Discussion in 'Community' started by jp-30, Jul 16, 2010.
So did anyone see the aurora? I haven't seen any pics or heard anything...
....Aurora Borealis?! At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your kitchen?
I am outside a lot during the night for my job, and as I look at the stars each night, there is something that puzzles me.
The zodiac constellations are the ones that more or less occupy the same "plane" as the Sun and all the planets. But as I look up, I see Mars (or maybe it's Jupiter, hard to say) at about a 60-70 degree angle to the south, whereas none of the zodiacal constellations ever rise above, say, 30 degrees from the horizon, with the exception of Gemini. I look to the south and see Sagittarius, but the planet is a good 30 degrees above Sagittarius.
So how does that work?
You're probably looking at a bright star, all the planets are lined up with the zodiac constellations. Jupiter and Uranus are in Pisces right now, Saturn, Venus, and Mars are in Virgo, and Mercury is in Leo.
I think we all want 24 sex.
Well, I looked at the planet again tonight (and it is definitely a planet), and I've deduced it must be Jupiter and that it is near Pisces. Pisces is really hard to see from a city (as are the other nearby zodiac constellations, Aries, Capricorn and Aquarius), and Sagittarius is the nearest constellation I could recognize, so that's where my confusion came from.
If you want to figure out what something is in the sky you should use this program. Then you can be sure!
My brother and I were all ready to do some serious astronomying this weekend, but our archenemy Clouds decided to pay us a visit.
That's why you need a radio telescope!
But I wanna look at stars, not radios.
I'm going to go Perseid watching tonight. The peak should be in a couple of hours, and the skies are clearing!
Tried to take photos this weekend. Everything came out too dim or smeared because of long exposure. Need a bigger telescope. Donations?
Earth and Moon as seen from Mercury
All the times I've seen Jupiter the spot wasn't visible, I hope its clear this weekend.
I've been tracking Jupiter for the past couple of weeks. It's right in the north eastern sky after night fall, so it's pretty easy to spot.
Canada have a live Aurora cam, but it's not very exciting.
Water discovered on second asteroid, may be even more common
C'mon cheaper launch costs!
Comet to pass Earth Oct 20 at 11 million miles
That pic comes from THIS article.
Direct imaging of worlds. Direct imaging of worlds.
The first night in about 3 weeks that it's overcast and foggy. That can mean only one thing... Leonids tonight
Pluto may have an ocean
Freezing, distant Pluto seems an odd place to look for oceanfront real estate, but if a new computer model is correct, the dwarf planet harbors a sizeable pool of liquids beneath its thick icy shell.
Scientists suspect Pluto holds a rocky core spiked with radioactive materials that are slowly breaking down, releasing enough heat in the process to melt ice and keep it liquid. The temperature on Pluto's surface is about -375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Considering Pluto's size and composition, just 100 parts per billion of radioactive potassium would be enough to maintain an ocean 60 to 105 miles in depth 120 miles beneath the surface, says planetary scientist Guillaume Robuchon, with the University of California at Santa Cruz.
"These simulations suggest that Pluto likely possesses an ocean at the present day," Robuchon wrote in a synopsis of his research presented last week at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.
The idea of an ocean on Pluto may not remain theoretical for long. NASA's New Horizon's space probe is more than halfway through a 10-year journey to Pluto. After traveling more than 3 billion miles, it is scheduled to fly past Pluto and its moons in July 2015.
Scientists don't know what they'll find -- no space probe has ever visited Pluto, which is about 39 times farther from the sun than Earth.
"We are going to an entirely new type of world. Everything is interesting. It's like the first mission to Mars," New Horizons lead scientist Alan Stern, with the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., told Discovery News.
"Clearly if we see geysers like (Saturn's moon) Enceladus, it would be easy to determine that there is subsurface water venting up," Stern said. "It would be a huge discovery."
In addition to surface features, such as cracking in the ice or smooth lava-like flows, scientists will look at Pluto's poles for clues about the shape of its interior. For an ocean to exist, Pluto likely would need to have distinct layers of rock and ice.
"Pluto's shape should reflect its construction," planetary scientist Bil McKinnon, with Washington University in St. Louis, told Discovery News.
Other clues may come from telltale chemicals escaping from Pluto's atmosphere, the result of geyser-like eruptions spewing particles.
"It's certainly possible that a body the size of Pluto could have an ocean," McKinnon said.
Hopefully the radioactive material is breaking down slowly enough that it won't present health risks to the proud new waterfront homeowners.
Well, I suspect, but haven't done the calculations, that we're looking at low enough concentrations of high half-life elements that it's not a problem. Although there IS life in Chernobyl that feeds off radiation, so I'm not worried that it will be prohibitive to life.
No it is not rotating that fast, that is over several hours.
Runaway Star Plows Through Space
That's really quite beautiful.