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Astronomy Domine

Anthile

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I was just remembered that we didn't have a thread for astronomy. I stumble often upon astronomy articles that make me think "Hm, that's interesting but not worth a whole thread".
This is a thread to collect and discuss astronomy articles and topics.



Scientists discovered the first exoplanet with at least vaguely Earth-like temperatures:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8572760.stm
 

Alice?

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YES, YES, and YES to this thread. Will inundate it with posts when I'm feeling slightly less like my brain's going to explode out of my cranium.
 

Tyria

Ryuusa bakuryuu
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Am I the only one who thought of 'colonization' when reading this?
 

EloquentBohemian

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Scientists discovered the first exoplanet with at least vaguely Earth-like temperatures:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8572760.stm
So, this begs the question: if this planet is shown to be similar to Earth in fundamental ways, could life evolve similar to Earth's?

On a different note, it never fails to impress me that our technology for exploring space has advanced so far in the years since Galileo improved on the telescope. From 'flat earth' to millions of light years in the small time frame of a mere 400 years.
 

Hawkeye

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hmm, well seeing as the planet is estimated to be the size of jupiter; it will more than likely be a gas/liquid world. I think life will evolve somewhat differently.
 

citrusbreath95

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To OP: YEEEES! TO THE INFINITE POWER!!!!!!!! Finally an astronomy thread! :D I looked at the video on the article you mentioned, that explained the light year, and at the very end how it explained when you view the andromeda galaxy now, your viewing it millions of years ago I was hung over in amazement (Sorry, I know it seems like an obvious statement, but it really is amazing- We see that galaxy as it was millions of years ago as its lightwaves take that long to reach us) For the exo planet that would be an awesome planet host for the mini science fiction story I'm writing for my school newspaper... an idea anyways :) Anyways here's a random pretty interesting article, and I'm too lazy to look up any more :cool: (this guy agrees)
http://www.damninteresting.com/outer-space-exposure
 

Alice?

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So I went up to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles tonight for some Vernal Equinox fun, and ended up getting to see Saturn and it's largest moon, Titan, Mars, our Moon, the Pleiades star cluster, and the Orion Nebula through optical telescopes. SO. AWESOME. I had to share.
 

citrusbreath95

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So I went up to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles tonight for some Vernal Equinox fun, and ended up getting to see Saturn and one of its moons, Titan, Mars, our Moon, the Pleiades star cluster, and the Orion Nebula through visible light telescopes. SO. AWESOME. I had to share.

I'm so jealous! The closest I shall be getting to the planets this spring is that my dad is buying me a telescope for my birthday... so exited... I bet that was some view you saw!
 

Anthile

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Ancient Mars Covered by Vast Ocean said:
More than 3 billion years ago, the northern plains of Mars were covered by a vast ocean that blanketed more than a third of the red planet's surface, new research suggests.

Previous spacecraft investigations have pointed to possible signs of an ancient ocean on Mars. Still, this idea has been challenged for decades, as past evidence has been uncertain, and the matter remains one of the greatest open questions when it comes to researching the red planet.

Now scientists have analyzed global databases of river valley networks on Mars, as well as deposits left behind by ancient deltas. Their research suggests 29 deltas they investigated -- more than half of all those in the databases -- sat at roughly the same height some 3.5 billion years ago, apparently ringing a vast ancient ocean shoreline in the northern lowlands of Mars. [What the Ocean Looked Like]



"Our findings lend credence to the existing theories regarding extent and formation time of an ancient ocean on Mars," said researcher Gaetano Di Achille, a planetary geologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "Moreover our test suggests that early Mars could have likely had a global water cycle similar to the present hydrological configuration of our planet."

The elevation of the newly proposed shoreline also broadly matches up with the outlets of ancient river valley networks, indicating a globally uniform water level on ancient Mars.

"It is a very basic scheme on our planet — rivers form deltas when opening into the seas and oceans and these are ideally formed at the same elevation, the mean global sea level, across the planet," Di Achille said.

All in all, the researchers estimate the ocean would have covered nearly 36 percent of Mars' surface — a body of water encompassing more than 31 million square miles (81 million square kilometers), an area greater than the Atlantic Ocean.

"It is surprising how our results are compatible with previous independent studies based on totally different approaches," Di Achille said. "Of course, our paper will not say the final word on the debate about the Martian ocean, but we are adding a significant piece to the big puzzle."

One significant open question is where the water went after the disappearance of this ocean. "Hopefully the next missions to Mars, like for example MAVEN, will help to answer this question and provide new insights into the history of the Martian water and the presence of an ancient ocean on Mars," Di Achille said.

Di Achille and his colleague Brian Hynek detailed their findings in the June 13 online issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/ancient-mars-vast-oceans-100613.html
 

Melllvar

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More watery-Mars stuff:

The findings, published in the Sept. 10 issue of the journal Science, also suggest that liquid water has primarily existed at temperatures near freezing, implying hydrothermal systems similar to Yellowstone's hot springs on Earth have been rare on Mars throughout its history.

These surprising results come from measurements Phoenix made in 2008 of stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen in the carbon dioxide of the Martian atmosphere. Isotopes are variants of the same element with a different number of neutrons, such as carbon-12, with six neutrons, and the rarer carbon-13, with seven.

Unprecedented precision in determining the ratios of isotopes in Martian carbon dioxide sheds new light on the history of water and volcanic activity on the surface of Mars.
 

echoplex

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I recently stumbled across this site, which lets you see a view of the sky from any position and time on earth. It's not incredibly impressive graphically, but it works well and is ideal for slower computers (like mine). I'm sure there are others like it online, but hey it's free!
 

NiMur90

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One of the discoverers said 'chances of life on this planet are 100%' :O

...of course HE'D say that though...
 

A22

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This thread made me listen to The piper at the gates of dawn
 

Blarraun

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So there'll be a perigee lunar eclipse, a so funnily called "blood moon" in a few hours.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/sci...rt-on-Sunday-Monday-and-when-will-it-end.html

Another one of such brightness/magnitude is expected to occur in 2033, so it's even more compelling to watch.

I'm planning to get my friends together for some board games followed by moon gazing this night. Heh, there's this board game called eclipse as well, what a coincidence.

This thread needs attention desperately.
 

Shieru

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It's exciting isn't it, to have the opportunity to witness a rare cosmic event.. something that happens once in a big, red moon :D

I may be able to capture it with the long-exposure camera I've got, if so I'll post pictures here ^^
 

emmabobary

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Yeiiiii
Thank god I read it on time.
 

Gather_Wanderer

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I got a halfway decent shot with my telescope. If I can get a better one, I'll upload it later.
 

Gather_Wanderer

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Unfortunately by the time I got my telescope out the clouds were here to stay. Dissipated a little later but by that time the Earth had already moved half out of the way.

Boy was it a big, full red before then though. Wish I'd actually planned to take out my telescope tonight (didn't think I'd get a shot) but at least I saw it clearly for about 30 mins.
 

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Shieru

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Unfortunately by the time I got my telescope out the clouds were here to stay. Dissipated a little later but by that time the Earth had already moved half out of the way.

Boy was it a big, full red before then though. Wish I'd actually planned to take out my telescope tonight (didn't think I'd get a shot) but at least I saw it clearly for about 30 mins.
Thanks for sharing these, at least you managed to capture it. What kind of telescope/camera do you have, if I may ask? Been thinking about getting a setup myself for amateur astronomy documentation.
 

Blarraun

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The moon was incredibly bright, as expected by it being at its closest point of orbit around earth. I haven't seen the moon this bright I think, the sky was lit up to a weakly blue colour because of that, as if it was dawning. The clouds were brighter on top, very cool gradient on them, but I didn't have a good enough camera to capture it.

The surface appeared more brown than red for the most part.
Maximum, we didn't have a 100% eclipse where the pictures are from.

Part
Today it was also announced there's liquid water forming seasonal "flows" on Mars.
 

Kuu

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I managed to have some clear skies and a good spot to park my tripod. I got some good shots, though manual exposure bracketing is a pain. I'll post my shots later after some postproduction magic.
 

Gather_Wanderer

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Thanks for sharing these, at least you managed to capture it. What kind of telescope/camera do you have, if I may ask? Been thinking about getting a setup myself for amateur astronomy documentation.
My setup yesterday was with a 60 mm telescope. I used my phone (Galaxy Note 4) to take pictures. Again by the time I actually got the telescope out it had already started to become cloudy. Such a shame because the first half hour of the eclipse's peak there weren't any clouds. I blame myself rather than the weatherman on this one though. Should've been ready. :D


The moon was incredibly bright, as expected by it being at its closest point of orbit around earth. I haven't seen the moon this bright I think, the sky was lit up to a weakly blue colour because of that, as if it was dawning. The clouds were brighter on top, very cool gradient on them, but I didn't have a good enough camera to capture it.

The surface appeared more brown than red for the most part.
Maximum, we didn't have a 100% eclipse where the pictures are from.

Part
Today it was also announced there's liquid water forming seasonal "flows" on Mars.
Great photos. I had one in the ballpark of this quality only for a brief moment and couldn't get the picture.

Also big news from NASA! I expect sometime in the not-too-distant future, a 'life discovery' announcement will be made. I also expect it to be heavily politicized and if the discovery has already been made, the world is being prepped for it.
 

Kuu

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Eh, too lazy for post-processing.

It's a shame I couldn't bring a big telephoto for a serious closeup. Gonna have to wait until 2033 then...







 

Pizzabeak

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Nice photos @Kuu

Was going to post the Nasa link this morning but ran out of time. Alas, we have known there was water on Mars for years but the big deal here is that they found minerals - the "hydrated salts" and "perchlorates". I think a really similar press release was shown back in 2006 or so... A bit more info than we had before, and which gives more hope of finding bacteria there so to speak. In accordance with GW one would wonder if they have a slew of other classified material waiting for the right time to show to the public. Surely unrelated but pretty lame how it would coincide with the new Matt Damon flick "The Martian". Not sure if this was the press release people were expecting although.. I could spend more time reading the specifics of the findings.

Over here the Superbloodmoon was alright. During certain times of the year when the sun goes down and the moon initially rises it's of a large grapefruit size and brilliant orange color but only lasts a few minutes. Puts on a similar display although here there were eclipses going on technically. Wasn't visually impressed although the view kind of sucks in this neighborhood. I mean, we'll have to wait and see..
 

emmabobary

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It was even more beautiful than I thought
 

rainman312

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I've been helping a teacher at my school run an observatory for a few months now. We've been using it for astrophotography. I figured I'd share a few of the photos we've taken here. I'll post new ones periodically, although we haven't taken any in about a month due to back-to-school madness.
 

Shieru

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