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Latest Activity: 12 hours ago
Cosmology - Astrophysics - Astronomy
Hubble Wallpaper - Awesome Hubble Images
Started by doone. Last reply by Michel Jun 2.
Started by Michel. Last reply by Michel May 15.
Started by doone. Last reply by doone Apr 19.
Started by Dallas the Phallus. Last reply by Onyango Makagutu Apr 15.
Started by Dallas the Phallus. Last reply by Dallas the Phallus Apr 14.
Messier Monday: Messier’s First Globular Cluster, M2
Weekend Diversion: The Master of Illusions
You NEED more science in your politics! (Yes, YOU!)
What is the Big Bang all about?
Messier Monday: The Most Blueshifted Messier Object, M86
It's spectacular here over the dark hills of northern Vermont right now, brightening and, by the looks, diminishing a little as it ascends.
It's going to be overcast here in NYC, won't get to see the supermoon
I'm hoping the skies clear enough here for me to enjoy the site, if my tequila muddled brain can handle it.
Explanation: Rising as the Sun sets, tonight's Full Moon could be hard to miss. Remarkably, its exact full phase (May 6 03:36 UT) will occur less than two minutes after it reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth in the Moon's orbit, making it the largest Full Moon of 2012. The Full Perigee Moon will appear to be some 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a Full Moon near apogee, the most distant point in the elliptical lunar orbit. In comparison, though, it will appear less than 1 percent larger and almost as bright as April's Full Moon, captured in this telephoto image rising over suburban Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. For that lunation, Full Moon and perigee were about 21 hours apart. Of course, if you manage to miss May's Full Perigee Moon, make a note on your calendar. Your next chance to see a Full Moon close to perigee, will be next year on June 23.
Explanation: Exploring the cosmos at extreme energies, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope orbits planet Earth every 95 minutes. By design, it rocks to the north and then to the south on alternate orbits in order to survey the sky with its Large Area Telescope (LAT). The spacecraft also rolls so that solar panels are kept pointed at the Sun for power, and the axis of its orbit precesses like a top, making a complete rotation once every 54 days. As a result of these multiple cycles the paths of gamma-ray sources trace out complex patterns from the spacecraft's perspective, like this mesmerising plot of the path of the Vela Pulsar. Centered on the LAT instrument's field of view, the plot spans 180 degrees and follows Vela's position from August 2008 through August 2010. The concentration near the center shows that Vela was in the sensitive region of the LAT field during much of that period. Born in the death explosion of a massive star within our Milky Way galaxy, the Vela Pulsar is a neutron star spinning 11 times a second, seen as the brightest persistent source in the gamma-ray sky.
Explanation: Close to the Great Bear (Ursa Major) and surrounded by the stars of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici), this celestial wonder was discovered in 1781 by the metric French astronomer Pierre Mechain. Later, it was added to the catalog of his friend and colleague Charles Messier as M106. Modern deep telescopic views reveal it to be an island universe: a spiral galaxy around 30 thousand light-years across located only about 21 million light-years beyond the stars of the Milky Way. Along with prominent dust lanes and a bright central core, this colorful composite image highlights youthful blue star clusters and reddish stellar nurseries that trace the galaxy's spiral arms. The high resolution galaxy portrait is a mosaic of data from Hubble's sharp ACS camera combined with groundbased color image data. M106 (aka NGC 4258) is a nearby example of the Seyfert class of active galaxies, seen across the spectrum from radio to X-rays. Energetic active galaxies are powered by matter falling into a massivecentral black hole.
Explanation: Although its colors may be subtle, Saturn's moon Helene is an enigma in any light. The moon was imaged in unprecedented detail last June as the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn swooped to within a single Earth diameter of the diminutive moon. Although conventional craters and hills appear, the above image also shows terrain that appears unusually smooth and streaked. Planetary astronomers are inspecting these detailed images of Helene to glean clues about the origin and evolution of the 30-km across floating iceberg. Helene is also unusual because it circles Saturn just ahead of the large moon Dione, making it one of only four known Saturnian moons to occupy a gravitational well known as a stable Lagrange point.
That is a beautiful picture doone. I saved it for later use (maybe a screensaver). The aurora coming from true north makes sense since that's where the weakest magnetic field is.
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