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|Earth at Night||I'm not sure if this community is active anymore, but does anyone know where I can get a large number of maps over a long period of time (years and years) of the Earth at night? All I can find are the latest pictures with a scattering of a few older ones because everyone is agog over the NASA/Google partnership using the Suomi satellite.|
|If I were the moon|
|Neil Armstrong's Funeral||Streaming live:
|Curiosity, laser, stone, Martians|
|Annular Eclipse on May 20 2012||
May Sunday 20- I arrived at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor’s Center in Twentynine Palms a little after 3PM. There were around twenty folks and a few Park Rangers setting up and preparing for the eclipse that wouldn’t begin until 5:24PM.
One Ranger was using a paper hole-punch to make viewing devices out of thin cardboard stock. The lady Ranger told me she had 200 special eyeglasses for viewing the eclipse and she was hoping it would be enough for those who came to the event.
Two Astronomy volunteers were in the last stages of setting up their telescopes and people began to lineup to observe the Sun and its sunspots; the eclipse was still hours away.
There were folks from all over the world here to see the annular eclipse. I got into a conversation with a visitor from New York State. He came all the way out here to take pictures of the eclipse with his Cannon 7D and this humongous zoom lens stuck to the front.
Around 4:15PM folks started showing up. The Rangers were showing the kids how to work the pinhole cardboard device, which we discovered later, had too big of hole from the punch and had to be redone by poking a new hole with a nail the Rangers supplied.
By 4:45PM there were, by my best guess, upwards towards 400 parents with their kids standing in line to get those 200 special viewing glasses. Clearly there wouldn’t be enough. The Ranger asked that only one pair be handed out per family. I decided to wait so those who never seen an eclipse before would get a pair.
One Astronomer volunteers had connected his scope to a projector for viewing the eclipse on a large movie screen. And at 5:24PM the eclipse was beginning and by 5:30 could clearly be seen on that screen. There upon the table by the projector were a few pairs of glasses left and I made off with one. I held it up to the lens of my camera and started taking pictures of the eclipse. I don’t know if I was the first to try this, I didn’t see anyone doing this before I tried it, but now everyone was taking pictures through them using their cell phones and whatever that could go click.
I went here and there taking pictures and videos, listening to folks laughing, oohing and aahing, wearing those funny looking glasses that made it look like they were watching a 3D movie.
It was mighty fine to see all these folks interested in astronomy. I listened in on one father explaining to his young son about the eclipse; this touched my heart.
At 6:38PM came totality or as close to it as we were going to get from where we were and it being an annular eclipse. You could really notice the dimming of the Sun. I lent my glasses to a young couple from Belgian. They were traveling America and were really excited to be here in our beautiful desert viewing this marvelous feat of nature. I took some fair pictures, but none as good as the ones I took as the Sun and Moon started to set together into the western horizon. I didn’t even need those glasses covering my lens. I just clicked away until the last little speck of light vanished; ending what was a wonderful day.
The Park had a night program that started at 8PM. The Rangers setup two telescopes to view the night sky. Now I was in my element!
|Partial Lunar Eclipse June 04||
At 1:30AM I went outside and got everything setup for the Partial Lunar Eclipse that would be starting in about half an hour. I had every camera I own sitting on the table ready to shoot the Moon! About 2am it started and I was clicking away, trying different settings on different cameras, to get a good shot of the Moon. At 4:03AM it was at as eclipsed as it was going to get. That’s when my neighbor’s rooster started crowing- stupid rooster. I stayed out a little longer and then started putting everything away. I didn’t get to bed until way after 5AM.
My only good shot of the Transit- but I did it and won't have to wait 120 something years :)
The Transit of Venus started at 3pm and I went to Kelly’s house to watch it. Yes and Venus is 60 some million miles from the Sun and 30 million something miles from us on Earth! We live on a wee teeny tiny little speck of dust; the flotsam and jetsam which obit the huge Sun. We got a few picture of the transit with my camera. We quickly went down to Staters Bros. and got some hamburger meat. We got back and continued to view the transit and take pics until sunset. Then we watched it on NASA TV using my iPad. I had to make a special run back to Staters because the butcher put way too much seasoning in the hamburger meat which made it unfit to eat. Kelly made some mighty fine cheeseburgers, she's a fantastic cook! This day was among one of the best days of my life!
|NEO Just Found||Hi! I'm brand spanking new to this comm, but I come with a little bit of awesome. Found this on Yahoo! News and I thought I'd share: NEO Found In The Last Couple of Days!. Hope you enjoy it!
Love and cherries,
|Venus Transit - 2012||I knew when the transit was supposed to occur, so I was set up and ready to go. There was about a 15 second break/thinness in the clouds, and I took 6 photos.
I really didn't think I had gotten anything.
Oh me of little faith.
This is cropped down and the itty bitty dot that is Venus is a bit difficult to discern, but it's on the bottom left curve of the sun.
Also, the reason the photo is bluish in color, is stack of filters to prevent my retina from being burned out. That's why I thought I hadn't gotten anything, the images on the screen looked like a bright spot on a dark background, with no details. Should have known to check on the big screens first.
|Astronomy of Middle Earth - free online talk tonight||Are you ready to geek out on two levels? Have you celebrated Global Astronomy Month yet? Did you even know that this *is* Global Astronomy Month?
Either way, you should join Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Astronomy and published member of the Tolkien Society, for her free online talk on The Astronomy of Tolkien's Middle Earth.
The talk is today at 7:00pm Eastern (23:00 UT). Follow this link to register:
You could even win a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate "door" prize!
The talk is sponsored by Citizen Sky.
|2CA vs Stellarium||Does anyone know if 2CA is compatible with Linux? I have Stellarium, but it doesn't seem to work in the same way...maybe I'm just not use to it...? Any insights?! Thank you!|
|WOW this community is quiet||Can´t believe no one posted THIS yet!
Also, I´m particulary interested in this part of the article, but I´m not following what it´s saying about how the method of detecting planets works:
Confirmation of a planet, however, requires additional observations, usually of its star’s wobbles as it gets tugged by the planet going around. The gravitational pull of planets as small as the Earth on their parent star is too small to measure with the current spectrographs. And so the astronomers resorted to a statistical method called Blender, developed by Dr. Fressin and Guillermo Torres of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, in which millions of computer simulations of background stars try to mimic the Kepler signal. They concluded that Kepler 20e was 3,400 times more likely to be a planet than background noise, while the odds in favor Kepler 20f being real were 1,370 to 1.
Someone can clarify this for me? Please and thank you!
|January skywatching||January Skywatching Events|
|An odd question of sorts||Kind of an odd question/request here...but I'm interested in adding some friends who are either students or teachers of astronomy or who work in the field of astronomy (cosmology and astrophysics will work too), and write about your experiences involved with astronomy (cosmology or astrophysics) in your journal. I've been working on my second novel over the past year, and several of my characters are either students or teachers of astronomy or work in the field of astronomy. I'm not looking to use your likeness in any way, shape, or form! I'd just like to get into the head of someone who works closely in the field or academic setting so I can fine tune some details :) Anyone involved with SETI would be ideal as well! Thank You!
Here are links to my profile and journal intro so you get an idea of who I am before you decide to let me read your journal (and, of course, I will add you back as a friend so you can have full access to my entries as well :)
Profile and Journal
|Aurora polaris 26.09.2011|
|Just had to share this one!||Sometimes you photograph such a pretty scene, you want to share it with the world!
Photo of the eastern autumn sky (Northern Hemisphere). Taken from Stonelick State Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Contains several constellations, but the best known are the Pleiades (upper right), Perseus (center top), Auriga (center bottom) and Taurus (lower right).
The light at the bottom isn't coming dawn but light pollution from a nearby town hitting far off clouds. Makes for a neat effect though!
|Battle for the Planets..||Imaging by 7-Zark-7..
After weeks of crappy to poor seeing, clouds and just plain bad luck, I *finally* got some superior images on par with the best imagers. The new camera - Flea II is very small, yet packs a considerable imaging punch. It took several attempts to master the not-all-that-intuitive software, but the results are impressive.
First, Here's an image of Mars, my first of the new imaging season:
Right now its a mere 4.8 arc seconds across - not much bigger than a decent view of the far more distant Uranus. Even at this diminutive scale, lots of detail is already visible including the (northern) polar cap.
Fun with Jove!
First an image of mighty Jupiter showing the Great Red Spot (GRS), and a transit of Io (shadow + disk).
Now check this out..
(enlarged to 110%)
Jupiter, the GRS and Io - 50 minutes later..
Can you spot Io? Its a yellowish disk about 1/4th of the way from the right limb. Check out the dark brown polar caps on Io. The moon is only 1.2 arc-seconds across - yet I'm clearly resolving detail with my 12-inch scope.
This image totally blows away *anything* done by the largest telescopes on Earth (using film) a mere 30 years ago (including the 200-inch at Palomar).
Got to love the incredible progress of the new imaging technology.
|Birds in Space||For those who did not already know (having spent days reading about it like a fiend), there have been avian embryo astronauts and even feathered cosmonauts.
While hatching in space proved possible, the mortality and deformity rates were high. Furthermore, quail hatchlings were unable to adapt to microgravity, and being unable to mechanically stabilize their position with respect to a feeder, they had to be handfed by the crew.
|UK People||Horizon tonight. BBC2, 9pm.
This is one of those Horizon films that stirs a sense of pure wonder. It's partly wonder at the weirdness of the universe out there - neutrinos, supermassive black holes and so on. But mostly the film is about the new wave of telescopes that are driving 21st-century astronomy - the eyes with which we peer into the heavens. Don't be thinking of a telescope as a tube with a lens at either end, by the way. The instruments here are on a different scale. There's Alma, an observatory of 66 giant antennas arranged in an array ten miles across, high in the Chilean desert. Or there's Sofia, a flying telescope housed in a converted jumbo jet, which conducts infrared astronomy eight miles up in the stratosphere. Or there's the 500 detectors scattered across Utah that look like rusty beds but in fact pick up cosmic rays. In all this you have to marvel at the engineering feats that go into exploring the unknown. And the money involved: Nasa's James Webb Space Telescope, designed to orbit a million miles from Earth, will have 100 times the power of Hubble, and a staggering price tag of $6.8 billion. After watching this film, you may think it's worth it.
|The Circle Is Complete||The date was September 17, 1976. On that date, a brand new and very unique spacecraft was rolled out of the assembly building in Palmdale, California to be debuted to the world. The craft represented a total revolution in space travel, not only being the first reusable spacecraft which would be flown multiple times, but also the first one which would not land via a parachute, but would glide and land like an airplane.</p>
The ship was originally designated to be named “Constitution,” in honor of it being debuted on Constitution Day. However, Trekkies began a major lobbying effort which resulted in the craft being renamed “Enterprise.” Thus, on that date, when the shuttle was slowly rolled out of the hanger, it was to the theme of the show, “Star Trek,” with series creator Gene Roddenberry, and most of the cast in attendance.
|Good, accurate websites for beginners, please.||Hey everyone,
A question for you all. But first, a little bit of background. I am someone who is quite interested in astronomy, but has only a minimal background in it (I took an intro class in college and have a fairly strong knowledge of math and science). My boyfriend is at least as interested in astronomy as I, but has essentially no background in the subject area itself, and only minimal background in basic math up to algebra, and some chemistry.
We are in Mexico, and access to libraries here seems to be reserved for students, not to mention that books in English are rare and I'm just beginning to learn Spanish. So, we would like to do some studying on line (mainly spurred on by his interest, but I'm certainly not objecting).
Now we come to my question! We are looking for a website that is first off reliable, and secondly geared to beginners without being too dumbed down. It would be nice if this website included information on topics such as:
--The size of the Visible Universe (I'm assuming, measured in light years)
--Facts about planets in our Solar System (gravity, temperature, atmospheric and planetary composition, size, distance from the Sun, how many moons etc.)
--Information about black holes
--Information about earth's rotation, earth's orbiting around the sun, and the moon's orbiting around earth, and how those affect us depending on our location on the planet
And anything else along those lines!
Any website recommendations would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance! : )
|How people calculate planet position before Kepler||Does anyone know a software that calculate planet position according to old models (Ptolemy, Copernicus, and others). I would prefer open source software.
Can you recommend a book where an algorithm for such calculation is describe. I need clean and exact description without simplifications.
|stratopenis, grandson of farside||there are Newton's space gun equatorial mountains, which can be used for initial delta-v and height. (Cotopaxi, Chimborazo,Huascarán, Kenya, Kilimanjaro, Jaya etc)
Long balloon reduces drag losses. Not considering safety and ecology, I've got two questions:
what is the best alloy for gas gun withstanding hydrogen embrittlement? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_embrittlement
to close the hole in the balloon what is the best cryoglue working at -55 -90 degrees celsius and 20-40 km height?
in case of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ChimborazoTungurahua_ETM_20010916.jpg it becomes something like drogue arch, with a little problem: the right volcano is still erupting
|Time Travel Vol1||
Time Travel is one of the most wondrous concepts in modern times. Scientists from around the world are working on it day and night. But this is no walk in the park. The discovery of a method to time travel can change many things. So it is in the top of to-do list of scientists.
|Some speculations on the accretion of the earth||I hope everyone will bear with me as I bring up some random theories and facts about how and when the earth was formed.
About a month ago, I was climbing up the side of a mountain, and I wondered where all these mountains came from. The answers is that they come from volcanic and tectonic processes, which are fueled by radioactivity. I knew this, but I wanted to start looking at the mathematics behind it. How much heat does radioactive decay actually produce?
I found the formula for radioactive heat, and it is actually quite simple. For each electronvolt per mole, 96.500 Joules of heat are produced. (or 100,000 -- if you want to work with round numbers). Or, if you prefer, 12 Food Calories. Since radioactive decays are usually on the order of a million electronvolts, that means that each mole of a substance that undergoes radioactive decay produces 100,000,000,000 Joules of heat, or 12,000,000 food calories. This is a lot of heat.
On the other hand, radioactive decay can take a very long time to take place. The four major isotopes still producing heat on the earth are Potassium-40, Uranium -235 and -238, and Thorium-232. Since these have a decay time of between 700 Million and 14.5 Billion years, the heat they produce is getting released very slowly. While the mathematics of heat production are simple enough, the mathematics of heat dissipation involve calculus and knowledge of what the makeup of the earth's mantle and crust is. And yet, I somewhat believe that the heat from just those four isotopes might not have been able to fuel tectonic processes.
And this is why I am writing about all this geology in an astronomy community. The amount of heat that we see in our world might mean that our planet formed quickly enough for the heat of some much shorter lived isotopes to be trapped. For example, Curium-247 has a half life of 15 million years. And even further down, Iron-60 has a half-life of 2.6 million years. And since even a supernova produces very little actinides in comparison to how much iron it produces, much of the heat of the earth might come from that radioactive iron.
Which means that the entire time between the supernova that produced the radioactive materials in the earth, and the accretion of the earth into a volume big enough to trap that heat would have had to have been while there was still measurable amounts of Iron-60 left...within 10-15 million years. In astronomical terms, that is a pretty short amount of time. It could also be that the earth is somewhat unique in this regard, and planetary systems that are formed quickly enough to trap radioactivity into heat and have plate tectonics and vulcanism might be rare.
So...that is it in a nutshell. Any questions? I glossed over some things in my explanation.