Saturday, 8 August 2020

A Sky full of Shooting Stars

IAA MEDIA RELEASE:
Irish Astronomical Association
 
A SKY FULL OF SHOOTING STARS
The annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks on Tuesday and Wednesday, and with not too much interference from Moonlight, the conditions are good this year. All we need is a clear sky!
 
Meteors, commonly called 'shooting stars', or 'falling stars', are not stars at all, but tiny bits of debris released from the surface of comets as they orbit the Sun. When the Earth happens to pass through one of these streams of debris as we orbit the Sun, we collide with those little particles at very high speed – about 60 miles per second - and they get burned away in our upper atmosphere, giving the flash of light we see as a meteor.
 
You may also see some starlike objects moving across the sky much more slowly: they are artificial satellites. But meteors move much more swiftly – usually lasting for no more than a second or so. Most are about as bright as the average stars, but if you observe for long enough you will probably see a really bright one, much brighter than any of the stars: these ones are called 'fireballs'. 
 
The Perseids are so called because they all appear to come from the direction of the constellation Perseus, but they can actually appear anywhere in the sky.
 
The Third Quarter moon will rise just after midnight on Tuesday night, and that will spoil the view a bit, so try to observe from a spot where the Moon is hidden by a tree or building, or at least look in the opposite direction. The best part of the sky to look at is either North or South to avoid the Moon once it rises, or almost directly overhead if that's comfortable; choose the area that is darkest and clearest from wherever you are observing. Next night it will rise later, and won't be so bright.
   You should also choose a location as far away from artificial lights, particularly big town and city lights, and allow time for your eyes to adapt to the dark – at least 15 minutes if going out from a bright room.
 
The shower is active through the first half of August, but maximum activity will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday, nights. The activity then dies away gradually over the following few days. The number of meteors seen will increase during each night as the constellation Perseus rises higher in the sky in the North East, and if you are keen enough to keep going into the early hours of the morning you could see a meteor about every minute or so on Wednesday night, from a dark location.
 
While you are out, look for brilliant Jupiter low down in the southern sky, and close to the left, Saturn. It's not as bright as Jupiter, but it's brighter than most of the stars. And later in the night, around midnight, look to see brilliant ruddy Mars rising in the East – it's about midway in brightness between Jupiter and Saturn.
 
IMAGING: You can try photographing the Perseids with any modern digital camera which can give long timed exposures: set to the widest angle if it's a zoom lens, set the focus to infinity, set the ISO to a high value, and give exposures of a few minutes or so, until the sky brightness starts to fog over the whole image – you'll just have to experiment with that. If you have a wide-angle lens, use that. Point the camera about 50 degrees above the horizon, and watch to make sure the lens does not get covered with dew!
You will then have to check your images on a computer screen afterwards to see if you have caught any – it's not as easy as visual observing, as your eyes can cover a much wider area of the sky.
 
THE GOOD NEWS!
Firstly, you don't need any special equipment – just your own eyes. For comfort, it's best to use a recliner or garden lounger so you can look up at the sky for a long time without getting a sore neck, and wrap up warm.
   Secondly, you can observe from anywhere in the country, but do try to get to a spot where the sky is fairly dark, and where you won't be bothered by vehicle lights either.
 
For more information see: www.irishastro.org
 
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. The Irish Astronomical Association is a registered charity dedicated to promoting interest in, and information about, astronomy and space and related topics. It is the oldest and largest astronomical society based in N. Ireland, and the largest amateur astronomy society in Ireland.
2.  The Perseid meteors come from a comet called Swift-Tuttle, named after the two astronomers who discovered it. The comet itself is not currently visible.
 
Terry Moseley
PR Officer, Irish Astronomical Association

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Comet Neowise, ISS, Teaser, NASA, Webinar, Seminars, Lockdown video, Perseids, more...

 

Hi all,

 

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/comet-neowise-could-give-skywatchers-a-dazzling-show-this-month-here-s-what-to-know/ar-BB16mz7L?ocid=msedgdhp

 

1.  Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE -  Third time lucky!

 After two recent disappointments, this comet has been the best for N latitudes since Hale-Bopp last century. It has just passed closest to Earth and is now fading. Many IAA members, and others, have obtained excellent images. Finder charts are available on various websites, including www.heavens-above.com.

 

2. ISS The ISS evening passes continue until July 30.  Full details for your location, and lots of other astronomy information, on the excellent free site www.heavens-above.com

 

3. TEASER

Here's another to occupy your grey matter until things get back to 'normal'; it is of course astronomical:

Q. What's the connection between Bono & The Edge and 2090?

 

4. Happy Birthday NASA: Founded on this date in 1958.

 

5.  REGULAR FORTNIGHTLY SPACE and ASTRONOMY WEBINAR, August 4

After a very positive reaction to our first webinar on Mars, Nick Howes and I have been asked by Space Store Live to make it a regular fortnightly feature. It will be called "Space Store Live: Nick and Terry's Astro Round-up". The first one, on Tuesday 26th, was also very well received.

They will be approximately 30 minutes long, every second Tuesday, at 7.30 p.m., covering whatever is topical in space and astronomy. The next one will be on Tuesday 4 August: youtube.com/spacestorelive

   It's a Zoom webinar, and will be Live streamed to YouTube SpaceStore Live! Channel and Live streamed to Facebook Live. I'll post any last minute news via Twitter.

 

6. EVLBIN Seminars via Zoom, from 8 July

The European VLBI Network (EVN) announces a series of online seminars "The sharpest view of the radio Universe: VLBI – Connecting Astronomers Worldwide". Seven speakers will cover 7 different science topics, and the talks will occur roughly every 7 weeks between early July 2020 and the EVN Symposium, which has been rescheduled to July 12-16, 2021. These talks will illustrate how Very Long Baseline Interferometry can improve our understanding of many astronomical phenomena, from stars to galaxies, and the talks are aimed at a broad astronomical audience.  Full information about the webinars, which will be run using Zoom, can be found at  https://www.evlbi.org/evn-seminars.

   The first seminar will be on Wed 8 July 2020, 10:30 CEST. (9.30 BST) Our speaker, Cristiana Spingola (U.of Bologna) will talk about "Using Strong Gravitational Lensing to Zoom in on High-Redshift Galaxies".

    The talks will be 35-40 min long, followed by a Q&A and discussion session. Attendants can join via Zoom following this link (Meeting ID: 977 9168 7969<https://astron.zoom.us/j/97791687969>). The talk will also be streamed in real time via YouTube (it will appear at the JIVE and EVN channel in due time <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqsrIBxQU7aDQpr4WFgV80g>). Participants will be deferred to the YouTube channel after reaching the limit of 100 people on the Zoom session. Find the Calendar invitation at this link for Google Calendar<http://www.google.com/calendar/event?action=TEMPLATE&dates=20200708T083000Z/20200708T093000Z&text=EVN%20Seminar:%20Using%20Strong%20Gravitational%20Lensing%20to%20Zoom%20in%20on%20High-Redshift%20Galaxies%20 (Cristiana%20Spingola)&location=&details=EVN%20Seminar%20on%20%22EVN%20Seminar:%20Using%20Strong%20Gravitational%20Lensing%20to%20Zoom%20in%20on%20High-Redshift%20Galaxies%22%20by%20Cristiana%20Spingola.%20See%20https://www.evlbi.org/evn-seminars%20for%20further%20information.%0AJoin%20the%20Zoom%20room%20at%20https://astron.zoom.us/j/97791687969>;.

 

7. Paul Evans has produced another excellent 'Lockdown Video guide to the sky:

https://youtu.be/W3SN29ZoRhU 

 

8.  Perseid meteors. August 11-12-13.  Max on Aug 12 at 13h. This shower is already under way, with low rates at present, and a gradual build-up to maximum. Moonlight will be a problem for the first week in August. The radiant is near the famous 'Double Cluster' in Perseus

 

9. August 14 250th anniversary of perihelion of Comet Lexell , which had just passed 0.015 AU from Earth, approx 6 Lunar Distances, or about 1.4m miles. The coma was about 2° 23' across! This is the closest known comet pass to Earth.

 

10. August 19: GoSpaceWatch Online Lecture Meetings
The next meeting is on 19th August and features Pete Williamson talking about Remote Observing using telescopes around the world. My Speaker Programme link is given below.
https://gospacewatch.co.uk/wp/speaker-programme/

 

11. September 01: HEADS UP: close NEO / PHA pass on Sep 01. A 30m diameter asteroid will pass only 0.3 lunar distances from Earth at about 16.12 UT. More details later.

. Miss distance: 0.00066564.8 AU. It's 2011ES4, estimated diameter 30m. Not a dinosaur killer, but still a significant event if it were to hit, with a velocity of 8.2km/sec. But it's still a miss.

 

12. IAU Meet the Astronomers Programme. This is now open to everyone, for a virtual talk. See https://www.iau.org/public/meettheiauastronomers/

 

13. National Astronomy Week, 14 – 22 November.

 National Astronomy Week (NAW) will be held in the UK from Saturday 14 November to Sunday 22 November, to celebrate the close approach of Mars. Amateur and professional astronomers will be holding observing events during the week. Seen through a telescope magnifying about 100 times, Mars will appear as a pale orange disc, with its markings clearly visible, at a distance of 80 million km.

    Although Mars is at its closest to Earth a month earlier, by November it is well up in the sky during the early evening, allowing younger schoolchildren an opportunity to get a good view of the planet. It will not be as close again until 2033.  As well as Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon will be on show during National Astronomy Week. Details of observing events will be posted on the NAW website.

 

14. INTERESTING WEBLINKS (Disclaimer - Use of material herein from various sources does not imply approval or otherwise of the opinions, political or otherwise, of those sources).  NB: If the title in the weblink does not indicate the subject matter, I give a brief simple intro before the link. I may also comment about the link afterwards.

 

ASTROPHYSICS

The energy source of the galaxy centre  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200703141210.htm

White dwarfs are a major source of the carbon in our universe https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200706140858.htm

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/4-mysterious-objects-spotted-in-deep-space-are-unlike-anything-ever-seen/ar-BB16ukcL?ocid=msedgdhp

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8502719/Neutron-star-pulsar-stuck-fiercely-tight-orbit.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8510245/Enormous-1-4BILLION-light-year-long-structure-dubbed-South-Pole-Wall-space.html  

How galaxies die: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716101607.htm

A Black Hole's corona disappears and reappears https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716101557.htm

Students make breakthrough in study of GRBs https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200717120142.htm

Deciphering the birth of Supermassive Black Holes https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200714082901.htm

Fleeting flash is most-distant optical afterglow from gamma-ray burst ever detected

 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200714111721.htm

Magnetic field lines extend far beyond spiral galaxy https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200721160739.htm

Stellar megaflare detected. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200709113523.htm The first of these stellar megaflares were detected by David Andrews while working at Armagh Observatory in the 1960s!

   Spectacular UV flash may show how White Dwarfs explode. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200723115907.htm I see that one of the authors (probably) is our own Kate Maguire.

   New magnetic field structures discovered in MilkyWay-like galaxy. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200721132850.htm

Important clues from colliding neutron stars https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200708121439.htm

How galactic gas forms into stars and planets https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200707113250.htm

New cluster of stars didn't originate in our galaxy https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200707113239.htm

White dwarfs are major source of carbon in our universe https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200706140858.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

 

COSMOLOGY

New research on oldest light confirms age of universe  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200715170541.htm

How fast is the universe expanding? https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02198-z

New data deepens mystery of the Hubble Constant   https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mystery-over-universes-expansion-deepens-with-fresh-data/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=today-in-science&utm_content=link&utm_term=2020-07-21_featured-this-week&spMailingID=68050850&spUserID=NDcyNjA3Njk3NzkzS0&spJobID=1923102455&spReportId=MTkyMzEwMjQ1NQS2

   https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-universes-clock-might-have-bigger-ticks-than-we-imagine/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=today-in-science&utm_content=link&utm_term=2020-07-14_featured-this-week&spMailingID=67436949&spUserID=NDcyNjA3Njk3NzkzS0&spJobID=1921699137&spReportId=MTkyMTY5OTEzNwS2

   The age of the Universe and the Hubble Constant are still not settled! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200727114724.htm

 

EARTH & MOON

How Earth keeps its magnetic field https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200706140856.htm

AND – Earth's magnetic field can change 10 times faster than we thought https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200706094136.htm

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7733203/Extra-terrestrial-impacts-shaped-Earth-3-2-billion-years-ago-study-finds.html

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/earth-s-moon-had-a-magma-ocean-for-200-million-years/ar-BB16Az6J?ocid=msedgdhp

The origin of Earth's water https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200717120158.htm

New idea on how tectonic plates formed https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200720102101.htm

Interstellar organic matter might be major source of Earth's water https://newatlas.com/space/interstellar-organic-matter-earth-water/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=e58b1fd849-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_07_21_08_11&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-e58b1fd849-92786061

Global methane emissions reach record high https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200714182228.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

Space Force bases on the Moon? https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

The Moon is 85 million years younger than we thought

https://www.livescience.com/moon-85-million-years-younger-than-thought.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=XWc%2BWPbj1UK%2B9EzQvLW4_JMqwZyBO%2Brwn9QYXZmEvbiZVnbn4ex40b2PLoep_7h_NG6A1eEMQl7Icvhkf0EqeZmll9Yzje3AHqQaeAXXXk

How life rebounded after the Chicxulub mass extinction https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200714121748.htm

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/asteroid-shower-rained-space-rocks-on-earth-and-the-moon-800-million-years-ago/ar-BB171cE7?ocid=msedgdhp As the Moon has no atmosphere (and hadn't one 800 million years ago), what are those asteroids 'streaking through'?

  Odd meteorite puzzle may have been solved  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200724141349.htm

   https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/siberia-s-gateway-underworld-grows-record-heat-wave-thaws-permafrost?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-07-28&et_rid=415711678&et_cid=3426451

 

EXOLIFE

Possible life below Martian surface https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200728113541.htm

 

EXOPLANETS

Could mini-Neptunes by irradiated ocean worlds? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200720101806.htm

  https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/scientists-find-lost-planet-in-breakthrough-that-could-help-us-discover-alien-life/ar-BB170WWj?ocid=msedgdhp

   First image of multiplanet system round a sunlike star captured by VLT https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200722093501.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

 

 

IMAGES

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8497567/Stunning-NASA-image-reveals-fluffy-galaxy-67-million-light-years-away-Earth.html

   https://newatlas.com/photography/astronomy-photographer-of-the-year-2020-shortlist-gallery/ I can't see the captions for most of these, so I don't know if any are from local people.

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8549745/Incredible-images-captured-Mars-remastered-ultra-HD.html

 

MISCELLANEOUS

I just thought you would like to know this. - Scientists have recently shown that a multitude of high-dimensional synthetic lattices naturally emerge in (abstract) photon-number space when a multiport photonic lattice is excited by N indistinguishable photons.  More info at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200706113920.htm

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8509871/NASA-starts-building-spacecraft-explore-metal-rich-asteroid.html It would cost more to return the metal to Earth than it would be worth. Even bringing it to the Moon would be horrendously expensive.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/scientists-identify-37-recently-active-volcanic-structures-on-venus/ar-BB16YzOp?ocid=msedgdhp and https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200720112333.htm

Is Planet Nine a Primordial Black Hole? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200712105456.htm

 Giant waves of sand dunes moving on Mars https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/giant-waves-sand-are-moving-mars?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-07-23&et_rid=415711678&et_cid=3418693

  HST images summertime on Saturn https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200723143759.htm

   Odd meteorite puzzle may have been solved  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200724141349.htm

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/dozens-of-volcanoes-discovered-on-the-surface-of-venus/ar-BB17frke?ocid=msedgdhp

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/school-girls-in-india-discover-earth-bound-asteroid/ar-BB17fs7R?ocid=msedgdhp

  https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/nasa-s-mars-2020-perseverance-rover-will-use-some-of-the-best-martian-maps-ever-made/ar-BB17fqrN?ocid=msedgdhp

   Prof Sanjeev Gupta gave a superb lecture on Mars to a joint meeting of the IAA and BGS - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8565141/UK-scientists-help-NASAs-Perseverance-rover-select-Martian-rock-soil.html

Oddities of the SS's outer dark icy bodies and their orbits https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200707113251.htm

 

SPACE

 https://www.livescience.com/rocket-lab-electron-booster-launch-failure.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=ErmEPbNViS4H67GXiN3dX50WYO2dTxNuL9Wu2T0%2B%2Bgo%2Bizz%2BpD%2Bp2KWYwb5jUPNfz_9ydjG63y1Facwv0r0thd9iresQOADxr2DR1mEEEo

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8497707/NASA-destroys-oxygen-tank-SLS-incredible-test-video.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8509871/NASA-starts-building-spacecraft-explore-metal-rich-asteroid.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8511867/SpaceX-set-fly-Starship-rocket-prototype-nearly-500-feet-air-week.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8507179/NASA-proposes-using-Venus-slingshot-crewed-Mars-mission-save-fuel-time.html

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/nasa-jettisons-apollo-moon-landing-stats-to-reach-300th-american-spacewalk/ar-BB16YDI9?ocid=msedgdhp Is this politics? Does Trump want a good headline during his re-election run?

Designing better asteroid explorers https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200714101259.htm

   https://newatlas.com/space/spacex-catches-falcon-9-fairings-first-time/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=e58b1fd849-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_07_21_08_11&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-e58b1fd849-92786061

Space Force bases on the Moon? https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

UAE's Hope mission is on its way to Mars  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/uae-mars-mission-hope-spacecraft-japan-space-a9627481.html

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/technology/spacex-catches-entire-rocket-nose-cone-that-fell-from-space-for-1st-time/ar-BB171hdl?ocid=msedgdhp

  https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/technology/nasa-astronauts-tie-spacewalk-record-on-eva-to-prep-iss-upgrades/ar-BB170qcG?ocid=msedgdhp

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/why-persevere-to-mars-op-ed/ar-BB174bbq?ocid=msedgdhp

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/technology/astra-aiming-for-1st-orbital-launch-in-early-august/ar-BB179nXi?ocid=msedgdhp

   Our cells could struggle to fight space germs https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200723092638.htm

  Mars 2020 Rover landing https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/nasa-s-mars-2020-perseverance-rover-will-use-some-of-the-best-martian-maps-ever-made/ar-BB17fqrN?ocid=msedgdhp and follow links, especially

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/entry-descent-landing/ and also

  https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/nasa-s-next-mars-rover-is-brawniest-and-brainiest-one-yet/ar-BB17fpma?ocid=msedgdhp

   https://affluenttimes.com/anthropology-and-history/space-exploration/voyager-2-interstellar-space-nasa-launched-1977/?utm_source=Taboola&utm_medium=CPC&utm_content=msn-uk_1023526&utm_campaign=170748_Affluent-Times_Pop-Nasas-Voyager-2-Has-Entere_GB_DESKTOP_KK&utm_term=5569172&l=a

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/technology/china-launches-3-satellites-into-orbit-including-a-lobster-eye-to-hunt-dark-matter/ar-BB17fPUz?ocid=msedgdhp

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8551539/China-launches-Mars-probe-space-race-US.html

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/nasa-announces-astronauts-to-launch-on-spacex-s-crew-2-dragon-in-2021/ar-BB17hTd6?ocid=msedgdhp

   Interesting historical review https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/the-vostok-program-the-soviet-s-first-crewed-spaceflight-program/ar-BB17hMac?ocid=msedgdhp

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/technology/virgin-galactic-unveils-space-plane-s-cabin-poised-for-commercial-flights/ar-BB17i1sZ?ocid=msedgdhp

  Linguistic problems of space travel https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200706145433.htm

 

SUN

Solar Orbiter's first amazing images. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716120652.htm

Missing solar neutrinos detected https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/rare-ghostly-particles-produced-inside-the-sun-just-detected-under-a-mountain-in-italy/ar-BB17eIqJ?ocid=msedgdhp

The 'central engine' powering a solar flare https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200727145826.htm

 

Telescopes, Instruments, Techniques

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/nasa-james-webb-space-telescope-launch-delayed-until-halloween-2021-after-coronavirus-and-technical-problems/ar-BB16S1Y1?ocid=msedgdhp

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8557343/NASA-use-stratospheric-balloon-size-football-field-study-light-newborn-stars.html

 

15. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION. This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription, at no cost to you. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also
https://irishastro.org/  

 

The Irish Astronomical Association is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 105858

 

DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Bright New Comet, ISS, Aphelion, PPLE, Webinar, EVLBIN, Death of Austin Hastings, NLCs, more

Hi all,

 

1.  Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE -  Third time lucky?

After two recent disappointments, this comet is already at perihelion, and surviving, and has reached almost first magnitude. It should be visible in mid-northern skies in the early mornings by the second week in July, passing between Gemini and Auriga. Definitely worth a look, especially when the Moon is still out of the way. It will be closest to Earth in late July, high up, and visible most of the night. Finder charts are available on various websites, including www.heavens-above.com.

 

2. ISS The ISS started a new series of morning passes on 2 July, transitioning into evening passes about mid-month, which will then continue until July 30. Depending on your location, you might get a shot of the ISS passing the comet – see 1 above!

 Full details for your location, and lots of other astronomy information, on the excellent free site www.heavens-above.com

 

3. EARTH AT APHELION, July 4

The Earth will be furthest from the Sun in its elliptical orbit on July 4 at 11 34 UT, at a geocentric distance of 1.0166942 AU. (152,095,287.5 km). It will then have an apparent diameter of 31' 27".

 

4. PARTIAL PENUMBRAL LUNAR ECLIPSEJul 05. Most of Ireland will barely see this eclipse, in which only 35% of the Moon enters the Earth's faint outer shadow, the penumbra. The N part of the Moon will be the part that's slightly darker. The eclipse begins at 03.07 UT, and greatest eclipse occurs at 04.30 UT, after Moonset throughout Ireland. The Moon sets in Belfast at 03.49, in Dublin it sets at 03.59, and in Cork at 04.18. In Portmagee it doesn't set until 04.26, which is almost at greatest eclipse. Add one hour to those times for Summer Time! We have to wait until 2022 May 16 before we can see another Total Lunar Eclipse from Ireland, although it will be setting just after maximum eclipse

 

5.  REGULAR FORTNIGHTLY SPACE and ASTRONOMY WEBINAR, July7

After a very positive reaction to our first webinar on Mars, Nick Howes and I have been asked by Space Store Live to make it a regular fortnightly feature. It will be called "Space Store Live: Nick and Terry's Astro Round-up". The first one, on Tuesday 26th, was also very well received.

They will be approximately 30 minutes long, every second Tuesday, at 7.30 p.m., covering whatever is topical in space and astronomy. The next one will be on Tuesday 7 July: youtube.com/spacestorelive

   It's a Zoom webinar, and will be Live streamed to YouTube SpaceStore Live! Channel and Live streamed to Facebook Live. I'll post any last minute news via Twitter.

 

6. EVLBIN Seminars via Zoom, starts 8 July

The European VLBI Network (EVN) announces a series of online seminars "The sharpest view of the radio Universe: VLBI – Connecting Astronomers Worldwide". Seven speakers will cover 7 different science topics, and the talks will occur roughly every 7 weeks between early July 2020 and the EVN Symposium, which has been rescheduled to July 12-16, 2021. These talks will illustrate how Very Long Baseline Interferometry can improve our understanding of many astronomical phenomena, from stars to galaxies, and the talks are aimed at a broad astronomical audience.  Full information about the webinars, which will be run using Zoom, can be found at  https://www.evlbi.org/evn-seminars.

   The first seminar will be on Wed 8 July 2020, 10:30 CEST. (9.30 BST) Our speaker, Cristiana Spingola (U.of Bologna) will talk about "Using Strong Gravitational Lensing to Zoom in on High-Redshift Galaxies".

    The talks will be 35-40 min long, followed by a Q&A and discussion session. Attendants can join via Zoom following this link (Meeting ID: 977 9168 7969<https://astron.zoom.us/j/97791687969>). The talk will also be streamed in real time via YouTube (it will appear at the JIVE and EVN channel in due time <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqsrIBxQU7aDQpr4WFgV80g>). Participants will be deferred to the YouTube channel after reaching the limit of 100 people on the Zoom session. Find the Calendar invitation at this link for Google Calendar<http://www.google.com/calendar/event?action=TEMPLATE&dates=20200708T083000Z/20200708T093000Z&text=EVN%20Seminar:%20Using%20Strong%20Gravitational%20Lensing%20to%20Zoom%20in%20on%20High-Redshift%20Galaxies%20 (Cristiana%20Spingola)&location=&details=EVN%20Seminar%20on%20%22EVN%20Seminar:%20Using%20Strong%20Gravitational%20Lensing%20to%20Zoom%20in%20on%20High-Redshift%20Galaxies%22%20by%20Cristiana%20Spingola.%20See%20https://www.evlbi.org/evn-seminars%20for%20further%20information.%0AJoin%20the%20Zoom%20room%20at%20https://astron.zoom.us/j/97791687969>;.

   Title & abstract: Using Strong Gravitational Lensing to Zoom in on High-Redshift Galaxies

   The centres of galaxies are powerful laboratories to test models of galaxy formation, as well as the interplay between supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. While these sub-galactic scales can be directly investigated in the local Universe, it is observationally extremely difficult to access them at high redshift. In this talk, we will exploit the combination of strong gravitational lensing and multi-wavelength high angular resolution observations to directly study the parsec scale emission in active galaxies at z > 1. The magnifying effect of strong lensing and the milliarcsecond angular resolution of HST, Keck AO and VLBI observations allow us to spatially resolve the central parts of distant lensed galaxies, especially if they are located in the regions at highest magnification. Therefore, it becomes possible to unveil dual and offset AGN candidates, but also faint extended jets embedded in massive molecular gas reservoirs at cosmological distances. Nevertheless, this kind of study is currently limited by the small number of radio-loud lensed sources. We will conclude by discussing the current efforts to search for more lensing systems in wide-field VLBI surveys.

 On behalf of the EVN Seminars Organizing Committee, the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC and the University College Cork, Denise Gabuzda (University College Cork)

 

7. Death of Austin Hastings, former chairman of Cork Astronomy Club. June 27.

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Austin Hastings, for many years the main driver and mainstay of CAC . He died on 27 June, after a period of illness. Members of CAC formed a guard of honour at the church. He will be greatly missed by members of the club, and the amateur astronomical community throughout Ireland. As well as being an enthusiast, and always ready to help any newcomer he was a true gentleman. Our sympathy to his family and friends.

 

8. Noctilucent Clouds.

These are visible through June and at least the first 3 weeks of July, sometimes longer. There was a very nice display at the time of the Solstice, being seen as far South as London and Surrey.  Look low down in the North when the first stars are visible, for these ethereal wispy silvery very high altitude clouds. Their name means 'night-shining', and they are so high up that they are illuminated by the Sun long after ordinary clouds would be in the Earth's shadow, They are caused by ice crystals forming on the very fine particles of dust left behind when meteors burn up at high altitude. They make lovely photos too.

 

9. Paul Evans has produced another excellent 'Lockdown Video guide to the sky: https://youtu.be/TvxKjws-skM

 

10. July 14, Jupiter at opposition.

 

11. Festival of Curiosity, July 16 – 19.

For the full family programme visit festivalofcuriosity.ie/programme

 

12. July 20, Saturn at opposition.

 

13.  Perseid meteors. August 11-12-13.  Max on Aug 12 at 13h

 

14. August 14 250th anniversary of perihelion of Comet Lexell , which had just passed 0.015 AU from Earth, approx 6 Lunar Distances, or about 1.4m miles. The coma was about 2° 23' across! This is the closest known comet pass to Earth.

 

15. IAU Meet the Astronomers Programme. This is now open to everyone, for a virtual talk. See https://www.iau.org/public/meettheiauastronomers/

 

16. National Astronomy Week, 14 – 22 November.

 National Astronomy Week (NAW) will be held in the UK from Saturday 14 November to Sunday 22 November, to celebrate the close approach of Mars. Amateur and professional astronomers will be holding observing events during the week. Seen through a telescope magnifying about 100 times, Mars will appear as a pale orange disc, with its markings clearly visible, at a distance of 80 million km.

    Although Mars is at its closest to Earth a month earlier, by November it is well up in the sky during the early evening, allowing younger schoolchildren an opportunity to get a good view of the planet. It will not be as close again until 2033.  As well as Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon will be on show during National Astronomy Week. Details of observing events will be posted on the NAW website.

 

17. INTERESTING WEBLINKS (Disclaimer - Use of material herein from various sources does not imply approval or otherwise of the opinions, political or otherwise, of those sources).  NB: If the title in the weblink does not indicate the subject matter, I give a brief simple intro before the link. I may also comment about the link afterwards.

 

ARCHAEOASTRONOMY

Major new find at Stonehenge https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200622164652.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

 

ASTROPHYSICS

   https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/gravitational-waves-reveal-lightest-black-hole-ever-observed?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-06-25&et_rid=415711678&et_cid=3379645

Quantum entanglement in Cubesat in orbit https://newatlas.com/telecommunications/quantum-entanglement-cubesat-spooqy1/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=21ff45620c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_06_26_08_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-21ff45620c-92786061

   https://newatlas.com/space/hubble-cosmic-bat-shadow-flapping-wings/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=21ff45620c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_06_26_08_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-21ff45620c-92786061

  https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2020/06/30/astronomers-witness-a-monster-stara-mysteriously-disappearing/

Excess neutrinos and gamma rays https://science.psu.edu/news/Murase6-2020

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8475251/Fastest-growing-black-hole-Universe-34-billion-times-mass-sun.html

The second most distant Quasar is so massive it upends theories of the early universe https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701160132.htm  and

   https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200625140723.htm

Massive star just suddenly disappeared! https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/missing-star?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2  Note the lead author from TCD!

Exposed giant planet core discovered in very close orbit https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701125438.htm I note the names of Chris Watson and Don Pollacco among the 100+ contributing authors!

   Eta Carina binary star emits Very High Energy gamma rays https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701100106.htm

   Excess neutrinos come from coronae round Supermassive Black Holes https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701084750.htm

  Birth of giant star cluster produces stellar fireworks.  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200702115024.htm

   https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/astronomers-may-have-glimpsed-light-from-merging-black-holes/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=today-in-science&utm_content=link&utm_term=2020-07-01_featured-this-week&spMailingID=67264226&spUserID=NDcyNjA3Njk3NzkzS0&spJobID=1920126069&spReportId=MTkyMDEyNjA2OQS2

To find SMBHs, start with Jupiter https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200630125136.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

   Ultrahot planet in strange orbit around weird star! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200630125144.htm

First detection of light from a Black Hole merger https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200625102532.htm

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/nasa-see-how-a-magnetic-field-may-be-keeping-a-supermassive-black-hole-at-bay/vi-BB16jaVK?ocid=msedgdhp

 

COSMOLOGY

This is mind-bending stuff, but fascinating.  https://www.livescience.com/truth-behind-nasa-mirror-parallel-universe.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=kTPk62E4DYIadhw_fq0NkPdvRVxA%2Bm0599xfHg6fOQ0WBMYy1M8BVLTxo45TvzCKT6RzcyT2utYwhXHJswwMXX50hk3EgyYPmmEU_B%2Bkkf

Dark matter may originate from Axions https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200626125021.htm

 

EARTH & MOON

https://www.livescience.com/fireball-destroyed-ancient-syrian-town.html?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=9160&utm_content=LVS_newsletter+&utm_term=3473357&m_i=y_jNl1HYXmJ9vtTrnbFxt0IQz1rMLYwvRo8TrRK3GGBq44Ns7OeiVYWT%2B8GOvqY1Jow6pcxjo692SqNNzkrLxyvmgq027z7Dt2pvQ4yyyP

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8471463/Asteroid-slammed-Earth-66-million-years-ago-DID-wipe-dinosaurs.html

Metal-rich craters offer clues to Moon's formation https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701151724.htm

It was an asteroid that ended the reign of the dinosaurs    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200629150544.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

 

EXOLIFE

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/an-audacious-explanation-for-fast-radio-bursts/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=today-in-science&utm_content=link&utm_term=2020-06-24_top-stories&spMailingID=67200233&spUserID=NDcyNjA3Njk3NzkzS0&spJobID=1903880154&spReportId=MTkwMzg4MDE1NAS2

 

EXOPLANETS

Interacting planets discovered by ground-based observatory https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200702113250.htm

Ultrahot planet is in strange orbit around weird star! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200630125144.htm

First measure of spin-orbit alignment on Beta Pictoris B https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200629090010.htm

Super-Earths discovered orbiting very nearby Red Dwarf! https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200625144833.htm

Infant 'Neptune' discovered in dust disc https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200624120448.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Science+News%29

 

IMAGES

https://newatlas.com/digital-cameras/milky-way-photography-competition/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=77a36c4134-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_06_29_08_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-77a36c4134-92786061

 

SETI

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/three-dozen-alien-civilizations-may-be-advanced-enough-communicate-us?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-06-25&et_rid=415711678&et_cid=3379645

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Searching for clues to life on Mars https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/nasa-s-new-rover-will-collect-martian-rocks-and-clues-planet-s-ancient-climate?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-06-25&et_rid=415711678&et_cid=3379645

   Amazing new images of sample return sites on asteroid Bennu! https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/this-new-super-accurate-way-to-pinpoint-our-solar-system-s-center-may-help-spot-monster-black-hole-crashes/ar-BB16gK68?ocid=msedgdhp

 

SPACE

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/don-t-expect-nasa-s-1st-artemis-astronauts-to-drive-on-the-moon-in-a-fancy-lunar-car/ar-BB15RR5K?ocid=spartan-dhp-feeds

  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8452303/Foam-spewing-spacecraft-collect-space-junk-like-spider-web.html

China to launch a Mars mission comprising an orbiter, lander and rover! https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/mars-mission-would-put-china-among-space-leaders?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-06-25&et_rid=415711678&et_cid=3379645

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/nasa-s-new-rover-will-collect-martian-rocks-and-clues-planet-s-ancient-climate?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-06-25&et_rid=415711678&et_cid=3379645

Prize money for the best design of a 'Luu'. https://newatlas.com/space/nasa-lunar-loo-challenge/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=21ff45620c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_06_26_08_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-21ff45620c-92786061

  https://newatlas.com/space/virgin-galactic-glide-testing-spaceport-america/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=21ff45620c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_06_26_08_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-21ff45620c-92786061

Almost - https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/newslondon/florida-startup-plans-to-run-balloon-rides-to-the-edge-of-space/ar-BB16aMVM?ocid=msedgdhp The sky would be dark (ignoring aurorae), but not dark enough to see stars to the NE limit, and you wouldn't experience any weightlessness. But you would see the curvature of the Earth - you could buy a ticket for your favourite flat Earther. I don't know whether it would be in daylight, or night-time, or some of each. If there's a night-time option, avoid moonlight!

   https://stfc.ukri.org/news/uk-space-sector-gets-a-boost-with-the-installation-of-a-giant-new-satellite-test-chamber/?utm_source=STFC+communications&utm_campaign=a831802c77-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_24_01_17_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_996d2e3807-a831802c77-9202371

  https://newatlas.com/space/energia-tourist-spacewalk-iss/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=77a36c4134-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_06_29_08_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-77a36c4134-92786061

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8476345/Liftoff-SpaceX-launches-Space-Force-GPS-satellite-orbit-aboard-Falcon-9-rocket.html

   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8462751/NASA-outlines-plan-use-steam-powered-robots-explore-icy-moons.html  James Watt would approve!

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/technology/virgin-galactic-to-reveal-spaceshiptwo-cabin-design-on-july-28/ar-BB16gvXR?ocid=msedgdhp

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/companies/britain-wins-bidding-war-for-satellite-company-oneweb/ar-BB16ijq9?ocid=msedgdhp

 

SUN

Neutrinos reveal solar secrets https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/elusive-neutrinos-reveal-how-nuclear-fusion-fuels-sun?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-06-25&et_rid=415711678&et_cid=3379645

10 years of solar activity in time lapse video https://newatlas.com/space/nasa-sun-time-lapse-video/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=21ff45620c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_06_26_08_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-21ff45620c-92786061

New light on the mystery of the Sun's cycle https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200625144835.htm

 

Telescopes, Instruments, Techniques

New optical laser frequency comb will aid the search for exoplanets https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200622152507.htm

Setback for SKA:   https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/south-africa-slashes-science-budget-funds-giant-radio-telescope?utm_campaign=news_daily_2020-06-25&et_rid=415711678&et_cid=3379645

   https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tiny-gravitational-wave-detector-could-search-anywhere-in-the-sky/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=today-in-science&utm_content=link&utm_term=2020-06-30_featured-this-week&spMailingID=67253373&spUserID=NDcyNjA3Njk3NzkzS0&spJobID=1904568540&spReportId=MTkwNDU2ODU0MAS2

   https://stfc.ukri.org/news/first-light-instrument-for-worlds-largest-telescope-passes-design-milestone/?utm_source=STFC+communications&utm_campaign=a831802c77-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_24_01_17_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_996d2e3807-a831802c77-9202371

   https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/this-new-super-accurate-way-to-pinpoint-our-solar-system-s-center-may-help-spot-monster-black-hole-crashes/ar-BB16gK68?ocid=msedgdhp

 

18. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION. This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
If you are a UK taxpayer, please tick the 'gift-aid' box, as that enables us to reclaim the standard rate of tax on your subscription, at no cost to you. You can also make a donation via Paypal if you wish: just click on the 'Donate' button. See also
https://irishastro.org/  

 

The Irish Astronomical Association is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 105858

 

DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley



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