Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What is Hubble Constant?

Q 236: Question of the Day - 16 April 2013 (Week 16)

What is Hubble Constant?

Answer To Question 235

A235: The horizon is an imaginary circle that delimits the sky and the Earth, or an extension of the plane of the observer (at an altitude of 0 degrees).

Hints of Dark Matter Possibly Seen

These illustrations, taken from computer simulations, show a swarm of dark matter clumps around our Milky Way galaxy. Image released July 10, 2012.
CREDIT: J. Tumlinson (STScI)

Crater's Central Pit | Space Wallpaper

This cool space wallpaper shows a perspective view of a 50 km diameter crater in Thaumasia Planum. The image was made by combining data from the High-Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express with digital terrain models. The image was taken on Jan. 4, 2013 during orbit 11467, and shows a close up view of the central ‘pit’ of this crater, which likely formed by a subsurface explosion as the heat from the impact event rapidly vapourised water or ice lying below the surface.
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Detecting and Tracking of asteroids

An infrared sensor that could improve NASA's future detecting and tracking of asteroids and comets has passed a critical design test.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Jonckheere 900

The object in this image is Jonckheere 900 or J 900, a planetary nebula — glowing shells of ionized gas pushed out by a dying star. Discovered in the early 1900s by astronomer Robert Jonckheere, the dusty nebula is small but fairly bright, with a relatively evenly spread central region surrounded by soft wispy edges.

Hubble Catches Dusty Detail in Elliptical Galaxy NGC 2768

The soft glow in this image is NGC 2768, an elliptical galaxy located in the northern constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear). NGC 2768 appears here as a bright oval on the sky, surrounded by a wide, fuzzy cloud of material.

What is horizon?

Q 235: Question of the Day - 15 April 2013 (Week 16)

What is horizon?


Canada's automated aurora camera tweeted this photo on March 17, 2013

Answer To Question 234

A234: The heliopause is the boundary of the heliosphere of the Sun in which the solar wind's density decreases greatly (and its speed also declines). The location of this transition region is unknown, but must be at more than 50 AU from the Sun.

Russian Cargo Craft Departs

An unpiloted Russian Progress cargo ship departed the International Space Station early Monday, clearing the way for the arrival of the next Russian space freighter. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

What is Heliopause?

Q 234: Question of the Day - 12 April 2013 (Week 15)

What is Heliopause?

Answer To Question 233

A233: The HD (Henry Draper) number is an identifying number assigned to the strs in the Henry Draper catalog. In this system, every star is classified by its stellar spectrum. This sytem is named for the astronomer Henry Draper, but was cataloged by Annie J. Cannon (225,300 stars), and later extended by Margaret W. Mayall. For example, the star Vega is HD 172167 (the spectral type is not in the HD number).

Sunspot Beauty

JP Brahic took this photo from France on April 5, 2013. He used a refractor Astro-Physics 155mm F/D 8.5 and a Bassler ACA1300 camera with filter H-Alpha 1A ° to capture the image.CREDIT: JP Brahic

Spring Fling: Sun Emits a Mid-Level Flare

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of an M6.5 class flare at 3:16 EDT on April 11, 2013. This image shows a combination of light in wavelengths of 131 and 171 Angstroms. Credit: NASA/SDO.

Ice Cloud Heralds Fall at Titan's South Pole

The change of seasons on Titan is creating new cloud patterns at Titan's south pole. Here, a combination of red, green and blue images taken by the wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows a vortex over the south pole in natural color. A more recent ice cloud, detectable only at infrared wavelengths, also has formed over this pole. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/GSFC

SEXTANT: Navigating by Cosmic Beacon

Imagine a technology that would allow space travelers to transmit gigabytes of data per second over interplanetary distances or to navigate to Mars and beyond using powerful beams of light emanating from rotating neutron stars. The concept isn't farfetched. In fact, Goddard astrophysicists Keith Gendreau and Zaven Arzoumanian plan to fly a multi-purpose instrument on the International Space Station to demonstrate the viability of two groundbreaking navigation and communication technologies

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What is HD (Henry Draper)?

Q 233: Question of the Day - 09 April 2013 (Week 15)

What is HD (Henry Draper)?

Answer To Question 232

A232: A heavy-metal star is an unusual type of giant star. Heavy-metal stars include barium (Ba II) stars (a type of late giant star) and S stars (a type of red giant).

Saturn in the Sky

Credit: Andrew KwonAndrew Kwon took this image of Saturn on April 4, 2013 from his backyard observatory in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Sun-Sized Stars Outside Milky Way Seen In X-Rays For First Time | Video

It's International Dark Sky Week

Photographer Justin Ng (Facebook.com/justinngphoto) captured the cones of Mount Bromo, Mount Semeru and Mount Batok during sunset and into the night.CREDIT: Justin Ng (Facebook.com/justinngphoto)

It's International Dark Sky Week, an event designed to raise awareness about the negative, star-dulling effects of light pollution.

Kepler's Supernova

This composite of images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the remnant of Kepler's supernova in low (red), intermediate (green) and high-energy (blue) X-rays. The background is an optical star field taken from the Digitized Sky Survey. The distance to the object is uncertain, with estimates ranging from 13,000 to 23,000 light-years, but recent studies favor the maximum range. This image spans 12 arcminutes or about 80 light-years at the greatest distance.Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/NCSU/M.Burkey et al.; optical: DSS

Monday, April 8, 2013

How Asteroid Mining Could Work (Infographic)

Find out about black holes, strange objects that warp spacetime and bend light, in this SPACE.com infographic.

Source SPACE.com: 

What is heavy-metal star?

Q 232: Question of the Day - 08 April 2013 (Week 15)

What is heavy-metal star?

Answer To Question 231

A231: A full moon appears as an entire circle in the sky; it is illuminated by the Sun and from theEarth, we see its entire daytime side. A full moon occurs once each lunar month, when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.

Dust from Mars Drilling - Tailings and Discard Piles

This image shows the first holes into rock drilled by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, with drill tailings around the holes plus piles of powdered rock collected from the deeper hole and later discarded after other portions of the sample had been delivered to analytical instruments inside the rover. The image was taken by the telephoto-lens camera of the rover's Mast Camera (Mastcam) instrument in early afternoon of the 229th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (March 29, 2013). The site is on a patch of flat rock called "John Klein" in the "Yellowknife Bay" area of Mars' Gale Crater. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

What is Full Moon?

Q 231: Question of the Day - 06 April 2013 (Week 14)

What is Full Moon?

Answer To Question 230

A 230: Free fall is a state that occurs while in orbit around a planet. In free fall, things appear to weightless. During free fall, the orbiting object falls toward the planet the exact same amount as the planet's surface curves beneath the object; the object seems to be continually falling toward the planet but never reaches it.

Io is the most volcanically active world in the Solar System,

Jupiter's moon Io is the most volcanically active world in the Solar System, with hundreds of volcanoes, some erupting lava fountains up to 250 miles high. However, concentrations of volcanic activity are significantly displaced from where they are expected to be based on models that predict how the moon's interior is heated, according to NASA and European Space Agency researchers.

Hubble Sees Light and Dust in a Nearby Starburst Galaxy

Visible as a small, sparkling hook in the dark sky, this beautiful object is known as J082354.96+280621.6, or J082354.96 for short. It is a starburst galaxy, so named because of the incredibly (and unusually) high rate of star formation occurring within it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

What is Free Fall?

Q 230: Question of the Day - 05 April 2013 (Week 14)

What is Free Fall?

Answer To Question 229

A229: Fossa are long, narrow, shallow depressions on the surface of a planet.

NASA Celebrates Four Decades of Plucky Pioneer 11

Forty years ago, on April 5, 1973, a small, ambitious spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral, heading towards the third-brightest point of light in the night sky. Following in the footsteps of its sister craft, Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11 was intended as a backup for the dangerous mission. Pioneer 11’s mission was only planned to last 21 months – just long enough to reach Jupiter – but in reality, the spacecraft continued functioning for decades after the end of its nominal mission.

Dead Star Acts Like Magnifying Glass

This artist's concept depicts a dense, dead star called a white dwarf crossing in front of a small, red star. The white dwarf's gravity is so great it bends and magnifies light from the red star. 

Europa Global Views in Natural and Enhanced Colors

This color composite view combines violet, green, and infrared images of Jupiter's intriguing moon, Europa, for a view of the moon in natural color (left) and in enhanced color designed to bring out subtle color differences in the surface (right). The bright white and bluish part of Europa's surface is composed mostly of water ice, with very few non-ice materials. In contrast, the brownish mottled regions on the right side of the image may be covered by hydrated salts and an unknown red component. The yellowish mottled terrain on the left side of the image is caused by some other unknown component. Long, dark lines are fractures in the crust, some of which are more than 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) long.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What is Fossa?

Q 229: Question of the Day - 04 April 2013 (Week 14)

What is Fossa?

Answer To Question 228

A228: First light is a term that refers to the earliest light emitted when the first galaxies were born. The first light occurred long after the Big Bang happened. The Big Bang occurred roughly 15 billion years ago, but the Universe was dark until the first light came millions of years after the Big Bang, after the smooth distribution of matter following the Big Bang coalesced into clumps, eventually forming galaxies.

Potential Dark Matter Discovery a Win for Space Station Science

If nature is kind, the first detection of dark matter might be credited to the International Space Station soon.Today (April 3), researchers announced the first science results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a $2 billion cosmic-ray particle detector mounted on the exterior of the football-field-size International Space Station. The instrument has observed a striking pattern of antimatter particles called positrons that may turn out to be a product of collisions between dark matter particles.

Dark Matter Mystery

Find out about what is known about the mysterious dark matter that fills the universe in this SPACE.com Infographic.

Source SPACE.com

SL’s Parachute Flapping in the Wind

This sequence of seven images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows wind-caused changes in the parachute of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft as the chute lay on the Martian ground during months after its use in safe landing of the Curiosity rover. 

Supernova SN UDS10Wi

This is a Hubble Space Telescope view of supernova SN UDS10Wil, nicknamed SN Wilson that exploded over 10 billion years ago. The small box in the top image pinpoints SN Wilson's host galaxy in the CANDELS survey. The image is a blend of visible and near-infrared light. The three bottom images, taken in near-infrared light demonstrate how the astronomers found the supernova. The image at far left shows the host galaxy without SN Wilson. The middle image, taken a year earlier, reveals the galaxy with SN Wilson. The supernova cannot be seen because it is too close to the center of its host galaxy. To detect the supernova, astronomers subtracted the left image from the middle image to see the light from SN Wilson, shown in the image at far right. Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Riess (STScI and JHU), and D. Jones and S. Rodney (JHU)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Into the Labyrinth

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum); Image mosaic assembled by Bill DunfordWednesday, April 3, 2013: This mosaic shows part of the Noctis Labyrinthus region, ‘Labyrinth of the Night,’ on Mars. The region lies west of the immense gash of Valles Marineris. Scientists think the uneven region may have developed by volcanic activity in the neighboring region of Tharsis, stretching the Martian crust and fracturing it. Bill Dunford composed the mosaic using scenes available in the Mars Express image archive.

J 900, a Planetary Nebula

The object in this image is Jonckheere 900 or J 900, a planetary nebula — glowing shells of ionized gas pushed out by a dying star. Discovered in the early 1900s by astronomer Robert Jonckheere, the dusty nebula is small but fairly bright, with a relatively evenly spread central region surrounded by soft wispy edges.

Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment

NASA's Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite has been providing data on the sun's irradiance for 10 years. SORCE measures electromagnetic radiation produced by the sun and the power per unit area of that energy on the Earth's surface.

Titan Upfront

The colorful globe of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, passes in front of the planet and its rings in this true color snapshot from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. 

The north polar hood can be seen on Titan (3200 miles, 5150 kilometers across) and appears as a detached layer at the top of the moon here. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ring plane. Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 21, 2011 at a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) from Titan. Image scale is 9 miles (14 kilometers) per pixel on Titan. 

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Monday, April 1, 2013

What is First Light?

Q 228: Question of the Day - 01 April 2013 (Week 14)

What is First Light?

Answer To Question 227

A227: Extra galactic means outside of, or beyond, our galaxy (the Milky Way Galaxy).