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A selection of the latest astronomy news and blog posts.
"Our Shrinking Planet" - 69 Years Ago a New Epoch May Have Begun on Earth "Not so long ago," writes Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic, "the very nature of planet Earth suffered a devastating rupture. The break was sudden, global, and irreversible. It happened in the year 1950. Mick Jagger, Meryl Streep, and Caitlyn Jenner were all born before this crack in time.
Why is the Picture of a Black Hole a Big Deal? Yes, a picture of a Black Hole is a big deal. It fulfills our need to see "hard evidence" of what we have known for decades. But wait-the sight of a gothic cathedral inspires spirituality; that of a sunset over a body of water, serenity. What does a Black Hole do for us?
AASWOMEN Newsletter for April 19, 2019 How Work-Family Justice Can Bring Balance to Scientist Moms. 11. Want black women students to stay in STEM? Help them find role models who look like them. 12. Who Was Hedwig Kohn? Facts About The Pioneering Physicist Celebrated In Google Doodle. 13. Female Scientists Respond to Discovery's New Campaign in The Best Way.
2019, April 22-26: The Morning Moon With Jupiter and Saturn The moon moves past the morning planets — Jupiter and Saturn — during late April 2019. The chart above shows them about one hour before sunrise. Check your local sources — TV, n…
April's Lyrid Meteor Shower The Moon gets in the way of April's Lyrid meteor shower, but it's still worth scanning the sky for the chance of fireballs. The Lyrid meteor shower is predicted to peak on the night of April 21-22. Unfortunately, that's not long after April 19th's full Moon, which means the view will be compromised by moonlight.
Pink Moon To Illuminate The Skies On Friday April's full moon, known as the Pink Moon, is set to premiere on Friday.
Heard In the Milky Way - "Spaceship on Earth 3 Billion Years Ago to Pentagon's UFO Chief" Check out today's eclectic coverage of programs broadcast and streamed on the state of affairs on our pale blue dot, signaling our existence to possible exo-civilizations. "FM signals and those of broadcast television travel out to space at the speed of light.
The Moon: The Light That Rules the Night The moon-an object of wonder since the dawn of mankind. It lights up the night sky like nothing else in the heavens, and appears as if it regularly changes shape. As we shall see, it is well designed for life on Earth, while its origin baffles evolutionists.
Photo of the Week From an astronomical perspective, there's a lot to unpack in this sunset photo. First, there's the obvious fact that we're looking at the nearest star-the only one we can study in detail. Second, the Sun's motion across the sky, from sunrise to sunset, is the result of our planet rotating daily on its axis.
Videos: NASA "Space to Ground" ISS report - April.19.2019 A new episode of NASA's weekly Space to Ground report on activities related to the International Space Station:. ** A look at what is on the Cygnus spacecraft that berthed to the ISS this morning: Cygnus Carries Tech and Science Investigations to Space Station - NASA.
The Sky This Week from April 19 to 28 A waning gibbous Moon passes close to both Jupiter and Saturn in this week's morning sky; meanwhile, Mars crosses an open star cluster the evening of April 26. Plan to set your alarm clock early if you want to see the half-lit Moon on the morning of April 27.
The Great Chain of Galaxies - "Crater Cloud to the Virgo Supercluster" "Imagine the beings that exist there!" Is our thought every time we look at the spectacular ESO image of spiral galaxy NGC 3981 suspended in the inky blackness of space. NGC 3981, lying approximately 65 million light years from Earth, is part of the NGC 4038 group, which also contains the well-known interacting Antennae Galaxies.
Messenger Spacecraft - "Mercury May Predict Future of Earth's Magnetic Field" "Mercury's interior is still active, due to the molten core that powers the planet's weak magnetic field, relative to Earth's," said Antonio Genova, an assistant professor at Sapienza University of Rome who led the research while at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Adapting an iPhone for Astrophotography The sky is the limit, providing you're willing to invest a little time for what is a surprisingly low-budget, hands-on project. I bought my first smartphone in 2015, which makes me a very slow adopter.
This Week's Sky at a Glance, April 19 - 27 This evening look for Spica upper right of the Moon by about a fist and a half at arm's length, and brighter Arcturus about twice that far to the Moon's upper left. Saturday, April 20. - About an hour after dark, the Pointer stars forming the end of the Big Dipper's bowl point straight down toward Polaris.
Tipping Point A full Moon pulls excitement from the Earth into the light of travel and wonder, and reflects it back to earth. The opposition of the Aries Sun and Libra Moon is charged with the full power of Mars and Venus, but other players add to the tumult as well.
The Southern Crab Amazing image of an amazing event. You can get a larger version by clicking the image above. ESA provided a link for a much larger image that I highly recommend you look at, it's a little large and well worth the download. Image: NASA, ESA, and STScI.
UNT Astronomy Center Closed After High Winds Destroy Observatory The University of North Texas astronomy department is cleaning up after Wednesday's storms caused nearly a quarter million dollars in damage to the Rafes Urban Astronomy Center.
Videos: TMRO Orbit 12.13 - "How we will survive out in Space" The latest episode from the TMRO.tv Space webcasts: How we will survive out in Space - Orbit 12.13. Engineer Brittany Zimmerman of Paragon Space Development Corporation joins us to talk about the different ways Space wants to kill you.
Tiny star flares 10 times brighter than the Sun On August 13, 2017, the Next Generation Transit Survey telescope spotted an intense solar flare from a tiny star barely bigger than Jupiter. But despite this star's diminutive size, the flare gave off as much energy as 80 billion megatons of TNT. That's 10 times as powerful as the strongest flare ever observed on our own Sun.
New "snowball chamber" may help scientists finally detect dark matter Researchers have developed a device called a snowball chamber, which keeps water in a supercooled state until an incoming particle triggers the water to freeze almost spontaneously. They hope the new tool will help them make the first direct detection of dark matter.
"Octonions" - 'May Harbor Secrets of the Universe' "The final theory of nature must be octonionic," observed Michael Atiyah, a British mathematician who united mathematics and physics during the 1960s in a way not seen since the days of Isaac Newton.
Peer Deep Within the Large Magellanic Cloud Such is the case with this exceedingly deep, high-resolution mosaic of the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Ciel Austral team targeted the Large Magellanic Cloud over the course of seven months between July 2018 and January, 2019, accumulating a 16-panel mosaic through color and narrowband filters.
A new neutron star merger is caught on X-ray camera A group of astronomers has found a new way to detect merging neutron stars through the X-rays they give off. Their observation of a merging pair also matches predictions for the birth of a magnetar,.
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