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A love affair with the universe.

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  1. taikonaut:

Monument at the landing site of Valentina Tereshkova in Siberia, 53°N, 80°E
Soviet Art is the best Art.
The Atlantic

    taikonaut:

    Monument at the landing site of Valentina Tereshkova in Siberia, 53°N, 80°E

    Soviet Art is the best Art.

    The Atlantic

  2. 152 Notes
    Reblogged: taikonaut
  3. sagansense:

    Happy Birthday, Large Hadron Collider!

    May 7th celebrates the anniversary of the first full powering-up of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, mankind’s greatest scientific experiment. Just what does it take to study particle acceleration on such a massive scale?  TS Artist Tornado Studio has modeled the LHC, in an attempt to better convey all its working parts.

    While the LHC will only be operating for part of 2013, we wish it a happy 5th birthday, and look forward to its next experiment in 2015.

    via turbosquidinc

  4. 740 Notes
    Reblogged: imagineatoms
  5. atomstargazer:

APOD | 2013 June 4 |  Orion Nebula in Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Sulfur   Image Credit & Copyright:  César Blanco González

 Explanation:  Few astronomical sights excite the imagination like the nearby stellar nursery known as the Orion Nebula. The Nebula’s glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud. Many of the filamentary structures visible in the above image are actually shock waves - fronts where fast moving material encounters slow moving gas. The Orion Nebula spans about 40 light years and is located about 1500 light years away in the same spiral arm of our Galaxy as the Sun. The Great Nebula in Orion can be found with the unaided eye just below and to the left of the easily identifiable belt of three stars in the popular constellation Orion. The above image shows the nebula in three colors specifically emitted by hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur gas. The whole Orion Nebula cloud complex, which includes the Horsehead Nebula, will slowly disperse over the next 100,000 years.

    atomstargazer:

    APOD | 2013 June 4 | Orion Nebula in Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Sulfur
    Image Credit & Copyright: César Blanco González

    Explanation: Few astronomical sights excite the imagination like the nearby stellar nursery known as the Orion Nebula. The Nebula’s glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud. Many of the filamentary structures visible in the above image are actually shock waves - fronts where fast moving material encounters slow moving gas. The Orion Nebula spans about 40 light years and is located about 1500 light years away in the same spiral arm of our Galaxy as the Sun. The Great Nebula in Orion can be found with the unaided eye just below and to the left of the easily identifiable belt of three stars in the popular constellation Orion. The above image shows the nebula in three colors specifically emitted by hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur gas. The whole Orion Nebula cloud complex, which includes the Horsehead Nebula, will slowly disperse over the next 100,000 years.

  6. 240 Notes
    Reblogged: imagineatoms
  7. fuckyeah-stars:

    Starry skies and bioluminescent phytoplankton on the Maldives [x] [x]

  8. 1264 Notes
    Reblogged: imagineatoms
  9. scinerds:


“Tiger Stripes” of Enceladus

Pictured here is a high resolution Cassini image of Enceladus from a close flyby.
Image credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA
Do underground oceans vent through the tiger stripes (in false-color blue) on Saturn’s moon Enceladus? The long features dubbed “tiger stripes” are known to spew ice from the moon’s icy interior into space, creating a cloud of fine ice particles over the moon’s south pole and creating Saturn’s mysterious E-ring.

    scinerds:

    “Tiger Stripes” of Enceladus

    Pictured here is a high resolution Cassini image of Enceladus from a close flyby.

    Image credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

    Do underground oceans vent through the tiger stripes (in false-color blue) on Saturn’s moon Enceladus? The long features dubbed “tiger stripes” are known to spew ice from the moon’s icy interior into space, creating a cloud of fine ice particles over the moon’s south pole and creating Saturn’s mysterious E-ring.

  10. 755 Notes
  11. "I’m absolutely down for defending the first-class status of genre fiction that boldly goes where no or few stories have gone before. But if you think that working science fiction and fantasy relieves you of your obligations to coherent plotting and character behavior, or if it’s an engine to deliver free naked ladies, then you can stay in your mom’s basement, and off my bandwagon."

  12. 1950 Notes
    Reblogged: saxifraga-x-urbium
  13. matthen:

The creation of a fractal Brownian tree.  Particles move around on random walks, but can become stuck starting at a seed in the centre.  This creates intricate patterns similar to those created in certain chemical reactions and electric discharges. [more] [code]

    matthen:

    The creation of a fractal Brownian tree.  Particles move around on random walks, but can become stuck starting at a seed in the centre.  This creates intricate patterns similar to those created in certain chemical reactions and electric discharges. [more] [code]

  14. 699 Notes
    Reblogged: matthen
  15. astrodidact:

Lightest Exoplanet Imaged So Far?
A team of astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope has imaged a faint object moving near a bright star. With an estimated mass of four to five times that of Jupiter, it would be the least massive planet to be directly observed outside the Solar System. The discovery is an important contribution to our understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems.
Although nearly a thousand exoplanets have been detected indirectly — most using the radial velocity or transit methods — and many more candidates await confirmation, only a dozen exoplanets have been directly imaged. Nine years after ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured the first image of an exoplanet, the planetary companion to the brown dwarf 2M1207 (eso0428), the same team has caught on camera what is probably the lightest of these objects so far.
“Direct imaging of planets is an extremely challenging technique that requires the most advanced instruments, whether ground-based or in space,” says Julien Rameau (Institut de Planetologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, France), first author of the paper announcing the discovery. “Only a few planets have been directly observed so far, making every single discovery an important milestone on the road to understanding giant planets and how they form.”
In the new observations, the likely planet appears as a faint but clear dot close to the star HD 95086. A later observation also showed that it was slowly moving along with the star across the sky. This suggests that the object, which has been designated HD 95086 b, is in orbit around the star. Its brightness also indicates that it has a predicted mass of only four to five times that of Jupiter.
The team used NACO, the adaptive optics instrument mounted on one of the 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). This instrument allows astronomers to remove most of the blurring effects of the atmosphere and obtain very sharp images. The observations were made using infrared light and a technique called differential imaging, which improves the contrast between the planet and dazzling host star.
The newly discovered planet orbits the young star HD 95086 at a distance of around 56 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun, twice the Sun–Neptune distance. The star itself is a little more massive than the Sun and is surrounded by a debris disc. These properties allowed astronomers to identify it as an ideal candidate to harbour young massive planets. The whole system lies some 300 light-years away from us.
The youth of this star, just 10 to 17 million years, leads astronomers to believe that this new planet probably formed within the gaseous and dusty disc that surrounds the star. “Its current location raises questions about its formation process. It either grew by assembling the rocks that form the solid core and then slowly accumulated gas from the environment to form the heavy atmosphere, or started forming from a gaseous clump that arose from gravitational instabilities in the disc.” explains Anne-Marie Lagrange, another team member. “Interactions between the planet and the disc itself or with other planets may have also moved the planet from where it was born.”
Another team member, Gaël Chauvin, concludes, “The brightness of the star gives HD 95086 b an estimated surface temperature of about 700 degrees Celsius. This is cool enough for water vapour and possibly methane to exist in its atmosphere. It will be a great object to study with the forthcoming SPHERE instrument on the VLT. Maybe it can also reveal inner planets in the system — if they exist.
http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1324/

    astrodidact:

    Lightest Exoplanet Imaged So Far?

    A team of astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope has imaged a faint object moving near a bright star. With an estimated mass of four to five times that of Jupiter, it would be the least massive planet to be directly observed outside the Solar System. The discovery is an important contribution to our understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

    Although nearly a thousand exoplanets have been detected indirectly — most using the radial velocity or transit methods — and many more candidates await confirmation, only a dozen exoplanets have been directly imaged. Nine years after ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured the first image of an exoplanet, the planetary companion to the brown dwarf 2M1207 (eso0428), the same team has caught on camera what is probably the lightest of these objects so far.

    Direct imaging of planets is an extremely challenging technique that requires the most advanced instruments, whether ground-based or in space,” says Julien Rameau (Institut de Planetologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, France), first author of the paper announcing the discovery. “Only a few planets have been directly observed so far, making every single discovery an important milestone on the road to understanding giant planets and how they form.

    In the new observations, the likely planet appears as a faint but clear dot close to the star HD 95086. A later observation also showed that it was slowly moving along with the star across the sky. This suggests that the object, which has been designated HD 95086 b, is in orbit around the star. Its brightness also indicates that it has a predicted mass of only four to five times that of Jupiter.

    The team used NACO, the adaptive optics instrument mounted on one of the 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). This instrument allows astronomers to remove most of the blurring effects of the atmosphere and obtain very sharp images. The observations were made using infrared light and a technique called differential imaging, which improves the contrast between the planet and dazzling host star.

    The newly discovered planet orbits the young star HD 95086 at a distance of around 56 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun, twice the Sun–Neptune distance. The star itself is a little more massive than the Sun and is surrounded by a debris disc. These properties allowed astronomers to identify it as an ideal candidate to harbour young massive planets. The whole system lies some 300 light-years away from us.

    The youth of this star, just 10 to 17 million years, leads astronomers to believe that this new planet probably formed within the gaseous and dusty disc that surrounds the star. “Its current location raises questions about its formation process. It either grew by assembling the rocks that form the solid core and then slowly accumulated gas from the environment to form the heavy atmosphere, or started forming from a gaseous clump that arose from gravitational instabilities in the disc.” explains Anne-Marie Lagrange, another team member. “Interactions between the planet and the disc itself or with other planets may have also moved the planet from where it was born.

    Another team member, Gaël Chauvin, concludes, “The brightness of the star gives HD 95086 b an estimated surface temperature of about 700 degrees Celsius. This is cool enough for water vapour and possibly methane to exist in its atmosphere. It will be a great object to study with the forthcoming SPHERE instrument on the VLT. Maybe it can also reveal inner planets in the system — if they exist.

    http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1324/

  16. 16 Notes
    Reblogged: astrodidact
  17. therealmcgee:

So I was talking to my friend about role reversal and then this happened

    therealmcgee:

    So I was talking to my friend about role reversal and then this happened

  18. 28799 Notes
    Reblogged: settiai
  19. astrodidact:

Australia’s centre similar to Mars
The dramatic geological events that created opal, Australia’s national gemstone, have been described for the first time by a University of Sydney researcher.
The explanation underlines how the geology of Australia’s Red Centre is the most similar on Earth to the geology of Mars, to the extent it could yield valuable information on that planet for a fraction of the cost of a space mission.
“Australia produces over 90 percent of the world’s supply of opal. Before this we did not know its origin, why it forms at such shallow depths or why it can be found in central Australia and almost nowhere else on Earth,” said Associate Professor Patrice Rey, from the University’s School of Geosciences.
His findings have recently been published in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences.
“The formation of Australian opal was due to an extraordinary episode of acidic weathering, during the drying out of the central Australian landscape,” said Associate Professor Rey.
This occurred when the Eromanga sea, a vast body of water covering 60 percent of Australia, extending from Coober Pedy to the Carpentaria Basin and across to Lightning Ridge, started retreating.
Between 100 million and 97 million years ago this sea came to cover a much smaller area. This meant the previously inundated central Australian landscape started drying out and acidic weathering happened on a massive scale when pyrite minerals released sulphuric acid.
Acidic weathering of the type that took place in Central Australia is unique on Earth at that scale, covering an estimated 1.3 million km2, but it has been described at the surface of Mars.
“The USA and the European community have invested billions of dollars to send orbiters and rovers to Mars in the hope of finding extra-terrestrial life but Central Australia offers a unique natural laboratory where potential Martian bio-geological processes could be studied.”
Notably, opaline silica, iron oxides and clay minerals similar to those found in central Australia were discovered at the surface of Mars in 2008, where they were interpreted as the product of acid weathering of volcanic debris covering the red planet.
“Many Australians familiar with the unmistakable features of Australia’s Red Centre may not realise, despite their similarly striking red appearance, that it shares many of its remarkable characteristics with Mars, which also appears to be why opaline silica forms there.”
To create the precious opal found in Australia, as opposed to opaline silica, demands a switch to alkaline conditions before silica-rich gel trapped in fractures and cavities dehydrates and solidifies. This is only possible when the host rock, as in Australia, has a large acid-neutralising capacity.
The opal discovery is personally satisfying for Associate Professor Rey who first encountered Australia as a schoolboy in France, through a 1970s documentary on opal mining in Coober Pedy. Thirty years later the Lightning Ridge Opal Miners Association reconnected Patrice with his childhood memory when they rang to ask him about researching the origin of opal.
http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20130206-24440.html

    astrodidact:

    Australia’s centre similar to Mars

    The dramatic geological events that created opal, Australia’s national gemstone, have been described for the first time by a University of Sydney researcher.

    The explanation underlines how the geology of Australia’s Red Centre is the most similar on Earth to the geology of Mars, to the extent it could yield valuable information on that planet for a fraction of the cost of a space mission.

    “Australia produces over 90 percent of the world’s supply of opal. Before this we did not know its origin, why it forms at such shallow depths or why it can be found in central Australia and almost nowhere else on Earth,” said Associate Professor Patrice Rey, from the University’s School of Geosciences.

    His findings have recently been published in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences.

    “The formation of Australian opal was due to an extraordinary episode of acidic weathering, during the drying out of the central Australian landscape,” said Associate Professor Rey.

    This occurred when the Eromanga sea, a vast body of water covering 60 percent of Australia, extending from Coober Pedy to the Carpentaria Basin and across to Lightning Ridge, started retreating.

    Between 100 million and 97 million years ago this sea came to cover a much smaller area. This meant the previously inundated central Australian landscape started drying out and acidic weathering happened on a massive scale when pyrite minerals released sulphuric acid.

    Acidic weathering of the type that took place in Central Australia is unique on Earth at that scale, covering an estimated 1.3 million km2, but it has been described at the surface of Mars.

    “The USA and the European community have invested billions of dollars to send orbiters and rovers to Mars in the hope of finding extra-terrestrial life but Central Australia offers a unique natural laboratory where potential Martian bio-geological processes could be studied.”

    Notably, opaline silica, iron oxides and clay minerals similar to those found in central Australia were discovered at the surface of Mars in 2008, where they were interpreted as the product of acid weathering of volcanic debris covering the red planet.

    “Many Australians familiar with the unmistakable features of Australia’s Red Centre may not realise, despite their similarly striking red appearance, that it shares many of its remarkable characteristics with Mars, which also appears to be why opaline silica forms there.”

    To create the precious opal found in Australia, as opposed to opaline silica, demands a switch to alkaline conditions before silica-rich gel trapped in fractures and cavities dehydrates and solidifies. This is only possible when the host rock, as in Australia, has a large acid-neutralising capacity.

    The opal discovery is personally satisfying for Associate Professor Rey who first encountered Australia as a schoolboy in France, through a 1970s documentary on opal mining in Coober Pedy. Thirty years later the Lightning Ridge Opal Miners Association reconnected Patrice with his childhood memory when they rang to ask him about researching the origin of opal.

    http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20130206-24440.html

  20. 60 Notes
    Reblogged: astrodidact