Friday, August 20, 2010
Here is a really cool image that was sent to me earlier tonight from a fan. The MESSENGER (MErcury Survice Space ENvironment GEochemestry and Ranging) Website released this image of the Earth and the Moon from 114 Million miles away.
In the lower left portion of this image, the Earth can be seen, as well as the much smaller Moon to Earth's right. When MESSENGER took this image, a distance of 183 million kilometers (114 million miles) separated the spacecraft and Earth. To provide context for this distance, the average separation between the Earth and the Sun is about 150 million kilometers (93 million miles). Though it is a beautiful, thought-provoking picture, viewing our planet from far away was not the main reason that the mission team planned the collection of this image. Instead, this image was acquired as part of MESSENGER's campaign to search for vulcanoids, small rocky objects that have been postulated to exist in orbits between Mercury and the Sun. Though no vulcanoids have yet been detected, the MESSENGER spacecraft is in a unique position to look for smaller and fainter vulcanoids than has ever before been possible. MESSENGER's vulcanoid searches occur near perihelion passages, when the spacecraft's orbit brings it closest to the Sun. Today is another such perihelion, and MESSENGER is taking a new set of images to search for tiny asteroids lurking close to the Sun.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
HubbleSite.org released this image this morning showing a long-exposure Hubble Space Telescope image shows a majestic face-on spiral galaxy located deep within the Coma Cluster of galaxies, which lies 320 million light-years away in the northern constellation Coma Berenices. The galaxy, known as NGC 4911, contains rich lanes of dust and gas near its center. These are silhouetted against glowing newborn star clusters and iridescent pink clouds of hydrogen, the existence of which indicates ongoing star formation. Hubble has also captured the outer spiral arms of NGC 4911, along with thousands of other galaxies of varying sizes. The high resolution of Hubble's cameras, paired with considerably long exposures, made it possible to observe these faint details.
This natural-color Hubble image, which combines data obtained in 2006, 2007, and 2009 from the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys, required 28 hours of exposure time.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Scientists are preparing the world's largest atom smasher to explore the depths of matter after successfully restarting the $10 billion machine following more than a year of repairs.
Friday, April 24, 2009
The Herrett Center will be hosting its annual Astronomy Day events on Saturday May 2nd. Our club, Magic Valley Astronomical Society, will be assisting throughout the day. During a break in the days events will be the monthly Astronomy club meeting. Please use the schedule below to better assist you.
1:00-3:00 Space and Astronomy Videos/Frost-Eccles Library
1:00-5:00 Space & Astronomy Make-n-Take Activities, Puzzles, and Coloring Pages/Rick Allen Room
Water Bottle Rocket Construction & Launch/Rick Allen Room & East Lawn
1:00-6:00 Solar & Daytime Target Viewing/Centennial Observatory (weather permitting)
Self-guided Scale Model of the Solar System/North College Road Fitness Trail
2:00 “Blown Away – The Wild World of Weather”/Faulkner Planetarium
4:00 “Mystery of the Missing Seasons w/ Live Sky Tour”/Faulkner Planetarium
4:00-7:00 Space and Astronomy Videos/Frost-Eccles Library
7:00 “Bad Astronomy – Myths and Misconceptions”/Faulkner Planetarium
7:00 Magic Valley Astronomical Society monthly meeting, “Barringer Impact Crater” by club president Terry Wofford
8:15 “Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon”/Faulkner Planetarium
8:30-12:00 Star Party/Centennial Observatory (weather permitting)
Saturday, April 11, 2009
We meet every 2nd Saturday of the month in the Rick Allen Room at the Herrett Center on the CSI Campus.
Meetings start at 7PM and run for approximately an hour. Afterwards is a free star party in the adjacent observatory.
Come on out! We hope to see you there!