Sunday, November 28, 2021

30 DAYS OF OUR STAR LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN IT

 Hey, Space Placers!

Enjoy this decompressing assist video in a dark room with a comfortable chair.

It is our star over 30 days as described by Dr. Michael West, Lowell Observatory:

There's a mesmerizing new timelapse video you might enjoy. It shows a month in the life of our Sun as hot gas erupts and dances on its surface, guided upward along delicate arcs created by intense magnetic fields. This 44-minute video is set to some lovely ethereal music that makes the whole experience downright meditative.


The video was made by Seán Doran, who remastered and rescaled 78,846 photos of our star captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO). SDO has been monitoring the Sun's activity and its impact on Earth since its launch in 2010.


If you'd like to watch this video just click on the link at the top. Then kick back and marvel at the beauty of this magnificent cosmos. If you enjoy this, you can find other astronomy-themed timelapse videos on Seán Doran's YouTube channel.


Sky Guy in VA


 

Friday, November 26, 2021

NEW DOD ORGANIZATION TO STUDY UFO/UAP

 Hey, Space Placers!

An unexplained object is seen at center as it soars high along the clouds, traveling against the wind, in a video provided by Pentagon from 2015. (Defense Department/AP) (AP)

NEW DOD ORGANIZATION TO STUDY UFO/UAP

More details here.

Interesting development.......

Sky Guy in VA

Thursday, November 25, 2021

HST VIEWS SOLAR SYSTEM

 Hey Space Placers!

Happy Thanksgiving to US followers! Stay safe, health and happy to all!

Enjoy HST's view of the solar system.

Sky Guy in VA

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

DART IS A START

 Hey, Space Placers!

Here is the latest on the DART mission that I blogged about yesterday.

As an added treat here is an astropic I took this morning with my Unistellar telescope of the Whale Galaxy meeting Comet Leonard.

Credit: Greg Redfern

😆 Thanksgiving to all who celebrate.....

Sky Guy Greg

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

UPDATED DART: NASA PLANETARY DEFENSE MISSION DUE TO LAUNCH TONIGHT

 Hey Space Placers!



DART Spacecraft Graphic

Credit: NASA

NASA is set to launch a planetary defense mission called DART - Double Asteroid Redirect Test - tonight from California. The launch is planned for 10:20 p.m. PST (1:20 a.m. EST, Nov. 24) and can be viewed live via NASA TV starting at 9:30 p.m. PST on Tuesday, Nov. 23 (12:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Nov. 24).

More information on DART is available here. Take the quiz to become a planetary defender like I did.

The spacecraft will fly to an asteroid named Didymos which has a small moon, arriving in late September 2022. The spacecraft will impact the moon in order to change its orbital characteristics. Didymos DOES NOT AND WILL NOT present a threat to Earth now or after the impact.

Seven million miles from Earth, as described by NASA, "The DART spacecraft will achieve the kinetic impact deflection by deliberately crashing itself into the moonlet at a speed of approximately 6.6 km/s (14,000 mph), with the aid of an onboard camera (named DRACO) and sophisticated autonomous navigation software. The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent, but this will change the orbital period of the moonlet by several minutes - enough to be observed and measured using telescopes on Earth."

UPDATE: THE FOLLOWING THREE PARAGRAPHS

Ten days before impact DART will deploy a briefcase sized cubesat made by the Italian Space Agency that will trail DART by about 3 minutes time and provide imagery of the impact via cameras named LUKE and LEIA ( of Star Wars fame). 

As explained by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which developed and is leading the mission for NASA with an army of partners,  "Not only will DART give Dimorphos a healthy shove at the moment of contact, but the impact’s energy will excavate a crater and blast between 22,000 and 220,000 pounds of asteroid surface material, called ejecta, into space. The recoil “kick” from these ejecta on the asteroid could rival, or even exceed, the direct push from the DART spacecraft. It’s this enhancement in the asteroid’s momentum that makes kinetic impact a particularly attractive deflection technique, and measuring it accurately is a major component of DART’s mission."

The European Space Agency (ESA) will launch in 2024 a spacecraft called Hera to Didymos to study the impact site on the moonlet to get more detailed information. The collected data will help refine our knowledge of asteroids and their moons - about 15% of currently known asteroids - as well as our planetary defenses against them. Hera will arrive at Didymos in 2026.

.Didymos and its moonlet

Fourteen sequential Arecibo radar images of the near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos and its moonlet, taken on 23, 24 and 26 November 2003. NASA’s planetary radar capabilities enable scientists to resolve shape, concavities, and possible large boulders on the surfaces of these small worlds. Photometric lightcurve data indicated that Didymos is a binary system, and radar imagery distinctly shows the secondary body.

Credit: NASA

DART is an important mission to our planetary defense against asteroids that are discovered to be an impact threat to our planet. Asteroids as small as 65-feet across pose a significant threat as was proven in the February 15, 2013 Chelyabinsk asteroid detonation  over the city. 1,600 people were injured, a million square meters of glass broken as the result of the equivalent of 600,000 tons of TNT exploding - that is the equivalent of about 35 Hiroshima nuclear warheads. And we never saw it coming as it came out of the Sun.

NASA is also planning on a mission called Near Earth Object Surveyor - NEO Surveyor - which is a space based telescope positioned so that it can find asteroids all around the solar system. 

We are at risk for asteroid impacts - it isn't a matter of if......it is a matter of when as to another, and perhaps even more catastrophic Chelyabinsk event occurs.

Remember, the dinosaurs are dead because they didn't have telescopes and a space program....

Sky Guy in VA

Monday, November 22, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: JWST LAUNCH MOVED TO NO EARLIER THAN DEC 22, 2021

Hey, Space Placers!

The JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE (JWST) launch date is now moved from December 18, 2021, to no earlier than December 22, 2021.

This is due to an incident that happened during launch preparations - details here.

Follow JWST on Twitter @NASAWebb for further updates.

Sky Guy in VA