Space

NASA Pancakes

NASA Pancakes

Oct 23 2009 | 0 comment(s)

In the grand tradition of plotting things to make them interesting, we have (from the excellent webtoon Indexed), Pancakes from space:

space sci intersection
The most distant galaxy cluster yet, known as JKCS041, has been discovered by combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical and infrared telescopes at the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT), the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope in Hawaii and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The JKCS041 cluster is located about 10.2 billion light years away, and is observed as it was when the Universe was only about a quarter of its present age.

The previous record holder for a galaxy cluster was 9.2 billion light years away, XMMXCS J2215.9-1738, discovered by ESA's XMM-Newton in 2006, which broke the previous distance record by only about 0.1 billion light years while JKCS041 surpasses XMMXCS J2215.9 by about ten times that.
A Canadian SUV was just hit by a meteorite. Some people have all the luck

For most of recorded history, no one had ever been hit by a meteorite. This was a useful factoid for us scientists when speaking to the public. It reaffirmed both probability-- how little of the Earth's surface area we cover-- and safety concerns.

Then, in 1823 it all changed. A horse was hit. Life had been damaged from space for the first time on record.
The 2009 Great World Wide Star Count is already under way, and there is still time to wait for a perfectly pleasant fall evening to step outside and count the stars. Through October 23, this annual citizen science event from Windows to the Universe of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) will be accepting online data collection from amateurs around the world.



A new groups of exoplanets announced today comprises no less than 32 new discoveries. Including these new results, data from HARPS have led to the discovery of more than 75 exoplanets in 30 different planetary systems.

In 1999, ESO launched a call for opportunities to build the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, better known as HARPS, a high resolution, extremely precise spectrograph for the ESO 3.6-meter telescope at La Silla, Chile.

Vitamin Store = Cheap Lab Gear?

One part of assembly is making sure all my circuits are properly shielded and not sending out interfering signals.  A decent magnetometer-- a meter to measure magnetic fields-- costs $200-$700 dollars.  While at the vitamin shop, I beheld a CellSensor, a device that measures and traces cell phone and power line RF (radio frequency) emission.  It has a range of milliWatts (for RF radiation) and milliGauss (for magnetic fields).  And it was discounted to $20.
This is not about a Mayan 2012 apocalypse.  This is about the 9th century Mayan apocalypse, as documented by NASA.  It's also about modern global warming.  So there's plenty of doom to go around.

Let's first cover the '2012 apocalypse', a fabrication based on pseudoscience.  Modern Mayans are annoyed at the 2012 rumors.  The misinterpretation of their ancient culture-- that somehow an apocalypse is predicted for 2012-- has finally reached its nadir.  Hollywood is going to make a movie about it.  Imagine your own history being reduced to a single 90-minute special effects extravaganza.
The 'heliosphere', the name given to the region of the sun's influence, may not have the comet-like shape predicted by existing models, say researchers.

As the solar wind flows from the sun, it carves out a bubble in the interstellar medium. Models of the boundary region between the heliosphere and interstellar medium have been based on the assumption that the relative flow of the interstellar medium and its collision with the solar wind dominate the interaction. This would create a foreshortened "nose" in the direction of the solar system's motion, and an elongated "tail" in the opposite direction. 
Okay, the world is not going to end in 2012.  The source of this info?  The Mayans.  The living Mayans.  You didn't think all that's left is stone tablets, did you?  In that AP news report, a Mayan Indian Elder named Apolinario Chile Pixtun, among others, gives the straight scoop.

One.  It's not the end of the world

Two, the supposed stone that dates an Apocalypse in 2012?  It's with some stones that cover events in 4772 as well.  So if there is a Mayan Apocalypse, it's, umm, a non-apocalyptic one.
National Geographic has produced a jaw-dropping graphic depicting the history of human space exploration since Sputnik in 1957. The original version ("original artwork is by Sean McNaughton on the National Geographic staff and Samuel Velasco of 5W Infographics") at the National Geographic website is pannable/clickable/etc-able.