Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Leaping off the sun to the right is a giant plume of solar material – ionized gas called plasma – from sunspot 1283. This sunspot ejected four solar flares and three coronal mass ejections from September 6 to September 8, 2011. The picture here, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows light with a wavelength of 335 Angstroms. Credit:NASA/SDO/AIA
Posted by .Sheila at 8:25 AM
One of the most widely studied and debated Universe phenomenon is dark energy and dark matter. Dark energy and dark matter and their relationship to an expanding Universe is a mystery yet to be solved. The main thesis of this NASA article is we are more knowledgeable regarding what dark energy/dark matter are NOT than what they are. So far Einstein's Theory of Relativity remains valid.
Dark Energy, Dark Matter -
Dark Energy, Dark Matter -
NASA Science ASTROPHISICS
What Is Dark Energy?
Posted by .Sheila at 8:22 AM
Friday, October 14, 2011
Dark matter makes up the bulk of the universe's mass, yet it can only be detected by measuring how its gravity tugs on visible matter and warps space like a fun-house mirror so that the light from distant objects is distorted."
Bending the Light
Posted by .Sheila at 5:46 PM
Friday, September 16, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
The nearest supernova of its type to be discovered for 40 years is predicted to be at its brightest 7-8 September and will be visible through a good pair of binoculars.
The supernova, which was first spotted on 24 August by scientists from Oxford University and the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) collaboration, is in the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101.
Whilst not visible to the naked eye, with a clear sky anyone can observe the supernova using a good pair of binoculars or a small telescope:
To find M101 look for the formation known as ‘The Plough’ or ‘Big Dipper’, trace from the end of the ‘handle’ of The Plough and find the second star along, Mirza, and M101 lies four degrees to the East. Observers will see a bright star at the edge of one of M101’s spiral arms.
'The best view of this exploding star is likely to be this Wednesday or Thursday. Look for it just after evening twilight near the ‘handle’ of ‘The Plough’,’ said Dr Mark Sullivan of Oxford University’s Department of Physics, who led the Oxford team. ‘Whilst it looks more or less like just another bright star, unlike its companions this supernova will soon fade away, and after a few days it will only be visible with larger telescopes.’
The discovery of the supernova is particularly important because it is a type 1a supernova – the kind used by scientists to measure the expansion of the Universe.
Dr Sullivan added: ‘For many people it could be a once in a lifetime chance to see a supernova of this kind blossom and then fade before their eyes; we may not see another one like it for another forty, or perhaps over a hundred, years!’
The Oxford University-PTF team are using the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the supernova. These observations began about five days after the explosion and will continue into mid-October, including investigating the supernova's ultraviolet properties which cannot be studied from the ground.
Provided by Oxford University
Posted by .Sheila at 8:40 PM
Monday, June 13, 2011
The Divine Dynamic is a series of short reflections on the Scriptures for individual and group use on nine major themes of cosmic spirituality. It challenges the way we think about God, the planet of which we are a part, and the ways we relate to one another.
The 156-page, 6 x 8" book sells for $14.95 and is available by credit card from the Ministry of the Arts (www.ministryofthearts.org) or from ACTA Publications (www.actapublications.com). It is also available from booksellers nationwide.
Here are the chapters of the book:
- The Promise of More
- Mystics with a Small “M”
- The Immensities
- Soul Size
- The Cosmic Banquet
- Domains of Emergence
- The Planatary Human
Posted by .Sheila at 2:17 PM
Monday, June 6, 2011
This colorized gray-scale image is a composite of the individual video frames of the backlit fuel droplet. The bright yellow structure in the middle is the path of the droplet, which becomes smaller as it burns. Initial soot structures (in green) tend to form near the liquid fuel. These come together into larger and larger particles which ultimately spiral out of the flame zone in long, twisting streamers.
Image Credit: NASA
Posted by .Sheila at 5:47 PM
Friday, May 27, 2011
|his image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows what lies near the sword of the constellation Orion.|
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Toledo
Posted by .Sheila at 1:25 PM
Thursday, May 26, 2011
WISE's Last Light
In the short 13 months that WISE surveyed the sky, it produced millions of infrared images. It covered the whole sky at its four bands, and covered it twice at 3.4 and 4.6 microns. Now that the survey is complete, WISE is being put into hibernation. While the satellite sleeps and circles more than 500 kilometers (about 310 miles) above the Earth's surface, the WISE team is busily preparing its data for two big public releases: one this April, and the final release in the spring of 2012.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Posted by .Sheila at 5:44 AM
Monday, May 23, 2011
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been trained on a single variable star that in 1923 altered the course of modern astronomy.
V1 is a special class of pulsating star called a Cepheid variable that can be used to make reliable measurements of large cosmic distances.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
(PhysOrg.com) -- Though the universe is filled with billions upon billions of stars, the discovery of a single variable star in 1923 altered the course of modern astronomy. And, at least one famous astronomer of the time lamented that the discovery had shattered his world view.
The star goes by the inauspicious name of Hubble variable number one, or V1, and resides in the outer regions of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, or M31. But in the early 1900s, most astronomers considered the Milky Way a single "island universe" of stars, with nothing observable beyond its boundaries. Andromeda was cataloged as just one of many faint, fuzzy patches of light astronomers called "spiral nebulae."
Were these spiral nebulae part of the Milky Way or were they independent island universes lying outside our galaxy? Astronomers didn't know for sure, until Edwin Hubble found a star in Andromeda that brightened and faded in a predictable pattern, like a lighthouse beacon, and identified it as V1, a Cepheid variable. This special type of star had already been proven to be a reliable distance marker within our galaxy.
The star helped Hubble show that Andromeda was beyond our galaxy and settled the debate over the status of the spiral nebulae. The universe became a much bigger place after Hubble's discovery, much to the dismay of astronomer Harlow Shapley, who believed the fuzzy nebulae were part of our Milky Way.
Nearly 90 years later, V1 is in the spotlight again. Astronomers pointed Edwin Hubble's namesake, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, at the star once again, in a symbolic tribute to the legendary astronomer's milestone observation.
"It's a landmark discovery that proved the universe is bigger and chock full of galaxies. I thought it would be nice for the Hubble telescope to look at this special star discovered by Hubble, the man."
But Hubble Heritage team member Max Mutchler of the STScI says that this observation is more than just a ceremonial nod to a famous astronomer.
"This observation is a reminder that Cepheids are still relevant today," he explains. "Astronomers are using them to measure distances to galaxies much farther away than Andromeda. They are the first rung on the cosmic distance ladder."
The Hubble and AAVSO observations of V1 will be presented at a press conference May 23 at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Boston, Mass.
Posted by .Sheila at 6:54 PM
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Sun, 30 Jan 2011 23:00:00 -0600
This view of Antares, the Apollo 14 Lunar Module as it sat on the moon's Frau Mauro Highlands, reflects a circular flare caused by the brilliant sun. The unusual ball of light was said by the astronauts to have a jewel-like appearance. At extreme left, the lower slope of Cone Crater can be seen.
Image Credit: NASA
Posted by .Sheila at 3:55 PM
Saturday, January 15, 2011
While searching the skies for black holes using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers discovered a giant supernova that was smothered in its own dust. In this artist's rendering, an outer shell of gas and dust -- which erupted from the star hundreds of years ago -- obscures the supernova within. This event in a distant galaxy hints at one possible future for the brightest star system in our own Milky Way.
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech
Exploding stars are the 'factories' that produce all the heavy elements found, among other places, in our bodies. In this sense, we are all stardust. These exploding stars – supernovae – are highly energetic events that can occasionally light up the night sky. Such an explosion generally involves disruption in the balance between gravity – which pulls the star's material inward – and the thermonuclear reaction at the star's core – which heats it and pushes it outward.
Posted by .Sheila at 7:43 AM
Friday, January 7, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Press Release 11-003
Longstanding Mystery of Sun's Hot Outer Atmosphere Solved
Longstanding Mystery of Sun's Hot Outer Atmosphere Solved
Answer lies in jets of plasma
January 6, 2011
One of the most enduring mysteries in solar physics is why the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, is millions of degrees hotter than its surface.
Now scientists believe they have discovered a major source of hot gas that replenishes the corona: jets of plasma shooting up from just above the Sun's surface.
The finding addresses a fundamental question in astrophysics: how energy is moved from the Sun's interior to create its hot outer atmosphere.
"It's always been quite a puzzle to figure out why the Sun's atmosphere is hotter than its surface," says Scott McIntosh, a solar physicist at the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., who was involved in the study.
Pictured above: Narrow jets of material, called spicules, streak upward from the Sun's surface at high speeds.
"By identifying that these jets insert heated plasma into the Sun's outer atmosphere, we can gain a much greater understanding of that region and possibly improve our knowledge of the Sun's subtle influence on the Earth's upper atmosphere."
Spicule HotspotAmong the many constantly moving, appearing, disappearing and generally explosive events in the sun's atmosphere, there exist giant plumes of gas -- as wide as a state and as long as Earth -- that zoom up from the sun's surface at 150,000 miles per hour. Known as spicules, these are one of several phenomena known to transfer energy and heat throughout the sun's magnetic atmosphere, or corona.
Thanks to NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the Japanese satellite Hinode, these spicules have recently been imaged and measured better than ever before, showing them to contain hotter gas than previously observed. Thus, they may perhaps play a key role in helping to heat the sun's corona to a staggering million degrees or more. (A number made more surprising since the sun's surface itself is only about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Posted by .Sheila at 7:42 PM