Category Archive: Astronomy

Jan 18 2016

Count me in…

From Spaceweather.com. They don’t provide links, so I’ll quote the article in its entirety: SOLAR ECLIPSE BALLOON NETWORK: Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have developed a balloon payload that can photograph solar eclipses from the stratosphere. This sets the stage for a one-of-a-kind photography experiment: On August 21, 2017, the Moon …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2016/01/18/10355/

Dec 25 2015

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh….oh, and Bill Whittle, too

I wish everyone a Happy and Safe Christmas!! Thank you so much for reading! Since Christmas this year has the a full Moon (for the first time since 1977), and since Bill Whittle is one of the most interesting commentators out there, my present to you is his take on the importance of the Moon …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/25/merry-christmas/

Dec 24 2015

You can’t spell Santa without NASA

An early Christmas present to space and astronomy geeks: NASA offers sneak peak at Christmas Eve asteroid. This is asteroid 2003 SD220: It’s about 3600 feet long and passed about 6.8 million miles (about 28 lunar distances) from Earth today this morning (about 5:08am this morning Pacific time). Plugging in amean diameter of 0.7 km, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/24/you-cant-spell-santa-without-nasa/

Nov 30 2015

LISA set to launch this week

Flight teams prepare for LISA Pathfinder liftoff Wednesday. It’ll loiter around L1 for about half a year looking for gravitational waves. ================= I’m back from a long weekend of umpiring, doing the Brenda Marsha ASA Thanksgiving tournament up in Chino Hills, CA. It is one of the funner tourneys of the year, because it’s a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/30/9685/

Nov 12 2015

Planet X?

Astronomers spot most distant object in solar system. V774104 size is estimated to be somewhere between 310 and 620 miles across, so somewhere larger than the diameter of Ceres? That’s huge!! At 103 AU, it’s 2 1/2 times further from the Sun than Pluto. And of course, this brings to mind another “X”: Ah…Speed Racer…the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/12/planet-x/

Nov 02 2015

Halloween dead-comet fly-by was scarier than usual

Skull-Shaped Halloween Asteroid Zips by Earth, a Treat for Scientists. I almost think this is a spoof…it really does look like the top half of a skull. Freaky!!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/02/halloween-dead-comet-fly-by-was-scarier-than-usual/

Oct 24 2015

Set your calendar for 2 Nov 2065

I saw this graphic: within this article: Is This Month’s Jupiter-Venus Pair Really a Star of Bethlehem Stand In?. (Short answer: almost certainly “No”). I’ll be 98 then. I’ll have to watch live video of it, since by then I’ll be living on Mars and won’t get to see it live. Of course, I suppose …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/24/set-your-calendar-for-2-nov-2065/

Oct 19 2015

Blue Angels would be proud

NASA’s MMS Spacecraft Achieve Tightest Flying Formation Ever. This is pretty cool. Flying four satellites in a formation only 6 miles across takes some serious orbital analysis and satellite commanding. Given that each satellite is 369ft by 94 ft width its booms and such extended, such tight formation flying is even more impressive. When MMS …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/19/9040/

Oct 13 2015

India’s first orbital observatory working fine

India’s first space observatory in good shape, performing science ops. Unlike MOM, which carries rudimentary payloads and was more of a “can we get something to Mars’ orbit” demonstration, AeroSat seems to provide more scientific bang. “The pictures in UV are expected be a little better than those obtained from NASA’s GALEX [Galaxy Evolution Explorer], …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/13/indias-first-orbital-observatory-working-fine/

Sep 28 2015

Sure hope you could see last night’s eclipse

My daughter in Virginia couldn’t because it was overcast. My phone was blowing up from texts from my boss Brian about how awesome it looked, and I’m running outside and not seeing it in spite of a crystal clear sky. I’m looking from horizon to horizon along the elliptical, but no moon is to be …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/09/28/sure-hope-you-could-see-last-nights-eclipse/

Sep 24 2015

Everything you wanted to know about Sunday night’s Supermoon Eclipse

ShadowAndSubstance.com has an entire page dedicated to it. There are a ton of awesome Flash animations showing different aspects of the eclipse (i.e. from the Northern Hemisphere, from the Southern Hemisphere, how it would look from the Moon’s surface, other maps of eclipse visibility, etc). I highly recommend you click over there and see for …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/09/24/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-sunday-nights-supermoon-eclipse/

Apr 24 2015

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Hubble’s launch

For details of its launch aboard the shuttle Discovery, click here. Of course, it floated around for 9(!) years before they were able to fix the lens issue, but still. Here’s a list of the top 10 Hubble pictures as voted on by astronauts (there are tons of top 10/20/100 Hubble picture lists out there, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/04/24/today-marks-the-25th-anniversary-of-hubbles-launch/

Apr 06 2015

My bet is an alien race with 187.5 tenticles

Unusual pattern found in fast radio bursts. We have detected 10 fast bursts of radio waves (FRBs) coming from space in the past 15 year. The delay between the arrival of the first and last waves of each burst is always close to a multiple of 187.5. No known natural process can explain this. Or …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/04/06/my-bet-is-an-alien-race-with-187-5-tenticles/

Apr 01 2015

Super quick Lunar eclipse on Saturday

The Western half of the United States will see the full eclipse. Click on the link for a pretty cool animation of the eclipse. I’ll likely be up anyways, so I’ll probably step outside and observe it.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/04/01/super-quick-lunar-eclipse-on-saturday/

Mar 18 2015

Lunar meteor impact observed

Lunar flash and plume seen by amateur astronomers. See the upper right of the .gif. The impact occurred in Mare Nubium: Pretty neat!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/18/lunar-meteor-impact-observed/

Mar 17 2015

Centaur with Rings?

A second minor planet may possess Saturn-like rings. We already knew that Chiron did, but now it looks like Chariklo does as well. The more we know, the more we don’t know about the Solar System. Here’s the Wiki on Centaurs, if you’re interested.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/17/centaur-with-rings/

Mar 16 2015

If a Solar Eclipse occurs but nobody sees it, did it really happen?

The Solar Eclipse this Friday does pass over the Faroe Islands, but that’s about it. Total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015. Animated map of Moon's shadow from Michael Zeiler on Vimeo.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/16/if-a-solar-eclipse-occurs-but-nobody-sees-it-did-it-really-happen/

Feb 23 2015

Voyager-1, is there anything it can’t do?

Well, it can completely change our understanding of the heliosphere. One of two identical twin spacecraft launched in 1977, Voyager 1 in 2012 became the first man-made object to exit the heliosphere and plunge into interstellar space, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As the spacecraft approached and then crossed this boundary, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/02/23/voyager-1-is-there-anything-it-cant-do/

Feb 16 2015

NASA SDO’s Fifth Anniversary video

The Solar Dynamics Observatory recently celebrated its 5th year in orbit, and NASA produced a pretty cool video of 5 years of Sun observations: Seeing the Sun in a time-lapse video like this really makes some things stand out that I either didn’t know or didn’t get until looking at it. Sunspots occur as within …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/02/16/nasa-sdos-fifth-anniversary-video/

Feb 09 2015

Pretty cool video of the far side of the moon

It shows two perspectives: Along the line connecting the Earth and the Moon Fixed on a stop over the dark side of the moon

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/02/09/pretty-cool-video-of-the-far-side-of-the-moon/

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