Free Republic 2nd Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $48,522
55%  
Woo hoo!! And we're now over 55%!! Thank you all very much for your continuing support!

Keyword: astronomy

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Tiny, Mars-bound satellite snaps its first image of Earth and the Moon

    05/20/2018 7:13:18 PM PDT · by ETL · 14 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | May 17, 2018 | Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer
    A tiny satellite on its way to Mars has opened its eyes and captured a view of home. One of NASA's two Mars Cube One (MarCO) cubesats, which launched toward the Red Planet along with the agency's InSight lander on May 5, took a photo on May 9 to help confirm that its high-gain antenna had deployed properly. The antenna is in the photo. And so are the moon and Earth, the latter of which appears as a pale blue dot, just as it did in a famous photo taken by NASA's Voyager 1 probe in 1990. ..." (snip) Despite...
  • It’s full of stars! NASA’s planet-hunting TESS probe sends back its first test image

    05/18/2018 8:01:22 PM PDT · by Simon Green · 21 replies
    Geekwire ^ | 05/18/18 | Alan Boyle
    One month after its launch, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has sent back an initial test image that shows more than 200,000 stars in the southern sky. TESS’ image was taken by one of its cameras with a two-second exposure. The picture is centered on the constellation Centaurus, with the edge of the dark Coalsack Nebula at upper right and the star Beta Centauri prominent along the lower edge. The picture provides only a hint of what TESS will be seeing once it starts delivering science-quality images next month. When all four wide-field cameras are in operation, TESS’ images...
  • Here's the Weird Science Launching to the Space Station on Monday

    05/18/2018 6:37:52 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    Space.com ^ | May 18, 2018 11:12am ET | Chelsea Gohd, Staff Writer |
    On Monday, a cargo delivery to the International Space Station will carry old-fashioned sextants, E. colibacteria and lasers that will create a temperature 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space. … CAL is sending the space station an experimental physics package that holds an "ice chest"-like compartment filled with lasers and electronics; the interior will be able to reach a temperature10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space, according to a NASA statement. Within this instrument, the researchers will use laser cooling techniques and magnets to slow down atoms until they are almost entirely motionless. By studying...
  • How NASA’s Mission to Pluto Was Nearly LostThe inside story of the New Horizons probe.

    05/18/2018 6:47:08 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 19 replies
    On the Saturday afternoon of July 4, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons Pluto mission leader Alan Stern was in his office near the project Mission Control Center, working, when his cell phone rang. He was aware of the Independence Day holiday but was much more focused on the fact that the date was “Pluto flyby minus 10 days.”... Glancing at his ringing phone, Alan was surprised to see the caller was Glen Fountain, the longtime project manager of New Horizons. He felt a chill because he knew that Glen was taking time off for the holiday, at his nearby home, before...
  • Astronomers find fastest-growing black hole known in space

    05/15/2018 1:58:52 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 28 replies
    phys.org ^ | May 15, 2018 | Australian National University
    A bright, supermassive black hole. Credit: NASA ______________________________________________________________________________ Astronomers at ANU have found the fastest-growing black hole known in the Universe, describing it as a monster that devours a mass equivalent to our sun every two days. The astronomers have looked back more than 12 billion years to the early dark ages of the Universe, when this supermassive black hole was estimated to be the size of about 20 billion suns with a one per cent growth rate every one million years. "This black hole is growing so rapidly that it's shining thousands of times more brightly than an...
  • By Jove: Jupiter at Opposition for 2018

    05/02/2018 7:26:11 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    universetoday ^ | by David Dickinson
    That bright “star” is actually a planet, the king of them all as far as our Solar System is concerned: Jupiter. May also ushers in Jupiter observing season, as the planet reaches opposition on May 9th, rising in the east opposite to the setting Sun to the west. Jupiter now joins Venus in the dusk sky, ending the planetary drought plaguing many an evening star party. Shining a magnitude -2.5 near opposition, you can even pick Jupiter out against the deep blue daytime sky… if you know exactly where to look for it. The Moon visits Jupiter once every orbit,...
  • Alien World [Mars Meridiani Planum]

    04/30/2018 11:48:22 AM PDT · by Voption
    Behind the Black ^ | April 30, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    "Meridani Planum is located on the equator due east of the giant canyons of Valles Marineris. It is a subsection region inside Arabia Terra, the largest of the transition zones between the lower elevation vast plains of the northern hemisphere and the higher elevation crater southern highlands."
  • Where to Watch NASA's InSight Mars Lander Launch from the California Coast

    04/30/2018 7:23:53 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    Space.com ^ | April 30, 2018 01:38pm ET | Elizabeth Howell,
    NASA has two official sites from which the public can watch the launch along with NASA/InSight mission team members. There are also are several informal sites where you can gather with local residents to see InSight launch. The agency warns people to be careful of fog and cold in all viewing areas. ...InSight's launch window May 5 through June 8, 2018,"....lasts for 2 hours, until about 6:05 a.m. PDT (9:05 a.m. EDT/1305 GMT). Lompoc City Airport will open its tarmac to the public no earlier than 2:30 a.m. PDT, with launch commentary starting at 3:30 a.m. PDT.... St. Mary's Episcopal...
  • Incoming!: NASA says 5 ‘close’ asteroid flybys will take place today

    04/29/2018 7:11:26 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    RT ^ | 29 Apr, 2018 10:47
    The series of space rock flybys begins at 10:29 UTC Sunday as asteroid 2013 US3, travelling at a respectable 7.69 km/s (27,646 kph) with a diameter of between 160-360 meters whizzes past us. For comparison, the Eiffel Tower measures 324 meters from ground to tip. Next up are asteroids 2018 GO4 and 2018 GY1, which are expected to scream past us at 12:34 and 18:20 UTC respectively. Asteroid 2018 GO4 measures approximately 30-68 meters (between three and six school buses in diameter) and has a brisk pace of 8.57 km/s. Meanwhile, 2018 GY1, on the other hand, won’t be hanging...
  • Astronomers access huge amounts of data on the stars in our galaxy from Gaia space telescope

    04/25/2018 3:44:06 PM PDT · by BBell · 10 replies
    Aa Astronomers are celebrating a massive data release that offers them the richest ever map of the Milky Way. The information comes from ESA's GAIA space telescope, which has surveyed almost two billion stars in our galaxy. They now have very precise data on billions of stars around our galaxy that will make for decades of analysis. It gives them the possibility to research the history of our galaxy and postulate what might happen in the future, too.Astronomer François Mignard was one of the founding fathers of the GAIA mission. So why does this data release make such a difference...
  • New theory on origin of the asteroid belt

    09/14/2017 11:41:53 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 48 replies
    Phys.org ^ | September 14, 2017 | by Bob Yirka
    Abstract The asteroid belt contains less than a thousandth of Earth's mass and is radially segregated, with S-types dominating the inner belt and C-types the outer belt. It is generally assumed that the belt formed with far more mass and was later strongly depleted. We show that the present-day asteroid belt is consistent with having formed empty, without any planetesimals between Mars and Jupiter's present-day orbits. This is consistent with models in which drifting dust is concentrated into an isolated annulus of terrestrial planetesimals. Gravitational scattering during terrestrial planet formation causes radial spreading, transporting planetesimals from inside 1 to 1.5...
  • Uranus discovery fulfills cosmic punchline

    04/24/2018 8:58:21 AM PDT · by ETL · 20 replies
    FoxNews/Science ^ | Apr 24, 2018 | John Johnson | Newser
    Scientists using the huge telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano have discovered the world's most obvious space joke. "Uranus smells like farts" is an actual, and correct, headline making the rounds ...
  • Models of star and galaxy cluster formation incorrect

    12/05/2017 9:12:07 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 17 replies
    Cosmos Magazine ^ | 05 Dec, 2017 | LAUREN FUGE
    The dominant explanation of the formation of star and galaxy clusters is flawed and misrepresents the nature of time, a team of Brazilian researchers claim, in a new study that uses simulations to explain a long-standing paradox in a process called ‘violent relaxation’. Clusters of stars and galaxies are tight groups of celestial bodies shackled together by gravity. Star clusters contain up to one million stars with a common origin and are up to 30 light-years across, while collections of galaxies are among the largest structures in the Universe, composed of up to 1000 galaxies with a mass of a...
  • Bill Gates Backs Plan to Surveil the Entire Planet From Space

    04/19/2018 6:41:30 PM PDT · by bitt · 41 replies
    gizmodo.com ^ | 4/19/2018 | rhett jones
    EarthNow is a new company looking to provide satellite imagery and live video in virtually real-time. Its unsettling pitch describes a network of satellites that can see any corner of the globe and provide live video with a latency of about a second. And a look at the startup’s top investors gives a lot of confidence that this thing is happening. On Wednesday, EarthNow announced that it will emerge from the Intellectual Ventures ISF Incubator to become a full-scale commercial business. Its first round of investors is comprised of a small group of complimentary powerhouses: AirBus, the SoftBank Group, Bill...
  • Taco Bell Space Station? It’s possible, panelists say

    04/19/2018 5:59:45 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 19 replies
    Space News ^ | 4/19/18 | Debra Werner
    COLORADO SPRINGS — Future private space stations may be sponsored by major corporations, which prompted a spirited discussion during a panel on the future of low Earth orbit at the 34th Space Symposium here. “I don’t want the Taco Bell International Space Station,” said Erin MacDonald, modeling and simulation engineer for Engility’s Space and Mission Systems Group. “I think it goes against what the public perceives the space station is supposed to be like.” While the International Space Station is unlikely to be rebranded by Taco Bell or any other corporation, if a new commercial space station is “paid for...
  • Look at This Fascinating Variety of Planet-Forming Disks Around Other Stars

    04/13/2018 6:44:13 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has released a stunning collection of images of the circumstellar discs that surround young stars. The images were captured with the SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch) instrument on the ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. We’ve been looking at images of circumstellar disks for quite some time, but this collection reveals the fascinating variety of shapes an sizes that these disks can take.
  • Earth’s Second Magnetic Field: Satellite Image Reveals Invisible Force From Ocean Currents

    04/12/2018 6:58:36 AM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 63 replies
    Inquisitr ^ | 12 Apr 2018 | Mia Lorenzo
    The Earth has a second magnetic field, one generated by ocean currents. Researchers know little about it, but images captured by satellites show this invisible force generated by the world’s salty oceans in perfect detail. ... ESA released a video detailing the changes in the Earth’s magnetic field over a 24-hour period... ...“It’s a really tiny magnetic field. It’s about 2-2.5 nanotesla at satellite altitude, which is about 20,000 times weaker than the Earth’s global magnetic field.”... Oceans may have a small contribution to the magnetic field that protects the planet from harmful cosmic rays, but it remains to be...
  • Wrong-Way, Daredevil Asteroid Plays 'Chicken' with Jupiter

    03/30/2017 8:13:58 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 33 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...
  • Astronomers Just Found 72 Stellar Explosions, but Don’t Know What’s Causing Them

    04/10/2018 7:50:37 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 39 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 9 Apr, 2018 | Matt Williams
    A supernova is one of the most impressive natural phenomena in the Universe. Unfortunately, such events are often brief and transient, temporarily becoming as bright as an entire galaxy and then fading away. But given what these bright explosions – which occur when a star reaches the end of its life cycle – can teach us about the Universe, scientists are naturally very interested in studying them. Using data from the Dark Energy Survey Supernova (DES-SN) program, a team of astronomers recently detected 72 supernovae, the largest number of events discovered to date. These supernovae were not only very bright,...
  • Substantial Lack Of Phosphorus In The Universe Makes Finding Alien Life Unlikely

    04/05/2018 11:49:13 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 56 replies
    Tech Times ^ | 4/5/18 | Allan Adamson
    Amid efforts to find alien life, scientists have not yet confirmed the existence of an extraterrestrial civilization. Findings of a new study suggest this has something do with the element phosphorus lacking in the cosmos. Life-Giving PhosphorusPhosphorus is the 11th most common element on Earth, and it is fundamental to all living things. Phosphorus is one of only six chemical elements on our planet that organisms depend on. "[Phosphorus] helps form the backbone of the long chains of nucleotides that create RNA and DNA; it is part of the phospholipids in cell membranes; and is a building block of the...