Posts tagged astronomy
Posts tagged astronomy
Want to see a comet in the next week or two? Comet PANSTARRS will be visible starting today till the end of the month. The image is from the University of Hawaii. Another good place to find observing information is at Sky & Telescope magazine.
So, what is the deal with Pluto? Amy Shira Teitel does a great job of explaining.
This is my new favorite Hubble image. This is the “Cosmic Horseshoe” galaxy.
This object is probably about 13.3 Billion light years away, or it was formed only about 400 Million years after the Big Bang.
“By combining the power of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and one of nature’s zoom lenses, astronomers have found what is probably the most distant galaxy yet seen in the Universe. The object offers a peek back into a time when the Universe was only 3 percent of its present age of 13.7 billion years.
We see the newly discovered galaxy, named MACS0647-JD, as it was 420 million years after the Big Bang. Its light has travelled for 13.3 billion years to reach Earth, which corresponds to a redshift of approximately 11.”
Found via this Slate article.
This is a great reason to use the Chrome browser, http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/stars/ Also, try poking around after toggling the spectral index.
Want to watch a total eclipse tomorrow on the Internet? Here is a live feed, and here is another. Here is where you can get some more info about local times of the eclipse. It is viewable in Queensland Australia and in the South Pacific Ocean, so most people won’t be able to see it for themselves. If you are in the US, it starts about 2:38pm EST, 11:38am PST.
The text below is from an article in the Atlantic, The Best Way to Find Aliens: Look for Their Solar Power Plants. (The image above is CC-BY-SA from Anders Sandberg.)
In 1960, mathematician, physicist, and all-around genius Freeman Dyson predicted that every civilization in the Universe eventually runs out of energy on its home planet, provided it survives long enough to do so. Dyson argued that this event constitutes a major hurdle in a civilization’s evolution, and that all those who leap over it do so in precisely the same way: they build a massive collector of starlight, a shell of solar panels to surround their home star. Astronomers have taken to calling these theoretical megastructures Dyson Spheres. Dyson’s insight may seem like nothing more than a thought experiment, but if his hypothesis is sound, it has a striking implication: if you want to find advanced alien civilizations, you should look for signs of Dyson Spheres.
Last month a trio of astronomers led by Penn State’s Jason Wright began a two-year search for Dyson Spheres, a search that will span the Milky Way, along with millions of other galaxies. Their project was just awarded a sizable grant from the Templeton Foundation, a philanthropic organization that funds research on the “big questions” that face humanity, questions relating to “human purpose and ultimate reality.”
“A team from the University of Japan have found a unique occurrence in data from Kepler – the first multiple planet eclipse around a star called KOI-94.” The accepted article draft can be found in the arXiv. (“Planet-Planet Eclipse and the Rossiter-McLaughlin Effect of a Multiple Transiting System: Joint Analysis of the Subaru Spectroscopy and the Kepler Photometry”)