Astronews Daily (2455517)

November 16, 2010 13:53 by scibuff

Top Stories

Breaking News: A newly discovered asteroid, designated 2010 WA, is projected to fly by at the altitude of roughly 39,000 km around 3:45 UT tomorrow, November 17. The object was discovered by Catalina Sky Survey telescope at Mount Lemmon last night (Nov. 16). MPEC-2010W03

Japan probe collected particles from Itokawa asteroid – Japanese scientists have confirmed that particles found inside the Hayabusa probe after its seven-year space trip are from the asteroid Itokawa. –Jonathan Amos / BBC News

So is Pluto a planet after all? – The news last week that Eris might actually be a tiny bit smaller than Pluto led to the inevitable question: doesn’t this mean that Pluto should be a planet, after all? The simple obvious answer to this question is no –Mike Brown

Sunset on Mars – I know, it may not look like much, but think about what you’re seeing: a sunset on another world. And those images were taken by a robotic probe that took years to design and build, months to travel the hundreds of millions of kilometers to get to Mars, a harrowing few minutes to descend on a breath of fire through the thin air to land on the surface, and then nearly seven years to travel the landscape long, long past its design specifications. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole – Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood. The 30-year-old black hole provides a unique opportunity to watch this type of object develop from infancy. –NASA

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Videos

Jupiter

Jon Kristoffersen took these images of Jupiter from Crete, Greece, about a week before the stripe began to return. Jupiter dances with two of its moons, Io (left) and Europa. Images: Jon Kristoffersen. Animation: Emil Kraaikamp

Photos

Gibbous Moon

Gibbous Moon

Sunset

Sunset

ISS flyby

ISS flyby

Work on the GUCP commences

Work on the GUCP commences

Gallery Pick of the Day

IC1848 - Soul Nebula

IC1848 - Soul Nebula - Credit: Richie Jarvis

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery.-

Astronews Daily (2455496)

October 26, 2010 11:08 by scibuff

Top Stories

NASA’s last flight of Discovery – If you have always wanted to watch a launch of the Shuttle that lofted Hubble into orbit, then you get one final chance: the last scheduled flight of Discovery is now set for November 1. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

Pluto and Charon opposition surges, Nix and Hydra masses, Pluto and Eris compositions – An awful lot of the talks in the Pluto session on Tuesday morning, October 5, at the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting spent more time focusing on how bad weather conditions were during the astronomers’ attempts to view Pluto as it occulted background stars than they did on any measurements or science that came out from the data. – Emily Lakdawalla / The Planetary Society

Five Things About NASA’s EPOXI Mission – Here are five quick facts about the EPOXI mission, scheduled to fly by comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4, 2010. –NASA/JPL

Another X-ray Nova Detected by ISS, Swift – A new X-ray emitting object in the Milky Way has been recently announced by the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) team and the Swift satellite astronomers. MAXI, a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency supported instrument, monitors the entire sky in the X-ray portion of the spectrum from its perch on the International Space Station module “Kibo”. On October 12th, MAXI noticed nothing out of the ordinary in a portion of the sky in the constellation Centaurus. -Nicholos Wethington / Universe Today

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Videos

After a day-long flight readiness review at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, senior NASA and contractor managers voted unanimously to set November 1, 2010 as the official launch date for Space Shuttle Discovery

  

Photos

The Moon a few nights ago

The Moon a few nights ago

Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunspot

Sunspot

Richat structure in Mauritania

Richat structure in Mauritania

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Milky Way all around the horizon line and Gegenschein

Milky Way all around the horizon line and Gegenschein from Atacama desert in Chile - Credit: Stéphane Guisard

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery. More information as well as different views are available at Stéphane’s page.

Astronews Daily (2455489)

October 19, 2010 13:31 by scibuff

Top Stories

Gallery: Hartley 2 CCD Images – Spectacular photos of comet 103P / Hartley by amateur astronomers.

How high is space?
– I somehow missed this when it came out, but this picture is but one small part of an amazing 600 x 16500 pixel infographic showing the Earth’s atmosphere to scale! It has a lot of info, including heights of various phenomena like weather, meteors burning up, and aurorae. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

Reaching the Mid-Mission Milestone on the Way to Pluto! – On Sunday, Oct. 17, at 3:24 Universal Time, we passed the halfway mark in the number of days from launch to Pluto encounter – the last of our halfway milestones en route to Pluto! From here, we have fewer days in front of us than behind us. – NASA / New Horizons

Our first storm prediction in real-time! – Tin hats on everyone! Stormwatchers have been tracking a solar storm launched from the Sun on the 14th October. Analysis of your results shows that this storm, travelling at 244 km per second, will cross Earth’s orbit at 14:43 GMT on the 21st October just 37 degrees ahead of our planet. – Zooniverse

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Videos

Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) - Shuttle Sim .

  

Photos

The Sun and the Moon

The Sun and the Moon

Titan

Titan

NGC 6992 - Veil Nebula

NGC 6992 - Veil Nebula

NGC 3982

NGC 3982

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

IC 1848

IC 1848, located in a HII - star-forming region in the Perseus arm of our galaxy, 10.5 hours of SII, Ha & OIII, HST palette, taken with 11\

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery.

Pluto has been “promoted” to planet

March 6, 2009 15:36 by scibuff

Artist impression of the surface of Pluto. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada

Artist impression of the surface of Pluto. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada

On August 24, 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefined the term “planet”, effectively demoting Pluto to just a dwarf  planet. The least qualified people chronically afraid of advancements of our understanding of cosmos, immediately flooded the blogosphere and social media with a wave of protests. One can truly judge the “severity” of an issue by the involvement of proponents of pseudo-sciences such as  astrology. Nevertheless, the resistance faded as many realized that Pluto’s classification had no impact on their lives; with the exception of those who, as Sheldon Cooper brilliantly put, “participate in the mass cultural delusion that the Sun’s apparent position relative to arbitrarily defined constellations at the time of your birth somehow affects your personality“.

Unfortunately, some, to this day, have not forgotten about the unlawful demontion of their beloved so-called planet, which, by the way, exerts less gravitational influence on you that the computer you are using to read this article. The goverment of the state of Illinois decided to take the matter into their own hands by declaring Pluto a fully-pledged planet. Obviously, their motives have nothing to do with that fact the Clyde W. Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930, is a native of Illinois?! – The entire matter is just borderline ridiculous. Once again, politicians who have no education in the matter, make a decision just to appease their own anxieties. What truly surprises me is that this is not coming from an enlightened state such as Oklahoma (although they are trying really hard to keep up), but the very home of Barack Obama, who above all, values rational thought.