Yahoo! Groups Tips
Did you know...
You can add links to your Web
sites related to your group?
Show Message Summaries
Sort by Date
Leo ring: deep image in the optical domain with the distribution of the
gas in HI in yellow-orange. The thumbnails on the right are a three of the dense areas of the ring with their optical counterparts. © CFHT/Astron - P.A. Duc
From a Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope press release:
An international team unveiled the origin of the giant gas ring in the Leo group of galaxies. With the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the scientists were able to detect an optical signature of the ring corresponding to star forming regions. This observation rules out the primordial nature of the gas, which is of
galactic origin. Thanks
to numerical simulations made at CEA, a scenario for the formation of this ring has been proposed: a violent collision between two galaxies, slightly more than one billion years ago. The results will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
In the current theories on galaxy formation, the accretion of cold primordial gas is a key-process in the early steps of galaxy growth. This primordial gas is characterized by two main features: it has never sojourned in any galaxy and it does not satisfy the conditions required to form stars. Is such an accretion process still ongoing in nearby galaxies? To answer the question, large sky surveys are undertaken attempting to detect the primordial gas.
The Leo ring, a giant ring of cold gas 650,000 light-years wide surrounding the galaxies of the Leo group, is one of the most dramatic and mysterious clouds of intergalactic gas. Since its discovery in the 80s, its origin and its nature were debated. Last year, studies of the metal abundances in the gas led to the belief that the ring was made of this famous primordial gas.
Thanks to the sensitivity of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope MegaCam camera, the international team observed for the first time the optical counterpart of the densest regions of the ring, in visible light instead of radio waves. Emitted by massive young stars, this light
points to the fact that the ring gas is able to form stars.
A ring of gas and stars surrounding a galaxy immediately suggests another kind of ring: a so-called collisional ring, formed when two galaxies collide. Such a ring is seen in the famous Cartwheel galaxy. Would the Leo ring be a collisional ring too?
In order to secure this hypothesis, the team used numerical simulations (performed on supercomputers at CEA) to demonstrate that the ring was indeed the result of a giant collision between two galaxies more than 38 million light-years apart: at the time of the collision, the disk of gas of one of the galaxies is blown away and will eventually form a ring outside of
the galaxy. The simulations allowed the identification of the two galaxies which collided: NGC 3384, one of the galaxies at the center of the Leo group, and M96, a massive spiral galaxy at the periphery of the group. They also gave the date of the collision: more than a billion years ago!
The gas in the Leo ring is definitely not primordial. The hunt for primordial gas is still open!
nearby star-forming region around the star R Coronae Australis imaged by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO‚Äôs La Silla Observatory in Chile.
This magnificent view of the region around the star R Coronae Australis was created from images taken with the Wide Field Imager (WFI)
at ESO‚Äôs La Silla Observatory in Chile. R Coronae Australis lies at the
heart of a nearby star-forming region and is surrounded by a delicate bluish reflection nebula embedded in a huge dust cloud. The image reveals surprising new details in this dramatic area of sky.
The star R Coronae Australis lies in one of the nearest and most spectacular star-forming regions. This portrait was taken by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. The image is a combination of twelve separate pictures taken through red, green and blue filters.
This image shows a section of sky that spans roughly the width of the full Moon. This is equivalent to about four light-years at the distance of the nebula, which is located some 420 light-years away in the small constellation of
Corona Australis (the Southern Crown). The complex is named after the star R Coronae Australis, which lies at the centre of the image. It is one of several stars in this region that belong to the class of very young stars that vary in brightness and are still surrounded by the clouds of gas and dust from which they formed.
The intense radiation given off by these hot young stars interacts with the gas surrounding them and is either reflected or re-emitted at a different wavelength. These complex processes, determined by the physics of the interstellar medium and the properties of the stars, are responsible for
the magnificent colours of nebulae. The light blue
nebulosity seen in this picture is mostly due to the reflection of starlight off small dust particles. The young stars in the R Coronae Australis complex are similar in mass to the Sun and do not emit
enough ultraviolet light to ionise a substantial fraction of the surrounding hydrogen. This means that the cloud does not glow with the characteristic red colour seen in many star-forming regions.
The huge dust cloud in which the reflection nebula is embedded is here shown in impressively fine detail.
The subtle colours and varied textures of the dust clouds make this image resemble an impressionist painting. A prominent dark lane crosses the image from the centre to the bottom left. Here the visible light emitted by the stars that are forming inside the cloud is completely absorbed by
the dust. These objects could only be detected by observing at longer wavelengths, by using a camera that can detect infrared radiation.
Coronae Australis itself is not visible to the unaided eye, but the tiny, tiara-shaped constellation in which it lies is easily spotted from
dark sites due to its proximity on the sky to the larger constellation of Sagittarius and the rich star clouds towards the centre of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.
Simulation showing a Milky Way-like galaxy around five billion years ago, when most satellite galaxy collisions were happening. Credit: Andrew Cooper, John Helly (Durham University)
the Royal Astronomical Society
Many of the Milky Way‚Äôs ancient stars are remnants of other smaller galaxies torn apart by violent galactic collisions around five billion years ago, according to researchers at Durham University, who publish their results in a new paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Scientists at Durham‚Äôs Institute for Computational Cosmology and their collaborators at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, in Germany, and Groningen University, in Holland, ran huge computer simulations to recreate the beginnings of our Galaxy.
The simulations revealed that the ancient stars, found in a stellar halo of debris surrounding the Milky Way, had been ripped from smaller galaxies by the gravitational forces generated by colliding galaxies.
predict that the early Universe was full of small galaxies which led short and violent lives. These galaxies collided with each other leaving behind debris which eventually settled into more familiar looking galaxies like the Milky Way.
The researchers say their finding supports the theory that many of the Milky
Way‚Äôs ancient stars had once belonged to other galaxies instead
of being the earliest stars born inside the Galaxy when it began to form about 10 billion years ago.
Simulation showing the stellar halo of a Milky Way-like galaxy in the present day. Credit: Andrew Cooper (Durham University)
Lead author Andrew Cooper, from Durham University‚Äôs Institute for Computational Cosmology, said: ‚ÄúEffectively we became galactic archaeologists, hunting out the likely sites where ancient stars could be scattered around the galaxy.
‚ÄúOur simulations show how different relics in the Galaxy today, like these ancient stars,
are related to events in the distant past.
‚ÄúLike ancient rock strata that reveal the history of Earth, the stellar halo
preserves a record of a dramatic primeval period in the life of the Milky Way which ended long before the Sun was born.‚ÄĚ
computer simulations started from shortly after the Big Bang, around 13 billion years ago, and used the universal laws of physics to simulate the
evolution of dark matter and the stars.
These simulations are the
most realistic to date, capable of zooming into the very fine detail of
the stellar halo structure, including star ‚Äústreams‚ÄĚ ‚Äď which are stars being pulled from the smaller galaxies by the gravity of the dark matter.
One in one hundred stars in the Milky Way
belong to the stellar halo, which is much larger than the Galaxy‚Äôs familiar spiral disk. These stars are almost as old as the Universe.
Carlos Frenk, Director of Durham University‚Äôs Institute for Computational Cosmology, said: ‚ÄúThe simulations are a blueprint for galaxy formation.
show that vital clues to the early, violent history of the Milky Way lie on our galactic doorstep.
‚ÄúOur data will help observers decode
the trials and tribulations of our Galaxy in a similar way to how archaeologists work out how ancient Romans lived from the artefacts they
The research is part of the Aquarius Project, which uses the largest supercomputer simulations to study the formation of galaxies like the Milky Way and was partly funded by the UK‚Äôs Science
and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
Aquarius was carried out by the Virgo Consortium, involving scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University,
UK, the University of Victoria in Canada, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, Caltech in the USA and Trieste in Italy.
cosmologists will present their work to the public as part of the Royal
Society's 350th anniversary 'See Further' exhibition, held at London's Southbank Centre until July 4th.
This image taken
by the Cassini orbiter on Oct. 15, 2007, shows Saturn's A and F rings, the small moon Epimetheus and smog-enshrouded Titan, the planet's largest moon. The image is colorized to approximate the scene as it might appear to human eyes. (Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)
The first experimental evidence showing how atmospheric nitrogen can be incorporated into organic macromolecules is being reported by a University of Arizona team. The finding indicates what organic molecules might be found on Titan, the moon of Saturn that scientists think is a model for the chemistry of pre-life Earth.
Earth and Titan are the only known planetary-sized bodies that have thick, predominantly nitrogen atmospheres, said Hiroshi Imanaka, who conducted the research while a member of UA's chemistry and biochemistry department.
How complex organic molecules become nitrogenated in settings like early Earth or Titan's atmosphere is a big mystery, Imanaka said.
"Titan is so interesting because its nitrogen-dominated atmosphere and organic chemistry might give us a clue to the origin of life on our Earth," said
Imanaka, now an assistant research scientist in the UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. "Nitrogen is an essential element of life."
not just any nitrogen will do. Nitrogen gas must be converted to a more
chemically active form of nitrogen that can drive the reactions that form the basis of biological systems.
Imanaka and Mark Smith converted a nitrogen-methane gas mixture similar to Titan's atmosphere into a collection of nitrogen-containing organic molecules by irradiating the gas with high-energy UV rays. The laboratory set-up was designed to mimic how solar radiation affects Titan's atmosphere.
Most of the nitrogen moved directly into solid compounds, rather than gaseous ones, said Smith, a UA professor and head of chemistry and biochemistry. Previous models predicted the nitrogen would move from gaseous compounds to solid ones in a lengthier stepwise process.
Titan looks orange in color because a smog of organic molecules envelops the planet. The particles in the smog will eventually settle down to the surface and may be exposed to conditions that could create life, said Imanaka, who is also a
principal investigator at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif.
scientists don't know whether Titan's smog particles contain nitrogen. If some of the particles are the same nitrogen-containing organic molecules the UA team created in the laboratory, conditions conducive to
life are more likely, Smith said.
Laboratory observations such as
these indicate what the next space missions should look for and what instruments should be developed to help in the search,
Imanaka and Smith's paper, "Formation of nitrogenated
organic aerosols in the Titan upper atmosphere," is scheduled for publication in the Early Online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of June 28. NASA provided funding for the research.
The UA researchers wanted to simulate conditions
in Titan's thin upper atmosphere because results from the Cassini Mission indicated "extreme UV" radiation hitting the atmosphere created complex organic molecules.
Therefore, Imanaka and Smith used the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's synchroton in Berkeley, Calif. to shoot high-energy UV light into a stainless steel cylinder containing nitrogen-and-methane gas held at very low pressure.
The researchers used a mass spectrometer to analyze the chemicals that resulted from the radiation.
Simple though it sounds, setting up the experimental equipment is complicated. The UV light itself must pass through a series of vacuum chambers on its
way into the gas chamber.
Many researchers want to use the Advanced Light Source, so competition for time on the instrument is fierce. Imanaka and Smith were allocated one or two time slots per year,
each of which was for eight hours a day for only five to 10 days.
each time slot, Imanaka and Smith had to pack all the experimental equipment into a van, drive to Berkeley, set up the delicate equipment and launch into an intense series of experiments. They sometimes worked more than 48 hours straight to get the maximum out of their time on the Advanced Light Source. Completing all the necessary experiments took years.
It was nerve-racking, Imanaka said: "If we miss just one screw, it messes up our beam time."
At the beginning, he only analyzed the gases from the cylinder. But he didn't detect any nitrogen-containing organic compounds.
Imanaka and Smith thought there was something wrong in the experimental set-up, so they tweaked the system. But still no nitrogen.
"It was quite a mystery," said Imanaka, the paper's first author. "Where did the nitrogen go?"
the two researchers collected the bits of brown gunk that gathered on the cylinder wall and analyzed it with what Imanaka called "the most sophisticated mass spectrometer technique."
Imanaka said, "Then I finally found the nitrogen!"
Imanaka and Smith suspect that such compounds are formed in Titan's upper atmosphere and eventually fall to Titan's surface. Once on the surface, they contribute to an environment that is conducive to the evolution of life.
Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the
Do you really think ETs are calling us !!! SETI says ETs are
calling but we are using the wrong phones to answer them.
but we all know it was only Electromagnetic waves which is feasible to
detect the artificial radio signals.They say that they got a signal from
an ET 20 years ago.Till now not any other signals have been detected.
So its we who are having the wrong equipments to answer them
or the whole story itself is a hoax !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
o It is a hoax .I can say it for sure !!
o SETI - never heard of it.
o SETI is very active in detecting the signals from Extra Terrestrials . I
will never say it as a Hoax. They are actually waiting for signals for the past
20 years and SETI is doing a very good job.
o Electromagnetic waves are the best for this kind communication.they are on
their right path. But they can also try some more sophisticated equipments for
detecting the signals , it will be better.
To vote, please visit the following web page:
Note: Please do not reply to this message. Poll votes are
not collected via email. To vote, you must go to the Yahoo! Groups
web site listed above.
Moon. Credit: NASA
If there's only one thing we've learned from all the highly successful recent Moon missions ‚Äď the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, LCROSS, Chandrayaan-1 and Kaguya ‚ÄĒ it's that the Moon is perplexingly different from our perceptions of the past
40 years. The discovery of water and volatiles across the surface and in the permanently shadowed regions at the poles changes so many of the notions we've had about Earth's constant companion. Basically, just within the past year we've realized the Moon is not a dry, barren, boring place, but a wetter, richer and more interesting destination
than we ever imagined. And so, the proposal for NASA to effectively turn away from any human missions to the Moon, as well as Administrator Charlie Bolden's 'been there, done that' comments is quite perplexing ‚Äď especially for the lunar scientists who have been making these discoveries.
"It's been quite a year for the Moon," said Clive Neal, a lunar geologist from Notre Dame, speaking last week at the NASA
Lunar Science Institute's annual Lunar Forum at Ames Research Center. "And things got quite depressing around February 2010."
That's when President Obama proposed a new budget that effectively would end the Constellation program and a return to the Moon.
the Forum, lunar scientists shared their most recent findings ‚Äď as well
as their attempts to model and comprehend all the data that is not yet understood. But they saved any discussion of NASA's future until the final presentation of the meeting.
"Hopefully at the end of this session you won't be running out of here ready to hang yourself or slit your wrists," quipped Neal, who led the final session.
The week began, however, with keynote speaker Andrew Chaikin ‚Äď author of the Apollo 'bible,' "A Man on the Moon," and several other space-related books ‚ÄĒ saying, "We have to erase that horrendous 'been there done that' notion." Chaikin also shared a famous Peanuts cartoon showing Lucy pulling the football out from under from Charlie Brown. No caption was needed for everyone to understand to what Chaikin was referring.
all of these new discoveries, we should have ample reason to believe that humans will follow," said Chaikin. But right now, he added, the man in the Moon looks a little like Rodney Dangerfield. "The Moon wants ‚Äď
and deserves ‚Äď respect."
"It appears NASA's focus might be shifting to Near Earth Objects," said Neal, "but the Moon is the nearest Near Earth Object. It's quicker, safer and cheaper to get humans there, and the important thing to recognized that there's a lot left to explore, and a lot to do on the Moon."
Only 5% of the Moon's surface has been explored by humans, and Neal showed scaled maps of the Apollo landing sites overlaid
on maps of Africa, Europe and the US, revealing just how small a portion of the Moon has been explored directly by humans. The map below
shows the Apollo 11 crew's movement on the Moon can fit within the size of a soccer (football) field.
11 VS. a soccer (football) field. Credit: NASA History website. Click for larger version.
Additionally, the latest data reveal that the Apollo sites were in no way representative of the entire Moon.
In light of the proposed plan to give up on the Moon, Neal said there probably is a lot of misperceptions by the American public, as well as in other countries that there's nothing to do or learn at the Moon. But
he believes nothing could be further from the truth.
"What we've heard over the last couple of days are fantastic talks and seen wonderful posters in regard to the vibrancy of lunar exploration and science, and seen that exploration enables science and that science enables exploration. The Moon is a Rosetta Stone for solar system exploration and science. The recognition of a possible lunar magma ocean has resulted in terrestrial and Martian magma oceans being proposed. This could be the way terrestrial planets evolve and the Moon is begging us to go back and explore to figure that out."
There's also the studies of preserved impacts on the lunar surface which represents a look back in time where we can figure out how
to do date planetary surfaces, test cataclysm hypotheses, and study how
airless bodies undergo space weathering, which has a direct application
to NEO research. Studying cold trap deposits has direct applicability to learning more about the planet Mercury, and lunar regolith contains information about the history of our Sun.
There are proposals for doing radio astronomy from the lunar farside, which will probe the dark ages of the Universe and look back to when the first stars turned on. "So the Moon is a gateway to the Universe," Neal said. "You can do so much more with the moon ‚ÄĒ its not just the moon, it‚Äôs the solar system and beyond."
In addition there are many unresolved scientific questions about the Moon. What are the locations and origins of shallow Moon quakes, and large lunar seismic events? How
does the lunar regolith affect transmission of seismic energy? What is the nature of the lunar volatiles in the permanently shadowed regions at
the lunar poles? What is the mechanism for the adsorption of water, hydroxyl and other minerals recently found on the Moon's surface? What is nature of lunar core?
When Constellation was proposed, returning to the Moon was said to be a testbed for going on to Mars. It would be a safe and more economical way to test out systems and technology needed for going to the Red Planet. So, what has changed?
Primarily the budget. There weren't enough funds in Constellation's coffers to go to the Moon and then Mars. It primarily became a Moon-only program, which many said, didn't bring us to the "real" destination that everyone really wants: Mars.
And money is still the real issue for not returning to the Moon in the new proposals of going to NEO's and then Mars. If money weren't an object, we'd do it
But the Moon offers a great local to test out human missions
to Mars. "The Moon offers one-sixth of Earth's gravity," Neal
said," and we do not know what happens to the human body over time in that gravity, and we can only extrapolate what happens there and on Mars' one-third gravity. We could test out life support, the growth of crops, the radiation environment and more. The 'feed forward' there is quite important where you can simulate a Mars mission on Moon. To develop and test your radiation shielding in the real environment on the
Moon is more of a test than flying on the space station."
Both Neal and Chaikin said they could go on and on about the benefits of returning to the Moon, and they also book-ended the Lunar Forum by saying it is up to the lunar scientists and Moon enthusiasts to educate the public, other scientists and even NASA about the importance of the Moon.
"We have to do a better job of educating the public ‚Äď even dealing with the conspiracy theorists," Neal said. "We need to get into
schools and educate about what NASA has done, and what they are doing now. We all take responsibility for that."
"The Moon is not going
to get the respect it deserves unless people are out there talking about it," said Chaikin.
Saturn's moon Prometheus creates streamer channels in the planet's rings. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space
I've frequently said the Cassini spacecraft is an artist, so when Carolyn Porco, the mission's imaging team lead, mentioned on Twitter that Saturn's moon Prometheus is akin to Michelangelo, I had to take a look. Wow, this gorgeous image is
suitable for framing! Visible in the perturbed, thin F ring, is the potato-shaped Prometheus, and having performed the perturbing, it continues in its orbit. Click the image
for the super-huge version.
Prometheus (148 kilometers, 92 miles across) periodically creates streamer-channels in the F ring, and the moon's handiwork can be seen as the dark channels. Here's a movie made from Cassini images showing this process:
The image was taken in visible light with the
Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 1, 2010. A star is also visible through the rings near the center right of the image.
There are also some additional features in the F ring, courtesy of Prometheus.
This Cassini image shows icy particles in Saturn's
F ring clumping into giant snowballs as the moon Prometheus makes multiple swings by the ring. Scientists say that the gravitational pull of the moon sloshes ring material around, creating wake channels that trigger the formation of objects as large as 20 kilometers (12 miles) in
"Scientists have never seen objects actually form before," said Carl Murray, a Cassini imaging team member based at Queen Mary, University of London. "We now have direct evidence of that process
and the rowdy dance between the moons and bits of space debris."
more about these fans and snowballs in
this JPL article.
Neptune. Credit: NASA
Researchers studying Neptune's atmosphere found evidence that a comet may have hit the planet about two centuries ago. Was this a "cold-case" file re-opened, or did they discover a way to travel back in time to witness a long-ago event? To make the discovery, a team from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research actually used the Herschel Space Telescope's PACS (Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer) instrument, along with what was learned from observations from when the Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter sixteen years ago.
The 1994 impact on Jupiter was watched and documented by Voyager 2, Galileo and Ulysses, and today this data helps scientists detect cometary impacts that happened many, many years ago. In fact, just in February of this year, scientists from Max Planck discovered strong evidence for a comet impact on Saturn about 230 years ago. These "dirty snowballs" leave traces of water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocyanic acid, and carbon sulfide in the atmosphere of the gas giant planets. These molecules can be detected in the radiation the planet radiates into space.
So, the team turned their attention to Neptune, and used the PACS to analyze the long-wave infrared radiation of Neptune.
The atmosphere of Neptune mainly consists of hydrogen and helium with traces of water, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. However, the scientists detected an unusual
distribution of carbon monoxide in the stratosphere, the upper layer of
the atmosphere, and found a higher concentration than in the layer beneath, the troposphere. "The higher concentration of carbon monoxide in the stratosphere can only be explained by an external origin," said MPS-scientist Paul Hartogh, principal investigator of the Herschel science program. "Normally, the concentrations of carbon monoxide in troposphere and stratosphere should
be the same or decrease with increasing height," he said.
theory suggested that a constant flux of tiny dust particles from space
introduces carbon monoxide into Neptune‚Äôs atmosphere. However, the newest observations from PACS does not lend credence to that idea, and the team concluded the only explanation for these results is a cometary impact. Such a collision forces the comet to fall apart while the carbon
monoxide trapped in the comet‚Äôs ice is released and over the years distributed throughout the stratosphere.
"From the distribution of
carbon monoxide we can therefore derive the approximate time, when the impact took place," said Thibault Cavali√© from MPS, which showed the impact was about 200 years ago.
PACS was developed at the Max Planck
Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, and it analyzes the long-wave infrared radiation, also known as heat radiation,
that the cold bodies in space such as Neptune emit.
Bull's-Eye Impact Crater. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
some doses of coolness and craziness for your Friday. This top image is
one of the latest from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and shows what looks like a target on the Red Planet. Researchers from the HiRISE team aren't sure yet whether this is two impacts ‚ÄĒ one impact that occurred dead center within another ‚ÄĒ or just unusual subsurface layering within one impact. I'm voting for two impacts, just because it is such a cool, lightning-strikes-twice concept. While no ejecta from the interior crater can be seen, the team
says the ejecta could have been removed by extensive periglacial modification. Additionally, the floor fill around the inner crater resembles impact ejects elsewhere at this latitude, and some of the "landslides" to the East could be flow-back of ejecta off the walls of the larger crater. Likely the team will be looking closer at this impact to sort out the history and likelihood of a double impact.
Now, this next one is the crazy part‚Ä¶which looks exactly like a CT scan.......
Mars industrial site with (a) nozzle spray and (b,c) domes. Credit: NASA, annotations from Farsight Institute, via the SciGuy.
There's a guy, and apparently a team of "remote viewing experts" who have found what they believe is a massive industrial complex on Mars. Eric
Berger at his SciGuy blog
at the Houston Chronicle wrote about this, and it is just way too wacky to believe, kind of like the people
who zoom in on rocks on Mars and say they see Bigfoot. Anyway, these folks say they can even tell that there are artificial structures at this site with a laboratory. What's more they can see that there are lifeforms there wearing uniforms, and there are more men than women.
Spirit rover, as seen by HiRISE on Feb. 15, 2010. Crop and colorization by Stuart Atkinson, image credit: NASA/JPL, U
JPL issued a press release today with an update that mission controllers have still not heard from the hibernating Spirit rover. Even though the rover is experiencing one of Mars' harshest winters since the rovers arrived, the rover team has begun an active "paging" technique called 'sweep and beep' in an effort to communicate with Spirit instead of just passively listening for any activity from the rover. Based on models of Mars' weather and its effect on available power, mission managers believe that if Spirit responds, it most likely will be in the next few months. But in a 'hope for the best, prepare for
the worst' kind of way, the press release added, "However, there is a very distinct possibility Spirit may never respond."
"It will be the miracle from Mars if our beloved rover phones home," said Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. "It's never faced this type of severe condition before ‚Äď this is unknown territory."
The Martian winter runs from May through November here on Earth, so there's still a lot of long, dark winter to get through. Spirit has not communicated since March 22, 2010 and is likely in a low-power hibernation mode since the rover was not able to get to a favorable slope for its fourth Martian winter. The low angle of sunlight during these months limits the power generated from the rover's solar panels. During hibernation, the rover shuts down communications and other activities so available energy can be used to recharge and heat batteries, and to keep the mission clock running.
July 26, rover engineers began the sweep and beep. "Instead of just listening, we send commands to the rover to respond back to us with a communications beep," said John Callas, project manager for the rover. "If the rover is awake and hears us, she will send us that beep."
earliest date the rover could generate enough power to send a beep to Earth was calculated to be around July 23. However, mission managers don't anticipate the batteries will charge adequately until late September to mid-October.
So, there is still a lot of time to wait
things out. While I don't think the rover team is giving up on Spirit at all, it appears they want to prepare the rover faithful for the worst.
But I'm going to make a prediction here: not only will Spirit wake up, but the rover driving team will be able to get her out of the sand trap she is stuck in. Just a hunch, but you heard it here and only time will tell if my prediction comes true.
Based on previous Martian winters, the rover team anticipates the increasing haziness in the sky over Spirit will offset longer daylight for the next
two months. The amount of solar energy available to Spirit then will increase until the southern Mars summer solstice in March 2011. JPL says
that if we haven't heard from Spirit by March, 2011 it is unlikely that
we will ever hear from it.
Leave it to Steve Squyres, however, principal investigator for the rovers, to leave us with a little hope: "This has been a long winter for Spirit, and a long wait for us," he said. "Even if we never heard from Spirit again, I think her scientific legacy would be secure. But we're hopeful we will hear from her, and we're eager to get back to doing science with two rovers again."
This schematic shows the daytime cycle of hydration, loss and rehydration on the lunar surface. Credit: University
"Water cycle on the Moon" is a phrase that many people ‚Äď including lunar scientists ‚Äď were never expecting to hear. This surprising new finding of ubiquitous water on the surface of
the Moon, revealed and confirmed by three different spacecraft last year, has been one of the main topics of recent discussion and study by lunar researchers. But figuring out the cycle of how water appears and disappears over the lunar day remains elusive. As of now, scientists suspect a few different processes that could be delivering water and hydroxyl (OH) to the lunar surface: meteorites or comets hitting the Moon, outgassing from the Moon's interior, or the solar wind interacting
with the lunar regolith. But so far, none of the details of any of these processes are adding up.
Hurley from The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is part of team of scientists attempting to model the lunar water cycle, and she discussed the work at the NASA Lunar Science Institute's third annual Lunar Forum at Ames Research Center, July 20-22, 2010.
we do the model, we assume the way that the water is lost is through photodissociation, and so that sets the timescale," Hurley told Universe
Today. "And using that timescale the amount that is coming in through the solar wind or micrometeorites can't add up to the amount observed if
it is in steady state, so something is not jiving."
involves the breaking up of a substance into simpler components by the radiant energy of sunlight.
It appears the amount of water varies over the course of the lunar day. Two observations a week apart by a spectrometer on the repurposed Deep Impact spacecraft (now called EPOXI)
showed the region that was near the Moon's terminator at dawn had a detectable amount of water and hydroxyl, and a week later when it was near noon, those substances were gone. But the new region at dawn then had H2O and OH.
One theory holds that the water and hydroxyl are, in part, formed from hydrogen ions in the solar wind. By local noon, when the moon is at its warmest, some water and hydroxyl are lost. By evening, the surface cools again, and the water and hydroxyl return.
Hurley said, the solar wind in steady state does not reproduce the observed surface density of water and hydroxyl.
Additionally, looking at the other possible sources ‚ÄĒ the known source rate of micrometeoroids and comets ‚ÄĒ doesn't provide the amount of observed H20
and OH either.
"We'd really like to have a lot more observations to understand how it evolves over the course of the day," Hurley said.
Water in Polar Regions on the Moon Credit: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown Univ./USGS
In her talk, Hurley said her team has been trying to look at all possible angles and ideas, including recent larger comet hits on the Moon, or potentially a seasonal event where water deposited at winter poles could be released when it warms up in summer. But so far none of these ideas have been tested or modeled, and as of now do not provide a solution to the daily cycle of water that was observed.
She also noted
that since there are obviously some unique processes going on, the interaction between the surface and atmosphere needs more study.
surface and atmosphere are coupled," Hurley said in an interview with Universe Today. "The atmosphere is produced from the surface; there is no atmosphere that lasts for a long time on the Moon and it is constantly being produced and lost. And so it is coming from the surface, either from something that is coming from the lunar regolith grains or something that is interacting with those grains, whether it is
solar wind or something that is impacting. So, the surface is the source of the atmosphere and that atmosphere comes back and interacts with the surface again. And you really have to understand that whole system."
So, what is her best guess as to the source of the water?
said there has to be some sort of recycling going on within the regolith, and perhaps a complex surface chemistry that allows the H20 and OH to exist for longer periods of time, which would better explain the surface density.
"What I've looked at is what could be happening in the atmosphere and how things hop around from the surface up and then back down to the surface," she said. "The lunar regolith is rather loose, and these small particles and gases can go down within the
regolith and be within the top several centimeters and work their way down and back out. So there is an exchange going on in that top layer that is kind of acting as a reservoir. That is my best guess of what is
WATCH THIS VIDEO
This year's Perseid meteor shower on August 11-14 is predicted to be one
of the best in recent years, and if this awesome trailer from "MeteorWatch" organizer Adrian West doesn't get you excited, then nothing will! Who knew meteors could be such a heart-pumping thrill ride! If you haven't heard of MeteorWatch
it is a way to watch the shower with others, and share your experiences
even if you are out there watching all alone. This is a social media astronomical event that has been a big hit among Twitterers for previous events.
But there's lots of ways to join in, not only on Twitter (hashtage is #meteorwatch). Everyone is welcome whether they are an astronomer or just have an interest in the night sky. The aim is to get as many people
to look up as possible and maybe see meteors or even some fireballs for
the first time.
Hadley Rille, the landing site for Apollo 15. Credit: NASA
With all the recent news of water on the Moon, a new paper published today in the journal Science may offer a surprise ‚Äď or it may bring us back to previous assumptions about the Moon. A new analysis of eleven lunar samples from the Apollo missions by Zachary Sharp from the University of New Mexico. and his colleagues indicates that when the Moon formed, its interior was essentially dry. While the recent findings of ubiquitous water and hydroxyl on the surface as well as water ice in the lunar poles are not challenged by this new finding, it does dispute ‚ÄĒ somewhat ‚ÄĒ two other recent papers that proposed a wetter lunar interior than previously thought. "The recent LCROSS findings were of water on the lunar surface due to cometary impacts, and the ice is from the comets themselves, We are talking about water that was present in the molten early Moon 4.5 billion years ago."said by Sharp.
The accepted theory of how the Moon formed is that a Mars-sized body slammed
into our early Earth, creating a big disk of debris that would ultimately form into the Moon.
Although planetary scientists are still refining models of the Moon's formation, there is much to suggest a dry Moon. Any water would have been vaporized by the high temperatures generated by the impact and cataclysm
that followed, and vapor would have escaped into space. The assumption is that the only way there could be water in the Moon's interior if is the impactor was especially water-rich, and also if the Moon solidified quickly, which is
But earlier this year, Francis McCubbin and his team from the Carnegie Institution for Science released their findings of a surprisingly high abundance of water molecules ‚ÄĒ as high as several thousand parts per million ‚ÄĒ bound to phosphate minerals within volcanic lunar rocks, which would have formed well beneath the lunar surface and date back several billion years.
Additionally, in 2008, Alberto Saal of Brown University and colleagues found a slightly lower abundance of water in the lunar mantle, but it was significantly higher than the previous estimate of 1 part per billion.
These two findings have been pushing lunar scientists to find possible alternative explanations for the Moon‚Äôs formation to account for all the
But now, Sharp and his team studied a wide range of lunar basalts and measured the composition of chlorine isotopes. Using gas source mass spectrometry they found a wide
range of chlorine isotopes contained in the samples which are 25 times greater than what is found in rocks and minerals from Earth and from meteorites.
Chlorine is very hydrophilic, or attracted to water, and is an extremely
sensitive indicator of hydrogen levels. Sharp and his team say that, if lunar rocks had initial hydrogen contents anywhere close to those of terrestrial rocks, then the fractionation of chlorine into so many different isotopes would never have happened on the Moon. Because of this Sharp and his colleagues say their results suggest a very dry interior of the Moon.
Sharp proposes that Saal and McCubbin's calculations of high hydrogen contents in some lunar samples are not typical, and perhaps those samples are the product of certain igneous processes that resulted in their "extremely volatile enrichment." They do not, however, represent the high and variable isotopic chlorine values reported in the majority of lunar rocks, Sharp said.
Still, there could be a compromise between the varied findings. "There are uncertainties that one has to take into account when doing this type of study, " Sharp told Universe Today, "and if
we take the low estimates of Saal and McCubbin's papers, they are not so different from our findings."
But the discrepancies, however small, show that perhaps we can't make generalizations about the entire Moon from limited samples.
"We have not yet looked for water in a wide range of lunar samples," said Jeff Taylor from the University of Hawaii who was not involved in any of the aforementioned studies. "It is quite possible that the initial differentiation of the Moon and subsequent processes such as mantle overturn concentrated whatever water
the Moon had into certain areas. Until we measure more samples, including samples from the farside (represented by many of the lunar meteorites and eventually by sample-return missions), we will not know for sure how much water is in the bulk Moon."
In combination, all the recent studies of the lunar surface show there is likely a complex chemistry on the Moon that we have yet to understand.
"In other words," said Taylor, "we
need more work!"
SOURCE: SCIENCE NEWS
A new image of two tangled galaxies has been released by NASA's Great Observatories. The Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light-years from Earth, are shown in this composite image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), the Hubble Space Telescope (gold and brown), and the Spitzer Space Telescope
(red). The Antennae galaxies take their name from the long antenna-like
arms seen in wide-angle views of the system. These features were produced in the collision. Image credit: Chandra: NASA/CXC/SAO, Spitzer:
NASA/JPL-Caltech, Hubble: NASA/STScI
A new image of two tangled galaxies has been released by NASA Great Observatories. The Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light-years from Earth, are shown in this composite image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), the Hubble Space Telescope (gold and brown), and the Spitzer Space Telescope (red). The Antennae galaxies take their name from the long, antenna-like arms seen in wide-angle views of the system. These features were produced in the collision.
The collision, which began more than 100 million years ago and is still occurring, has triggered the formation of
millions of stars in clouds of dusts and gas in the galaxies. The most massive of these young stars have already sped through their evolution in a few million years and exploded
The X-ray image from Chandra shows huge clouds of hot, interstellar gas, which have been injected with rich deposits of elements from supernova explosions. This enriched gas, which includes elements such as oxygen, iron, magnesium
and silicon, will be incorporated into new generations of stars and planets. The bright, point-like sources in the image are produced by material falling
onto black holes and neutron stars that are remnants of the massive stars. Some of these black holes may have masses that are almost one hundred times that
of the sun.
The Spitzer data show infrared light from warm dust clouds that have been heated by newborn stars, with the brightest clouds lying in the overlap region between the two galaxies. The Hubble data reveal old stars and star-forming regions in gold and white, while filaments of dust appear in brown. Many of the fainter objects in the optical image are clusters containing thousands of stars.
the center of this view of an area of mid-latitude northern Mars, a fresh crater about 6 meters (20 feet) in diameter holds an exposure of bright material, blue in this false-color image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Mars-o-philes rejoice! New images from Mars galore, including this "after" image of Mars' northern
hemisphere which reveals a new crater was created sometime between April 2004 and January 2010. Intriguingly, scientists believe exposed ice is visible in this new image from the HiRISE CAMERA .This is just one of the latest release of hundreds of high-resolution HiRISE images, so go get your fill of Mars at the HiRISE site. But what about that ice?
The crater is at a latitude of 44 degrees North and is itself located on the ejecta of a larger crater. The image was acquired in early summer, when frost at this latitude is not expected. That's why the HiRISE science team believes the bright blue material in this false-color color image is sub-surface ice that was exposed by the impact.
This ice is probably at the same depth and has a similar origin to that excavated by the Phoenix lander back in 2008. The area of exposed ice based on the HiRISE images is about 1-2 square meters (10-20 square feet.
An intriguing image, and a great
example of the treasures available in this newest release of images from Mars.
For more images, see the HiRISE website.
The Web of Deceit
(It is absolutely deadly)
A Truth Soldier
Many a good person has been unknowing caught in the web of deceit.
Many a good person has at least once in their lives come to the
realization that something is very very wrong with society.
Many good people have tried to wiggle their way through the evil
web of deceit, only to be consumed by the evil spider.
The evil web of deceit is woven into the very fabric of society by the
Please understand that to be insane one has to never seek or speak
the truth, for truth is absolute and insanity is absolutely the
opposite of truth.
So the lying evil web weaver has to keep strengthening and building
the web so that it well be able to control and eventually consume
its intended prey.
Like the spider a weaver of a web of deceit has to always cover
(lies) deceptions with more deceptions.
Eventually the web of deceit becomes so solid that good people stop
wiggling and eventually loose their freedom and their very lives.
Like in nature, the only creatures that can survive and avoid the web
are those that observe that the web exists and watch what the web
does to the unsuspecting creatures that have been caught in it.
So a smart creature will do everything it can to watch for and avoid
Unfortunately the domesticated and civilized human creature no
longer pays attention to its survival instincts.
The human creature does not know how to stay free of the web of
deceit. For the human creature does not even want to see and watch
for the web of deceit.
So that, now the human creature is not even aware that this huge web
of deceit has been erected and now obstructs any passage through
life that you may choose.
So very intelligent human intellectuals have come to realize that yes
in deed this web of deceit does exist.
These Truth soldiers, activists, freedom fighters etc etc, realize that
something needs to be done to deconstruct this evil web of deceit.
Some call this evil web The New World Order that was spun as a
result of the creation of the first corporation. (Please read my
article with the same name)
The good people try to alert others of this evil web of deceit and
inform good people has to how this web has been so strongly
But the intellectual soon realizes that the human society has been
so will deceived that society absolutely refuses to believe that
this evil web of deceit even exists.
The intellectual has the tools and wisdom to see and fully
understand the makings of this web of deceit that threatens all of
But I believe that most intellectuals do not possess the
understanding of the reality that this web of deceit is bigger then
any individual or organization.
That this web has provided the nourishment to feed many offsprings
and that now there is a most unnatural spider existing all over
this planet, weaving more and more webs of deceit.
There are now so many webs (Corporations) of deceit in our now
unnatural environment that the human creatures now accepts it
has natural and a normal course of human evolution.
The human animal refuses to see or understand that something evil
and horrible has been woven into the very fabric of life.
Only the intellectual can understand that this is very real.
You see that to be an intellectual. One has to always seeks and
speak the truth.
If one only seeks and speaks the truth , then that individual will
become an enlightened and very intelligent intellectual.
For only idiots are created by the avoidance of truth.
Unfortunately there is a very unnatural human being that has
grown very big and powerful through the ability to create its
own food by the creation of money out of thin air.
THis artificial human is very insane indeed from the power that
money has given it.
I call this artificial individual, a Corporate Criminal.
I will now explain to you the strategy and way to deconstruct
and destroy this evil web of deceit.
As all evil... Evil can only be destroyed by exposing it to the
light of truth.
All good humans so far have not figured out or understood
the formula to do this.
Have you ever observed a huge spiders web with the spider
always sitting in the center.?
Imagine if you were an innocent little butterfly and you
happen to come along in your free flight of life and flew into
this cleverly hidden and will positioned web of deceit.
What would happen. Like all human creatures caught in the
corporate financial web of deceit, you would try to scream
But no other creature would dare try to approach near the
web of deceit you now find yourself in.
The more you wiggled the tighter the web would entrap you
until you tired and died.
At which point the spider would consume you and grow
stronger as a result.
The intellectual human has to understand how to avoid this
and how to destroy the web of deceit.
An intelligent person will one day come to realize that all
knowledge leads to the determination that all truth is very
very simple and only lies and deceptions are complicated.
So for one to deal with a web of deceit one has to always
stay on the outside of the web and look for the simplest and
undeniable truths to reveal the true nature of the web of
If you were to approach a spiders web with a stick of truth
and were to just touch that spiders web with that stick.
The spider would immediately sense that you are indeed not
just a pretty and delicate little butterfly caught in its web.
The spider would immediately sense the strength and weight
of your little stick of truth and the spider would run as fast
as it can to get off the web.
For you see if you cause the web to collapse while the spider
is still in the center of its web of deceit that the web that
the spider has so cleverly constructed would collapse around
The spider would therefore die of its own making..
So now the lesson to be understood here is to never enter
into the web of deceit but instead stay on the outside of it.
Whereas you will be called The Village idiot, if you try to speak
the truth to the other human creatures around you.
But you being a natural and good intellectual human who wants
to do something about this clear and present danger to all the
pretty butterflies around you.
You do not want to watch as the butterflies are killed and
So you then became what some call a Truth Soldier or Activist.
The clever weavers of the web of deceit are not to concerned
about you. as their web of deceit is so strong and has worked
so well and for so long.
So you the good human creature with a conscience feels lost and
You can not get the blissfully happy little butterflies to even
listen to your warnings.
So one day you go back and watch the spiders web at work.
Pondering what to do to stop this web of deceit.
Until one day you realize the web of deceit is held up by only a
few but very strong strings that have been attached to the very
fabric of what society accepts as the foundation truth of existence.
That being societies perceptions of undeniable basic truths.
So you see the web of deceit always starts off from a very solid
foundation of truth.
The weavers of deceit are very clever indeed. For they will use the
foundations of truth to build their web of deceit from.
So what do you, The Village Idiot do?
You look at the very foundation strings of that web of deceit and
you find the most undeniable simple sticks of truth to sever those
foundation strings from the web of deceit.
So you stay on the outside of the web and you start hitting the
strings that holds the web firmly attached to the very solid fabric
If your successful, you will end up with the fabric blanket of truth
that society has been using for so long to keep comfortable.
That Fabric will now be very dirty and full of old spiders webs.
So then society will realize its time to clean the blanket and the
rest of civilizations home of these pesky and dirty spiders once and
So I now call on all Truth Soldiers to start walking with your
sticks of truth and start severing all those webs of deceit
everywhere you find them.
Eventually society will be tired of living in a dirty place and every
one will walk around with their little sticks of truth.
This is why along time ago the British had tally sticks for their
It was to prevent the very situation we now dreadfully find
These webs of deceit have been able to be created because the
spiders have their luxurious home lairs to live in and create their
You will find these big nursing spiders in very dark places where
the light of truth does not enter.
These places are known as the secret societies and their dens.
Such as Skull & Bones, The illuminatti, The Free masons.
It is time for society to clean house and criminalize all secret
societies and their conspiratorial members should be imprisoned.
The mother den of all secret societies is the privately and
secretly owned Federal Reserve Corporation. The very first ever
"When the seeds of truth are sown.
The grassroots truth revolution
Will blossom from the enlightenment."
Follow A Truth Soldier on www.twitter.com/danieltowsey
Please read some of my other articles of truth
Creation of the first corporation
How can you be taxed when there is no tax?
Income tax is a fraud
The Last piece of the puzzle
They want you dead is written in stone
God is crying
A crude wildlife eulogy
A Truth Soldier
The Village Idiot
Are you ready for the truth?
The Money Masters
You can search for it on-line to watch the whole movie
A Truth Soldier Copyright Notice
You are free to republish Truth Soldier and or Daniel J Towsey
articles in whole form only.
You may take quotes from it as long as you provide a link back
to the original article and you give attribution to the writer
being a Truth Soldier
You are also free to print or email it in whole
Dear Friends of Leeward,
If you support our work to find an affordable access to space, then tell the
world! You have an exciting opportunity to help Leeward Space Foundation make
even more of a difference for Mankind. GreatNonprofits, a site like Amazon Book
Reviews or TripAdvisor
is conducting a campaign to identify the top-rated science and technology
nonprofits in the country.
Won't you help us participate in the campaign by posting a review of your
experience with us? All reviews will be visible to potential donors and
volunteers. It's easy and only takes 3 minutes! Go to:
Be sure to choose "scitech Campaign" from the drop-down list of campaigns when
posting your review.
With your help, we can gain greater visibility in the space community.
Do You Have Your "Space Is The Answer"
Credit Card? http://bit.ly/vZt4z
Leeward Space Foundation
P. O. Box 3573 or 216 Maple St.
Estes Park, CO. 80517 Americus, GA 31719
Looking down at a plume on Enceladus. Credit: NASA/Space Science Science Institute.
Oh, wow! This is one of the best images yet from the Cassini spacecraft of the "tiger stripes" in the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Over the weekend, Cassini flew by Enceladus, and has sent back some incredible new images, such as the one above. The tiger stripes are actually giant
fissures that spew jets of water vapor
and organic particles hundreds of kilometers, or miles, out into space, and here, Cassini is staring right down into one of the fissures. See more great images of Enceladus below, plus images of the moons Dione and Tethys.
Close-up of the
cracked, crevassed surface of Enceladus. Credit: NASA/Space Science Institute.
While the winter is darkening the moon's southern hemisphere, Cassini has its own version of "night vision goggles" ‚ÄĒ the composite infrared spectrometer instrument ‚Äď to track heat even when visible light is low. It will take time for scientists to assemble the data into temperature
maps of the fissures.
Enceladus against Saturn's limb. Credit: NASA/Space Science Institute.
More plumes on Enceladus. Credit: NASA/Space Science Institute.
Close-up of Tethys. Credit: NASA/Space Science Institute
Dione from 115,370 kilometers away. Credit: NASA/Space Science Institute
I have a very nice SIGNED copy of Jim Lovell's book *LOST MOON* for sale on ebay. Book is signed by Jim Lovell on the intro page on a large custom "LOST MOON" bookplate from the publisher! Please check it out when you get a second.
Look for ebay item: #120637157276. **FREE SHIPPING IN THE USA** Is listed with a BUY IT NOW price also!!
A composite image shows a dark matter disk in red. From images in the Two Micron All Sky Survey. Credit: Credit: J. Read & O. Agertz.
Although dark matter is inherently difficult to observe, an understanding of its properties (even if not its nature) allows astronomers to predict where its effects should be felt. The current understanding is that dark
matter helped form the first galaxies by providing gravitational scaffolding in the early universe. These galaxies were small and collapsed to form the larger galaxies we see today. As galaxies grew large enough to shred incoming satellites and their dark matter, much of the dark matter should
have been deposited in a flat structure in spiral galaxies which would allow such galaxies to form dark components similar to the disk and halo. However, a new study aimed at detecting the Milky Way‚Äės dark disk have come up empty.
The study concentrated on detecting the dark matter by studying the luminous matter embedded in it in much the same way dark matter was originally discovered. By studying the kinematics of the matter, it would allow astronomers to determine the overall mass present that would dictate the
movement. That observed mass could then be compared to the amount of mass predicted of both baryonic matter as well as the dark matter component.
The team, led by C. Moni Bidin used ~300 red giant stars in the Milky Way‚Äės thick disk to map the mass distribution of the region. To eliminate any contamination from the thin disc component, the team limited their selections to stars over 2 kiloparsecs from the galactic midplane and velocities characteristic of such stars to avoid contamination from halo stars. Once stars were selected, the team analyzed the overall velocity of the stars as a function of distance from the galactic center which would give an understanding of the mass interior to their orbits.
Using estimations on the mass from the visible stars and the interstellar medium, the team compared this visible mass to the solution for mass from the observations of the kinematics to search for a discrepancy indicative of dark matter. When the comparison was made, the team discovered that, ‚Äú[t]he agreement between the visible mass and our dynamical solution is striking, and there is no need to invoke any dark component.‚ÄĚ
While this finding
doesn‚Äôt rule out the presence of dark matter, it does place constraints
on it distribution and, if confirmed in other galaxies, may challenge the understanding of how dark matter serves to form galaxies. If dark matter is still present, this study has demonstrated that it is more diffuse than previously recognized or perhaps the disc component is
flatter than previously expected and limited to the thin disc. Further observations and modeling will undoubtedly be necessary.
the research may show a lack of our understanding of dark matter, the team also notes that it is even more devastating for dark matter‚Äôs largest rival. While dark matter may yet hide within the error bars in this study, the findings directly contradict the predictions of Modified
Newtonian Dynamics (MOND). This hypothesis
predicts the apparent gain of mass due to a scaling effect on gravity itself and would have required that the supposed mass at the scales observed be 60% higher than indicated by this study.
This image shows
a three and a half hour (0000 - 0330 UT) time lapse movie of the flare and filament event. Credit: NASA/SDO
An active sunspot (1123) erupted early this morning (Nov. 12th), producing a C4-class solar flare and apparently hurling a filament of material in the general direction of Earth. Coronagraph images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and NASA‚Äôs twin STEREO spacecraft show a faint
coronal mass ejection emerging from the blast site and heading off in a direction just south of the sun-Earth line. The cloud could deliver a glancing blow to Earth‚Äôs magnetic field sometime on Nov. 14th or 15th. High latitude sky watchers could see auroras on those dates.
New sunspot 1123 in the Sun's southern hemisphere is crackling with C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI.
a look at the two sunspots currently visible on the Sun.
of sunspots, there‚Äôs a great video from Oct. 25-27, 2010, showing two sunspots merging:
The International Space Station shows up in this image taken by the University of Hertfordshire's All-Sky Camera located at Niton, Isle of Wight. Credit:
Dr. Lucy Rogers/University of Hertfordshire
I know I always
smile when I see the International Space Station in the night sky, but here the
sky itself appears happy, with the ISS crossing the field of view of the Niton All-Sky camera. With a long exposure, a ‚Äústar trail‚ÄĚ forms as the space station moves
across the sky.
The camera is located on the Isle of Wight and operated through the University of Hertfordshire.
some of the best images taken by Opportunity during
her 7 Year Martian Trek
Martian Moon Phobos eclipsing the sun on Sol 45
Ready to Enter Endurance.
This view looking
was taken by the navigation camera on June 6, 2004. That was two sols before Opportunity entered the crater, taking the route nearly straight ahead in this image. This view is a cylindrical projection with geometric seam correction. Credit: NASA/JPL
Wopmay in False Color .
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity examined a boulder called Wopmay before heading further east inside Endurance Crater. The frames combined into this false-color view were taken by Opportunity's panoramic camera during the rover's 251st martian day (Oct. 7, 2004). The coloring accentuates iron-rich spherical concretions as bluish dots embedded in the rock and on the ground around it. The rock is about one meter (3 feet) across. Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
Opportunity captured this view
of Burns Cliff after driving right to the base of this southeastern portion of the inner wall of Endurance Crater. The view combines frames taken by Opportunity's panoramic camera between the rover's 287th and 294th martian days (Nov. 13 to 20, 2004). The mosaic spans more than 180 degrees side to side. Because of this wide-angle view, the cliff walls appear to bulge out toward the camera. In reality the walls form a
gently curving, continuous surface. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
Opportunity's Heat Shield in Color, Sol 335.
This image from the panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity features the remains of the heat shield that protected the rover from temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit as it made its
way through the martian atmosphere. This two-frame mosaic was taken on Sol 335 (Jan. 2, 2005). The view is of the main heat shield debris seen from approximately 10 meters (about 33 feet) away from it. Many rover-team engineers were taken aback when they realized the heat shield
had inverted, or turned itself inside out. The height of the pictured debris is about 1.3 meters (about 4.3 feet). The original diameter was 2.65 meters (8.7 feet), though it has obviously been deformed. The Sun reflecting off of the aluminum structure accounts for the vertical blurs
in the picture.
Iron Meteorite on Mars.
Opportunity finds an iron meteorite on Mars, the first meteorite of any type ever identified on another planet. The pitted, basketball-size object is mostly made of iron and nickel. Opportunity used its panoramic camera to
take the images used in this approximately true-color composite on the Sol 339 (Jan. 6, 2005). Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
Opportunity at Crater's Cape Verde in October 2006.
This image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment
on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity near the rim of Victoria Crater. Victoria is an impact crater about 800 meters (half a mile) in diameter at Meridiani Planum near the equator of Mars. Five days before this image was taken, Opportunity arrived at the rim of Victoria, after a drive of more than 9
kilometers (over 5 miles). It then drove to the position where it is seen in this image. This view is a portion of an image taken by the High
Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on Oct. 3, 2006. Credit: NASA/JPL/UA
Victoria‚Äôs Secret Revealed in Color.
This Opportunity panorama reveals 2,500 ft-wide, 230 ft-deep Victoria Crater from the lip at Duck Bay alcove. Geologic layers reveal the history of Martian water here. The panorama was taken about 8 feet from the crater rim on Sol 952 (28 Sept 2006) as the rover sat between two steep promontories, Cape Verde and Cabo Frio. This vista exposes a thick stack of geologic layers which revealed the hidden watery secrets of the
Martian environment farther back in time than any other location visited previously by the rovers. One can see a ¬Ĺ mile to the distant cliff walls of the crater, above a windswept dune field in the center. This mosaic was assembled from navcam images and featured in Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and on the Astronomy Picture of the
Day (APOD) on 2 Oct. 2006 in high resolution. Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell, Bernhard Braun, Marco Di Lorenzo, Kenneth Kremer. http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap061002.html
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) on 2 Oct. 2006 in high resolution
Check out this spherical projection panorama of Opportunity descending inside Victoria Crater on Sol 1332. Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Nasatech.net
Layers of Cape Verde in Victoria Crater.
This view of Victoria crater is looking north from Duck Bay towards the dramatic promontory called Cape Verde. The dramatic cliff of layered rocks is about 50 meters (about 165 feet) away from the rover and is about 6 meters (about 20 feet) tall. The taller promontory beyond that is about 100 meters (about 325 feet) away, and the vista beyond that extends away for more than 400 meters (about 1300 feet) into the distance. This is an approximately true color rendering of images taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity during Sol 952 (Sept. 28, 2006) using the camera's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 430-nanometer filters. Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
Opportunity Traverse Map, Eagle to Victoria.
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity reached the rim of Victoria Crater on Sept. 28, 2006, Sol 952. Opportunity drove 9.28 kilometers (5.77 miles) in the explorations that took it from Eagle Crater, where it landed in January 2004, eastward to Endurance Crater, which it investigated for about half of 2004, then southward to Victoria.
Lyell Panorama inside Victoria Crater.
During four months prior to the fourth anniversary of its landing on Mars, Opportunity examined rocks inside an alcove called Duck Bay in the
western portion of Victoria Crater. The main body of the crater appears
in the upper right of this panorama, with the far side of the crater lying about 800 meters (half a mile) away. Bracketing that part of the view are two promontories on the crater's rim at either side of Duck Bay. They are Cape Verde, about 6 meters (20 feet) tall, on the left, and Cabo Frio, about 15 meters (50 feet) tall, on the right. This view combines many images taken by Opportunity's panoramic camera (Pancam) from the Sol 1,332 through 1,379. (Oct. 23 to Dec. 11, 2007).
The Real News about Ophiuchus: There‚Äôs a Runaway Star Plowing Through It
The blue star near the center of this image is Zeta Ophiuchi, a runaway star plowing through the constellation Ophiuchus. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Lots of folks seem to be up in arms about the ‚Äúnew‚ÄĚ sign in the zodiac, Ophiuchus, and
the news that all the star signs are no longer in sync with the actual constellations. Of course, *most* of us already knew that news is centuries old, and that the zodiac has no effect whatsoever on our lives
and it never has (most readers of Universe Today, anyway!) Now for some real news about Ophiuchus: NASA‚Äôs Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE has found a massive, runaway star, called Zeta Ophiuchi that is plowing through a cloud of space dust in Ophiuchus. The
result is a brilliant bow shock, seen here as a yellow arc in this stunning new image.
Zeta Ophiuchi is a big mama, with a mass of about 20 times that of our sun. In this image, in which infrared light has been translated into visible colors we see with our eyes, the star appears as the blue dot inside the bow shock.
Zeta Ophiuchi once orbited around an even heftier star. But
it was a fatal attraction. When that star exploded in a supernova, Zeta Ophiuchi shot away like a bullet. It‚Äôs traveling at a whopping 24 kilometers per second (54,000 miles per hour), and heading toward the upper left area of the picture.
As the star tears through space, its powerful winds push gas and dust out of its way and into what is called a bow shock. The material in the bow shock is so compressed that it glows with infrared light that WISE can see. The effect is similar to
what happens when a boat speeds through water, pushing a wave in front of it.
This bow shock is completely hidden in visible light. Infrared images like this one from WISE are therefore important for shedding new light on the region.
And that‚Äôs the real news from Ophiuchus.
But if you want to know the ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ dates of astrological signs according to astronomers, (not astrologers) here they
are (courtesy of Live
Science, via Discovery
Space ‚ÄĒ see those two links if you missed all the excitement about star signs changing‚Ä¶):
Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16.
Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11.
Pisces: March 11-April 18.
Aries: April 18-May
Taurus: May 13-June 21.
Gemini: June 21-July 20.
Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10.
Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30.
Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
Scorpio: Nov. 23-29.
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17.
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.
Mars Exploration Rover Mission Status Report
PASADENA, Calif. -- The team operating NASA's Mars rover Opportunity will temporarily suspend commanding for 16 days after the rover's seventh anniversary next week, but the rover will stay busy.
For the fourth time since Opportunity landed on Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time (Jan. 24, Pacific Time), the planets' orbits will put Mars almost directly behind the sun from Earth's perspective.
During the days surrounding such an alignment, called a solar conjunction, the sun can disrupt radio transmissions between Earth and Mars. To avoid the chance of a command being corrupted by the sun and harming a spacecraft, NASA temporarily refrains from sending commands from Earth to Mars spacecraft in orbit and on the surface. This year, the commanding moratorium will be Jan. 27 to Feb. 11 for Opportunity, with similar periods for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey orbiter.
Downlinks from Mars spacecraft will continue during the conjunction period, though at a much reduced rate. Mars-to-Earth communication does
not present risk to spacecraft safety, even if transmissions are corrupted by the sun.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will scale back its observations of Mars during the conjunction period due to reduced capability to download
data to Earth and a limit on how much can be stored onboard.
Opportunity will continue sending data daily to the Odyssey orbiter for relay to Earth. "Overall, we expect to receive a smaller volume of daily data from Opportunity and none at all during the deepest four days
of conjunction," said Alfonso Herrera, a rover mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
The rover team has developed a set of commands to be sent to Opportunity
in advance so that the rover can continue science activities during the
"The goal is to characterize the materials in an area that shows up with
a mineralogical signal, as seen from orbit, that's different from anywhere else Opportunity has been," said JPL's Bruce Banerdt, project scientist for Opportunity and its rover twin, Spirit. The area is at the
southeastern edge of a crater called "Santa Maria," which Opportunity approached from the west last month.
Drives last week brought Opportunity to the position where it will spend
the conjunction period. From that position, the rover's robotic arm can
reach an outcrop target called "Luis de Torres." The rover's Moessbauer
spectrometer will be placed onto the target for several days during the
conjunction to assess the types of minerals present. The instrument uses a small amount of radioactive cobalt-57 to elicit information from the target. With a half-life of less than a year, the cobalt has substantially depleted during Opportunity's seven years on Mars, so readings lasting several days are necessary now to be equivalent to much
shorter readings when the mission was newer.
Opportunity will also make atmospheric measurements during the conjunction period. After conjunction, it will spend several more days investigating Santa Maria crater before resuming a long-term trek toward
Endurance crater, which is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter and, at its closest edge, about 6 kilometers (4 miles) from Santa Maria.
Opportunity's drives to the southeastern edge of Santa Maria brought the
total distance driven by the rover during its seventh year on Mars to 7.4 kilometers (4.6 miles), which is more than in any previous year. The rover's total odometry for its seventh anniversary is 26.7 kilometers (16.6 miles).
Opportunity and Spirit, which landed three weeks apart, successfully completed their three-month prime missions in April 2004, then began years of bonus extended missions. Both have made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life. Spirit's most recent communication was on March 22, 2010. On the possibility that Spirit may yet awaken from a low-power hibernation status, NASA engineers continue to listen for a signal from that rover.
source : NASA
Voyager 2 at Uranus, 25 Years Ago Today
These two pictures of Uranus -- one in true color (left) and the other in false color -- were compiled from images returned Jan. 17, 1986, by the narrow-angle camera of Voyager 2. Image credit: NASA/JPL
Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft that has flown close by one of the more enigmatic planets in our solar system (and the butt of many one-liners): Uranus. It was 25 years ago today (Jan. 24) that Voyager made the close pass, and scientists from JPL have
been reminiscing about how they pored over the data being returned by the Grand-Touring Voyagers.
‚ÄúVoyager 2‚Ä≤s visit to Uranus expanded our knowledge of the unexpected diversity of bodies that share the solar
system with Earth,‚ÄĚ said Project Scientist Ed Stone, who is now based at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. ‚ÄúEven though similar in many ways, the worlds we encounter can still surprise us.‚ÄĚ
Voyager 2 has discovered two "shepherd" satellites associated with the rings of Uranus. Image Credit: NASA/JPL
From the flyby, we saw for the first time Uranus‚Äô small group of tenuous rings, and the tiny shepherding moons that sculpted them. Unlike
Saturn‚Äôs icy rings, they found Uranus‚Äô rings to be dark gray, reflecting only a few percent of the incident sunlight.
Miranda, innermost of Uranus' large satellites,
is seen at close range in this Voyager 2 image, taken Jan. 24, 1986, as
part of a high-resolution mosaicing sequence. Image credit: NASA/JPL
images also showed the small, icy Uranus moon Miranda that had a grooved terrain with linear valleys and ridges cutting through the older
terrain and sometimes coming together in chevron shapes. They also saw dramatic fault scarps, or cliffs. All of this indicated that periods of tectonic and thermal activity had rocked Miranda‚Äôs surface in the past.
scientists were also shocked by data showing that Uranus‚Äô magnetic north and south poles were not closely aligned with the north-south axis
of the planet‚Äôs rotation. Instead, the planet‚Äôs magnetic field poles were closer to the Uranian equator. This suggested that the material flows in the planet‚Äôs interior that are generating the magnetic field are closer to the surface of Uranus than the flows inside Earth, Jupiter
and Saturn are to their respective surfaces.
Voyager 2 was launched on Aug. 20, 1977, 16 days before its twin, Voyager 1. After completing its prime mission of flying by Jupiter and Saturn, Voyager 2 was sent on the right flight path to visit Uranus, which is about 3 billion kilometers (2 billion miles) away from the sun. Voyager 2 made its closest approach ‚Äď within 81,500 kilometers (50,600 miles) of the Uranian cloud tops ‚Äď on Jan. 24, 1986.
By the end of the Uranus encounter and science analysis, data from Voyager 2 enabled the discovery of 11 new moons and two new rings, and generated dozens of science papers about the quirky seventh planet.
Voyager 2 moved on
to explore Neptune, the last planetary target, in August 1989. It is now hurtling toward interstellar space, which is the space between stars. It is about 14 billion kilometers (9 billion miles) away from the
sun. Voyager 1, which explored only Jupiter and Saturn before heading on a faster track toward interstellar space, is about 17 billion kilometers (11 billion miles) away from the sun.
‚ÄúThe Uranus encounter was one of a kind,‚ÄĚ said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager, based at JPL. ‚ÄúVoyager 2 was healthy and durable enough to make
it to Uranus and then to Neptune. Currently both Voyager spacecraft are
on the cusp of leaving the sun‚Äôs sphere of influence and once again blazing a trail of scientific discovery.‚ÄĚ
Ananthi krishnan has uploaded photos.
View the photos now
and leave a quick comment to show you care.
Ananthi krishnan's time spent in this site helps fight Leukemia. Watch the video
This message was intended for Space-Explorers@... and was sent as a notification, invitation or
reminder (digital goods subject to change in reminders) of an event initiated by
Ananthi krishnan using a third-party or platform application and may contain promotional materials
and/or services for sale including digital goods received.
To control messages sent to or from you, your contacts and/or FanBox, click
Our offices are located at: FanBox - 113 West G Street, STE 510, San Diego, CA 92101,
Total Lunar Eclipse in progress now
Visible from: Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, S.America
Maximum in 45 Minutes from now. Thursday, 16 June 2011, 00:56:12 IST
|(Standard time zone:||UTC/GMT +5:30 hours)|
Total Lunar Eclipse on June 15, 2011
A total lunar eclipse will be visible in areas such as Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Australia on June 15, 2011. This will be one of the darkest eclipses ever, and for 100 minutes the Moon will appear as a dark red orb in the sky.
Can I see the Eclipse?
The June 15 total lunar eclipse will be visible to observers in Europe, Africa, southern Asia, and Australia. This will be one of the darkest eclipses ever, second only to the total lunar eclipse on July 16, 2000. During the totality of the eclipse, the moon will pass through the center of the earth's shadow.
The best location to view the eclipse will be in the northernmost region of the "entire-eclipse zone" in central Asia, as well as Eastern Europe and northeastern Africa.
Many people in South America, Western Africa and Europe will view the eclipse at moon rise, while observers in Eastern Asia and Australia will see the eclipse at moonset.
The moon will appear as a dark red orb during the eclipse. ©iStockphoto.com/Matthew Meier
Western Europe will see the moon rise already totally eclipsed and covering a portion of the ninth-magnitude global cluster NGC 6401, while those in southern Africa and Australia will see the moon slip past the cluster untouched. It is important to note that in order to see the cluster, you will need at least a 100-mm telescope.
When will the Eclipse Occur?
Check out when the Eclipse starts all over the world!
The eclipse's total phase lasts for 100 minutes.
The penumbral eclipse ("P1") begins at 17:24:37 Universal Time (UT) and the partial eclipse ("U1") begins at 18:22:57 UT.
The total eclipse ("U2") begins at 19:22:29 UT and the point of the greatest eclipse occurs at 20:13:43 UT.
The umbral eclipse magnitude will reach 1.71 at the instant of greatest eclipse, making it one of the darkest eclipses in history.
The total eclipse ("U3") ends at 21:02:42, followed by the end of the partial eclipse ("U4") at 22:02:14 UT. The penumbral eclipse ("P4") ends at 23:00:41 UT.
Who can see the Eclipse?The dark areas in the maps below can see the eclipse. Click on the maps for larger images.
Time of start of the partial eclipse:
Time of start of the total eclipse:
Time of the end of the total eclipse:
Time of the end of the partial eclipse:
I’m new to these groups and would appreciate some advice. When I was a youngster (many years ago) and a big fan of the US Space program I wrote to each of the
7 original Mercury astronauts requesting an autographed picture. I received 6 of the 7. The autographs look personally done but does anyone know if NASA did this by machine or an administrative person signed them? Or perhaps I have the real McCoy?
Thanks for any information you can share.
Northwestern Europe at night, as seen from the International Space Station on August 10, 2011. Credit: NASA
Astronauts always say the view of Earth is the best part of being in space. Here is a beautiful shot of northwestern Europe at night. The landscape is dotted with clusters of lights from individual urban areas;
visible are London, Paris, Brussels, Milan and Amsterdam, which stand out due to their large light "footprints", while the English Channel is completely dark.
This photograph was taken by one of the Expedition 28 crew members on the International Space Station (ISS) and was taken with a short camera lens, providing the wide field of view. To give a sense of scale, the centers of the London and Paris metropolitan areas are approximately 340
kilometers (210 miles) from each other.