It just isn’t dark enough. On the best of a bad lot, and in August – the sky right now is almost cloud free. Light pollution is the biggest culprit. I can see the Pegasus constellation which means I should be able to make out the Andromeda galaxy with just my naked eye.
If I had binoculars or a telescope I would find it quite easily but that’s not the point. It’s fantastic to be able to see another galaxy by looking up at the night sky if you are in a ‘good’ dark place.
Find out more about our brilliant UK insect hunters.
Getting to know our night creatures and how we can help and support the ‘caped crusaders’ of the night sky – the brilliant bats. The best place for information on bats in the UK is The Bat Conservation Trust, it has absolutely everything you need to know and you don’t have to be a member in order to see the content.
Bats are not blind; in fact they can see almost as well as humans. But to fly around and hunt for insects in the dark, they use a remarkable high frequency system called echolocation.
Echolocation works in a similar way to sonar. Bats make calls as they fly and listen to the returning echoes to build up a sonic map of their surroundings. The bat can tell how far away something is by how long it takes the sounds to return to them.
Constellations are hard to find with only a short time of dark sky. The Milky Way is a great view at this time, if you know where to look. I like to see it where I live because the view is usually quite bad with light pollution.
Following the discovery of the planet Neptunein 1846, there was considerable speculation that another planet might exist beyond its orbit.
The search began in the mid-19th century and culminated at the start of the 20th with Percival Lowell’s quest for Planet X. Lowell proposed the Planet X hypothesis to explain apparent discrepancies in the orbits of the giant planets, particularly Uranus and Neptune, speculating that the gravity of a large unseen ninth planet could have perturbed Uranus enough to account for the irregularities.
Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery of Pluto in 1930 appeared to validate Lowell’s hypothesis, and Pluto was officially named the ninth planet. In 1978, Pluto was conclusively determined to be too small for its gravity to affect the giant planets, resulting in a brief search for a tenth planet.
The search was largely abandoned in the early 1990s, when a study of measurements made by the Voyager 2 spacecraft found that the irregularities observed in Uranus’s orbit were due to a slight overestimation of Neptune’s mass.
After 1992, the discovery of numerous small icy objects with similar or even wider orbits than Pluto led to a debate over whether Pluto should remain a planet, or whether it and its neighbours should, like the
asteroids, be given their own separate classification.
Although a number of the larger members of this group were initially described as planets, in 2006 the International Astronomical Union reclassified Pluto and its largest neighbours as dwarf planets, leaving Neptune the farthest known planet in the Solar System.
Apatheismalso known aspragmatic atheismorpractical atheism, is acting with apathy or disregard toward belief or disbelief in adeityor deities (a god or gods) due to the lack of reason, motivation, or will to express interest in theism.
An apatheist is someone who is not interested in accepting or denying any claims that gods exist or do not exist. An apatheist lives as if there are no gods and explains naturalphenomenawithout reference to any deities. The existence of gods is not rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose tolife, nor influenceeveryday life, according to this view.
In other words, apatheists consider the question of the existence of gods as neither meaningful nor relevant to their lives. Some apatheists hold that if it were possible to prove that God does or does not exist, their behavior would not change.
Because I’d read about it. Though I cannot explain it, I found some where, some one, that can…
It’s the Corpus Time Eater. Blink and you will miss it.
The Mechanics of the clock…
The Corpus Clock is a product of traditional mechanical clockmaking. It features the world’s largest grasshopper escapement, a low-friction mechanism for converting
pendulum motion into rotational motion while at the same time giving back to the pendulum the energy needed to maintain its swing.
The grasshopper escapement was an invention of the renowned eighteenth-century clockmaker John Harrison, and Taylor intended the Corpus Clock to be a homage to Harrison’s work.
Since “no one knows how a grasshopper escapement works”, Taylor “decided to turn the clock inside out” so that the escapement, and the escape wheel it turns, would be his clock’s defining feature.
“The gold eyelids travel across the eye and disappear again in an instant; if you are not watching carefully you will not even notice…
Sometimes you will even see two blinks in quick succession. The Blink is performed by a hidden spring drive, controlled in the best tradition of seventeenth century clockmakers of London. The spring is coiled up inside a housing that can be seen mounted on the large gearwheel visibly protruding from the bottom of the mechanism. As the huge pendulum below the Clock rocks the Chronophage as he steps round the great escapewheel, each backward and forward movement is used by sprag clutches to wind up the drive spring. A position step prevents the spring from being overwound yet allows the spring to be ready at an instant to drive the Blink. The mechanism is released by a countwheel with semi random spacing so the Blink takes place at any position in the to- and fro- motion of the pendulum. A further countwheel mechanism chooses a single or a double blink whilst the air damper at the top of the gear train slows the action to a realistic pace.”
A vast assemblage of molecular gas with a mass of approximately 103 to 107 times the mass of the Sun is called a giant molecular cloud (GMC).
GMCs are around 15 to 600 light-years in diameter (5 to 200 parsecs). Whereas the average density in the solar vicinity is one particle per cubic centimetre, the average density of a GMC is a hundred to a thousand times as great.
Although the Sun is much more dense than a GMC, the volume of a GMC is so great that it contains much more mass than the Sun.
The substructure of a GMC is a complex pattern of filaments, sheets, bubbles, and irregular clumps.
GMCs are so large that “local” ones can cover a significant fraction of a constellation; thus they are often referred to by the name of that constellation, e.g. the Orion Molecular Cloud (OMC) or the Taurus Molecular Cloud (TMC). These local GMCs are arrayed in a ring in the neighborhood of the Sun coinciding with the Gould Belt.
The most massive collection of molecular clouds in the galaxy forms an asymmetrical ring about the galactic center at a radius of 120 parsecs; the largest component of this ring is the Sagittarius B2 complex. The Sagittarius region is chemically rich and is often used as an exemplar by astronomers searching for new molecules in
The Juno spacecraft launched aboard an Atlas V-551 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Aug. 5, 2011, and will reach Jupiter in July 2016. The spacecraft will orbit Jupiter 32 times, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above the planet’s cloud tops, for approximately one year.
Juno uses a spinning solar-powered spacecraft in a highly elliptical polar orbit that avoids most of Jupiter’s high radiation regions. The designs of the individual instruments are straightforward and the mission does not require the development of any new technologies.
Before Galileo, it was thought that all bright objects in the sky were either the planets in the Solar System, moons, comets, or stars. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, astronomers did not know the size of the Universe, but speculated it to be about as big as the Milky Way.
In 1920, at the National Academy of Science, there was a big debate between Harlow Shapley and Heber D. Curtis on whether nebulae are small globular clusters surrounding the Milky Way, or separate galaxies located farther away. Nothing was resolved at the debate; neither side was able to provide conclusive evidence to prove their side correct over their opponent.
In 1923, Edwin Hubble resolved the matter with a photograph that he took of the Andromeda Galaxy. What he found in his photograph was a very bright light source pulsing at a certain rate, a Cepheid variable, located outside the Milky Way. This can be used to determine the distance to it.
Hubble proved that the Universe was full of galaxies, and disproved that the Milky Way was the extent of the Universe. There are many types of galaxies in the Universe, elliptical, barred spiral galaxies; they vary in shape and size, but on average spiral galaxies are the most abundant.
Polarization studies of this galaxy indicate that it recently underwent a minor merger and that it is unique in the radio continuum, with arms opening in a direction opposite to the optical arms. This feature, along with the asymmetrical arms of the galaxy and the intense star formation activity are attributed to a merger with a smaller galaxy.
In classical mechanicsNewton’s second law, (F = ma), is used to mathematically predict what a given system will do at any time after a known initial condition. In quantum mechanics, the analogue of Newton’s law is Schrödinger’s equation for a quantum system (usually atoms, molecules, and subatomic particles whether free, bound, or localized). It is not a simple algebraic equation, but in general a linearpartial differential equation, describing the time-evolution of the system’s wave function (also called a “state function”).
The concept of a wavefunction is a fundamental postulate of quantum mechanics. Although Schrödinger’s equation is often presented as a separate postulate, some authors show that some properties resulting from Schrödinger’s equation may be deduced just from symmetry principles alone, for example the commutation relations. Generally, “derivations” of the Schrödinger equation demonstrate its mathematical plausibility for describing wave-particle duality, but to date there are no universally accepted derivations of Schrödinger’s equation from appropriate axioms.
In the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, the wave function is the most complete description that can be given of a physical system. Solutions to Schrödinger’s equation describe not only molecular, atomic, and subatomic systems, but also macroscopic systems, possibly even the whole universe. The Schrödinger equation, in its most general form, is consistent with both classical mechanics and special relativity, but the original formulation by Schrödinger himself was non-relativistic.
The key properties of disk galaxies, which are also commonly called spiral galaxies, are that they are very thin, rotate rapidly, and often show spiral structure. One of the main challenges to galaxy formation is the great number of thin disk galaxies in the local universe. The problem is that disks are very fragile, and mergers with other galaxies can quickly destroy thin disks.
The Sun is a magnetically active star. It supports a strong, changing magnetic field that varies year-to-year and reverses direction about every eleven years around solar maximum.
The Sun’s magnetic field leads to many effects that are collectively called solar activity, including sunspots on the surface of the Sun, solar flares, and variations in solar wind that carry material through the Solar System.
The effects of solar activity on Earth include auroras at moderate to high latitudes and the disruption of radio communications and electric power. Solar activity is thought to have played a large role in the formation and evolution of the Solar System. Solar activity changes the structure of Earth’s outer atmosphere.
All matter in the Sun is in the form of gas and at high temperatures, plasma. This makes it possible for the Sun to rotate faster at its equator (about 25 days) than it does at higher latitudes (about 35 days near its poles). The differential rotation of the Sun’s latitudes causes its magnetic field lines to become twisted together over time, producing magnetic field loops to erupt from the Sun’s surface and trigger the formation of the Sun’s dramatic sunspots and solar prominences (see Magnetic reconnection).
This twisting action creates the solar dynamo and an 11-year solar cycle of magnetic activity as the Sun’s magnetic field reverses itself about every 11 years.
Matter should not be confused with mass, as the two are not quite the same in modern physics. For example, mass is a conserved quantity, which means that its value is unchanging through time, within closed systems.
However, matter is not conserved in such systems, although this is not obvious in ordinary conditions on Earth, where matter is approximately conserved.
Still, special relativity shows that matter may disappear by conversion into energy, even inside closed systems, and it can also be created from energy, within such systems.
However, because mass (like energy) can neither be created nor destroyed, the quantity of mass and the quantity of energy remain the same during a transformation of matter (which represents a certain amount of energy) into non-material (i.e., non-matter) energy. This is also true in the reverse transformation of energy into matter.
A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and a superior planet, becoming visible against (and hence obscuring a small portion of) the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun.
The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of 2012 lasted 6 hours and 40 minutes). A transit is similar to a solar eclipse by the Moon. While the diameter of Venus is more than 3 times that of the Moon, Venus appears smaller, and travels more slowly across the face of the Sun, because it is much farther away from Earth.
Although reflection from the rings increases Saturn’s brightness, they are not visible from Earth with unaided vision.
In 1610, the year after Galileo Galilei first turned a telescope to the sky, he became the very first person to observe Saturn’s rings, though he could not see them well enough to discern their true nature.
Just one month after boarding the International Space Station, Peake has completed his first Spacewalk with fellow astronaut Tim Kopra. It’s fair to say the UK was firmly gripped by “Spacewalk fever” on January 15 2015.
UK astronaut Tim Peake described his first walk in space as “exhilarating”, as he posted photos – including a selfie – of the feat on Twitter.It will “be etched in my memory forever – quite an incredible feeling,” said Peake, the first astronaut representing the UK to carry out a spacewalk.He and US colleague Tim Kopra were outside the International Space Station (ISS) for four hours and 43 minutes.But their spacewalk was cut short after water leaked into Col Kopra’s helmet.The pair had already replaced a failed electrical box, which was their main objective.
The moment was hardly lost on him. As Tim Peake clambered out of the International Space Station he nodded to the union flag emblazoned on his shoulder. To wear the patch was, he said, “a huge privilege, and a proud moment”.
Britain’s first European Space Agency astronaut began his maiden spacewalk shortly before 1pm on Friday as the orbiting station soared 250 miles above Australia. By the time he returned inside, he had circled the planet at least three times and witnessed six stunning sunsets or sunrises.
Emerging from the Quest airlock into the darkness of Earth’s shadow, Peake joined Nasa’s Tim Kopra for more than four hours of challenging work. Under the direction of ground staff in Houston, the astronauts overcame snagged tethers, a brief carbon dioxide scare, and a torn glove before the day was done.
Flybys are a major element of Cassini’s tour. The spacecraft’s looping, elliptical path around Saturn is carefully designed to enable occasional visits to the many moons in the system. All flybys provide an opportunity to learn more about Saturn’s icy satellites, and encounters with giant Titan are actually used to navigate the spacecraft, changing its orbit or setting up future flybys.
Many of the most exciting encounters are “targeted” flybys, for which Cassini’s flight path is steered so the spacecraft will pass by a specific moon at a predetermined distance, referred to as “closest approach.” Cassini’s targeted flybys have yielded incredible close-up views and many groundbreaking science results. Visits to Dione and Hyperion, for example, as well as the daring Oct. 2008 dives through the Enceladus plume, have provided some of the great highlights of the mission.
This is going to start the very dull “politically correct ” taking over Christmas usual stuff we get every year. The Cinema chain didn’t want to show it because that would remind people christmas means consumerism – you are a commodity, if you believe in God or not.
They survey and sniff, analyze and scrutinize. And of course, they take stunning images in various visible spectra. The 12 science instruments onboard the Cassini spacecraft are seemingly capable of doing it all. Each instrument is designed to carry out sophisticated scientific studies of Saturn, from collecting data in multiple regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, to studying dust particles, to characterizing Saturn’s plasma environment and magnetosphere.
The instruments gather data for 27 diverse science investigations, providing scientists with an enormous amount of information on the most beautiful planet in our Solar System.
When the sky is clear – you can even see Lepus on the horizon
I can make out Lepus tonight with my naked eye. The best view so far this autumn. Of course, Orion looks glorious as it always does on a clear night, though I find it much harder to see Lepus in such detail usually.
Lepus is a constellation lying just south of the celestial equator, immediately south of Orion. Its name is Latin for hare. Although the hare does not represent any particular figure in Greek mythology, Lepus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It is located below the constellation Orion (the hunter), and is sometimes represented as a hare being chased by Orion or, alternatively, by Orion’s hunting dogs.
William Herschel discovered the nebula on February 7, 1785, and cataloged it as H IV.27. John Herschel observed it from the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, in the 1830s, and numbered it as h 3248, and included it in the 1864 General Catalogue as GC 2102; this became NGC 3242 in J. L. E. Dreyer’s New General Catalogue of 1888.
This planetary nebula is most frequently called the Ghost of Jupiter, or Jupiter’s Ghost due to its similar size to the planet, but it is also sometimes referred to as the Eye Nebula.
The nebula measures around two light years long from end to end, and contains a central white dwarf with an apparent magnitude of eleven. The inner layers of the nebula
were formed some 1,500 years ago.
The two ends of the nebula are marked by FLIERs, lobes of fasting moving gas often tinted red in false-color pictures. NGC 3242 can easily be observed with amateur telescopes, and appears bluish-green to most observers. Larger telescopes can distinguish the outer halo as well.
The typical amateur astronomer is one who does not depend on the field of astronomy as a primary source ofincomeor support, and does not have aprofessional degreeor advanced academic training in the subject. Many amateurs are beginners orhobbyists, while others have a high degree of experience in astronomy and often assist and work alongside professional astronomers.
Amateur astronomy is usually associated with viewing thenight skywhen most celestial objects and events are visible, but sometimes amateur astronomers also operate during the day for events such assunspotsandsolar eclipses. Amateur astronomers often look at the sky using nothing more than their eyes, but common tools for amateur astronomy include portabletelescopesandbinoculars.
People have studied the sky throughout history in an amateur framework, without any formal method of funding. It is only within about the past century, however, that amateur astronomy has become an activity clearly distinguished from professional astronomy, and other related activities.
Frogs, or any other little green living things, have yet to be discovered.
The Tadpole Galaxy is a disrupted barred spiral galaxy located 420 million light-years from Earth toward the northern constellation Draco. Its most dramatic features are a trail of stars about 280,000 light-years long and massive, bright blue star clusters.
It is hypothesized that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of the Tadpole Galaxy—from left to right from the perspective of Earth—and was slung around behind the Tadpole by their mutual gravitational attraction.
During this close encounter, tidal forces drew out the spiral galaxy’s stars, gas, and dust, forming the conspicuous tail. The intruder galaxy itself, estimated to lie about 300 thousand light-years behind the Tadpole, can be seen through foreground spiral arms at the upper left. Following its terrestrial namesake, the Tadpole Galaxy will likely lose its tail as it grows older, the tail’s star clusters forming smaller satellites of the large spiral galaxy.
Wild About Gardens Week 2016 is a joint initiative by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), The Wildlife Trusts and Bat Conservation Trust to Encourage people to support wildlife in their gardens, with a focus on our UK bats.