Tag Archive: Space


Solar Eclipse ‘Will Be Memorable’ – But Beware

 

 

Toatal Eclipse 3:20:15

 

 

 

” A near-total solar eclipse will occur in the skies above Britain this week, prompting warnings about the dangers of watching the spectacle without taking precautions.

  The eclipse will begin around 8.30am on Friday and last for two hours as the moon moves in front of the Sun. The proportion of the Sun covered by the moon will increase the further north you are.

  In London, 84% of the Sun will be covered, while in Edinburgh the proportion is 93%. The last solar eclipse of such significance took place in August 1999, when a total eclipse occurred.”

 

Sky News

 

Links to much more on the impending solar eclipse:

 

March 20, 2015 — Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse 20 March 2015

Total Solar Eclipse of 2015 Mar 20 – NASA Eclipse Web Site

Solar Eclipse 20 March – The Science Geek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Small Is Planet Earth !

 

 

 

Here is a video that very deftly illustrates the insignificance of man .

Young Black Hole Had Monstrous Growth Spurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A black hole that grew to gargantuan size in the Universe’s first billion years is by far the largest yet spotted from such an early date, researchers have announced. The object, discovered by astronomers in 2013, is 12 billion times as massive as the Sun, and six times greater than its largest-known contemporaries. Its existence poses a challenge for theories of the evolution of black holes, stars and galaxies, astronomers say.

  Light from the black hole took 12.9 billion years to reach Earth, so astronomers see the object as it was 900 million years after the Big Bang. That “is actually a very short time” for a black hole to have grown so large, says astronomer Xue-Bing Wu of Peking University in Beijing. He led an international collaboration that describes the discovery in Nature.

  For its age, this black hole “is really much more massive than anything else we have seen so far”, says Christian Veillet, director of the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory in Tucson, Arizona.”

 

 

   Read more about this discovery that turns previous theories of the nature of black hole growth on it’s head at Nature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astronauts Conduct Spacewalk At ISS

 

 

Published on Feb 21, 2015

” NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Terry Virts completed the first of three spacewalks to run cable outside the International Space Station on Saturday. Carly Marsh reports.
Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/ “

 

 

 

NASA – 5 Year Time-Lapse Of The Sun

 

   Here is the time-lapse video comprised of one still shot of the sun taken every eight hours from June of 2010 until February 2015 as recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory …

 

 

 

Published on Feb 11, 2015

” The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) celebrates its 5th anniversary since it launched on February 11, 2010. This time-lapse video captures one frame every 8 hours starting when data became available in June 2010 and finishing February 8, 2015. The different colors represent the various wavelengths (sometimes blended, sometimes alone) in which SDO observes the sun.

For more about SDO, please visit http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/ “

 

 

 

 

    While this video pays tribute to the fifth anniversary of the SDO and provides some spectacular film closeups of the sun , solar flares , corona dances and more … simply awe-inspiring …

 

 

 

NASA – SDO: Year 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published on Feb 11, 2015

” February 11, 2015 marks five years in space for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which provides incredibly detailed images of the whole sun 24 hours a day. Capturing an image more than once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the sun grow and erupt ever since its launch on Feb. 11, 2010. The imagery is also captivating, allowing one to watch the constant ballet of solar material through the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.

  In honor of SDO’s fifth anniversary, NASA has released a video showcasing highlights from the last five years of sun watching. Watch the movie to see giant clouds of solar material hurled out into space, the dance of giant loops hovering in the corona, and huge sunspots growing and shrinking on the sun’s surface.

  The imagery is an example of the kind of data that SDO provides to scientists. By watching the sun in different wavelengths – and therefore different temperatures – scientists can watch how material courses through the corona, which holds clues to what causes eruptions on the sun, what heats the sun’s atmosphere up to 1,000 times hotter than its surface, and why the sun’s magnetic fields are constantly on the move.

  Five years into its mission, SDO continues to send back tantalizing imagery to incite scientists’ curiosity. For example, in late 2014, SDO captured imagery of the largest sun spots seen since 1995 as well as a torrent of intense solar flares. Solar flares are bursts of light, energy and X-rays. They can occur by themselves or can be accompanied by what’s called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, in which a giant cloud of solar material erupts off the sun, achieves escape velocity and heads off into space. In this case, the sun produced only flares and no CMEs, which, while not unheard of, is somewhat unusual for flares of that size. Scientists are looking at that data now to see if they can determine what circumstances might have led to flares eruptions alone.

  Goddard built, operates and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. SDO is the first mission of NASA’s Living with a Star Program. The program’s goal is to develop the scientific understanding necessary to address those aspects of the sun-Earth system that directly affect our lives and society.

  This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11742 “

 

 

Enjoy !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Horizons Probe Eyes Pluto For Historic Encounter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A Nasa probe is to start photographing the icy world of Pluto, to prepare itself for a historic encounter in July.

  The New Horizons spacecraft has travelled 5bn km (3bn miles) over nine years to get near the dwarf planet.

  And with 200m km still to go, its images of Pluto will show only a speck of light against the stars.

  But the data will be critical in helping to align the probe properly for what will be just a fleeting fly-by.

  Pluto will be photographed repeatedly during the approach, to determine the probe’s position relative to the dwarf planet, explained Mark Holdridge, from the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) in Baltimore.

” We then perform a number of correction manoeuvres to realign our trajectory with the reference trajectory, thus ensuring we hit our aim point to travel through the Pluto system,” he said.

  When New Horizons arrives at Pluto it will be moving so fast – at almost 14km/s – that going into orbit around the distant world is impossible; it must barrel straight through instead.

  One complication is that the seven different instruments aboard the spacecraft need to work at different distances to get their data, and so the team has constructed a very elaborate observation schedule for them all.

  But what this means is that very precise timing will be required to make sure the flyby runs smoothly.

  The closest approach to Pluto is set for around 11:50 GMT on 14 July – at a miss distance of roughly 13,695km from the surface.

  Mission planners want the exact timings nailed to within 100 seconds. New Horizons will know then where and when to point the instruments. “

 

 

BBC News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain-Size Asteroid To Fly By Earth Monday: How NASA Will Watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A mountain-size asteroid will zoom past Earth Monday (Jan. 26), marking the closest pass by such a large space rock until 2027.

  Asteroid 2004 BL86, which is about 1,800 feet (550 meters) wide, will come within 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) of our planet Monday — about three times the distance between Earth and the moon. While this flyby poses no threat to Earth, it does present a rare opportunity to get a good look at a near-Earth asteroid, NASA officials say.

  Scientists are eager to study 2004 BL86 to pinpoint its orbit, observe its surface and even look for moons. The plan is to track the fast-moving asteroid using the 230-foot (70 m) dish-shaped Goldstone antenna at NASA’s Deep Space Network in California, as well as the 1,000-foot (305 m) Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. These radio dishes will beam microwave signals at the asteroid, which will then bounce off the target and return to Earth. [Photos: Potentially Dangerous Asteroids]

” For objects that get this close, that are this large, the radar observations are really analogous to a spacecraft flyby in terms of the caliber of the data that we can get,” said Lance Benner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who is the principal investigator for the Goldstone observations of the asteroid.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NASA Releases Panoramic Picture Of Andromeda Galaxy: Largest Picture Ever With 1.5 Billion Pixels

 

 

 

 

” Using images from the Hubble Space Telescope, a bird’s-eye panoramic view of part of the Andromeda galaxy is the clearest, largest picture ever assembled by NASA of the galaxy next door.

  The Andromeda galaxy is located more than 2 million light-years away from Earth but the Hubble Space Telescope was powerful enough to capture part of it, bringing together 1.5 billion pixels representing a stretch of galaxy with a length of 61,000 light-years. Over 100 million stars were immortalized in the image as well, some of them seen in clusters of thousands.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The impressive photograph raises the bar for precision studies involving spiral galaxies dominating the universe as they number more than 100 billion. Astronomers have never been able to view stars so clearly yet so widespread in external spiral galaxies. “

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery Cosmic Radio Burst Caught In Real-Time For The First Time Ever

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A huge, short burst of radio waves tearing through space has been caught in real time for the first time ever—and it could help scientists work out where these mysterious cosmic bursts come from. Until now, we only knew of these bursts from historical data.

  A team of scientists from Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, has identified the first ever fast radio burst, sometimes known as a blitzar, as it happened. These bursts last around one millisecond and give off as much energy as the sun does in a million years. Zing.”

” This blitzar’s origin is a mystery, but whatever caused it “must be huge, cataclysmic and up to 5.5 billion light years away,” according to researcher Emily Petroff when she spoke to New Scientist. It could be a flare from a giant magnetized neutron star, the collapse of an oversized neutron star, or something else altogether.”

Gizmodo has more

Working Toward A Warp Drive: In His Garage Lab, Omahan Aims To Bend Fabric Of Space

 

 

 

 

 

 

” You might not believe any of this stuff. But suspend your disbelief for a moment and make space for something incredible.

  Let’s start this past summer, when a NASA scientist named Harold “Sonny” White unveiled an artist’s rendering of a spacecraft capable of shooting across the galaxy.

  The spacecraft was theoretical, but the research behind it was real. For years White has been exploring the possibilities of actual “Star Trek”-like travel. He even named his ship the IXS Enterprise.

  There are obstacles, such as forms of energy that might not exist. That’s a problem.

  For NASA, yes, but also for the world’s scientists and Trekkies and time-travel obsessives (not necessarily mutually exclusive groups) for whom “warp drive” technology — once the stuff of science fiction but now generally accepted as a mathematical possibility — hangs like the most delicious carrot on the most spectacular stick in the cosmos.

  The dreamers are out there. They attend space conventions and frequent online discussions and brush aside pooh-poohing issues over “causality” and “exotic matter,” and believe these questions must have answers. You just have to know where to look — because maybe the key to unlocking this cosmic mystery will be found in a place nobody expects.

  Like here in David Pares’ garage.

  You might call Pares (pronounced “PARE-is”) one of those dreamers, though what he’s doing goes far beyond the realm of online chatter. “

 

Read more at Omaha.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geminid Meteor Shower: Dust From An Asteroid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The Geminid meteor shower of 2014 will peak overnight on Dec. 13 and 14, but the shower as a whole is active between Dec. 4 and Dec. 17. NASA is predicting between 100 and 120 meteors per hour for observer’s with optimum observing conditions (dark, clear skies away from city lights). Several webcasts by NASA, Slooh and others are available to watch the meteors. The best time to begin looking for Geminid meteors will be about 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. your local time, since the last quarter moon will rise around midnight. 

  The Geminids are a meteor shower that happens every December. NASA says astronomers consider it one of the “best and most reliable” showers of the year, but the shower actually did not start occurring until very recently (in astronomical and human terms).

  First reports of the shower emerged in the mid-1800s, but at the time there were only 10-20 meteors per hour. These days, it’s more like 120 meteors at the peak.

  Astronomers are puzzled about the number of meteors observed. While scientists have known for a generation about the source of the shower – an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon – the volume of the shower’s meteors is strange given the observed amount of debris.

  The Geminids appear to come from the constellation Gemini, but in reality it is fragments of 3200 Phaethon that cause the sky fireworks. The asteroid has a debris trail in orbit around the sun. Once a year, Earth runs into this dusty path, which intersects our planet’s path through space.”

 

Space.com

 

 

 

   NASA offers more information along with a webchat page and a Ustream link from a telescope at the Marshall Space Flight Center with a live stream for those whose view is obstructed by the weather .

 

 

NASA Geminids Ustream

 

 

 

   Fox News offers a viewing conditions guide as well as a link to Slooh live broadcasts:

 

 

 

” Those who do not have suitable viewing conditions for the Geminid Meteor Shower’s peak can view Slooh’s live broadcast of the event below, which is set to air on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 8:00 p.m. EST.”

  The event will broadcast from two locations beginning with Slooh’s flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics, Canary Islands, and later from Prescott, Arizona, at Prescott Observatory.”

 

 

Slooh Geminids

 

 

” The Geminids are very strange because they hit Earth sideways,” Berman said. “These meteors hit us gently. While Summer’s Perseids strike Earth at 37 miles per second, that’s amazingly fast, and the Leonids are even a little bit faster, hitting us at just over 40 miles a second, these Geminids hit us at only 22 miles a second.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy Of Space Exploration

 

 

Photo: The clearest picture of Mercury ever taken.

 

 

  This colorful view of Mercury was produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER’s primary mission. These colors are not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but rather the colors enhance the chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences between the rocks that make up Mercury’s surface. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Mysterious, Jaw-Dropping “Celestial Event” Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen

 

 

” A sudden flash of light on a dark roadway over the Sverdlovsk region in Russia on November 14 at about 5:40 pm was captured on a motorist’s dash-camera.  The mysterious red and yellow glow suddenly appeared in the sky for about 14 seconds and then faded away.  There is no confirmation of the source of this celestial event. 

  Some local residents have suggested that it was a meteor similar to the one that fell in the Chelyabinsk region in February 2013, which exploded about 18 miles above the earth’s surface, causing damage to thousands of buildings and injury to 1,500 people from broken windows.  No damage or injuries have been reported. “

Western Journalism

A Fly-Through Of The International Space Station

 

 

 

 

Published on Nov 6, 2014

” NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman takes viewers on a quick tour of the International Space Station.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Incredible Picture That ‘PROVES’ There Is Life On Other Planets

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The never-before seen photograph shows a mysterious dragon-shaped organism found in space, which they claim also reveals that all life on Earth, including humans, is extraterrestrial in origin.

  It was discovered in dust and particulate matter gathered deep in the Earth’s stratosphere.

  Its finders say it is a “biological entity” made of carbon and oxygen – the building blocks of life.

  And the scientists who made the incredible find insist there is no way it could have blown up into space from our planet – and so must have originated  elsewhere in the universe.

  It was discovered by Professor Milton Wainwright and his team from the University of Sheffield and the University of Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology.

  Professor Wainwright sent balloons into the stratosphere 27 km above the Earth’s atmosphere to collect particles from space.”

 

Read on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October Skywatching: Lunar & Solar Eclipses, A Meteor Shower And More

 

 

October Skywatching

From 10 To The -35th Power To 10 To The 27th Power

 

 

 

 

Scale The Universe 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Video 9.19.14

Space: Five Awesome Things That Happened This Week

 

 

 

Published on Sep 18, 2014

” Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/ODNsubs
Some interesting things happened in space news this week. We round up the top five. Report by Claire Mewse.

Like our tunes? Check out Stone Ocean’s music here: http://bit.ly/StoneOcean

Current affairs, amazing footage and incredible stories. Welcome to ODN – On Demand News. Formerly the ITN YouTube channel, ODN is your home for the top visual stories happening across the globe.

Like us on Facebook: http://bit.ly/ODNface
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Polar Auroras In High-Definition ISS Time Lapse Video By German Astronaut

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A German astronaut has captured stunning images of polar auroras as he orbited Earth on the International Space Station. Alexander Gerst’s images led to the creation of the Ultra-HD – or ‘4K’ time lapse video, running at 25 frames per second.

  The photographs were taken at a resolution of 4,256 x 2,832 pixels and depict Gerst’s orbit around the Earth alongside his fellow ISS Space Station expedition 40 crewmembers.

  His journey shows the rippling greenish lights characteristic of the electrically-charged sun particle collisions, bright city lights in the nighttime, the different hues of the Earth’s atmosphere and a satellite launch. “

 

 

The description from ESA’s Youtube page provides more detail on the creation of the Ultra High Def video :

 

” This timelapse video was made from images taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst orbiting Earth on the International Space Station.

  The video is offered in Ultra High Definition, the highest available to consumers. Be sure to change the settings in YouTube if your computer or television can handle it for the full effect.

  The montage is made from a long sequence of still photographs taken at a resolution of 4256 x 2832 pixels at a rate of one every second. The high resolution allowed the ESA production team to create a 3840 x 2160 pixel movie, also known as Ultra HD or 4K.

  Playing these sequences at 25 frames per second, the film runs 25 times faster than it looks for the astronauts in space.

  The artistic effects of the light trails from stars and cities at night are created by superimposing the individual images and fading them out slowly.

  Alexander Gerst is a member of the International Space Station Expedition 40 crew. He is spending five and a half months living and working on the ISS for his Blue Dot mission. “

 

 

 

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Asteroid To Safely Pass Close To Earth Sunday

 

 

splash

 

 

 

” A small asteroid, designated 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to Earth on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014.  At the time of closest approach, based on current calculations to be about 2:18 p.m. EDT (11:18 a.m. PDT / 18:18 UTC), the asteroid will be roughly over New Zealand.  From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about 60 feet (20 meters) in size.”

 

NASA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stratcom: China Continuing To Weaponize Space With Latest Anti-Satellite Missile Shot

 

 

 

Graphic of a Chinese kinetic kill interceptor

 

 

 

” China last month conducted another test of a satellite-killing missile that reflects Chinese efforts to weaponize space, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said Wednesday.

“ It’s very problematic to see China working to weaponize space in tests like this one they just had, and so [it’s] very concerning to me as the U.S. Strategic Command commander, and to our nation at large, given our dependency on that capability,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Strategic Command chief.

  Haney, speaking to reporters after remarks to a Stratcom-sponsored conference on nuclear deterrence, also voiced worries about the recent increase in Russian strategic nuclear bomber incursions into U.S. air defense identification zones near Alaska and close to U.S. territory.

“ I will say that the business of them coming close to the United States of America, we take very seriously,” said the four-star admiral who is in charge of U.S. nuclear warfighting forces.

  The blunt comments about Chinese weaponization of space are unusual and followed the July 23 test of what U.S. officials said was China’s low-earth orbit DN-1 anti-satellite interceptor. It was the latest ASAT test by China that both Pentagon and State Department spokesmen described as a “non-destructive” prototype.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outstanding Time-Lapse Of A Stellar Explosion From Hubble

 

 

 

 

 

” In January 2002, astronomers discovered a massive explosion coming from V838 Monocerotis. They initially thought they were witnessing a supernova, but after the initial flash of light began to dim (as expected), it began to brighten again in infrared wavelengths at the beginning of March. After that brightening faded, another one happened in April. While astronomers were certain they weren’t witnessing a supernova, they weren’t quite sure what it actually was.

  Now the Hubble team have released an absolutely extraordinary time-lapse video of the event. Check it out here, and make sure you go full screen.

  Nothing like this has ever been observed before, making it hard to rule out many of the possible explanations. There are five hypotheses put forward in the literature about what is causing the event, and they really don’t have much in common.

  Some scientists believe V838 Monocerotis was a supernova, just a fairly unique one. This idea doesn’t have much support, since the stars in that area are too young and too massive to have caused this type of event. Another unlikely explanation is that a dying star’s core exploded into a helium flash, like what happened in Sakurai’s Object. Again, this star is too young for a thermal pulse to be the most likely scenario.

  Another model proposes the helium flash, but as a thermonuclear event in which a massive star would have been able to survive. While this does fit within the necessary age of the star, the star’s mass might not support this idea. “

 

Read more at IFL Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NASA Scientists Discover 715 New Planets

 

 

 

 

” NASA scientists announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets around distant stars, including four alien worlds roughly the size of Earth that might be the proper temperature for liquid water to form and, therefore, potentially suitable for life.

  The discovery, based on two years of data collection on 150,000 or so stars by the agency’s orbiting Kepler space telescope, brings the confirmed count of planets outside our solar system to nearly 1,700.

” We have almost doubled the number of planets known to humanity,” said planetary scientist Jack Lissauer at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., who is a science co-investigator on the $600 million Kepler space telescope mission.”

 

Discover more at WSJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Troops Sign Up To Become Mars’ First Settlers

 

 

” For Army Lt. Heidi Beemer, space flight has always been a dream, but that dream seemed out of reach for the light chemical decontamination platoon leader at Fort Campbell, Ky., until she read about the Mars One project.

  Mars One is a program unaffiliated with any government that plans to send a series of spacecraft to Mars in hopes of inhabiting the red planet by 2025. The program is already signing up volunteers.

  Beemer is one of the volunteers selected by project leaders as she is one of many U.S. troops who have signed up and made the cut.

“ When this opportunity opened up to me, at 24 years old, there was no looking back, no second guessing. This is what I’ve wanted to do my entire life,” Beemer said.

  She is one of slightly more than 1,000 men and women who recently learned they made the first cut toward selecting crews to begin settling the Red Planet.”