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Latest Activity: yesterday
Cosmology - Astrophysics - Astronomy
Hubble Wallpaper - Awesome Hubble Images
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The E-Cat is back, and people are still falling for it!
Messier Monday: A Hyper-Smooth Globular Cluster, M5
Weekend Diversion: Against Scientific Racism
“Einstein’s Greatest Blunder” was REALLY a blunder!
The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry
This is spectacular!!
I've been to the north of Iceland for a few days but it was snowing heavily... no sky to speak of.
What a beautiful photo!
Explanation: It was all lined up even without the colorful aurora exploding overhead. If you follow the apex line of the recently deployed monuments of Arctic Henge in Raufarhöfn in northern Iceland from this vantage point, you will see that they point due north. A good way to tell is to follow their apex line to the line connecting the end stars of the Big Dipper, Merak and Dubhe, toward Polaris, the bright star near the north spin axis of the Earth projected onto the sky. By design, from this vantage point, this same apex line will also point directly at the midnight sun at its highest point in the sky just during the summer solstice of Earth's northern hemisphere. In other words, the Sun will not set at Arctic Henge during the summer solstice in late June, and at its highest point in the skyit will appear just above the aligned vertices of this modern monument. The above image was taken in late March during a beautiful auroral storm.
Explanation: On planet Gliese 876d, sunrises might be dangerous. Although nobody really knows what conditions are like on this close-in planet orbiting variable red dwarf star Gliese 876, the above artistic illustration gives one impression. With an orbit well inside Mercury and a mass several times that of Earth, Gliese 876d might rotate so slowly that dramatic differences exist between night and day. Gliese 876d is imagined above showing significant volcanism, possibly caused by gravitational tides flexing andinternally heating the planet, and possibly more volatile during the day. The rising red dwarf star shows expected stellar magnetic activity which includes dramatic and violent prominences. In the sky above, a hypothetical moon has its thin atmosphere blown away by the red dwarf's stellar wind. Gliese 876d excites the imagination partly because it is one of the few extrasolar planets known to be in or near to the habitable zone of its parent star.
From the Mars-size object that slammed into our planet 4.5 billion years ago, forming the moon, to a bombardment that boiled off early oceans as recently as 2.5 billion years ago, Earth has taken some massive stonings in its lifetime. Now scientists think they know where the rocks were coming from. In a paper published online today in Nature, planetary dynamicists finger the now-depleted inner edge of the asteroid belt, located just outside the orbit of Mars. Researchers had previously proposed that Jupiter and Saturn wandered toward the sun about 4 billion years ago, gravitationally slinging asteroids toward Earth as they went. But new computer simulations suggest that these planets would have also flung some innermost asteroids into inclined, but not perfectly stable, orbits. Slowly, these asteroids escaped from these orbits, pummeling Earth for billions of years to come.
Apr. 27, 2012
Explanation: Last week Mercury wandered far to the west of the Sun. As the solar system's innermost planet neared its greatest elongation or greatest angle from the Sun (for this apparition about 27 degrees) it was joined by an old crescent Moon. The conjunction was an engaging sight for early morning risers in the southern hemisphere. There the pair rose together in predawn skies, climbing high above the horizon along a steeply inclined ecliptic plane. This well composed sequence captures the rising Moon and Mercury above the city lights of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. A stack of digital images, it consists of an exposure made every 3 minutes beginning at 4:15 am local time on April 19. Mercury's track is at the far right, separated from the Moon's path by about 8 degrees.
It wouldn't be believable if it was a movie special effect =)
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