Archive for the astronomy Category

Amazing Earth-sized planet dubbed the ‘iceball’ discovered by NASA

Posted in Uncategorized, astronomy, Galaxy, 2017 with tags , , , , on April 27, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame
59021059c461883a158b45c6.jpgNASA has discovered a planet the same size as Earth, and the same distance from its star as our planet is from the sun.

Due to its small size, the host star does not produce enough heat to support life on the planet. This has prompted scientists to label the world – nominally called OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb – the ‘iceball’ planet.

An international team of researchers found the planet using a technique known as ‘microlensing,’ which uses background stars as flashlights that mark out planets as dark dots when they cross the field of light.

“This iceball planet is the lowest-mass planet ever found through microlensing,” said Yossi Shvartzvald, a NASA postdoctoral fellow based at the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The study, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, aims to increase our understanding of the different types of planetary systems, in particular the distribution and frequency of planets outside the central bulge of the Milky Way.

Some 13,000 light years away, the ‘iceball’ orbits an object so small that researchers believe it could be a brown dwarf, a star-like object not capable of generating energy through nuclear fusion.

Another theory suggests it’s an ultra-cool dwarf star like TRAPPIST-1, the recently discovered star found to be hosting seven Earth-like objects.

READ MORE: NASA releases images of exoplanet-ringed dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

 

Source: Amazing Earth-sized planet dubbed the ‘iceball’ discovered by NASA — RT Viral

Space Weather: A large hole in the sun’s atmosphere is turning toward Earth

Posted in 2017, astronomy with tags on April 21, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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POTENT CORONAL HOLE TURNS TOWARD EARTH: A large hole in the sun’s atmosphere is turning toward Earth, and it is spewing a stream of fast-moving solar wind toward our planet. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the giant fissure on April 21st

This is a “coronal hole” (CH) — a vast region where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. Gaseous material flowing from this coronal hole is expected to reach our planet on April 23rd or 24th and could spark moderately-strong G2-class geomagnetic storms. NOAA forecasters say the odds of a magnetic storm is 75%.

We’ve seen this coronal hole before. On March 27th it lashed Earth’s magnetic field with a fast-moving stream that ignited intense auroras around both of Earth’s poles. The coronal hole is potent because it is spewing solar wind threaded with “negative polarity” magnetic fields. Such fields do a good job connecting to Earth’s magnetosphere and energizing geomagnetic storms. Free: Aurora Alerts

SpaceWeather.com — Jupiter at Opposition. Today, April 7th, the sun, Earth and Jupiter are almost perfectly aligned

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 7, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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Today, April 7th, the sun, Earth and Jupiter are almost perfectly aligned. Or, as an astronomer would say, “Jupiter is at opposition.”

From our point of view on Earth, Jupiter and the sun are on opposite sides of the sky. At opposition, the giant planet rises at sunset and stays up all night long. 

This is also the time when Jupiter is closest to Earth. Even small telescopes reveal Jupiter’s moons and stormy cloud belts.

Source: SpaceWeather.com — News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids

April 1ST Comet Flyby: No kidding. Green comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is flying over Earth’s North Pole

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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Amateur astronomer Yasushi Aoshima sends this picture of the approaching comet from Fukushima, Japan

Green comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is flying over Earth’s North Pole this week where sky watchers can find it all night long not far from the bowl of the Big Dipper. At closest approach on April 1st it will be just 21 million km from Earth–an easy target for backyard telescopes and almost visible to the naked eye.

Amateur astronomer Yasushi Aoshima sends this picture of the approaching comet from Fukushima, Japan

“On March 22nd I caught 41P ‘eating’ M108, the Surfboard Galaxy,” says Aoshima. “The comet’s green atmosphere appeared to swallow the distant spiral galaxy as it exited Ursa Major.”

Why green? Like many comets, 41P has a verdant hue because its atmosphere contains diatomic carbon (C2)–a substance that glows green in the near vacuum of space.

Comet 41P is not only approaching Earth, but also the sun. April 12th is the date of perihelion (minimum distance from the sun). This means we are catching the comet just as solar heating is furiously searing its icy core. The green atmosphere should be well puffed up by streamers of vaporizing gas. Optimistic estimates of the comet’s brightness place it at magnitude +6, near the lower limit of naked-eye visibility.

This is not a Great Comet, but it should be a good one. The best time to observe is during the dark hours before sunrise when the green fuzzball is high in the northern sky. If you have a GOTO telescope, you can point it using an ephemeris from the Minor Planet Center. These sky maps show approximately where to look: March 31, April 1, 2.

A large canyon-shaped hole in the sun’s atmosphere is facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind toward our planet

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 25, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH:

A large canyon-shaped hole in the sun’s atmosphere is facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind toward our planet.

Estimated time of arrival: 2 to 3 days from now. This has prompted NOAA forecasters to issue a geomagnetic storm watch for March 28th when storm levels could reach category G2–that is, moderately strong.

Auroras could descend from the Arctic Circle to northern-tier US states from New York to Wisconsin to Washington. Visit Spaceweather.com to learn more about the incoming solar wind stream and what makes it so potent.

10 Things NASA Doesn’t Want You To Know

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

5 march 2017

From the minuscule Operation PAPERCLIP, to the secret place NASA trains for Mars, these are 10 Things NASA Doesn’t Want You To Know !

Space Weather: Last night in Otago, New Zealand, Ian Griffin counted more than a dozen “Aurora Sprites”

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , on March 5, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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http://spaceweather.com/

New Zealand, Ian Griffin counted more than a dozen “aurora sprites” dancing over Hoopers Inlet.  “The display was very beautiful,” says Griffin, “with ghostly auroral sprites putting on a display that lasted for several hours.”

Also known as “picket fence auroras,” these vertical rays trace lines of magnetic force connecting Earth to space. The luminous columns show where beams of energetic particles are being guided toward Earth’s upper atmosphere by magnetic fields.

The solar wind stream that instigated the display has produced many enchanting auroral forms since March 1st.  Browse the realtime gallery for more:

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

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