Here’s a handy tool. The folks at INOVE Space Models have just updated their awesome Comet ISON flyby simulation with a second point of view – how it looks from Earth.
Follow a basic explanation of what a black hole is an how it forms, this program explores what happen near and even inside a black hole based on current theories of gravitation.
Hank pays tribute to Carl Sagan, noting his accomplishment as an astronomer and his contributions to culture — both pop and otherwise — as one of the great popularizers of science.
A parsec is equivalent to 3.26 light years. And since a light year is the distance light travels in 1 year 9.4 trillion km, 1 parsec equals 30.8 trillion km. So, where then, does the term, “parsec”, come from? Parsec is a combination of 2 words, parallax (par) and arc second (sec).
A new Canadian satellite — should it launch — might carry a sort of magnetized force field on board to keep charged particles away from vital electronics.
The early universe was sizzling with active galactic nuclei (AGN) — intensely luminous cores powered by supermassive black holes — most of which could outshine their entire host galaxies and be seen across the observable universe.
While our central supermassive black hole Sgr A* lies rather dormant at the moment, new evidence suggests that it too was once a powerful AGN.
The familiar blotches that make up “the man in the moon”, from the vantage point of Earth, happened because the moon’s crust is thinner on the near side than the far side to our planet, new research reveals.
The energy in the universe never increases or decreases — but it does move around a lot. Energy can be potential (like a stretched-out rubber band waiting to snap) or kinetic (like the molecules that vibrate within any substance). And though we can’t exactly see it, every time we cook dinner or shiver on a cold night, we know it’s there. George Zaidan and Charles Morton get excited about energy.
The concept of a black hole jet isn’t a new one, but we still have a lot to learn about the mixture of particles found in the vicinity of them. Through the use of ESA’s XMM-Newton Observatory, astronomers have been taking a look at a black hole in our galaxy and found some surprising results.
Billions of years ago when the Red Planet was young, it appears to have had a thick atmosphere that was warm enough to support oceans of liquid water – a critical ingredient for life. The animation shows how the surface of Mars might have appeared during this ancient clement period, beginning with a flyover of a Martian lake.
The Spitzer space telescope (which looks in infrared) and the massive Chilean Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) are both designed to look through the stuff to see what’s within. Here’s what they’ve spotted.
Imagine being able to watch three months’ worth of high-definition space video sequentially — maybe real-time coverage on the International Space Station, or getting to watch the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter zoom across the Red Planet over and over again. Well, that’s how much science data MRO itself has sent back in 10 years of operations, NASA said.
With an annual cost of $30.8 million, the Keck Observatory costs $53.7 thousand for a single night’s worth of operation. It will cost the James Webb Space Telescope approximately $8.8 billion to reach orbit. And the Space Launch System that will carry the Orion capsule is expected to cost $38 billion.
Why should we be spending such a vast amount of money on astronomy? How is it useful and beneficial to society?
As you probably know, the Earth is rotating on its axis. This gives us day and night. Of course it’s impossible, but what would happen if the Earth stopped spinning? Remember, this isn’t possible, it can’t happen, so don’t worry.