566 posts tagged with astronomy.
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solar system

solar system [note: requires anark plugin]
posted by crunchland on Nov 15, 2003 - 14 comments

occultation

A total lunar eclipse will be seen Saturday night, November 8 in the Americas and early the next morning in Europe and elsewhere.
posted by the fire you left me on Nov 6, 2003 - 5 comments

planetarium

An accurate, real-time planetarium, all made in Flash... Use your mouse to look around the sky (click to start/stop moving). Pointing at stars shows their name, magnitude and constellation (all loaded from an XML file).
posted by crunchland on Oct 29, 2003 - 29 comments

Intense Solar Flare

The largest solar flare of the current solar cycle shot off the sun earlier today. After the media latched on to what was predicted to be mostly a non-event last week (probably due to a NASA article released around the same time about a super spacestorm) , it's not making as much news this time. But you should pay attention this time. This could be the best and last chance for a lot of us farther south to see some auroras before the sun dives into solar minimum, assuming all the variables line up correctly this time. I recommend watching the Solar Terrestrial Dispatch, as it is a great all around resource for solar activity and auroras that includes live data and sightings reports by the general public. Unfortunately though, no doubt as word IS spreading, that site is being hammered again and may be quite slow.
posted by yupislyr on Oct 28, 2003 - 21 comments

Something wonderful

Something wonderful
David Bowman: You see, something's going to happen. You must leave.
Dr. Heywood Floyd: What? What's gonna happen?
David Bowman: "Something wonderful.
posted by norm111 on Oct 24, 2003 - 12 comments

The Dogon of Mali

The beautiful and complex culture of the Dogon tribe of Mali... they may have had advanced astronomical knowledge long before their European counterparts. Particularly, their tribe has had a long mystical association with Sirius, leading some to speculate that their ideas had phenomenal roots. Regardless of the mystery, the tribe is also well known for it's amazing masks and intricate art.
posted by moonbird on Oct 20, 2003 - 9 comments

My God, it's full of stars!

Breathtaking Hubble picture of the Sombrero Galaxy (also identified as M104). The Hubble Heritage team took the original images during May and June of this year using the Advanced Camera for Surveys and multiple color filters. They then stitched 6 images together to make the final composite image.
posted by Irontom on Oct 10, 2003 - 39 comments

Galileo Dies.

NASA's Official 'Galileo Dies' Page. Galileo is set to crash into Jupiter on Sunday. Responsible for many great images and tons of information, Galileo served well. Find a complete history of the Galileo mission here. Also, don't forget to watch the End of Mission webcast this Sunday at approx. 2 PM EST here.
posted by Ufez Jones on Sep 16, 2003 - 7 comments

Chromolithographs of E.L. Trouvelot

The Chromolithographs of E.L. Trouvelot. "Etienne Leopold Trouvelot (1827-1895), a French-born artist and amateur astronomer, spent 15 years observing the heavens and making original drawings from his observations: 'While my aim in this work has been to combine scrupulous fidelity and accuracy in the details, I have also endeavored to preserve the natural elegance and the delicate outlines peculiar to the objects depicted.' To illustrate his observations of celestial objects and phenomena, Trouvelot selected fifteen of his drawings to be reproduced using chromolithography, an illustration process that was at the zenith of its development in the 1880's." Heavens Above is a NYPL exhibit that compares his art and science to contemporary photos by NASA of the same phenomena.
posted by eyebeam on Sep 16, 2003 - 8 comments

Talk about Johnny One-Note

In space, you can hear a black hole sing (WaPo link). Using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, astrophysicists have detected a supermassive black hole in the Perseus Cluster which has been "playing" a B-flat for 3 billion years.

Fascinating as this seemingly counterintuitive discovery (sound carrying through space) is, the real significance lies in that these "sound waves" may explain why the superhot gases in such regions aren't cooling down and forming more stars.
posted by GreyWingnut on Sep 10, 2003 - 19 comments

Oh, the humanity!

Asteroid orbits Enter the designation or name of any asteroid or comet, and a 3D orbit visualization tool will appear for that object. If Chicken Little had this link he might have calmed down a little. Or not...Find out if your favorite asteroid is about to rock your world.
posted by konolia on Sep 2, 2003 - 5 comments

Oooh my 'roids.

Near Earth Objects A newly discovered 1.2 km wide asteroid has been given a Torino hazard rating of 1. Astronomers will continue to observe the space rock carefully to determine its orbit more accurately. [link via BBC Radio 5]<
posted by Frasermoo on Sep 2, 2003 - 15 comments

2000 EB173 gets a name

Large rock named Huya! 3 years after being discovered a large object (?) orbiting the sun has been named.
posted by rdr on Aug 24, 2003 - 9 comments

Perseid meteor shower

Perseid shower will peak in the (very) small hours of tomorrow morning...
We're in for a treat this year because Mars, at the closest it has been to Earth in almost 60,000 years, is also in sight. But the moon might cause smaller, fainter Perseid objects to be all but invisibile. If you're in Europe or North America, or elsewhere in the north hemisphere, you should be able to see something...
posted by tomcosgrave on Aug 12, 2003 - 11 comments

Mars is getting close, real close

"This summer Mars will be the brightest it will ever be in our lifetimes." On August 26–27 Mars will be the closest it has been in 60,000 years. Some viewing tips can be found here. You can generate different viewpoints with NASA's Solar System Simulator as some have done recently.
posted by john on Jul 18, 2003 - 11 comments

My God, it's full of stars!

Hubble Heritage Image Gallery. (Be sure to also check out the Index Listing for links to higher resolution versions of each of the images.)
posted by crunchland on Jul 16, 2003 - 6 comments

Van Gogh's Moon

Van Gogh's Moon Shines Again This Weekend If you go out this Sunday evening and look up at the Moon, you will see not only our closest celestial neighbor, but a piece of art history as well. The rising full moon will appear exactly the way it did 114 years ago, when Vincent Van Gogh captured the scene in his famous painting "Moonrise.". Also learn how the moon helped date the painting.
posted by NewBornHippy on Jul 11, 2003 - 12 comments

Sky for sale

Become a GLM (Galactic Lord and Master) Your chance to invest in an expanding market (or is it steady state now, I forget), the Universe is up for grabs! Do you have a favourite astral body that you'd like to lay claim to? From Newscientist - Feedback.
posted by asok on Jul 6, 2003 - 5 comments

Sketches at the Eyepiece

Sketches at the Eyepiece. Drawings of the Moon, the Sun, planets and other astronomical objects.
Also The Face of the Moon: Galileo to Apollo. A catalogue of rare books and maps, with images.
posted by plep on Jun 23, 2003 - 8 comments

Mmmm... Jovian Clam Chowdah

From the Sun to Pluto. And beyond lurks the Lobster Nebula...

Aroostook County in Northern Maine has created North America's largest scale model of the Solar System, to be officially unveiled tomorrow (Saturday - June 14, 2003). The model runs along 40 miles of highway with a scale of 1 mile to 1 AU. The project took four years to complete and did not have a budget.
posted by ursus_comiter on Jun 13, 2003 - 10 comments

%

The Pale Horse Percentage. The demise of civilization has been predicted since it began, but the odds of keeping Planet Earth alive and well are getting worse amid a breakneck pace of scientific advances, according to Martin Rees, Britain's honorary astronomer royal. Rees calculates that the odds of an apocalyptic disaster striking Earth have risen to about 50 percent from 20 percent a hundred years ago.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Jun 9, 2003 - 21 comments

3-D Maps of Nearby Space

3-D Maps of Nearby Space "The first detailed map of space within about 1,000 light years of Earth places the solar system in the middle of a large hole that pierces the plane of the galaxy...The new map, produced by University of California, Berkeley, and French astronomers, alters the reigning view of the solar neighborhood." (one view|another view|links to bigger images)
posted by kirkaracha on May 30, 2003 - 5 comments

Earth from Mars

Pale Blue Dot: The Earth and Moon as photographed from Mars. Just in case you needed a bit of perspective.
posted by aladfar on May 22, 2003 - 14 comments

Lunar Eclipse

Just a reminder that the lunar eclipse occurs tonight, starting at 7:00pm Pacific Daylight Time (and lasting about three hours). Various webcasts have been set up for the darkness-impaired. Apologies for the double-post, and I am aware that I'll probably get like 5 comments that say "SpaceFilter".
posted by hammurderer on May 15, 2003 - 41 comments

Lunar eclipse

Total Lunar Eclipse Coming May 15-16 with prime viewing in the US, Europe, and Africa. Looks like the best viewing will be thursday night, on the east coast of the US.
posted by mathowie on May 13, 2003 - 17 comments

Hot Shots of Mercury

The transit of Mercury. About thirteen times a century, the orbits of Earth and Mercury align in such a way that Mercury can be observed passing across the disk of the sun. The next transit is from 0740 to 1317 GMT, May 7th, and will be webcast from NASA's orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Hot Shots page. NASA also has a piece on the seventeenth century mathematician and astronomerJohannes Kepler, who predicted (but died before observing) transits of Mercury and Venus.More info on space. com, including a viewer's guide and a history of previous observations.
posted by carter on May 6, 2003 - 17 comments

Celestial spheres

This guy can build an orrery for you. Or you can make your own armillary sphere. These two devices are quite possibly the most elegant and beautiful scientific instruments ever created.
posted by WolfDaddy on May 2, 2003 - 10 comments

2MASS

The Two Micron All Sky Survey at IPAC has been completed after 4 years and 5 million images. Detailed infrared images have been mapped into beautiful false color images. Be sure to check out the 2MASS home page at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. So, what's your favorite astronomy related site or image? (via CNN)
posted by onhazier on Mar 28, 2003 - 5 comments

Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. Journals, records and some images from the Apollo lunar missions.
posted by plep on Mar 10, 2003 - 13 comments

The oldest light in the cosmos

BAM! The Microwave Anisotropy Probe's long-awaited map of the afterglow of the big bang was released today, and all of a sudden, most of the uncertainty in the concordance model of cosmology has disappeared. We now know, to within 1%, that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. We now know that Hubble constant is 71, plus or minus 4. And though the results agreed stunningly well with the weird picture that cosmologists have about the nature of the cosmos, there was one surprise -- the first stars were born way before expected. Great day for science, and a likely future Nobel.
posted by ptermit on Feb 11, 2003 - 25 comments

The sounds of the aurora.

Ever wondered what the Aurora Borealis sounds like? The northern (or southern) lights generate VLF radio waves as well as light. These sounds have been captured here as hundreds of free mp3 downloads, and they make amazing ambient soundtracks. Random clicks, whirrs, pops and whistles, direct from outer space. The site also features other "weather sounds" generated by lightning storms and such, and explains how you can get your hands on a VLF receiver to hear the sounds yourself.
posted by Jimbob on Jan 31, 2003 - 12 comments

The moon does not exist!

The moon does not exist! This is no lie. Until recently, I, too, believed in the traditional, establishment view of the moon. But any thinking person, untainted by the biases imposed on us by the controlled media, will have no choice but to reach the conclusion I did once faced with the facts described in this account.
posted by CrunchyFrog on Jan 30, 2003 - 25 comments

Doomed planet found

A Doomed planet orbiting a distant star has been located. No, not Krypton. The planet is going to be consumed by the star soon, but astronomers are not going to wait up for it.
posted by kaemaril on Jan 28, 2003 - 7 comments

Is there Life on Mars?

Is there Life on Mars? As NASA announce a nuclear-powered Mars and beyond project, British scientists are looking forward to the launch of the Beagle 2 which will search for signs of life on the Red Planet. Is this the return of the Space Race in a new form? And will they find any sign of life?
posted by anyanka on Jan 22, 2003 - 3 comments

Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics

"I was willing to bet that there was going to be a universe, and I hit the nail on the head." The other day we had Avram Davidson, which got me thinking of Calvino's Invisible Cities, but all the recent talk about black holes made me remember that Italo Calvino is at his most charming when he's playing with physics, math, and cosmology in Cosmicomics.
posted by vraxoin on Nov 20, 2002 - 15 comments

Black Holes Merge. Massive layoffs expected throughout galaxy.

Black Holes Merge. Massive layoffs expected throughout galaxy. Analysts predict big payoffs for the economy, however. "A burst of gravitational waves that could warp the very fabric of space will go a long way towards increasing shareholding value," said one economist. Both black holes had recently suffered a dramatic drop in stock price, and were under the threat of hostile takeover from industry leader Black Hole 86184-B before the merger was announced, which took Wall Street pundits off guard. "Much to our surprise, we found that both were active black holes," Stefanie Komossa of the Max Planck Astro-Economics Institute in Germany, said in a statement. Proponents of big business greeted the announcement with pleasure: "This supports the idea that black holes can grow to enormous masses in the centres of galaxies by merging with other black holes."
posted by tweebiscuit on Nov 19, 2002 - 17 comments

Aonther massive celestial object, with a companion star in tow,

Another massive celestial object, with a companion star in tow, has been discovered hurtling through the Milky Way. Unlike similar discoveries confirming the bow shock theory of stellar dynamics, this week's phenomenon is considerably older, as it's an aftereffect of the galactic core's formation. The French and Argentine astromoners making the discovery believe what they've witnessed may be a black hole, though theoretically, the collasped matter may be a gravistar.
posted by Smart Dalek on Nov 19, 2002 - 10 comments

Leonid Meteor Storm 2002

They're back--and promise to as brighter or brighter than last year:
NASA scientists' predictions for the 2002 Leonid meteor storm.

Such meteor storms rarely happen in consecutive years, but 2001 and 2002 are exceptions. Experts have just released their predictions: Depending on where you live (Europe and the Americas are favored) Leonid meteor rates in 2002 should equal or exceed 2001 levels.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the Moon will be full when the storm begins on Nov. 19th. Glaring moonlight will completely overwhelm many faint shooting stars. Indeed, I often hear that the Moon is going to "ruin the show."


We shall see.
posted by y2karl on Nov 16, 2002 - 22 comments

Coolest sun picture ever

Coolest sun picture ever - sunspot closeup... The Swedish Institute for Solar Physics web site has some other cool pictures. (As an aside, I wonder what equivalent shutter speed, aperture, and focal length would be?)
posted by notsnot on Nov 15, 2002 - 15 comments

Amateur Scientists

Amateurs, Mere Amateurs still make significant contributions to astronomy [The Canadian Laval group's website is typically enthusiastic] and may yet make a difference in other sciences, according to Freeman J. Dyson in this review of Steve Guttenberg lookalike Timothy Ferris's latest book [Here's an enticing glimpse of his home-made Rocky Hill Observatory.]. I wonder just how much easier it's becoming for amateurs to contribute to specific areas of scientific knowledge? Or is it, in fact, increasingly more difficult? And would it still be strictly limited to the observational sciences?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 15, 2002 - 8 comments

Swan song for a great explorer.

Swan song for a great explorer. Tomorow, the Galileo explorer will make a flyby of Jovian moon Amalthea ending pehaps the geatest unmanned mission in NASA history. Galileo telemetry may not survive the flyby having already receieved much more radiation than it was designed for. Even if it does survive, this will be its final orbit scheduled to crash into Jupiter in September of next year. In spite of antenna difficulties, the spacecraft returned many beautiful images of Jupiter's moons, along with coverage of the Shoemaker-Levy collision and the first atmospheric probe to decend into Jupiter's weather.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Nov 3, 2002 - 9 comments

Corbita Shipwreck

In 1900 a sponge diver called Elias Stadiatos discovered the wreck of an ancient merchant ship off the tiny island of Antikythera near Crete. The corbita, dating from the first century B.C., was heavily laden with treasure of all kinds, original bronze life-size statues, marble reproductions of older works, jewelry, wine, fine furniture and one immensely complicated scientific instrument. The Antikythera mechanism was originally housed in a wooden box about the size of a shoebox with dials on the outside and a complex clockwork assembly of gears inscribed and configured to produce solar and lunar positions in synchronization with the calendar year. By rotating a handle on its side, its owner could read on its front and back dials the progressions of the lunar and synodic months over four-year cycles. The device has been estimated to be accurate to 1 part in 40,000. (more inside...)
posted by lagado on Sep 24, 2002 - 15 comments

There's something out there

There's something out there
Target Body: J002E3 Spacecraft (UNCONFIRMED)
Observer Location: Los Angeles, CA
Coordinates: 118°14'27.6''W, 34°03'15.1''N

Since September 5th, the Minor Planet Mailing List (MPML) has been abuzz with speculation about an unidentified 16th- magnitude object. During the next 10 days the object will be moving rapidly across Aries and then Taurus, passing between the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters.
posted by riley370 on Sep 13, 2002 - 29 comments

Spectacular atmospheric optics.

Spectacular atmospheric optics.
Beautiful pictures of atmospheric phenomena, common and rare. You can also run your own halo simulations if you like... (Found in New Scientist's Weblinks, an extensive, annotated collection of all kinds of science links from all over the web.)
posted by talos on Sep 12, 2002 - 13 comments

Earth has a third satellite?

Earth has a third satellite? Somehow I missed that a second one, Cruithne, was discovered in 1986. Is there a size or distance limit to something being considered a satellite?
posted by onhazier on Sep 11, 2002 - 31 comments

Celestial Atlases are perhaps some of the most beautiful scientific books ever published, capturing the mystery and the grandeur of the heavens, and rife with beautiful and often intimidating interpretations of the constellations. Out Of This World has been my favorite website since the dawning of time, and one I go back to over and over again even though it never changes. The period from 1603 to 1801 produced the most beautiful star maps, and you don't have to know a thing about astronomy to appreciate how heavenly these are.
posted by iconomy on Sep 10, 2002 - 9 comments

Archaeoastronomy

Archaeoastronomy examines how ancient cultures studied and worshipped the heavens. From the arrangement of the Stonehenge stelae to the Mayan reverence for the planet Venus, this science has resulted in some fascinating and often beautiful discoveries, including star charts found in tombs in Ireland and Japan, the Lascaux caves in France, and rock paintings of a supernova in 1054 that resulted in the Crab Nebula. My personal favorite is the “Sun Dagger” in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico (scroll down for photos).
posted by gottabefunky on Aug 19, 2002 - 11 comments

Perseid Meteor Shower-(Peaks Sunday & Monday)

Perseid Meteor Shower-(Peaks Sunday & Monday) "The August Perseids are among the strongest of the readily observed annual meteor showers, and at maximum activity can yield 50 or 60 meteors per hour. However, observers with exceptional sky conditions often record even larger numbers. Also, during an overnight watch, the Perseids are capable of producing a number of bright, flaring and fragmenting meteors, which leave fine trains in their wake."
posted by DailyBread on Aug 12, 2002 - 13 comments

A computer aided simulation builds a spiral galaxy from its beginning. In all, 390,000 particles were placed in an arrangement similar to a newborn galaxy. The end result after three months is an event that is believed to take billions of years to occur. (animation)
posted by samsara on Aug 7, 2002 - 7 comments

The Analemma

A very well designed site on the Analemma. Don't be scared off by the math, as there are excellent diagrams and quicktime movies on this difficult to visualize phenomena. Difficult, but not impossible, to photograph (probably less than 10 photos are in existence) Ulrich Bienert came close, and has a gallery and some tips if you're so inclined.
posted by quercus on Aug 6, 2002 - 12 comments

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