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Re: Astro Advent Calendar 2018 [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930277
12/17/18 11:34 AM
12/17/18 11:34 AM
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Mona - Astronomy Offline OP
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17

NASA's Kepler Space Observatory revolutionized our view of exoplanets. When it became crippled, a daring innovation gave it a brand new mission. The mission ended this year when Kepler ran out of fuel in October.

One of the discoveries was the Kepler-22 system. The diagram shows how it compares to the Solar System. The habitable zone is where water can exist as a liquid. The star Kepler-22 is very similar to our Sun, but slightly smaller, so it's habitable zone is closer in.


Mona Evans
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Re: Astro Advent Calendar 2018 [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930282
12/18/18 12:51 PM
12/18/18 12:51 PM
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18

"Two worlds, one Sun" - sunset on Earth and on Mars.

On Earth, our atmosphere scatters the blue of the Sun's light more than the red. So the sky directly overhead is blue, but when sunlight travels the long path along the horizon, it's mostly the red light that's left. Mars has very little atmosphere, but what it has is dusty. At sunset on Mars, sunlight is traveling through more fine dust particles. These particles scatter the red light more than the blue.

[Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / Damia Bouic][ Brian Koberlein]


Mona Evans
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Re: Astro Advent Calendar 2018 [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930283
12/18/18 12:51 PM
12/18/18 12:51 PM
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19

In the the tomb of Rameses VI (1151-1143 BCE) in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, the ceiling depicts Nut, the sky goddess.

The elongated body of Nut is shown at night and in daytime, as she regulates the light and the dark. By day, we can see the solar disk is red. The solar god sails in his barge along Nut's body until evening. Then Nut swallows the Sun, taking it with the stars through the hours of night. At dawn it appears anew as a winged scarab.

[Credit: Jim Zuckerman / Alamy Stock Photo] [Explanation: Dr Amanda-Alice Maravelia]


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Re: Astro Advent Calendar 2018 [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930296
12/20/18 11:59 AM
12/20/18 11:59 AM
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20

From me to you, here are Hubble greetings from the Veil Nebula. Greetings from the world's most famous telescope can also be yours to send.

The Veil Nebula, 110 light-years across in the constellation Cygnus the Swan, is a supernova remnant. It's what remains of a massive star when it ran out of fuel and exploded – the blast wave is still expanding. The Hubble image above shows an area roughly two light years across.

[The Hubble site has a selection of winter greetings. If it's too late to print them, they can be adapted as e-greetings.]


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Re: Astro Advent Calendar 2018 [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930299
12/21/18 01:06 PM
12/21/18 01:06 PM
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21

Does the Sun always rise in the east? Yes and no. It always rises in an easterly direction, but it only rises due east at the equinoxes.

In the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice sunrise is to the northeast, and at its most northerly. Sunrises then move gradually southwards, so that autumn equinox sunrise is due east, and after that they're occurring moving to the southeast. The sunrise is at its most southerly at the winter solstice. In this composite photo by astrophotographer Anthony Ayiomamitis, you can see sunrise in a Greek village at three different times of year.


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Re: Astro Advent Calendar 2018 [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930309
12/22/18 11:11 AM
12/22/18 11:11 AM
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22

Two interesting astronomical events put on a show together on July 27th this year. This picture shows a total lunar eclipse and Mars at opposition.

(1) The lunar is eclipse was the longest one of the 21st century. Totality lasted 1 hr 43 min, four minutes shorter than the theoretical limit of a lunar eclipse. (2) Mars was at opposition – that's when it's at its closest to Earth.

[Photo: lunar eclipse, Mars, and the Mole Antonelliana in Turin, Italy – photographed by Stefano De Rosa]


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Re: Astro Advent Calendar 2018 [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930317
12/23/18 09:22 PM
12/23/18 09:22 PM
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23

Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson celebrated her 100th birthday this year on August 26th.

An African-American mathematician who worked for NASA and its predecessor for 35 years, she made calculations for US manned spaceflights. Starting with Alan Shepard's suborbital flight, Johnson worked through to the beginning of the Space Shuttle program before her retirement. In 2015 President Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


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Re: Astro Advent Calendar 2018 [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930326
12/24/18 03:26 PM
12/24/18 03:26 PM
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24

Fifty years ago, on Christmas Eve 1968, three men broadcast their seasonal good wishes to planet Earth from the Moon.

Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were farther from home than any human being before them. Unexpectedly, they saw the Earth rising above the Moon, and the photo they took remains one of the most memorable images of the Space Age.


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Re: Astro Advent Calendar 2018 [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930327
12/25/18 12:41 PM
12/25/18 12:41 PM
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Last night was the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8's Christmas Eve broadcast. For the anniversary, Bill Anders has reflected on the journey and I've edited some of it for a Christmas message.
Quote
The Earth we saw rising over the battered grey lunar surface was small and delicate, a magnificent spot of color in the vast blackness of space. Borders that once rendered division vanished. All of humanity appeared joined together on this glorious-but-fragile sphere.

Another vision made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I held my fist at arm's length. That stunning vision disappeared. From one lunar distance our world was easily obscured. At 100 - then and now far beyond human reach - Earth would no longer be visible to the naked eye. Here was everything humans had been, everything we were, and everything we might become - and yet our home planet was physically insignificant in space.

I thought of my wife and five children on that little planet. The same forces that determined their fates worked on the other three-and-a-half-billion inhabitants. From our tiny capsule, it seemed as if the whole Earth was smaller even than the space the three of us inhabited. From there, the blue-and-white glory of Earth, the only color amidst the blackness of space, became a beacon.

The most significant revelation of Apollo 8's journey extends far beyond our scientific-and-technological achievements, beyond our "records" and "firsts."

We set out to explore the moon and instead discovered the Earth.


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