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Astronomy (General/Chat)

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - CG4: The Globule and the Galaxy (I missed posting this yesterday)

    05/22/2024 12:54:57 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | 21 May, 2024 | Image Credit: CTIO, NOIRLab, DOE, NSF, AURA; Processing: T. A. Rector (U. Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOI
    Explanation: Can a gas cloud eat a galaxy? It's not even close. The "claw" of this odd looking "creature" in the featured photo is a gas cloud known as a cometary globule. This globule, however, has ruptured. Cometary globules are typically characterized by dusty heads and elongated tails. These features cause cometary globules to have visual similarities to comets, but in reality they are very much different. Globules are frequently the birthplaces of stars, and many show very young stars in their heads. The reason for the rupture in the head of this object is not yet known. The galaxy...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Green Aurora over Sweden

    05/22/2024 12:40:21 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | 22 May, 2024 | Image Credit & Copyright: Göran Strand
    Explanation: It was bright and green and stretched across the sky. This striking aurora display was captured in 2016 just outside of Östersund, Sweden. Six photographic fields were merged to create the featured panorama spanning almost 180 degrees. Particularly striking aspects of this aurora include its sweeping arc-like shape and its stark definition. Lake Storsjön is seen in the foreground, while several familiar constellations and the star Polaris are visible through the aurora, far in the background. Coincidently, the aurora appears to avoid the Moon visible on the lower left. The aurora appeared a day after a large hole opened...
  • Astronomers find long-missing dwarf galaxies — too many of them...Apparent overabundance means theories of how galaxies took shape in the early universe may need adjusting

    05/22/2024 12:04:05 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 12 replies
    Science.ORG ^ | May 22, 2024 | JONATHAN O’CALLAGHAN
    Two dwarf galaxies (top and bottom) orbit the much larger Andromeda galaxy. DAVID DAYAG/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When astronomers fret about the “missing satellites problem,” they’re not talking about spacecraft in Earth orbit. Their problem is much bigger: For decades, far fewer dwarf galaxies have been seen orbiting the Milky Way and other large galaxies than predicted by models of galaxy formation. But now, two groups of astronomers have found evidence for not just a sufficient number of satellite galaxies to satisfy the simulations—but too many. “Maybe we’ve oversolved the problem,” says Marcel Pawlowski, an astronomer at the Leibniz Institute for...
  • Earth-sized Planet Orbiting the Most Common Star in the Galaxy Found Hanging out in Our Cosmic Back Yard

    05/22/2024 7:45:46 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 23 replies
    The Debrief ^ | May 22, 2024 | Christopher Plain
    Scientists using the SPECULOOS (Search for Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars) telescope network have reported the discovery of an Earth-sized planet orbiting the most common star type in the galaxy a mere 55 light years away. Given that the farthest star ever spotted by human scientists lies over 9 billion light-years from Earth, this newly discovered rocky world is one of the closest such space bodies ever spotted. Dubbed SPECULOOS-3 b, the planet orbits an ultracool red dwarf star, the most common star in the Milky Way galaxy. This type of star can live 100 times longer than our Sun, making...
  • This NASA-Funded Pulsed Plasma Propulsion System Could Carry Humans to Mars In Just Two Months

    05/21/2024 11:37:55 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 39 replies
    The Debrief ^ | May 21, 2024 | Micah Hanks
    A groundbreaking new pulsed plasma propulsion system could soon enable faster and safer crewed missions to planets like Mars, according to a leading developer of novel technologies aimed at advancing the next stages of human space exploration. Scottsdale, Arizona-based space technology developer Howe Industries recently announced that its Pulsed Plasma Rocket (PPR) could represent a game-changer in advanced propulsion for space travel, allowing crewed missions to significantly reduce the travel time required to reach Mars. According to current timelines, NASA aims to send the first crewed missions to Mars within the next two decades using habitat-like spacecraft paired with hybrid...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Aurora Dome Sky

    05/20/2024 12:46:22 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | 20 May, 2024 | Image Credit & Copyright: Xuecheng Liu & Yuxuan Liu
    Explanation: It seemed like night, but part of the sky glowed purple. It was the now famous night of May 10, 2024, when people over much of the world reported beautiful aurora-filled skies. The featured image was captured this night during early morning hours from Arlington, Wisconsin, USA. The panorama is a composite of several 6-second exposures covering two thirds of the visible sky, with north in the center, and processed to heighten the colors and remove electrical wires. The photographer (in the foreground) reported that the aurora appeared to flow from a point overhead but illuminated the sky only...
  • Webb Cracks Case of Inflated Exoplanet

    05/20/2024 12:34:43 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 6 replies
    NASA - Webb Space Telescope ^ | May 20, 2024 | NASA Webb Mission Team, Goddard Space Flight Center
    Why is the warm gas-giant exoplanet WASP-107 b so puffy? Two independent teams of researchers have an answer. Data collected using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, combined with prior observations from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, show surprisingly little methane (CH4) in the planet’s atmosphere, indicating that the interior of WASP-107 b must be significantly hotter and the core much more massive than previously estimated. The unexpectedly high temperature is thought to be a result of tidal heating caused by the planet’s slightly non-circular orbit, and can explain how WASP-107 b can be so inflated without resorting to extreme theories of...
  • Hubble Views Cosmic Dust Lanes

    05/20/2024 7:02:08 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 7 replies
    NASA - Hubble Space Telescope ^ | May 17, 2024 | NASA Hubble Mission Team , Goddard Space Flight Center
    This Hubble Space Telescope image showcases a nearly edge-on view of the lenticular galaxy NGC 4753. ESA/Hubble & NASA, L. Kelsey ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Featured in this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is a nearly edge-on view of the lenticular galaxy NGC 4753. Lenticular galaxies have an elliptical shape and ill-defined spiral arms. This image is the object's sharpest view to date, showcasing Hubble’s incredible resolving power and ability to reveal complex dust structures. NGC 4753 resides around 60 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo and was first discovered by the astronomer William Herschel in 1784. It...
  • Blastoff! Blue Origin launches space tourists for first time in almost 2 years

    05/19/2024 6:00:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    YouTube ^ | May 19, 2024 | VideoFromSpace
    A Blue Origin New Shepard rocket launched the NS-25 mission from Texas on May 19, 2025. Full Story...According to Space.com, the Six people aboard were Ed Dwight, the U.S.'s first-ever Black astronaut candidate; venture capitalist Mason Angel; Sylvain Chiron, the founder of French craft brewery Brasserie Mont Blanc; entrepreneur Kenneth L. Hess; retired accountant Carol Schaller; and pilot and aviator Gopi Thotakura.Credit: Blue OriginBlastoff! Blue Origin launches space tourists for first time in almost 2 years | 11:58VideoFromSpace | 1.77M subscribers | 45,450 views | May 19, 2024
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Jupiter Diving

    05/19/2024 1:11:52 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | 19 May, 2024 | Animated Video Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SwRI, MSSS, Gerald Eichstadt, Justin Cowart
    Explanation: Take this simulated plunge and dive into the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, the Solar System's ruling gas giant. The awesome animation is based on image data from JunoCam, and the microwave radiometer on board the Jupiter-orbiting Juno spacecraft. Your view will start about 3,000 kilometers above the southern Jovian cloud tops, and you can track your progress on the display at the left. As altitude decreases, temperature increases while you dive deeper at the location of Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot. In fact, Juno data indicates the Great Red Spot, the Solar System's largest storm system, penetrates some 300...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - North Celestial Aurora

    05/18/2024 12:48:01 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | 18 May, 2024 | Image Credit & Copyright: Chirag Upreti
    Explanation: Graceful star trail arcs reflect planet Earth's daily rotation in this colorful night skyscape. To create the timelapse composite, on May 12 consecutive exposures were recorded with a camera fixed to a tripod on the shores of the Ashokan Reservoir, in the Catskills region of New York, USA. North star Polaris is near the center of the star trail arcs. The broad trail of a waxing crescent Moon is on the left, casting a strong reflection across the reservoir waters. With intense solar activity driving recent geomagnetic storms, the colorful aurora borealis or northern lights, rare to the region,...
  • Scientists spot 60 stars that appear to show signs of gigantic alien power plants

    05/17/2024 9:23:26 AM PDT · by zeestephen · 35 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 16 May 2024 | Matthew Phelan
    A survey of five million distant solar systems, aided by "neural network" algorithms, has discovered 60 stars that appear to be surrounded by giant alien power plants...Ever since theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson first proposed the idea at Princeton in 1960, astrophysicists have speculated that advanced extraterrestrials might have constructed massive solar energy collectors around one star or more. [Illustration in Comment #1]
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Aurora Banks Peninsula

    05/17/2024 11:25:03 AM PDT · by MtnClimber · 8 replies
    Nasa ^ | 17 May, 2024 | Image Credit & Copyright: Kavan Chay
    Explanation: This well-composed composite panoramic view looks due south from Banks Peninsula near Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island. The base of a tower-like rocky sea stack is awash in the foreground, with stars of the Southern Cross at the top of the frame and planet Earth's south celestial pole near center. Still, captured on May 11, vibrant aurora australis dominate the starry southern sea and skyscape. The shimmering southern lights were part of extensive auroral displays that entertained skywatchers in northern and southern hemispheres around planet Earth, caused by intense geomagnetic storms. The extreme spaceweather was triggered by the...
  • 'Once-in-a-lifetime' exploding star expected to be visible before October

    05/17/2024 9:01:45 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 11 replies
    UPI ^ | May 15, 2024 | Brian Lada, Accuweather.com
    The celestial wonders of April's solar eclipse and the mesmerizing dance of last weekend's aurora borealis captivated millions, yet the cosmos has an even more elusive spectacle in store. Before the year's end, the night sky will unveil an astronomical phenomenon so extraordinary that it eclipses the rarity of both these events combined. A blazingly bright event known as a nova, a light show that happens approximately once every 80 years, is expected to be visible in the coming months. "This could be a once-in-a-lifetime viewing opportunity," NASA said. An animation showing a nova of a white dwarf that is...
  • MIT Astronomers Say They Have Discovered a Planet Current Theories Can't Explain

    05/17/2024 8:27:44 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 18 replies
    The Debrief ^ | May 17, 2024 | Christopher Plain
    Around a star in our Milky Way galaxy, astronomers have discovered an extremely low-density planet that is as light as cotton candy. The new planet, named WASP-193b, appears to dwarf Jupiter in size, yet it is a fraction of its density. CREDIT: K. Ivanov ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A team of astronomers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say they have discovered a distant planet that they can’t explain with current planet evolutionary theories. The newly discovered WASP-193b is a gas giant 50 percent larger than Jupiter, the largest gas giant in our solar system. However, it is only one-tenth as dense,...
  • Boeing Starliner launch delayed to Tuesday due to helium leak

    05/16/2024 7:01:24 AM PDT · by Salman · 35 replies
    Space Daily ^ | May 15, 2024 | Doug Cunningham
    Boeing's Starliner flight to the International Space Station was delayed again due to a helium leak. NASA, Boeing and the United Launch Alliance said in a statemen Tuesday that the launch date will now come no earlier than Tuesday at 4:43 p.m. EDT. "Starliner teams are working to resolve a small helium leak detected in the spacecraft's service module traced to a flange on a single reaction control system thruster. Helium is used in spacecraft thruster systems to allow the thrusters to fire and is not combustible or toxic," they said. Boeing's statement said that it is working with NASA...
  • Boeing Starliner launch delayed to Tuesday due to helium leak

    05/16/2024 12:40:25 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 2 replies
    Space Daily ^ | May 15, 2024 | Doug Cunningham
    Boeing's Starliner flight to the International Space Station was delayed again due to a helium leak. NASA, Boeing and the United Launch Alliance said in a statemen Tuesday that the launch date will now come no earlier than Tuesday at 4:43 p.m. EDT. "Starliner teams are working to resolve a small helium leak detected in the spacecraft's service module traced to a flange on a single reaction control system thruster. Helium is used in spacecraft thruster systems to allow the thrusters to fire and is not combustible or toxic," they said. Boeing's statement said that it is working with NASA...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Aurora Georgia

    05/16/2024 11:38:39 AM PDT · by MtnClimber · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | 16 May, 2024 | Image Credit & Copyright: Wright Dobbs
    Explanation: A familiar sight from Georgia, USA, the Moon sets near the western horizon in this rural night skyscape. Captured on May 10 before local midnight, the image overexposes the Moon's bright waxing crescent at left in the frame. A long irrigation rig stretches across farmland about 15 miles north of the city of Bainbridge. Shimmering curtains of aurora shine across the starry sky, definitely an unfamiliar sight for southern Georgia nights. Last weekend, extreme geomagnetic storms triggered by the recent intense activity from solar active region AR 3664 brought epic displays of aurora, usually seen closer to the poles,...
  • Hidden in the Halo: MIT Researchers Discover the Universe’s Oldest Stars

    05/16/2024 9:53:05 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 24 replies
    Scitech Daily ^ | May 16, 2024 | JENNIFER CHU, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    MIT astronomers discovered three of the oldest stars in the universe, and they live in our own galactic neighborhood. The stars are in the Milky Way’s “halo” — the cloud of stars that envelopes the main galactic disk — and they appear to have formed between 12 and 13 billion years ago, when the very first galaxies were taking shape. Credit: Serge Brunier; NASA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Astronomers discovered three ancient stars circling the Milky Way’s halo, formed 12-13 billion years ago. MIT researchers have discovered three of the oldest stars in the universe, and they happen to live in our own...
  • The Sun's Most Powerful Flare in Seven Years Just Erupted

    05/16/2024 7:54:47 AM PDT · by absalom01 · 22 replies
    Science Alert ^ | May 16, 2024 | MICHELLE STARR
    A solar flare measured at X8.7 on the strength scale just emerged from AR 3664, the sunspot region responsible for last weekend's solar storms that sparked vivid auroras.That's the most powerful solar flare of the current cycle, absolutely the most powerful since 2017, and comfortably within the top 20 solar flares ever measured.As AR 3664 made its way toward the edge of the Sun's disk, it wasn't just the X8.7 flare on May 14 that erupted from the solar limb. On May 15, an X3.4 flare followed suit, suggesting that the giant sunspot region is going to continue its party...