Storm on Saturn!
Full story and more pics here
Storm on Saturn!
Full story and more pics here
This is a great What If, spotted by David.
What if other planets replaced Earth's Moon?
"The simulated photos take into account the distance of the moon from Earth (approximately 240,000 miles) and re-imagine the natural satellite as its own celestial body."
Here's Neptune, click on the link here for the other planets:
Thanks to David for the reminder. Get your bins out!
Stargazers could enjoy a rare spectacle as a bright comet swings into the Northern Hemisphere.
The icy mass, called C/2011 L4 Pan-Starrs, should be visible with binoculars or a telescope from 8 March.
But in the following days, it will become even brighter and could be seen with the naked eye.
Astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere have already been treated to a fly past, with reports that the body was as bright as stars in the Plough.
Full story here
Spaceweather.com give sky maps and much more information.
Dates of special interest include March 12th and 13th when the comet passes not far from the crescent Moon. The tight conjunction on the 12th provides a splendid opportunity for sunset photographers. Sky maps: March 12, March 13,
Visibility will improve next week as the comet moves away from the sun. When it is framed by darker skies, Pan-STARRS should become an easy target for naked eyes and small telescopes alike. Check the realtime comet gallery for the latest images.
Wow, closest ever recorded flyby of an asteroid tonight: (David and Alan)
Feb. 13, 2013
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
MEDIA ADVISORY: M13-031
NASA TO CHRONICLE CLOSE EARTH FLYBY OF ASTEROID
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA Television will provide commentary starting
at 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST) on Friday, Feb. 15, during the close, but
safe, flyby of a small near-Earth asteroid named 2012 DA14. NASA
places a high priority on tracking asteroids and protecting our home
planet from them. This flyby will provide a unique opportunity for
researchers to study a near-Earth object up close.
The half-hour broadcast from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in
Pasadena, Calif., will incorporate real-time animation to show the
location of the asteroid in relation to Earth, along with live or
near real-time views of the asteroid from observatories in Australia,
At the time of its closest approach to Earth at approximately 2:25
p.m. EST (11:25 a.m. PST/ 19:25 UTC), the asteroid will be about
17,150 miles (27,600 kilometers) above Earth's surface.
The commentary will be available via NASA TV and streamed live online
In addition to the commentary, near real-time imagery of the
asteroid's flyby before and after closest approach, made available to
NASA by astronomers in Australia and Europe, weather permitting, will
be streamed beginning at about noon EST (9 a.m. PST) and continuing
through the afternoon at the following website:
A Ustream feed of the flyby from a telescope at NASA's Marshall Space
Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will be streamed for three hours
starting at 9 p.m. EST (8 p.m. CST). To view the feed and ask
researchers questions about the flyby via Twitter, visit:
The NASA Near Earth Objects (NEO) Program at the agency's headquarters
in Washington, manages and funds the search, study, and monitoring of
NEOs, or asteroids and comets, whose orbits periodically bring them
close to the Earth. NASA's study of NEOs provides important clues to
understanding the origin of our solar system. The objects also are a
repository of natural resources and could become waystations for
future exploration. In collaboration with other external
organizations, one of the program's key goals is to search and
hopefully mitigate potential NEO impacts on Earth. JPL conducts the
NEO program's technical and scientific activities.
For more information, including graphics and animations showing the
flyby of 2012 DA14, visit:
For more information about asteroids and near-Earth objects, visit:
And lots more great links here from David.
This is Mars for goodness sake!
It's (roughly) 50 years ago since the first planetary flyby:
Also, Mars rover enters Yellowknife bay: the new images are spectacular, I am told.
The MSL rovers appears to clearly be on the bottom
of an old dried up lake on Mars. The old shoreline is
easy to spot in the first four pictures here....
And look at the odd texture of the rock layers, not like
anything else seen so far.
Here's a close up of that rock
MSL Rover Traverse map
Well. who'd have thought it? You can easily spot a star with 5 planets round it.
I have seen the light! I said this morning that Mercury wasn't there but in fact it's right here:
I thought the 'star' in the top right corner was Saturn and the faint one above the flats, to the right, was Venus, but a look at this diagram:
shows that Venus is much brighter than Saturn, which means that the one in the top right is Venus, and the faint one is Mercury. At last!
Here's a shot I took showing the Moon. I've had to mark where Mercury should be with a black dot because the exposure wasn't long enough to show it. I didn't spot Saturn above the Moon as it was hidden by the window frame.
This from David:
Ice on Mercury; who could have imagined?
Nasa scientists announce they have discovered that Mercury has ice and frozen organic materials inside permanently shadowed craters. Nasa's Messenger spacecraft, the first probe to orbit the closest planet to the sun, discovered the ice at Mercury's north pole:
Oh, and you get one of your best chances to see Mercury on Tuesday. Se your alarms! Regulars will know I've been looking for it for years and never succeeded, but - weather permitting - it's going to happen this time
The Universe has already started to wind down. I don't know why I find that depressing. I mean, it's the least of my worries.
Thanks to David for this downer:
The universe is apparently well past its prime in terms of making stars, and
what new ones are being made now across the cosmos will never amount to more
than a few percent on top of the numbers already come and gone.
This is the rather disquieting conclusion of a new and significant study of
the rate at which stars have been produced through cosmic time.
Full story here:
Look out for fireball this evening and tomorrow evening:
TAURID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is passing through a stream of gravelly debris from Comet Encke, source of the annual Taurid meteor shower. Because the debris stream is not very congested, Taurid meteor rates are usually low, around 5 per hour. The special thing about Taurids is that they tend to be fireballs.
Last night, Nov. 9-10, NASA's network of all-sky fireball cameras recorded 10 Taurids streaking across the southern United States. The orbits of those meteoroids are color-coded yellow in this diagram of the inner solar system: