For my students/former students. I hate and love you all.
Posts tagged "astronomy"
A transit of Venus occurs when Venus passes directly between the sun and Earth. This alignment is rare, only having occurred eight times since the invention of the telescope. After June 5th, 2012, the next event occurs in 2117. This will be the last of your lifetime. Do not miss it.
My 9th graders are starting a planetary science unit. What can I say about this devastating and jaw-dropping picture of our nearest spiral neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy?
It’s comprised of two colors: what you see here as blue is higher-energy ultraviolet light, and red is lower energy (closer to the kind of light we see). Right away you can see that objects emitting the higher-energy UV are confined to the spiral arms, and lower-energy emitters are spread out across the galaxy. That’s exactly what I would expect: massive stars, the kind that really blast out UV, don’t live very long. They’re born, live out their short lives, and die (as supernovae) pretty much near the spot where they formed, which is in spiral arms. Lower mass stars live long enough to gradually move away from their nurseries, populating the rest of the galaxy.
This is the Russian craft Phobos-Grunt, and was headed for Phobos, one of the Martian moons (it has two). It ran into trouble soon after it was launched in November, when its rockets failed to lift it out of low Earth orbit. The Russian officials from Roscosmos (the Russian space agency) are blaming an antisatellite weapon!! Whose weapon? They haven’t said….
This marks a $160 million failure, and Russia has not succeeded in sending a spacecraft to Mars since the 1980s. Debris could rain down this weekend or early next week from the failed satellite onto populated areas, but will most likely hit an ocean somewhere. Stay inside!
This zoom sequence stars with a view of the Milky Way. We zoom in towards the crowded central region, in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer). By shifting to an infrared red view we see through the dusty clouds in this direction and get a close up view of the objects orbiting the supermassive black hole that lies at the centre of the Milky Way. The final views show the motion of a newly-discovered gas cloud that is falling rapidly towards the central black hole.
This is Hillary Livingston, a model maker, and she is touching up a future lunar base featured in “Beyond Planet Earth”, a new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. NASA chemists have even recreated the smell of lunar dust for those interested in smelling it. The AMNH is pretty famous for its tiny dioramas, and I just love that they are finally doing space ones.