Monday, 31 December 2012

Astronomical Calendar: 2013 January






Astronomical Calendar for 2013 January:

Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2013.html#jan

The current month's Astronomical Calendar can also be found on the cover page of the History of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh web site at this link:

Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrocal

Source: Friends of the Zeiss.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Earth Closest to Sun - Night of Jan. 1-2

SKYWATCH: Perihelion: An Annual Floating ‘Holiday’

 

This diagram shows perihelion, when the Sun is at location 3 and the Earth is at location 2 in its orbit around the Sun (in early January). When the Earth is at location 1, in its orbit around the Sun (in early July), this is known as aphelion. This diagram is not to true scale for the Earth-Sun system; it is only to explain perihelion and aphelion. (Diagram Source: Wikipedia.org )

 

December 27, 2012 1:50 am  • 

Here’s an astronomical trivia question: On which national holiday is Earth closest to the sun? Probably the most frequently given (and incorrect) answer is Independence Day.

It’s not Earth’s distance from the sun that makes hot weather in July; it’s the tilt of its rotational axis. In summer, the North Pole tilts toward the sun, causing sunlight to arrive from more nearly overhead, spreading out less on the ground. Plus, longer days give the sun more time to heat our hemisphere.

Earth’s oblong (elliptical) orbit brings it closest to the sun around New Year’s Day, but the exact date varies from year to year. Earth was at perihelion (closest point to the sun) around 5 p.m. on Jan. 4 in 2012; in 2013 it will be around 10 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time) on New Year’s Day.

Earth will be at perihelion (closest point to the Sun) at 12:00 Midnight Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday Morning, 2013 January 2 (night of January 1-2).

More - Link >>> http://magicvalley.com/lifestyles/recreation/skywatch-perihelion-an-annual-floating-holiday/article_a032985f-c2f8-54fd-bea2-8387bf627cef.html

Sources: Centennial Observatory of the College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Origins of New Year Explained; Resolutions?




Stock Photo of a Clock
(Image Source: AcclaimImages.com )

8:04 PM, Dec 26, 2012   |  
Do you know how it came to be that we celebrate New Year’s on Jan. 1? Have you ever wondered where the New Year resolution tradition comes from?

The clay tablets of Mesopotamia show the Babylonians celebrated the new year more than 4,000 years ago. Their 11-day celebration was held in March and April, rather than January, to coincide with the spring planting of crops.


We celebrate New Year’s in January thanks to the Roman tinkering with yearly calendars. Numa Pompilus, one of the earliest rulers of Rome, added two months to the calendar including Januarius, in honor of Janus, the deity of gates and doorways. Janus is represented with two faces: one looking into the past, the other looking to the future. With the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1752, the official New Year in the British Isles was changed from March to Jan. 1, which had always been the day to celebrate by the common people.


With the coming of the new year, the resolution urge strikes. A resolution is a promise, a pledge we make to our self to achieve a desired result. Unfortunately, the feelings of rebirth and renewal of a new year encourages many of us to enthusiastically set unrealistic aspirations or goals. This is especially true of the New Year’s resolutions we make concerning fitness and exercise goals.

More - Link >>> http://www.news-press.com/article/20121227/HEALTH/312270016/Well-Michelle-Origins-New-Year-explained

Sources: Michelle Churchill; News-Press, Fort Meyers.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Risky Japanese Asteroid Mission Slated for 2014

By
Leonard David /
Space.com/ December 31, 2012, 9:38 AM 
 
An artist's illustration of Japan's Hayabusa2 probe crashing an impactor into the asteroid 1999 JU3 ahead of sampling the space rock in 2018.
An artist's illustration of Japan's Hayabusa2 probe crashing an impactor into the asteroid 1999 JU3 ahead of sampling the space rock in 2018. / JAXA/Akihiro Ikeshita

Japan's space agency is readying a new asteroid probe for launch, an ambitious mission that aims to build on the victory of the country's first round-trip asteroid mission that sent the Hayabusa spacecraft to retrieve samples of the space rock Itokowa.

The new Japanese asteroid mission, called Hayabusa2, is scheduled for launch in 2014 and aimed at the asteroid 1999 JU3, a large space rock about 3,018 feet in length. It is due to arrive at the asteroid in mid-2018, loiter at the space rock and carry out a slew of challenging firsts before departing the scene at the end of 2019.

If all goes well, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft will return to Earth with samples of asteroid 1999 JU3 at the end of 2020. The probe's name is Japanese for "Falcon2."

More - Link >>> http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57561342/japan-to-launch-risky-asteroid-mission-in-2014/

Sources: Space.com , CBS News.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Cool UV/Optical Stellar Pix from NASA & Penn State

An Image Gallery Gift from NASA's Swift

Dec. 28, 2012 — Of the three telescopes carried by NASA's Swift satellite, only one captures cosmic light at energies similar to those seen by the human eye. Although small by the standards of ground-based observatories, Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) plays a critical role in rapidly pinpointing the locations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the brightest explosions in the cosmos.


The Crab Nebula is the wreckage of an exploded star, or supernova, observed in the year 1054. The expanding cloud of gas is located 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. This composite of three Swift UVOT ultraviolet images highlights the luminous hot gas in the supernova remnant. The image is constructed from exposures using these filters: uvw1, centered at 2,600 angstroms (shown as red); uvm2, centered at 2,246 angstroms (green); and uvw2, centered at 1,928 angstroms (blue). (Credit: NASA/Swift/E. Hoversten, PSU)
But as the proxy to the human eye aboard Swift, the UVOT takes some amazing pictures. The Swift team is celebrating eight years of UVOT operations by collecting more than 100 of the instrument's best snapshots in a web-based photo gallery (http://www.swift.psu.edu/uvot/coolPics.php). The images also can be viewed with the free Swift Explorer Mission iPhone app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/swift-explorer/id465669299?mt=8) developed by the Swift Mission Operations Center (MOC), ofwhich is located in State College, Pa., and operated by Penn State.

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121228203202.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

Penn State Gallery of Images from Telescope on Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer Satellite:
Link >>> http://www.swift.psu.edu/uvot/coolPics.php

Images Can Also be Viewed - Free-of-Charge Swift Explorer Mission iPhone Application:
Link >>> https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/swift-explorer/id465669299?mt=8

Sources: Pennsylvania State University, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Radio Astronomy in Australia Radio Quiet Zone

CSIRO ASKAP 2010.jpg
CSIRO's ASKAP antennas at the MRO in Western Australia. (Credit: Ant Schinckel, CSIRO, Wikipedia.org )
.

Radio Astronomy in the Aussie Outback

 

The incredibly remote array of 36 radio antennas at Murchison in Western Australia, far from any source of interference, is officially known as the Australian SKA Pathfinder. Thanks to phased-array feeds, this interferometric array can observe a whole patch of the heavens at once.

It's not easy to get to the Murchison Radio Observatory in Western Australia — but that's a good thing.

Being in one of Western Australia's most remote regions, almost devoid of townships, roads, and people, means there's hardly any radio interference that might otherwise compromise the facility's cosmic observations. Whereas optical astronomers have to worry about light pollution, radio astronomers cherish the most radio-quiet zones on the planet. And Murchison is certainly one of them.

There's another reason why it's hard to get to MRO, which officially debuted on October 5th and is operated by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), headquartered in distant Sydney. Because of the observatory's remoteness, and because of the extreme harsh environment, health and safety regulations for any visit there are very strict. So if you just happen to drive your 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser up to the gate, after a 150-km trip across unpaved desert roads, without having made proper arrangements with the Sydney office, there's little chance you'll be let in

More - Link >>> http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Radio-Astronomy-in-the-Aussie-Outback-184958461.html

Source: Sky and Telescope Magazine.

More on the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murchison_Radio-astronomy_Observatory

American National Radio Quiet Zone in eastern West Virginia and western Virginia:
Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/wlcr.html#nrqz

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Calif. Meteorites May Change Life-on-Earth Theory

Van-sized space rock is a cosmic oddball 

Looking fresh despite taking thousands of years to arrive <i>(Image: Rich Pedroncelli/AP/PA)</i>
Looking fresh despite taking thousands of years to arrive (Image: Rich Pedroncelli/AP/PA)
The shattered remains of a high-profile space rock are oddly low in organic materials, the raw ingredients for life. The discovery adds a slight wrinkle to the theory that early Earth was seeded with organics by meteorite impacts.

In April a van-sized meteor was seen streaking over northern California and Nevada in broad daylight. The fireball exploded with a sonic boom and sprayed the region with fragments. Videos, photographs and weather radar data allowed the meteor's trajectory to be reconstructed, and teams quickly mobilised to search for pieces in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California.

Researchers readily identified the meteorites as rare CM chondrites, thought to be one of the oldest types of rock in the universe. "Because the meteorites were discovered so freshly, for the first time we had a chance to study this type of meteorite in a pristine form," says Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, who led the search effort and the subsequent study of the space rocks.

Jenniskens personally found a fragment in a parking lot, where it remained relatively free of soil contaminants. "That's the best you could hope for, other than landing in a freezer," says Daniel Glavin of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Jenniskens and colleagues found that the California fragments also have amino acids, including some not found naturally on Earth. But in three rocks collected before a heavy rainstorm, which bathed the other pieces in earthly contaminants, organics are less abundant by a factor of 1000 than in previously studied CM chondrites.

More - Link >>> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23023-vansized-space-rock-is-a-cosmic-oddball.html

Sources: Journal Science, New Scientist Magazine.

Related Blog Post --

New Meteorite: Asteroids More Complex Than Thought (2012 Dec. 23):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/12/new-meteorite-asteroids-more-complex.html


gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

2013 Launch: NASA 'Nanosatellites' w/Smartphone Technology

PhoneSat: Smart, Small and Sassy

Dec. 28, 2012 — The fast-paced proliferation and popularity of mobile devices here on Earth, like smartphones loaded with powerful operating systems, will find a new niche market- this time in space, thanks to NASA's trailblazing PhoneSat project.



PhoneSat 1.0 during high-altitude balloon test. (Credit: NASA Ames Research Center)
To be rocketed into space early next year, PhoneSat is set to showcase use of lower cost, off-the-store-shelf, commercially available technology that enables space commerce, educational activities and citizen-exploration.

There are three prototype satellites built for launch in the PhoneSat Project, each a "nanosatellite" that is a 4-inch cube and weighs just three pounds. The three PhoneSats are dubbed Alexander, Graham, and Bell.

Popular Science magazine has chosen the NASA Ames Research Center's PhoneSat project as one of the winners in the Aerospace category for their "Best of What's New 2012" awards. PhoneSat is a demonstration project to build, launch and fly one of the lowest-cost, easiest-to-build satellites in space.

During the PhoneSat Project's time in orbit, a global amateur radio community will be engaged, able to download and upload packets of data. Wolfe is anxious to see how they creatively utilize the Earth orbiting PhoneSats.

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121228100210.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

More on PhoneSat from NASA:
Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/stp/small_satellite_subsystem_tech/phonesat.html

Sources: NASA, ScienceDaily.com .

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Friday, 28 December 2012

China GPS-Substitute Opens to Public


China's Beidou GPS-substitute opens to public in Asia

China communications satellite launch China is expanding the number of satellites in orbit around the globe
 
China has opened up its domestic sat-nav network to commercial use across the Asia-Pacific region.
Beidou - named after the Chinese word for the Big Dipper constellation - offers an alternative to the US's global positioning system (GPS).

It had previously been restricted to the Chinese military and government.

A spokesman said that Beidou is targeting a 70-80% share of the Chinese market in related location services by 2020.

The China Satellite Navigation Office added that by that time it also intended the service to be available across the globe.

More - Link >>> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20852150

Source: British Broadcasting Corporation.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Space Station Universal Docking System Planned

NASA, ISS Partners Eye New Universal Docking System

By Mark Carreau mark.carreau@gmail.com
Source: AWIN First

December 26, 2012
After a 2012 course correction, efforts by NASA’s International Space Station program to develop a new universal docking system standard for use aboard the 15-nation orbital science lab and future deep-space exploration vessels is on track for an operational debut by 2017.

Rivals in NASA’s efforts to develop a U.S. commercial crew transportation capability — Boeing’s CST-100, Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser and the SpaceX Dragon — are in line to initiate and wring out the new universal NASA Docking System (NDS). NASA is targeting 2017 for the first ISS commercial crew missions and planning two U.S. segment docking ports equipped to accept the new, non-proprietary system.

More - Link >>> http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_12_26_2012_p0-528782.xml

Source: Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Free: NASA Webb Space Telescope Science Guide on iTunes




File:James Webb Telescope Design.jpg

(Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

In addition to the new iBook, Hubble Space Telescope: Discoveries, NASA is also offering a second free-of-charge e-book through iTunes, titled James Webb Space Telescope Science Guide. Like the Hubble book, this is a highly interactive e-book, which features video, image galleries, and more to tell the story of the James Webb Space Telescope.

The James Webb Space Telescope, currently scheduled to be launched into Earth orbit around 2018, will be optimized for observations in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is designed to focus on objects in the most distant part of the Universe and to find stars and solar systems in formation behind dust clouds. The telescope is named after NASA's second Administrator, James E. Webb, who played an integral part in the program to land Americans on the Moon in Project Apollo.

James Webb Space Telescope Science Guide iBook --
Order Free-of-Charge on iTunes:
 Link >>> http://hubblesite.org/ibooks/

Special Note: To download the two NASA e-books, it is necessary to first download iTunes, then create an iTunes account. An iTunes account can be created, without divulging a credit card number, at this Link >>> http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2534
As part of the account set-up, select NONE as the payment option; to complete the process, you will need to "buy" one of the free-of-charge apps offered.

Sources: NASA, Space Telescope Science Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Cliff Hipsher.

Related Blog Post --

Free: NASA Hubble Telescope Pix Book on iTunes (2012 December 26):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/12/free-nasa-hubble-telescope-pix-book-on.html


gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Why Universe Dominated by Matter Not Anti-Matter

Measurements Hint Why the Universe Is Dominated by Matter, Not Anti-Matter

Dec. 26, 2012 — A collaboration with major participation by physicists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has made a precise measurement of elusive, nearly massless particles, and obtained a crucial hint as to why the universe is dominated by matter, not by its close relative, anti-matter.


A pool holding four anti-neutrino detectors begins filling with ultra-pure water in September, 2012 at the Daya Bay Neutrino experiment. The experiment, just recognized by Science magazine as a breakthrough of the year, is helping to explain why the universe contains virtually no anti-matter. University of Wisconsin-Madison physicist Karsten Heeger and Physical Sciences Laboratory engineer Jeff Cherwinka both played major roles at the experiment. (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
The particles, called anti-neutrinos, were detected at the underground Daya Bay experiment, located near a nuclear reactor in China, 55 kilometers north of Hong Kong.

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121226153024.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

Sources: University of Wisconsin at Madison, ScienceDaily.com .

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Free: NASA Hubble Telescope Pix Book on iTunes


NASA makes interactive Hubble book free on iBooks

Dec. 26, 2012 (8:05 am) By:
hubbleebook1 

It’s no secret that Apple’s iBooks store didn’t end up posing a serious threat to Amazon. Rather than become the one-stop-shop for all iOS readers, it’s become a prime source for interactive books and those rich with multimedia content. It’s the perfect platform for NASA to deliver stunning Hubble Space Telescope images and video in book form. One such volume is being made available for free as a little holiday treat.

The book is called Hubble Space Telescope: Discoveries, and it’s filled with high-resolution images, video, and animations of all manner of stellar wonders relating to the Hubble. This title is part of a series from NASA that will present the discoveries of Hubble and the upcoming Webb space telescope in an easy to consume way.


More - Link >>> http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/nasa-makes-interactive-hubble-book-free-on-ibooks-20121226/

Sources: NASA, Geek.com .

Hubble Space Telescope: Discoveries iBook --

Order Free-of-Charge on iTunes:

Link >>> https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hubble-space-telescope-discoveries/id588428410?mt=11

 

Related Blog Post --

 

Free: NASA Webb Space Telescope Science Guide on iTunes (2012 Dec. 27):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/12/free-nasa-webb-space-telescope-science.html

 

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Launched: NASA Telescope on Balloon

NASA Launches Telescope-Toting Balloon from Antarctica on Christmas

Date: 26 December 2012 Time: 09:52 AM ET
NASA's balloon-carried BLAST telescope is hoisted into launch position on Dec. 25, 2012, at McMurdo Station in Antarctica
NASA's balloon-carried BLAST sub-millimeter telescope is hoisted into launch position on Dec. 25, 2012, at McMurdo Station in Antarctica on a mission to peer into the cosmos.
CREDIT: NASA/Wallops Flight Facility
A giant helium balloon is slowly drifting above Antarctica, about 22 miles (36 kilometers) up. Launched on Tuesday (Dec. 25) from the National Science Foundation's Long Duration Balloon (LDB) facility on Earth's southernmost continent, it carries a sensitive telescope that measures submillimeter light waves from stellar nurseries in our Milky Way.

"Christmas launch!" wrote officials with NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, which oversees the agency's balloon research program, in a Twitter post yesterday. "BLAST launched today from McMurdo Station, Antarctica."

This is the fifth and final mission for BLAST, short for the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope, and mission designers hope it will reveal why so few stars are born in our galaxy.

More - Link >>> http://www.space.com/19030-nasa-telescope-christmas-balloon-launch.html

Source: Space.com .

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Happy Holidays, Brought to You by Lasers




 
















For decades, holiday-themed laser-light shows have been a staple at many science centers, including during the 1980s and early 1990s at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center).

Now, industrial lasers are adding to seasonal cheer with exquisitely-detailed Christmas cards cut with a laser, a fiber laser-cut Christmas tree in three reflective metals, and even a laser-cut Gingerbread House !

Photos & More - Link >>> http://www.industrial-lasers.com/articles/2012/12/happy-holidays-brought-to-you-by-lasers.html

Source: Industrial Laser Solutions for Manufacturing.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Large Asteroid Will Not Hit Earth in 2040

Don't mark your doomsday calendars: 2040 asteroid won't hit Earth

Gemini telescope

The Gemini telescope sits atop the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, at sunrise. The Gemini North telescope has picked up signs that a giant asteroid won't be hitting Earth in 2040. Earlier analyses suggested it might be possible. (December 24, 2012) 

For those of you disappointed that the world didn’t end last week, there’s more bad news: The world probably won’t be ending in 2040, either – not from a certain giant asteroid, anyway.

Astronomers using the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii have found that the asteroid 2011 AG5 is no longer a major threat – it won’t be hitting Earth in February 2040, as had been earlier feared. That’s good to know, given that an asteroid that large – roughly 150 yards across – would have hit the Earth with several thousand times the combined energy of the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended World War II.

More - Link >>> http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-end-of-world-mayan-asteroid-20121224,0,6049724.story?track=rss

Source: Los Angeles Times.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Monday, 24 December 2012

Was the Star of Bethlehem Real ?

EarthSky // Tonight // Astronomy Essentials Dec 23, 2012
 




A wondrous star is said to have appeared over the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. It has grown to be a major symbol of Christmas around the world. But is the star fact or fiction?

The Star of Bethlehem, or Christmas Star, is mentioned in the Bible. It’s said to have led the three wise men to Bethlehem.


Christmas star over street in Mumbai, India (Rudolph.A.Furtado)

It has become a major symbol of Christmas throughout the world.

So imagine, if you will, the silhouettes of three regally attired men on camels. They are gazing across gently rolling hills or dunes of white, to a tiny solitary building in the distance. The night is dark, and one exceedingly bright star appears to hover over the small building, sending a bright shaft of light earthward to illuminate its outline. Another light glows gently inside.

That is the picture most of us have of the Christmas Star, but it’s an image derived more from imagination and greeting cards than from the Bible. In fact, the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament is the only place this “star” is mentioned in the Bible (Matt 2:2, 7-10, King James Version). Even there, information on the star is sparse. The most telling reference is Matt. 2:9, “When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.” For anyone inclined to insist on the literal truth of scripture, this verse solves the question. If this verse is literally true, then the Star of Bethlehem could not have been any known natural phenomenon, simply because none would move that way.

More - Link >>> http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/was-the-christmas-star-real

EarthSky 22 Weekly Radio Program (2012 December 22 - Audio: 22 minutes) - In the second half of the program, Dr. Bradley Schaefer, professor of astronomy and physics at Louisiana State University, gives some new insights on the Star of Bethlehem, which he says may have simply been an astrological prediction of a horoscope used by the Magi, who were really priests of the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism:
Link to Audio File >>> http://earthsky.org/space/earthsky-22-ebb-and-flow-moon-crash-the-christmas-star-and-black-books

Source: EarthSky.org .

Classic "The Star of Bethlehem" Sky Drama, performed at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Science each Christmas season 1939 through 1990. This historic sky show talks about the possible natural explanations for the Star of Bethlehem and the historic relationship between the Season of Winter and the Christmas holiday (web site includes entire Planetarium Show Script):
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium3.tripod.com/skyshow/bethlehem/

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >