25
Jan 10

Seeing Double – the “Wow Factor”

If you managed to find the two double stars we talked about in an earlier post, here are a couple of double stars a little more difficult to locate, but with some “wow” factor.

Among the best of all double stars and relatively easy to find is the last star of the string of bright stars that helps make the constellation of Andromeda. The second magnitude star, Gamma (γ)Andromeda (Almach), is stunning through a telescope, even a small instrument showing a superb pair separated by a good 10 seconds of arc.

Another relatively easy to find is Eta Cassiopeia, this double has a nice contrast with stars having yellow and orange colours.


If you would like to learn more about double stars, take a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_star/wiki/Double_star

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25
Jan 10

Seeing Double – the “Wow Factor”

If you managed to find the two double stars we talked about in an earlier post, here are a couple of double stars a little more difficult to locate, but with some “wow” factor.

Among the best of all double stars and relatively easy to find is the last star of the string of bright stars that helps make the constellation of Andromeda. The second magnitude star, Gamma (γ)Andromeda (Almach), is stunning through a telescope, even a small instrument showing a superb pair separated by a good 10 seconds of arc.

Another relatively easy to find is Eta Cassiopeia, this double has a nice contrast with stars having yellow and orange colours.


If you would like to learn more about double stars, take a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_star/wiki/Double_star

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25
Jan 10

WISE discovers its first asteroid

Source: NASA/JPL


The red dot at the center of this image is the first near-Earth asteroid
discovered by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA.

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has spotted its first never-before-seen near-Earth asteroid, the first of hundreds it is expected to find during its mission to map the whole sky in infrared light.

The near-Earth object, designated 2010 AB78, was discovered by WISE Jan. 12. After the mission's sophisticated software picked out the moving object against a background of stationary stars, researchers followed up and confirmed the discovery with the University of Hawaii's 2.2-meter (88-inch) visible-light telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea. (read more)

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25
Jan 10

Solar Dynamics Observatory ready to launch

Source: NASA/SDO


Artist's impression about the SDO. Credit: NASA/SDO.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is ready to launch! The mission will be launced on February 9th, 2010, from  Goddard Space Flight Center.  SDO will ride a rocket into orbit and begin a new era in Heliophysics, the study of our sun and its effects on Earth and the solar system.

SDO is the first mission to be launched for NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) Program, a program designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. SDO is designed to help us understand the Sun's influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

SDO will help us to understand the how and why of the Sun's magnetic changes. It will determine how the magnetic field is generated and structured, and how the stored magnetic energy is released into the heliosphere and geospace. SDO data and analysis will also help us develop the ability to predict the solar variations that influence life on Earth and humanity's technological systems.

SDO will measure the properties of the Sun and solar activity.  (read more)

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