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Astronomy (General/Chat)

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  • Earth-Sized Telescope Just Took The First-Ever Photo Of A Black Hole

    04/16/2017 8:16:48 PM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 50 replies
    Tech Times ^ | 15 Apr 2017 | Katrina Pascual
    Earth-Sized Telescope Just Took The First-Ever Photo Of A Black Hole: How It Will Test Theory Of Relativity Ten nights of staunch observation may have led astronomers to successfully peer inside a black hole and take an image of its event horizon, or its point of no return. Einstein’s theory notes that all the information crossing a black hole’s event horizon gets lost forever. Yet according to quantum mechanics, information can never be lost. Despite the long wait and other external factors, the team remains optimistic. Falcke said that even if the images emerge as “crappy and washed out,” they...
  • What do the stars hold for the Trump administration? Here’s how NASA’s mission could change

    04/15/2017 12:14:03 AM PDT · by blueplum · 11 replies
    PBS ^ | 12 April 2017 6:30pm EDT | PBS Interview with Miles O'Brien
    MILES O’BRIEN: The balcony at Congressman John Culberson’s office on Capitol Hill offers a sweeping panorama of Washington, but the Republican from Houston is usually looking higher. REP. JOHN CULBERSON, R-Texas: There’s Mercury. Mars is going to appear right here. We go this way, there’s Orion. Sirius is going to appear right here. MILES O’BRIEN: Culberson has more than a hobby-level interest in space. He chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees NASA. In his ninth term, he is riding high, as the Trump administration embraces his strategy for exploring space. REP. JOHN CULBERSON: NASA has been underfunded for far...
  • Researchers capture first 'image' of a dark matter web that connects galaxies

    04/12/2017 11:53:27 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 48 replies
    phys.org ^ | April 12, 2017 | Provided by: Royal Astronomical Society
    Dark matter filaments bridge the space between galaxies in this false colour map. The locations of bright galaxies are shown by the white regions and the presence of a dark matter filament bridging the galaxies is shown in red. Credit: S. Epps & M. Hudson / University of Waterloo ================================================================================================================================ Researchers at the University of Waterloo have been able to capture the first composite image of a dark matter bridge that connects galaxies together. The scientists publish their work in a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The composite image, which combines a number of individual...
  • Any SoCal FReepers see the meteor a few minutes ago?

    04/10/2017 9:30:02 PM PDT · by RegulatorCountry · 42 replies
    Self | April 11, 2017 | Self
    I've seen quite a few comments from people in SoCal and even AZ commenting on a bright flash, green, some also seeing a yellow tail. Any FReeper witnesses?
  • Big Asteroid Is Heading Close to Earth

    04/09/2017 9:07:21 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    VOA ^ | 04/08/2017
    A relatively large asteroid will cross Earth's orbit around the sun this month. Astrophysicists and astronomers say there is no chance of a collision, but it will be the closest flyby of an asteroid that large for at least another 10 years. Asteroid 2014 JO25, discovered three years ago, is about 650 meters (2,100 feet) in diameter, 60 times as large as the small asteroid that plunged into our atmosphere as a meteor and exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013. That blast was felt thousands of kilometers away and caused havoc on the ground, damaging more than...
  • Now Is the Best Time to See Jupiter in the Night Sky

    04/07/2017 7:43:22 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    Space.com ^ | 04/07/2017 | Joe Rao
    his giant world, which harbors nearly three times as much mass as all the other planets put together, attains opposition tonight (April 7), forming a straight line with Earth and the sun. Opposition also marks the point in a planet's orbit when it's closest to Earth; indeed, Jupiter is currently just 415 million miles (670 million kilometers) from Earth. Interestingly, for the first time in a dozen years, opposition comes when Jupiter is just past aphelion (the farthest point from the sun during planet's orbit, where Jupiter was on Feb. 16). This is therefore one of the most distant oppositions...
  • Asteroid to Fly Safely Past Earth on April 19 (Asteroid 2014 JO25, Diameter = 2,000 feet)

    04/07/2017 1:13:54 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | 4/6/17
    A relatively large near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon. Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size. The asteroid, known as 2014 JO25, was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona -- a project of NASA's NEO Observations Program in collaboration with the University...
  • Astronomers close in on first direct view of a black hole

    04/05/2017 2:06:13 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 34 replies
    www.theglobeandmail.com ^ | Apr. 05, 2017 9:14AM EDT | Ivan Semeniuk - SCIENCE REPORTER
    If Avery Broderick’s wishes come true, the next 10 days will bring something new to humanity’s view of the universe. For the first time, the University of Waterloo physicist says, there could be “visceral, direct evidence that there are monsters in the night.” The monsters Dr. Broderick has in mind are supermassive black holes: terrifying giants that lurk in the hearts of galaxies, including our own, where they can devour stars and interstellar gas like cosmic vacuum cleaners. Fortunately, Earth is in no danger of encountering such a lethal entity. The nearest one is at least 25,000 light years away...
  • Lunar Lava Tubes Could Offer Future Moon Explorers a Safe Haven

    04/02/2017 11:03:41 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 13 replies
    EOS ^ | 3/24/17 | Wendel
    Lunar colonization isn’t mere science fiction anymore. Billionaires plan to send tourists on once-in-a-lifetime trips, and politicians say that they hope to colonize the Moon in the next few decades. There may even be ways for human colonists to harvest water from ice that may be permanently shadowed in certain caves. But where could a human colony actually live? The Moon has no atmosphere or magnetic field to shield it from solar radiation and micrometeorites that constantly rain onto its surface. That’s no environment for our squishy, earthling bodies. Scientists studying the Moon’s surface may have found the answer: shelter...
  • Current Weak Solar Cycle Could Reduce Global Temperatures By Half A Degree

    04/01/2017 10:34:54 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 49 replies
    warrs up with that? ^ | March 31, 2017 | Anthony Watts
    From ​the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)Sun’s impact on climate change quantified for first timeA solar flare captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory – click for much larger image For the first time, model calculations show a plausible way that fluctuations in solar activity could have a tangible impact on the climate. Studies funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation expect human-induced global warming to tail off slightly over the next few decades. A weaker sun could reduce temperatures by half a degree. There is human-induced climate change, and there are natural climate fluctuations. One important factor in the unchanging rise...
  • The (not-so) observable universe

    04/01/2017 9:38:29 AM PDT · by boycott · 18 replies
    AL.com ^ | April 01, 2017 | Steven Austad
    In case you haven't been paying attention, it has been a pretty exciting last few years for what astronomers call the "observable universe." It's been a particularly rewarding stretch for Albert Einstein too, even though he died in 1955. For instance, last year astrophysicists made the first observations of gravitational waves, which Einstein, exactly 100 years ago, predicted should exist. These waves, which I won't even try to explain, were observed when two black holes crashed into one another and merged. A black hole is formed from matter so dense, and with gravity so strong, that anything near it -...
  • Wrong-Way, Daredevil Asteroid Plays 'Chicken' with Jupiter

    03/30/2017 8:13:58 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    space.com ^ | 03/29/2017 | Hanneke Weitering
    The unnamed asteroid shares Jupiter's orbital space while moving in the opposite direction as the planet, which looks like a recipe for a collision, astronomers said. Yet somehow, the asteroid has managed to safely dodge Jupiter for at least tens of thousands of laps around the sun, a new study showed. It was given the provisional designation 2015 BZ509 with the nickname "BZ." Scientists noticed that the asteroid moves in the opposite direction of every planet and 99.99 percent of asteroids orbiting the sun, in a state known as retrograde motion. ... BZ may seem like a lucky asteroid, narrowly...
  • Uranus Smells Like Farts

    03/29/2017 12:09:00 PM PDT · by Heartlander · 41 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | 4/29/2017 | Ryan F. Mandelbaum
    Uranus Smells Like FartsScientists have lots of questions about Uranus. Why does Uranus look the way it does, why did Uranus form the way it did, why does Uranus differ so much from other gas giants, like Jupiter and Saturn? But I had a more important question. What does Uranus smell like? The question is actually harder to answer than it seems—it’s unlikely we’d ever be able to sniff Uranus. “It’s so cold that there’s not much” in the way of the compounds that we can smell, Jonathan Fortney, director of the Other Worlds Laboratory at the University of California,...
  • ..hang a wandering skyscraper from asteroid orbiting Earth

    03/29/2017 4:36:58 AM PDT · by Candor7 · 55 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 23:36 BST, 27 March 2017 | Stacy Liberatore
    A New York architecture firm has unveiled designs for a skyscraper that is out of this world. Deemed the ‘world’s tallest building ever’, Analemma Tower will be suspended from an orbiting asteroid 31,068 miles (50,000 km) above the Earth– and the only way to leave is by parachute.
  • That really IS a high rise: Sci-fi plan to hang wandering skyscraper from asteroid orbiting Earth...

    03/28/2017 7:40:18 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 71 replies
    www.dailymail.co.uk ^ | Updated: 18:59 EDT, 27 March 2017 | By Stacy Liberatore
    Radical skyscraper design from a New York City firm will be built from the sky down instead of the ground up Analemma Tower is set to be suspended from an orbiting asteroid 31,068 miles (50,000 km) above the Earth Tower will move in a figure eight pattern between the northern and southern hemispheres each day Solar panels will generate power and water will be collected from cloud condensation and rain water Building will be broken up into sections, such as business, worship, dining, shopping and entertainment A New York architecture firm has unveiled designs for a skyscraper that is out...
  • Enigmatic plumes from Saturn’s moon caused by cosmic collision

    03/27/2017 7:43:02 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 14 replies
    New Scientist ^ | 24 Mar, 2017 | Leah Crane
    Enceladus’ south pole is wounded, bleeding heat and water. Its injury may have come from a huge rock smashing into this frigid moon of Saturn less than 100 million years ago, leaving the area riddled with leaky cracks. The region near Enceladus’ south pole marks one of the solar system’s most intriguing mysteries. It spews plumes of liquid from an interior ocean, plus an enormous amount of heat. The south pole’s heat emission is about 10 gigawatts higher than expected – equivalent to the power of 4000 wind turbines running at full capacity. The rest of the moon, though, is...
  • Astronaut who walked on the moon: ‘why I know aliens haven’t visited Earth’

    03/24/2017 7:39:42 PM PDT · by amorphous · 83 replies
    News.Com.Au ^ | 24 March 2017 | Megan Palin
    HE was an astronaut on the second manned mission to the moon and the fourth man to walk on its surface. Alan Bean, 85, is one of only 12 people to have taken “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind” on the moon.
  • What Will Happen When Betelgeuse Explodes?

    03/23/2017 5:44:02 AM PDT · by C19fan · 53 replies
    Forbes ^ | March 22, 2017 | Ethan Siegel
    Every star will someday run out of fuel in its core, bringing an end to its run as natural source of nuclear fusion in the Universe. While stars like our Sun will fuse hydrogen into helium and then -- swelling into a red giant -- helium into carbon, there are other, more massive stars which can achieve hot enough temperatures to further fuse carbon into even heavier elements. Under those intense conditions, the star will swell into a red supergiant, destined for an eventual supernova after around 100,000 years or so. And the brightest red supergiant in our entire night...
  • Alien mothership? HUGE circular shadow floats past ISS in remarkable NASA footage

    The bizarre footage shows part of the space station looking out onto a black nothingness. For no apparent reason, the dark outlook begins to get lighter as some sort of circular object floats past. It continues to get lighter and lighter as the shadow is lifted. In his caption to the video, he pointed out he wasn’t for certain saying it was a “huge mothership or any sort of alien spacecraft” but that it “certainly looks unusual”. Alien enthusiast Streetcap1 posted the footage to his YouTube channel on Saturday (March 19). As he watched the mysterious shape move past, he...
  • How Did Uranus Get its Name?

    03/20/2017 5:03:02 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 74 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 20 Mar , 2017 | Fraser Cain
    Consider the discovery of Uranus. While this planet had been viewed on many occasions by astronomers in the past, it was only with the birth of modern astronomy that its true nature came to be understood. And with William Herschel‘s discovery in the 18th century, the planet would come to be officially named and added to the list of known Solar Planets. The first recorded instance of Uranus being spotted in the night sky is believed to date back to the 2nd century [sic] BCE. At this time, Hipparchos – the Greek astronomer, mathematician and founder of trigonometry – apparently...