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Articles tagged with: astronomy

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 […]

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 […]

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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, […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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Written By: grant on January 23, 2014 No Comment

SONG: “The Impossible One” [Download] (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

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 […]

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Written By: grant on January 12, 2014 No Comment
Science Art: <i>The Kepler Orrery II</i>

Click to view animation.

A visualization of every solar system discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope as of February 2012 – that’s 885 plaents in 361 systems. There’s a longer version of the animation at NASA’s Kepler site.

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Written By: grant on January 8, 2014 No Comment

SEN has us baffled by a recently discovered planet that shouldn’t be there:

The new world is the farthest out from its home star of any previously found. It is 11 times more massive than Jupiter and orbits the single, Sun-like star at 650 times the distance that the Earth circles the Sun, or […]

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