Repairs completed on Lowell Observatory’s Pluto telescope

Repairs completed on Lowell Observatory’s Pluto telescope

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — An observatory telescope in Arizona used to discover the distant Pluto nearly 90 years ago will reopen for business on Saturday after a year of extensive

Source: azdailysun.com/news/state-and-regional/repairs-completed-on-lowell-observatory-s-pluto-telescope/article_bbab6272-7e13-5a25-9344-7d5d04721e8c.html

Repairs completed on Lowell Observatory’s Pluto telescope FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — An observatory telescope in Arizona used to discover the distant Pluto nearly 90 years ago will reopen for business on Saturday after a year of extensive Source: azdailysun.com/news/state-and-regional/repairs-completed-on-lowell-observatory-s-pluto-telescope/article_bbab6272-7e13-5a25-9344-7d5d04721e8c.html

THE POOR MAN’S TELESCOPE | Modern Mechanix

THE POOR MAN’S TELESCOPE – Mechanix Illustrated (May, 1962)

Definitely an old school project!

AS EVERY astronomer knows, a steady mounting is a must when using high magnification. Generally, to obtain the required steadiness, it has been considered necessary to build a strong, heavy instrument, made with high precision, often mounted on concrete piers. The disadvantage of such instruments, in their lack of portability, has led us to develop the six-inch reflecting telescope and mounting shown here. We feel it combines features especially suited to the needs of the amateur.

Source: blog.modernmechanix.com/the-poor-mans-telescope/

THE POOR MAN’S TELESCOPE – Mechanix Illustrated (May, 1962) Definitely an old school project! AS EVERY astronomer knows, a steady mounting is a must when using high magnification. Generally, to obtain the required steadiness, it has been considered necessary to build a strong, heavy instrument, made with high precision, often Continue Reading

Juno reveals Jupiter’s interior in unprecedented detail

Jupiter’s interior has been revealed in unprecedented detail in observations by Nasa’s Juno spacecraft that show it to be as strange and turbulent as the planet’s surface.

Despite extensive studies of Jupiter’s surface, including its distinctive dark and light bands and “great red spot”, little had previously been known about what lies at the interior of the solar system’s largest planet.

The new findings, based on high-precision gravitational measurements, show that Jupiter’s iconic striped bands, caused by immensely powerful winds, extend to a depth of about 3,000km below the surface. The mission has also produced a partial answer to the question of whether the planet has a core, showing that the inner 96% of the planet rotates “as a solid body”, even though technically it is composed of an extraordinarily dense mixture of hydrogen and helium gas.

Nasa spacecraft reveals Jupiter’s interior in unprecedented detail

Juno mission paints dramatic picture of the turbulence within the solar system’s largest planet

Source: www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/07/nasa-spacecraft-reveals-jupiters-interior-in-unprecedented-detail

Jupiter’s interior has been revealed in unprecedented detail in observations by Nasa’s Juno spacecraft that show it to be as strange and turbulent as the planet’s surface. Despite extensive studies of Jupiter’s surface, including its distinctive dark and light bands and “great red spot”, little had previously been known about Continue Reading

UChicago activities at Yerkes Observatory to end in 2018

The historic Yerkes Observatory is to close in 2018. Established in 1897 by George Ellery Hale, it’s home to the largest refracting telescope in the world, the 40″ Yerkes telescope.

The University of Chicago has announced plans to wind down its activities at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wis., over the next six months and to formally cease on-site operations by Oct. 1, 2018.

The upcoming summer season will therefore be the final season of University activities at Yerkes. The University is announcing the plans well in advance in order to engage with Yerkes staff and nearby communities, including the village of Williams Bay, in considering long-term plans for the property.

More at: https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2018/03/07/uchicago-activities-yerkes-observatory-end-2018

UChicago activities at Yerkes Observatory to end in 2018

The historic Yerkes Observatory is to close in 2018. Established in 1897 by George Ellery Hale, it’s home to the largest refracting telescope in the world, the 40″ Yerkes telescope. The University of Chicago has announced plans to wind down its activities at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wis., over Continue Reading

Chemical sleuthing unravels possible path to forming life’s building blocks in space

400 Bad request

​Scientists have used lab experiments to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space, showing pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.

The latest study, which featured experiments at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), could help explain the presence of pyrene, which is a chemical compound known as a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and similar compounds in some meteorites.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-chemical-sleuthing-unravels-path-life.html#jCp

400 Bad request ​Scientists have used lab experiments to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space, showing pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases. The latest study, which featured experiments at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Continue Reading

Cicero’s Map to the Stars – Medieval manuscripts blog

Marcus Tullius Cicero, born on 3 January 106 BC, bestrides Latin literature like a colossus. The combination of an immense output of writings and a strong afterlife in the schools of late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, means that more manuscripts of Cicero’s work survive than of any other classical Latin author. Only Augustine of Hippo can claim a more fertile manuscript tradition.

Astronomical treatises continued to be hugely popular in the Middle Ages, and are frequently to be found in miscellaneous manuscripts. 

Source: http://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/2015/01/ciceros-map-to-the-stars.html

Marcus Tullius Cicero, born on 3 January 106 BC, bestrides Latin literature like a colossus. The combination of an immense output of writings and a strong afterlife in the schools of late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, means that more manuscripts of Cicero’s work survive than of any Continue Reading

Should We Open Some Sealed Apollo Moon Samples?

 

Should We Open Some Sealed Apollo Moon Samples?

Three containers of samples brought back to Earth by Apollo astronauts remain sealed today. Now is the right time to open one of them, some scientists contend.

Between 1969 and 1972, Apollo astronauts brought back to Earth a total of nine containers of moon material that were sealed on the lunar surface. 

Two of the larger sealed samples were collected by Apollo 17 moonwalkers in December 1972. Three sealed samples from Apollo 15, 16 and 17 remain unopened. 

According to several key lunar researchers, now is the right time to consider opening at least one of the still-sealed sample containers. 

More at: www.space.com/39870-should-we-open-sealed-apollo-moon-samples.html

  Should We Open Some Sealed Apollo Moon Samples? Three containers of samples brought back to Earth by Apollo astronauts remain sealed today. Now is the right time to open one of them, some scientists contend. Between 1969 and 1972, Apollo astronauts brought back to Earth a total of nine containers of Continue Reading

SpaceX is Getting Serious About Its Future BFR Launchpad to Mars

SpaceX is Getting Serious About Its Future BFR Launchpad to Mars

Start in Texas, end on Mars.

When SpaceX does begin sending people to Mars, the last part of Earth they see from the ground — perhaps ever if it’s a one-way trip — will likely be the company’s private spaceport in Boca Chica Village, Texas. And it looks like the company is gearing up to get the facility operational before the end of the year.

More: www.inverse.com/article/41868-spacex-elon-musk-bfr-launch-site

SpaceX is Getting Serious About Its Future BFR Launchpad to Mars Start in Texas, end on Mars. When SpaceX does begin sending people to Mars, the last part of Earth they see from the ground — perhaps ever if it’s a one-way trip — will likely be the company’s private spaceport in Boca Continue Reading

Milky Way neighbours “ripped out” by colliding galaxy

Milky Way neighbours “ripped out” by colliding galaxy | Cosmos

Stars currently orbiting the Milky Way were violently ripped from our own galaxy by an invading satellite galaxy, astronomers have discovered.

When galaxies pass close by to each other, massive gravitational forces fling stars, dust and gas around like a giant cosmic blender. These interactions can dramatically distort a galaxy’s structure and shape, and even influence its future evolution. The Milky Way has led an active and often violent life with many close gravitational shaves; its iconic spiral structure may even be the result of one such tussle.

Now an international team of astronomers, led by Maria Bergemann from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany, has studied two groups of stars in the stellar halo that encircles the Milky Way’s star-studded spiral disc. The chemical composition of these stars was found to closely match those in the galactic disc, providing compelling evidence that they have been evicted from their original birthplace in the Milky Way.

Source: cosmosmagazine.com/space/milky-way-neighbours-ripped-out-by-colliding-galaxy

Milky Way neighbours “ripped out” by colliding galaxy | Cosmos Stars currently orbiting the Milky Way were violently ripped from our own galaxy by an invading satellite galaxy, astronomers have discovered. When galaxies pass close by to each other, massive gravitational forces fling stars, dust and gas around like a Continue Reading

Telescope Building with John Dobson

If you have or even heard of a “Dobsonian Telescope”, you’ll know they’re a low cost, easy to manage telescope. Here’s the man who popularized them and brought the joys of astronomy to many. This unique video shows John Dobson grinding mirrors hand and build the telescope mount and tube. A must for any serious amateur astronomer. 

Telescope Building with John Dobson

Step-by-step making of a Dobsonian telescope.

Source: youtu.be/snz7JJlSZvw

If you have or even heard of a “Dobsonian Telescope”, you’ll know they’re a low cost, easy to manage telescope. Here’s the man who popularized them and brought the joys of astronomy to many. This unique video shows John Dobson grinding mirrors hand and build the telescope mount and tube. Continue Reading

Can strongly lensed type Ia supernovae resolve one of cosmology’s biggest controversies?

In 1929 Edwin Hubble surprised many people – including Albert Einstein – when he showed that the universe is expanding. Another bombshell came in 1998 when two teams of astronomers proved that cosmic expansion is actually speeding up due to a mysterious property of space called dark energy. This discovery provided the first evidence of what is now the reigning model of the universe: “Lambda-CDM,” which says that the cosmos is approximately 70 percent dark energy, 25 percent dark matter and 5 percent “normal” matter (everything we’ve ever observed).

Until 2016, Lambda-CDM agreed beautifully with decades of cosmological data. Then a research team used the Hubble Space Telescope to make an extremely precise measurement of the local cosmic expansion rate. The result was another surprise: the researchers found that the universe was expanding a little faster than Lambda-CDM and the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), relic radiation from the Big Bang, predicted. So it seems something’s amiss – could this discrepancy be a systematic error, or possibly new physics?

Astrophysicists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth in the UK believe that strongly lensed Type Ia supernovae are the key to answering this question. And in a new Astrophysical Journal paper, they describe how to control “microlensing,” a physical effect that many scientists believed would be a major source of uncertainty facing these new cosmic probes. They also show how to identify and study these rare events in real time.Read more at:  https://phys.org/news/2018-03-strongly-lensed-ia-supernovae-cosmology.html

In 1929 Edwin Hubble surprised many people – including Albert Einstein – when he showed that the universe is expanding. Another bombshell came in 1998 when two teams of astronomers proved that cosmic expansion is actually speeding up due to a mysterious property of space called dark energy. This discovery Continue Reading

Why Didn’t Voyager Explore the Kuiper Belt?

New Horizons

There’s a very good reason – it wasn’t discovered until 1992. At that stage, Voyager 1 was almost all the way across the the Kuiper Belt and Voyager 2 halfway through it!

Source: pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/PI-Perspectives.php?page=piPerspective_02_28_2018

From the article – 

“But, perhaps most important is the question: could Voyager have flown by a small KBO as New Horizons will do this December and January? Regrettably, the answer is no, for a number of reasons. First, even once the Kuiper Belt had been detected in 1992, the Hubble Space Telescope (the only telescope capable of finding such distant flyby targets, even today) hadn’t been repaired to properly focus light. That repair didn’t occur until December 1993. By then, Voyager 1 was exiting the Kuiper Belt near 55 AU, and Voyager 2 was near 42 AU. But even after its repair, the Hubble wasn’t sensitive enough to detect KBOs as small and common as MU69, so there would have been no way to find a flyby target—that capability only came in 2009, when a more advanced and sensitive wide-field camera was placed aboard the Hubble during a servicing mission.”

 

New Horizons is the fifth spacecraft to traverse the Kuiper Belt, but the first to conduct a scientific study of this mysterious region beyond Neptune. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Magda Saina

 

New Horizons There’s a very good reason – it wasn’t discovered until 1992. At that stage, Voyager 1 was almost all the way across the the Kuiper Belt and Voyager 2 halfway through it! Source: pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/PI-Perspectives.php?page=piPerspective_02_28_2018 From the article –  “But, perhaps most important is the question: could Voyager have Continue Reading

Signal detected from the first stars in the universe, with a hint that dark matter was involved

Great article from Professor Karl Glazebrook of Swinburne Uni.

Signal detected from the first stars in the universe, with a hint that dark matter was involved

Signals from the first stars to form in the universe have been picked up by a table-sized detector in a west Australian desert. The find also hints at an early interaction with dark matter.

Details of the detection are revealed in a paper published today in Natureand tell us these stars formed only 180 million years after the Big Bang.

It’s potentially one of the most exciting astronomical discoveries of the decade. A second Nature paper out today links the finding to possibly the first detected evidence that dark matter, thought to make up much of the universe, might interact with ordinary atoms.

 

Source: theconversation.com/signal-detected-from-the-first-stars-in-the-universe-with-a-hint-that-dark-matter-was-involved-92427

Great article from Professor Karl Glazebrook of Swinburne Uni. Signal detected from the first stars in the universe, with a hint that dark matter was involved Signals from the first stars to form in the universe have been picked up by a table-sized detector in a west Australian desert. The find Continue Reading

Astronomers detect light from the Universe’s first stars

Via a radio telescope in Western Australia!

Astronomers detect light from the Universe’s first stars

 

Surprises in signal from cosmic dawn also hint at presence of dark matter.

Astronomers have for the first time spotted long-sought signals of light from the earliest stars ever to form in the Universe — around 180 million years after the Big Bang.

The signal is a fingerprint left on background radiation by hydrogen that absorbed some of this primordial light. The evidence hints that the gas that made up the early Universe was colder than predicted. This, physicists say, is a possible sign of dark matter’s influence. If confirmed, the discovery could mark the first time that dark matter has been detected through anything other than its gravitational effects.

Source: www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-02616-8

Via a radio telescope in Western Australia! Astronomers detect light from the Universe’s first stars   Surprises in signal from cosmic dawn also hint at presence of dark matter. Astronomers have for the first time spotted long-sought signals of light from the earliest stars ever to form in the Universe Continue Reading