Wednesday, April 17, 2019

MERCURY'S LARGE INNER SOLID CORE

Hey Space Placers!

Read the latest findings on Mercury's large and solid inner core.

An illustration of Mercury’s interior based on new research that shows the planet has a solid inner core.
Credit: Antonio Genova.

Pretty amazing......

Sky Guy in VA

Saturday, April 13, 2019

NASA WEB PAGE

Hey Space Placers!

Please take a look at today's NASA Web Page.

Look at the breadth of stories - black holes, the Moon, Citizen Science, Space Launch System, Mars, Benefits for Humanity, the Kelly Twin Study.

BTW today is "Citizen Science Day" so see what you can do to further science.

It is an amazing snapshot of what NASA does each and every day for humanity and science.

You should follow NASA on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with their latest and greatest.

Sky Guy Greg in VA

Thursday, April 11, 2019

ISRAEL MOON LANDING FAILS

Hey Space Placers!

Here is background on how Israel's commercial lunar landing mission would hopefully go today. It had successfully entered into lunar orbit earlier this week and all looked good for the Thursday landing attempt.

Unfortunately the lunar lander failed to safely make it to the surface according to SpaceIL on Twitter. A selfie image was taken of the spacecraft  22km above the Moon and the landing attempt proceeded. Apparently the main engine failed during the final descent at 150 meters from the surface.


Replay of Live Broadcast
Credit: SpaceIL

There are other private companies that may still try to be the first to land on the Moon.

The Moon will continue to beckon us....

Sky Guy in VA



Wednesday, April 10, 2019

1ST EVER BLACK HOLE IMAGE

Hey Space Placers!

Back on land and through March Madness with my Virginia Cavaliers winning the Men's Basketball National Championship.

Huge space news today and tomorrow - private Israeli spacecraft attempting Moon landing.

Today, April 10th, 2019 will be a historic date in the history of science as it was the day humanity saw the first ever image of a supermassive black hole. Get the details here and here.

Here is M-87's supermassive black hole taken with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun. Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration
FROM NASA/JPL

This video shows you where M-87 is in the sky and takes you into the heart of the galaxy to reveal the above image: 
This zoom video starts with a view of ALMA and zooms in on the heart of M87, showing successively more detailed observations and culminating in the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole’s shadow.
Credit: ESO/L. Cal├žada, Digitized Sky Survey 2, ESA/Hubble, RadioAstron, De Gasperin et al., Kim et al., EHT Collaboration. Music: niklasfalcke


If you want to experience a breath taking ride into a supermassive black hole like M-87, go to a dark room with all of the lights off, set your computer's display to full brightness and full screen and WATCH THIS VIDEO!  IT IS STUNNING.....IT ALMOST GAVE ME VERTIGO!


This virtual reality simulation by Jordy Davelaar and colleagues shows a black hole surrounded by luminous matter. This matter disappears into the black hole in a vortex-like way, and the extreme conditions cause it to become a glowing plasma. The light emitted is then deflected and deformed by the powerful gravity of the black hole.
Credit: Jordy Davelaar et al./Radboud University/BlackHoleCam



M87
Credits: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA); Acknowledgment: P. Cote (Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics) and E. Baltz (Stanford University)
EHT also took data over a year ago on our Milky Way Galaxy's own supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). It is a 4.4 million solar mass beast at the center of our galaxy. Today I telephonically contacted Peter D. Edmonds, Public Information Officer, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian, to ascertain the status of the Sgr A* image. 

He stated, "That's a good question. The Sgr A* EHT image work is quite complicated and it is ongoing. We currently do not have a release date for that image."

Hopefully one day we will see the image of our galaxy's resident black hole. When we do that will be another historic day.

Sky Guy in VA