ASTRONOMY



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OUR SOLAR SYSTEM THE UNIVERSE
The Earth and Moon Stars
The Sun The Milky Way
The Planets The Universe
Asteroids and Comets Exploration of Space


The Earth and Moon


4/7/15

The current impact theory of lunar formation just got a lot stronger




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12/19/14

All aboard the International Space Station
for a 41-second flight at night
down the coast of Italy and over to the Nile River in Egypt.




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7/25/13

Natural particle accelerator discovered in space




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7/2/13

The theory of "Space Wind" has been proven




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2/28/13

Third Van Allen Belt discovered




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2/11/12

History of the moon (24:25)




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The Sun


6/25/14

How far out does the sun's atmosphere extend?

would you believe ... 5 million miles?


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7/15/13

Solar flares and coronal mass ejections
are powered by Magnetic reconnections (1:42)




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7/1/08

Death of the Sun (3:58)




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The Planets


9/10/16

MERCURY

Here is an explanation that gives one of the reasons
why ancient astronomers believed that the Earth was the center of the Universe



So maybe we should cut those ancient guys some slack?


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11/29/12

MERCURY

Temperatures on Mercury can exceed 800 degrees (over 400 C).
Guess what scientists found?

Powerful evidence of water ice (4:51)


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4/7/15

MARS

They found water IN Mars: there are thousands of glaciers located underground.



I contacted researcher Nanna Karlsson to find out how deep the glaciers were.
She replied "The glaciers are covered by dust that is less than 10 meters thick.
So they are not very far underground."


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9/26/13

MARS

Scientists find plenty of easily accessible water on Mars

One obstacle down ... thousands to go
(but that one was huge)


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8/5/12

MARS

The Rover attempts landing on Mars (5:08)




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2/28/11

MARS

How we got to Mars (6:33)




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3/12/15

JUPITER

The largest moon in our solar system
Ganymede (orbits Jupiter)
has a gigantic subsurface ocean.



Even the top of that ocean is under 95 miles of ice.
The pressure must be enormous.
If there is any life in that ocean - it must be pretty bad-ass


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2/19/13

SATURN

What happens when Saturn's magnetic field meets a powerful solar flare?




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Asteroids and Comets


12/10/14

It appears as though the theory
that comets brought water to the early Earth

is unlikely to be true


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10/19/14

Tomorrow night a half-mile wide Comet will miss Mars by about 40 minutes

This rock is coming in at about 126,000 mph (5:07)


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11/6/13

Detailed studies of the Russian meteor that exploded in February of 2013
yield valuable information that could be used in the future defense of our planet.




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2/15/13

Space Lasers, to defend Earth against space rocks, may be feasible




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1/10/13

Asteroid Apophis impact in 2036 has now been ruled out

sigh of relief


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Stars


2/16/15

Evidence has been found for the closest encounter ever
between a star and our own solar system.

It occurred about 70,000 years ago


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1/5/15

Astronomers develop powerful method ...

for determining the age of stars


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3/12/14

The largest yellow star ever discovered (video 2:04)




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8/3/13

The theory explaining the origin of short gamma ray bursts ...

gets powerful supporting evidence from Hubble

Summary: long gamma ray bursts originate from collapsing stars
and short gamma ray bursts originate from the merger of two super dense objects.
(now we finally know what that bright flash was,
at the wedding of Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy)


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5/3/13

Biggest Gamma Ray Burst ever detected.
Now astronomers are hunting for the supernova which preceded it.




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12/9/12

This one seems like it is getting ready to blow.




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10/4/12

Star discovered racing around the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.




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8/20/12

First evidence of an aging star devouring one of its planets




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The Milky Way


4/8/15

Organic molecules have been discovered in a nascent solar system
indicating that the elements of life may be universal.

We are NOT alone ... probably




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3/9/15

The picture we all had of the Milky Way Galaxy has been refined.
It is now defined, not as a smooth disk, but as "corrugated."
That also means that the Milky Way is 50% more massive than previously thought.




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9/3/14

Astronomers map the Milky Way's place in the cosmos
with greater precision than ever before (4:10)




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10/30/13

Before Andromeda gets here in 2-3 billion years,
our Milky Way galaxy is due for a collision in about 30 million years.
(However, I think we're gonna win this one)




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6/3/13

New map of the Milky Way upgrades the status of our local neighborhood.




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3/6/13

Cosmologists propose galactic black hole merger




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9/24/12

Gigantic halo of hot gas surrounds the Milky Way galaxy




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The Universe


3/23/17

A rare discovery in outer space:
A black hole racing away from the center of its galaxy




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2017

Try to think "big."
I mean "really" big.
No, I mean "really, really" big.
Now, multiply that times a trillion.

The Dipole Repeller (4:23)

We are being pulled towards The Great Attractor, which itself,
is being pulled towards The Shapley Supercluster.


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4/26/16

Some scientists and many people claim that space is "empty."
The following links should clear up that misconception ...

A "perfect" vacuum has never been found to exist ... anywhere

The CMB fills every cubic centimeter of the observable universe
with approximately 400 microwave photons


The Casimir Effect (10:39)

"Empty" space (4:45)

So as far as scientists can tell
the "vacuum" of space is just teeming with activity.


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2/11/16

How big can black holes get?

This big ...




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1/14/16

Astronomers are intrigued by an object spotted in June of 2015
that is only 10 miles across, but outshines the entire ...

Milky Way Galaxy


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8/10/15

In our universe, energy is being converted into light and heat
which dissipate as the universe expands.
Many scientists believe that this will result in the "heat death" of the universe.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I die before that happens
which is why I'm considering taking up smoking and drinking.

(click on image to read the article)



I sent an email to the researchers asking them this question:

"According to the law of conservation of energy,
since energy can be neither created nor destroyed ...
where is all the energy going?
"

I received replies from Luke Davies and Simon Driver,
researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
at the University of Western Australia ...

The heat death of the Universe


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4/21/15

Scientists discover the largest structure ever found in the universe ...

A "void" 1.3 billion light years across


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4/10/15

The expansion of the Universe may have to be recalculated.
It may not be as fast as previously thought.
That also means that the amount of Dark Energy in the Universe ...

might also be less than previously thought

UPDATE

18 months later, and now more astronomers are challenging ...

the Dark Energy theory

And in related research:
It may no longer be necessary to hypothesize dark matter ...

to explain the rotation of galaxies

Modified Newtonian Dynamics ... now why didn't I think of that?


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7/3/14

So ... there's no sound in space?

You might want to read these first before passing around misinformation ...

Astronomers can determine a star's age from the sound waves it produces

Listen to the "sound" of a comet (5:22)

Listen to electrons travelling through the Earth's Magnetic Field.
NASA recorded "whistler waves," "plasma waves," and "plasmaspheric hiss."



How about sound in interstellar space?

Here is a recording of Tsunami waves in interstellar space by Voyager 1 (1:02)




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10/24/13

Where is the coldest place in the Universe?



The Boomerang Nebula (only 5,000 light years away) checks in at ... 1 degree K!


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10/21/13

Light's journey: from the Big Bang - to striking our telescopes.
It didn't take the shortest path




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3/21/13

The Planck space telescope has fine-tuned previous scientific measurements.
The age of our visible universe has been changed from 13.7 to 13.8 billion years.




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2/24/13

Brian Cox explains the Universe (51:29)

Fantastic video, but with one tiny little slip:
5 minutes before the end he says that the light from the Recombination
(the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation)
has been traveling for 13.7 billion years.
Then he thought he had made a mistake and said that he meant
that the light had been traveling 13.4 billion years.
He was actually correct the first time
because 300,000 years from 13.7 billion is 13.7 billion
not 13.4 billion (he obviously subtracted .3 billion instead of .3 million).
Given the superb quality of his lecture though ...
I think we can cut him some slack on that one.

(Note: recently scientists have refined the age of the universe to 13.8 billion years)


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5/20/12

The center of the Universe (5:18)



Another view: Where is the center of the Universe? (4:08)




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2/1/12

Scale of the Universe (3:23)

I think I was somewhere in the middle.


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8/2/09

Hubble Ultra Deep Field 3D (4:16)




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2/6/08

How scientists measure the distance to faraway galaxies (8:46)




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Exploration of Space


11/24/15

Look at what those crazy little apes are up to now ...



UPDATE

The next video shows the next launch.
Not only was the test of the escape pod successful,
but the booster returned to Earth and landed ... upright.

The video is 1 hour and 1 minute long.
For those of you with ADHD (like me),
the countdown begins at 51 minutes.




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4/29/15

Due to the vast distances between stars
(it would take 75,000 years just to get to the nearest star)
I had pretty much resigned myself to the belief that,
though we might send spacecraft to other solar systems,
humans would likely be confined to living in just our solar system.

However, thanks to recent advances in technology
(like EM drive - if  it proves to be feasible)
the trip might be reduced to about 100 years. So ...

It looks like we may be going to the stars after all


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10/11/14

Click "full screen," then sit back and relax for 3:50
while Carl Sagan takes your mind on a fantastic journey




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9/12/13

It's official - Voyager 1 is in interstellar space
(it actually happened a year ago, but it took awhile to analyze the data)




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6/27/13

Where are the Voyager space vehicles now?




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12/3/12

Voyager 1 has reached "The Magnetic Highway."
Sometime within the next few years,
it is expected to break out into interstellar space.




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