10
Jan 10

Virtual Moon Atlas - Great Astronomy software

Virtual Moon Atlas is a software developed by Patrick Chevalley and Christian Legrand that allows you to visualize the Moon at any date and hour and can also be used to drive computerized telescopes to explore the Moon surface. The authors have made the software free for amateur astronomers, lunar observers and students who wish to practice selenography. The “Virtual Moon Atlas” is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

A screenshot from Virtual Moon Atlas

This software is the result of a collaboration between Christian Legrand, a passioned lunar observer, and co-author of the guide "Discover the Moon" published in English by Cambridge University Press and also published in French, German and Spanish, with Patrick Chevalley, author of the freeware "Cartes du Ciel / Sky Charts".

When the authors conceived the software they thought about something that could be easily used in astronomical observations, but also that could also be used at home to learn more about the Moon and its surface. It's interfaced with Patrick Chevalley's freeware "Sky Charts" which is also a good software to use with students.

This software can be used with students to study lunar formations just by clicking over a specific structure on the screen's lunar surface. It has a very big database that was compiled by Christian Legrand where one can find more than 9000 entries and a pictures library that has more than 7000 images.

The software allows the inversion of the Moon's image in N-S and E-W directions allowing to preview the exact image that is expected to be seen on the telescope.

A screenshot from the same view of the Moon on Virtual Moon Atlas but on a telescope with an inversion N-S.

It is possible to choose the language used by the software and database. To know more about the program follow the authors sugestion and read the complete manual or the quick user's guide or to look at the screens copies to see what are the possibilities.

A fantastic software...

Links:
Virtual Moon Atlas webpage
Virtual Moon Atlas download
Virtual Moon Atlas translations of the software

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10
Jan 10

Close approach of the moon to Antares

If you are up before the sun on the morning of 11 January, take a look eastwards and you'll see the moon very close to Antares the brightest star in the constellation of the Scorpion. If you have a pair of binoculars you may also be able to see M4 an open star cluster.

For more information about M4, take a look here: www.seds.org/messier/m/m004.html

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10
Jan 10

Close approach of the moon to Antares

If you are up before the sun on the morning of 11 January, take a look eastwards and you'll see the moon very close to Antares the brightest star in the constellation of the Scorpion. If you have a pair of binoculars you may also be able to see M4 an open star cluster.

For more information about M4, take a look here: www.seds.org/messier/m/m004.html

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10
Jan 10

The EAAE is now on Wikipedia

Following the EAAE web strategy that was proposed in Madrid on the General Assembly, considerable efforts were made in order to give visibility to the organization in the world wide web.


A screenshot of the Wikipedia webpage about EAAE.

As a follow up of previous strategic developments like feed sites for the EAAE News blog on Twitter and on Facebook, the EAAE now has a webpage that can be read at Wikipedia.

View the content of the new webpage here.

Links:
EAAE at Wikipedia
EAAE at Twitter
EAAE at Facebook

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10
Jan 10

EAAE News subscription by email now available

Giving feedback to the demands of our readers EAAE News blog can now be subscribed by email.

A new bar appears on the right sidebar of the blog webpage that allows users to make an email subscription.

This new feature is step forward in the dissemination of the information that is provided by the blog and that allows readers that use Mail Clients like Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora or Thunderbird to receive the daily feed as an email.

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10
Jan 10

Violent explosions in space

Credit: Max-Planck-Institute für Astrophysik

Astronomers at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics in Garching have used computer simulations to confirm that some supernovae are due to the merger of two white dwarfs. White dwarfs are compact remnants of extinguished solar-type stars. As supernovae are used by astronomers to measure cosmic distances and study the expansion history of our Universe, understanding their mechanism is one of the key challenges in astrophysics. This article was published on Nature, 7. January 2010. (read more)

Original publication:
Rüdiger Pakmor, Markus Kromer, Friedrich K. Röpke, Stuart A.Sim, Ashley J. Ruiter, Wolfgang Hillebrandt, "Sub-luminous type Ia supernovae from the mergers of equal-mass white dwarfs with M~0.9 M_solar", Nature, 7. January 2010 (view online, requires subscription)

Links:

Website of the linkPfeil.gifsupernova research group
Computer simulation of two merging white dwarfs ( linkPfeil.gifMPEG4 Format , linkPfeil.gifMPEG1 Format )

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10
Jan 10

We thank our existence to supernovas

Source: Space.com

Our solar system is enriched with a rare isotope of Oxygen and this can only be explained by the explosion of a supernova that has enriched the nebula where it was formed.

This idea isn't new but is part of the conclusions of a research team that were presented Thursday during the 215th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. (read more)

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