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Articles tagged with: astronomy

Written By: grant on April 6, 2014 No Comment
Science Art: <i>Hubble Views Stellar Genesis in the Southern Pinwheel</i>


Click to embiggen

This is a galaxy named M83, which is usually a faint smudge in the constellation Hydra. Up close, however, Hubble Space Telescope was able to see that it’s “ablaze with star formation.”

The image is also cool for another reason:

This image is being used to support a citizen science project titled STAR DATE: M83. [...]

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Written By: grant on March 30, 2014 No Comment
Science Art: <i>Portrait of John Kepler</i>, 1854

This is the face of the man who was ROBBED by the third episode of Cosmos. Planetary motion? Elliptical orbits? Not Newton’s ideas – this guy’s.

And the story of how he figured them out is pretty darn interesting. See, Kepler was a divinity student with a really fascinating theology….

This image comes from The Illustrated Magazine of [...]

Written By: grant on March 26, 2014 No Comment

If you never thought cosmic loneliness was a computing problem, think again. In Popular Mechanics, SETI leader Seth Shostak says Moore’s Law means we’ll find aliens in the next 20 years:

If you’re trying to determine when we’re going to succeed with SETI, that really depends on only two questions. First, how many societies are out there broadcasting signals [...]

Written By: grant on March 23, 2014 No Comment
Science Art: <i>Nebulae in the Pleiades</i>, by the Yerkes Observatory

Click to embiggen

This is an old photograph taken through the largest refracting telescope (no mirrors, just a really big lens) in the world, the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin.

Edwin Hubble, Albert Einstein and Carl Sagan all looked at the sky through the observatory’s huge lenses. This image was taken sometime before 1919, when it appeared in National Geographic [...]

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Written By: grant on March 18, 2014 No Comment

Nature tries to see what was behind the comet that killed the dinosaurs – and other mass extinctions that seem to happen every 35 million years. One guess: Our solar system passes through a disk of dark matter that knocks meteors and comets into our planet:

Meteorites regularly pepper Earth’s surface. Thirty years ago, physicists suggested that this bombardment [...]

Written By: grant on March 2, 2014 No Comment
Science Art: <i>An X-class Solar Flare</i>, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A scientific visualization from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio, who have this to say about it:

An X-class solar flare erupted on the left side of the sun on the evening of Feb. 24, 2014. This composite image shows the sun in ultraviolet light with wavelength of both 131 and 171 Angstroms.

“X-class” means as powerful as solar flares get. [...]

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Written By: grant on February 27, 2014 No Comment

PhysOrg has the skinny on ESA’s Gaia telescope and its quest to catalogue a billion stars:

Gaia will be able to discern objects up to 400,000 times dimmer than those visible to the naked eye. The positional accuracy of its measurements are akin to measuring the width of a human hair at a distance of 500 km.

The process will involve [...]

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Written By: grant on January 23, 2014 No Comment

SONG: “The Impossible One” (To download: double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “Earth-mass exoplanet is no Earth twin,” Nature, 6 January 2014, as used in the post “Earth-like planets might not be so Earth-like… as gassy Earth shows” (with a dash of “The impossible planet” sprinkled on for seasoning).

ABSTRACT: Singing [...]

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Written By: grant on January 17, 2014 No Comment

Nature examines he implications of a planet that *should* be a twin to Earth, but isn’t – because it’s a gassy Earth-sized planet:

Not only is the planet too warm for liquid water to exist on its surface, but it also has a radius 60% larger than Earth, suggesting a vast, puffy atmosphere of hydrogen and helium.

“You’ve got a [...]

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