Posted 6 hours ago

Antares star and Scorpius Constellation by César Cantú

(Source: afro-dominicano)

Posted 9 hours ago


The Next Mars Rover Will Have Better Lasers and X-Ray Vision

NASA announced today that its next Mars rover will have advanced cameras, more sophisticated lasers, and the ability to see underground as it explores the Red Planet starting in 2020.”

Find out more from wired.

Posted 2 days ago


Sunsets and sunrises seen from the International Space Station.

Posted 2 days ago


The Cosmic Web:

Observations and simulations of the intergalactic medium reveal the largest structures in the universe

by Robert Simcoe

There is no such thing as empty space. The idea of absolute emptiness realizes its closest approximation in the barren expanses between the stars and the galaxies, but even the most remote corners of the universe are suffused with very low density gas—which becomes increasingly rarefied as one ventures farther away from the places where galaxies consort.

Consider this fact: In the air we breathe, each cubic centimeter contains roughly 5 X 1019 atoms. In contrast, the intergalactic medium has a density of only 10–6 particles per cubic centimeter—each atom inhabits a private box a meter on each side.

This would seem to suggest that there is not much matter in the intergalactic medium. But, given the enormous volume between the galaxies, it quickly adds up: The combined atomic mass of intergalactic gas exceeds the combined atomic mass of all the stars and galaxies in the universe—possibly by as much as 50 percent! There is indeed something in empty space.

As cosmologists construct new narratives of the universe’s evolution from its beginning—the Big Bang—to the present day, it is becoming clear that we must understand the physics of intergalactic matter if we are to write the history of how the galaxies, stars and planets formed. In the past decade, rapid advances in both the design of telescopes and computing power have allowed us to study the remote corners of intergalactic space in unprecedented detail. These new results deepen our understanding of how the grandest structures in the universe formed and evolved…

(read more: American Scientist)

Images courtesy of Renyue Cen, Princeton University

Posted 4 days ago

A New Set of Fourteenth Century Planetary Observations -

Posted 4 days ago


Happy 15th Birthday Chandra X-Ray Observatory

Fifteen years ago, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision.

Chandra, one of NASA’s current “Great Observatories,” along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, is specially designed to detect X-ray emission from hot and energetic regions of the universe.

With its superb sensitivity and resolution, Chandra has observed objects ranging from the closest planets and comets to the most distant known quasars. It has imaged the remains of exploded stars, or supernova remnants, observed the region around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and discovered black holes across the universe. Chandra also has made a major advance in the study of dark matter by tracing the separation of dark matter from normal matter in collisions between galaxy clusters. It is also contributing to research on the nature of dark energy.

Chandra orbits far above Earth’s X-ray absorbing atmosphere at an altitude up to 139,000 km (86,500 mi), allowing for long observations unobscured by Earth’s shadow. When it was carried into space in 1999, it was the largest satellite ever launched by the shuttle.

To celebrate this incredible instrument’s 15th birthday, the Sifter has compiled 15 standout photos Chandra helped capture over the years.Click here to see the complete Chandra X-ray Observatory gallery on Flickr.

Posted 4 days ago


Fibonacci you crazy bastard….

As seen in the solar system (by no ridiculous coincidence), Earth orbits the Sun 8 times in the same period that Venus orbits the Sun 13 times! Drawing a line between Earth & Venus every week results in a spectacular FIVE side symmetry!!

Lets bring up those Fibonacci numbers again: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34..

So if we imagine planets with Fibonacci orbits, do they create Fibonacci symmetries?!

You bet!! Depicted here is a:

  • 2 sided symmetry (5 orbits x 3 orbits)
  • 3 sided symmetry (8 orbits x 5 orbits)
  • sided symmetry (13 orbits x 8 orbits) - like Earth & Venus
  • sided symmetry (21 orbits x 13 orbits)

I wonder if relationships like this exist somewhere in the universe….

Read the Book    |    Follow    |    Hi-Res    -2-    -3-    -5-    -8-

Posted 4 days ago


Astronomy Picture of the Day: July 26th
NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe

Shiny NGC 253 is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, and also one of the dustiest. Some call it the Silver Dollar Galaxy for its appearance in small telescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location within the boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor. First swept up in 1783 by mathematician and astronomer Caroline Herschel, the dusty island universe lies a mere 10 million light-years away. About 70 thousand light-years across, NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest to our own Local Group of Galaxies. In addition to its spiral dust lanes, tendrils of dust seem to be rising from a galactic disk laced with young star clusters and star forming regions in this sharp color image. The high dust content accompanies frantic star formation, earning NGC 253 the designation of a starburst galaxy. NGC 253 is also known to be a strong source of high-energy x-rays and gamma rays, likely due to massives black hole near the galaxy’s center.

Posted 4 days ago


Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede

Posted 4 days ago


Hubble captures Planetary Nebula NGC 6751

Planetary nebulae do look simple, round, and planet-like in small telescopes. But images from the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope have become well known for showing these fluorescent gas shrouds of dying Sun-like stars to possess a staggering variety of detailed symmetries and shapes. This composite color Hubble image of NGC 6751 is a beautiful example of a classic planetary nebula with complex features and was selected to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Hubble in orbit. The colors were chosen to represent the relative temperature of the gas - blue, orange, and red indicating the hottest to coolest gas. Winds and radiation from the intensely hot central star (140,000 degrees Celsius) have apparently created the nebula’s streamer-like features. The nebula’s actual diameter is approximately 0.8 light-years or about 600 times the size of our solar system. NGC 6751 is 6,500 light-years distant in the constellation Aquila.

Credit: NASA/Hubble