Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Astronomical Calendar: 2013 May

http://0.tqn.com/d/dc/1/0/X/A/WWII2.jpg

The World War II Memorial, the newest monument on the National Mall in Washington DC, is a beautiful place to visit and pay your respects to World War II veterans. Originally called Decoration Day, observed on May 30, and honoring the soldiers who died in the American Civil War, Memorial Day now honors Americans who died fighting in all wars and is observed on the last Monday in the month of May. (Image Source: About.com )

Astronomical Calendar for 2013 May:

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

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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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 >

Russia Charging NASA $70 Million Per Rocket Seat

File:STS-134 International Space Station after undocking.jpg

The International Space Station, as seen from Space Shuttle Endeavour in May 2011.
(Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer /  April 30, 2013

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is paying $424 million more to Russia to get U.S. astronauts into space, and the agency’s leader is blaming Congress for the extra expense.

NASA announced its latest contract with the Russian Space Agency on Tuesday. The $424 million represents flights to and from the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft, as well as training, for six astronauts in 2016 and the first half of 2017.

That’s $70.6 million per seat — well above the previous price tag of about $65 million.

Russia currently provides the only means of getting people to and from the space station, and its ticket prices have soared with each new contract.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said if Congress had approved the space agency’s request for more funding for its commercial space effort, the latest contract would have been unnecessary. He is urging full funding of the Obama administration’s 2014 budget request of $821 million for the commercial crew program.

More - Link >>> http://www.boston.com/news/science/2013/04/30/russia-charging-nasa-million-per-rocket-seat/vG9jvLDHp5PRvjsOvT8hZP/story.html

Sources: Associated Press News Wire Service, Boston Globe.

Official NASA News Release - NASA Extends Crew Flight Contract with Russian Space Agency:
Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/apr/HQ_C13-027_Soyuz_Services.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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 28 April 2013

Is Time Real ?


    Most physicists think time is a subjective illusion, but what if time is real?
CREDIT: Shutterstock/Kim D. French








By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower 

Is time real?

In a new book, "Time Reborn" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2013), author and theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that time is real. This is a controversial view, as most physicists consider time to actually be illusory.

In his Theory of General Relativity, Albert Einstein considers time to be simply another dimension in space. Thus the human perception of time is just in our heads.

However, Smolin has become convinced that unless the laws of nature are subject to a real time, then these laws cannot be truly understood.

One implication for Smolin's ideas about time questions the human perception of free will. 

Columbia University physicist Peter Woit, writing in his blog Not Even Wrong, disagrees with Smolin's proposal, stating that there are problems with Smolin's view that the laws of nature evolve over time.

Smolin and Duke University neuroscientist Warren Meck discussed these issues April 24 at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York. LiveScience.com reported on this public presentation.

More - Link >>> http://www.livescience.com/29081-time-real-illusion-smolin.html

Sources: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, LiveScience.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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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 >

See Saturn at its Best & Brightest

April 25, 2013: The Solar System is a beautiful place filled with wonders that NASA space probes are only beginning to discover.  There's a tendency, though, for people to become indifferent; every year Hubble, Cassini, MESSENGER and other spacecraft beam back gigabytes of jaw-dropping images.  After a while, you don't have any more "gasps" left in you.

Well, maybe just one more. Inhale deeply, because at the end of April, Saturn will put on a breathtaking display.

Saturn Opposition (splash)
A new ScienceCast video (in English) explores this month's close encounter with Saturn. Play it!
No space probe is required to see it. Just set up a telescope in your back yard--even a small department store ‘scope will do--and point the optics toward the constellation Virgo. Saturn is there, not far from the bright star Spica.

On April 28th, Saturn makes its closest approach to Earth, appearing bigger and brighter than at any other time in 2013. Astronomers call this event "an opposition," because Saturn will be opposite the sun in the skies of Earth.  The golden planet rises at sunset, soars almost overhead at midnight, and stays up all night long.

More - Link >>> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/25apr_saturn/

Source: NASA Science 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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 27 April 2013

Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before.


Superdense neutron star, emitting beams of radio waves as a pulsar, center, is closely paired with a compact white-dwarf star. Together, the two provide physicists with an unprecedented natural, cosmic "laboratory" for studying the nature of gravity. The grid background illustrates the distortions of spacetime caused by the gravitational effect of the two objects. (Credit: Antoniadis, et al.)
Once again, Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, published in 1915, comes out on top.

At some point, however, scientists expect Einstein's model to be invalid under extreme conditions. General Relativity, for example, is incompatible with quantum theory. Physicists hope to find an alternate description of gravity that would eliminate that incompatibility.

A newly-discovered pulsar -- a spinning neutron star with twice the mass of the Sun -- and its white-dwarf companion, orbiting each other once every two and a half hours, has put gravitational theories to the most extreme test yet. Observations of the system, dubbed PSR J0348+0432, produced results consistent with the predictions of General Relativity.

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.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: National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 26 April 2013

Meteors Colliding w/ Saturn's Rings Seen by NASA Probe

Meteors Meet Saturn's Rings Five images of Saturn's rings, taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft between 2009 and 2012, show clouds of material ejected from impacts of small objects into the rings. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Cornell

› Full image and caption

April 25, 2013

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided the first direct evidence of small meteoroids breaking into streams of rubble and crashing into Saturn's rings.

These observations make Saturn's rings the only location besides Earth, the moon and Jupiter where scientists and amateur astronomers have been able to observe impacts as they occur. Studying the impact rate of meteoroids from outside the Saturnian system helps scientists understand how different planet systems in our solar system formed.

The solar system is full of small, speeding objects. These objects frequently pummel planetary bodies. The meteoroids at Saturn are estimated to range from about one-half inch to several yards (1 centimeter to several meters) in size. It took scientists years to distinguish tracks left by nine meteoroids in 2005, 2009 and 2012.

Details of the observations appear in a paper in the Thursday, April 25 edition of Science.

More - Link >>> http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-147&cid=release_2013-147

Sources: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 25 April 2013

Space Environment Immune System Weakening Studied

File:STS122 Atlantis.jpg

Atlantis launching STS-122 mission to dock with the International Space Station.
(Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

Apr. 22, 2013 — When the space shuttle Atlantis touched down in the summer of 2011 at Cape Canaveral, closing the book on the U.S. shuttle program, a team of U.S. Army researchers stood at the ready, eager to get their gloved hands on a small device in the payload that housed a set of biological samples. On Monday, April 22, at the Experimental Biology 2013 conference in Boston, the team will present the results of nearly two years' worth of study on those samples, results that shed light on how the human immune system responds to stress and assaults while in space -- and maybe here on Earth.

"Weakening of the immune system associated with spaceflight is an area that needs a thorough investigation," said Marti Jett, director of the Integrative Systems Biology Program at the U.S. Army Medical Command. "Astronauts subjected to microgravity have shown a significant immune weakening. Furthermore, microgravity has been shown to enhance bacterial virulence while depressing the immune response."

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422132504.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: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), via Newswise, 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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 24 April 2013

Orbital Science Launches 3 NASA Smartphone Mini-Satellites

NASA Successfully Launches Three Smartphone Satellites

Apr. 22, 2013 — Three smartphones destined to become low-cost satellites rode to space Sunday aboard the maiden flight of Orbital Science Corp.'s Antares rocket from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia.


PhoneSat will demonstrate the ability to launch one of the lowest-cost, easiest-to-build satellites ever flown in space -- capabilities enabled by using off-the-shelf consumer smartphones. (Credit: Image courtesy of NASA)
The trio of "PhoneSats" is operating in orbit, and may prove to be the lowest-cost satellites ever flown in space. The goal of NASA's PhoneSat mission is to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics of a capable, yet very inexpensive, satellite.

Transmissions from all three PhoneSats have been received at multiple ground stations on Earth, indicating they are operating normally. The PhoneSat team at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., will continue to monitor the satellites in the coming days. The satellites are expected to remain in orbit for as long as two weeks.

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422112914.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: NASA, ScienceDaily.com .

Related Blog Posts ---

3rd Wallops Rocket Launch Try 5 PM Sunday (2013 April 21):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/04/3rd-wallops-rocket-launch-try-5-pm.html


5 PM Private Rocket Launch Visible on East Coast & Webcast  (2013 April 20):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/04/5-pm-private-rocket-launch-visible-on.html

 

NASA-Wallops Island Starts Commercial Cargo Space Launches w/Test (2013 April 13):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/04/nasa-wallops-island-starts-commecial.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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 23 April 2013

Bigelow Aerospace & NASA Consider Moon Base

To the moon? Bigelow Aerospace and NASA look at private exploration


Bigelow Aerospace / NBCNews.com
A mockup created by Bigelow Aerospace shows a moon base with inflatable modules.


Bigelow Aerospace and NASA say they've agreed to look at ways for private ventures to contribute to human exploration missions, perhaps including construction of a moon base. But the space agency emphasized that it's keeping its own focus squarely on corraling an asteroid and then going to Mars.

"As part of our broader commercial space strategy, NASA signed a Space Act Agreement with Bigelow Aerospace to foster ideas about how the private sector can contribute to future human missions," David Weaver, the space agency's associate administrator for communications, said in a statement emailed to NBC News.

"This will provide important information on possible ways to expand our exploration capabilities in partnership with the private sector," Weaver said. "The agency is intensely focused on a bold mission to identify, relocate and explore an asteroid with American astronauts by 2025 — all as we prepare for an even more ambitious human mission to Mars in the 2030s. NASA has no plans for a human mission to the moon."

 Source: NBC 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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 21 April 2013

Huge Fireball, Thunderous Roar & Explosion in Argentina

Huge fireball over Argentina lights up sky and explodes

Huge fireball lights sky, thunderous roar & explosion in Argentina: New normal?

Early Sunday morning on April 21, 2013, around 3:20 a.m., a huge fireball lit up the sky and exploded over a large area Santiago del Estero Province in northern Argentina, according to the Rio Hondo News. 

Residents in the Santiago del Estero area heard a thunderous roar and saw a brilliant flash that illuminated the sky of Las Termas for about 5 seconds. The flash was followed by a huge explosion that shook buildings and broke some windows. Frightened residents took to the streets after a deafening explosion, and calls poured into the local fire station from alarmed citizens.

More - Link >>> http://www.examiner.com/article/huge-fireball-lights-sky-thunderous-roar-explosion-argentina-new-normal?cid=rss

Source: Examiner.com .

Related Blog Post ---

1938 Fireball Explosion Over W PA Remembered (2013 March 11):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/03/1938-fireball-explosion-over-w-pa.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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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 >

3rd Wallops Rocket Launch Try 5 PM Sunday

New Private Rocket Set to Launch Today After Delays

 

UPDATE--NASA Partner Orbital Sciences Test Launches Antares Rocket (2013 April 21):

Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/apr/HQ_13-114_Antares_launches.html


Date: 21 April 2013 Time: 07:34 AM ET
 
The new Antares rocket is Orbital Sciences' main booster for unmanned cargo missions to the International Space Station.
The new Antares rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corp. is seen atop its launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on April 17, 2013, during an initial launch attempt for its first test flight. A last-minute glitch delayed the launch try.
CREDIT: Orbital Sciences Corp.


A U.S. spaceflight company is hoping the third time's the charm in order to launch a brand-new rocket into space on its maiden flight today (April 21).

After two delayed launched attempts, the privately built Antares rocket is once again poised to blast off from a seaside pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Liftoff is set for 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).

You can watch the Antares rocket launch live on SPACE.com beginning 4:30 p.m. ET (2030 GMT), courtesy of NASA's webcast.

Today's launch attempt will be the third in a week for Antares, which was built by the Dulles, Va.-based Orbital Sciences Corp. A minor mechanical glitch thwarted a launch try on Wednesday (April 17) just minutes before liftoff. Strong winds prevented and an attempted launch on Saturday.

The Antares rocket is designed to launch Orbital's unmanned Cygnus spacecraft on cargo delivery missions to the International Space Station for NASA. Orbital has a $1.9 billion contract to provide at least eight cargo deliveries using Cygnus and Antares, but first the company wants to make sure the rocket will perform as expected.

More - Link >>> http://www.space.com/20752-private-antares-rocket-launching-sunday.html

Source: Space.com .

NASA-TV Web Site for Viewing Launch:
Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/schedule.html

UPDATE--NASA Partner Orbital Sciences Test Launches Antares Rocket (2013 April 21):

Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/apr/HQ_13-114_Antares_launches.html


Related Blog Posts ---

5 PM Private Rocket Launch Visible on East Coast & Webcast  (2013 April 20):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/04/5-pm-private-rocket-launch-visible-on.html

 

NASA-Wallops Island Starts Commercial Cargo Space Launches w/Test (2013 April 13):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/04/nasa-wallops-island-starts-commecial.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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 20 April 2013

Comet ISON: Unique Meteor Shower Mid-January

April 19, 2013: Anticipation is building as Comet ISON plunges into the inner solar system for a close encounter with the sun in November 2013. Blasted at point-blank range by solar radiation, the sungrazer will likely become one of the finest comets in many years.

When NASA's Swift spacecraft observed the comet in January 2013, it was still near the orbit of Jupiter, but already very active. More than 112,000 pounds of dust were spewing from the comet's nucleus every minute.

It turns out, some of that dust might end up on Earth.

ISONids (splash2)
In a new ScienceCast video, experts discuss what might happen if Comet ISON peppers Earth's atmosphere with dust. Play it

Veteran meteor researcher Paul Wiegert of the University of Western Ontario has been using a computer to model the trajectory of dust ejected by Comet ISON, and his findings suggest that an unusual meteor shower could be in the offing.

"For several days around January 12, 2014, Earth will pass through a stream of fine-grained debris from Comet ISON," says Wiegert. "The resulting shower could have some interesting properties.

More - Link >>> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/19apr_isonids/

Source: NASA Science 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:
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Twitter: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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 >

5 PM Private Rocket Launch Visible on East Coast & Webcast

New Private Rocket Launching on 1st Flight Today: Watch It Live

Date: 20 April 2013 Time: 08:43 AM ET
Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rockets will launch from Pad 0A on Wallops Island, Va.
The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad-0A at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on April 16, 2013 on Wallops Island, Va.The rocket is slated to launch on April 20.
CREDIT: NASA/Bill Ingalls

A new American rocket designed to fly cargo missions to the International Space Station for NASA is poised to make its launch debut from the U.S. East Coast today (April 20) after a three-day delay.

The private Antares rocket, built by the commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corp., is set to launch from a new seaside pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.. The critical test flight has been delayed since Wednesday (April 17). Liftoff is set for 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).

You can watch the Antares rocket launch live on SPACE.com beginning 4:30 p.m. ET (2030 GMT), courtesy of a NASA TV webcast. Weather permitting, the rocket's ascent toward space may even be visible from a wide swath of the U.S. East Coast from Portland, Maine, to Charleston, S.C., according to an Orbital visibility map.

More - Link >>> http://www.space.com/20749-private-antares-rocket-launch-webcast.html

Source: Space.com .

NASA-TV Web Site for Viewing Launch:
Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/schedule.html

Related Blog Post ---

NASA-Wallops Island Starts Commercial Cargo Space Launches w/Test (2013 April 13):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/04/nasa-wallops-island-starts-commecial.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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 19 April 2013

NASA: Asteroid Apophis Not Threat to Earth At Least for Century

Radar views of asteroid Apophis
A series of radar maps acquired in January 2013 barely resolve 99942 Apophis, a threatening near-Earth asteroid. These views, acquired with NASA's big radio dish Goldstone, California, have a horizontal resolution of about 250 feet (75 m).
NASA / JPL

A Tumbling Apophis: Good News for Earth

 

Posted by Kelly Beatty, April 19, 2013


Asteroid 99942 Apophis isn't a huge threat to Earth — at least not for the next century. Telescopic observations made in early 2013 show that it is both elongated and tumbling, characteristics that help predict its future location.

Asteroid 99942 Apophis has been worrisome ever since its discovery in 2004. Estimated to be a bit more than 1,000 feet (300 m) across, it would deliver the kinetic-energy equivalent of 500 megatons of TNT were it to strike Earth — which it might well do some day. At first, dynamicists predicted a dangerously close pass in 2029 and a 3% chance of collision. More observations eased those fears — but triggered worry instead about a threatening flyby in March 2036.

As I reported three months ago, radar observations made last January have seemingly ruled out any chance of an impact in 2036. Barely resolved views made with NASA's big radar dish at Goldstone, California, even show Apophis to be quite elongated (as many near-Earth asteroids are).

More - Link >>> http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/A-Tumbling-Apophis-Good-News-for-Earth-203765511.html

Source: Sky and Telescope 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 >
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Twitter: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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-like Exoplanets w/out Magnetic Field May be Lifeless

Caption <i>(Image: Credit)</i>

Magnetic death leaves Earth-like exoplanets dried out

Seemingly habitable exoplanets may be missing their magnetic shielding, leaving them exposed to damaging radiation.

To support life as we know it, planets need thick, water-rich atmospheres and liquid surface water. These conditions have so far only been hinted at, based mostly on a planet's distance from its star.

But water can get blasted away by stellar winds unless the planet has a strong magnetic field, point out Jorge Zuluaga at the University of Antioquia in Colombia and colleagues. Mars and Venus do not have magnetic fields, and it is thought that stellar winds stripped away the bulk of Mars's atmosphere, while Venus's was left with mostly carbon dioxide, making it toxic.

More - Link >>> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23393-magnetic-death-leaves-earthlike-exoplanets-dried-out.html

Source: New Scientist 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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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, 18 April 2013

NASA: Distant Planets Ideal for Life Found


Alien Planets.JPEG


NASA's planet-hunting telescope has discovered two planets that seem like ideal places for some sort of life to flourish. They are just the right size and in just the right place near their star.

The distant duo are the best candidates for habitable planets that astronomers have found so far, said William Borucki, the chief scientist for NASA's Kepler telescope.

The discoveries, published online Thursday in the journal Science, mark a milestone in the search for planets where life could exist.

More - Link >>> http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/nasa-sees-distant-planets-ideal-life-18990451#.UXBX4FE_2YA

Sources: Associated Press News Wire Service, ABC News.

Also, Penn State Grad from Beaver Falls on NASA Science Team (Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette):
Link >>> http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/science/nasa-discovers-two-earth-like-planets-penn-state-grad-on-scientific-team-684053/

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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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 >

This Weekend’s Lyrid Meteor Shower: How to See It

Lyrid meteors will appear to radiate (red circle) from a point near the bright star Vega in the constellation Lyra. This map shows the sky facing southeast around 3:30 a.m. April 22 - around the time of maximum. Stellarium
Lyrid meteors will appear to radiate (red circle) from a point near the bright star Vega in the constellation Lyra. This map shows the sky facing southeast around 3:30 a.m. April 22 – around the time of meteor maximum. Stellarium

by Bob King on April 17, 2013

Feeling a little meteor-starved lately? Me too. It’s been a meteor shower desert since the Quadrantids of early January. That’s about to change. This weekend brings the celestial version of April showers with the annual appearance of the Lyrids.

The Lyrids ding the bell at maximum strength this weekend April 21-22 (Sunday night-Monday morning in the Americas) hurtling meteors at the modest rate of 10-20 per hour from a point in the sky not far from bright Vega in the constellation Lyra. While some showers spread their meteor crumbs over several days, the Lyrids’ peak activity lasts less than a day. The western hemisphere – particularly the western half of North America – is favored this year.

There will be a small price to pay for the show. The Lyrid radiant, the point in the sky from which the showers members radiate, rises in the east rather late – around 10:30 p.m. local time. Then there’s the bright gibbous moon, which has a habit of drowning out fainter stars and meteors alike. That makes the best time for viewing the shower after moonset or around 4 a.m. Monday morning. Since dawn begins about 5, you’ll have one good hour. That’s plenty of time to snag at least a few flaming motes of Comet Thatcher.

Like most meteor showers, the Lyrids have a parent and single parents are the rule. For the Lyrids, it’s Comet Thatcher, discovered on April 5, 1861, a week before the start of the Civil War, by amateur astronomer A.E. Thatcher observing from New York City. Later it was found to be linked to the Lyrid meteor shower.

More - Link >>> http://www.universetoday.com/101519/this-weekends-lyrid-meteor-shower-how-to-see-it/

Source: UniverseToday.com .

Lyrid meteor shower peaks this weekend: its brush with history (2013 April 19 - Source: The Washington Post):

Link >>> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/04/19/lyrid-meteor-shower-peaks-this-weekend-its-brush-with-history/


More on the Lyrid Meteor Shower:
Link >>> http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/lyrids/lyrids.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: < https://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.planetariu p.m. m.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 >