Log in

astronomy & cosmology's Journal [entries|friends|calendar]
astronomy & cosmology

[ website | www.nasa.gov ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ calendar | livejournal calendar ]

Venus Transit - 2012 [06 Jun 2012|04:50pm]

[ mood | accomplished ]

I knew when the transit was supposed to occur, so I was set up and ready to go. There was about a 15 second break/thinness in the clouds, and I took 6 photos.

I really didn't think I had gotten anything.

Oh me of little faith.

This is cropped down and the itty bitty dot that is Venus is a bit difficult to discern, but it's on the bottom left curve of the sun.

Also, the reason the photo is bluish in color, is stack of filters to prevent my retina from being burned out. That's why I thought I hadn't gotten anything, the images on the screen looked like a bright spot on a dark background, with no details. Should have known to check on the big screens first.

post comment

Lunar Eclipse - Dec 11 2011 [11 Dec 2011|02:51pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011
Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011
Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011
Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011Lunar Eclipse - From Beginning to End Dec 11 2011

Lunar Eclipse - Dec 11 2011, a set on Flickr.

Each one is about a 5 minute increments (+/- 1 minute). Some photos, the sunlit part of the moon was 'center stage' and in the rest, the "blood moon" was. There are a few that aren't as sharp and clear, due to thin high clouds. Overall, a great photo session! Enjoy!

post comment

Please read about my research: [12 Nov 2009|09:54pm]


I will listen carefully to all your comments.

Abstract: Some inexplicable statistical variations in Nobel Prize laureates natal data are reported and discussed, and additional data is examined afterward. The observed strong correlation with Quaoar position (+5.69 standard deviations) is probably caused by correlation of Quaoar position with an unknown non-trivial solar, lunar or terrestrial cycle. It is well known that some space weather conditions influence human health, but the possibility of influence on long-term physiological and/or psychological characteristics since birth is still under question. If observed on other similar data, e.g. Wolf Prize laureates or Ramon Magsaysay awardees, the effect can be considered astroanthropological. Otherwise this study will help to better understand the reasons of astrological and similar beliefs, and to prevent circulation of such anti-scientific beliefs in future.

Comments: All databases and the source code are included.

I know that the majority of physicists and astronomers would say that these data don't make sense and therefore can't be correct. Though other examples of inexplicable data are well known, e.g. Pioneer anomaly, the Kuiper cliff, the Eridanus Supervoid.

Where could this article be published? If you have any idea, please share.
post comment

Question [26 Apr 2009|02:44pm]

Why are red dwarfs so common? Also, why would blue giants be so rare?
3 comments|post comment

International Collaboration [17 Dec 2008|11:19am]

[ mood | curious ]

I'm working on a paper for my science and technology studies course and would greatly appreciate input from you guys. My paper is about how scientists between Western and non-Western countries can share and understand each other's data (such as graphs). I think that such international collaborations happen in astronomy, but I can't find anything on the internet. Do you know of any projects where members of different countries are sharing data?

Thank you!

X-posted to astronomy

5 comments|post comment

Spacial Smiley Face (Lunar Occultation) [02 Dec 2008|09:17am]

[ mood | pleased ]

Taken shortly after full dark.

Taken at 10:26pm, when there was some high thin clouds/haze, dimming the moon just a little.

I have some that I took before full dark, too, but have to go through them, as the wind kicked up just enough to vibrate the tripod.

6 comments|post comment

Earth and Moon as seen from Mars [09 Jun 2008|09:41am]


x-posted to a few places.
post comment

Phoenix has landed & some pictures [26 May 2008|11:08am]

The phoenix landing was successful!

Or the NASA.TV stream at ORF:


Absolutely fantastic.

I also took some pictures of the moon a view weeks ago, this is a scetion of one of them... my first attempt:
PictureCollapse )
6 comments|post comment

Coloring Images [02 Jan 2008|12:39pm]

Happy New Year!

If you don't already know me, I'm applying to history of science and science and technology studies programs to study 20th century astronomy. Specifically, I'm interested in researching the interactions between astronomy and American popular culture.

A professor suggested that I research the way in which astronomers color images. From what I have read thus far, astronomers tend to color telescopic images to enhance certain features. However, because these images (the Hubble comes to mind) tend to be widely publicized for their aesthetic beauty, I wonder if astronomers are also motivated to color to appeal to the public. What do you think? If you can, I would also appreciate any references (i.e. articles and/or websites).

Thank you!

X-posted to astronomy
post comment

Post World War II Astronomy [27 Nov 2007|01:24pm]

[ mood | curious ]

Hi Everyone,

backgroundCollapse )

I'm looking for instances in astronomy after World War II where astronomers assummed something about an object or concept which was refuted by a later discovery. Do you have any examples?

If you can't think of anything, I would appreciate advice on why you think post World War II astronomy is important to study.

Thank you!

Cross-posted to astronomy.

2 comments|post comment

I just liked this article... [16 Aug 2007|06:07pm]

The great man's answer to the question of human survival: Er, I don't know
Ian Sample, science correspondent - The Guardian
Thursday August 3, 2006

It was an unusual move for one of the world's most eminent scientists. Having built a career shedding light on the darkest secrets of the universe, from the essence of space-time to the complexity of black holes, Professor Stephen Hawking turned to the internet for answers to the latest conundrum occupying his planet-sized brain.

Introducing himself to the online community as a theoretical physicist and Lucasian professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge, the 64-year-old scientist posed an open question: "In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?"

read the restCollapse )

post comment

[06 Apr 2007|10:06pm]

my astronomy professor sent us all this email today:

I thought you might be interested to know that Xena now has an
official name: Eris. Here is a quote from the webpage of one of the

Eris, the largest dwarf planet known, was discovered
in an ongoing survey at Palomar Observatory's Samuel Oschin telescope
by astronomers Mike Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini
Observatory), and David Rabinowitz (Yale University). We
officially suggested the name on 6 September 2006, and it was accepted
and announced on 13 September 2006. In Greek mythology, Eris is the
goddess of warfare and strife. She stirs up jealousy and envy to
cause fighting and anger among men. At the wedding of Peleus and
Thetis, the parents of the Greek hero Achilles, all the gods with the
exception of Eris were invited, and, enraged at her exclusion, she
spitefully caused a quarrel among the goddesses that led to the Trojan
war. In the astronomical world, Eris stirred up a great deal of
trouble among the international astronomical community when the
question of its proper designation led to a raucous meeting of the IAU
in Prague. At the end of the conference, IAU members voted to demote
Pluto and Eris to dwarf-planet status, leaving the solar system with
only eight planets.

The satellite of Eris has received the offical name Dysnomia, who in
Greek mythology is Eris' daughter and the demon spirit of lawlessness.
As Dysnomia is a bit of a mouthful, we tend to simply call the
satellite Dy, for short.

As promised for the past year, the name Xena (and satellite Gabrielle)
were simply placeholders while awaiting the IAU's decision on how an
official name was to be proposed. As that process dragged on, however,
many people got to know Xena and Gabrielle as the real names of these
objects and are sad to see them change. We admit to some sadness
ourselves.We used the names for almost two years now and are having a
hard time swtiching. But for those who miss Xena, look for the obvious
nod in the new name of the moon of Eris.

And, for a bit of a tear-jerker, read:


And in case you're wondering, Dysnomia is the Greek goddess of
lawlessness...and Xena, of course, was played by Lucy Lawless.

post comment

Moon in summer sky [08 Mar 2007|04:20pm]

[ mood | satisfied ]


Waxing Gibbous, in morning summer sky, Southern Hemisphere. (click on picture for full sized to see details. Warning, the full sized picture is 2 megs.)


Equipment: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30GN, tripod.

2 comments|post comment

Space Science is in Trouble! [06 Jan 2007|05:49pm]

Click here to sign a petition to George Bush to stop cutting space science programs!
Some of the program cuts and delays include:

Europa mission development is cancelled.

The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) development is cancelled.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is

The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) is delayed.

The Juno mission is stretched out and delayed.

NASA’s Mars program was cut 40% in the past year, despite the enormous
success of the Mars Exploration Rovers
Click here to view a pdf fact sheet of all the projects cut or delayed.
post comment

Beware: Full Moon! [03 Jan 2007|08:18pm]


With a full moon this evening, I was somewhat curious to come across an old article from National Geographic with the following headline "Beware: The full moon is tonight. People will party. Dogs Will Bite. Robbers Will Steal. Murderers Will Kill."

The article goes on to state "Contrary to popular belief, however, the frequency of these behaviors will probably be no more significant tonight than on any other night of the year, according to scientific reviews of the theory that the full moon alters the way humans and wildlife behave."

Reading into it a bit further, the writers lay blame for the hysteria and on a range of issues most commonly associated with the full moon from Selective Memory, Sensationalist Journalism or my favourite "studies purportedly backed by a tequila manufacturer".

Regardless, a full moon is always a great sight to behold albeit with a good pair of binoculars or a telescope with a respectable moon filter, optimal lighting conditions (even when stumbling out of a hotel just after sunrise) always serves a person justice! 

For some truly absurb reading, the skeptics dictionary on the full moon provides more than enough inspiration for anyone to write a "B" grade teenage horror flick! 
1 comment|post comment

Dreaming Skies [03 Jan 2007|12:17am]


The Koori (Australian Indigenous people) believe that the evening skies are a mirror reflection of the mother earth. When our elders die they ascend into the realm of the Dreamtime, in the spirit of the new year, here is the Story of Marpeanhurruic. You may know her as the star Arcturus ….

Marpeankurruic, a clever woman who lived in the Mallee Forests of Southern Australia many thousands of years ago, was in the bush looking for food. Her people were starving. It had not rained for a long, long time. Rivers and billabongs had disappeared; the bullrushes had shriveled up and died. She lifted up logs but could not find any lizards or snakes. She looked around and saw that there was also no grass seeds or fruit to eat.

After walking for many hours, she saw a wood ants’ nest. She was so desperate that she went to it and opened up the nest with her digging stick. In the nest, she saw thousands of larvae. She put one in her mouth and ate it. The larvae were delicious. She collected all that she could and hurried back to her people.

The larvae of the wood ant had saved her people. It soon became their favorite food. When Marpeankurruic died, she went up into the sky and became a star. Every time the Aboriginal people of the Mallee Country see her, they know that it is time for their favorite food, the larvae of the wood ant.

Source: Science Educators Association ACT (1999) From Ochres to Eel Traps. ACT Indigenous Consultative Body

3 comments|post comment

DIY Planetarium [05 Dec 2006|11:20am]

Have any of you ever built a planetarium before? I'm looking to do so before I head off to Summer camp as the Naturalist. I think it would be a really cool part of the naturalist program at camp.

I would like to make an inflateable one, that at least 14 people can be inside.

Any ideas, hints, tips, etc? I have some basic blue print type of plans laid out, I just need to figure out materials, and welding/glueing techniches that would work best to put it togeather.

Thanks a lot.

Oh also, if you know how to construct a cheap (or purchase) projector that I could use as well, that would be awesome. Thanks.

-Moss the naturalist.
post comment

First real Interactive SKY-MAP; SDSS images integrated. [04 Dec 2006|06:34pm]
SKY-MAP (www.sky-map.org) is an only Internet-site that allows you to imagine yourself watching the night sky in the huge telescope. Changing the scale with the mouse you can both - take a look at all the sky above Earth simultaneously on one screen and watch detailed images of distanced galaxies and nebulas. Just click on an interesting object – and you will get detailed scientific information about it. The Internet site presents the information about more the 5000,000,000 objects of Universe.

You can directly participate the development of this Internet-recourse writing an article, uploading image, creating and describing your own group of objects or simply writing on our forum.
post comment

A Petition to Keep Pluto a Planet [02 Dec 2006|10:06am]

[ mood | optimistic ]

A new member to live journal, laurele has begun spreading the word of Dr. Alan Stern from NASA and supporters who are trying to get Pluto re-enstated as a Planet. You are welcome to check out the journal for more information.

In the laurele's own words: You may not have to start a new tribe of people who rebel and keep calling Pluto a planet because Dr. Stern has informally already done so and will likely formalize this at his convention next year. This issue is very much still a debate in progress. If you want to connect with other Pluto supporters, visit the Society for the Preservation of Pluto as a Planet at http://www.plutoisaplanet.org.

There is also a petition online, which will eventually be sent to the IAU (one of many) with over 1300 signatures supporting the reinstatement of Pluto. You can find it at http://pleasesavepluto.org/pluto/petition-to-iau/

Dr. Stern's own words: Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of the New Horizons NASA mission to Pluto, described the vote as having been "hijacked" by a small group on the last day of the conference. He also labeled the decision "an embarrassment to astronomy" and now plans to hold a conference next summer to address this issue instead of waiting for the next IAU convention in 2009. He and about 300 planetary scientists have signed a petition saying they will not use the IAU's planet definition.

IF you would like to lend your support, please do so at the listed addresses. Thank you for your time. My mood is positive and I'm only wishing to offer pertinent information in a broad forum where their might be support.

post comment

[01 Dec 2006|08:41pm]


Can someone point me in the direction of something online (article, website, video, etc) that will give me the bare bones of the Big Bang theory? I don't need it completely explained or anything -- I'm reading Simon Singh's book and it's helping, but I really just need an outline at the moment so I can choose a specific part about it to write about, if that makes sense.

Thanks! :)

x-posted to astronomy
1 comment|post comment

[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]