Posted by jmartin5on 2012/6/14 11:54:30 (178 reads)
Astronomers have long known that the Andromeda Galaxy is headed our way. Now they've concluded that it most likely will collide with the Milky Way head-on — with dramatic consequences.
For rock-'em, sock'em cosmic action, you can't beat the collision of two galaxies. It's a scene that has played out countless times since the beginning of the universe. Our own Milky Way, for example, isn't the serene, stately pinwheel it appears to be. Over the eons it has gobbled up many close associates. In fact, right now the Milky Way is devouring a small system called the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy, or SagDEG for short.Read More
Posted by jmartin5on 2012/6/14 11:48:24 (184 reads)
Looking for something fun to do this Saturday night? How about a trip into space? And its Free!! Join us for a star party at the Northwest Branch Library in Calallen, off McKinzie Rd. We will be giving a short presentation on the night sky, then its out to the scopes!! To see how much you learned!
Posted by jmartin5on 2012/6/6 12:40:37 (469 reads)
The transit has come and gone.....it was a beautiful sight to see!! Galina opened up the observation deck at TAMUCC Science bldg for us. We used a couple of Coronado scopes, one of which was piggy-backed to a 7" Meade for tracking. We were able to get some photos with a Samsung digital camera and several phone cameras. Check out the pics in our photo album!
I had constructed a tripod set-up for a pair of binoculars, but, unfortunately, the south Texas wind chose to be uncooperative. It blew everything around, however, I was able to actually see the transit at one point before the wind destroyed everything. This set-up also allows for viewing the sun through binoculars. So, I will be trying this again to view the sun!! What was it Tim Allen said? "Never give up! "
Posted by kmartin5on 2012/5/18 3:40:00 (253 reads)
A new NASA survey has pinned down the number of asteroids that could pose a collision threat to Earth in what scientists say is the best estimate yet of the potentially dangerous space rocks.
The survey found there are likely 4,700 potentially hazardous asteroids, plus or minus 1,500 space rocks, that are larger than 330 feet (100 meters) wide and in orbits that occasionally bring them close enough to Earth to pose a concern, researchers said. To date, only about 30 percent of those objects have actually been found, they added.
Potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs in NASA-speak, are space rocks in orbits that come within 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) of Earth and are large enough to cause damage on regional or global scale if they were ever to hit our planet.
The new study was based on observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), an infrared space telescope. While the telescope data returned an estimate of the potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid population that is similar to previous projections, it also revealed some surprising new results.
It's no fairy tale: Four hungry white dwarfs have been found "snacking" on the shattered remains of Earthlike planets, according to a new study.
The findings foreshadow what might happen to our solar system when the sun dies in about five billion years, astronomers say.
As stars like our sun run out of nuclear fuel, they swell, becoming red giants. Astronomers think that when this happens to our star, its bulging atmosphere will engulf Mercury, Venus, and maybe even Earth.
Last night turned out pretty interesting, despite the wind!! Thanks to Linda for showing up with her 6" homemade dobson. She did an awesome job!! Maria was on hand to help answer questions. And we had a lot of questions! Joey only took the 8" Orion due to the high wind gusts. But we still had some great views. The pictures in our photo album were taken with our cell phones, of all things!!! They still turned out pretty cool! Check them out!