start up, is conducting a crowd-sourced funding campaign to launch an ongoing series of public engagement projects. Uwingu’s mission is to use proceeds from those projects to generate funding for space exploration, research, and education efforts around the world. Uwingu’s crowd funding agent for this campaign is IndieGoGo (www.indiegogo.com/), a leader in the field.

UwinguTM (which means “sky” in Swahili, and is pronounced “oo-wing-oo”) consists of astronomers, planetary scientists, former space program executives, and educators.

“Uwingu will employ novel software applications to game-ify space, with the profits going toward research and education,” says Gay. “Our projects will be fun to use, and the proceeds from their use will make a real difference in how space exploration, research, and education is funded.”

Full Story: http://www.prlog.org/11943960-space-apps-company-seeking-crowd-funds-to-launch-further-space-research-and-education.html

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

AGU Fall Meeting: News Media Registration Opens; Book Hotels Now


The American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting returns this year to the Moscone Convention Center, located at 747 Howard St. in San Francisco, California. The dates are Monday-Friday, 3-7 December 2012. More than 20,000 scientists from around the world are expected to assemble for this premier meeting of the Earth and space sciences. The meeting will take place in the convention center’s West, North and South buildings.

For journalists, the Fall Meeting is an opportunity to learn about the latest research in fields as diverse as climate change, water resources, planetary exploration, volcanism, seismology, and extreme weather— as well as the latest results from the Mars Science Laboratory, a.k.a. the “Curiosity” rover.

Full Story: http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2012/2012-38.shtml

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Astronomers pinpoint elusive galaxy after decade-long hunt

June 13, 2012 Leave a comment

An international team of astronomers led by Fabian Walter of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy has managed for the first time to determine the distance of the galaxy HDF850.1, well-known among astronomers as being one of the most productive star-forming galaxies in the observable universe. The galaxy is at a distance of 12.5 billion light years. Hence, we see it as it was 12.5 billion years ago, when the universe was less than 10% of its current age. Even more of a surprise, HDF850.1 turns out to be part of a group of around a dozen protogalaxies that formed within the first billion years of cosmic history — only one of two such primordial clusters known to date. The work is being published in the journal Nature.
The galaxy HDF850.1 was discovered in 1998. It is famous for producing new stars at a rate that is near-incredible even on astronomical scales: a combined mass of a thousand Suns per year. For comparison: an ordinary galaxy such as our own produces no more than one solar mass’s worth of new stars per year. Yet for the past fourteen years, HDF850.1 has remained strangely elusive — its location in space, specifically: its distance from Earth the subject of many studies, but ultimately unknown. How was that possible?
The “Hubble Deep Field”, where HDF850.1 is located, is a region in the sky that affords an almost unparalleled view into the deepest reaches of space. It was first studied extensively using the Hubble Space Telescope. Yet observations using visible light only reveal part of the cosmic picture, and astronomers were quick to follow-up at different wavelengths. In the late 1990s, astronomers using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Hawai’i surveyed the region using submillimeter radiation. This type of radiation, with wavelengths between a few tenths of a millimeter and a millimeter, is particularly suitable for detecting cool clouds of gas and dust.

Full Story: http://www.mpia.de/Public/menu_q2.php?Aktuelles/PR/2012/PR120613/PR_120613_en.html

Planets can form around different types of stars

June 13, 2012 Leave a comment

It had previously been thought that planets were more likely to form around a star if the star had a high content of heavier elements. But new research from the University of Copenhagen, among others, shows that small planets can form around very different types of stars — also stars that are relatively poor in heavy elements. This significantly increases the likelihood that Earth-like planets are widespread in the universe. The results have been published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature.
3,000 exoplanets, i.e., planets orbiting a star other than the Sun, have now been discovered. 2,300 of these potential planets are being observed with the Kepler satellite by measuring the brightness of the host stars. If a planet moves in front of its star, there is a small decrease in the brightness and if this happens repeatedly, it could be a planet orbiting the star and dimming its light.
A multitude of planets have been discovered so far and by measuring their size it is possible to distinguish between gas giants like Saturn and Jupiter, or whether they are smaller, terrestrial planets like Earth and Mars.

Full Story: http://www.nbi.ku.dk/english/news

Astronomers Map 40 Million Stars

June 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Astronomers will soon have access to a new map of the sky that accurately measures the brightness and position of over 40 million stars.
This map is a result of the AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey, which has completely covered the sky at a level 100 times fainter than any prior stellar catalog. Millions of stars will have their brightness and color measured accurately for the first time in this survey.
“Prior surveys have done a good job measuring the brightness of bright stars. Other organizations have announced plans to measure faint stars. But this goldilocks zone of stars that are neither too bright or too faint has been neglected, until now,” Dr. Arne Henden, Director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), said.
“This catalog of stars will serve a key link between existing bright catalogs and fainter catalogs planned for the future, such as those created by Pan-STARRS and the LSST observatories,” Dr. Doug Welch, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University.

Full Story: http://aas.org/meetings/aas220