|—||Stephen Hawking (via whats-out-there)|
One of the nicknames given to Mars by the ancient Egyptians was sekded-ef em khetkhet, which means “who travels backwards,” a clear reference to its apparent retrograde motion. It was mysterious to the early observers, but with our current understanding we know that this retrograde motion is entirely an illusion caused by the Earth passing the slower moving Mars, which has a larger orbit.
Image credit: Cenk E. Tezel & Tunc Tezel
Animation credit: Eugene Alvin Villar
NGC 1333, the complex nebula in Perseus, one of the nearest star forming regions
“It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment.”
“Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not.”
“By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.”
“Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.”
“I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations.”
First Ever Image of Orion (left) & Most Advanced Image Ever (right):
Want to see how much technology has advanced in 100 years?
Look no further…
We recently posted an image of the Orion nebula across all our social media sites. This image compared the first ever photograph of Orion (taken in 1880) with an image taken in 2013 on an iPhone.
Most people seemed to enjoy the comparison. However, there was a bit of a kerfuffle.
Some people asserted that, to be accurate and fair, we should compare the most detailed image pf Orion with Draper’s image from 1880. Your wish is our command….
First ever image of Orion by Henry Draper in 1880 (left) and most detailed image of Orion ever taken (right). Image compiled by From Quarks to Quasars
Read more about this story at:
Traces of One of Universe’s First Stars Detected
n ancient star in the halo surrounding the Milky Way galaxy appears to contain traces of material released by the death of one of the universe’s first stars, a new study reports.
The chemical signature of the ancient star suggests that it incorporated material blasted into space by a supernova explosion that marked the death of a huge star in the early universe — one that may have been 200 times more massive than the sun.
The third and final, M38 is reasonably diffuse open cluster in the constellation Auriga. Discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654 and later catalogued by Charles Messier in 1764, M38 is of an intermediate age. A notable feature of the cluster is that the brightest stars seem to form a pattern similar to the Greek letter Pi - π. With smaller instruments, M38 may appear as a cross. And, as with many astronomical objects, larger telescopes show absolutely no geometrical shape. The larger the telescope, the more we can discover.
Top: Wide-Field - AstroLab
Bottom: Close-Up - CWRU
The Orion’s Sword is an astronomical asterism in the constellation Orion. It comprises three stars (c, Theta, and Iota Orionis) under the prominent asterism, Orion’s Belt. M42, the Orion Nebula is located in the center.
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Just recently, the ESA’s Venus Express probe was launched into the venutian atmosphere in order to collect much desired data about the atmosphere on Venus.
This is particularly interesting data because Venus shouldn’t have an atmosphere. Both Mercury and Mars have had their atmospheres stripped by the solar wind or condensed into permafrost. This is because they are small planets and cooled down quickly, loosing their dynamo, which is the mechanism needed to produce and maintain a planetary magnetic field. Venus, however, does not show evidence of a dynamo nor a magnetic field. It is thought that the planet staves off atmospheric obliteration because of the thickness of it’s atmosphere, rich in heavy elements like nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The atmosphere also has a super-fast rotation rate, with winds blowing up to 60 times the rotation rate of the planet itself.
Specifically, Venus Express found that, between altitudes of 81 and 103 miles (130 to165 km), the atmospheric pressure increased by a factor of 1,000. Also, during several brief periods lasting 100 seconds each, temperatures increased by more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), researchers said.
Read more at Space.com!
Bill Nye Fights Back
How a mild-mannered children’s celebrity plans to save science in America—or go down swinging.
Read the full article on Popular Science
Sailing Past Neptune’s Moon Triton (NASA JPL)
Sail past Neptune’s moon Triton, with data obtained from NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1989. The historical footage has been restored and used to construct the best-ever global color map of the strange moon.
A really nice use of old Voyager 2 data, which on August 25 will be 25 years old. The Voyager photographs were reprocessed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and certainly blows away my attempts at playing around with the data recently. This isn’t *quite* true color - the saturation has been turned up a little bit to show small differences in terrain color.