[Go here to download this video: svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4157]
In the early morning hours of April 15, 2014, the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse. When viewed from the Moon, as in this animation, the Earth hides the Sun. A red ring, the sum of all Earth’s sunrises and sunsets, lines the Earth’s limb and casts a ruddy light on the lunar landscape. With the darkness of the eclipse, the stars come out.
The city lights of North and South America are visible on the night side of the Earth. The part of the Earth visible in this animation is the part where the lunar eclipse can be seen.
With the lunar horizon in the foreground, the Earth passes in front of the Sun, revealing the red ring of sunrises and sunsets along the limb of the Earth.
Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio
NASA Cassini Images May Reveal Birth of a Saturn Moon
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons.
Images taken with Cassini’s narrow angle camera on April 15, 2013, show disturbances at the very edge of Saturn’s A ring — the outermost of the planet’s large, bright rings. One of these disturbances is an arc about 20 percent brighter than its surroundings, 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) long and 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. Scientists also found unusual protuberances in the usually smooth profile at the ring’s edge. Scientists believe the arc and protuberances are caused by the gravitational effects of a nearby object. Details of the observations were published online today (April 14, 2014) by the journal Icarus.
Smallest speed jump of pulsar caused by billions of superfluid vortices
This result is important to our understanding of the behavior of matter under extreme conditions.
By NOVA, Amsterdam | Published: Monday, April 14, 2014
A team of astronomers, including Danai Antonopoulou and Anna Watts from the University of Amsterdam (Uva), has discovered that sudden speed jumps in the rotational velocity of pulsars have a minimum size and that they are caused not by the unpinning and displacement of just one sub-surface superfluid vortex, but by billions. This result is important to our understanding of the behavior of matter under extreme conditions.
Pulsars are rotating neutron stars — remnants of massive stars that end their lives in supernova explosions. They act like cosmic lighthouses whose beams sweep through the universe. Their rotational velocity decreases in time, but can suddenly increase in rare events called glitches. These glitches are caused by the unpinning and displacement of vortices that connect the crust with the mixture of particles containing superfluid neutrons beneath the crust.
The team of astronomers discovered that the glitches of the Crab Pulsar always involve a decrease in the rotational period of at least 0.055 nanosecond. The Crab Pulsar was one of the first pulsars to be discovered and has been observed almost daily with the 42-foot telescope at the Jodrell Bank Observatory over the last 29 years. The huge amount of data makes this object the best choice to study glitches.
The smallest glitch is likely to be caused by the unpinning and movement of billions of vortices. “Surprisingly, no one tried to determine a lower limit to glitch size before,” said Antonopoulou. “Many assumed that the smallest glitch would be caused by a single vortex unpinning. The smallest glitch is clearly much larger than we expected.”
“Astronomers would of course like to know whether the smallest glitches of other pulsars are also caused by billions of vortices. The next step is to sift through the data of other pulsars and to continue observing,” said Cristobal Espinoza from the Institute of Astrophysics Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Chile.
“By comparing the observations with theoretical predictions, we learn about the behavior of matter in these exotic objects,” said Watts. “The precise cause of glitches is still a mystery to us, and this result offers a new challenge to theorists.”
source: Astronomy Magazine(viaTumbleOn)
perth eclipse on Flickr.
~45min of startrails taken during the Dec 2011 total lunar eclipse. This photo is my profile pic at the moment.
This is also the first post on this blog. Yay!
Reblogging my photo of the last Total Lunar Eclipse from Dec 2011.
Unfortunately, those of us in Perth will just miss out on seeing totality for tonight’s eclipse
Pre-Winter Storm, Southwestern Australia
One of the Expedition 39 crew members aboard the International Space Station on March 29 used a 35mm lens on a digital still camera to photograph this pre-winter storm located just off the coast of southwestern Australia. The orbital outpost was located to the southwest of this weather system over the southeastern Indian Ocean near 45.6 degrees south latitude and 108.9 degrees west longitude. The panoramic view is towards the northeast, just before sunset local time (note the terminator approaching from the upper right). The storm is sweeping an early-season cold front in extreme southwestern Australia.
I’m guessing that was the storms we had a few weeks ago. Looks more impressive from above.
The Moon Goes Red Tonight
Are you in North, Central, or South America? Do you like staying up late and staring up at the sky? Yes? Then I have good news!
You can catch a total lunar eclipse Monday night, in all of its dusty-red glory, from just about anywhere in North America with a clear view of the night sky. The moon will enter the darkest part of Earth’s shadow (the “umbra”) at 1:58 AM ET, and remain there until 4:24 AM ET. At 3:06 ET, the moon will be completely darkened by the Earth’s shadow!
Except that the moon won’t be completely dark. During a lunar eclipse, the moon turns a dusty shade of red. Why is that? You can thank Earth’s atmosphere.
To understand the red color of a lunar eclipse, it’s best to see how Earth would look from the moon. Check out the image of Earth eclipsing the sun (it’s not a real photo, btw. It was created from several images taken by Apollo astronauts):
(via Astro Bob)
See that halo of light around Earth? Our diffuse shell of air and dust bends and reflects a portion of the eclipsed sun’s light around the planet and onto the obscured moon. And since only the longest wavelengths of light make it through our atmosphere without being scattered away by the air molecules (the same reason that sunsets are red), the moon is bathed in crimson! Here’s a video I made about that atmospheric color show:
Check out more eclipse goodness at Bad Astronomy. Top image via Wikipedia.
And here’s a handy GIF about tonight’s the lunar eclipse. For the west coasters (who have a better chance of seeing the eclipse through the clouds) just subtract 3 hours. It’s basically a moving version of this NASA graphic.
GIFs not your style? Check out my last minute astronomical announcement song!
ET is -5gmt, for anyone who isn’t an American
M7 Star Cluster [ X ]
Photographic editing by Stuart Rankin
Edited (and severely reduced in size) European Southern Observatory image of the star cluster M7 (NGC 6475).
|| April 7, 2014 ||
M7 Star Cluster Wallpaper is available for downloading in various sizes.
This remarkable picture from the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows one of the most perfect geometrical forms created in space. It captures the formation of an unusual pre-planetary nebula, known as IRAS 23166+1655, around the star LL Pegasi (also known as AFGL 3068) in the constellation of Pegasus (the Winged Horse).