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Thread: Current Events in Astronomy

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  2. #12
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandora'sParadox View Post
    Nice, Saturn's Moon Enceladus joins Jupiter's Moon Europa as possibly having a large interior water ocean under a frozen water/ice exterior.

    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by calikid View Post
    Cool, Max eclipse a little past midnight on April 14, 2014 here in California. I'm even working outside that night, hope the cloud cover cooperates!
    Reminder - Tonight !

    I hope the weather permits for you (and everyone) to see this. It was 80 degrees Saturday here in S.W. Missouri. High of 40 today and snow. Luckily, the clouds opened up,,,,,for now.
    Amateur Astronomer/38 years - Cliff-67

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    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Eclipse was very clear here in Cali.
    Bright full moon, started to dim about 10pm and near 11pm the shadow started to creep in.
    The evening had clear skies and it was a cool 60F. Very comfortable for star gazing.
    Full eclipse just after Midnight.
    Not nearly as "Blood" colored from my vantage point as the media hyped it, but still an awesome sight.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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    Senior Member majicbar's Avatar
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    NASA says next generation space telescopes will not tell us much more about this planet. I wonder if a giant telescope on the moon would do better, I would like to see that in mankind's future.

  7. #17
    This news may be worthy of it's own thread!

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    This news may be worthy of it's own thread!
    I believe you are correct! It is important news.


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    Senior Member majicbar's Avatar
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    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ch...y-quartet.html

    Professional and Amateur Astronomers Join Forces
    Long before the term "citizen science" was coined, the field of astronomy has benefited from countless men and women who study the sky in their spare time. These amateur astronomers devote hours exploring the cosmos through a variety of telescopes that they acquire, maintain, and improve on their own. Some of these amateur astronomers specialize in capturing what is seen through their telescopes in images and are astrophotographers.

    What happens when the work of amateur astronomers and astrophotographers is combined with the data from some of the world's most sophisticated space telescopes? Collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers reveal the possibilities and are intended to raise interest and awareness among the community of the wealth of data publicly available in NASA's various mission archives. This effort is particularly appropriate for this month because April marks Global Astronomy Month, the world's largest global celebration of astronomy.

    The images in this quartet of galaxies represent a sample of composites created with X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, and optical data collected by an amateur astronomer. In these images, the X-rays from Chandra are shown in pink, infrared emission from Spitzer is red, and the optical data are in red, green, and blue. The two astrophotographers who donated their images for these four images -- Detlef Hartmann and Rolf Olsen -- used their personal telescopes of 17.5 inches and 10 inches in diameter respectively. More details on how these images were made can be found in this blog post.

    Starting in the upper left and moving clockwise, the galaxies are M101 (the "Pinwheel Galaxy"), M81, Centaurus A, and M51 (the "Whirlpool Galaxy"). M101 is a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way, but about 70% bigger. It is located about 21 million light years from Earth. M81 is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light years away that is both relatively large in the sky and bright, making it a frequent target for both amateur and professional astronomers. Centaurus A is the fifth brightest galaxy in the sky -- making it an ideal target for amateur astronomers -- and is famous for the dust lane across its middle and a giant jet blasting away from the supermassive black hole at its center. Finally, M51 is another spiral galaxy, about 30 million light years away, that is in the process of merging with a smaller galaxy seen to its upper left.

    For many amateur astronomers and astrophotographers, a main goal of their efforts is to observe and share the wonders of the Universe. However, the long exposures of these objects may help to reveal phenomena that may otherwise be missed in the relatively short snapshots taken by major telescopes, which are tightly scheduled and often oversubscribed by professional astronomers. Therefore, projects like this Astro Pro-Am collaboration might prove useful not only for producing spectacular images, but also contributing to the knowledge of what is happening in each of these cosmic vistas.

    NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., controls Chandra's science and flight operations.

    Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: Detlef Hartmann; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Kind of creepy, almost looks like a doorway... but to where?


    NASA Spots Square-Shaped 'Hole' in the Sun

    By by Tariq Malik

    A NASA spacecraft has made a surprising find on the surface of the sun: a square-shaped "hole" in the star's outer atmosphere.

    The dark square on the sun, known as a "coronal hole," is an area where the solar wind is streaming out of the sun at superfast speeds. NASA captured a video of the sun's square-shaped coronal hole between Monday and Wednesday (May 5-7) using the powerful Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

    The coronal hole appears dark in the NASA view because there is less material emitting light in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum used to make the video, according to a NASA video description. [Biggest Solar Storms of 2014 (Photos)]

    "Inside the coronal hole you can see bright loops where the hot plasma outlines little pieces of the solar magnetic field sticking above the surface," SDO officials wrote in the video description. "Because it is positioned so far south on the sun, there is less chance that the solar wind stream will impact us here on Earth."
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    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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