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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #105 on: Dec 31st, 2008, 10:56am »


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A delightful display of planets and the moon will occur on New Year's Eve for anyone wishing to step outside and look up just after sunset.

Venus, brighter than all other planets and stars, will dangle just below the thin crescent moon in the southwestern sky. It'll be visible -- impossible to miss, in fact -- just as the sun goes down, assuming skies are cloud-free.

Soon thereafter, Mercury and Jupiter will show up hugging the south-southwestern horizon (just above where the sun went down) and extremely close to each other. Jupiter is very bright and easy to spot; Mercury is faint and harder to see, but it'll be apparent by its location just to the left of Jupiter.

Jupiter and Mercury will set less than an hour after the sun, so timing your viewing just after sunset is crucial. You'll also need a location with a clear view of the western horizon, unobstructed by buildings, trees or mountains.

All the planets, along with the moon and sun, traverse an arc across our sky called the ecliptic, which corresponds to the plane in space that they all roughly share. For this reason, you could draw an imaginary line from the general location of Venus and the moon, down through the other two planets, and the line would point to where the sun went down. This line could also initially help you find Jupiter and Mercury.

Weather permitting, you can get a preview of the sky show on Tuesday, Dec. 30. On this evening, the planets will be in nearly the same place they'll be on Dec. 31, but the moon will be midway between Venus and the Mercury-Jupiter pairing.

One last trick:

Venus is so bright you can see it during daylight if you know where to look. Given Venus' proximity to the moon on New Year's Eve, this would be an excellent moment -- just before sunset -- to use the moon to help you find Venus and gain bragging rights for being one of the few people to be able to claim seeing more than one planet during the daytime (Earth being the other one).

LAST AURORAS OF 2008: High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras tonight. Earth is entering a solar wind stream and this could cause geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle:

Also odd fireballs spotted in California and Maine. More info on that coming soon.

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #106 on: Jan 1st, 2009, 8:41pm »

Happy New Year!

Here are some news articles going around.

Top 10 Weird things in the Universe

The more we look among the stars and galaxies, the weirder things seem to get.

Even space itself is puzzling, for example. Recent studies suggest that the fabric of the universe stretches more than 150 billion light-years across -- in spite of the fact that the cosmos is 13.7 billion years old.

From super-fast stars to the nature of matter, here we cover other strange and mysterious elements of the universe.

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Hypervelocity Stars

If you've ever gazed at the night sky, you've probably wished upon a shooting star (which are really meteors).

But shooting stars do exist, and they're as rare as one in 100 million.

In 2005, astronomers discovered the first "hypervelocity" star careening out of a galaxy at nearly 530 miles per second (10 times faster than ordinary star movement).

We have ideas about what flings these rare stars into deep space, but aren't certain; anything from off-kilter supernova explosions to supermassive black holes might be responsible.


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Black Holes

Speaking of black holes, what could be stranger?

Beyond a black hole's gravitational border -- or event horizon -- neither matter nor light can escape. Astrophysicists think dying stars about three to 20 times the mass of the sun can form these strange objects. At the center of galaxies, black holes about 10,000 to 18 billion times heavier than the sun are thought to exist, enlarged by gobbling up gas, dust, stars and small black holes.



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Magnetars

The sun spins about once every 25 days, gradually deforming its magnetic field.

Well, imagine a dying star heavier than the sun collapsing into a wad of matter just a dozen miles in diameter.

Like a spinning ballerina pulling his or her arms inward, this change in size spins the neutron star -- and its magnetic field -- out of control.

Calculations show these objects possess temporary magnetic fields about one million billion times stronger than the Earth's. That's powerful enough to destroy your credit card from hundreds of thousands of miles away, and deform atoms into ultra-thin cylinders.



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Neutrinos

Pull out a dime from your pocket and hold it up for a second... guess what? About 150 billion tiny, nearly massless particles called neutrinos just passed through it as though it didn't even exist.

Scientists have found that they originate in stars (living or exploding), nuclear material and from the Big Bang. The elementary particles come in three "flavors" and, stranger still, seem to disappear on a whim.

Because neutrinos occasionally do interact with "normal" matter such as water and mineral oil, scientists hope they can use them as a revolutionary telescope to see beyond parts of the universe obscured by dust and gas.


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Dark Matter

If you put all of the energy and matter of the cosmos into a pie and divvy it up, the result is shocking.

All of the galaxies, stars, planets, comets, asteroids, dust, gas and particles account for just 4 percent of the known universe. Most of what we call "matter" -- about 23 percent of the universe -- is invisible to human eyes and instruments.

For now.

Scientists can see dark matter's gravitational tug on stars and galaxies, but are searching feverishly for ways to detect it first-hand. They think particles similar to neutrinos yet far more massive could be the mysterious, unseen stuff.



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Dark Energy

What really has everyone on the planet confused -- including scientists -- is dark energy.

To continue with the pie analogy, dark energy is a Garfield-sized portion at 73 percent of the known universe. It seems to pervade all of space and push galaxies farther and farther away from one another at increasingly faster speeds.

Some cosmologists think this expansion will leave the Milky Way galaxy as an "island universe" in a few trillion years with no other galaxies visible.

Others think the rate of expansion will become so great that it will result in a "Big Rip." In this scenario, the force of dark energy overcomes gravity to disassemble stars and planets, the forces keeping particles sticking together, the molecules in those particles, and eventually the atoms and subatomic particles. Thankfully, humankind probably won't be around to witness to cataclysm.


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Planets

It might sound strange because we live on one, but planets are some of the more mysterious members of the universe.

So far, no theory can fully explain how disks of gas and dust around stars form planets -- particularly rocky ones.

Not making matters easier is the fact that most of a planet is concealed beneath its surface. Advanced gadgetry can offer clues of what lies beneath, but we have heavily explored only a few planets in the solar system.

Only in 1999 was the first planet outside of our celestial neighborhood detected, and in November 2008 the first bona fide exoplanet images taken.


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Gravity

The force that helps stars ignite, planets stay together and objects orbit is one of the most pervasive yet weakest in the cosmos

Scientists have fine-tuned just about every equation and model to describe and predict gravity, yet its source within matter remains a complete and utter mystery.

Some think infinitesimal particles called gravitons exude the force in all matter, but whether or not they could ever be detected is questionable.

Still, a massive hunt is on for major shake-ups in the universe called gravitational waves. If detected (perhaps from a merger of black holes), Albert Einstein's concept that the universe has a "fabric" of spacetime would be on solid ground



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Life

Matter and energy abound in the universe, but only in a few places is the roll of the cosmic dice perfect enough to result in life.

The basic ingredients and conditions necessary for this strange phenomenon are better understood than ever before, thanks to abundant access to life here on Earth.

But the exact recipe -- or recipes -- to go from the basic elements of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur to an organism is a prevailing mystery.

Scientists seek out new areas in the solar system where life could have thrived (or still may, such as below the surface of watery moons), in hopes of arriving at a compelling theory for life's origins.




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The Universe

The source of energy, matter and the universe itself is the ultimate mystery of, well, the universe.

Based on a widespread afterglow called the cosmic microwave background (and other evidence), scientists think that the cosmos formed from a "Big Bang" -- an incomprehensible expansion of energy from an ultra-hot, ultra-dense state.

Describing time before the event, however, may be impossible.

Still, atom smasher searches for particles that formed shortly after the Big Bang could shed new light on the universe's mysterious existence -- and make it a bit less strange than it is today.



And now..

Best 50 Astronomy pictures of 08

I wont post 50 but I will do some highlights. Be sure to check out that link. Truly some breathtaking pix in there.



NGC 4676: When Galaxies Collide
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In the image these two galaxies are pulling each other apart. They are near about to collide, in the space galaxies collide again ans again until they coalesce. This image is taken by Hubble Telescope. Its name is NGC 4676, it is 300 million light-years away.
The Milky Way and Andromeda are set to collide like this in 4 billion years.




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The striking spiral galaxy M104 is famous for its nearly edge-on profile featuring a broad ring of obscuring dust. Seen in silhouette against a bright bulge of stars, the swath of cosmic dust lanes lends a hat-like appearance to the galaxy in optical images suggesting the more popular moniker, The Sombrero Galaxy. Here, Hubble Space Telescope archival image data has been reprocessed to create this alternative look at the well-known galaxy. The newly developed processing improves the visibility of details otherwise lost in overwhelming glare, in this case allowing features of the galaxy's dust lanes to be followed well into the bright central region. About 50,000 light-years across and 28 million light-years away, M104 is one of the largest galaxies at the southern edge of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster.


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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #107 on: Jan 1st, 2009, 8:42pm »


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How did the star Eta Carinae create this unusual nebula? No one knows for sure. About 165 years ago, the southern star Eta Carinae mysteriously became the second brightest star in the night sky. In 20 years, after ejecting more mass than our Sun, Eta Car unexpectedly faded. This outburst appears to have created the Homunculus Nebula, pictured above in a composite image from the Hubble Space Telescope taken last decade. Visible in the above image center is purple-tinted light reflected from the violent star Eta Carinae itself. Surrounding this star are expanding lobes of gas laced with filaments of dark dust. Jets bisect the lobes emanating from the central star. Surrounding these lobes are red-tinted debris captured only by its glow in a narrow band of red light. This debris is expanding most quickly of all, and includes streaming whiskers and bow shocks caused by collisions with previously existing material. Eta Car still undergoes unexpected outbursts, and its high mass and volatility make it a candidate to explode in a spectacular supernova sometime in the next few million years.


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Super Nova
A new star, likely the brightest supernova in recorded human history, lit up planet Earth's sky in the year 1006 AD. The expanding debris cloud from the stellar explosion, found in the southerly constellation of Lupus, still puts on a cosmic light show across the electromagnetic spectrum. In fact, this composite view includes X-ray data in blue from the Chandra Observatory, optical data in yellowish hues, and radio image data in red. Now known as the SN 1006 supernova remnant, the debris cloud appears to be about 60 light-years across and is understood to represent the remains of a white dwarf star. Part of a binary star system, the compact white dwarf gradually captured material from its companion star. The buildup in mass finally triggered a thermonuclear explosion that destroyed the dwarf star. Because the distance to the supernova remnant is about 7,000 light-years, that explosion actually happened 7,000 years before the light reached Earth in 1006. Shockwaves in the remnant accelerate particles to extreme energies and are thought to be a source of the mysterious cosmic rays.


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During a total solar eclipse, the Sun's extensive outer atmosphere, or corona, is an inspirational sight. The subtle shades and shimmering features of the corona that engage the eye span a brightness range of over 10,000 to 1, making them notoriously difficult to capture in a single picture. But this composite of 28 digital images ranging in exposure time from 1/1000 to 2 seconds comes close to revealing the crown of the Sun in all its glory. The telescopic views were recorded near Kochenevo, Russia during the August 1 total solar eclipse and also show solar prominences extending just beyond the edge of the eclipsed sun. Remarkably, features on the dark near side of the New Moon can also be made out, illuminated by sunlight reflected from a Full Earth.


Black Hole Candidate Cygnus X-1
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Is that a black hole? Quite possibly. The Cygnus X-1 binary star system contains one of the best candidates for a black hole. The system was discovered because it is one of the brightest X-ray sources on the sky, shining so bright it was detected by the earliest rockets carrying cameras capable of seeing the previously unknown X-ray sky. The star's very name indicates that it is the single brightest X-ray source in the constellation of the Swan Cygnus. Data indicate that a compact object there contains about nine times the mass of the Sun and changes its brightness continually on several time scales, at least down to milliseconds. Such behavior is expected for a black hole, and difficult to explain with other models. Pictured above is an artistic impression of the Cygnus X-1 system. On the left is the bright blue supergiant star designated HDE 226868, which is estimated as having about 30 times the mass of our Sun. Cygnus X-1 is depicted on the right, connected to its supergiant companion by a stream of gas, and surrounded by an impressive accretion disk. The bright star in the Cygnus X-1 system is visible with a small telescope. Strangely, the Cygnus X-1 black hole candidate appears to have formed without a bright supernova explosion.



Ok, enough of that.. Check the link for more!

In other news:
Scientists plan to ignite tiny man made star
Whoa, weird!


Fight for NASAs future. Is the new missions doomed?

Thats all for today!

*edit* Just noticed that these pix are HUGE.. I will fix them soon.. but for now, just right click one and hit "View Picture"

My bad!
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #108 on: Jan 9th, 2009, 11:20pm »

After a week, its time for an update! Whooo boy... we got some big stories here!


SOLAR CYCLE UPDATE: Final sunspot counts for the year 2008 are now available and the numbers are very low. The sun was utterly blank--that is, it had no sunspots whatsoever--on 266 days last year. That makes 2008 a century-class year in terms of low sunspot numbers. To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go all the way back to 1913, which had 311 spotless days. Now for the good news: Evidence is mounting that the deep solar minimum of 2008 is coming to an end; we can expect a livelier sun in 2009



Meteor Shower, did ya see it?
Gallery









SEVERE SPACE WEATHER: The National Academy of Sciences has just released the results of a study entitled Severe Space Weather Events--Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts. The 132-page document examines what might happen to our high-tech modern society in the event of a super solar flare followed by an extreme geomagnetic storm. Such a storm did occur in the year 1859. It electrified telegraph lines, shocking technicians and setting telegraph papers on fire; Northern Lights as far south as Cuba were so bright, you could read a newspaper by their eerie glow.

More

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SEVERE SPACE WEATHER: The National Academy of Sciences has just released the results of a study entitled Severe Space Weather Events--Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts. The 132-page document examines what might happen to our high-tech modern society in the event of a super solar flare followed by an extreme geomagnetic storm. Such a storm did occur in the year 1859. It electrified telegraph lines, shocking technicians and setting telegraph papers on fire; Northern Lights as far south as Cuba were so bright, you could read a newspaper by their eerie glow. (continued below)

According to the report, "a contemporary repetition of that event would cause significantly more extensive (and possibly catastrophic) social and economic disruptions." The report warns of widespread failures in telecommunications, electric power, banking and finance, and transportation; even water supplies could be disrupted. The total economic impact in the first year alone could reach $2 trillion--about 15 times greater than the costs of Hurricane Katrina. Depending on damage, full recovery from the solar storm could take 4 to 6 years.

No one knows how often super solar storms occur. We've only seen one like it in the past 200 years. The next one could be another 200 years away--or just 200 days.


POWER GRIDS IN PERIL: The National Academy of Sciences has released an important new report detailing how geomagnetic storms could damage the infrastructure of modern society. An area of particular vulnerability is power grids. Ground currents induced during century-class storms can actually melt the copper windings of huge, multi-ton transformers at the heart of some power distribution systems. Because modern power grids are interconnected, a cascade of failures could sweep across the country, rapidly cutting power to tens or even hundreds of millions of people:

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According to the report, "impacts would be felt on interdependent infrastructures with, for example, potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply and so on." Melted transformers can take months to repair or replace--so a single extreme storm could make itself felt long after solar activity subsides. Nothing, it seems, is immune from space weather.

Solar Storm could knock out US Power

Quote:
Solar storms have had significant effects in modern time:

In 1989, the sun unleashed a tempest that knocked out power to all of Quebec, Canada.

A remarkable 2003 rampage included 10 major solar flares over a two-week period, knocking out two Earth-orbiting satellites and crippling an instrument aboard a Mars orbiter.

"Obviously, the sun is Earth's life blood," said Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics division at NASA. "To mitigate possible public safety issues, it is vital that we better understand extreme space weather events caused by the sun's activity."

"Space weather can produce solar storm electromagnetic fields that induce extreme currents in wires, disrupting power lines, causing wide-spread blackouts and affecting communication cables that support the Internet," the report states. "Severe space weather also produces solar energetic particles and the dislocation of the Earth's radiation belts, which can damage satellites used for commercial communications, global positioning and weather forecasting."


BIGGEST FULL MOON OF THE YEAR: The biggest full Moon of 2009 is coming this weekend. It's a perigee Moon as much as 30% brighter than lesser moons we'll see in the months ahead. Get the full story from Science@NASA
STORY

Quote:
January 8, 2009: When last month's full Moon rose over Florida, onlooker Raquel Stanton of Cocoa Beach realized that something was up.

"The Moon was stunningly gorgeous--and it looked bigger than usual!" she says. "My whole family noticed and watched in awe."

Like millions of others around the world, she had witnessed the biggest full Moon of 2008--a "perigee Moon," 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser Moons she had seen before. "I'll never forget it."



APPROACHING COMET: Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3), discovered in 2007 by a Strait-bridging team of astronomers from Taiwan and China, is swinging around the sun and approaching Earth. Astronomer Karzaman Ahmad sends this picture taken Jan. 7th from the Langkawi National Observatory in Malaysia:

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"I used the observatory's 20-inch telescope for an exposure of 24 minutes," he says. "The image shows the comet's bright tail and an anti-tail."

Right now, Comet Lulin is gliding through the constellation Libra in the southeastern sky before dawn: sky map. It glows like an 8th magnitude star, so a mid-sized backyard telescope is required to see it. Visibility will improve in February as the Earth-comet distance shrinks. At closest approach (0.41 AU) on February 24th, the comet should brighten to about 5th magnitude--dimly visible to the unaided eye and an easy target for binoculars: ephemeris.

Surprises are possible. The near-parabolic orbit of Comet Lulin suggests this could be the comet's first visit to the inner solar system. How it will react to increasing sunlight is anyone's guess. Stay tuned for updates in the weeks ahead.

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First Sunspots of 09!
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A new sunspot is emerging indide the circled area. Its magnetic polarity identifies it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Credit: SOHO/MDI

So far we have had 2 this week. Although the first quickly fell apart.




Which came first? The Chicken or the Egg?
Well how about the Black Hole or the Galaxy?

Its been solved... which may push back theorized age of the universe.

Full Story
Quote:
Most if not all galaxies, including our own Milky Way, are believed to have massive black holes at their cores.

It was unclear whether black holes came first, helping create galaxies by pulling matter towards them, or whether they arose in already formed galaxies.

"It looks like the black holes came first," said Dr Chris Carilli, from the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, New Mexico, who took part in the study. "The evidence is piling up."


Quote:
Early Universe

Generally, the mass of a black hole was observed to be about 1,000th that of the mass of the surrounding galactic bulge.

This constant ratio indicated an "interactive relationship" between the black hole and the bulge, say the researchers. But it was not clear whether one grew before the other, or whether they grew together.

In the latest study, researchers used radio telescopes to peer back to near the beginning of the Universe, thought to be some 13.7 billion years ago, when the first galaxies were forming.

"We finally have been able to measure black-hole and bulge masses in several galaxies seen as they were in the first billion years after the Big Bang," said co-author Fabian Walter of the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany.

"The evidence suggests that the constant ratio seen [in nearby galaxies] may not hold in the early Universe."

He added: "The implication is that the black holes started growing first."


Now the question is.. what kind of an explosion made the galaxy sized black hole in the first place so that a galaxy can form around it!?

Very interesting. That is all for this time!

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« Last Edit: Jan 9th, 2009, 11:23pm by Jackolope » User IP Logged

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #109 on: Jan 15th, 2009, 02:18am »

Hubble mystery light puzzles astronomers
'No one has been able to come up with a good explanation for this object'

Source

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Almost three years ago, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope were perusing a cluster of galaxies about eight billion light-years from Earth when they came upon a flash of light unlike anything they had seen before.

Over the next 100 days, the object gradually brightened. Then it spent another 100 days growing dimmer, until it finally vanished from view.

Astronomers speaking last week at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach, Calif., still have no idea what it was or is.
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Chemical analysis of the light proved just as puzzling as its visual effects, said Kyle Barbary of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.

"We have never seen anything like it," Barbary told reporters. "No one has been able to come up with a good explanation for this object."

The target was given the designation SCP 06F6 a nod to the Supernova Cosmology Project survey that was underway when the object was discovered on Feb. 21, 2006. It does not match any known supernova or other cosmological event.

Astronomers also do not know if SCP 06F6 was relatively near, possibly even in our Milky Way galaxy, or quite far.


A paper submitted to the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters in September reported that a chemical analysis of the object seemed to match emissions from a distant, cool and carbon-rich atmosphere. Lead author Boris Gaensicke, an associate professor of physics with the United Kingdom's University of Warwick, and colleagues theorized that the object is a new class of supernova or perhaps a disruption of a carbon-rich star.

Gaensicke's team also discovered a strong X-ray source two orders of magnitude higher than any observed supernova that appeared to be associated with SCP 06F6's declining phase.

"In my view, the crucial next step is to probe for an underlying host galaxy around SCP 06F6," Gaensicke wrote in an e-mail to Discovery News. "The detection of a host galaxy would (a) confirm the extragalctic nature ... and (b) permit some insight into the nature of the progenitor of SCP 06F6."

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Last month, a team of Israeli scientists came up with some additional theories, including the destruction of a carbon-rich white dwarf star by a medium-sized black hole; a supernova explosion inside a carbon star; a collision between an asteroid and a white dwarf star; and a collapse of a supernova core.

"Perhaps it is a new type of supernova," Stefan Immler, a NASA astrophysicist with the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., told Discovery News. "We really haven't learned anything else new about it."

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #110 on: Mar 4th, 2009, 01:18am »

OK! I've been a slacker. I've let over a month go by with no updates. Tons have happened too.. So I'll start from most recent to oldest.


NEW MOON FOUND!
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090303-new-moon-saturn.html

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Mars had RECENT Running water
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7919113.stm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090218-water-mars-phoenix.html




Comet Lulin Photo Gallery
HERE!


I hear we almost got hit with a HUGE Asteroid today! Still trying to find some info about it.





Asteroid belt may bear scars of planet migration Interesting


Dark Energy to erase the signs of the big bang


This one was really cool!

Moon has strange gravity wells

NEAT Thing is no one knows why! For a lot of the craters on the far side of the moon, when you walk into one, you weigh twice as much. Its HEAVY. Walk a little bit more into the crater and then your 2 times lighter! Keep going towards the center of the crater and your gravity changes again at least 3 more times! From heavy to light! No clue as to how this is possible. Lotta mysteries out there, ehh?



Galaxy has billions of Earths... probably..





Cosmic Dust Fountian found




Also last month. Tom Van Flandern passed away. He was once a "Mr. Mainstream Space News" guy and come up with some wild ideas about the universe. Turns out a lot of his research is turning out to be right! Some of his ideas that were very controversial was that there once was a large planet where the asteroid belt is now. This Jupiter sized planet had many moons around it. Of those Earth and Mars were once moons of this huge planet as with many of the other moons in the solar system. Something happened roughly 2 billion years ago though and the planet exploded. Sending the moons flying to where they are today. This huge explosion would not only explain the asteroid belt but would explain how Mars and the moon of Saturn, Iapetus got at least half of their surfaces burnt and gave them their odd appearance. Also would explain why Venus spun backwards. His theories made a lot of sense and he will be missed. Find out more here.


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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #111 on: Apr 7th, 2009, 10:58am »


long time since an update! (Sun don't do much now-a-days!) shocked


Source


Red represents low-energy X-rays, the medium range is green, and the most energetic ones are colored blue. The blue hand-like structure was created by energy emanating from the nebula around they dying star PSR B1509-58. The red areas are from a neighboring gas cloud called RCW 89. Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/P.Slane, et al.
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #112 on: Apr 12th, 2009, 11:43pm »

Amazing! After a long sleep the Sun seems to be active again!

SOLAR ACTIVITY: "Solar minimum? No problem," reports Marco Vidovic of Stojnci, Slovenia. "Lately, every time I point my telescope at the edge of the sun, I see plenty of activity." He took this picture yesterday:

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Because prominences are not rooted in sunspots, they do not vanish when the sunspot count plunges to zero.


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CORONAL MASS EJECTION: In addition to the many prominences on display around the sun today (see below), another form of solar activity has appeared. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory is tracking a massive coronal mass ejection (CME) billowing away from the sun's western limb: movie. The slow-moving cloud will not hit Earth.

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All this activity on the Sun has kicked off a electromagnetic storm on Jupiter!

RADIO STORM ON JUPITER: Jupiter has radio storms and yesterday Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico heard one. The loudspeaker of his 21 MHz amateur radio telescope popped and crackled loudly as natural radio lasers in Jupiter's magnetosphere swept their beams past Earth in rapid-fire succession. Electrical currents flowing between Jupiter's upper atmosphere and the volcanic moon Io can boost these emissions to power levels easily detected by ham radio antennas on Earth. Click here and here to listen.
<bgsound="http://www.heliotown.com/Jiob20090411_1522utAshcraft.mp3" autostart="false">





**NEW COMET!**
COMET Yi-SWAN: It's up all night long. Northern circumpolar Comet Yi-SWAN is gliding through the constellation Cassiopeia where it can be seen at almost any hour of the night through amateur telescopes. Working at his backyard observatory in Ellisville, Missouri, Gregg Ruppel took this picture on April 9th:

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At the moment, the green, fuzzy comet is about as bright as an 8th-magnitude star--too dim for the naked eye. If predictions are correct, it will remain a telescopic comet, brightening only a little as it approaches the sun for a 190 million kilometer not-so-close encounter on May 8th. Astronomers will get a better look at the comet in the evenings ahead as the bright light of the full Moon fades.



Neat story!

SHATTERED PLANET? NASA's twin STEREO probes are entering a mysterious region of space to look for remains of an ancient planet which might have orbited the Sun not far from Earth. If they find anything, it could solve a major puzzle--the origin of the Moon. Get the full story from Science@NASA


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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #113 on: Apr 19th, 2009, 4:48pm »

Solar activity is really picking up. Can ya tell with the weather? Anyway, for the second time in a week...

EXPLOSION ON THE SUN: A billion-ton cloud of hot magnetized gas has just left the sun. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) recorded the explosion at the end of the day on April 17th:

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The bright coronal mass ejection (CME) is not heading for Earth, so there will be no geomagnetic effects from the explosion. But it does remind us that sunspots are not required for solar activity. The source of the blast appears to be an erupting prominence high above the sun's northeastern limb

I'll keep ya posted on more news... kinda like this article!

FEROCIOUS CROISSANTS: For the first time, NASA spacecraft have traced the 3D shape of solar storms known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). It turns out the most ferocious CMEs resemble something from a French bakery.

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/14apr_3dcme.htm

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**Click for movie**
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #114 on: May 15th, 2009, 10:30am »

So I'm sure you all have heard of the shuttle mission to save the hubble! It is a pretty big deal! If something goes wrong the shuttle cannot get to the ISS because hubble is so far away from the ISS. So instead they have a second shuttle waiting on the launch pad just in case they need to launch a rescue mission. Here are some news articles and pictures about the mission:

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right click and hit view image to see whole thing better That is the shuttle and hubble!

You can watch streaming video of the mission HERE

CLOSE CALL: A 10-centimeter piece of space junk passed within a few kilometers of space shuttle Atlantis at 7:28 p.m. EDT on May 13th. It was a piece of the Fengyun-1C satellite destroyed by a Chinese anti-satellite weapon in January 2007. Ground controllers knew the fragment was coming and decided correctly that no maneuvers were required to avoid it.




In other news:

EUROPA OCCULTS GANYMEDE: On May 8th, Anthony Wesley of Murrumbateman, Australia, recorded a very rare event--one of Jupiter's moons eclipsing another. "Here," says Wesley, "is an animation of Europa passing directly in front of Ganymede."
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He made the movie using a 13-inch telescope and a digital video camera. "Seeing was not good, so I was only able to use 250 of the 1200 frames I collected." Nevertheless, it is an extraordinary observation, showing the distant moons as genuine world-like disks as they pass in "mutual occultation."

Earth is moving through the orbital plane of Jupiter's satellites, allowing the moons to line up for events such as Wesley recorded on May 8th. This special geometry comes along approximately once every 6 years. The last time was in 2002-2003, and now it is happening again. Between April and December of 2009, observers around the world can see Jupiter's moons passing one in front of another as they circle the giant planet. As part of the International Year of Astronomy, professional astronomers are organizing a worldwide observing campaign to record as many of these events as possible.


More soon! I gotta post about the sun!
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« Reply #115 on: Jun 2nd, 2009, 11:01am »


BLINDING FLASH: On May 31st, evening sky watchers in northern Poland were temporarily blinded by a sudden flash of light brighter than the full Moon. An automated camera in the town of Gniewowo captured this snapshot of the "un-night" sky:

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What happened? A meteoroid of unknown origin hit Earth's atmosphere and exploded. "It was a huge fireball, probably brighter than magnitude -13," reports Gniewowo resident Przemyslaw Zoladek. "The explosion occured at 20:48 UT and was observed by many casual witnesses and at least two Polish Fireball Network video stations." No one knows if fragments of the object reached the ground.






SUNSPOT 1019: New-cycle sunspot 1019 burst through the surface of the sun on May 31st and it has been growing rapidly ever since. This movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) shows the progress of the active region over a two-day period:


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The sunspot's two dark cores are each about the size of Earth, and they are crackling with B-class solar flares. During years of Solar Max (e.g., 2000-2002) we would consider such activity minor, but now, during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009, it merits attention. The magnetic polarity and high latitude of the sunspot identify it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24, expected to peak in 2013. This makes sunspot 1019 a sign of things to come. Readers with solar telescopes should take a look.
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #116 on: Jun 3rd, 2009, 11:04pm »

Things you don't see at a traffic light...

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save this image, srsly.

MAGNETIC MAELSTROM: "Sunspot 1019 continues to put on a show," reports astronomer Pete Lawrence of Selsey UK. "Two distinct main spots are visible with a number of smaller pores scattered around a vast field of magnetic fibrils. The view through an H-alpha 'scope is stunning."

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Since the sunspot emerged on May 31st, it has rapidly grown and reorganized itself into the double spot visible today: movie. The region is crackling with A- and B-class solar flares, which nicely highlight the sunspot's surroundings for astrophotographers. Readers, if you have a solar telescope, take a look!

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And good news! Maybe!

SOLAR CYCLE PREDICTION: An international panel of experts says Solar Cycle 24 will peak in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots. Get the full story from Science@NASA


cool
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #117 on: Jun 10th, 2009, 10:57am »

Going to page 9m brb
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« Reply #118 on: Jun 10th, 2009, 10:57am »

Page 9!
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« Reply #119 on: Jun 10th, 2009, 10:57am »

come on new page...
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