The Astronomy Thread

A General discussion about everything other than South Park

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Pip Tweek
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby Pip Tweek » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:01 pm

The known universe is composed of very large, fiery spheres.

:?
zzyzx 1
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:44 am

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1693.html

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa spacecraft streaked across the sky like a saber of light through the clouds as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere over the Woomera Test Range in Australia. In Kingoonya, the spacecraft’s re-entry was visible to the human eye for only 15 seconds
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:46 am

Space shuttle Discovery will have its three main engines removed after a low-pressure oxidizer turbopump on engine 1 had an issue during a torque check. All three engines have to be removed to allow access to remove the center engine. The pump will be sent to Canoga Park, Calif., for repair. Engineers will consider several alternatives, including whether to wait for the engine and its new turbopump or to install another engine in Discovery that was slated for use on Endeavour. The engine work is not a hindrance to processing and is not expected to prompt a delay for the launch of the STS-133 mission.

Canoga Park, California is in Los Angeles. The Canoga Park site was the old Rockeydyne facility. It was sold many times. Now, this facility is owned by Boeing Aircraft Company.
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:20 am

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1695.html

The Seagull nebula, seen in this infrared mosaic from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, draws its common name from it resemblance to a gull in flight. But it depends on your point of view. When the image is rotated 180 degrees it bears a passing resemblance to a galloping lizard -- or perhaps a dragon or a dinosaur. The image spans an area about seven times as wide as the full moon, and three times as high (3.55 by 1.37 degrees), straddling the border between the constellations Monoceros and Canis Major (the Big Dog). So you might say this lizard is running with the Big Dog, while the gull is flying from it.

Astronomers catalog the nebula as IC 2177. This cosmic cloud is one of many sites of star formation within the Milky Way galaxy. It is located 3,800 light-years away from Earth, inside the Orion spur -- the same partial spiral arm of the Milky Way where our solar system is located. The nebula is nearly 240 light-years across. WISE is an all-sky survey, snapping pictures of the whole sky -- from asteroids to stars to powerful, distant galaxies.
zzyzx 1
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:21 am

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center, technicians are scheduled to complete Discovery's payload premate test today. The drag chute door installation and checkout was completed last night. Removal of the three main engines is planned for tomorrow following an issue with a turbopump in engine 1. The turbopump will be replaced and the engines will be reinstalled. The astronauts continue their training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for the STS-133 mission. The crew members are working on robotics tasks today they will use during the flight to the International Space Station.

Here's an interesting fact about the Gas Giant we call the planet Saturn:

The planet Saturn has a density lower than water. It would float if placed in water :o
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:58 am

Rachmaninoff on Mercury

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved the name Rachmaninoff for an intriguing double-ring basin on Mercury. This basin, first imaged in its entirety during MESSENGER's third Mercury flyby, was quickly identified as a feature of high scientific interest, because of its fresh appearance, its distinctively colored interior plains, and the extensional troughs on its floor. The basin's name honors the Russian composer, pianist and conductor, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943). IAU names craters on Mercury after "deceased artists, musicians, painters and authors who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to their field and have been recognized as art historically significant figures for more than 50 years."

The process of proposing a new crater name includes gathering fundamental information about the crater, such as the crater's central latitude, central longitude, and diameter. Justification is provided as to why the crater is of sufficient scientific importance to be named, and details are provided about the name choice, including sources that support the worthy contributions made by that individual. Ten newly named craters join 42 others named since MESSENGER's first Mercury flybyin January 2008.
triplemultiplex
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby triplemultiplex » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:14 pm

zzyzx 1 wrote:Here's an interesting fact about the Gas Giant we call the planet Saturn:

The planet Saturn has a density lower than water. It would float if placed in water :o


That means if one was able to get a tub of water big enough to float Saturn, the planet would try to orbit the tub. Or if it's a shallow tub, then all the water would be pulled into Saturn by it's gravity.

Of course the idea of a tub of water large enough to float a gas giant is impossible. Not because of the logistics of building a tub and getting together enough water, but because the shear volume of water that'd be necessary would have so much gravity that it would coalesce into a giant sphere of water effectively creating a planet out of water. Kevin Costner, eat your heart out. ;)
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triplemultiplex
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby triplemultiplex » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:15 pm

zzyzx 1 wrote:Here's an interesting fact about the Gas Giant we call the planet Saturn:

The planet Saturn has a density lower than water. It would float if placed in water :o


That means if one was able to get a tub of water big enough to float Saturn, the planet would try to orbit the tub. Or if it's a shallow tub, then all the water would be pulled into Saturn by it's gravity.

Of course the idea of a tub of water large enough to float a gas giant is impossible. Not because of the logistics of building a tub and getting together enough water, but because the shear volume of water that'd be necessary would have so much gravity that it would coalesce into a giant sphere of water effectively creating a planet out of water. Kevin Costner, eat your heart out. ;)
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:54 am

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1698.html

This future aircraft design concept for supersonic flight over land comes from the team led by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. The team's simulation shows possibility for achieving overland flight by dramatically lowering the level of sonic booms through the use of an "inverted-V" engine-under wing configuration. Other revolutionary technologies help achieve range, payload and environmental goals. This supersonic cruise concept is among the designs presented in April 2010 to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate for its NASA Research Announcement-funded studies into advanced aircraft that could enter service in the 2030-2035 timeframe.
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:55 am

At NASA Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility-3, technicians have completed the removal of the three main engines and now will replace the suspect turbopump in engine 1 and then reinstall the engines. The turbopump developed an issue earlier this week during a torque check.

Main landing gear brake installation is scheduled for today. During the weekend, teams will complete the thermal protection system payload bay door plug installation and carrier panel installations.

At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the STS-133 astronauts will spend the day meeting with their ascent and entry flight directors and conducting altitude chamber training.

Discovery is to launch on the STS-133 mission to the International Space Station. The official targeted launch date remains Sept. 16, but a change request has been submitted to move the flight to Oct. 29, with STS-134 moving to February 2011. The request is under consideration and an announcement is expected at the first of July.
zzyzx 1
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:58 am

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1700.html

The surface of Saturn's moon Dione is rendered in crisp detail against a hazy, ghostly Titan. Visible in this image are hints of atmospheric banding around Titan's north pole. T The image was taken in visible blue light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 10, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Dione and 2.7 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Titan. Scale in the original image was 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Dione and 16 kilometers (10 miles) on Titan. The image has been magnified by a factor of 1.5 and contrast-enhanced to aid visibility.
2+2=5
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby 2+2=5 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:33 am

My plan to destroy the moon continues unabated.

Its much harder to destroy a hundred mile diameter ball of solid rock than it looks

All these celestially sized objects are made of miniscule atoms. I'm more of a chem buff myself, and (think i) learned that the wavefunction (area in which an electron is likely to be found) in a macroscopic object can be calculated by combining the probabilies of it being found in each atom - so you could end up combining all the wavefunctions of all the electrons in a star and make a wavefunction of that star. Or maybe I didn't learn it as well as i think i did, it'd be cool if you could do that :P
SuperMaids/superiorsavior/PIPaul strikes again...because he forgot his Passover. Again.
triplemultiplex
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby triplemultiplex » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:48 pm



Ha! Great site.

Why send the Earth into the Sun when it's easier to crash it into Jupiter? Of course; that's brilliant!

Never would have known that.
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:42 am

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1705.html

Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew launched at 2:38 p.m. EDT on July 4, 2006 to begin their journey to the International Space Station during the STS-121 mission. The shuttle made history as it was the first human-occupied spacecraft to launch on Independence Day. During the 12-day mission, the crew tested new equipment and procedures that increase the safety of the orbiters. It also performed maintenance on the space station and delivered supplies, equipment and a new Expedition 13 crew member to the station. This mission carried on analysis of safety improvements that debuted on the Return to Flight mission, STS-114, and built upon those tests.
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Re: In Between SP Seasons, Who's Interested in Astronomy?

Postby zzyzx 1 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:40 pm

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegal ... _1704.html

Astronaut John W. Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, leaps from the lunar surface as he salutes the United States flag at the Descartes landing site during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity. Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, took this picture. The Lunar Module "Orion" is on the left. The Lunar Roving Vehicle is parked beside Orion and the object behind Young (in the shadow of the Lunar Module) is the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph. Stone Mountain dominates the background of this lunar scene.

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