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Keyword: astronomy

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  • A self-taught astronomer spotted something no scientist had ever seen [Supernova]

    02/22/2018 6:05:33 AM PST · by C19fan · 32 replies
    Washington Post ^ | February 21, 2018 | Sarah Kaplan
    The moment he saw the brilliant light captured by his camera, “it all clicked” for Victor Buso: All the times his parents woke him before sunrise to gaze at the stars, all the energy he had poured into constructing an observatory atop his home, all the hours he had spent trying to parse meaning from the dim glow of distant suns. “In many moments you search and ask yourself, why do I do this?” Buso said via email. This was why: Buso, a self-taught astronomer, had just witnessed the surge of light at the birth of a supernova — something...
  • The Moon's equatorial bulge hints at Earth's early conditions

    02/15/2018 9:44:00 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Astronomy ^ | Tuesday, February 13, 2018 | Amber Jorgenson
    Over two centuries ago, Pierre-Simon Laplace, a French physicist and mathematician, noticed that the Moon's equatorial bulge is about 20 times larger than expected. Now, researchers are trying to find out why. Although the Moon looks quite spherical from the ground, it is flatter at its poles and wider at its equator, a trait known as an equatorial bulge. This characteristic is common; it's usually caused by an object's rotation around its axis. However, it's been noted that the Moon's bulge is about 20 times larger than it should be given its rotational rate of once per month... researchers at...
  • Jupiter’s Great Red Spot may be dying, and could disappear within our lifetimes

    02/19/2018 8:57:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 67 replies
    “In truth, the GRS has been shrinking for a long time,” Glenn Orton of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Business Insider. The storm was once as large as four times the diameter of Earth, but more recent observations have shown that it’s rapidly losing steam. “Now it’s something like 13 degrees wide in longitude and only 1.3 times the size of the Earth,” Orton says. “Nothing lasts forever.” Late last year, Juno revealed some surprising information about the huge storm, including how deep into the planet it goes. The data showed that the storm is up to 100 times deeper...
  • Neptune's Mysterious Storm is Dying, Possibly Smells Like Rotten Eggs

    02/15/2018 2:32:31 PM PST · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    www.popularmechanics.com ^ | Feb 15, 2018 | By David Grossman
    Like Jupiter, Neptune has a giant spinning mystery. NASA's Hubble Telescope captured a time-lapse of the storm for the first time and found a surprising conclusion—it is shrinking. Officially called a "dark vortex," the Neptunian storm shares a few properties with Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS). Like the GRS, a dark vortex is moving in a anti-cyclonic direction that sweeps up material from the planet's icy atmosphere. “We have no evidence of how these vortices are formed or how fast they rotate,” said Agustín Sánchez-Lavega from the University of the Basque Country in Spain in a NASA press statement. “It...
  • OSIRIS-REx Sends Home an Image of the Earth and Moon

    02/21/2018 11:31:43 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Feb 21, 2018 | Matt Williams
    On September 8th. 2016, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) launched from Earth to rendezvous with the asteroid 101955 Bennu. This mission will be the first American robotic spacecraft to rendezvous with an asteroid, which it will reach by December of 2018, and return samples to Earth for analysis (by September 24th, 2023). Since that time, NASA has been keeping the public apprised of the mission’s progress, mainly by sending back images taken by the spacecraft. The latest image was one of the Earth and Moon, which the spacecraft took using its NavCam 1 imager on...
  • The patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement

    02/21/2018 1:19:10 PM PST · by C19fan · 89 replies
    NBC News ^ | February 21, 2018 | Marcie Bianco
    What does a midlife crisis look like in the 21st century? Frittering away your life savings on a red sports car is so last century. Instead, today’s man who is grappling with the limitations of his mortality spends $90 million on a rocket to launch a $100,000 electric car, helmed by a robot by the name of “Starman,” into space. “We want a new space race,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk said in a press conference shortly after the launch of his company’s Falcon Heavy rocket — and his Tesla Roadster — into space earlier in February. Like a child, he...
  • Interstellar object Oumuamua tumbling chaotically

    02/13/2018 7:02:10 AM PST · by Voption · 49 replies
    Behind the Black ^ | February 12, 2018 | Robert Zimmerman
    A new analysis of the data obtained when the interstellar object Oumuamua flew through the solar system in October 2016 suggests that it is tumbling in a chaotic manner, and that the surface is spotty....Dr Fraser explains: “Our modelling of this body suggests the tumbling will last for many billions of years to hundreds of billions of years before internal stresses cause it to rotate normally again."
  • Mars as never seen before: NASA's Curiosity rover reveals a stunning panorama

    02/02/2018 6:37:00 AM PST · by mairdie · 45 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 2 February 2018 | Joe Pinkstone and Tim Collins
    An incredible panoramic view sent from the surface of the red planet has been created using images taken by the Mars Curiosity rover. It reveals the landscape of one of our closest galactic neighbours, which has been home to the exploratory vehicle since it landed in Gale Crater in 2012. One of the on-board cameras captured 16 separate scenic images that show various points on its journey, as seen from the top of the Vera Rubin Ridge, which were then stitched together to form the sweeping image. Thanks to some clever visual effects that give the scene a blue hue,...
  • Catholic Caucus: January 31 Super Blue Blood Moon and St. John Bosco’s Dream/Prophecy

    01/31/2018 5:07:13 PM PST · by Coleus · 5 replies
    Roman Catholic Man ^ | 01.30.18 | Fr Richard Heilman
    Well known is St. John Bosco’s “dream of the two columns” where he foresaw the future difficulties of the Church, envisioned as a ship on stormy seas. Several popes strive to moor the Church and anchor it between two columns which arose amid the dangerous waters. The columns symbolized the two devotions to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary Immaculate, the Help of Christians. Calm and peace for the Church is won only when one of the popes finally succeeds in anchoring the Church between the two columns.  Another St. John Bosco dream/prophecy is less-known, which can shed light...
  • TRAPPIST-1 system planets potentially habitable

    01/23/2018 2:23:29 PM PST · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    phys.org ^ | 01/23/2018 | Planetary Science Institute
    A size comparison of the planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system, lined up in order of increasing distance from their host star. The planetary surfaces are portrayed with an artist’s impression of their potential surface features, including water, ice, and atmospheres. Amy Barr's paper “Interior Structures and Tidal Heating in the TRAPPIST-1 Planets” shows that planets d and e are the most likely to be habitable due to their moderate surface temperatures, modest amounts of tidal heating, and because their heat fluxes are low enough to avoid entering a runaway greenhouse state. Planet d is likely covered by a global water...
  • Distant Galaxies Challenge Our Understanding of Star Formation

    01/22/2018 3:50:38 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 20 replies
    Real Clear Science ^ | 22 Jan, 2018 | Marie Martig
    The most massive galaxies in our neighbourhood formed their stars billions of years ago, early in the history of the universe. At the present day, they produce very few new stars. Astronomers have long believed that is because they contain very little gas – a key ingredient necessary to produce stars. But our new study, published in Nature Astronomy, is now challenging this long held view. Through probing the extreme environments of faraway massive galaxies, we can learn not only about their evolution and the history of the universe, but most importantly about the fundamental processes regulating the formation of...
  • Astronomers Find Mass Limit for Neutron Stars Before Collapsing Into Black Holes

    01/19/2018 1:38:43 PM PST · by Red Badger · 38 replies
    www.popularmechanics.com ^ | 01/19/2018 | By John Wenz
    These remaining cores of dead stars can only get so massive before they become black holes. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The subtle difference between when a massive dying star compresses into a core and when it collapses entirely may have been found. In a study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers at the Goethe University in Frankfurt say they’ve found the dividing line between compact objects called neutron stars and black holes. When a massive star reaches the end of its life, it goes out with an immense bang called a supernova. From there, one of two known things Can happen: it either...
  • Arecibo radar returns with asteroid phaethon images

    12/23/2017 8:15:02 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    phys.org ^ | December 22, 2017
    After several months of downtime after Hurricane Maria blew through, the Arecibo Observatory Planetary Radar has returned to normal operation, providing the highest-resolution images to date of near-Earth asteroid 3200 Phaethon during its Dec. 16 flyby of Earth. The radar images, which are subtle at the available resolution, reveal the asteroid is spheroidal in shape and has a large concavity at least several hundred meters in extent near the leading edge, and a conspicuous dark, circular feature near one of the poles. Arecibo's radar images of Phaethon have resolutions as fine as about 250 feet (75 meters) per pixel.
  • Three-mile-wide Asteroid 3200 Phaethon to skim Earth just before Christmas Read more:

    11/24/2017 6:01:48 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    A gigantic space rock called 3200 Phaethon is due to brush ‘quite close’ to our planet on December 17, Russian astronomers have revealed. This huge asteroid is thought to cause the beautiful Geminids meteor shower which will take place between December 13 and 14, causing hundreds of bright meteors to illuminate the night sky as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. But NASA has also described it as a ‘potentially hazardous asteroid whose path misses Earth’s orbit by only 2 million miles‘ – which is tiny in galactic terms. It’s about half the size of Chicxulub, the rock which wiped...
  • Tarrant College students leave class after professor's unusual behavior

    01/18/2018 9:39:23 AM PST · by DFG · 104 replies
    Fox4News (DFW) ^ | 01/17/2018 | FOX4News.com Staff
    Students attending a lecture at Tarrant County College were so frightened by their professor's behavior during a recent class that they had to leave the room. When TCC Adjunct Professor Daniel Mashburn walked into his Astronomy class Tuesday night, several students were alarmed by his behavior. Some thought it was a joke while others called police. Student April McLeod says her teacher got to class about 20 minutes late and turned off the lights and was wearing a ball cap, a toboggan, a scarf over his face and gloves. She says Mashburn never took any of it off even when...
  • Flash of Light and Shockwave in Detroit are

    01/16/2018 5:36:21 PM PST · by freedomson · 111 replies
    At about 8:20 pm Tuesday January 16, 2018 Did any of you Detroit freepers see that flash of light followed about two minutes later with a window rattling shockwave?
  • NASA experts point to Livingston County for potential meteorite discovery

    01/17/2018 9:36:12 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    The search for meteorites continues all over metro Detroit.  NASA experts point toward Livingston County to find them. Bill Cooke is the Meteoroid Environment Program Manager with NASA and he said the Doppler radar images show the meteorites from the meteor spotted on January 16 in Livingston County. “The meteorites should be just south of M-36 between Hamburg and Lakeland,” said Cooke. Cooke said Doppler is best way to track where they might be found. "Doppler weather radar is a very good indicator because, when it picks up meteorites, the meteorites are fairly close to the ground, they're only a couple...
  • Giant 'Potentially Hazardous' Asteroid Will Whiz By Earth So Close We Can See Inside It

    01/17/2018 9:22:59 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 49 replies
    Newsweek ^ | 1/17/18 at 5:43 PM
    On February 4, an asteroid called 2002 AJ129 is due to slip past Earth. It is between 1600 and 4000 feet across, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, but there's no chance it will make impact—NASA has calculated it will remain 2.6 million miles away. That still makes it what astronomers call a "potentially hazardous asteroid," thanks to its size being more than about 500 feet across and an orbital path that carries it within about 4,650,000 miles of Earth. But while they're confident we won't all go the way of the dinosaurs, scientists do want to keep an eye on the...
  • The moon is about to do something it hasn’t done in more than 150 years

    01/02/2018 10:43:52 PM PST · by Oshkalaboomboom · 9 replies
    Miami Herald ^ | Jan 02, 2018 | Alex Harris
    Call it whatever you like — a blue red moon, a purple moon, a blood moon — but the moon will be a special sight on Jan. 31. Three separate celestial events will occur simultaneously that night, resulting in what some are calling a super blue blood moon eclipse. The astronomical rarity hasn’t happened for more than 150 years, according to Space.com. A super moon, like the one visible on New Year’s Day, is the term for when a full moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, appearing bigger and brighter than normal. Supermoon rises over Reno, Nevada...
  • Amateur Skywatchers Spot New Atmospheric Phenomenon

    04/25/2017 1:39:20 PM PDT · by LouieFisk · 29 replies
    smithsonian.com ^ | April 24, 2017 | Erin Blakemore
    When they weren’t calling the purple, ribbon-like light Steve, the Facebook group referred to it as a “proton arc,” notes ABC News. But when a Canadian physicist and astronomer who studies aurorae looked at the photos, he suspected something more was afoot—especially since proton aurorae, which happen when protons from solar winds hit Earth's magnetic field, are usually too dark to be visible.