Posts

August 23, 2014

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11:44 AM | Aug 23rd: Astronomers Clear Up a Dusty Mystery
Podcaster: Richard Drumm
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9:00 AM | Satellite galaxies and dwarfs in the Local Group
The local neighborhood surrounding the Milky Way and M31 is teeming with small satellite galaxies whose properties are of immense interest. In the past few years the number of dwarfs observed in the local group has nearly doubled, mostly due to increased sensitivity in observations. These observations have posed a number of challenges to the […]
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4:00 AM | Astroinformatics 2014 Conference
Astroinformatics is a thriving new discipline that has emerged at the intersection of astronomy/astrophysics, applied mathematics and high performance computing, arising from the need to address the challenges and opportunities of exponential growth of data volumes, rates and complexity from the next-generation telescopes. During the last two decades, many important new astronomy facilities have been […]

August 22, 2014

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11:00 PM | NASA Unveils Best Map Ever of Neptune's Moon Triton
A scientist has created the best-ever global color map of Neptune's big moon Triton, using images taken by a NASA spacecraft 25 years ago.
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10:16 PM | Radio Problems Scrub LightSail's Day-in-the-Life Test
A pesky radio problem that has occasionally stymied LightSail has returned, scrubbing the mission's day-in-the-life test.
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10:00 PM | Expendables Copyright Case Dismissed.
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed an order of a federal district court dismissing all copyright infringement claims against The Expendables movie. Marcus Webb, an amateur screenwriter, wrote a screenplay in 2006 called The Cordoba Caper. The plot involved an elite team of American mercenaries who are hired to defeat a … Continue reading →
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9:24 PM | Curiosity update, sols 697-726: Mars thwarts driving and drilling
The Mars gremlins really had it in for Curiosity this month. A computer glitch and slippery sand conspired to delay the rover's progress toward Mount Sharp. And shifting rocks proved unsafe for drilling. The rover will continue driving toward Mount Sharp, departing Bonanza King without drilling, skirting Hidden Valley along a plateau to its north.
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7:01 PM | Philae landing site selection process under way as Rosetta closes to within 60 kilometers of the comet
Rosetta spent the week transitioning to a lower orbit from which it continues to observe the comet. This weekend, the mission will select about five landing sites for more detailed study. They have also now estimated the mass of the comet.
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4:00 PM | Star Party Weekend.
For those of you that have a chance, you are more than welcome to come out to the Riverside Astronomical Societies dark sky site (GMARS). If you would like more information or directions, they can be found here.  We have two houses, 8 beds, 3 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, internet available, and lots of good people … Continue reading →
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1:23 PM | House gearing up for CR to last until December
With no sign of progress on appropriations bills stalled in the Senate, the House is making plans to pass a “clean” continuing resolution that will keep the government running at least into December, a top House member said this week. In an interview with the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call Wednesday in Philadelphia, Rep. Paul [...]
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12:00 PM | The Ring Nebula, Still Mysterious After All These Years
Of all the planetary nebulae in the sky, none is more celebrated than M57, the Ring Nebula. Lying about 2,400 light years away toward the constellation of Lyra, it’s bright enough to be seen in small telescopes, and when long exposures are taken, quite a lot of detail comes out. Astrophotographer Rob Gendler knows his way around a digital astronomical image. He has been making a habit of creating incredible photographs using multiple observatories, both in space and on the ground, […]
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11:30 AM | Aug 22nd: Science on the Halfsphere
Podcaster: Pamela Gay, Nicole Gugliucci
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9:59 AM | Superman viola le leggi della fisica
Super velocità, super forza, sguardo laser e la capacità di volare, eppure la caratteristica di Superman veramente impossibile sarebbe un’altra. O meglio, a essere fisicamente impossibile sarebbe proprio la fonte dei superpoteri dell’Uomo d’acciaio: la capacità delle sue cellule di assorbire l’energia del Sole. A scoprirlo è stato un gruppo di studenti di fisica della University of Leicester, che in […]
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8:00 AM | In Warm Water
Right now the ocean is glorious. In the evenings, even if the day hasn’t been too hot, you can throw yourself into the saltwater and float between the waves for a while without your teeth chattering. This is not normal. Even in summer (at least for me), any extended taking of the waters requires a wetsuit, if not […]
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7:00 AM | L’influenza della rotazione planetaria sull’abitabilità
Esistono quasi 2000 esopianeti confermati anche se la maggior parte di essi sono giganti gioviani che presentano ambienti decisamente inospitali. Nonostante ciò, la missione del satellite Kepler ha permesso di identificare una manciata di pianeti rocciosi, più piccoli, che sono presenti nella cosiddetta zona abitabile e, forse, potrebbero ospitare ambienti più adatti allo sviluppo di […]
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1:20 AM | Throwback Thursday: Discovering the Earth from Space (Synopsis)
“We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” -Bill Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut When you think about the most amazing sights available to humanity here on Earth, you probably don’t think about leaving Earth in order to capture them. But sometimes, doing exactly that…
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1:20 AM | Throwback Thursday: Discovering the Earth from Space
The top 10 pictures from a Russian cosmonaut you’ve never heard of.Continue reading on Medium »

August 21, 2014

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8:10 PM | OMG!!! Mars Will Be as Big as the Moon!!!! (NOT)
The Mars/Moon Hoax Rears its Ugly Head Well, the hysterical claims are starting up yet again. Yes, it’s the annual Mars/Moon madness again. Only this time, the folks claiming that the Moon and Mars will be the SAME SIZE OMG!!! NEVER AGAIN IN THIS CENTURY!!!! are claiming that on August 27th, 2014, we’ll be treated […]
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7:15 PM | Traces of One of Universe's First Stars Detected
Chemical signature of ancient star suggests it incorporated material blasted into space by a supernova explosion from huge star in early universe.
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3:30 PM | Impact for a Lifetime
Talking to the public about science and rationality is an odd way to spend your life. It can be maddening, when you go against those who oppose reality: homeopaths, anti-vaxxers, global warming deniers, young-Earth creationists. For those of us who love the Universe the way it is, going up against that tsunami of nonsense is a grueling and unending task. Worse, in some ways, is wondering if what you’re doing is actually helping. Sure, I get traffic on my blog, or retweets, or […]
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3:19 PM | Comet Flyby Missions for Mars Rovers
On October 19, the Mars rovers — like their orbiting cousins — will become comet flyby missions. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 140,000 km of Mars.
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2:58 PM | As China tests ASAT, US pushes multilateral space security efforts
In a speech at a US Strategic Command symposium last week, a top State Department official made the case again for various multilateral efforts to improve space security, even as China appeared to perform another test of an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon. Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the [...]
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2:37 PM | Cosmic Minute: Black Holes, Other Universes, and the Mystery of Dark Matter
Did you know dark matter accounts for 85 percent of our gravity? Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of StarTalk Radio, illuminates us on black holes that may lead to other universes, and the common mysteries of dark matter and energy that have a huge hand to play in the way our own universe works. If you like this track (and want more of an explanation and context for Neil’s use of the word “Rebecca”), be sure to check out the whole “Through the Wormhole” episode where […]
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12:48 PM | Stardust@home Finds Some Stardust
What’s new at Stardust@home, the groundbreaking program that asked volunteers to help find interstellar dust particles collected by the spacecraft Stardust.
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12:25 PM | Nanotubi che sembrano cactus
Direttamente dagli Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology di Dubendorg arriva la descrizione di una tecnica di fabbricazione che potrebbe permettere di realizzare nanotubi (ossia tubi microscopici, dell'ordine di grandezza dei nanometri) di carbonio a parete singola, realizzati cioè a partire da un singolo foglio di atomi di carbonio avvolto su se stesso. Questi particolari nanotubi presenterebbero caratteristiche che li renderebbero utilizzabili in vari campi, […]
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12:00 PM | Dating a Star ... a Few Hundred Thousand, in Fact
Globular clusters are too cool. For one thing, they’re gorgeous. I have proof! That is IC 4499, a tight ball of tens or hundreds of thousands of stars located roughly 60,000 light years away. This image was taken by Hubble, and besides being spectacular, it also was used to nail down the age of the cluster, which until recently has been a bit controversial. This is another reason globulars are cool … Getting the age of the cluster is possible because globulars have a very helpful […]
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12:00 PM | Sea Plankton on Space Station, Russian Official Claims
A Russian official claims that samples collected by cosmonauts show evidence of sea plankton on the outside of the International Space Station
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11:30 AM | Aug 21st: The Minus-Third Anniversary of the 2017 US-Crossing Total Solar Eclipse
Podcaster: Jay Pasachoff
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10:50 AM | Week 13: Crossing the Continental Divide
The Wyoming Infrared Observatory atop Mt. Jelm. All photos by the author. Ever wonder where east meets west, geographically speaking? This past week saw us hitting the road once again and crossing the great state of Wyoming, nicking Montana for a couple nights, and then entering the state of Idaho for the first time. An [...]
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8:23 AM | DNews: Astronauts Resort to Pills to Get Some Shut-Eye
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