Cool astronomy photos

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Anaxagoras
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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NASA Announces New James Webb Space Telescope Target Launch Date
NASA now is targeting Oct. 31, 2021, for the launch of the agency’s James Webb Space Telescope from French Guiana, due to impacts from the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as technical challenges.

This decision is based on a recently completed schedule risk assessment of the remaining integration and test activities prior to launch. Previously, Webb was targeted to launch in March 2021.

“The perseverance and innovation of the entire Webb Telescope team has enabled us to work through challenging situations we could not have foreseen on our path to launch this unprecedented mission,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “Webb is the world’s most complex space observatory, and our top science priority, and we’ve worked hard to keep progress moving during the pandemic. The team continues to be focused on reaching milestones and arriving at the technical solutions that will see us through to this new launch date next year.”

Testing of the observatory continues to go well at Northrop Grumman, the mission’s main industry partner, in Redondo Beach, California, despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the pandemic’s associated delays, the team made significant progress in achieving important milestones to prepare for launch in 2021.

As schedule margins grew tighter last fall, the agency planned to assess the progress of the project in April. This assessment was postponed due to the pandemic and was completed this week. The factors contributing to the decision to move the launch date include the impacts of augmented safety precautions, reduced on-site personnel, disruption to shift work, and other technical challenges. Webb will use existing program funding to stay within its $8.8 billion development cost cap.
Who thinks it will launch in 2021 at long last?
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Rob Lister
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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At some point they're going to have to shit or get off the pot.
I get the whole covid delay but (as I said before) if not that, then something else.

I feel like they could have built and launched three imperfect versions for less cost in the hopes one worked.

ETA: I said three but wiki sez
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Web ... _Telescope
the conception in 2003 was 2.5 billion and here we are at almost 10 billion. So, four of them


I hope they do launch, even if it fails. Sometimes KISS is a valuable lesson in itself.

ETA2: On further perusal of wiki, I find:
The [JW] telescope's delays and cost increases can be compared to the Hubble Space Telescope.[53] When Hubble formally started in 1972, it had an estimated development cost of US$300 million (or about US$1 billion in 2006 constant dollars),[53] but by the time it was sent into orbit in 1990, the cost was about four times that.[53] In addition, new instruments and servicing missions increased the cost to at least US$9 billion by 2006.[53]
Okay. I admit Hubble was worth it. But I'm reminded that Hubble would have been a catastrophic failure but for the possibility of a repair mission. No such repair is possible for Mr. Webb.
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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This is the most comprehensive X-ray map of the sky ever made

Scientists used data from the first full scan of the sky made by the eROSITA X-ray telescope

A new map of the entire sky, as seen in X-rays, looks deeper into space than any other of its kind.

The map, released June 19, is based on data from the first full scan of the sky made by the eROSITA X-ray telescope onboard the Russian-German SRG spacecraft, which launched in July 2019. The six-month, all-sky survey, which began in December and wrapped up in June, is only the first of eight total sky surveys that eROSITA will perform over the next few years. But this sweep alone cataloged some 1.1 million X-ray sources across the cosmos — just about doubling the number of known X-ray emitters in the universe.

These hot and energetic objects include Milky Way stars and supermassive black holes at the centers of other galaxies, some of which are billions of light-years away and date back to when the universe was just one-tenth of its current age.

eROSITA’s new map reveals objects about four times as faint as could be seen in the last survey of the whole X-ray sky, conducted by the ROSAT space telescope in the 1990s (SN: 6/29/91). The new images “are just spectacular to look at,” says Harvey Tananbaum, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., not involved in the mission. “You have this tremendous capability of looking at the near and the far … and then, of course, delving in detail to the parts of the images that you’re most interested in.”
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/xra ... -milky-way for technical details & more pics.


Image

Image
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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What that image does not show however is the super secret stuff. Stuff like the brain implants the x-rays control which allows the government to use the helium neon argon lasers to give at least one guy that hangs around the grocery store unwanted erections. Also they make his feet stink.
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First image of a multi-planet system around a sun-like star

Image

The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) has taken the first ever image of a young, sun-like star accompanied by two giant exoplanets. Images of systems with multiple exoplanets are extremely rare, and—until now—astronomers had never directly observed more than one planet orbiting a star similar to the sun. The observations can help astronomers understand how planets formed and evolved around our own sun.

Just a few weeks ago, ESO revealed a planetary system being born in a new, stunning VLT image (www.eso.org/public/news/eso2008). Now, the same telescope, using the same instrument (www.eso.org/public/teles-instr … vlt/vlt-instr/sphere), has taken the first direct image of a planetary system around a star like our sun, located about 300 light-years away and known as TYC 8998-760-1.

"This discovery is a snapshot of an environment that is very similar to our solar system, but at a much earlier stage of its evolution," says Alexander Bohn, a Ph.D. student at Leiden University in the Netherlands, who led the new research published today in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"Even though astronomers have indirectly detected thousands of planets in our galaxy, only a tiny fraction of these exoplanets have been directly imaged," says co-author Matthew Kenworthy, Associate Professor at Leiden University, adding that "direct observations are important in the search for environments that can support life." The direct imaging of two or more exoplanets around the same star is even more rare; only two such systems have been directly observed so far, both around stars markedly different from our sun. The new ESO's VLT (www.eso.org/public/teles-instr … anal-observatory/vlt) image is the first direct image of more than one exoplanet around a sun-like star. ESO's VLT was also the first telescope to directly image an exoplanet, back in 2004, when it captured a speck of light around a brown dwarf, a type of 'failed' star.
https://phys.org/news/2020-07-image-mul ... -star.html

See also: https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso2008/
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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How come we can get pictures like that, but Bigfoot is always blurry?
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shemp wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:05 am How come we can get pictures like that, but Bigfoot is always blurry?
Because you're always drunk when you hang out with him, duh. :roll:
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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Bigfoot is a forest ninja.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Image

Comet Neowise from the Brecon Beacons (Wales).
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A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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Literally took all day.
Such potential!
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↑ Great video!

There's something flying by between 15 and 16 s. Screenshot:

Image

:shock:
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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Another satellite perhaps? Or an airplane?
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Bruce wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:33 pm Literally took all day.
A day for the ISS is less than two hours
still working on Sophrosyne, but I will no doubt end up with Hubris
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But it was a good joke
still working on Sophrosyne, but I will no doubt end up with Hubris
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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Anaxagoras wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:39 pm Another satellite perhaps? Or an airplane?
It appears way too large to be an airplane flying a couple of hundred km below it. It's velocity is pretty close to that of the ISS (or we'd never see it) so if it is in orbit , it's a fairly near orbit. The video is speed up 4 times but I suppose it's possible to use the frame rate to work out the exact velocity and therefore the exact orbit and therefore the exact distance and therefore the exact size.
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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A UFO then. More proof!
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Anaxagoras wrote: Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:37 am A UFO then. More proof!
No comment from Lord Kilik?
Such potential!
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Witness wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:14 pm Curiosity after seven years on Mars:

Image

:figamagee:
In those Curiosity selfie photos, it's always difficult to see how Curiosity is holding its camera - no obvious signs of the "selfie stick" to me - neither in the photo nor the shadows.
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ceptimus wrote: Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:30 pm In those Curiosity selfie photos, it's always difficult to see how Curiosity is holding its camera - no obvious signs of the "selfie stick" to me - neither in the photo nor the shadows.
The selfies are stitched-together panoramas. With ad hoc software you can choose which original image (or part of) to use for any part of the result, leaving the arm and its shadow invisible.
You can do that with Hugin, e. g. for getting rid of moving people in your panorama.
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...You can do that with Hugin, e. g. for getting rid of moving people in your panorama.
"... intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. NASA they named it knowing the love Men hold for acronyms..."
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The fault in our Mars

Image

This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of northern Meridiani Planum shows faults that have disrupted layered deposits. Some of the faults produced a clean break along the layers, displacing and offsetting individual beds.

Interestingly, the layers continue across the fault and appear stretched out. These observations suggest that some of the faulting occurred while the layered deposits were still soft and could undergo deformation, whereas other faults formed later when the layers must have been solidified and produced a clean break.

The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 54.6 centimeters (21.5 inches) per pixel (with 2 x 2 binning); objects on the order of 164 centimeters (64.6 inches) across are resolved.] North is up.
https://phys.org/news/2017-12-image-fau ... .html#nRlv
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still working on Sophrosyne, but I will no doubt end up with Hubris
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Mars launch: NASA sends Perseverance rover to space

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The Perseverance rover and its Ingenuity helicopter are finally on the journey to Mars.
The spacecraft carrying the rover and helicopter successfully launched to Mars Thursday morning aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 7:50 a.m. ET.
The team in the control center at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed they received the spacecraft's signal shortly after 9 a.m. ET.
...
After traveling through space for about seven months, Perseverance is scheduled to land at Jezero Crater on Mars on February 18, 2021.
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/30/worl ... index.html
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Image

Dust devil taken by the Spirit rover.
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NGC 1300, a barred spiral galaxy imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope

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It's pretty cool. I'm not sure there's a purpose to it other than to do something that's never been done before, but it's cool nonetheless.
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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It is admittedly very cool. I wonder what specific battery technology their using. I doubt it's just standard Li-Ion.
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Why?


Is there something better?
still working on Sophrosyne, but I will no doubt end up with Hubris
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It's probably some form of Lithium Ion, but I guess with a heater of some sort built in because Lithium batteries don't perform that well at normal Mars temperatures.

Some of the rovers on Mars, despite being powered by solar cells, still have radioactive decay heaters bolted inside to keep them warm during Mars night time and winters. Other rovers are actually powered by radioisotope generators (aka 'atomic batteries'). For deep space probes venturing beyond Saturn, radioisotope generators are always used, because the sunlight out there is too feeble to make solar panels effective.

Even if the Mars helicopter has a radioisotope generator (which I doubt) then that won't power the flight directly - it will be used to recharge Lithium batteries while on the ground, and then those batteries would be fairly quickly discharged during the flights. Solar cells could also recharge the flight batteries when standing on the ground, though it would most likely take longer recharge periods between flights for solar cells small enough to be practical on a helicopter.

A small radioisotope generator can provide low-to-medium power output for many years, but is not suited to provide brief periods of high power: radioisotope batteries have very high energy density, but fairly low power density - in contrast Lithium batteries have very high power density, but (relatively) low energy density.
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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robinson wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:09 pm Why?


Is there something better?
'better suited'? Yea. There are battery technologies that are probably better suited (better energy density), Li-air, for one but there are many. Most are either too expensive to produce, have poor charge/discharge cycles, or are impossibly (thus far) to mass produce. None of those matter much for this application.
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Image

The rings appear brighter at opposition.
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It's a similar effect that makes the (sunlit parts of) the moon all appear almost equally bright. If you put a giant golf ball or apple in place of the moon, it would look darker around the edges - think how you're taught in art class how to paint such objects so that people can tell where the light is coming from.

The grains of dust on the moon's surface tend to scatter light in an unusual way, so that the edges of the full moon's limb, that are only being illuminated at a shallow angle by the sun, appear, from earth, just as bright as the centre which is being lit by the sun perpendicularly.

The moon's surface is actually not very reflective. It appears bright to us, but remember that it's being lit by a very bright sun! It's about as reflective as a lump of coal - if it were more like a golf ball it would be dazzling to look at, and we'd need sunglasses (moon glasses?) to view it comfortably.

In the case of Saturn's rings, the lumps of ice that make up the rings tend to reflect the incoming sunlight straight back towards the sun. So at opposition, when the earth is directly in the line from the sun to the planet, the bright reflected light is also reflected straight at us.
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Hmmm… I had hypothesized that when the sun is exactly behind the earth (as seen from Saturn) we can't see the shadows thrown by the various lumps in the ring (on other lumps), and so the material seems brighter because we only see the lit parts.

I'll google it later, think it over a bit more.
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Witness wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:41 pm Image

The rings appear brighter at opposition.
Works with bathtub rings too.
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Re: Cool astronomy photos

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Image
The Jezero crater delta, where the Perseverance rover and Mars Helicopter Ingenuity, will land; clays are visible as green in this false colour CRISM / CTX image.
From the Mars 2020 Wikipedia page.

The mission launched on July 30th and is expected to arrive on the surface of the Red Planet on 18 February 2021.
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