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Unobscured Vision    2,650

THE UNIVERSE MAY CONTAIN 10 TIMES MORE GALAXIES THAN WE THOUGHT

 

Article Link | Popular Science Website

 

hubble-galaxies.jpg

 

Image (c) NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the HUDF09 Team

 

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2 Trillion Galaxies

Astronomers used to think the universe contains 100-200 billion galaxies. Now, the population estimate has jumped up to 2 trillion.

 

The universe just got a lot bigger. Thanks to some new data from Hubble, scientists have calculated that there must be at least 2 trillion galaxies in the universe--a massive population spike from the previous estimates of a measly 100-200 billion galaxies. We haven't yet set eyes on the vast majority of these, because they are small, faint, and very far away.

 

"It boggles the mind that over 90 percent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied," Christopher Conselice, a co-author on the study, said in a statement.

 

In an interview with Popular Science, Conselice explained how the team made this astonishing calculation. Last year, the group came up with a formula for explaining how galaxies are distributed by size. Monstrously huge galaxies are very rare, while there are a vast number of very small galaxies. Medium-sized galaxies are medium common.

 

Analyzing the number of faint galaxies that can be seen with the Hubble space telescope, Conselice's team determined that there must be an astronomical number of galaxies that we can't currently see. The team estimates that are at least 10 times more galaxies than previously estimated.

 

(article continues on with some more discussion about the finding ...)

This changes pretty much everything that Astrophysics has been chasing for the past 30 years. "Dark Matter" apparently exists only in small quantities rather than the previously-supposed 88% TUM (Total Universe Mass) or so that had been previously theorized.

 

Now we know where the rest of the "missing mass" is. :yes: 

 

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LOC    988

Or its just already beyond our cosmic horizon. Which is always a possibility.

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DocM    16,331

White House Executive Order: Space Weather coordinatoon

 


By Dr. Tamara Dickinson

Principal Assistant Director for Environment and Energy
White House

Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order that seeks to coordinate efforts to prepare the Nation for space weather events.

The Executive Order will help reduce economic loss, save lives, and enhance national security by ordering the creation of nationwide response and recovery plans and procedures that incorporate technologies that mitigate the effects of space-weather events.

By this action, the Federal Government will lead by example and help motivate state and local governments, and other nations, to create communities that are more resilient to the hazards of space weather.

The term space weather refers to effects on the space environment that arise from emissions from the sun, including solar flares, solar energetic particles, and coronal mass ejections. Space weather is a natural hazard that can significantly affect critical infrastructure essential to the economy, social wellbeing, and national security, such as electrical power, water supply, health care, and transportation.

These emissions can interact with Earth, potentially degrading, disrupting, or damaging the technology that forms the Nations backbone of critical infrastructure. Because it poses a significant risk to the Nations security, space weather is included in the Department of Homeland Securitys Strategic National Risk Assessment, which outlines threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation and that, therefore, the Nation must prepare for.

Reducing vulnerability to space weather requires an all-of-nation approach, including collaboration across governments, the emergency-management community, academia, the media, the insurance industry, non-profits, and the private sector. Over the past 6 years, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Security Council (NSC) have worked together to coordinate interagency efforts to improve understanding, prediction, and preparedness for potentially devastating space-weather events. These efforts combined the national- and homeland-security enterprise with the science and technology enterprise to create the 2015 National Space Weather Strategy and accompanying Action Plan. Those documents describe how the Federal Government will coordinate the efforts of Federal agencies towards space-weather preparedness, and how the Federal Government will engage academia, the private sector, and State, local, tribal, and foreign governments.

The Executive Order builds on the significant progress of the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan by:

* Establishing a national policy for space weather;

* Establishing an enduring interagency coordination body within the National Science and Technology Council to implement the national space-weather policy;

* Articulating department and agency roles and responsibilities with respect to space- weather research, operations, and planning;

* Ordering the implementation of necessary, high-level activities that were not included in the Action Plan; and

* Reinforcing the need to work with non-Federal entities, including international partners, to achieve national preparedness for space weather.

We cannot ignore the potential impact space weather may have on key infrastructures and technologies. This new Executive Order will strengthen Americas resilience to space weather and help to build a more secure and resilient Nation.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Hubble Sees Cassiopeia's Unusual Resident NGC 278

 

oopotw1641a-1.jpg

NGC 278   STSCI

 

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This image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, shows a spiral galaxy named NGC 278. 


This cosmic beauty lies some 38 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia (The Seated Queen). While NGC 278 may look serene, it is anything but. The galaxy is currently undergoing an immense burst of star formation. This flurry of activity is shown by the unmistakable blue-hued knots speckling the galaxy's spiral arms, each of which marks a clump of hot newborn stars.

 

However, NGC 278's star formation is somewhat unusual; it does not extend to the galaxy's outer edges, but is only taking place within an inner ring some 6500 light-years across. This two-tiered structure is visible in this image -- while the galaxy's center is bright, its extremities are much darker.

 

This odd configuration is thought to have been caused by a merger with a smaller, gas-rich galaxy -- while the turbulent event ignited the center of NGC 278, the dusty remains of the small snack then dispersed into the galaxy's outer regions. Whatever the cause, such a ring of star formation, called a nuclear ring, is extremely unusual in galaxies without a bar at their center, making NGC 278 a very intriguing sight.

http://spaceref.com/astronomy/hubble-sees-cassiopeias-unusual-resident-ngc-278.html

 

:)

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Draggendrop    5,747

ALMA spots possible formation site of icy giant planet

 

124785_web.jpg

Artist's impression of the dust disk and a forming planet around TW Hydrae.
CREDIT
NAOJ
USAGE RESTRICTIONS
None

 

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A number of extrasolar planets have been found in the past two decades and now researchers agree that planets can have a wide variety of characteristics. However, it is still unclear how this diversity emerges. Especially, there is still debate about how the icy giant planets, such as Uranus and Neptune, form.

 

To take a close look at the planet formation site, a research team led by Takashi Tsukagoshi at Ibaraki University, Japan, observed the young star TW Hydrae. This star, estimated to be 10 million years old, is one of the closest young stars to the Earth. Thanks to the proximity and the fact that its axis of rotation points roughly in the Earth's direction, giving us a face-on-view of the developing planetary system, TW Hydrae is one of the most favorable targets for investigating planet formation.

 

Past observations have shown that TW Hydrae is surrounded by a disk made of tiny dust particles. This disk is the site of planet formation. Recent ALMA observations revealed multiple gaps in the disk [1]. Some theoretical studies suggest that the gaps are evidence of planet formation.

 

The team observed the disk around TW Hydrae with ALMA in two radio frequencies. Since the ratio of the radio intensities in different frequencies depends on the size of the dust grains, researchers can estimate the size of dust grains. The ratio indicates that smaller, micrometer-sized, dust particles dominate and larger dust particles are absent in the most prominent gap with a radius of 22 astronomical units [2].

 

Why are smaller dust particles selectively located in the gap in the disk? Theoretical studies have predicted that a gap in the disk is created by a massive planet, and that gravitational interaction and friction between gas and dust particles push the larger dust out from the gap, while the smaller particles remain in the gap. The current observation results match these theoretical predictions.

 

Researchers calculated the mass of the unseen planet based on the width and depth of the 22 au gap and found that the planet is probably a little more massive than the Neptune. "Combined with the orbit size and the brightness of TW Hydrae, the planet would be an icy giant planet like Neptune," said Tsukagoshi.

 

Following this result, the team is planning further observations to better understand planet formation. One of their plans is to observe the polarization of the radio waves. Recent theoretical studies have shown that the size of dust grains can be estimated more precisely with polarization observations. The other plan is to measure the amount of gas in the disk. Since gas is the major component of the disk, the researchers hope to attain a better estimation of the mass of the forming planet.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/nion-asp101316.php

 

Awesome...watching the birth of a gas giant....:D

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Draggendrop    5,747

ASTROPHYSICISTS MAP THE MILKY WAY

 

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Scientists have created a detailed map of the Milky Way using two of the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescopes in Germany and Australia.

 

The research looked at neutral atomic hydrogen—the most abundant element in space and the main component of stars and galaxies—across the whole sky in a survey known as HI4PI.

 

The project required more than a million individual observations and about ten billion individual data points.

 

University of Bonn astronomer Dr Juergen Kerp said although neutral hydrogen is fairly easy to detect with modern radio telescopes, mapping the whole sky is a significant achievement.

 

“Radio ‘noise’ caused by mobile phones and broadcast stations pollute the faint emissions coming from stars and galaxies in the Universe,” he said.

“So sophisticated computer algorithms have to be developed to clean each individual data point of this unwanted human interference.

 

“Next to the thousands of observing hours an even larger amount of time has been spent creating the final scientific data product released today.”

 

The HI4PI survey used CSIRO’s Parkes Observatory and the Effelsberg 100m Radio Telescope operated by the Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy.

 

It improves the previous neutral hydrogen study, the Leiden-Argentine-Bonn (LAB) survey, by a factor of two in sensitivity and a factor of four in angular resolution.

 

Professor Lister Staveley-Smith, from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, said the study reveals fine details of structures between stars in the Milky Way for the first time.

 

“These structures had been smeared out by the coarse sampling of the sky in the LAB survey,” he said.

 

“Pilot studies of the HI4PI data show a wealth of filamentary structures never seen before.

 

“Tiny clouds become visible that appear to have fuelled star formation in the Milky Way for billions of years.

more at the link...

http://www.icrar.org/hi4pi/

 

HI4PI.jpg

 

image link

 

A new all-sky survey of neutral hydrogen

video is 1:29 min.

 

 

 

HI4PI: A full-sky H i survey based on EBHIS and GASS, paper, 14 page, 15MB

 

A lot of work went into this....nice....:D

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Draggendrop    5,747

I really don't understand the science community sometimes, particularly when they think they have all the answers, find out something new...and are shocked...?  Case in point...

 

First Binary-Binary Calls Solar System Questions Formation

 

oosquare-Binary-binary.jpg

Binary-Binary    UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

 

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Everything we know about the formation of solar systems might be wrong, says University of Florida astronomy professor Jian Ge and his postdoc, Bo Ma.

 

They've discovered the first "binary-binary" - two massive companions around one star in a close binary system, one so-called giant planet and one brown dwarf, or "failed star" The first, called MARVELS-7a, is 12 times the mass of Jupiter, while the second, MARVELS-7b, has 57 times the mass of Jupiter.

 

Astronomers believe that planets in our solar system formed from a collapsed disk-like gaseous cloud, with our largest planet, Jupiter, buffered from smaller planets by the asteroid belt. In the new binary system, HD 87646, the two giant companions are close to the minimum mass for burning deuterium and hydrogen, meaning that they have accumulated far more dust and gas than what a typical collapsed disk-like gaseous cloud can provide. They were likely formed through another mechanism. The stability of the system despite such massive bodies in close proximity raises new questions about how protoplanetary disks form. The findings, which are now online, will be published in the November issue of the Astronomical Journal.

 

HD 87646's primary star is 12 percent more massive than our sun, yet is only 22 astronomical units away from its secondary, a star about 10 percent less massive than our sun, roughly the distance between the sun and Uranus in our solar system. An astronomical unit is the mean distance between the center of the Earth and our sun, but in cosmic terms, is a relatively short distance. Within such a short distance, two giant companions are orbiting the primary star at about 0.1 and 1.5 astronomical units away. For such large companion objects to be stable so close together defies our current popular theories on how solar systems form.

 

The planet-hunting Doppler instrument W.M. Keck Exoplanet Tracker, or KeckET, developed by a team led by Ge at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, is unusual in that it can simultaneously observe dozens of celestial bodies. Ge says this discovery would not have been possible without a multiple-object Doppler measurement capability such as KeckET to search for a large number of stars to discover a very rare system like this one. The survey of HD 87646 occurred in 2006 during the pilot survey of the Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS) of the SDSS-III program, and Ge led the MARVELS survey from 2008 to 2012. It has taken eight years of follow-up data collection through collaboration with over 30 astronomers at seven other telescopes around the world and careful data analysis, much of which was done by Bo Ma, to confirm what Ge calls a "very bizarre" finding.

 

The team will continue to analyze data from the MARVELS survey.

http://spaceref.com/astronomy/first-binary-binary-calls-solar-system-questions-formation.html

 

Discovery of first binary-binary calls solar system formation into question

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/uof-dof102016.php

 

First Pluto, now this: Discovery of first binary-binary calls solar system formation into question

http://news.ufl.edu/articles/2016/10/first-pluto-now-this-discovery-of-first-binary-binary-calls-solar-system-formation-into-question.php

 

Everyday, the universe throws us something spectacular....embrace it and wait to see what tomorrow brings....:D

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Draggendrop    5,747

At the top of this page, an article took a good kick at dark matter.

 

Now it's time to take a kick at dark energy...

 

The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate – or is it?

 

Quote

21 Oct 2016


Five years ago, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three astronomers for their discovery, in the late 1990s, that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace.

 

Their conclusions were based on analysis of Type Ia supernovae – the spectacular thermonuclear explosions of dying stars – picked up by the Hubble space telescope and large ground-based telescopes. It led to the widespread acceptance of the idea that the universe is dominated by a mysterious substance named 'dark energy' that drives this accelerating expansion.

 

Now, a team of scientists led by Professor Subir Sarkar of Oxford University's Department of Physics has cast doubt on this standard cosmological concept. Making use of a vastly increased data set – a catalogue of 740 Type Ia supernovae, 

 

more than ten times the original sample size – the researchers have found that the evidence for acceleration may be flimsier than previously thought, with the data being consistent with a constant rate of expansion.

 

The study is published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

 

Marginal evidence for cosmic acceleration from Type Ia supernovae, paper, Abstract

 

Quote

Professor Sarkar, who also holds a position at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, said: 'The discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe won the Nobel Prize, the Gruber Cosmology Prize, and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. It led to the widespread acceptance of the idea that the universe is dominated by "dark energy" that behaves like a cosmological constant – this is now the "standard model" of cosmology.

 

'However, there now exists a much bigger database of supernovae on which to perform rigorous and detailed statistical analyses. We analysed the latest catalogue of 740 Type Ia supernovae – over ten times bigger than the original samples on which the discovery claim was based – and found that the evidence for accelerated expansion is, at most, what physicists call "3 sigma". This is far short of the 5 sigma standard required to claim a discovery of fundamental significance.

 

'An analogous example in this context would be the recent suggestion for a new particle weighing 750 GeV based on data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. It initially had even higher significance – 3.9 and 3.4 sigma in December last year – and stimulated over 500 theoretical papers.

 

However, it was announced in August that new data shows that the significance has dropped to less than 1 sigma. It was just a statistical fluctuation, and there is no such particle.'

 

Quote

'So it is quite possible that we are being misled and that the apparent manifestation of dark energy is a consequence of analysing the data in an oversimplified theoretical model – one that was in fact constructed in the 1930s, long before there was any real data.

 

A more sophisticated theoretical framework accounting for the observation that the universe is not exactly homogeneous and that its matter content may not behave as an ideal gas – two key assumptions of standard cosmology – may well be able to account for all observations without requiring dark energy. Indeed, vacuum energy is something of which we have absolutely no understanding in fundamental theory.'

 

Professor Sarkar added: 'Naturally, a lot of work will be necessary to convince the physics community of this, but our work serves to demonstrate that a key pillar of the standard cosmological model is rather shaky.

 

Hopefully this will motivate better analyses of cosmological data, as well as inspiring theorists to investigate more nuanced cosmological models.

 

Significant progress will be made when the European Extremely Large Telescope makes observations with an ultrasensitive "laser comb" to directly measure over a ten to 15-year period whether the expansion rate is indeed accelerating.'

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/science-blog/universe-expanding-accelerating-rate-–-or-it

 

The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate -- or is it?

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/uoo-tui102116.php

 

It's about time members of academia started questioning this....next should be the cosmological constant derivation.

 

:D

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

... yep. And that explains the postulation about all of those extra Galaxies beyond the Cosmic Horizon, too. In the absence of massive amounts of "dark matter", we go back full circle, don't we? Sure there's a little bit, but not on the order that was theorized. The models need to be reworked.

 

That's the great thing about Science -- there's always room for improvement. :yes: 

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Draggendrop    5,747

I thought this was neat...a baby solar system disk, about to grow...

 

OU researchers team with citizen scientists to discover a rare circumstellar disk

 

125480_web.jpg

The disk and its star are located in what is dubbed the Carina association -- a large, loose grouping of similar stars in the Carina Nebula approximately 212 light years from our sun. Its relative proximity to Earth will make it easier to conduct follow-on studies. It is around 45 million years old.
CREDIT
Jonathan Holden, citizen scientist
USAGE RESTRICTIONS
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A team led by a University of Oklahoma astrophysicist discovered a rare and surprising new circumstellar disk: the oldest of its kind. They made this discovery working together with a remarkable team of collaborators with no formal training in astrophysics: citizen scientists from around the world.

In a paper that appeared in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the authors describe a newly identified red dwarf star with a warm circumstellar disk of the kind associated with young planetary systems. Circumstellar disks around red "M" dwarfs like this one are rare to begin with. But this star, called AWI0005x3s, appears to have kept its disk for an exceptionally long time.

 

"Most disks of this kind fade away in less than 30 million years," says Steven Silverberg, a graduate student in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy at OU, and the lead author on the paper. "This particular red dwarf is a candidate member of the Carina association, which would make it around 45 million years old. It's the oldest red dwarf system with a disk we've seen in one of these associations."

 

The discovery relied on citizen scientists from Disk Detective, a project led by NASA/GSFC's Dr. Marc Kuchner, to find new circumstellar disks. At the project's website, DiskDetective.org, users view ten-second videos of data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission (WISE), NASA's Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) project, and other surveys. Since the launch of the website in January 2014, roughly 30,000 citizen scientists have participated in this process, performing roughly 2 million classifications of celestial objects.

 

"The WISE mission found 747 million objects, of which we expect a few thousand to be disks like this," Silverberg explains. "Without help from citizen scientists examining these objects and finding the good ones, we would have never spotted this object."

 

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Determining the age of a star can be tricky or impossible. But the Carina association, where this star was found, is a group of stars whose motions through the Galaxy indicate that they were all born at roughly the same time in the same stellar nursery. Membership in one of these groups provides a reliable way to estimate the star's age. Knowing that this star and its disk are so old may help scientists understand why M dwarf disks appear to be so rare.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/uoo-ort102416.php

 

Found: Oldest known planet-forming disk

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/cifs-fok102116.php

 

Citizen Scientist Disk Detective

https://www.diskdetective.org/

 

-----------------------------------

 

New Bright Nova in Sagittarius

 

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A nova in Sagittarius, discovered a few nights ago by a Japanese amateur, has become bright enough to see in binoculars.

 

Nova-Sgr-Oct-2016-395x360.jpg

This map shows the sky facing southwest in late twilight for observers across the central U.S. and southern Europe. The 8th-magnitude nova (exaggerated here!) lies just above the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot, at R.A. 18h 10m 28.3s, Dec. –27° 29′ 59″.  It has been temporarily dubbed TCP J18102829-2729590 accordingly. 
Stellarium

 

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Just in the nick for time — at least for northern observers — a bright nova has been discovered in Sagittarius. I say nick of time because the constellation is sinking in the southwestern sky right after dusk, affording only a short viewing window from mid-northern latitudes. But a window it is, and there's still time to snatch a view of this amazing stellar explosion. Just make sure to look right after the end of twilight. That means about an hour and a half after your local sunset time.

 

Nova-Sgr-Oct-2016-tight-LETTERED-768x585

I've labeled the two bright 'spout stars' in this more detailed map, which shows stars to about magnitude 9.5. This will get you very close. To continue to the nova, use the more detailed chart below.
Stellarium

 

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Well-known nova hunter Koichi Itagaki of Japan nabbed the "new star" on October 20th, using a 180mm telephoto lens to take sky-patrol photos. At the time it was only about 11th magnitude. But within two days, the star shot up an additional three magnitudes and now shines brighter than 8.0. That puts it within range of 50mm binoculars and any telescope you might have.

 

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Material gets blasted into space at tremendous speeds of some 3,000 kilometers per second (6.2 million mph). A faint, unnoticed star brightens 50,000 to 100,000 times in a matter of hours, becoming luminous enough for someone back here on Earth to spot it in binoculars over the trees. Simply remarkable.

more at the link...

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/new-bright-nova-in-sagittarius/

 

Totally awesome....:D

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DocM    16,331

Earth is crazy pretty too. Just some pretty pics from Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Seashore in the Upper Peninsula - including the aurora and Milky Way. Much of MI has 'dark skies,' especially on clear winter nights.

 

Credits: Bryan Mitchell of Northville, MI

 

636129265607400410-2016-Oct-fl-bm-picturedrocks-05.jpg

 

636129265635636772-2016-Oct-fl-bm-picturedrocks-06.jpg

 

636129265626432654-2016-Oct-fl-bm-picturedrocks-07.jpg

 

636129270275292254-2016-Oct-fl-bm-picturedrocks-09.jpg

 

Au Sable lighthouse

 

636129270250955942-2016-Oct-fl-bm-picturedrocks-14.jpg

 

636129265604436372-2016-Oct-fl-bm-picturedrocks-03.jpg

 

636129265570115932-2016-Oct-fl-bm-picturedrocks-08.jpg

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

Ahhh ... scenery. :yes: 

 

In other news, there's a relatively new website that Citizen Scientists like ourselves (*snicker*) can participate in, and it looks really neat for a lot of reasons.

 

The user can join projects ranging from detecting Exoplanets in Kepler data, classifying the Geology of Mars, sifting through the LHC datasets, and so forth. Pretty much anything Sciencey that's there is open for anyone to participate in. And they're serious about it too.

 

https://www.zooniverse.org/ is the site.

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Draggendrop    5,747

Pillars of Destruction
Colourful Carina Nebula blasted by brilliant nearby stars

 

eso1639a.jpg

Spectacular new observations of vast pillar-like structures within the Carina Nebula have been made using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The different pillars analysed by an international team seem to be pillars of destruction — in contrast to the name of the iconic Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, which are of similar nature.

 

Quote

The spires and pillars in the new images of the Carina Nebula are vast clouds of dust and gas within a hub of star formation about 7500 light-years away. The pillars in the nebula were observed by a team led by Anna McLeod, a PhD student at ESO, using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

 

The great power of MUSE is that it creates thousands of images of the nebula at the same time, each at a different wavelength of light. This allows astronomers to map out the chemical and physical properties of the material at different points in the nebula.

 

Images of similar structures, the famous Pillars of Creation [1] in the Eagle Nebula and formations in NGC 3603, were combined with the ones displayed here. In total ten pillars have been observed, and in so doing a clear link was observed between the radiation emitted by nearby massive stars and the features of the pillars themselves.

 

In an ironic twist, one of the first consequences of the formation of a massive star is that it starts to destroy the cloud from which it was born. The idea that massive stars will have a considerable effect on their surroundings is not new: such stars are known to blast out vast quantities of powerful, ionising radiation — emission with enough energy to strip atoms of their orbiting electrons. However, it is very difficult to obtain observational evidence of the interplay between such stars and their surroundings.

 

The team analysed the effect of this energetic radiation on the pillars: a process known as photoevaporation, when gas is ionised and then disperses away. By observing the results of photoevaporation — which included the loss of mass from the pillars — they were able to deduce the culprits. There was a clear correlation between the amount of ionising radiation being emitted by nearby stars, and the dissipation of the pillars.

 

This might seem like a cosmic calamity, with massive stars turning on their own creators. However the complexities of the feedback mechanisms between the stars and the pillars are poorly understood. These pillars might look dense, but the clouds of dust and gas which make up nebulae are actually very diffuse. It is possible that the radiation and stellar winds from massive stars actually help create denser spots within the pillars, which can then form stars.

http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1639/

 

 

eso1639f.jpg

This pillar is part of the massive star cluster Trumpler 14, within the Carina Nebula, 7500 light-years away. The image was taken by the MUSE instrument, mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

Credit:
ESO/A. McLeod

 

 

eso1639b.jpg

These composite image shows several pillars within the Carina Nebula which were observed and studied with the MUSE instrument, mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The massive stars within the star formation region slowly destroy the pillars of dust and gas from which they are born.

Credit:
ESO/A. McLeod

 

 

eso1639c.jpg

This image was taken by the MUSE instrument, mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope and shows the region R18 within the Carina Nebula, 7500 light-years away. The massive stars within the star formation region slowly destroy the pillars of dust and gas from which they are born.

Credit:

ESO/A. McLeod

 

:)

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

There is so much going on inside and around that Nebula Complex that an Astrophysicist could literally spend their entire career studying it and never run out of stuff to do. It's one of my favorites, for that reason among many. Over 60 Light-Years worth of Science to do there ... :yes: And that's just the side facing us! That Complex is massive. 

 

NGC_3372d.jpg

 

Yeah ... :D 

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

Did some poking around this evening after Class, and got up to speed with what's been going on in some of the Astrophysics circles at the Undergrad and Post-Grad level -- and it is pretty neat. The Carina Nebula Complex is being meticulously mapped, cataloged and studied at every possible wavelength and by everyone who's got extra Observatory Time. The largest collection of super-massive stars in the Galaxy that they've found so far is in this area. Were we to be within 100 light-years of it, these stars would dominate our night sky. No less than FIVE Class-W (Wolf-Rayet), FIFTY Class-O and almost 400 Class-B stars in this 60-light-year by 40-light-year area; nearly 1,000 Class-A. Imagine how many of the F, G, K and M-Class stars there are?! And the amount of gas and dust in this area guarantees the chances that there are several million Super-Jupiter-sized planets there, and tens of million Earth-sized worlds too. Problems arise, however, that with so many of these large stars in these short proximities, some of the Academics wonder if planetary formation is disrupted -- and if so, how substantially.

 

The problem now becomes the levels of hard X-rays, Gamma, UV and other types of radiation in the environment there. The Solar Wind interactions from that many large stars in such close proximity to one another creates more issues with "space weather", along with co-interacting magnetic fields between such large stars. It's not gonna be a safe place anywhere nearby, especially with the presence of those larger O and W stars there. The Chandra data shows that there are several quite strong X-Ray sources there, so the possibility of Gamma-Ray bursters is quite high. And when those W-, O- and B-Class stars go supernova (or non-nova, as we've read can happen), things are going to be quite nasty afterwards ... because then it'll be Black Holes, Magnatars and Pulsars to add to the already-dangerous radiation environment.

 

So yeah, we're quite fortunate to be situated where we are. Admire it from afar, where we can study things when things go pear-shaped. I've had my head buried in Astrophysics Departments tonight, so I need to decompress before I blow an O-Ring. ;) 

Edited by Unobscured Vision
Grammar ... yikes. Slow down!
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Draggendrop    5,747

Veil Nebula Glows Red and Blue in Stunning Stargazer Photo

 

western-veil-nebula-brecher.jpg?interpol

Astrophotographer Ron Brecher took this image of the Veil Nebula complex from Guelph, Ontario on September 21, 2016.
Credit: Ron Brecher

 

Quote

These red and blue glowing tendrils of gas are part of a huge supernova remnant known as the Veil Nebula.

 

Astrophotographer Ron Brecher took this image from Guelph, Ontario on Sept. 21. The image shows NGC6960 (sometimes called "The Witch's Broom") at the top, and part of Pickering's triangle in the bottom half of the image. The Veil Nebula supernova remnant was created when a massive star exploded about 9,000 years ago. The complex is so large it covers about seven moon widths on the sky. [See More Amazing Photos of Supernova Explosions]

 

"This is my first time imaging using an Oxygen-3 filter (O3).  This filter lets through the teal-colored light emitted by excited atoms of oxygen, similar to the way red (and some blue) light is emitted by excited hydrogen atoms," Brecher wrote in an email to Space.com.

 

Brecher used a Moravian G3-16200 EC camera (on loan from O’Telescope), with Optolong Ha, O3 and RGB filters, 10″ f/3.6 ASA astrograph, Paramount MX, QHY5 guide camera through Lumicon 500 mm f.l. achromat.

http://www.space.com/34246-veil-nebula-stunning-stargazer-photo.html?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=socialtwitterspc&cmpid=social_spc_514648

 

----------------------------------

 

Tsunami of stars and gas produces dazzling eye-shaped feature in galaxy

 

126328_web.jpg

Annotated image showing dazzling eyelid-like features bursting with stars in galaxy IC 2163 formed from a tsunami of stars and gas triggered by a glancing collision with galaxy NGC 2207 (a portion of its spiral arm is shown on right side of image). ALMA image of carbon monoxide (orange), which revealed motion of the gas in these features, is shown on top of Hubble image (blue) of the galaxy.
CREDIT
M. Kaufman; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

 

 

126329_web.jpg

Galaxies IC 2163 (left) and NGC 2207 (right) recently grazed past each other, triggering a tsunami of stars and gas in IC 2163 and producing the dazzling eyelid-like features there. ALMA image of carbon monoxide (orange), which revealed motion of the gas in these features, is shown on top of Hubble image (blue) of the galaxy pair.
CREDIT
M. Kaufman; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

 

 

Quote

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered a tsunami of stars and gas that is crashing midway through the disk of a spiral galaxy known as IC 2163. This colossal wave of material - which was triggered when IC 2163 recently sideswiped another spiral galaxy dubbed NGC 2207 - produced dazzling arcs of intense star formation that resemble a pair of eyelids.

 

"Although galaxy collisions of this type are not uncommon, only a few galaxies with eye-like, or ocular, structures are known to exist," said Michele Kaufman, an astronomer formerly with The Ohio State University in Columbus and lead author on a paper published today in the Astrophysical Journal.

 

Kaufman and her colleagues note that the paucity of similar features in the observable universe is likely due to their ephemeral nature. "Galactic eyelids last only a few tens of millions of years, which is incredibly brief in the lifespan of a galaxy. Finding one in such a newly formed state gives us an exceptional opportunity to study what happens when one galaxy grazes another," said Kaufman.

 

The interacting pair of galaxies resides approximately 114 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Canis Major. These galaxies brushed past each other - scraping the edges of their outer spiral arms - in what is likely the first encounter of an eventual merger.

 

Using ALMA's remarkable sensitivity and resolution, the astronomers made the most detailed measurements ever of the motion of carbon monoxide gas in the galaxy's narrow eyelid features. Carbon monoxide is a tracer of molecular gas, which is the fuel for star formation.

 

The data reveal that the gas in the outer portion of IC 2163's eyelids is racing inward at speeds in excess of 100 kilometers a second. This gas, however, quickly decelerates and its motion becomes more chaotic, eventually changing trajectory and aligning itself with the rotation of the galaxy rather than continuing its pell-mell rush toward the center.

 

"What we observe in this galaxy is very much like a massive ocean wave barreling toward shore until it interacts with the shallows, causing it to lose momentum and dump all of its water and sand on the beach," said Bruce Elmegreen, a scientist with IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and co-author on the paper.

 

Quote

"ALMA showed us that the velocities of the molecular gas in the eyelids are on the right track with the predictions we get from computer models," said Kaufman. "This critical test of encounter simulations was not possible before."

 

Astronomers believe that such collisions between galaxies were common in the early universe when galaxies were closer together. At that time, however, galactic disks were generally clumpy and irregular, so other processes likely overwhelmed the formation of similar eyelid features.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-11/nrao-tos110316.php

 

:)

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Draggendrop    5,747

Cosmic whistle packs a surprisingly energetic punch

 

Quote

Penn State University astronomers have discovered that the mysterious "cosmic whistles" known as fast radio bursts can pack a serious punch, in some cases releasing a billion times more energy in gamma-rays than they do in radio waves and rivaling the stellar cataclysms known as supernovae in their explosive power. The discovery, the first-ever finding of non-radio emission from any fast radio burst, drastically raises the stakes for models of fast radio bursts and is expected to further energize efforts by astronomers to chase down and identify long-lived counterparts to fast radio bursts using X-ray, optical, and radio telescopes.

 

Fast radio bursts, which astronomers refer to as FRBs, were first discovered in 2007, and in the years since radio astronomers have detected a few dozen of these events. Although they last mere milliseconds at any single frequency, their great distances from Earth -- and large quantities of intervening plasma -- delay their arrival at lower frequencies, spreading the signal out over a second or more and yielding a distinctive downward-swooping "whistle" across the typical radio receiver band.

 

"This discovery revolutionizes our picture of FRBs, some of which apparently manifest as both a whistle and a bang," said coauthor Derek Fox, a Penn State professor of astronomy and astrophysics. The radio whistle can be detected by ground-based radio telescopes, while the gamma-ray bang can be picked up by high-energy satellites like NASA's Swift mission. "Rate and distance estimates for FRBs suggest that, whatever they are, they are a relatively common phenomenon, occurring somewhere in the universe more than 2,000 times a day."

 

Efforts to identify FRB counterparts began soon after their discovery but have all come up empty until now. In a paper published November 11 in Astrophysical Journal Letters the Penn State team, led by physics graduate student James DeLaunay, reports bright gamma-ray emission from the fast radio burst FRB 131104, named after the date it occurred, November 4, 2013. "I started this search for FRB counterparts without expecting to find anything," said DeLaunay. "This burst was the first that even had useful data to analyze. When I saw that it showed a possible gamma-ray counterpart, I couldn't believe my luck!"

 

Discovery of the gamma-ray "bang" from FRB 131104, the first non-radio counterpart to any FRB, was made possible by NASA's Earth-orbiting Swift satellite, which was observing the exact part of the sky where FRB 131104 occurred as the burst was detected by the Parkes Observatory radio telescope in Parkes, Australia. "Swift is always watching the sky for bursts of X-rays and gamma-rays," said Neil Gehrels, the mission's Principal Investigator and chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "What a delight it was to catch this flash from one of the mysterious fast radio bursts."

 

"Although theorists had anticipated that FRBs might be accompanied by gamma rays, the gamma-ray emission we see from FRB 131104 is surprisingly long-lasting and bright," Fox said. The duration of the gamma-ray emission, at two to six minutes, is many times the millisecond duration of the radio emission. And the gamma-ray emission from FRB 131104 outshines its radio emissions by more than a billion times, dramatically raising estimates of the burst's energy requirements and suggesting severe consequences for the burst's surroundings and host galaxy.

 

Two common models for gamma-ray emission from FRBs exist: one invoking magnetic flare events from magnetars -- highly magnetized neutron stars that are the dense remnants of collapsed stars -- and another invoking the catastrophic merger of two neutron stars, colliding to form a black hole. According to coauthor Kohta Murase, a Penn State professor and theorist, "The energy release we see is challenging for the magnetar model unless the burst is relatively nearby. The long timescale of the gamma-ray emission, while unexpected in both models, might be possible in a merger event if we observe the merger from the side, in an off-axis scenario."

 

Quote

The bright gamma-ray emission from FRB 131104 suggests that the burst, and others like it, might be accompanied by long-lived X-ray, optical, or radio emissions. Such counterparts are dependably seen in the wake of comparably energetic cosmic explosions, including both stellar-scale cataclysms -- supernovae, magnetar flares, and gamma-ray bursts -- and episodic or continuous accretion activity of the supermassive black holes that commonly lurk in the centers of galaxies.

 

In fact, Swift X-ray and optical observations were carried out two days after FRB 131104, thanks to prompt analysis by radio astronomers (who were not aware of the gamma-ray counterpart) and a nimble response from the Swift mission operations team, headquartered at Penn State. In spite of this relatively well-coordinated response, no long-lived X-ray, ultraviolet, or optical counterpart was seen.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-11/ps-cwp111016.php

 

Video (won't embed)

https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/126777.php

 

Audio

https://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/126776.php?from=342556

 

Neutron Star Merge

video is 0:20 min.

 

 

 

 

 

NewCompStar: Eccentric binary neutron star merger

video is 0:51 min.

 

 

 

 

Neutron Star Collision and Gamma Ray Burst Discovery

video is 3:07 min.

 

 

 

The power levels in this event are outright astounding....:s

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

Whelp' .... I think we know where LZ-1 is gonna be now. Someplace close to Utopia Planitia, if not on it. Let's break out the ol' Mars Maps and see what's what. Find 'em a good spot. :D 

 

I'll have some good images in a bit, courtesy of Mars Trek. Very telling indeed ... gonna take me a few to properly optimize them. :yes: 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

Ok, here we go. :yes: 

 

UtopiaRupesA_opt.jpeg

UtopiaRupesC_opt.jpeg

UtopiaRupesB_opt.jpeg

It's visible ... sort of. :D I bet there's quite a bit more ice there than is visible with MRO's instrument. Gotta get Red Dragons on the ground with even more sensitive GPRs to do better and more detailed surveys down deeper -- but I'm willing to bet money on it that this isn't the only subsurface Ice deposit like this ... or the largest. :yes: 

 

[EDIT] Interactive Mars maps can be found at the following links:

https://www.mapbox.com/blog/mars-maps/ (decent)

http://marstrek.jpl.nasa.gov/# (the best)

https://www.google.com/mars/ (good)

http://webgis2.wr.usgs.gov/Mars_Global_GIS/ (data overload!)

 

Enjoy!

Edited by Unobscured Vision
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DocM    16,331

Jeezzzz....

 

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201612011048063708-roscosmos-coo-arrested/

 

Roscosmos COO Vladimir Evdokimov has been arrested Thursday on fraud charges. He has been accused of stealing over $3 Mln, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the court proceedings on Thursday.



On Thursday, Moscow's Basmanny district court arrested Roscosmos COO Vladimir Evdokimov for two months until January 30.

Evdokimov faces up to 10 years of imprisonment under large scale fraud charges if found guilty. The investigation has found that Evdokimov has committed fraud, stealing more than $3 million from the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG.

The investigator said that Evdokimov should be put into a pre-detention center as he could flee the country to hide elsewhere like other defendants in this case have done. 

Evdokimov himself said that he does not admit his guilt. He pointed out that he provide his testimony and is willing to cooperate with the investigation. Talking about the possibility to flee the country, he said that he has no such option because he does not have an international passport. Evdokimov also noted that he suffers from several diseases and therefore needs medical treatment. 

Defense suggested that Evdokimov could be put under house arrest or be released on bail. Evdokimov's wife is ready to provide the suggested sum — around $470,000. 

Earlier, the investigators arrested Alexei Ozerov, a former CEO of MiG subsidiary, and deputy CEO of another Russian aircraft manufacturer Tupolev Yegor Noskov in connection with this case. 

The detainees are suspected of having illegally acquired a development site in northeastern Moscow that was later resold and then sublet to the subsidiaries of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) among other clients. 

MiG and Tupolev are both affiliates of the UAC.,

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

Wow. :no: 

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DocM    16,331

Cross-posting because of dual pertenance.

 

The NASA transition team now includes,

 

Alan Stern: Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Planetary Scientist. NASA, SWRI, board member The Challenger Center

 

Alan Lindenmoyer: head of NASAs Commercial Crew and Cargo program

 

Charles Miller: NASA, commercial space advocate

 

Along with Elon Musk being on the Presidents Strategic and Policy Forum, things are looking good for NewSpace.

 

IMO, at least Stern and Lindenmoyer should also be candidates for NASA Administrator. 

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Jim K    12,813

 

Quote

Astronomers release largest digital survey of the visible Universe

 

The world's largest digital survey of the visible Universe, mapping billions of stars and galaxies, has been publicly released.

 

The data has been made available by the international Pan-STARRS project, which includes scientists from Queen's University Belfast, who have predicted that it will lead to new discoveries about the Universe.

 

Astronomers and cosmologists used a 1.8-metre telescope at the summit of Haleakalā, on Maui, Hawaii, to repeatedly image three quarters of the visible sky over four years.

 

Three billion sources

 

The data they have captured in the Pan-STARRS1 Surveys is made up of three billion separate sources, including stars, galaxies, and other space objects.

 

This immense collection of information contains two petabytes of computer data - equivalent to one billion selfies or one hundred times the total content of Wikipedia.

 

Pan-STARRS is hosted by the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, which is releasing the data alongside the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, USA.

 

The international collaboration also includes Queen's University Belfast and the Universities of Durham and Edinburgh and is supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation.Durham's contribution was funded by a generous donation from the Ogden Trust and Durham University.

 

/snip

 

Static sky

 

The roll-out of the survey data is being done in two steps.

 

Today's release is the "Static Sky" which provides an average value for the position, brightness and colour for objects captured in the sky at individual moments in time.

 

In 2017, a second set of data will be released including catalogues and images from each of the individual snapshots that Pan-STARRS took of a given region of sky.

 

The data from the Pan-STARRS1 surveys will be available online at panstarrs.stsci.edu.

More at Phys.org 

 

 

Also, the spectrum of antimatter has been observed for the first time.

 

Quote

Geneva, 19 December 2016. In a paper published today in the journal Nature, the ALPHA collaboration reports the first ever measurement on the optical spectrum of an antimatter atom. This achievement features technological developments that open up a completely new era in high-precision antimatter research. It is the result of over 20 years of work by the CERN1 antimatter community.

 

“Using a laser to observe a transition in antihydrogen and comparing it to hydrogen to see if they obey the same laws of physics has always been a key goal of antimatter research,” said Jeffrey Hangst, Spokesperson of the ALPHA collaboration.

 

Atoms consist of electrons orbiting a nucleus. When the electrons move from one orbit to another they absorb or emit light at specific wavelengths, forming the atom's spectrum. Each element has a unique spectrum. As a result, spectroscopy is a commonly used tool in many areas of physics, astronomy and chemistry. It helps to characterise atoms and molecules and their internal states. For example, in astrophysics, analysing the light spectrum of remote stars allows scientists to determine their composition.

 

/snip

 

More at CERN

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