Posts tagged stars
There’s also a video.
It’s beautiful and terrifying.
Photo of the day: Stunning coronal mass ejection erupts from Sun
A long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun’s corona erupts out into space on Aug. 31. Traveling at over 900 miles per second, the coronal mass ejection did not travel directly toward Earth, but it did connect with Earth’s magnetosphere, causing auroras to appear in the night sky on Sept. 3.
Maybe it wasn’t so long ago in a galaxy quite so far, far away.
Most stars like our sun are not singletons, but rather come in pairs that orbit each other. Scientists had found planets in these binary systems, so-called circumbinary planets with two suns like Tatooine in the “Star Wars” universe.
Intriguingly, the outer planet lurks in the system’s habitable zone, where a rocky planet like Earth is the right temperature to have liquid water on its surface.
One of the stars is much like our sun, and the other is about a third its size and 175 times fainter. The inner and outer planets are respectively 3 and 4.6 times Earth’s diameter — the smaller planet is the smallest circumbinary planet seen yet.
What’s your favorite star? I mean, ours is pretty cool.
It’s not just possible — it’s already been done. If you think of a star as a nuclear fusion machine, mankind has duplicated the nature of stars on Earth. But this revelation has qualifiers. The examples of fusion here on Earth are on a small scale and last for just a few seconds at most.
To understand how scientists can make a star, it’s necessary to learn what stars are made of and how fusion works.
Standing on the Oberrothorn in the West Alps last week, this hiker got to see some amazing sights in every direction. Fantastic!
A new photo from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows two star clusters that appear to be in the early stages of merging.
With springtime in full swing for the Northern Hemisphere, you may be able to hear the chirping of recently-hatched chicks wrapped snugly in their nests. But for Messier 78, a reflection nebula near the famous Orion’s Belt, springtime has been erupting for millions of years inside a cocoon of thick, choking smog. Messier 78’s ‘spring’ won’t end until its gas and dust has either been blown away or consumed by the voracious appetites of the clutch of baby stars it hides.
Our galaxy is thought to be teeming with billions of ‘nomad’ planets. These worlds are interstellar orphans, with no stellar parent to call home. Some were likely gravitationally flung from their parent star at an early age, while others may have evolved on their lonesome, clumping from small clouds of interstellar gas and dust.
If there are so many orphaned worlds drifting alone, how often might they be snatched by the gravitational tug of a star that happens to be drifting in the same direction?
As the evening twilight deepens around 8:30 p.m. local time Tuesday night (April 3), check out the southeast sky. Weather permitting, a waxing gibbous moon will be shining bright, but it won’t be alone.
Situated well above the moon will be two bright “stars.” I’ve placed the word stars in quote marks, because one of those stars is in reality a planet: the so-called Red Planet, Mars.
The planet will form a cosmic triangle with the moon, Mars and bright star Regulus. The arrangement can be seen in the sky map of Mars accompanying this planet viewing guide.
Imagine if you could assemble all known physics, throw it into a powerful supercomputer and watch a virtual universe evolve. Well, that’s exactly what a team of physicists at Stanford University’s Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) have done.
This mammoth task has culminated in a part-physics/part-art exhibit that is being showcased in 3D videos playing at a theater on the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and featured at planetariums in New York City and San Francisco.
In the videos, everything from dark matter to star formation is simulated. One simulation even demonstrates the majestic collision between two galaxies just as they merge to become one.
Here’s a sneak peek of a few of the stunning scenes showcased in the simulations.
Image1 : A dwarf galaxy grows. Credits: SLAC/KIPAC, John Wise and Tom Abel (simulation), Ralf Kaehler (visualization)
Image 2: Baby stars ignite inside a cloud of dense hydrogen and burn brightly. Credits: SLAC/KIPAC, John Wise and Tom Abel (simulation), Ralf Kaehler (visualization).
As the planets put on a show, astronomer Mark Thompson discusses how you can hunt them down.
This last month saw a boom in planetary sightings across the world. Wherever you observed the night sky from you couldn’t fail to have seen, and been impressed by, the view of Venus and Jupiter dancing around in the twilight after the sun had set.
While these two planets were setting, Mars and Saturn were rising in the East, continuing the celestial show. It’s easy enough to still spot these planets with the naked eye, but to really get the most out of them a telescope or powerful binoculars are needed.
There is no better time than now to learn about how to get the most out of your equipment for planet spotting.
First things first: magnification. To be able to see any decent level of detail, a magnification of at least 20 is needed. Anything less than this and you’ll just see the planets as bright stars.
The planet Venus has been dominating the nighttime sky recently, but did you know it’s possible to see the bright world in the daytime? Today (March 26), Venus can be spotted in the afternoon if you know where and when to look.
In fact, a daytime apparition of Venus in the sky was famously spotted by none other than President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.