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Keyword: astronomy

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lemmon and the Deep Sky

    07/20/2013 3:12:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | July 20, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Now sweeping high above the ecliptic plane, Comet Lemmon has faded dramatically in planet Earth's night sky as it heads for the outer solar system. Some 16 light-minutes (2 AU) from the Sun, it still sports a greenish coma though, posing on the right in this 4 degree wide telescopic view from last Saturday with deep sky star clusters and nebulae in Cassiopeia. In fact, the rich background skyscape is typical within the boundaries of the boastful northern constellation that lie along the crowded starfields of the Milky Way. Included near center is open star cluster M52 about 5,000...
  • A Private Venture Wants to Build a Telescope on the Moon

    07/19/2013 6:46:01 PM PDT · by Windflier · 47 replies
    Gizmodo.com ^ | 19 July 2013 | Jamie Condliffe
    There might not be a man on the moon right now—but there may soon be a gazing eye. A new private venture aims to build a long-range telescope on our planet's little satellite, and it could happen as soon 2016. A partnership between Moon Express, Inc. and the International Lunar Observatory Association is all set to install the telescope on the humble lump of rock. The plan is to position the 2-meter dish antenna, known as the International Lunar Observatory, on the rim of a crater near the moon’s South pole. The first step will be a proof-of-concept mission, which...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Take a Picture of Saturn

    07/19/2013 3:41:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | July 19, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Take a picture of Saturn in the sky tonight. You could capture a view like this one. Recorded just last month looking toward the south, planet Earth and ruins of the ancient temple of Athena at Assos, Turkey are in the foreground. The Moon rises at the far left of the frame and Saturn is the bright "star" at the upper right, near Virgo's alpha star Spica (picture with labels). If you do take a picture of Saturn or wave at Saturn and take a picture, you can share it online and submit it to the Saturn Mosaic Project....
  • Can Quantum Mechanics Produce a Universe from Nothing?

    07/18/2013 10:36:09 AM PDT · by kimtom · 170 replies
    www.apologeticspress.org ^ | 2/1/2013 | Jeff Miller, Ph.D.
    According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, nothing in the Universe (i.e., matter or energy) can pop into existence from nothing (see Miller, 2013). All of the scientific evidence points to that conclusion. So, the Universe could not have popped into existence before the alleged “big bang” (an event which we do not endorse). Therefore, God must have created the Universe. One of the popular rebuttals by the atheistic community is that quantum mechanics could have created the Universe. In 1905, Albert Einstein proposed the idea of mass-energy equivalence, resulting in the famous equation, E = mc2 (1905). We now...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Hidden Galaxy IC 342

    07/18/2013 2:48:12 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | July 18, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Similar in size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood, IC 342 is a mere 10 million light-years distant in the long-necked, northern constellation Camelopardalis. A sprawling island universe, IC 342 would otherwise be a prominent galaxy in our night sky, but it is hidden from clear view and only glimpsed through the veil of stars, gas and dust clouds along the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy. Even though IC 342's light is dimmed by intervening cosmic clouds, this deep telescopic image traces the galaxy's obscuring dust, blue star clusters, and glowing pink star forming regions...
  • The First Interplanetary Photobomb

    07/17/2013 8:12:51 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 22 replies
    NASA ^ | July 17, 2013 | Dr. Tony Phillips
    Consider it the first interplanetary photobomb. On July 19th, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will photograph Earth through the rings of Saturn--and NASA wants you to jump into the shot. "Cassini has photographed Earth before, but this will be the first time Earthlings know in advance their picture will be taken from a billion miles away," says Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. "We hope that people around the world will go outside to wave at Saturn while the photo-shoot is underway."
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Waterspout in Florida

    07/17/2013 12:05:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | July 17, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening over the water? Pictured above is one of the better images yet recorded of a waterspout, a type of tornado that occurs over water. Waterspouts are spinning columns of rising moist air that typically form over warm water. Waterspouts can be as dangerous as tornadoes and can feature wind speeds over 200 kilometers per hour. Some waterspouts form away from thunderstorms and even during relatively fair weather. Waterspouts may be relatively transparent and initially visible only by an unusual pattern they create on the water. The above image was taken earlier this month near Tampa Bay, Florida....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Sombrero Galaxy from Hale

    07/17/2013 12:01:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | July 15, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's going on in the center of this spiral galaxy? Named the Sombrero Galaxy for its hat-like resemblance, M104 features a prominent dust lane and a bright halo of stars and globular clusters. Reasons for the Sombrero's hat-like appearance include an unusually large and extended central bulge of stars, and dark prominent dust lanes that appear in a disk that we see nearly edge-on. Billions of old stars cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge visible in the above image from the 200-inch Hale Telescope. Close inspection of the central bulge shows many points of light that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Moon from Zond 8

    07/16/2013 4:04:05 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | July 16, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Which moon is this? Earth's. Our Moon's unfamiliar appearance is due partly to an unfamiliar viewing angle as captured by a little-known spacecraft -- the Soviet Union's Zond 8 that circled the Moon in October of 1970. Pictured above, the dark-centered circular feature that stands out near the top of the image is Mare Orientale, a massive impact basin formed by an ancient collision with an asteroid. Mare Orientale is surrounded by light colored and highly textured highlands. Across the image bottom lies the dark and expansive Oceanus Procellarum, the largest of the dark (but dry) maria that dominate...
  • Amateur Astronomer Discovers Comet C/2013 N4 (Borisov) During a Star Party

    07/14/2013 11:51:13 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 14, 2013 | Bob King on
    Ukrainian amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov discovered a brand new comet on July 8 near the bright star Capella in the constellation Auriga. The comet was confirmed and officially christened C/2013 N4 (Borisov) on July 13. At the time of discovery, Borisov was attending the Russian-Ukrainian “Southern Night” star party in Crimea, Ukraine. He nabbed the comet – his first – using an 8-inch (20-cm) f/1.5 wide field telescope of his own design equipped with a CCD camera. ... Aside from how prominent or not Gennady’s comet will become, the most amazing thing is that he beat the automated surveys to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Pillars of Eagle Castle

    07/13/2013 10:04:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | July 14, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What lights up this castle of star formation? The familiar Eagle Nebula glows bright in many colors at once. The above image is a composite of three of these glowing gas colors. Pillars of dark dust nicely outline some of the denser towers of star formation. Energetic light from young massive stars causes the gas to glow and effectively boils away part of the dust and gas from its birth pillar. Many of these stars will explode after several million years, returning most of their elements back to the nebula which formed them. This process is forming an open...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunspot at Sunset

    07/12/2013 9:54:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 13, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Reddened rays of the setting Sun flooded the skies over Cedar Creek Lake, southeast of Dallas, Texas, planet Earth on July 6th. And while sunsets may be the most watched celestial event, this one even offered something extra. A sunspot so large it was visible to the naked eye is captured in the serene sunset view, near the center of a solar disk dimmed and distorted by Earth's dense atomosphere. Telescopic views revealed the spot to be a complex of large solar active regions composed of sunspots, some larger than planet Earth itself.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Messier's Eleven

    07/12/2013 3:59:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | July 12, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This fifteen degree wide field of view stretches across the crowded starfields of Sagittarius toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. In fact, the center of the galaxy lies near the right edge of the rich starscape and eleven bright star clusters and nebulae fall near the center of the frame. All eleven are numbered entries in the catalog compiled by 18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier. Gaining celebrity status with skygazers, M8 (Lagoon), M16 (Eagle), M17 (Omega), and M20 (Trifid) show off the telltale reddish hues of emission nebulae associated with star forming regions. But also eye-catching...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dusty Nebulae in Taurus

    07/11/2013 3:49:39 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | July 11, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This complex of dusty nebulae linger along the edge of the Taurus molecular cloud, a mere 450 light-years distant. Stars are forming on the cosmic scene, including extremely youthful star RY Tauri prominent toward the upper left of the 1.5 degree wide telescopic field. In fact RY Tauri is a pre-main sequence star, embedded in its natal cloud of gas and dust, also cataloged as reflection nebula vdB 27. Highly variable, the star is still relatively cool and in the late phases of gravitational collapse. It will soon become a stable, low mass, main sequence star, a stage of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Large Sunspots Now Crossing the Sun

    07/10/2013 3:18:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | July 10, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the largest sunspot regions in recent years is now crossing the Sun. This region of convoluted magnetic fields may well produce a solar flare that releases a cloud of energetic particles into the Solar System. Were a very powerful cloud to impact the Earth's magnetosphere, it could be dangerous to Earth-orbiting astronauts and satellites. Conversely, the impact of even a less energetic cloud might create picturesque aurora. Pictured above is the sunspot region as it appeared two days ago. The rightmost part of this region has been cataloged as AR 11785, while the left part as AR...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Supergiant Star Gamma Cygni

    07/09/2013 2:31:21 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Supergiant star Gamma Cygni lies at the center of the Northern Cross, a famous asterism in the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus). Known by the proper name Sadr, the bright star also lies at the center of this gorgeous skyscape, featuring a complex of stars, dust clouds, and glowing nebulae along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. The field of view spans over 3 degrees (six Full Moons) on the sky and includes emission nebula IC 1318 and open star cluster NGC 6910. Left of Gamma Cygni and shaped like two glowing cosmic wings divided by a long...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto's Newly Discovered Moons Receive Names

    07/08/2013 6:15:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    NASA ^ | July 08, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Pluto's newly discovered moons now have names. Known previously as P4 and P5, the International Astronomical Union has now given the fourth and fifth discovered moons of Pluto the names Kerberos and Styx. The small moons were discovered in 2011 and 2012 by the Hubble Space Telescope in preparation for the close passing of the New Horizons spacecraft by Pluto in 2015. Kerberos is named for the many headed dog in Greek mythology that guards the entrance to the underworld, while Styx is named for the goddess who overlooks the mythological river that runs between the Earth and the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting Dust

    07/07/2013 5:52:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | July 07, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this beautiful celestial still life composed with a cosmic brush, dusty nebula NGC 2170 shines at the upper left. Reflecting the light of nearby hot stars, NGC 2170 is joined by other bluish reflection nebulae, a compact red emission region, and streamers of obscuring dust against a backdrop of stars. Like the common household items still life painters often choose for their subjects, the clouds of gas, dust, and hot stars pictured here are also commonly found in this setting - a massive, star-forming molecular cloud in the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros). The giant molecular cloud, Mon...
  • The Mystery of the Intergalactic Radio Bursts

    07/06/2013 4:54:09 AM PDT · by NYer · 35 replies
    Time ^ | July 5, 2013 | Michael D. Lemonick
    It’s a recurring theme in astronomy: observers see a blast of energy out in the cosmos, scratch their heads in confusion for a while, and finally uncover the existence of something entirely surprising and new. It happened with the quasars (now known to be gigantic burps from black holes swallowing hot gas), the pulsars (fast-spinning neutron stars sending out blips of radio noise hundreds of times every second), and even the Big Bang itself, first seen as a stream of microwaves slamming into Earth from all directions, nearly 14 billion years after the event itself.Now it may be happening again....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 6384: Spiral Beyond the Stars

    07/05/2013 9:20:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | July 06, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The universe is filled with galaxies. But to see them astronomers must look out beyond the stars of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. This colorful Hubble Space Telescopic portrait features spiral galaxy NGC 6384, about 80 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus. At that distance, NGC 6384 spans an estimated 150,000 light-years, while the Hubble close-up of the galaxy's central region is about 70,000 light-years wide. The sharp image shows details in the distant galaxy's blue star clusters and dust lanes along magnificent spiral arms, and a bright core dominated by yellowish starlight. Still,...