Category: Exploration


Space Weather.com

by Dr. Tony Phillips.

All Sky Fireball Network

Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth’s atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on Spaceweather.com.

On Apr. 25, 2014, the network reported 9 fireballs.
(9 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point–Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

On Apr. 24, 2014, the network reported 19 fireballs.
(15 sporadics, 4 April Lyrids)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point–Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

Near Earth Asteroids

Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

On April 26, 2014 there were 1466 potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:

Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2014 GG49
Apr 19
3.9 LD
31 m
2014 HP2
Apr 24
3.8 LD
15 m
2014 HU2
Apr 25
3.7 LD
22 m
2014 HM4
Apr 25
1.6 LD
18 m
2014 HW
Apr 27
2.1 LD
10 m
2007 HB15
Apr 28
6.7 LD
12 m
2014 HL2
Apr 28
8.8 LD
26 m
2014 HV2
Apr 29
1.4 LD
33 m
2010 JO33
May 17
4 LD
43 m
2005 UK1
May 20
36.7 LD
1.1 km
1997 WS22
May 21
47.1 LD
1.5 km
2002 JC
May 24
48.7 LD
1.4 km

Notes: LD means “Lunar Distance.” 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU. MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.

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March 31, 2014

Organic Ejecta –Clues to Violent Events in the History of the Universe

 

Pinwheel_Spitzer

 

Exploding stars, random impacts involving comets and meteorites, and even near misses between two bodies can create regions of great heat and high pressure. Researchers from Imperial College London have now developed a method for analysing the pressure experienced by tiny samples of organic material that may have been ejected from dying stars before making a long journey through the cosmos. The researchers have investigated a type of aromatic hydrocarbon called dimethylnaphthalene, which should enable them to identify violent events in the history of the universe.

The team also believe that their new technique could be applied on Mars, potentially using the existing technology on-board roving laboratories such as the one on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission to glean information about sources of organic matter on the red planet. Recognising the pressures recorded in the aromatic hydrocarbons can help to reveal whether it came from processes generated from ancient living organisms.Samples of dimethylnaphthalene are found in meteorites. Previously, scientists have only had the ability to investigate how they have been affected by heat. The Imperial researchers say their method for detecting periods when dimethylnaphthalenes have experienced high pressure will now allow for a much more comprehensive analysis of organic materials.

 

Read More Here

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Universe Today

Now’s the Time to See Asteroid Pallas at its Best

by David Dickinson on February 18, 2014

2 Pallas

Images of 2 Pallas taken by Hubble (right) and a simulation (left) of the surface. Credit: NASA/JPL.

Looking for something off of the beaten celestial path to observe? The coming weeks will offer telescope users a rare chance to catch a well known asteroid, as it puts on its best show for over two decades.

Over the coming weeks, 2 Pallas, one of the “big four” asteroids – or do you say minor/dwarf planet/planetoid? – reaches a favorable observing point known as opposition. Gliding northward through the constellations of Hydra and Sextans through February and March 2014, 2 Pallas presents a favorable binocular challenge for both northern and southern hemisphere observers as it rises to the east opposite to the setting Sun and transits the local meridian around midnight.

And although 2 Pallas reaches opposition roughly every 16 months as seen from our Earthly vantage point, 2014 provides a chance to catch it under exceptional circumstances. And to top it off, the other “Big 4” asteroids – 1 Ceres, 3 Juno and 4 Vesta – are all currently visible as well and reach opposition in the January through April time frame.

Pallas HST

2 Pallas as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA

Pallas and its brethren also have a checkered history though the course of 19th century astronomy.  The second minor planet to be discovered, Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers spied 2 Pallas near opposition on the night of March 28th, 1802. Olbers made this discovery observing from his home rooftop observatory in Bremen, Germany using a five foot – telescopes were often measured in focal length rather than aperture in those days – Dollond refractor.

Olbers discovered 2 Pallas on the border of the astronomical constellations of Virgo and Coma Berenices shining at magnitude +7.5.

Pallas orbit

A simulation of the orbit of 2 Pallas near opposition this month. Credit: NASA/JPL Horizons.

If the name Olbers sounds familiar, it’s because he also lent it to the paradox that now bears his name. Obler’s paradox was one of the first true questions in cosmology posed in a scientific framework that asked: if the universe is actually infinite in time and space, then why isn’t the sky infinitely bright? And, on a curious side note, it was American horror author Edgar Allan Poe that delivered the answer.

But now back to our solar system. Olbers also discovered 4 Vesta just five years after Pallas.

He was definitely on a roll. The discoveries of these space rocks also grabbed the attention of Olbers contemporary, Johann Bode. Bode had formulated a law now known as the Titus-Bode Law that seemed to put the spacing of then known bodies of the solar system in tidy order. In fact, the Titus-Bode law seemed to predict that a body should lie between Mars and Jupiter, and for a brief time in the 18th century — and again in 2006 when the International Astronomical Union let Eris and Pluto in the door before kicking them back out — Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta were all considered planets.

Read More Here

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Universe Today

A mosaic of two wide field images taken from the Nevada desert, with the view stretching from Cepheus to the Milky Way core in Sagittarius. Credit and copyright: Tanja Sund. A mosaic of two wide field images taken from the Nevada desert, with the view stretching from Cepheus to the Milky Way core in Sagittarius. Credit and copyright: Tanja Sund.

This gorgeous view of the Milky Way was taken by astrophotographer Tanja Sund during a trip to the desert in Nevada. Made from just two images, this long exposure (180 seconds) mosaic has incredible detail and stunning clarity. You seriously need to click on this image to see a larger version!

Read More Here

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Milky Way Galaxy May Have Formed Inside-Out, Study

Jan 21, 2014 by Sci-News.com

Our Milky Way Galaxy formed by expanding out from the center, suggests analysis of first data from the Gaia-ESO survey – the ground-based extension to the Gaia space mission, launched by the European Space Agency at the end of 2013.

Radial metallicity gradients and age-metallicity relation of stars in the Milky Way disk. Image credit: University of Cambridge.

Radial metallicity gradients and age-metallicity relation of stars in the Milky Way disk. Image credit: University of Cambridge.

The astronomers involved with the Gaia-ESO project took detailed observations of stars with a wide range of ages and locations in the Galactic disc to accurately determine their ‘metallicity’: the amount of chemical elements in a star other than hydrogen and helium, the two elements most stars are made from.

Immediately after the Big Bang, the Universe consisted almost entirely of hydrogen and helium, with levels of “contaminant metals” growing over time. Consequently, older stars have fewer elements in their make-up – so have lower metallicity.

“The different chemical elements of which stars are made are created at different rates – some in massive stars which live fast and die young, and others in sun-like stars with more sedate multi-billion-year lifetimes,” said Prof Gerry Gilmore from the University of Cambridge, who is a co-author of the paper submitted to the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics (arXiv.org version).

Massive stars, which have short lives and die as ‘core-collapse supernovae’, produce huge amounts of magnesium during their explosive death throes. This catastrophic event can form a neutron star or a black hole, and even trigger the formation of new stars.

Read More Here

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Published time: January 16, 2014 20:50
image from www.eso.org

image from http://www.eso.org

Scientists discovered three new planets orbiting stars in a cluster about 2,500 light years from Earth. Remarkably, among them they found an exoplanet orbiting a star which is almost identical to our own Sun in all respects.

The fascinating find was made by astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany. They have been monitoring 88 promising-looking stars in a formation called Messier 67 for the past six years. Messier 67 is a cluster of about 500 stars in the constellation of Cancer.

The discovery is so exciting because it is the first time astronomers have found an exoplanet orbiting a star which is almost identical to our sun, in a cluster of stars. The star, similar to the sun in mass, temperature and chemical composition, was named YBP1194.

The second planet that was discovered is also orbiting a star similar to the Sun. The third one is circling a more massive and evolved red giant star.

Read More Here

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Spaceweather.com

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON UPDATE:

by Dr. Tony Phillips.

The payload of a space weather balloon launched Jan. 8th by the students of Earth to Sky Calculus has been recovered from its landing site in Death Valley National Park. The purpose of the flight was to study a solar radiation storm in progress at the time of the launch. Analyzing the data may take a few days. Meanwhile, here is the view from the stratosphere:

These pictures were taken by a pair of Hero3+ cameras looking out of the payload capsule. The upper frame shows the Sierra Nevada mountain range, unusually brown for this time of year as California endures a historic drought. The lower frame captures the balloon popping at an altitude of approximately 100,000 feet. Click on each frame for a closer look. The landscape shot was made using the Hero3+’s new “superview mode”–a favorite of snowboarders and now, for the first time, balloonists!

In addition to cameras, the payload contained an x-ray/gamma-ray dosimeter, a GPS altimeter, and a cryogenic thermometer. Together these instruments can form a complete thermal and radiation profile of the atmosphere throughout the flight. The students plan to pay special attention to data collected at aviation altitudes to learn how much radiation air travelers absorb during periods of high solar activity.

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BPEarthWatch BPEarthWatch

 

Published on Dec 10, 2013

 
 
 

Published on Dec 9, 2013

Lovejoy’s Tail suffers a disconnect.

 
…..
 

NBC News/science

Geminid meteor shower set to peak, but moon might curtail viewing

Dec. 9, 2013 at 6:26 PM ET

Geminid

SkyandTelescope.com
This chart shows the radiant point for the Geminid meteor shower.

This week marks the peak of what is usually considered the most satisfying of all annual meteor displays: the Geminid meteor shower.

As was the case with last month’s Leonid meteor shower, however, prospective skywatchers should be aware that once again, observers will face a major obstacle in their attempt to see this year’s Geminid performance, namely, the moon.

Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the moon will turn full on Dec. 17, and as such, will seriously hamper viewing the peak of the Geminids, predicted to occur in the overnight hours of this Friday to Saturday. Bright moonlight will flood the sky through much of that night, playing havoc with any serious attempts to observe the usually spectacular meteor shower. [See amazing photos of the 2012 Geminid meteor shower]

The Geminids are already around, having been active only in a very weak and scattered form since about Dec. 7. Geminid activity is expected to be on an upswing in the nights to come, leading up to their peak on Friday night.

Historically, this shower has a reputation for being rich both in slow, bright, meteors as well as rather faint meteors, with relatively few of medium brightness. Many Geminid meteor shower streaks appear yellowish in hue. Every once in a while, a Geminid fireball will blaze forth, bright enough to be quite spectacular and more than capable of attracting attention even in bright moonlight.

“If you have not yet seen a mighty Geminid fireball arcing gracefully across an expanse of sky, then you have not seen a meteor,” astronomers David Levy and Stephen Edberg wrote in their book, “Observe Meteors,” published by the Astronomical League.

Dark sky opportunities
The best times to look for streaking Geminids this year will be during the predawn hours several mornings before the night of full moon when the constellation Gemini will be standing high in the northwest sky. 

Geminid1

Joe Rao / Space.com
l times in this chart are a.m. and are local standard times. “MS” is the time of moonset. “Dawn” is the time when morning (astronomical) twilight begins. “Win” is the available window of dark sky composed of the number of minutes between the time of moonset and the start of twilight.

In fact, three “windows” of dark skies will be available between moonset and the first light of dawn on the mornings of Dec. 13, 14 and 15. Generally speaking, there will be about two hours of completely dark skies available on the morning of Dec. 13. This window shrinks to only about an hour on the 14th, and to less than 10 minutes by the morning of the 15th.

 
 
…..
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Hercolubus. WHAT?????

BPEarthWatch BPEarthWatch

 

Published on Dec 3, 2013

UPDATE. Solar and Quake Links http://www.bpearthwatch.com
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herc%C3%…
Hercobulus would be found in a solar system called Tilo course, that would be closer to the Earth and in the twentieth century prophesied that produce catastrophe of apocalyptic end times , the 11 of August of 1999 .
The writer cited Rabolú supposedly astronomical data considered relevant to consider the alleged threat of Tilo. 4 5 6 These data would be his size, 6 times larger than Jupiter in July and that the action of its huge gravitational field would be the producer of a major disaster. Affirms that Hercobulus is about 500 AU (astronomical units: the average distance between Earth and the Sun, about 150 million kilometers) from Earth and when approaching to 4 AU from Earth, generate a catastrophe. Also mentions that in 1999 and the planet would be observed as a major star at dawn. 8
According Rabolú in his book, Hercobulus would have passed through the Earth some 13,000 years ago, destroying the ancient civilization of Atlantis .
Hercolubus or Red Planet has aroused curiosity in many followers of the philosophies pertaining to the current New Age , however lacks the slightest scientific basis . Rabolú follower of the doctrine Gnostic touted by the late Samael Aun Weor (Víctor Gómez Rodríguez), argues that the goal of the approach is the assumption Hercobulus purification earth aura.

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ThunderboltsProject ThunderboltsProject

Published on Jun 18, 2013

URGENT: PLEASE READ THIS. The video presented here is still in development. For the present listing of credits (being developed simultaneously with extensive scientific review), see our credits page:
http://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2013/…

We believe that this critical analysis of textbook comet theory can have a major impact on human understanding of these remarkable bodies. It can also reach well beyond the specialized science of comets to provoke a reconsideration of the Sun, planetary history, and a good deal more. We live in an Electric Universe, and the enigmatic behavior of comets provides unique insights into the role of charged particles and electrified plasma throughout the Cosmos.

We ask for your help in inviting scientists and other centers of influence to consider the factual content in this film. For the next 60-90 days we will consider all critical suggestions prior to final editing, and we’ll be especially diligent in addressing any statements of fact that a knowledgeable viewer may call into question. Our conviction is that essential facts, now confirmed by leading investigators, will not allow the institutions of science to hold onto theories that, for too long, have been proclaimed as established science.

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