If you're fascinated by all things space and physics related, this page is for you.

The Universe on Facebook

“Clouds cast thousand-mile shadows into the black of space”A favourite view for astronauts on the International Space Station, Reid Wiseman tweeted this photo yesterday – and it’s a stunner! -CBImage Credit: Reid Wiseman for NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration; View high resolution

“Clouds cast thousand-mile shadows into the black of space”

A favourite view for astronauts on the International Space Station, Reid Wiseman tweeted this photo yesterday – and it’s a stunner! 

-CB

Image Credit: Reid Wiseman for NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration;

Q
I was wondering if you've ever speculated or read anything about what will happen when Betelgeuse explodes? Will we have the equivalent of 24h sunlight for x number of days? Has there been any thought about what this might mean for Earth (particularly in terms of photosynthesis)?
from:Anonymous
A

I’m honestly dying to be able to see a supernova in my lifetime, so I have looked into the topic somewhat. Here’s a couple things I have found:

For starters, though “Betelgeuse might explode soon!” makes for some great headline bait, “soon” in this context means “sometime within the next million years.” The odds aren’t great that we’ll get to watch it happen (but hey, you never know).

Secondly, it will definitely be bright, but it’s not going to help much in the garden. At 640 light-years distant, Betelgeuse is just too far away to have a significant impact on us. According to this great article by Phil Plait, it will be about 1/100,000th as bright as the Sun. The supernova may be bright enough to see during the day (!!!) but it’s too far away to have that kind of impact on our lighting situation. 

Hope that helps!

-RLO

mindblowingscience:

Power of the Sun: Elusive Solar Neutrinos Detected, a Cosmic First

Tiny particles forged in the heart of the sun have been detected for the first time, offering scientists a glimpse into the nuclear fusion core of our closest star.
The subatomic particles, called neutrinos, are hallmarks of the dominant fusion process insidethe sun. Created in the first step of a reaction sequence responsible for the majority of the sun’s fusion, the particles have long eluded detection. Now, an international collaboration of more than 100 scientists working with the Borexino detector in Italy has made the first measurements of these elusive particles.
The new findings “allow us to look at the majority of the fusion reactions in the sun’s core in real time, as they happen, minus an eight-minute delay for travel to Earth,” Andrea Pocar, of the University of Massachusetts and part of the Borexino team, told Space.com by email.  ”The measurement allows us to strongly confirm the model of the sun, and to take a ‘neutrino photograph’.”

Continue Reading.
View high resolution

mindblowingscience:

Power of the Sun: Elusive Solar Neutrinos Detected, a Cosmic First

Tiny particles forged in the heart of the sun have been detected for the first time, offering scientists a glimpse into the nuclear fusion core of our closest star.

The subatomic particles, called neutrinos, are hallmarks of the dominant fusion process insidethe sun. Created in the first step of a reaction sequence responsible for the majority of the sun’s fusion, the particles have long eluded detection. Now, an international collaboration of more than 100 scientists working with the Borexino detector in Italy has made the first measurements of these elusive particles.

The new findings “allow us to look at the majority of the fusion reactions in the sun’s core in real time, as they happen, minus an eight-minute delay for travel to Earth,” Andrea Pocar, of the University of Massachusetts and part of the Borexino team, told Space.com by email.  ”The measurement allows us to strongly confirm the model of the sun, and to take a ‘neutrino photograph’.”

Continue Reading.

distant-traveller:


Eta Carinae: our neighboring superstars







The Eta Carinae star system does not lack for superlatives. Not only does it contain one of the biggest and brightest stars in our galaxy, weighing at least 90 times the mass of the sun, it is also extremely volatile and is expected to have at least one supernova explosion in the future.
As one of the first objects observed by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory after its launch some 15 years ago, this double star system continues to reveal new clues about its nature through the X-rays it generates.
Astronomers reported extremely volatile behavior from Eta Carinae in the 19th century, when it became very bright for two decades, outshining nearly every star in the entire sky. This event became known as the “Great Eruption.” Data from modern telescopes reveal that Eta Carinae threw off about ten times the sun’s mass during that time. Surprisingly, the star survived this tumultuous expulsion of material, adding “extremely hardy” to its list of attributes.
Today, astronomers are trying to learn more about the two stars in the Eta Carinae system and how they interact with each other. The heavier of the two stars is quickly losing mass through  wind streaming away from its surface at over a million miles per hour. While not the giant purge of the Great Eruption, this star is still losing mass at a very high rate that will add up to the sun’s mass in about a millennium. 
Though smaller than its partner, the companion star in Eta Carinae is also massive, weighing in at about 30 times the mass of the sun. It is losing matter at a rate that is about a hundred times lower than its partner, but still a prodigious weight loss compared to most other stars. The companion star beats the bigger star in wind speed, with its wind clocking in almost ten times faster.
When these two speedy and powerful winds collide, they form a bow shock – similar to the sonic boom from a supersonic airplane – that then heats the gas between the stars. The temperature of the gas reaches about ten million degrees, producing X-rays that Chandra detects.
The Chandra image of Eta Carinae shows low energy X-rays in red, medium energy X-rays in green, and high energy X-rays in blue. Most of the emission comes from low and high energy X-rays. The blue point source is generated by the colliding winds, and the diffuse blue emission is produced when the material that was purged during the Great Eruption reflects these X-rays. The low energy X-rays further out show where the winds from the two stars, or perhaps material from the Great Eruption, are striking surrounding material. This surrounding material might consist of gas that was ejected before the Great Eruption.     An interesting feature of the Eta Carinae system is that the two stars travel around each other along highly elliptical paths during their five-and-a-half-year long orbit. Depending on where each star is on its oval-shaped trajectory, the distance between the two stars changes by a factor of twenty. These oval-shaped trajectories give astronomers a chance to study what happens to the winds from these stars when they collide at different distances from one another.
Throughout most of the system’s orbit, the X-rays are stronger at the apex, the region where the winds collide head-on. However, when the two stars are at their closest during their orbit (a point that astronomers call “periastron”), the X-ray emission dips unexpectedly. To understand the cause of this dip, astronomers observed Eta Carinae with Chandra at periastron in early 2009. The results provided the first detailed picture of X-ray emission from the colliding winds in Eta Carinae. The study suggests that part of the reason for the dip at periastron is that X-rays from the apex are blocked by the dense wind from the more massive star in Eta Carinae, or perhaps by the surface of the star itself.  Another factor responsible for the X-ray dip is that the shock wave appears to be disrupted near periastron, possibly because of faster cooling of the gas due to increased density, and/or a decrease in the strength of the companion star’s wind because of extra ultraviolet radiation from the massive star reaching it. Researchers are hoping that Chandra observations of the latest periastron in August 2014 will help them determine the true explanation.

Image credit: NASA/CXC/GSFC/K.Hamaguchi, et al.





View high resolution

distant-traveller:

Eta Carinae: our neighboring superstars

The Eta Carinae star system does not lack for superlatives. Not only does it contain one of the biggest and brightest stars in our galaxy, weighing at least 90 times the mass of the sun, it is also extremely volatile and is expected to have at least one supernova explosion in the future.

As one of the first objects observed by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory after its launch some 15 years ago, this double star system continues to reveal new clues about its nature through the X-rays it generates.

Astronomers reported extremely volatile behavior from Eta Carinae in the 19th century, when it became very bright for two decades, outshining nearly every star in the entire sky. This event became known as the “Great Eruption.” Data from modern telescopes reveal that Eta Carinae threw off about ten times the sun’s mass during that time. Surprisingly, the star survived this tumultuous expulsion of material, adding “extremely hardy” to its list of attributes.

Today, astronomers are trying to learn more about the two stars in the Eta Carinae system and how they interact with each other. The heavier of the two stars is quickly losing mass through  wind streaming away from its surface at over a million miles per hour. While not the giant purge of the Great Eruption, this star is still losing mass at a very high rate that will add up to the sun’s mass in about a millennium. 

Though smaller than its partner, the companion star in Eta Carinae is also massive, weighing in at about 30 times the mass of the sun. It is losing matter at a rate that is about a hundred times lower than its partner, but still a prodigious weight loss compared to most other stars. The companion star beats the bigger star in wind speed, with its wind clocking in almost ten times faster.

When these two speedy and powerful winds collide, they form a bow shock – similar to the sonic boom from a supersonic airplane – that then heats the gas between the stars. The temperature of the gas reaches about ten million degrees, producing X-rays that Chandra detects.

The Chandra image of Eta Carinae shows low energy X-rays in red, medium energy X-rays in green, and high energy X-rays in blue. Most of the emission comes from low and high energy X-rays. The blue point source is generated by the colliding winds, and the diffuse blue emission is produced when the material that was purged during the Great Eruption reflects these X-rays. The low energy X-rays further out show where the winds from the two stars, or perhaps material from the Great Eruption, are striking surrounding material. This surrounding material might consist of gas that was ejected before the Great Eruption.    
 
An interesting feature of the Eta Carinae system is that the two stars travel around each other along highly elliptical paths during their five-and-a-half-year long orbit. Depending on where each star is on its oval-shaped trajectory, the distance between the two stars changes by a factor of twenty. These oval-shaped trajectories give astronomers a chance to study what happens to the winds from these stars when they collide at different distances from one another.

Throughout most of the system’s orbit, the X-rays are stronger at the apex, the region where the winds collide head-on. However, when the two stars are at their closest during their orbit (a point that astronomers call “periastron”), the X-ray emission dips unexpectedly.
 
To understand the cause of this dip, astronomers observed Eta Carinae with Chandra at periastron in early 2009. The results provided the first detailed picture of X-ray emission from the colliding winds in Eta Carinae. The study suggests that part of the reason for the dip at periastron is that X-rays from the apex are blocked by the dense wind from the more massive star in Eta Carinae, or perhaps by the surface of the star itself. 
 
Another factor responsible for the X-ray dip is that the shock wave appears to be disrupted near periastron, possibly because of faster cooling of the gas due to increased density, and/or a decrease in the strength of the companion star’s wind because of extra ultraviolet radiation from the massive star reaching it. Researchers are hoping that Chandra observations of the latest periastron in August 2014 will help them determine the true explanation.

Image credit: NASA/CXC/GSFC/K.Hamaguchi, et al.

(Source: nasa.gov)

Q
When i saw that someone is running a fantastic universe blog i had to follow up on all the posts. As fantastic as your blog may be, whoever you are, has ruined my interest in following up on anything furthermore so i Am unable to recollect whether or not it was an Anon who request your assistance in locating a Stephen Hawking film, however, your response affected anything that would have been your 'well-rounded' credibility through revealing your current form in being a lumpy ass. HowDoYouFeel?
A

Indifferent.

theaatproject:

Australian Astronomy Envy: This Video Is Like A Telescope Brochure

Performing observations in Australia is on many astronomers’ bucket lists, and this video timelapse shows you precisely why. Famous, world-class observatories, dark sky and the beautiful desolation of the desert combine in this award-winning sequence shot by Alex Cherney and posted on Vimeo.

Cherney writes that the video “is the result of over three years of work” and was the winner of the 2014 STARMUS astrophotography competition. Here are the observatories that are featured:

Roque De Los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma;
Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, Murchison, Australia;
Australia Telescope Compact Array, Narrarbri, Australia;
Parkes Radio Observatory, Australia;
Siding Spring Observatory, Australia;
Mount John Observatory, New Zealand

[source], [video]

nanodash:

These, are Pallasites.

Pallasites are stony-iron meteorites that contain gem quality olivine embedded within.

Pallasites formed when our solar system did. Back then there were even more planety type things wooshing about. Some of them were massive enough, and composed of enough radioactive materials to have a mantle and core and a crust, like Earth.

Pallasites are thought to have formed at the boundary between the mantle and core of these things, like something floating in the layer between oil and water. Then when two proto-planets crashed together, it freed the pallasites and sent them on their way.

They’re pretty rare, only 61 have been found, but damn are they pretty

therealsourpatchninja:

I paused my TV at the right time.

This is a perfect reaction image for terrible pseudoscientific posts found in the astronomy tag. View high resolution

therealsourpatchninja:

I paused my TV at the right time.

This is a perfect reaction image for terrible pseudoscientific posts found in the astronomy tag.