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Re: The Astronomy Thread PostFri Jan 14, 2011 6:28 am Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1842.html

While searching the skies for black holes using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers discovered a giant supernova that was smothered in its own dust.

In this artist's rendering, an outer shell of gas and dust -- which erupted from the star hundreds of years ago -- obscures the supernova within. This event in a distant galaxy hints at one possible future for the brightest star system in our own Milky Way.

Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostWed Feb 02, 2011 11:17 am Offline
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Mon Sep 26, 2005 6:42 am2906East Hartford, CT
NASA finds planets aplenty beyond solar system

"NASA's planet-hunting telescope is finding whole new worlds of possibilities in the search for alien life. An early report from a cosmic census indicates that relatively small planets and stable multiplanet systems are far more plentiful than previous searches showed.

NASA released new data Wednesday from its Kepler telescope on more than 1,000 possible new planets outside our solar system — more than doubling the count of what astronomers call exoplanets. They haven't been confirmed as planets yet, but some astronomers estimate that 90 percent of what Kepler has found will eventually be verified."

(Excerpted)

This will be so cool! :cartmanoooh:
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Bringing sexy back. (Thank you, Drisela, for the pic! :D)
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostMon Feb 07, 2011 12:53 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1858.html

This oddly colorful nebula is the supernova remnant IC 443 as seen by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Also known as the Jellyfish Nebula, IC 443 is particularly interesting because it provides a look into how stellar explosions interact with their environment. Like other living creatures, stars have a life cycle -- they are born, mature and eventually die.

The manner in which stars die depends on their mass. Stars with mass similar to the sun typically become planetary nebulae at the end of their lives, whereas stars with many times the sun's mass explode as supernovae.

IC 443 is the remains of a star that went supernova between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. The blast from the supernova sent out shock waves that traveled through space, sweeping up and heating the surrounding gas and dust in the interstellar medium, and creating the supernova remnant seen in this image.

What is unusual about the IC 443 is that its shell-like form has two halves that have different radii, structures and emissions. The larger northeastern shell, seen here as the violet-colored semi-circle on the top left of the supernova remnant, is composed of sheet-like filaments that are emitting light from iron, neon, silicon and oxygen gas atoms, in addition to dust particles, all heated by the blast from the supernova.

The smaller southern shell, seen here in a bright cyan color on the bottom half of the image, is constructed of denser clumps and knots primarily emitting light from hydrogen gas and heated dust.

The northeastern shell was probably created by a fast shock wave (223,700 miles per hour), whereas the southern shell was probably created by a slow shock wave (67,100 miles per hour).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostSat Feb 12, 2011 3:09 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1863.html

Nebulae are enormous clouds of dust and gas occupying the space between the stars. Some have pretty names to match their good looks, for example the Rose nebula, while others have much more utilitarian names. Such is the case with LBN 114.55+00.22, seen here in an image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Named after the astronomer who published a catalogue of nebulae in 1965, LBN stands for "Lynds Bright nebula." The numbers 114.55+00.22 refer to nebula's coordinates in our Milky Way galaxy, serving as a sort of galactic home address. :roll:

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostTue Feb 22, 2011 6:29 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1868.html

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has constructed the first portrait of our solar system by combining 34 images taken by the spacecraft’s Wide Angle Camera on Nov. 3 and 16, 2010.

The mosaic, pieced together over a period of a few weeks, comprises all of the planets except for Uranus and Neptune, which were too faint to detect. On March 17, 2011, MESSENGER may become the first probe ever to orbit Mercury.

Scientists hope orbital observations will provide new answers to how Earth-like planets, like Mercury, are assembled and evolve.

Image Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostTue Feb 22, 2011 6:31 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1867.html

The Hubble Space Telescope revealed this majestic disk of stars and dust lanes in this view of the spiral galaxy NGC 2841. A bright cusp of starlight marks the galaxy's center. Spiraling outward are dust lanes that are silhouetted against the population of whitish middle-aged stars. Much younger blue stars trace the spiral arms.

This image was taken in 2010 through four different filters on Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3.
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostTue Feb 22, 2011 10:40 pm Offline
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Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:15 pm5110
I've been too lazy to read up on this thread recently, but I found something pretty cool for astronomy nerds like myself.

Here's a free, open source program that basically turns your computer into a plane-arium. full constellation and star info plus you can view parts of the galaxy from other parts of the galaxy. It's very cool.

http://www.stellarium.org/
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostWed Feb 23, 2011 4:17 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
Pip Tweek wrote:
I've been too lazy to read up on this thread recently, but I found something pretty cool for astronomy nerds like myself.

Here's a free, open source program that basically turns your computer into a plane-arium. full constellation and star info plus you can view parts of the galaxy from other parts of the galaxy. It's very cool.

http://www.stellarium.org/


Pretty cool, PT; thx :D

Here is a pic of the Space Shuttle Discovery on pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida about to take off tomorrow. I know the Space Shuttle is more about space than astronomy, but I thought this was a cool pic:

(You can also see a crescent moon to the left, and under it the red glow of the sunrise):

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1870.html
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostWed Feb 23, 2011 5:42 pm Offline
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Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:15 pm5110
^^^ Cool pic. 8)
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostMon Mar 14, 2011 10:21 am Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
Astronomy: Images from NASA in outer space:

These images show the effects of the tsunami on Japan's coastline. The image on the left was taken on Sept. 5, 2010; the image on the right was taken on March 12, 2011, one day after an earthquake and resulting tsunami struck the island nation. Image Credit: German Aerospace Center (DLR)/Rapid Eye

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1893.html
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostWed Mar 23, 2011 2:36 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
Light Show

A grand ringed planet, Saturn is one of the most intriguing planets orbiting our sun. This image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009 features Saturn with the rings edge-on and both poles in view, offering a double view of its fluttering auroras.

Created by the interaction of the solar wind with the planet's magnetic field, Saturn's aurorae are analogous to the more familiar northern and southern lights on Earth. At the time when Hubble snapped this picture, Saturn was approaching its equinox so both poles were equally illuminated by the sun's rays.

At first glance the light show of Saturn's auroras appears symmetric at the two poles. However, astronomers discovered some subtle differences between the northern and southern auroras, which reveal important information about Saturn's magnetic field. The northern auroral oval is slightly smaller and more intense than the southern one, implying that Saturn's magnetic field is not equally distributed across the planet; it is slightly uneven and stronger in the north than the south.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/University of Leicester
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostSat Mar 26, 2011 3:03 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
Disappearing Act

This swirling landscape of stars is known as the North America Nebula. In visible light, the region resembles North America, but in this new infrared view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the continent disappears.

Where did the continent go? The reason you don't see it in Spitzer's view is due, in part, to the fact that infrared light can penetrate dust whereas visible light cannot. Dusty, dark clouds in the visible image become transparent in Spitzer's view. In addition, Spitzer's infrared detectors pick up the glow of dusty cocoons enveloping baby stars. Clusters of young stars (about one million years old) can be found throughout the image. Slightly older but still very young stars (about 3-5 million years) are also liberally scattered across the complex. Some areas of this nebula are still very thick with dust and appear dark even in Spitzer's view and are likely to be the youngest stars in the complex (less than a million years old).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostSat Mar 26, 2011 3:17 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
Imagining Mars

This composite of three artists' renderings from 1975 was only wish fulfillment for an unnamed JPL artist; however, the landscape and the rendered shapes took into account what was known about Mars that year.

Compared to Earth, Mars is further away from the light of the sun, very cold and very arid, and had a thin atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide but little nitrogen, an environment distinctly inhospitable to complex, Earth-like, carbon-based life forms. "Life on Mars" was envisioned as low to the ground, symmetrical and simple.

The artist drew silicon-based life forms, probably coached by others, perhaps scientists, who had thought about such possibilities. Peculiar saucer-like shapes stood only slightly above ground level, root-like structures reached outward for growth resources; a bundle of cones faced many directions for heat, light or food. Instead of reality, the images embodied the artist's hope and anticipation of what future Martian exploration would find.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostSun Mar 27, 2011 1:34 pm Offline
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Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:24 pm5686The Mormon Homeland
zzyzx 1 wrote:
Imagining Mars

This composite of three artists' renderings from 1975 was only wish fulfillment for an unnamed JPL artist; however, the landscape and the rendered shapes took into account what was known about Mars that year.


Somebody had coral reefs on their mind when they came up with that hypothetical life.

This reminds me of an episode of Gilligan's Island where a probe that was supposed to land on Mars landed on the island instead and the gang was going to use it to final get off that rock. Gilligan, of course, screwed it up like he does all attempts to get off the island, but it was funny to see the "NASA control center" and their reaction to the "Martian Jungles".
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You read it! You can't unread it!
Re: The Astronomy Thread PostTue Mar 29, 2011 10:22 pm Offline
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Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm5070
Well, that was Mars! Thanks for the Gillians' Island info, Triple :)

And now, the first ever photo of Pluto:

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1907.html

^ First Image Ever Obtained from Mercury Orbit

At 5:20 am EDT on Mar. 29, 2011, MESSENGER captured this historic image of Mercury. This image is the first ever obtained from a spacecraft in orbit about the Solar System's innermost planet.

Over the subsequent six hours, MESSENGER acquired an additional 363 images before downlinking some of the data to Earth. The MESSENGER team is currently looking over the newly returned data, which are still continuing to come down.

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
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