Thursday, February 28, 2013

What is Armillary Sphere?

Q205: Question of the Day - 28 February 2013 (Week 09)

What is Armillary Sphere?

Answer To Question 204

A204: An almucantar (also called a "parallel of altitude") is a circle on the celestial sphere that is parallel to the horizon. It consists of all points at a given altitude - if two points are on the same almucantar, they have the same altitude.

Sky Chart For The Month of March, 2013 [INDIA SPECIFIC]


Upcoming Space Events in March 2013

March 11 - New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 19:51 UTC.

March 20 - March Equinox. The March equinox occurs at 11:02 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the northern hemisphere and the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the southern hemisphere.

What's Up for March 2013

The first of this year's two potential bright comets is visible for those who can see low on the western horizon and find out which spacecraft is on a 10-year mission to catch up with another comet.

Two Models of Black Hole Spin

Scientists measure the spin rates of supermassive black holes by spreading the X-ray light into different colors. The light comes from accretion disks that swirl around black holes, as shown in both of the artist's concepts. They use X-ray space telescopes to study these colors, and, in particular, look for a "fingerprint" of iron -- the peak shown in both graphs, or spectra -- to see how sharp it is. Prior to observations with NASA's Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton telescope, there were two competing models to explain why this peak might not appear to be sharp. 

Black Holes: Monsters in Space

This artist's concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of our sun. Supermassive black holes are enormously dense objects buried at the hearts of galaxies. (Smaller black holes also exist throughout galaxies.) In this illustration, the supermassive black hole at the center is surrounded by matter flowing onto the black hole in what is termed an accretion disk. This disk forms as the dust and gas in the galaxy falls onto the hole, attracted by its gravity. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What is Almucantar?

Q204: Question of the Day - 27 February 2013 (Week 09)

What is Almucantar?

Answer To Question 203

A203: Falculae are bright patches on the sun that are associated with sun spots or any region which is brighter than the surrounding area on a planet or a moon.

Tonight's Full Moon Is a Snow Moon

Mon., Feb. 25, 3:26 p.m. EST. The full moon of February is called the Snow Moon. Its Cree name is Cepizun, meaning “old moon.” Other names are Hunger Moon, Storm Moon and Candles Moon. In Hindi it is known as Magh Poornima. Its Sinhala (Buddhist) name is Navam. The full moon rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.
CREDIT: Starry Night Software

Skywatchers Can See Planets, Star Clusters This March | Video

This March, the Gemini and Cancer constellations will dominate the nights sky, while the planets Jupiter and Saturn will be visibile through telescopes.
Credit: HubbleSite

The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy is a classic spiral galaxy. At only 30 million light years distant and fully 60 thousand light years across, M51, also known as NGC 5194, is one of the brightest and most picturesque galaxies on the sky. This image is a digital combination of a ground-based image from the 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory and a space-based image from the Hubble Space Telescope highlighting sharp features normally too red to be seen. 

Image Credit: NASA/Hubble

Planetary Nebula Fleming

This cool space wallpaper shows an ESO Very Large Telescope image of the planetary nebula Fleming 1 in the constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur). New observations suggest that a very rare pair of white dwarf stars lies at the heart of this object, with their orbital motions explaining the nebula's remarkably symmetric jet structures. Image released Nov. 8, 2012.
Credit: ESO/H. Boffin

Check-up Image After Delivering Martian Rock Powder

The left Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity took this image of Curiosity's sample-processing and delivery tool just after the tool delivered a portion of powdered rock into the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. This Collection and Handling for In-situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) tool delivered portions of the first sample ever acquired from the interior of a rock on Mars into both SAM and the rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. The delivery to CheMin was during the 195th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Feb. 22, 2013). The delivery to SAM and subsequent repositioning of CHIMRA to present this side toward Mastcam, were on Sol 196 (Feb. 23, 2013). 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What are the Falculae?

Q203: Question of the Day - 26 February 2013 (Week 09)

What are the Falculae?

Answer To Question 202

A202:An irregular galaxy is a galaxy with no rotational symmetry (it is neither spital, elliptical nor lenticular). Irregular galaxies usually contain only 100 million to 10 billion stars. Some are cloud-lie (with no apparent structure) and others are more standard shapes that have been distturbed. For example, the Magellanic Cloud is an irregular galaxy

Saturn's North Polar Hexagon

Saturn's north polar hexagon basks in the Sun's light now that spring has come to the northern hemisphere. Many smaller storms dot the north polar region and Saturn's signature rings, which appear to disappear on account of Saturn's shadow, put in an appearance in the background.

Indian Rocket Launches 7 Satellites at Once

President Pranab Mukherjee watched the rocket carrying the seven satellites take off from Sriharikota launch centre in southern Andhra Pradesh state.The six other satellites include two each from Canada and Austria and one each from Denmark and Britain.

Second SpaceX Space Station Resupply Flight Ready to Go

The second International Space Station Commercial Resupply Services flight by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is set for liftoff at 10:10 a.m. EST on March 1 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. 

Lobster Nebula Seen with ESO’s VISTA Telescope

This space wallpaper from ESO’s VISTA telescope reveals a celestial landscape of vast, glowing clouds of gas and tendrils of dust surrounding hot young stars. This infrared view reveals the stellar nursery known as NGC 6357 in a new light. It was taken as part of the VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) survey, which is currently scanning the Milky Way in a bid to map our galaxy’s structure and explain how it formed.
Credit: ESO/VVV Survey/D. Minniti. Acknowledgement: Ignacio Toledo

Monday, February 25, 2013

What is an Irregular Galaxy?

Q202: Question of the Day - 25 February 2013 (Week 09)

What is an Irregular Galaxy?

Answer To Question 201

A201: A neutron star is a very small, super-dense star which is composed mostly of tightly-packed neutrons. This hard-to-see body has a thin atmosphere of superhot hydrogen plasma and a crust. It has a diameter of about 5-10 miles (5-16 km) and a density of roughly 10 15 gm/cm3. Neutron stars are formed from supernova explosions.

Colors of the Innermost Planet

Credit: Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of WashingtonThis colorful view of Mercury was produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER's primary mission. Image released Feb. 18, 2013.

Hale-Bopp Comet Facts

The comet Hale-Bopp captured the attention of millions when it traveled in from the Oort Cloud to pass near the Earth before returning to its distant home.
CREDIT: J. C. Casado

Hale-Bopp was an unusually bright comet that swung near Earth in the late 1990s, reaching its closest approach to the planet in 1997. It was most spectacular in the Northern Hemisphere and visible to the naked eye for about 18 months.
Hale-Bopp was probably one of the most viewed comets in history. Popular media mentioned the comet frequently. It provided quite the sky show, being 1,000 times brighter than Halley's Comet at the time of its discovery, NASA stated. Its twin blue-and-white tails were easily visible even from light-polluted areas such as Chicago.

NASA Deciphering the Mysterious Math of the Solar Wind

A constant stream of particles and electromagnetic waves streams from the sun toward Earth, which is surrounded by a protective bubble called the magnetosphere. A scientist at NASA Goddard has recently devised, for the first time, a set of equations that can help describe waves in the solar wind known as Alfven waves. Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

World's Smallest Space Telescopes Launching Monday

Cordell Grant putting the finishing touches to the first BRITE satellite at UTIAS-SFL. The tiny nanosatellite, designed to study the brightest stars in the night sky, is one of seven spacecraft launching on India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C20 mission on Feb. 25, 2013.CREDIT: University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies 

Two tiny satellites billed as the world's smallest space telescopes will launch into orbit Monday (Feb. 25) on a mission to study the brightest stars in the night sky.

Hubble Sees a Glowing Jet From A Young Star

This image shows an object known as HH 151, a bright jet of glowing material trailed by an intricate, orange-hued plume of gas and dust. It is located some 460 light-years away in the constellation of Taurus (The Bull), near to the young, tumultuous star HL Tau.

Friday, February 22, 2013

India to launch Mars mission this year: President

India will launch its first space mission to Mars this year, President Pranab Mukherjee said today.

"Several space missions are planned for 2013, including India's first mission to Mars and the launch of our first navigational satellite," Mukherjee said in his maiden Address to the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget Session.

What is Neutron Star?

Q201: Question of the Day - 22 February 2013 (Week 08)

What is Neutron Star?

Answer To Question 200

A200: Nemesis is a hypothetical companion dark star to our Sun. Once every 30 million years, this dark star would pass through the Oort cloud, triggering comets that perhaps cause periodic mass extinctions on Earth.

Venus and Moon Rise Serenely Over India's Ganges River

Veteran night sky photographer Ajay Talwar of the astrophotography group The World at Night took this photo of the moon and planet Venus rising over the River Ganges in Uttarakhand, India in October 2012.
CREDIT: Ajay Talwar / The World at Night

Flight Control Test-2 at ATK

An ATK technician performs one last check on the avionics test article for solid rocket boosters in preparation for the second Flight Control Test of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) at the ATK facility in Promontory, Utah. The test, dubbed Flight Control Test 2, or FCT-2, checked out the thrust vector control system Wednesday, Jan. 30 with the new SLS booster avionics and electrical ground support system. 

Mysterious Math of the Solar Wind

A constant stream of particles and electromagnetic waves streams from the sun toward Earth, which is surrounded by a protective bubble called the magnetosphere. A scientist at NASA Goddard has recently devised, for the first time, a set of equations that can help describe waves in the solar wind known as Alfven waves. Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

The Gibbous Moon: A Skywatching Guide

Some sights to look for on the gibbous moon, which dominates the evening sky this week.
CREDIT: Starry Night Software, source

Star Cluster NGC 6520

This cool space wallpaper from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, shows the bright star cluster NGC 6520 and its neighbor, the strangely shaped dark cloud Barnard 86. This cosmic pair is set against millions of glowing stars from the brightest part of the Milky Way — a region so dense with stars that barely any dark sky is seen across the picture.
Credit: ESO

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What is Nemesis?

Q200: Question of the Day - 21 February 2013 (Week 08)

What is Nemesis?

Answer To Question 199

A199: A planetarium is a room in which images of the stars, planets, and other celestial bodies are projected.

Raining Loops on the Sun

On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced a moderately powerful solar flare and a dazzling magnetic display known as coronal rain. Hot plasma in the corona cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region. Magnetic fields, are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, and outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface.

Source: NASA

Cassini at Saturn’s bow shock

This artist's impression by the European Space Agency shows NASA's Cassini spacecraft exploring the magnetic environment of Saturn. The image is not to scale. Saturn’s magnetosphere is depicted in grey, while the complex bow shock region – the shock wave in the solar wind that surrounds the magnetosphere – is shown in blue. 

NASA's SDO Observes Fast-Growing Sunspot

The bottom two black spots on the sun, known as sunspots, appeared quickly over the course of Feb. 19-20, 2013. These two sunspots are part of the same system and are over six Earths across. This image combines images from two instruments on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO): the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI), which takes pictures in visible light that show sunspots and the Advanced Imaging Assembly (AIA), which took an image in the 304 Angstrom wavelength showing the lower atmosphere of the sun, which is colorized in red. Credit:NASA/SDO/AIA/HMI/Goddard Space Flight Center

Smallest Alien Planet Kepler-37b Explained (Infographic)

Find out about Kepler-37b, a tiny alien planet about the size of Earth's moon, in this Infographic.

First Curiosity Drilling Sample in the Scoop

This image from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover's drill. The image was taken after the sample was transferred from the drill to the rover's scoop. In planned subsequent steps, the sample will be sieved, and portions of it delivered to the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument and the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument. 

The scoop is 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide. The image was obtained by Curiosity's Mast Camera on Feb. 20, or Sol 193, Curiosity's 193rd Martian day of operations. 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What is Planetarium?

Q199: Question of the Day - 20 February 2013 (Week 08)

What is Planetarium?

Answer To Question 198

A198: The penumbra is the outer, relatively light region of a sunspot shaped like an annulus (ring) surrounding the darker, cooler umbra.

The comets are coming.

There are always comets in the sky, but most of them are too faint and far away to be seen without a telescope. But that's about to change. For observers in the Southern Hemisphere there are two comets currently visible, Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) and Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon).

Spinning Mercury Map From Orbiter Snaps | Video

Thousands images from NASA MESSENGER's wide angle camera comprise this rotating false-color mosaic map. The visible colors are correlated with variations in Mercury's surface spectral reflectance.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Understanding the Magnetosphere Better Than Ever

On Earth, scientists can observe weather patterns, and more importantly can predict them, through the use of tens of thousands of weather observatories scattered around the globe. Up in the space surrounding Earth -- a space that seethes with its own space weather made of speeding charged particles and constantly changing magnetic fields that can impact satellites – there are only a handful of spacecraft to watch for solar and magnetic storms. The number of observatories has been growing over the last six years, however. Today these spacecraft have begun to provide the first multipoint measurements to better understand space weather events as they move through space, something impossible to track with a single spacecraft.

James Webb Space Telescope

This image shows up Webb will be folded and stowed in the Ariane 5 spacecraft. Webb's solar panel is deployed about 1/2 hour after launch to provide power for the mission. The rest of the deployments take place in the next several days en route to L2. Credit:Northrop Grumman

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nicolaus Copernicus - Club Celebrates

Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Thorn, Poland on February 19, 1473. He was the son of a wealthy merchant. After his father's death, he was raised by his mother's brother, a bishop in the Catholic Church. Copernicus studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Krakow. Through his uncle's influence Copernicus was appointed a canon (church official) of the Catholic Church. He used the income from the position to help pay for additional studies. Copernicus studied law and medicine at the universities of Bologna, Padua, and Ferrara in Italy. While he was studying at the University of Bologna, his interest in astronomy was stimulated. He lived in the home of a mathematics professor who influenced him to question the astronomy beliefs of the day.

What is Penumbra?

Q198: Question of the Day - 19 February 2013 (Week 08)

What is Penumbra?

Answer To Question 197

A197: A red dwarf is a small, cool, very faint, main sequence star whose surface temperature is under about 4,000 K. Red dwarfs are the most common type of star. Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 and the Eta Carinae Nebula

This image shows asteroid 2012 DA14 and the Eta Carinae Nebula, with the white box highlighting the asteroid's path. The image was taken using a 3" refractor equipped with a color CCD camera. The telescope is located at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia and is maintained and owned by 

Image credit: NASA/MSFC/Aaron Kingery

Meteorites from Russian Fireball Possibly Found

A group of Russian scientists has reported finding small meteorites from the fireball that exploded over the Chelyabinsk region in a blinding light, sending a shockwave that caused millions of dollars in damage in the city.

Monday, February 18, 2013

What is Red Dwarf

Q197: Question of the Day - 18 February 2013 (Week 08)

What is Red Dwarf

Answer To Question 196

A196: Quasars were called "radio stars" in the early 1960's when they were first detected, because they emit large amounts of radiation, including radio waves.

At Least One in Six Stars Has an Earth-sized Planet

This artist's illustration represents the variety of planets being detected by NASA's Kepler spacecraft. A new analysis has determined the frequencies of planets of all sizes, from Earths up to gas giants. Key findings include the fact that one in six stars hosts an Earth-sized planet in an orbit of 85 days or less, and that almost all sun-like stars have a planetary system of some sort. (Hat tip to Robert Hurt for inspiring this illustration.) Credit: C. Pulliam & D. Aguilar (CfA)

Curiosity Drills on Mars

NASA's Curiosity drills for first sample from inside a rock on Mars.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Outbound Near-Earth Asteroid, as Seen from Spain

This set of images from the La Sagra Sky Survey, operated by the Astronomical Observatory of Mallorca in Spain, shows the passage of asteroid 2012 DA14 shortly after its closest – and safe -- approach to Earth. The images were taken around 12:59 p.m. PST (3:59 p.m. EST, or 20:59 UTC) on Feb. 15, 2013. 

The images have been sped up 10 times. 

In the last set of images, the fainter object that passes near the top of the field of view is a satellite or another asteroid.

Source: NASA

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What is Radio Star

Q196: Question of the Day - 16 February 2013 (Week 07)

What is Radio Star

Answer To Question 195

A195: A Seyfert galaxy is an active spiral galaxy. Its nucleus (center) has bright emission lines, including visible wavelengths. The brightness varies over relatively short time periods (less than a year). They may have massive black holes at their centers. Seyfert galaxies were first described by Carl Seyfert in 1943.

Hubble Sees Cosmic “Flying V” of Merging Galaxies

This large “flying V” is actually two distinct objects — a pair of interacting galaxies known as IC 2184. Both the galaxies are seen almost edge-on in the large, faint northern constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe), and can be seen as bright streaks of light surrounded by the ghostly shapes of their tidal tails.

Meteorite Collectors Race to Find Fragments in Russia

The biggest meteor blast in a century is expected to kick off a booming market in rocks from space.

Collectors are already heading for the Chelyabinsk region in Russia, hoping to find a fragment of the 7,000-ton object. NASA estimates the Russian meteor was roughly 50 feet (15 meters) in diameter when it hit Earth's atmosphere this morning (Feb. 15), exploding into a fireball brighter than the sun.

"This is the biggest event in our lifetime," said rock dealer Michael Farmer of Tucson, Ariz. "It's very exciting scientifically and for collecting, and luckily, it looks like there will be plenty of it."

Russia Meteor Not Linked to Asteroid Flyby

A meteor seen flying over Russia on Feb. 15 at 3:20: 26 UTC impacted Chelyabinsk. Preliminary information is that this object was unrelated to asteroid 2012 DA14, which made a safe pass by Earth today. Image credit: Google Earth, NASA/JPL-Caltech

Russian Meteor Explosion Outshone Sun


Russian Meteor Blast is Biggest

Find out about the huge meteor that exploded over Russia in this Infographic.

Friday, February 15, 2013

What is Seyfert Galaxy?

Q195: Question of the Day - 15 February 2013 (Week 07)

What is Seyfert Galaxy?

Answer To Question 194

A194: The sextant is an astronomical instrument that is used to determine latitude for navigation. It does this by measuring angular distances, like the altitude of the sun, moon and stars. The sextant was invented independently in both England and America in 1731. The sextant replaced the astrolabe. The word sextant comes from the Latin word meaning "one sixth."

Asteroid 2012 DA14 in View

This image from D. Herald of Murrumbateman, Australia, shows the asteroid 2012 DA14 as a tiny speck in the center of the field of view. It was taken just past midnight on Feb. 13, 2013 in Australia (the morning of Feb. 12 in the U.S.), as it headed towards its closest approach to Earth on Feb. 15. The image is an overlay of 12 one-minute exposures. The asteroid is the small dot at the center, indicated by the red arrows. The white streaks are images of stars, trailed because the telescope was tracking the motion of the asteroid. At the time the image was taken, the asteroid was passing nearly in front of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, located 17,000 light years away. The asteroid itself was only 770,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) away, and closing in fast for its dramatic close approach on Feb. 15. At its closest, 2012 DA14 is expected to fly safely by the Earth at about 17,200 miles (27,700 kilometers) above the surface. 

Image credit: D. Herald

Approaching Asteroid

This animated set of three images depicts asteroid 2012 DA14 as it was seen on Feb. 14, 2013, at a distance of 465,000 miles (748,000 kilometers). The animation was created by astronomers at the Remanzacco Observatory in Italy using observations obtained remotely from the Faulkes Telescope South in Siding Springs, Australia.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What is Sextant?

Q194: Question of the Day - 13 February 2013 (Week 07)

What is Sextant?

Answer To Question 193

A193: Scintillation is the twinkling of stars (fluctuation of intensity) seen through a planet's atmosphere. Scintillation in caused when the star's light is distorted by the Earth's atmosphere. Scintillation is greater for bright stars that are low on the horizon. It is also known as astronomical scintillation.

Weird 'Hood Ornament' on Mars


Landsat 5 Sets Guinness World Record For 'Longest Operating Earth Observation Satellite'

Landsat 5 successfully set the new Guinness World Records title for 'Longest-operating Earth observation satellite’ as stated in an e-mail from Guinness World Records sent to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Outliving its three-year design life, Landsat 5 delivered high-quality, global data of Earth's land surface for 28 years and 10 months.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What is Scintillation?

Q193: Question of the Day - 12 February 2013 (Week 07)

What is Scintillation?

Answer To Question 192

A192: Satellites are objects that orbit a planet or a moon. Many man-made satellites and one natural satellite (the Moon) orbit the Earth.

Yarkovsky Effect

This diagram shows how the Yarkovsky Effect slows an asteroid's orbital motion; opposite rotation direction would speed up the orbital motion. Astronomers around the world are preparing to study the close approach of asteroid 2012 DA14 on Feb. 15, 2013.CREDIT: Alexandra Bolling, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Russian Cargo Craft Docks to Station

An unpiloted Russian cargo ship carrying nearly three tons of supplies for the Expedition 34 crew docked to the International Space Station less than six hours after launch Monday. 

The ISS Progress 50 resupply ship docked with the station’s Pirs docking compartment at 3:35 p.m. EST, delivering 1,764 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 3,000 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and logistics equipment --- 2.9 tons of supplies in all. The space freighter launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9:41 a.m. EST (8:41 p.m. Kazakhstan time) on an accelerated, four-orbit journey to rendezvous with the station.

LDCM 'Doing Great' in Orbit

The Landsat Data Continuity Mission spacecraft is safely in orbit and sending telemetry back to Earth after a 1:02 p.m. EST liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket. The on-time liftoff followed a smooth countdown at Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 3.

Monday, February 11, 2013

What is Satellite?

Q192: Question of the Day - 11 February 2013 (Week 07)

What is Satellite?

Answer To Question 191

A191: The Saros is the roughly 18-year periodic cycle of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. Every 6,585 days, the Earth, Moon and Sun are in exactly the same position. When there is a lunar eclipse, there will also be one exactly 6,585 days later.

Cosmic Mystery: Missing Dwarf Galaxies | Video


Star Gliese 667 C

This exoplanet orbits the star Gliese 667 C, which belongs to a triple system. The six Earth-mass exoplanet circulates around its low-mass host star at a distance equal to only 1/20th of the Earth-Sun distance. The host star is a companion to two other low-mass stars, which are seen here in the distance.

Amazing Mars Rover Curiosity's Martian Views

This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of images taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager on Feb. 3, 2013. The portrait was taken at the rock target "John Klein," where the rover collected the first ever bedrock sample of Mars using its drill on Feb. 8.

Hubble Catches a Side-on Spiral Streak

This thin, glittering streak of stars is the spiral galaxy ESO 121-6, which lies in the southern constellation of Pictor (The Painter's Easel). Viewed almost exactly side-on, the intricate structure of the swirling arms is hidden, but the full length of the galaxy can be seen — including the intense glow from the central bulge, a dense region of tightly packed young stars sitting at the center of the spiral arms.

Earth From Space: Landsat Satellites' 40-Year Legacy

See how NASA's Landsat satellite constellation have kept watch on Earth for 40 years in this Infographic.

Ready, Set, Drill

An animated set of three images from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the rover's drill in action on Feb. 8, 2013, or Sol 182, Curiosity's 182nd Martian day of operations. This was the first use of the drill for rock sample collection. The target was a rock called "John Klein," in the Yellowknife Bay region of Gale Crater on Mars.

Friday, February 8, 2013

What is Saros?

Q191: Question of the Day - 08 February 2013 (Week 06)

What is Saros?

Answer To Question 190

A190: A variable star is one whose brightness changes regularly. They can have periods ranging from minutes to years. The apparent changes in brightness are caused by different phenomena; some change in size, some eject material, and others are in pairs that periodically obscure and enhance each other.

Earth-size Planets May Be Next Door

Red Dwarf Planet: The artist's conception shows a hypothetical planet with two moons orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star.  Credit: D. Aguilar/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Using publicly available data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) estimate that six percent of red dwarf stars in the galaxy have Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distances from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. 

Suspected Binary Protostar

Two of NASA's great observatories, the Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, have teamed up to uncover a mysterious infant star that behaves like a strobe light.

Preparatory Test of Drilling on Mars Generates Rock Powder

In an activity called the "mini drill test," NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its drill to generate this ring of powdered rock for inspection in advance of the rover's first full drilling. Curiosity performed the mini drill test and used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera to record this image of the resulting hole and cuttings during the 180th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Feb. 6, 2013). 

OSIRIS-REx Participation Certificate

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What is Variable Star?

Q190: Question of the Day - 07 February 2013 (Week 06)

What is Variable Star?

Answer To Question 189

A189: A vacuum is a space with no or very little gas pressure.

Red Dwarf star frequently erupts with strong ultraviolet flares

When it's young, a red dwarf star frequently erupts with strong ultraviolet flares as shown in this artist's conception. Some have argued that life would be impossible on any planet orbiting in the star's habitable zone as a result. However, the planet's atmosphere could protect the surface, and in fact such stresses could help life to evolve. And when the star ages and settles down, its planet would enjoy billions of years of quiet, steady radiance. Image released Feb. 6, 2013.
CREDIT: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

Preparatory Test for First Rock Drilling by Mars Rover Curiosity

The bit in the rotary-percussion drill of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity left its mark in a target patch of rock called "John Klein" during a test on the rover's 176th Martian day, or sol (Feb. 2, 2013), in preparation for the first drilling of a rock by the rover.