Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Mars lecture, ISS, Female astronomers, Webinar, Scope for sale, AOP event, Astrophoto comp, online courses, Teasers, Close asteroid pass, ESA seeks astfronauts, more


Hi all,

 

(NB, all times are summer time when in force, for convenience)

 

1.  IAA lecture via Zoom & YouTube, 3 March, 7.30 p.m.: " Mars, the Search for Origins" .by Kevin Nolan.

Abstract: Mars shared an early history not dissimilar to Earth, and so the origin of life there is considered plausible. This talk looks at the history of our engagement with Mars; and examines the present day multi-decadal robotic exploration campaign to characterise the planet and what it has to reveal about life origins processes. The reasoning for exploring the planet are considered, and the resulting scientific priorities, mission and instrument characteristics outlined. Finally, key results to date are presented, what they reveal about the planet and how they will shape the next missions there.

Biography: Kevin Nolan is a lecturer in physics at TU Dublin, Tallaght campus. Having returned to academia from industry, Kevin is also working on a part-time PhD under Dr. Niall Smith, Head of Research at CIT. The project originally involved developing a software pipeline for the ESA Integral / OMC camera in association with Prof. Lorraine Hanlon, UCD; and now involves the data analysis of AGN photometric data derived from the mission. Kevin is also involved in science outreach and has been a Volunteer for The Planetary Society (founder Carl Sagan) since 1998. In 2008 Kevin had a popular science book published titled "Mars, a Cosmic Stepping Stone" examining the motivations for the robotic exploration of the planet Mars. Kevin also makes frequent contributions to Astronomy Ireland magazine, The Irish Time and RTE in the areas of space science and exploration. 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85075031888?pwd=ZDA2WWxBcWVaV0pldXAvVnRURW9SQT09

Meeting ID: 850 7503 1888
Passcode: 771101

2. The ISS continues its series of morning passes until 11 March.

Details of each pass for your own location, and lots more astronomy and space information, on www.heavens-above.com

 

3. Women and girls in Astronomy month: The IAU is promoting this awareness event from 11 Feb to 8 March.

 https://www.iau.org/public/women-and-girls-in-astronomy/

 

4. REGULAR FORTNIGHTLY SPACE and ASTRONOMY WEBINAR – Next is March 9

NB: Note platform change. Since most people have been watching on YouTube, we are ceasing the presentation via Zoom, and it will now be streamed live on both YouTube and Facebook. This will also give us lots of added features in the presentation.

    Presented by me and the amazing Nick Howes, they are approximately 45 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 23 February: youtube.com/spacestorelive

  NB – So, from now on it will be Live streamed to YouTube SpaceStore Live! Channel and Live streamed to Facebook Live. I'll post any last minute news via Twitter.

 

5. Telescope for sale

For sale: Celestron C8 (OTA only, no mount, but comes with a few accessories). About 8 years old but has had very little use, so is in excellent condition.

   I would  prefer to try and sell it locally if I could (socially distanced and with masks of course). 

   I do have a rough price in mind, but would be open to sensible offers. Contact details are:

ciaranodonnell2000@yahoo.co.uk

Mob. 07791394834

 

6. STAR TRACKER ONLINE, hosted by AOP,   31 Mar.

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium hosts "Armagh StarTracker Online", a star show where we take you on a tour of the night sky using a virtual planetarium followed by live viewing the stars using telescopes in the Canary Islands. We will be using Slooh's online robotic telescopes to view the celestial objects. There will be a chance throughout the sessions to ask questions to the Director of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, Professor Michael Burton.
    Each session will focus on different objects and stars that are visible in the night sky.
    Tickets are free (donations are welcome) and the zoom details will be emailed in advance.
*Please note you only need to book one ticket for one household.*

Date: 31st March, Time: 8pm
Admission: Free (donations welcome)

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/shooting-for-the-starscelebrating-irish-contributions-to-space-exploration-tickets-137840212787?fbclid=IwAR2BVt9b8N8v5VykM-C0WR0jfL9mO2H3eiMOP_xalda28Ij_QP4FO7AFHYY

 

7. Reach for the Stars astrophotography competition, run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and the Irish Times jointly with the support of the IAS - John Flannery will be one of the judges. Details available at this site: For info: the images can be taken anywhere on the whole island of Ireland, up until 31 March 2021.

https://www.dias.ie/ga/2020/12/16/reach-for-the-stars-diass-astrophotography-competition/ or see

We're sponsoring a new DIAS astrophotography competition! - Alice PR & Events

Or else, just go to dias.ie, the host website, and you should see it flagged in the announcements.

 

8.  Space for Art Foundation Requesting Space Art from Children, deadline 1 May
The Space for Art Foundation invites children from anywhere in the world to contribute artwork to their next project: a space suit called BEYOND. Submissions can be emailed to the foundation or posted to the foundation's Facebook page. Entries should be submitted by 1 May 2021.
Learn more here: 
https://www.spaceforartfoundation.org/projects

 

9. Free Online Courses

"Moons of our Solar System" Online Course
Free online course on moons in the solar system from The Open University
Link: 
https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/moons
Link: 
https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=6910
AstroSTEM
Lesson plans and activities about astronomy and other STEM fields
Link: 
http://www.astrostem.org/
See the full list of online events and resources here: 
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RgKVmO-JkuiWMV55syx3EwUS2-hnYcJ72Ks3HLKex2A/edit?usp=sharing

 

10. Hard Teaser answered right away!   &*%$£$%& !!! Hmmmph. That didn't last long. John O'Neill (again!) was in with the answer in under an hour!

The question was - What links: Cardiff (Wales), TCD, Tonbridge (Kent), and a bible ? The answer is Arthur Philip Norton, author of the star atlas and reference handbook that bears his name. It's often called 'the astronomer's bible', and is usually just referred to as 'Norton'. He was born in Cardiff, took his BA degree from TCD in 1898, and spent most of his career teaching at the Judd School in Tonbridge.

   Well done again, John.

 

Easy Teaser: Of the 12 official zodiacal constellations, what record is held by Scorpius?

Please send all answers to me at my aol address terrymosel@aol.com

 

11. Close fast pass by mountain-sized asteroid on March 21.

Asteroid 231937 will whizz past us on Mar 21, at only 5.3 Lunar Distances, and at the high speed of 34.4km/sec. It has an estimated diameter of 1024m. No danger of a collision, but that's fairly close for such a big asteroid and especially one going so fast! Remember, the energy of the impact increases directly with the mass of the body, but increases with the square of the velocity.  That impact would destroy Greater London!

Addendum: Brian Beesley did some calculations, and estimates that the destruction would be very many times greater than my conservative guess.

UPDATE: Of the 60 NEOs listed currently on Space.com, this one has BY FAR the highest relative velocity! The mean velocity of those 60 is 10.26 km/sec. And the next highest velocity after this one is 26km/sec, and that's for a much smaller body and at a much greater distance.

   And it's more than twice the diameter of the next biggest one in the list! In fact, so it's more than 8 times larger in volume. In fact it's almost 17 times larger in diameter than the average on that list.

   Now the media is onto the story Asteroid news: Largest asteroid to fly by this year travelling 100 times faster than sound (msn.com) and Asteroid news: NASA tracking 2021's biggest asteroid- three times bigger than Eiffel Tower (msn.com)

 

12. ESA seeks new astronauts: apply March 31 to May 28

European Space Agency on the hunt for new astronauts (msn.com)

 

13. June 8-11: Institutions of Extraterrestrial Liberty, hosted by U of Edinburgh. 4 days of webinars on Human Exploration of Mars.

                                                                                                     

14.  Davagh Dark Sky Park and Observatory closed until further notice

 See https://www.midulstercouncil.org/visitor/things-to-do/star-gazing/davagh-dark-sky-observatory , and https://www.facebook.com/omdarksky/ I'll post any updates here. Or phone 03000 132 132 for changing Covid-19 advice.

 

15. 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 smallest galaxies in our universe bring more about dark matter to light -- ScienceDaily

   'Ghostly' neutrino from star-shredding black hole reveals cosmic particle accelerator of epic proportions | Space

   New study suggests supermassive black holes could form from dark matter -- ScienceDaily We do need some new explanation of how such huge SMBHs could form so quickly.

   Amazing view and findings on BL Lac Blazar https://www.facebook.com/1277799034/posts/10219177595052210/?sfnsn=scwspmo

   Astronomers accurately measure the temperature of red supergiant stars -- ScienceDaily

Delayed radio flares after star is destroyed by black hole -- ScienceDaily

  Meteorites remember conditions of stellar explosions: Radioactivity in meteorites sheds light on origin of heaviest elements in our solar system -- ScienceDaily

  Largest cluster of galaxies known in the early universe -- ScienceDaily

Ireland's LOFAR probably contributed to this A map of 25,000 Supermassive Black Holes Across the Universe - Universe Today

   Cygnus X-1 was the First Black Hole Ever Found. New Measurements Show it's Much More Massive Than Previously Believed - Universe Today

   Our Part of the Galaxy is Packed with Binary Stars - Universe Today

The Core Of The Milky Way Is An Extreme Place - Universe Today

   One Type of Fast Radio Bursts... Solved? - Universe Today

Astronomers Think They've Found the Neutron Star Remnant Left Behind from Supernova 1987A - Universe Today

  Scientists link star-shredding event to origins of universe's highest-energy particles -- ScienceDaily

Cold gas pipelines feeding early, massive galaxies -- ScienceDaily

 

COSMOLOGY

Supercomputer turns back cosmic clock -- ScienceDaily

 

EARTH & MOON

Astrophysicists create the most accurate 'flat map' of Earth ever | Space

Record-high Arctic freshwater will flow to Labrador Sea, affecting local and global oceans

https://phys.org/news/2021-02-record-high-arctic-freshwater-labrador-sea.html

   This is particularly bad news for Ireland/UK. Weakening Gulf Stream may disrupt world weather | Climate News Network

   Lumpy, 30-pound meteorite that crashed in Sweden recovered in local village | Space

Planetary defense experts use infamous asteroid Apophis to practice spotting dangerous space rocks | Space  

   Brilliant yellow-green fireball lights up sky above England (video, photos) | Space

https://physicsworld.com/a/iridium-in-undersea-crater-confirms-asteroid-wiped-out-the-dinosaurs/ 

  Apollo rock samples capture key moments in the Moon's early history -- ScienceDaily

  Earth's largest known impact crater is in  Antarctica 250 million years ago a meteorite hit Antarctica | Polarjournal

 

EXOPLANETS

Scientists discover rare backward star rotating in opposite direction to its planets (msn.com)

 

EXOLIFE

Since Perseverance is Searching for Life, What Will it Be Looking for? - Universe Today

Did Ancient Martian Life Eat Rocks For Food? - Universe Today

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Life on Mars: Expert 'quietly confident' Perseverance will dig up evidence of ancient life (msn.com)

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover is about to land in Jezero Crater. Here's what we know about the place. | Space

   Planetary scientists discover evidence for a reduced atmosphere on ancient Mars -- ScienceDaily

Martian rover sends back 'overwhelming' video, audio from the Red Planet | Science | AAAS (sciencemag.org)

   NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover Provides First Audio Recording on Mars | NASA

Experience Seven Minutes of Terror in New Perseverance Mars Rover Landing Video - Scientific American

   Were the Mars moons Phobos and Deimos born from another shattered moon? | Space

Scientists see 'bright flash' as object smashes into Jupiter (msn.com)

   Evidence of dynamic seasonal activity on a Martian sand dune: Research finds that airborne dust plumes are produced by sliding blocks of dry ice each spring -- ScienceDaily

   NASA's Parker Solar Probe captures stunning Venus photo during close flyby (msn.com)

Planetary defense experts use infamous asteroid Apophis to practice spotting dangerous space rocks | Space

   Meteorites remember conditions of stellar explosions: Radioactivity in meteorites sheds light on origin of heaviest elements in our solar system -- ScienceDaily

   Newfound Comet Leonard will blaze into view this year | Space

'Harbor Seal Rock' on Mars and other new sights intrigue Perseverance rover scientists | Space Some of that terrain is going to be tough on the Rover's wheels!

   There's Evidence That Mars Once Had an Atmosphere With Less Oxygen. A Possible Biosignature For Life? - Universe Today

  Titan's Atmosphere Recreated in an Earth Laboratory - Universe Today

Some Earth Life Could Already Survive on Mars - Universe Today

   Parker Solar Probe offers stunning view of Venus -- ScienceDaily

 

SPACE

https://interestingengineering.com/worlds-first-commercial-space-station-130-million

Amazing video of Perseverance Descent and touchdown on Mars NASA unveils video of Perseverance landing on Mars [Video] (aol.co.uk)

  NASA delays launch of DART asteroid defense mission | Space

Astronauts undertake 7-hour spacewalk to prepare ISS for new solar arrays (newatlas.com)

   Rocket Lab's reusable Neutron rocket is built for human spaceflight (newatlas.com)

Vice President Kamala Harris calls NASA astronaut on International Space Station | Space

   India launches Brazil's Amazonia-1 Earth observation satellite and 18 others into orbit | Space

Imaging space debris in high resolution -- ScienceDaily

   SpaceX is ready to launch more astronauts with Crew-2 next month | Space

Watch Perseverance Land on Mars. Mind...Blown - Universe Today

   The Mars Helicopter is Online and Getting Ready to Fly - Universe Today

Moon dust could be a serious problem!  https://www.wired.com/story/moondust-nasa-lunar-ambitions/?utm_source=onsite-share&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=onsite-share&utm_brand=wired 

   Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin won't launch its 1st New Glenn rocket until late 2022 | Space

How Long Will Space Junk Take to Burn Up? Here's a Handy Chart - Universe Today

Just amazing! Perseverance's Landing ... Seen From Orbit! - Universe Today

   The Space Court Foundation Presents: "Women of Color in Space" - Universe Today

 

TELESCOPES, INSTRUMENTS, TECHNIQUES

'Ambitious' global radio astronomy organisation launched – UKRI

NASA's Webb telescope will capture more stars at higher resolution: What that means for astronomy (phys.org)

 

16.  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


Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Mars talk, Mars landing live, sky video, ISS, Women & girls in astronomy, Feb sky guide, Webinar, RAS grants, Scope sale, more


Hi all,

 

(NB, all times are summer time when in force, for convenience)

 

1.  IAA lecture via Zoom & YouTube, 17 February, 7.30 p.m.: " Investigating the atmospheres of alien worlds"

Abstract:

It has now been over 25 years since the discovery of the first exoplanet around a Sun-like star. Since then, thousands of exoplanets have been discovered, most in systems that do not resemble our own Solar System. What is more, we have been able to study the atmospheres of some of these worlds. In this talk, I will discuss how we can study exoplanet atmospheres and what we have learned so far. 

Biography: Dr. Ernst de Mooij is a lecturer at Queen's University Belfast. He obtained his PhD from Leiden University, after which he became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto. Subsequently he moved to Queen's University Belfast as the Michael West Fellow, following on from that he was an assistant professor for 3 years at Dublin City University.

His research is focused on the characterisation of exoplanets and their environment, including their atmospheres and exo-rings.

   The link is:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86203682703?pwd=S1NJMGU3Uml1TVpxeEQwOFdmOFhBQT09

Meeting ID: 862 0368 2703
Passcode: 090170

The room will open around 19:15 to allow for a prompt start. This talk will also be Simulcast on our YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/irishastronomy/videos

2.  Watch Mars Perseverance landing 'Seven Minutes of Terror' live, 18 February

Watch Online: Mars Landing - NASA Mars

And read this first -  I get nervous just reading this! Go, Perseverance, go ! Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) - NASA Mars

 

3. Paul Evans' great new Sky video for February

https://youtu.be/E3yrXhyPMEk

In glorious Full HD, here's my sky guide for February 2021 featuring the Sun, the Planets, a very thin Moon and much more!

 

4. The ISS will start another series of morning passes on 19 February.

Details of each pass for your own location, and lots more astronomy and space information, on www.heavens-above.com

 

5. Women and girls in Astronomy month: The IAU is promoting this awareness event from 11 Feb to 8 March.

 https://www.iau.org/public/women-and-girls-in-astronomy/

 

6. John Flannery's excellent guide for February in the Irish Times

What to watch out for in February's night skies (irishtimes.com)

 

7. REGULAR FORTNIGHTLY SPACE and ASTRONOMY WEBINAR – Next is February 23

NB: Note platform change. Since most people have been watching on YouTube, we are ceasing the presentation via Zoom, and it will now be streamed live on both YouTube and Facebook. This will also give us lots of added features in the presentation.

    Presented by me and the amazing Nick Howes, they are approximately 45 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 23 February: youtube.com/spacestorelive

  NB – So, from now on it will be Live streamed to YouTube SpaceStore Live! Channel and Live streamed to Facebook Live. I'll post any last minute news via Twitter.

 

8.  Royal Astronomical Society Education & Outreach Grants

( I've only just learned of this – maybe too short notice now, but worth bearing in mind for the next deadline of 15 August, giving yourself more time to prepare.)

The 15 February deadline for the Royal Astronomical Society Education & Outreach Grants is fast approaching. These one-time, 5000 GBP grants are designed to fund specific projects that bring astronomy to the public.

Learn more here: 
https://ras.ac.uk/awards-and-grants/outreach/education-outreach-small-grants-scheme

 

9. Telescope for sale

For sale: Celestron C8 (OTA only, no mount, but comes with a few accessories). About 8 years old but has had very little use, so is in excellent condition.

   I would  prefer to try and sell it locally if I could (socially distanced and with masks of course). 

   I do have a rough price in mind, but would be open to sensible offers. Contact details are:

ciaranodonnell2000@yahoo.co.uk

Mob. 07791394834

 

10. STAR TRACKER ONLINE, hosted by AOP,  24 Feb, 31 Mar.

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium hosts "Armagh StarTracker Online", a star show where we take you on a tour of the night sky using a virtual planetarium followed by live viewing the stars using telescopes in the Canary Islands. We will be using Slooh's online robotic telescopes to view the celestial objects. There will be a chance throughout the sessions to ask questions to the Director of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, Professor Michael Burton.
    Each session will focus on different objects and stars that are visible in the night sky.
    Tickets are free (donations are welcome) and the zoom details will be emailed in advance.
*Please note you only need to book one ticket for one household.*

Dates: 24th February, 31st March, Time: 8pm
Admission: Free (donations welcome)

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/shooting-for-the-starscelebrating-irish-contributions-to-space-exploration-tickets-137840212787?fbclid=IwAR2BVt9b8N8v5VykM-C0WR0jfL9mO2H3eiMOP_xalda28Ij_QP4FO7AFHYY

 

11. Reach for the Stars astrophotography competition, run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and the Irish Times jointly with the support of the IAS - John Flannery will be one of the judges. Details available at this site: For info: the images can be taken anywhere on the whole island of Ireland, ujp until 31 March 2021.

https://www.dias.ie/ga/2020/12/16/reach-for-the-stars-diass-astrophotography-competition/ or see

We're sponsoring a new DIAS astrophotography competition! - Alice PR & Events

Or else, just go to dias.ie, the host website, and you should see it flagged in the announcements.

 

12.  Space for Art Foundation Requesting Space Art from Children, deadline 1 May
The Space for Art Foundation invites children from anywhere in the world to contribute artwork to their next project: a space suit called BEYOND. Submissions can be emailed to the foundation or posted to the foundation's Facebook page. Entries should be submitted by 1 May 2021.
Learn more here: 
https://www.spaceforartfoundation.org/projects

 

13. Free Online Courses

"Moons of our Solar System" Online Course
Free online course on moons in the solar system from The Open University
Link: 
https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/moons
Link: 
https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=6910
AstroSTEM
Lesson plans and activities about astronomy and other STEM fields
Link: 
http://www.astrostem.org/
See the full list of online events and resources here: 
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RgKVmO-JkuiWMV55syx3EwUS2-hnYcJ72Ks3HLKex2A/edit?usp=sharing

14 'Easy Teaser' answered quickly

What's the connection between a piano and the night sky? Answer: there are 88 constellations, and a piano has 88 keys. First correct answer came from Tom O'Donohue, followed a few hours later by Mark Hawkins. Well done to both.

 

15. New 'Hard' Teaser. Okay; you've been getting them too quickly. So - No more 'Mr Nice Guy – this should test you!

What links: Cardiff (Wales), TCD, Tonbridge (Kent), and a bible ?

Please send all answers to me at my aol address terrymosel@aol.com

 

16. Astrophysics & Cosmology Masterclass, 25 February. Maynooth University

This event is targeted at 5th & 6th year LC secondary-school pupils, and may be of interest to younger members and acquaintances.  More info at the following link.

https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/node/498485

 

17. Close fast pass by mountain-sized asteroid on March 21.

Asteroid 231937 will whizz past us on Mar 21, at only 5.3 Lunar Distances, and at the high speed of 34.4km/sec. It has an estimated diameter of 1024m. No danger of a collision, but that's fairly close for such a big asteroid and especially one going so fast! Remember, the energy of the impact increases directly with the mass of the body, but increases with the square of the velocity.  That impact would destroy Greater London!

Addendum: Brian Beesley did some calculations, and estimates that the destruction would be very many times greater than my conservative guess.

Now the media is onto the story Asteroid news: Largest asteroid to fly by this year travelling 100 times faster than sound (msn.com) and Asteroid news: NASA tracking 2021's biggest asteroid- three times bigger than Eiffel Tower (msn.com)

 

18. ESA seeks new astronauts: apply March 31 to May 28

European Space Agency on the hunt for new astronauts (msn.com)

 

19. June 8-11: Institutions of Extraterrestrial Liberty, hosted by U of Edinburgh. 4 days of webinars on Human Exploration of Mars.

                                                                                                     

20.  Davagh Dark Sky Park and Observatory closed until further notice

 See https://www.midulstercouncil.org/visitor/things-to-do/star-gazing/davagh-dark-sky-observatory , and https://www.facebook.com/omdarksky/ I'll post any updates here. Or phone 03000 132 132 for changing Covid-19 advice.

 

21. 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 secrets of 3000 galaxies laid bare: Shedding light on the evolution of the Universe -- ScienceDaily

A giant black hole suddenly went dark, and no one knows why (msn.com)

Another triumph for citizen science Scientists find the source of mysterious pulses being blasted towards Earth (msn.com)

NASA demonstrates the life course of a red giant (msn.com)

Neutrinos – the particles which shouldn't exist https://www.facebook.com/100005425388535/posts/1554550034735828/?substory_index=2&sfnsn=scwspmo

  Scintillating discovery: these distant 'baby' black holes seem to be misbehaving — and experts are perplexed (theconversation.com)

  A weird magnetar https://www.sciencealert.com/astronomers-detect-strange-never-before-seen-activity-from-a-very-weird-magnetar

   True identity of mysterious gamma-ray source revealed -- ScienceDaily

Astrophysicists: gamma-ray jets exceed the speed of light - Big Think

   Could there be a cluster of antimatter stars orbiting our galaxy? | Space  

Scientists find clump of black holes inside the heart of globular cluster (video) | Space and

   Hubble uncovers concentration of small black holes -- ScienceDaily

Surprisingly mature galaxy in the infant universe suggests galaxies form faster than we thought (msn.com)

   Mystery of gamma radiation solved: Hidden cannibal star is just having dinner (msn.com)

Sounds like one of Lady Gaga's outfits! White dwarfs wear the crushed corpses of planets in their atmospheres (msn.com)  Here's a much more sensible and accurate headline – even if it's from the DE!

Astronomers detect remains of vaporised ancient Earth-like planets | Science | News | Express.co.uk

   Heart shape found in centre of Crab Nebula Spectacular 'honeycomb heart' revealed in iconic stellar explosion -- ScienceDaily

   Student finds missing matter in our galaxy Student astronomer finds galactic missing matter: Distant galaxies used as 'locator pins' to detect 'invisible' cold clump of gas -- ScienceDaily

   Portrait of young galaxy throws theory of galaxy formation on its head: Scientists peer 12 billion years into the past to reveal distant galaxy with an unexpected appearance -- ScienceDaily

   Black hole breakthrough could 'violate' Einstein's theory as find poses 'huge implication' (msn.com)

Rare blast's remains discovered in Milky Way's center -- ScienceDaily

   Revealing Betelgeuse's secrets Study of supergiant star Betelgeuse unveils the cause of its pulsations: Recalibrated its mass, radius, and distance -- ScienceDaily

 

COSMOLOGY

   Scientists narrow down the 'weight' of dark matter trillions of trillions of times (msn.com) That's fantastic – now they only have a range of 10^9 to consider! Like looking for a needle in only a billion haystacks instead of octillions of haystacks!

   Detecting axions as Dark Matter particles Dark matter: A new tool in the search for axions -- ScienceDaily

Recreating the Big Bang, and determining the density of matter  https://www.facebook.com/102023751671829/posts/3650636375024682/?sfnsn=scwspmo

   Could there be a cluster of antimatter stars orbiting our galaxy? (msn.com)

Superpowerful 'oscillon' particles could have dominated the infant universe, then vanished (msn.com)

   Massive space structures may explain weird alignments - Big Think  But Inflation is based on the premise that the universe is homogenous on the large scale. If this shows that it isn't, there's no need to hypothesize Inflation. Back to Square One! And also https://www.facebook.com/46126453526/posts/10158010531588527/?sfnsn=scwspmo

   Astronomers offer possible explanation for elusive dark-matter-free galaxies: Extreme tidal mass loss in dwarf galaxies formed in a simulation -- ScienceDaily

  

DARK SKIES

Saving our dark skies (msn.com)

 

EARTH & MOON

Sea level will rise faster than previously thought -- ScienceDaily

How do electrons close to Earth reach almost the speed of light? -- ScienceDaily

The End is Nigh – again. And again - about 40 times! Seriously, I've been hearing this crap every year or so since I've been able to remember. Enjoy – it's a good free laugh Pastor Paul Begley warns 'the earth is going to be shaking' (msn.com)

  'First glimpse of life' NASA sparked stunning discovery underneath Antarctica's ice (msn.com)

NASA appoints climate advisor to prioritize Earth science in Biden administration (msn.com)

   Denmark's first artificial energy island will power 3 million homes (msn.com)

NASA picks Firefly Aerospace to deliver science payloads to the moon in 2023 (msn.com)

   Science suggests possible climate link to Covid-19 | Climate News Network

Balloon test flight plan under fire over solar geoengineering fears (msn.com)

   Elon Musk launches $100 million Xprize competition (msn.com)

We need to start refreezing the Arctic Ocean as soon as possible to save our megacities (msn.com)

   Scientists prepare for their last good look at asteroid Apophis before 2029 flyby (msn.com) and

Asteroid Apophis: Watch live as 'God of Chaos' passes Earth in March | Science | News | Express.co.uk They seem to be ignoring the fact that another asteroid, 231937, the same size as Apophis, and going more than twice as fast, will pass very much closer to us on 21 March! See item in main section above!

  China's Yutu 2 rover finds 'milestone' on far side of the moon (msn.com)

Moon appears to DEFLATE as it disappears behind the horizon in ISS footage | Daily Mail Online You can see the same thing to a lesser extent from the ground, but not quite so quickly!

   NASA scientists explore the 'anomaly' in Earth's magnetic field (msn.com)

The comet that killed the dinosaurs: New theory explains possible origin of the Chicxulub impactor -- ScienceDaily  There's nothing particularly new in this – it was always one of the possibilities. But it doesn't explain the iridium anomaly – iridium is more common in asteroids than in comets.

 

EXOPLANETS

Amazing http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/habitable-zone-planet-alpha-centauri-a-09343.html

   Mysterious origin of Super-Earths  Astronomers uncover mysterious origins of 'super-Earths': Study shows super-Earths are not leftovers of mini-Neptunes, challenging our understanding of planetary formation -- ScienceDaily

   A new way to look for life-sustaining planets -- ScienceDaily

NASA's TESS discovers new worlds in a river of young stars -- ScienceDaily

 

EXOLIFE

End of the world: Elon Musk backed theory 'something in universe is killing everything' | Science | News | Express.co.uk

 

HISTORY / ORIGINS

 100,000-year-old story could explain why the Pleiades are called 'Seven Sisters' (msn.com)

 

IMAGES

Amazing space images of the week (msn.com)

 

LIGHT POLLUTION –Health Risks

Street lamps can increase your risk of thyroid cancer by up to 55%, study shows | Daily Mail Online

 

SETI

Pollution on other planets could help us find aliens, Nasa says (msn.com)

 

SOLAR SYSTEM

Mars: Experiment shows the activity of soil analog samples (msn.com)

   NASA alien life study: Mars landslides could indicate 'near-surface active chemistry' (msn.com)

20 cool facts to know about Pluto (msn.com)

https://futurism.com/the-byte/perfect-spot-mars-colony

Mars may have had up to 20 separate ice ages Mars had up to 20 separate ice ages, discover scientists - Big Think

Mission to metal-rich asteroid Psyche approved NASA's Psyche mission moves forward, passing key milestone (phys.org)

   Clues about Mars' atmosphere may lie on the surface of its moon Phobos (msn.com)

Scientist proposes a new timeline for Mars terrains: Updated models predict that NASA's Perseverance rover will encounter more ancient surfaces -- ScienceDaily

   Scientists prepare for their last good look at asteroid Apophis before 2029 flyby (msn.com)

China releases first video of Mars captured by Tianwen-1 in orbit (msn.com)

   Scientist proposes a new timeline for Mars terrains: Updated models predict that NASA's Perseverance rover will encounter more ancient surfaces -- ScienceDaily

Astronomers confirm solar system's most distant known object is indeed Farfarout -- ScienceDaily and

https://phys.org/news/2021-02-astronomers-orbit-distant-solar.amp and https://www.facebook.com/groups/1442958012638876/permalink/2941676009433728/?sfnsn=scwspmo

Can super-Earth interior dynamics set the table for habitability? Are super-Earths capable of creating conditions that are hospitable for life to arise and thrive? -- ScienceDaily

   Jupiter's Trojans provide puzzles https://www.facebook.com/672161609/posts/10157688420546610/?sfnsn=scwspmo

   Water vapour detected coming from Mars https://www.facebook.com/47849178041/posts/10158059973223042/?sfnsn=scwspmo

   Why 'Oumuamua isn't an alien artefact https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2021/02/10/new-theory-perfectly-explains-oumuamua-naturally-from-exo-pluto-collisions/

   NASA Mars InSight lander limits operations due to dusty solar panels (msn.com)

Bringing Mars rocks back to Earth – Perseverance Rover lands on Feb. 18, a lead scientist explains the tech and goals (theconversation.com)

   Claim for giant 'Planet Nine' at Solar System's edge takes a hit | Science | AAAS (sciencemag.org) the jury is still out!  See also

The solar system's mysterious 'ninth planet' may never have existed at all, scientists say (msn.com)

 And 'Any evidence for Planet Nine is gone': Scientists dispute probability of mystery planet (msn.com)

    As Perseverance Approaches Mars, Scientists Debate Its Sampling Strategy - Scientific American I really hope it's not 'barreling'! Barrels roll along like a log rolling downhill! Just say it's 'speeding' towards Mars.

   Mars InSight: why we'll be listening to the landing of the Perseverance rover (theconversation.com)

 

SPACE

Will private space travel become a reality?

https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/DisplayMessage?ws_popup=true&ws_suite=true

Oops again! Another RUD on landing. SpaceX Starship high-altitude test flight ends in another fiery finale (newatlas.com) and

Test flight for SpaceX's Starship ends in spectacular fashion... again (msn.com)

  UK could soon become world leader in tackling space junk, says rocket developer (msn.com)

Space 2021: All the Mars landings, eclipses, astronaut flights, rocket launches, and other big missions to look for this year (msn.com)

  Starship SN10 launch date: Prelaunch testing expected 'soon' after fiery crash of SN9 (msn.com)

Elon Musk gives damning indictment of SpaceX over Starship SN9 failure 'Too dumb' (msn.com)

Northrop Grumman names spacecraft for NASA 'Hidden Figure' Katherine Johnson (msn.com)

Northrop Grumman test-fires rocket motors for new Vulcan Centaur booster (msn.com)

   US still committed to landing Artemis astronauts on the moon, White House says (msn.com)

Biden administration appoints Steve Jurczyk acting NASA chief | Space

   China's iSpace fails to reach orbit in 2nd launch attempt (msn.com)

The UK's space industry has to benefit communities across the country (msn.com)

   The first-ever space helicopter is approaching Mars in the belly of NASA's rover. It could change how we explore other planets. (msn.com)

   Spacewatch: Airbus to build three more moon mission modules (msn.com) Why can't they just say how much power it will generate in  kW? I've no idea how much it takes to power "two households"! And is that in summer or winter? Households probably vary by a factor of at least 5 in energy consumption, depending on lots of variables. Why not just say 8kW, or 12kW or 15kW, or whatever it is?

   NASA picks Firefly Aerospace to deliver science payloads to the moon in 2023 (msn.com)

Ministers accused of 'punishing' UK Space Agency by stripping it of strategy decisions (msn.com)

   NASA has a lot to tackle this as Biden takes charge. Here's what the agency's acting chief has to say. (msn.com)

https://futurism.com/the-byte/perfect-spot-mars-colony That's better than nothing, but still not nearly enough. And just think what they will be exposed to every time they go out onto the surface! If they go out at night they will be shielded from solar radiation, but every time they're on the surface they will be exposed to much more dangerous cosmic rays. Even Elon Musk, with his grandiose schemes to produce a Martian atmosphere (which isn't really possible either), won't be able to get Mars to generate a magnetic field like the Earth's. So plans for Mars as a 'second Earth' are just fantasy.

   How Mars became the prize for the new space race – and why China is hellbent on winning it (msn.com)

  Space Race, mark 2! (or 3, if you include China)  An unleashed Jeff Bezos will seek to shift space venture Blue Origin into hyperdrive (msn.com)

   Elon Musk outlines biggest hurdles the SpaceX Starship needs to overcome (msn.com)

The ethical concerns of space exploration & the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (msn.com)

   Elon Musk explains 'risks' of moving to Mars (msn.com)

SpaceX Starship SN10 fitted with new engines as road closures suggest testing is imminent (msn.com)

  New private space plane making progress  https://www.facebook.com/692905441/posts/10165024446905442/?sfnsn=scwspmo

   China releases first video of Mars captured by Tianwen-1 in orbit (msn.com)

SpaceX Starship: Elon Musk says Starship will reach regular flights by 2023 | Science | News | Express.co.uk

   Preparations for weightlessness both excite and scare the Valoria 2 crew — Commander's Report: sol 2 (msn.com)

    NASA's Perseverance Rover's dramatic decent to land on Mars (msn.com) Even if it sets down safely, if just one of those 4 wires fails to detach…. ! Everything has to work just right, and at exactly the right time.

   I wish them luck, but they're too far from the equator to be ideal from low inclination orbits, and not far enough North to be good for near-polar orbits. Still, they have better weather on average than some other UK locations. Spaceport Cornwall: Newquay set to be hub of UK space travel (msn.com)

   SpaceX head Elon Musk reveals imperative of 'colonising entire galaxy' (msn.com)

NASA reveals two astronauts who are set to board SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket next year | Daily Mail Online

   A new mini space shuttle  https://www.facebook.com/692905441/posts/10165024446905442/?sfnsn=scwspmo

   SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket set to launch NASA moon outpost in 2024 (newatlas.com)

Osiris-Rex will depart Bennu on May 10 for its return journey to Earth with its samples NASA's OSIRIS-REx Mission Plans for May Asteroid Departure - OSIRIS-REx Mission (asteroidmission.org)

   Exploring Mars: How scientists prevent Earth's microbes from contaminating other planets (msn.com)

SpaceX launches new Starlink satellites – but fails to land booster (msn.com)

 

SUN

NASA: Solar Dynamics Observatory captures solar flare (msn.com)

 

TELESCOPES, INSTRUMENTS, TECHNIQUES

Physicists to look for quantum time dilation inside nuclear reactor (newatlas.com)

Astronomy surveys aim to up the pace with army of tiny robots | Science | AAAS (sciencemag.org)

   NASA picks Elon Musk's SpaceX to help with a $99 million mission that will map the creation of the universe (msn.com)

SKA gets final full approval Square Kilometre Array: 'Lift-off' for world's biggest telescope - BBC News

 

22. JOINING the IRISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION. This link downloads a Word document to join the IAA. http://documents.irishastro.org.uk/iaamembership.doc
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DISCLAIMER: Any views expressed herein are mine, and do not necessarily represent those of the IAA.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley