Astronomy

Started by Wanderer, August 01, 2008, 12:20:28 AM

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krummholz

Quote from: relm1 on March 01, 2023, 04:16:49 PMSorry for the short notice but for those interested, tonight is a very close conjunction of Jupiter and Venus just after sunset.  These mighty planets are the third and fourth brightest objects in the sky after the sun and moon.  They will be closer to each other than a quarter the width of the moon.

Griffith Observatory will broadcast a life viewing in an hour (March 1, 6pm PT).

I knew about the conjunction of course, but it was too cloudy here as well... as it almost always is during the winter.

relm1

From last night.IMG_9087s1.jpg

krummholz

Quote from: relm1 on March 02, 2023, 05:03:27 PMFrom last night.IMG_9087s1.jpg

Yes, VERY different climate. Times like this, I envy you Californians. But not always, that's for sure.

LKB

Quote from: relm1 on March 02, 2023, 05:03:27 PMFrom last night.IMG_9087s1.jpg

That's an excellent shot of a tight pair.  8)
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

relm1

On saturday, I went to my local dark sky and saw with my eyes, the supernova in M101 galaxy!  Brighter than the core of the galaxy but still quite dim at magnitude 11.  It was discovered just a month ago by an amateur.  Will start to fade in to the abyss but probably still be visible to amateur scopes for another month or so.  After that, only to the large observatories for a few more weeks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_2023ixf

krummholz

Quote from: relm1 on June 19, 2023, 05:52:13 AMOn saturday, I went to my local dark sky and saw with my eyes, the supernova in M101 galaxy!  Brighter than the core of the galaxy but still quite dim at magnitude 11.  It was discovered just a month ago by an amateur.  Will start to fade in to the abyss but probably still be visible to amateur scopes for another month or so.  After that, only to the large observatories for a few more weeks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_2023ixf

Awesome!! I have not seen this, have been waiting for a StarSense camera replacement to enable our Celestron to be polar-aligned so that the goto feature will work. Hopefully it will come before the SN fades.

Someone in the astronomy club I belong to accidentally "pre-discovered" the SN when he imaged M101 the night before it was officially discovered. He posted his image on the club forum; another member initially said that the star the observer suggested might be the SN was just a foreground star, but then after careful analysis, urged him to submit his image for evaluation. I believe it's been accepted as an official pre-discovery!

vandermolen

Quote from: relm1 on June 19, 2023, 05:52:13 AMOn saturday, I went to my local dark sky and saw with my eyes, the supernova in M101 galaxy!  Brighter than the core of the galaxy but still quite dim at magnitude 11.  It was discovered just a month ago by an amateur.  Will start to fade in to the abyss but probably still be visible to amateur scopes for another month or so.  After that, only to the large observatories for a few more weeks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_2023ixf

Most interesting!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

LKB

I'm glad l was ( barely! ) able to post this while it was still July 20th.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this website before, possibly even in this thread. But it's appropriate to remind folks today, and anyone interested in the Apollo missions may find this extremely interesting:

https://apolloinrealtime.org/
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

relm1

Quote from: LKB on July 20, 2023, 09:42:50 PMI'm glad l was ( barely! ) able to post this while it was still July 20th.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this website before, possibly even in this thread. But it's appropriate to remind folks today, and anyone interested in the Apollo missions may find this extremely interesting:

https://apolloinrealtime.org/

I've listened to several of those in real time.  I wasn't alive when the events happened so experiencing it as the events unfolded was the closest thing to living through that experience.  Your heart certainly races as momentous events are heard.  Also very surprising the pacing of everything.  Like after landing, how long it took for them to dun their spacesuits and then depressurize, etc.  Also very, very interesting in a subtle way are the side conversations happening contemporaneously like a secretary checking in on her boss.  Those little moments are very charming that their simple side conversations are part of the permanent record...many of these people now gone.  For those who have a lot of patience, worth experiencing the 8 days in real time.  On the 50th anniversary, I even slept with the broadcast always curious what was happening at that moment feeling as if I was part of the experience. 

LKB

I would agree, it's a very immersive experience. For instance, during Apollo 13 some interesting conversation regarding preparations to observe Comet Bennett occurs just prior to the accident. And once the emergency is underway, while various controllers are  echoing Swigert and Lovell's, " We've had a problem " calls, you can hear one anonymous voice say, " We have MORE than a problem. "

So it would seem that at least one controller present thought that matters were more serious than Gene Kranz and the Trench initially believed.  :o
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

relm1

Quote from: LKB on July 21, 2023, 08:12:29 AMI would agree, it's a very immersive experience. For instance, during Apollo 13 some interesting conversation regarding preparations to observe Comet Bennett occurs just prior to the accident. And once the emergency is underway, while various controllers are  echoing Swigert and Lovell's, " We've had a problem " calls, you can hear one anonymous voice say, " We have MORE than a problem. "

So it would seem that at least one controller present thought that matters were more serious than Gene Kranz and the Trench initially believed.  :o

Totally agree.  So very glad this was preserved to this level of detail.  Just imagine when/if we go to Mars we'll have a six month version of this. 


drogulus

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Pohjolas Daughter

Quote from: drogulus on July 27, 2023, 01:55:18 PMCosmic Paradigm Shift: New Research Doubles Universe's Age to 26.7 Billion Years
To the universe:  "But darling, you don't look a day over 10 billion years!"

But seriously, that's quite interesting!  8)

PD
Pohjolas Daughter

relm1

#253
This is the 100th anniversary of an astronomical breakthrough that changed our understanding of the universe.  On October 6, 1923, Edwin Hubble made the discovery that the Andromeda Galaxy was outside our galaxy.  Before Hubble's work in the 1920s, astronomers believed that the Milky Way Galaxy constituted the entire universe. The Andromeda Galaxy was thought to be one of many nebulae located within the Milky Way.

From Los Angeles's Mt. Wilson Observatory, Edwin Hubble used the cepheid variables found in Andromeda to calculate the distance by comparing the observed brightness from the absolute brightness of those stars.  Hubble's observations changed this perspective profoundly.  His discovery indicated that the Andromeda Galaxy was far too distant to be within the Milky Way Galaxy and was instead a separate galaxy. This was a revolutionary finding as it meant that the universe was far larger and more complex than previously believed, containing many galaxies beyond our own.

By the end of the 1920's, astronomers had identified a few dozen galaxies.  By the 1950's, as observatories grew (including the massive 200" Palomar completed in 1948), the number of identified galaxies grew significantly, into the thousands as our understanding of the universe increased.  With the Hubble Space Telescope (launched in the 1990's) and the subsequent James Webb Space Telescope (launched Dec, 2021) through deep field images of random empty parts of the sky we see the deeper and longer we peer, the more galaxies we find.  Current estimates are that there are trillions of galaxies in the observable universe, possibly infinite.  All this learned within the past 100 years.

Today, with our ever-expanding knowledge of the universe, including the study of dark matter, dark energy, and the possibility of multiverses, the significance of Hubble's discovery is clear.  His discovery 100 years ago today marked the beginning of a new era in our understanding of the cosmos, showing that the universe is a far vaster and more wondrous place than we could ever have imagined.  This discovery also had profound philosophical and existential implications, prompting humanity to reconsider its place in a much, much larger, grander cosmos. This shift in perspective has influenced cultural, artistic, and philosophical thought over the past century.  The anniversary serves as a reminder of the importance of curiosity, exploration, and scientific discovery in expanding our knowledge and perspective.

The picture on the left is Hubble's original photographic plate, taken from Mt. Wilson Observatory over Los Angeles with Cepheid Variables identified with the exclamation mark and plate dated October 6, 1923.  On the right is my picture from last winter of the Andromeda Galaxy (around two hour exposure).  It's huge in the sky, in my image, the full moon would take up about half the image. 

LKB

Quote from: relm1 on October 05, 2023, 04:34:34 PMThis is the 100th anniversary of an astronomical breakthrough that changed our understanding of the universe.  On October 6, 1923, Edwin Hubble made the discovery that the Andromeda Galaxy was outside our galaxy.  Before Hubble's work in the 1920s, astronomers believed that the Milky Way Galaxy constituted the entire universe. The Andromeda Galaxy was thought to be one of many nebulae located within the Milky Way.

From Los Angeles's Mt. Wilson Observatory, Edwin Hubble used the cepheid variables found in Andromeda to calculate the distance by comparing the observed brightness from the absolute brightness of those stars.  Hubble's observations changed this perspective profoundly.  His discovery indicated that the Andromeda Galaxy was far too distant to be within the Milky Way Galaxy and was instead a separate galaxy. This was a revolutionary finding as it meant that the universe was far larger and more complex than previously believed, containing many galaxies beyond our own.

By the end of the 1920's, astronomers had identified a few dozen galaxies.  By the 1950's, as observatories grew (including the massive 200" Palomar completed in 1948), the number of identified galaxies grew significantly, into the thousands as our understanding of the universe increased.  With the Hubble Space Telescope (launched in the 1990's) and the subsequent James Webb Space Telescope (launched Dec, 2021) through deep field images of random empty parts of the sky we see the deeper and longer we peer, the more galaxies we find.  Current estimates are that there are trillions of galaxies in the observable universe, possibly infinite.  All this learned within the past 100 years.

Today, with our ever-expanding knowledge of the universe, including the study of dark matter, dark energy, and the possibility of multiverses, the significance of Hubble's discovery is clear.  His discovery 100 years ago today marked the beginning of a new era in our understanding of the cosmos, showing that the universe is a far vaster and more wondrous place than we could ever have imagined.  This discovery also had profound philosophical and existential implications, prompting humanity to reconsider its place in a much, much larger, grander cosmos. This shift in perspective has influenced cultural, artistic, and philosophical thought over the past century.  The anniversary serves as a reminder of the importance of curiosity, exploration, and scientific discovery in expanding our knowledge and perspective.

The picture on the left is Hubble's original photographic plate, taken from Mt. Wilson Observatory over Los Angeles with Cepheid Variables identified with the exclamation mark and plate dated October 6, 1923.  On the right is my picture from last winter of the Andromeda Galaxy (around two hour exposure).  It's huge in the sky, in my image, the full moon would take up about half the image. 

Excellent post, well done!  8)
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

LKB

Tangentially on-topic, acknowledging the passing of Apollo-era astronauts Ken Mattingly and Frank Borman.

https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/03/us/ken-mattingly-death-apollo-astronaut-scn/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/09/us/frank-borman-apollo-astronaut-obit-scn/index.html

Ad Astra per Aspera


Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

relm1

Quote from: LKB on November 09, 2023, 09:52:31 PMTangentially on-topic, acknowledging the passing of Apollo-era astronauts Ken Mattingly and Frank Borman.

https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/03/us/ken-mattingly-death-apollo-astronaut-scn/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/09/us/frank-borman-apollo-astronaut-obit-scn/index.html

Ad Astra per Aspera



Sad to lose one of them.  Only four moonwalkers are still alive: Aldrin (Apollo 11), David Scott (Apollo 15), Charles Duke (Apollo 16), and Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17). 

My brother and I got in a debate after seeing Chris Nolan's Interstellar how likely it would be for Matt Damon's character, Mann, to jeopardize all humanity to rescue himself from his doomed isolation.  I thought there was no way because Apollo astronauts faced similar scenarios.  Mike Collins would have to abandon Neil and Buzz if certain events didn't happen because a rescue would have been impossible.  Such as the lunar lander failed to launch.  It was possible they missed the moon and flew past it forever lost.  They trained for these scenarios, they were real possibilities.  I think as a pioneering astronaut, you sort of know there is a real risk of death or failure. Anyway, there are only a handful of people still around who lived it and experienced losing sight of the earth with the possibility of never returning.  RIP Ken and Frank. 

Iota

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00042l4/how-to-see-a-black-hole-the-universes-greatest-mystery

"A BBC documentary about one of the greatest discoveries of humans by a team of top scientific minds from different parts of the world known as the "Event Horizon Telescope project team" guided by Dr Sheperd Doeleman of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, on a mission to capture the first ever picture of a black hole with a mega "virtual telescope" the size of the earth, by combining radio observatories and telescope facilities from all over the world to make up this earth-size virtual telescope."

The well-known image of the black hole at the centre of the M87 galaxy first appeared in 2019, and this is an absorbing and thrilling hour of TV showing the extraordinary story of what went into realising it. Highly recommended.

LKB

Quote from: Iota on December 08, 2023, 12:36:37 PMhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00042l4/how-to-see-a-black-hole-the-universes-greatest-mystery

"A BBC documentary about one of the greatest discoveries of humans by a team of top scientific minds from different parts of the world known as the "Event Horizon Telescope project team" guided by Dr Sheperd Doeleman of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, on a mission to capture the first ever picture of a black hole with a mega "virtual telescope" the size of the earth, by combining radio observatories and telescope facilities from all over the world to make up this earth-size virtual telescope."

The well-known image of the black hole at the centre of the M87 galaxy first appeared in 2019, and this is an absorbing and thrilling hour of TV showing the extraordinary story of what went into realising it. Highly recommended.

Thanks for posting this, I'll definitely check it out.  8)
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

LKB

On Dec. 12th, Betelgeuse will be back in the news as the asteroid Leona will briefly eclipse Orion's most famous star.

Those interested can view the event online here:

https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/webtv/

I hope I can remember, this sort of event is quite rare. The odds against such a prominent star being eclipsed again anytime soon are... well, you know.  ;)
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...