Astronomy and Space

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RTH10260
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Re: Astronomy and Space

#76

Post by RTH10260 » Sun May 06, 2018 7:59 pm

United Launch Alliance wrote:Atlas V InSight Launch Highlights

Published on 5 May 2018

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying NASA’s InSight mission to Mars lifts off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on May 5, 2018. The mission marks the first interplanetary launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The two-year InSight mission seeks to understand the evolutionary formation of rocky planets, including Earth, by investigating the interior structure and processes of Mars.




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Re: Astronomy and Space

#77

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Wed May 16, 2018 8:44 am

https://www.space.com/40596-fastest-gro ... found.html
Scientists Just Found the Fastest-Growing Black Hole. Here's How Fast It 'Eats'

Researchers used newly released data from the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite to confirm that the brightly shining object is a black hole, which appears to have been the mass of about 20 billion suns when the light was released and was growing by 1 percent every million years, researchers said in a statement released today (May 15).

"This black hole is growing so rapidly that it's shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy, due to all the gases it sucks in daily that cause lots of friction and heat," Christian Wolf, an astronomer at the Australian National University and first author on the new research, said in the statement.

Luckily, though, the black hole is far enough away that it likely released its light more than 12 billion years ago, the researchers said. The energy it emits is mostly ultraviolet light, but it also releases X-rays. "Again, if this monster was at the center of the Milky Way, it would likely make life on Earth impossible with the huge amounts of X-rays emanating from it," Wolf said.

Because of its distance and the expansion of space, that light had shifted into the near-infrared during its billions-of-years journey. Wolf and his colleagues spotted the light with the SkyMapper telescope at the ANU Siding Spring Observatory. They then used the Gaia satellite to measure that the object was sitting still, thereby also confirming that it was incredibly distant and likely a supermassive black hole, the researchers said. Then, another ANU telescope measured the wavelengths released from the object to verify its composition.


"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, feminist and founder with others of NAACP.

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RTH10260
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Re: Astronomy and Space

#78

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:10 am

Pluto does not live a lonely life
OSSOS. VII. 800+ Trans-Neptunian Objects

Bannister, Michele T.; Gladman, Brett J.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Petit, Jean-Marc; Volk, Kathryn; Chen, Ying-Tung; Alexandersen, Mike; Gwyn, Stephen D. J.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Ashton, Edward; Benecchi, Susan D.; Cabral, Nahuel; Dawson, Rebekah I.; Delsanti, Audrey; Fraser, Wesley C.; Granvik, Mikael; Greenstreet, Sarah; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jakubik, Marian ; ...

Abstract

The Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS), a wide-field imaging program in 2013─2017 with the Canada─France─Hawaii Telescope, surveyed 155 deg2 of sky to depths of m r = 24.1─25.2. We present 838 outer solar system discoveries that are entirely free of ephemeris bias. This increases the inventory of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) with accurately known orbits by nearly 50%. Each minor planet has 20─60 Gaia/Pan-STARRS-calibrated astrometric measurements made over 2─5 oppositions, which allows accurate classification of their orbits within the trans-Neptunian dynamical populations. The populations orbiting in mean-motion resonance with Neptune are key to understanding Neptune’s early migration. Our 313 resonant TNOs, including 132 plutinos, triple the available characterized sample and include new occupancy of distant resonances out to semimajor axis a ∼ 130 au. OSSOS doubles the known population of the nonresonant Kuiper Belt, providing 436 TNOs in this region, all with exceptionally high-quality orbits of a uncertainty σ a ≤ 0.1% they show that the belt exists from a ≳ 37 au, with a lower perihelion bound of 35 au. We confirm the presence of a concentrated low-inclination a ≃ 44 au “kernel” population and a dynamically cold population extending beyond the 2:1 resonance. We finely quantify the survey’s observational biases. Our survey simulator provides a straightforward way to impose these biases on models of the trans-Neptunian orbit distributions, allowing statistical comparison to the discoveries. The OSSOS TNOs, unprecedented in their orbital precision for the size of the sample, are ideal for testing concepts of the history of giant planet migration in the solar system.
from a new scientific paper listed at https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/#abs/2018 ... B/abstract



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Re: Astronomy and Space

#79

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:40 am

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/scientis ... 37580.html
Scientists just discovered something very special about Jupiter’s lightning
Jupiter is a massive, swirling mass of towering storm clouds, and anyone who lives on Earth knows that storms are fantastic at producing lightning. When NASA sent its Voyager 1 spacecraft on its trip through our Solar System, its flyby of Jupiter revealed that Jupiter does indeed have lightning, but it wasn’t producing the same kinds of radio signals that scientists are familiar with from lightning here on Earth. Now, nearly four decades later, NASA finally knows why.

NASA researchers just published a new paper in Nature that describes how they used data from the Juno probe to solve the mystery of Jupiter’s strange lightning, and it reveals that the planet’s storms produce flashes that are both very similar and also completely different from lightning on Earth.

“In the data from our first eight flybys, Juno’s MWR detected 377 lightning discharges. They were recorded in the megahertz as well as gigahertz range, which is what you can find with terrestrial lightning emissions,” Brown explains. “We think the reason we are the only ones who can see it is because Juno is flying closer to the lighting than ever before, and we are searching at a radio frequency that passes easily through Jupiter’s ionosphere.”

NASA says the lightning distribution on Jupiter is “inside out” compared to Earth. The lightning originates at Jupiter’s poles, rather than distributed across its surface, and the researchers attribute that to Jupiter’s distance from the Sun. They think that, because Jupiter’s atmosphere is stable near its equator thanks to warmth from the Sun, the lightning is forming in the much less stable air rising near its poles from within the planet. Neat!


"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, feminist and founder with others of NAACP.

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Re: Astronomy and Space

#80

Post by chancery » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:40 pm

You mean the Opportunity rover. It's curiously surprisingly easy to get the names mixed up.

The much larger and more capable Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2011. https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity
RTH10260 wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:30 pm
The Curiosity rover on Mars is still going strong in its 14th year

once designed to last a mere 90 days




chancery
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Re: Astronomy and Space

#81

Post by chancery » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:43 pm

Opportunity, one of the two solar powered rovers that landed on Mars in 2004 with an expected lifetime of 90 days and a hoped-for-if-everything-goes-ridiculously-right-lifetime of two or three times that duration, is now waiting out a dust storm that threatens to end its improbably long and successful science mission.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7155

One of the best (and my favorite) sources of information about the Mars rovers and planetary exploration generally is Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society. https://twitter.com/elakdawalla

Doug Ellison, a British multimedia producer who parlayed his interest in processing publicly available images downloaded from Mars into a rover operations job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has posted a series of interesting materials on his twitter feed which provide the engineering background for understanding Opportunity's peril.



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Re: Astronomy and Space

#82

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:04 am

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ticle-jet/
Giant Black Hole Swallows a Star and Belches Out a Superfast Particle Jet
A decade-long international effort to track a star’s death by black hole could lift the veil on galaxy formation in the early universe


Marshaling a decade’s worth of data from telescopes around the world, scientists have captured new details of a gargantuan black hole feasting on a hapless star, watching as the black hole consumed its prey and burped out a jet of material moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light. The results are published in the June 14 edition of Science, and could help researchers better understand how black holes grow and influence their galactic surroundings.

“Never before have we been able to directly observe the formation and evolution of a jet from one of these events,” says study co-author Miguel Pérez-Torres of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in Spain.

Both had been hunting for supernovae in the vicinity of Arp 299’s colliding galactic cores, a dust-shrouded region filled with clouds of gas and newborn massive stars generated by the ongoing merger. And a supernova was, at first, exactly what they thought they found. These cataclysmic stellar explosions are particularly bright in visible light and in x-rays—except in Arp 299’s murky center most of that light would be absorbed by dust and reradiated in the infrared; the remnant would then leak out as radio waves. But follow-up infrared observations with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope showed the source was far too bright to be a supernova, blazing with light that would outshine a typical small galaxy by several 100-fold. That suggested the source was not a supernova at all, but rather a tidal disruption event (TDE), a star being torn apart by a supermassive black hole.

In a TDE roughly half of the ripped-up star is flung away from the black hole whereas the other half plunges to its doom, piling up around the hole’s maw in a whirling disk of glowing debris that can be mistaken for a supernova. There is no mistaking, however, the other signature of a TDE: twin jets of star stuff ejected from near the black hole at nearly light-speed by intense magnetic fields twisting and breaking like rubber bands. Ramming into the diffuse gas of the interstellar medium, the jets would produce copious radio waves potentially visible from Earth. So Mattila, Pérez-Torres and 34 additional collaborators organized an international campaign using a global network of radio telescopes to obtain high-resolution radio images of the source, patiently, periodically monitoring its size and shape in search of a jet.


"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, feminist and founder with others of NAACP.

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