Astronews Daily (2455541)

December 10, 2010 13:55 by scibuff

Top Stories

Preview of the 2010 Geminids – In the contest for best meteor shower of the year two showers are perennial candidates, the Perseids of August and next week’s Geminids. It’s usually a toss up as to which is better though over the past few years the Geminids have been better more times than not. If the sky is clear where you live, this Tuesday morning will provide one of the few nights of the year when it’s almost guaranteed that you will be able to observe a meteor after about 10-20 minutes of observing. –Carl Hergenrother

The SpaceX Business Plan: Help Build a Spacefaring Civilization – Elon Musk conceded that the space business world is an extraordinarily difficult place to make money. But that isn’t his main priority anyway. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Venus Has a Moon? – Astronomers have been busy trying to determine the spin period and composition of Venus’ moon. December 8, 2010, results were announced by JPL/Caltech scientists, led by Michael Hicks. -Mike Simonsen / Universe Today

Technicians Set Up Tank for Test Next Week – At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians at Launch Pad 39A have installed an environmental enclosure on space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank for a tanking test planned for no earlier than Wednesday, Dec. 15. –NASA

Odyssey Orbiter Nears Martian Longevity Record – By the middle of next week, NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter will have worked longer at Mars than any other spacecraft in history. –NASA/JPL

[more stories]

Videos

Paranal telescopes with Laser Guide star (Unique 360º night time lapse)

  

Photos

Venus by Akatsuki

Venus by Akatsuki

Small Magellanic Cloud

Small Magellanic Cloud

NGC 6334 - Cat's Paw Nebula

NGC 6334 - Cat's Paw Nebula

The hidden arms of M94

The hidden arms of M94

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Snow Storm across the U.S. Midwest

Snow Storm across the U.S. Midwest - The blast of snow and cold air that moved across the Midwestern United States in early December 2010 is visible in this true-color image. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired the image at 11:00 a.m. Central time on December 7, two days after the weekend snow storm. - Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.

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 (2455474)

October 4, 2010 13:32 by scibuff

Top Stories

Daylight Venus transit of the ISS – Venus is the brightest celestial body in the night sky after the Moon. It could get as bright as an magnitude of -4.6. When Theo Ramakers and Frank Garner photographed its beauty on the afternoon of Sep.25, Venus was right behind the path of ISS. -Xiao Sun / Astronomy Cameras Blog

Birth of the Space Age – History changed on Oct. 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I, the world’s first artificial satellite. About the size of a beach ball and weighing about 184 pounds, it took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race. –NASA

STS-133 completes hyper loading – Discovery may star in Transformers movie – With the departmental Flight Readiness Reviews (FRRs) ongoing – leading up to the SSP (Space Shuttle Program) FRR set for next week – Discovery continues to enjoy a smooth pad flow, as the milestone of hyper loading (S0024) was completed on Saturday. The veteran orbiter is also enjoying a weekend at the movies, as filming of Transformers 3 picks up at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). –NASA Spaceflight

ESA and oil industries explore applications from space – Members of the space and oil and gas sectors have come together in the first meeting of its kind to discuss current Earth observation capabilities and the evolving information requirements within the oil and gas industry. –ESA

[more stories]

Videos

Jupiter's rotation with Great Red Spot and Europa moon

Jupiter's rotation with Great Red Spot and Europa moon - Credit: Emanuele Baldani

  

Photos

Comet 103P/Hartley

Comet 103P/Hartley

M42 - Orion Nebula

M42 - Orion Nebula

Io in true colors

Io in true colors

Daily sunrise

Daily sunrise

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Daylight Venus transit of the ISS

Daylight Venus transit of the ISS - Credit: Theo Ramakers and Frank Garner

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

Venus and Mercury tonight

April 8, 2010 19:51 by scibuff

Here are my photos of Venus and Mercury taken tonight from Amsterdam

Venus & Mercury

Venus & Mercury - Canon 450D f/8 exp. 3s ISO 1600 - Credit: ME :D

Venus & Mercury

Venus & Mercury - Canon 450D f/8 exp. 3s ISO 1600

Venus & Mercury

Venus & Mercury - Canon 450D f/8 exp. 3s ISO 1600

First close miss of 2010

January 11, 2010 20:41 by scibuff

Update 3: See the latest 2010 AL30 post for new information and most recent photos.

Update 2: See my new post for more photos and fly-by animation.

Update 1: See the my most recent 2010 AL30 post for updates and a fly-by animation.

On Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 12:48 GMT, a newly discovered asteroid with temporary designation 2010 AL30 will fly by the Earth at the distance of 0.000 86 AU (129,060 km; about 33% of the distance to the Moon). The asteroid has a diameter of approximately 10-25 meters and poses no risk to anyone, as not only is the calculated perigee distance quite accurate, but in a case of the encounter with Earth’s atmosphere, it would certainly break up and rain down only a few small fragments (meteorites).

At around 10 UT on January 13, the object could reach a maximum brightness of 13.8 magnitude and despite a large relative motion (about 10 arcsec/second) should be easily observable with a medium size equipment.

Orbit Diagram of 2010 AL 30

Orbit Diagram of 2010 AL 30 - Source: NASA JPL

2010 AL30 will also have closer encounters with our Moon (January 14, 2010 at 0.001 86 AU), Mars (July 24, 2039 at 0.089 6 AU) and several close encounters with Venus (May 16, 2012, August 2, 2016, January 5, 2037, etc.)