Monday, June 30, 2014

Peculiar Elliptical Galaxy Centaurus A

Unusual and dramatic dust lanes run across the center of elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. These dust lanes are so thick they almost completely obscure the galaxy's center in visible light. This is particularly unusual as Cen A's red stars and round shape are characteristic of a giant elliptical galaxy, a galaxy type usually low in dark dust. Cen A, also known as NGC 5128, is also unusual compared to an average elliptical galaxy because it contains a higher proportion of young blue stars and is a very strong source of radio emission. Evidence indicates that Cen A is likely the result of the collision of two normal galaxies. During the collision, many young stars were formed, but details of the creation of Cen A's unusual dust belts are still being researched. Cen A lies only 13 million light years away, making it the closest active galaxy. Cen A, pictured above, spans 60,000 light years and can be seen with binoculars toward the constellation of Centaurus.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Hercules Cluster of Galaxies

These are galaxies of the Hercules Cluster, an archipelago of island universes a mere 500 million light-years away. Also known as Abell 2151, this cluster is loaded with gas and dust rich, star-forming spiral galaxies but has relatively few elliptical galaxies, which lack gas and dust and the associated newborn stars. The colors in this remarkably deep composite image clearly show the star forming galaxies with a blue tint and galaxies with older stellar populations with a yellowish cast. The sharp picture spans about 3/4 degree across the cluster center, corresponding to over 6 million light-years at the cluster's estimated distance. Diffraction spikes around brighter foreground stars in our own Milky Way galaxy are produced by the imaging telescope's mirror support vanes. In the cosmic vista many galaxies seem to be colliding or merging while others seem distorted - clear evidence that cluster galaxies commonly interact. In fact, the Hercules Cluster itself may be seen as the result of ongoing mergers of smaller galaxy clusters and is thought to be similar to young galaxy clusters in the much more distant, early Universe.
Some maps of the sky



The Iris Nebula in a Field of Dust

The Iris Nebula. The striking blue color of the Iris Nebula is created by light from the bright star SAO 19158 reflecting off of a dense patch of normally dark dust. Not only is the star itself mostly blue, but blue light from the star is preferentially reflected by the dust -- the same affect that makes Earth's sky blue. The brown tint of the pervasive dust comes partly from photoluminescence -- dust converting ultraviolet radiation to red light. Cataloged as NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula is studied frequently because of the unusual prevalence there of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), complex molecules that are also released on Earth during the incomplete combustion of wood fires. The bright blue portion of the Iris Nebula spans about six light years. The Iris Nebula, lies about 1300 light years distant and can be found with a small telescope toward the constellation of Cepheus.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014: Planetary nebula Abell 36 lies 780 light years away in the constellation of Virgo. The object is an emission nebula, and while called a “planetary nebula,” that term misleads, as it refers to something that has nothing to do with planets. Early observations by astronomer William Herschel led him to coin the term as this class of objects resembled planets in his early telescope. Image obtained by Adam Block and guests of the April 2014 Astrophotography with Adam Block Experience, at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter. The facility stands on Steward Observatory's "sky island" observing site just north of Tucson, Arizona.
 Cosmic Egg
 Monday, June 16, 2014: Herschel Space Observatory spotted a ring of dusty material while observing a huge cloud of gas and dust called NGC 7538 with the sharpest resolution to date. The gigantic ring structure sits at the center-top of this image. The roughly egg-shaped ring contains the mass of 500 suns, with a long axis stretching about 35 light-years and its short axis about 25 light-years. Possibly an O-type star created the expanding puff with strong winds or by dying in a supernova, but no trace of an O-type star exists in the center of the ring. Perhaps a big star blew the bubble and moved away from the scene.
Friday, June 13, 2014: On June 11, 2004, Cassini passed Phoebe, the largest of Saturn's outer moons, at an altitude of 1,285 miles (2,068 kilometers), the only close flyby of one of the outer moons of Saturn in the entire Cassini mission. The Cassini team published this montage of two views to mark the 10th anniversary of the Phoebe flyby. The image on the left side shows Cassini's view on approach to Phoebe, while the right side shows the spacecraft's departing perspective. Most of the left-side view was previously released except an area on the upper right side. Most of the view on the right side remained unreleased until now, although the crater at upper left appeared in another published image. Image released June 11, 2014.
Monday, June 9, 2014: A new Hubble image shows IRAS 14568-6304, a young star cloaked in a haze of gas and dust. An area of dark sky appears to contain the young star. This dark region is Circinus molecular cloud, which has a mass around 250,000 times that of the sun, filled with gas, dust and young stars. Two areas within the cloud, Circinus-West and Circinus-East, each have a mass of around 5000 times that of the sun, making them the most prominent star-forming sites in the Circinus cloud. IRAS 14568-6304 has special qualities because it is driving a protostellar jet, which appears here as the "tail" below the star. This jet formed from the leftover gas and dust that the star took from its parent cloud in order to form.
 Friday, June 6, 2014: A still image from a video taken by Solar Dynamics Observatory showed tight, bright loops and much longer, softer loops swaying above an active region on the sun, while a darker blob of plasma in their midst was pulled in different directions on May 13-14, 2014. Frames taken in the 171 Angstroms wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light are usually colorized with a bronze tone, but in this case were colored red.

Persistent Saturnian Auroras

Are Saturn's auroras like Earth's? To help answer this question, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Cassini spacecraft monitored Saturn's South Pole simultaneously as Cassini closed in on the gas giant in January 2004. Hubble snapped images in ultraviolet light, while Cassini recorded radio emissions and monitored the solar wind. Like on Earth, Saturn's auroras make total or partial rings around magnetic poles. Unlike on Earth, however, Saturn's auroras persist for days, as opposed to only minutes on Earth. Although surely created by charged particles entering the atmosphere, Saturn's auroras also appear to be more closely modulated by the solar wind than either Earth's or Jupiter's auroras. The above sequence shows three Hubble images of Saturn each taken two days apart.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Horizon

 Before New Horizon there was many space probe plan to flyby Pluto but they wasn't funded. The last one plan was to be two space probe send to Pluto so they could take photos and other spectrum of both hemispheres of Pluto and its moons. It was to get to Pluto in 2010 but it was cancel by congress and than New Horizon was pick and they just move the instruments from the Pluto Kuiper Express
 to New Horizons is a space probe launched by NASA on 19 January 2006 to study the dwarf planet Pluto and the Kuiper belt. It is expected to be the first spacecraft to fly by and study Pluto and its moons, Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx, with an estimated arrival date at the Pluto–Charon system of 14 July 2015. As of 21 January 2014, its distance from Pluto is about 4.29 AU (about 29.33 AU from Earth), with radio signals taking 4 hours to travel to the spacecraft from Earth (an 8 hour round trip).

Launched directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative velocity of about 36,373 mph it set the record for the highest velocity of a human-made object from Earth. Using a combination of monopropellant and gravity assist, it flew by the orbit of Mars on 7 April 2006, Jupiter on 28 February 2007, the orbit of Saturn on 8 June 2008; and the orbit of Uranus on 18 March 2011. Its secondary mission is to fly by one or more other Kuiper belt objects (should a suitable target be available) then the heliosphere. It is expected to become the fifth interstellar probe and second fastest in the history of space exploration.But it wouldn't reach the two Voyagers 1 and 2.
About an ounce of Clyde Tombaugh's ashes are aboard the spacecraft, to commemorate his discovery of Pluto in 1930.
On its was to Pluto it fly by Jupiter with better cameras that was on Voyager.New Horizons used LORRI to take its first photographs of Jupiter on 4 September 2006 from a distance of 291 million kilometres (181 million miles). More detailed exploration of the system began in January 2007 with an infrared image of the moon Callisto as well as several black and white images of the planet itself. New Horizons received a Jupiter gravity assist with a closest approach on 28 February 2007 when it was 1.4 million miles) from the planet. The flyby increased New Horizons' speed by 9,000 miles per hour accelerating the probe 52,000 miles per hour relative to the Sun and shortening its voyage to Pluto by three years.

The flyby was the center of a 4-month intensive observation campaign lasting from January to June. Being an ever-changing scientific target, Jupiter was observed intermittently since the end of the Galileo mission. Knowledge about the planet benefited from the fact that New Horizons instruments were built using the latest technology, especially in the area of cameras, representing a significant improvement over Galileo's cameras, which were evolved versions of Voyager cameras which, in turn, were evolved Mariner cameras. The Jupiter encounter also served as a shakedown and dress rehearsal for the Pluto encounter. Because of the much shorter distance from Jupiter to Earth, the communications link can transmit multiple loadings of the memory buffer; thus the mission actually returned more data from the Jovian system than it is expected to transmit from Pluto.
One of the main goals during the Jupiter encounter was observing the planets atmospheric conditions and analyzing the structure and composition of its clouds. Heat induced lightning strikes in the polar regions and "waves" that indicate violent storm activity were observed and measured. The Little Red Spot, spanning up to 70% of Earth's diameter, was imaged from up close for the first time.
Observing from different angles and illumination conditions New Horizons took detailed images of Jupiter's faint ring system discovering debris left over from recent collisions within the rings or from some other unexplained phenomena. The search for undiscovered moons within the rings showed no results. Travelling through the planet's magnetosphere New Horizons collected valuable particle readings. "Bubbles" of plasma which are believed to be formed from material ejected by the moon Io were noticed in the magnetotail.
After passing bu Jupiter the space probe was place in Hibernation since there wasn't anything to see except Pluto which was many years away. Redundant components as well as guidance and control systems will be shut down in order to extend their life cycle, decrease operational costs and free the Deep Space Network for other missions. During hibernation mode, the onboard computer monitors the probe's systems and transmits a signal back to Earth: a "green" code if everything is functioning as expected or a "red" code if the mission control's assistance is needed. The probe will be activated for about two months a year so that the instruments can be calibrated and the systems checked. New Horizons first hibernation mode cycle started on 28 June 2007.
After astronomers announced the discovery of two new moons in the Pluto system, Kerberos and Styx, mission planners started contemplating the possibility of the probe running into unseen debris and dust left over from earlier collisions with the moons. A study based on 18 months of computer simulations, Earth-based telescope observations and occultations of the Pluto system revealed that the possibility of a catastrophic collision with debris or dust is less than 0.3% if the probe is to continue on its present course. If the hazard increases, New Horizons will utilize one of two possible contingency plans, the so-called SHBOTs (Safe Haven by Other Trajectories): the probe could continue on its present trajectory with the antenna facing the incoming particles so the more vital systems would be protected, or, it could position its antenna and make a course correction that would take it just 3000 km from the surface of Pluto where it's expected that the atmospheric drag cleaned the surrounding space of possible debris.
The spacecraft carries seven scientific instruments. Total mass is 31 kg (68 lb) and rated power is 21 watts (though not all instruments operate simultaneously).

Fundamental physics-Pioneer Anomaly
It was shown that New Horizons may be used to test the Pioneer Anomaly issue.

Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI)
LORRI is a long focal length imager designed for high resolution and responsivity at visible wavelengths. The instrument is equipped with a high-resolution 1024×1024 monochromatic CCD imager with a 208.3 mm (8.20 in) aperture giving a resolution of 5 ╬╝rad (~1 asec). The CCD is chilled far below freezing by a passive radiator on the antisolar face of the spacecraft. This temperature differential requires insulation, and isolation from the rest of the structure. The Ritchey-Chretien mirrors and metering structure are made of silicon carbide, to boost stiffness, reduce weight, and prevent warping at low temperatures. The optical elements sit in a composite light shield, and mount with titanium and fibreglass for thermal isolation. Overall mass is 8.6 kg (19 lb), with the Optical tube assembly (OTA) weighing about 5.6 kg (12 lb), for one of the largest silicon-carbide telescopes yet flown

Pluto Exploration Remote Sensing Investigation (PERSI)
This consists of two instruments: The Ralph telescope, 6 cm (2.4 in) in aperture, with two separate channels: a visible-light CCD imager (MVIC- Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera) with broadband and color channels, and a near-infrared imaging spectrometer, LEISA (Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array). LEISA is derived from a similar instrument on the EO-1 mission. The second instrument is an ultraviolet imaging spectrometer, Alice. Alice resolves 1,024 wavelength bands in the far and extreme ultraviolet (from 50–180 nm), over 32 view fields. Its goal is to view the atmospheric makeup of Pluto. This Alice is derived from an Alice on the Rosetta mission. Ralph, designed afterwards, was named after Alice's husband on The Honeymooners. Ralph and Alice are names, not acronyms.

Plasma and high energy particle spectrometer suite (PAM)
PAM consists of two instruments: SWAP (Solar Wind At Pluto), a toroidal electrostatic analyzer and retarding potential analyzer, and PEPSSI (Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation), a time of flight ion and electron sensor. SWAP measures particles of up to 6.5 keV, PEPSSI goes up to 1 MeV. Because of the tenuous solar wind at Pluto's distance, the SWAP instrument has the largest aperture of any such instrument ever flown.

Radio Science Experiment (REX)
REX will use an ultrastable crystal oscillator (essentially a calibrated crystal in a miniature oven) and some additional electronics to conduct radio science investigations using the communications channels. These are small enough to fit on a single card. Since there are two redundant communications subsystems, there are two, identical REX circuit boards.
Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter (VBSDC)
Built by students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Student Dust Counter will operate continuously through the trajectory to make dust measurements. It consists of a detector panel, about 18 by 12 inches (460 mm × 300 mm), mounted on the antisolar face of the spacecraft (the ram direction), and an electronics box within the spacecraft. The detector contains fourteen polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) panels, twelve science and two reference, which generate voltage when impacted. Effective collecting area is 0.125 m2 (1.35 sq ft). No dust counter has operated past the orbit of Uranus; models of dust in the outer Solar System, especially the Kuiper belt, are speculative. VBSDC is always turned on measuring the masses of the interplanetary and interstellar dust particles (in the range of nano- and picograms) as they collide with the PVDF panels mounted on the New Horizons spacecraft. The measured data shall greatly contribute to the understanding of the dust spectra of the Solar System. The dust spectra can then be compared with those observed via telescope of other stars, giving new clues as to where earthlike planets can be found in our universe. The dust counter is named for Venetia Burney, who first suggested the name "Pluto" at the age of 11. An interesting thirteen-minute short film about VBSDC garnered an Emmy award for student achievement in 2006
The main Flyby 2015!
Observations of Pluto, with the onboard LORRI imager plus Ralph telescope, will begin about 6 months prior to closest approach. The targets will be only a few pixels across. 70 days out, resolution will exceed the Hubble Space Telescope's resolution, lasting another two weeks after the flyby. This should detect any rings or any additional moons (eventually down to 2 km diameter), for avoidance and targeting maneuvers, and observation scheduling. Long-range imaging will include 40 km (25 mi) mapping of Pluto and Charon 3.2 days out. This is half the rotation period of Pluto–Charon and will allow imaging of the side of both bodies that will be facing away from the spacecraft at closest approach. Coverage will repeat twice per day, to search for changes due to snows or cryovolcanism. Still, due to Pluto's tilt and rotation, a portion of the northern hemisphere will be in shadow at all times.

During the flyby, LORRI should be able to obtain select images with resolution as high as 50 m/px (if closest distance is around 10,000 km), and MVIC should obtain 4-color global dayside maps at 1.6 km resolution. LORRI and MVIC will attempt to overlap their respective coverage areas to form stereo pairs. LEISA will obtain hyperspectral near-infrared maps at 7 km/px globally and 0.6 km/pixel for selected areas. Meanwhile, Alice will characterize the atmosphere, both by emissions of atmospheric molecules (airglow), and by dimming of background stars as they pass behind Pluto (occultation).

During and after closest approach, SWAP and PEPSSI will sample the high atmosphere and its effects on the solar wind. VBSDC will search for dust, inferring meteoroid collision rates and any invisible rings. REX will perform active and passive radio science. Ground stations on Earth will transmit a powerful radio signal as New Horizons passes behind Pluto's disk, then emerges on the other side. The communications dish will measure the disappearance and reappearance of the radio occultation signal. The results will resolve Pluto's diameter (by their timing) and atmospheric density and composition (by their weakening and strengthening pattern). (Alice can perform similar occultations, using sunlight instead of radio beacons.) Previous missions had the spacecraft transmit through the atmosphere, to Earth ("downlink"). Low power and extreme distance means New Horizons will be the first such "uplink" mission. Pluto's mass and mass distribution will be evaluated by their tug on the spacecraft. As the spacecraft speeds up and slows down, the radio signal will experience a Doppler shift. The Doppler shift will be measured by comparison with the ultrastable oscillator in the communications electronics.

Reflected sunlight from Charon will allow some imaging observations of the nightside. Backlighting by the Sun will highlight any rings or atmospheric hazes. REX will perform radiometry of the nightside.

Initial, highly-compressed images will be transmitted within days. The science team will select the best images for public release. Uncompressed images will take about nine months[citation needed] to transmit, depending on Deep Space Network traffic. It may turn out, however, that fewer months will be needed. The spacecraft link is proving stronger than expected, and it is possible that both downlink channels may be ganged together to nearly double the data rate.
To bad its just a flyby but a orbiter would take to long to get there,they was dealing with nature.Pluto was moving away from the Sun this means that there would be no atmosphere to study if a orbiter was send plus with a travel time of about 38 years. During Pluto lifetime ,it lost up to 14 feet of it surface during these close approaches to the Sun.AT time Pluto get closer to the Sun than Neptune( here its distance from our sun-4.4–7.4 billion km) Pluto act more like a comet than a planet. They think during the formation of our solar system that Neptune and Uranus form between Jupiter ans Saturn and when Neptune and Uranus shift their position with in the solar system to their current position they send many Pluto size object toward the inner solar system and since they thing these pluto and Kuiper belt objects are made out of 80%water this give the Earth,Venus,Mars, Mercury with large amount of water. Mercury water was gone in no time and Venus,Mars during this time to the current time lost their water (Most of it for Mars and all of it for Venus) Earth was the only one that keep all of time!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pluto! Planet or not!?

It would be must-see TV for space geeks everywhere — two big-name scientists debating whether or not Pluto should be reinstated as the solar system's ninth "true" planet.
Alan Stern, the principal investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, has challenged astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to just such a debate, NBCNews reported last week.
"I am challenging him to the equivalent of the 'Thrilla in Manila,'" Stern told NBCNews. "Before New Horizons gets to Pluto, I want him to accept the debate."
That gives Tyson — the host of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," a TV series that aired this spring on Fox and the National Geographic Channel — about a year to work the proposed debate into his schedule, if he so chooses. New Horizons is scheduled to fly by the Pluto system in July 2015, giving astronomers their first-ever up-close look at the frigid world and its five known moons.
Pluto was regarded as the solar system's ninth planet for more than 75 years after its 1930 discovery. But in 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) — the organization responsible for giving "official" scientific names to celestial objects — came up with a new definiton of "planet," and Pluto didn't make the cut. (It hasn't sufficiently "cleared its neighborhood" of other objects, IAU officials said.)
So Pluto was demoted to the newly created category of "dwarf planet," a status it shares with several other large bodies in the frigid, faraway Kuiper Belt. Some scientists, such as Tyson, have expressed support for the decision, while others are not at all happy about it.
Stern is perhaps the most prominent and passionate of the dissenters. He has no problem with the "dwarf planet" designation but believes that dwarfs should enjoy the same status as rocky worlds like Earth and gas giants such as Jupiter.