Tag: Sagittarius (page 1 of 4)

Equinox Zero Point Threshold By Meg Benedicte March 20 2017

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An Astrological Interpretation for Donald Trump – September-29-2016

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Mysterious Glow Detected At Center Of Milky Way Galaxy

In this image, the magenta color indicates the mysterious glow detected by NASA's NuSTAR space telescope.Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com A mysterious glow has been observed at the center of the Milky Way, and scientists are struggling to figure o...

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Ancient supernova had enough dust to make 7,000 earths


The Cassiopeia A nebula is the gaseous remnant of a supernova explosion whose light reached the Earth around the year 1680.


Excerpt from sciencerecorder.com


A recent discovery has revealed that a supernovae is capable enough producing such quantities of cosmic dust that it can yield thousands of Earths.

An international team of researchers analyzed data obtained by SOFIA – a NASA and German Aerospace Center’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy project – which took images of a cosmic dust cloud.

Supernova remant. Image Credit: NASA/CXO/Herschel/VLA/Lau et al

“This discovery is a special feather in the cap for SOFIA, demonstrating how observations made within our own Milky Way galaxy can bear directly on our understanding of the evolution of galaxies billions of light years away,” said Pamela Marcum, one of the researchers.

The team made measurements of long infrared wavelengths of the Supernova Remnant Sagittarius A East, gaining an estimate for the total mass of dust within the cloud based on what it released.
SOFIA, an enhanced Boeing 747 with high end telescope, flies in altitudes between 39,000 to 45,000 feet to capture its images.

Astronomers already knew that the shock waves of supernovas produce high concentrations of dust when they move outward.
The question was whether the cosmic particles could withstand the intense shock waves.

“The dust survived the later onslaught of shock waves from the supernova explosion, and is now flowing into the interstellar medium where it can become part of the ‘seed material’ for new stars and planets,” said Ryan Lau, of Cornell University, who led the research team.

This new discovery encouraged the idea that the vast quantities of dust seen in remote yet fairly young galaxies may have been produced by the explosions of large stars that were actually much older.

The research was published in Science magazine on Thursday.

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The Universe within 50,000 Light Years

This map shows the full extent of the Milky Way galaxy - a spiral galaxy of at least two hundred billion stars. Our Sun is buried deep within the Orion Arm about 26 000 light years from the centre. Towards the centre of the Galaxy the stars are ...

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Top 6 tips for using ordinary binoculars for stargazing




Excerpt from earthsky.org


Admit it.  You’ve probably got a pair of binoculars lying around your house somewhere. They may be perfect – that’s right, perfect – for beginning stargazing. Follow the links below to learn more about the best deal around for people who want to get acquainted with the night sky: a pair of ordinary binoculars.
1. Binoculars are a better place to start than telescopes
2. Start with a small, easy-to-use size
3. First, view the moon with binoculars.
4. Move on to viewing planets with binoculars.
5. Use your binoculars to explore inside our Milky Way.
6. Use your binoculars to peer beyond the Milky Way.

1. Binoculars are a better place to start than telescopes. The fact is that most people who think they want to buy a telescope would be better off using binoculars for a year or so instead.  That’s because first-time telescope users often find themselves completely confused – and ultimately put off – by the dual tasks of learning the use a complicated piece of equipment (the ‘scope) while at the same time learning to navigate an unknown realm (the night sky).
Beginning stargazers often find that an ordinary pair of binoculars – available from any discount store – can give them the experience they’re looking for.  After all, in astronomy, magnification and light-gathering power let you see more of what’s up there.  Even a moderate form of power, like those provided by a pair of 7×50 binoculars, reveals 7 times as much information as the unaided eye can see.

You also need to know where to look. Many people start with a planisphere as they begin their journey making friends with the stars. You can purchase a planisphere at the EarthSky store. Also consider our Astronomy Kit, which has a booklet on what you can see with your binoculars.

2. Start with a small, easy-to-use size.  Don’t buy a huge pair of binoculars to start with! Unless you mount them on a tripod, they’ll shake and make your view of the heavens shakey, too. The video above – from ExpertVillage – does a good job summing up what you want. And in case you don’t want to watch the video, the answer is that 7X50 binoculars are optimum for budding astronomers.  You can see a lot, and you can hold them steadily enough that jitters don’t spoil your view of the sky.  Plus they’re very useful for daylight pursuits, like birdwatching. If 7X50s are too big for you – or if you want binoculars for a child – try 7X35s.

February 24, 2014 moon with earthshine by Greg Diesel Landscape Photography.
February 24, 2014 moon with earthshine by Greg Diesel Landscape Photography.

3. First, view the moon with binoculars. When you start to stargaze, you’ll want to watch the phase of the moon carefully. If you want to see deep-sky objects inside our Milky Way galaxy – or outside the galaxy – you’ll want to avoid the moon. But the moon itself is a perfect target for beginning astronomers, armed with binoculars. Hint: the best time to observe the moon is in twilight. Then the glare of the moon is not so great, and you’ll see more detail.

You’ll want to start your moon-gazing when the moon is just past new – and visible as a waxing crescent in the western sky after sunset. At such times, you’ll have a beautiful view of earthshine on the moon.  This eerie glow on the moon’s darkened portion is really light reflected from Earth onto the moon’s surface.  Be sure to turn your binoculars on the moon at these times to enhance the view. 
Each month, as the moon goes through its regular phases, you can see the line of sunrise and sunset on the moon progress across the moon’s face. That’s just the line between light and dark on the moon. This line between the day and night sides of the moon is called the terminator line.  The best place to look at the moon from Earth – using your binoculars – is along the terminator line. The sun angle is very low in this twilight zone, just as the sun is low in our sky around earthly twilight.  So, along the terminator on the moon, lunar features cast long shadows in sharp relief.

You can also look in on the gray blotches on the moon called maria, named when early astronomers thought these lunar features were seas.  The maria are not seas, of course, and instead they’re now thought to have formed 3.5 billion years ago when asteroid-sized rocks hit the moon so hard that lava percolated up through cracks in the lunar crust and flooded the impact basins. These lava plains cooled and eventually formed the gray seas we see today.

The white highlands, nestled between the maria, are older terrain pockmarked by thousands of craters that formed over the eons. Some of the larger craters are visible in binoculars. One of them, Tycho, at the six o’clock position on the moon, emanates long swatches of white rays for hundreds of miles over the adjacent highlands. This is material kicked out during the Tycho impact 2.5 million years ago.

View Larger. Photo of Jupiter's moons by Carl Galloway. Thank you Carl! The four major moons of Jupiter - Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto - are easily seen through a low-powered telescope. Click here for a chart of Jupiter's moons
Photo of Jupiter’s moons by Earthsky Facebook friend Carl Galloway. Thank you Carl! The four major moons of Jupiter are called Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. This is a telescopic view, but you can glimpse one, two or more moons through your binoculars, too.


4. Move on to viewing planets with binoculars. Here’s the deal about planets.  They move around, apart from the fixed stars.  They are wanderers, right?

You can use our EarthSky Tonight page to locate planets visible around now.  Notice if any planets are mentioned in the calendar on the Tonight page, and if so click on that day’s link.  On our Tonight page, we feature planets on days when they’re easily identifiable for some reason – for example, when a planet is near the moon.  So our Tonight page calendar can help you come to know the planets, and, as you’re learning to identify them, keep your binoculars very handy. Binoculars will enhance your view of a planet near the moon, for example, or two planets near each other in the twilight sky. They add a lot to the fun!

Below, you’ll find some more simple ideas on how to view planets with your binoculars.

Mercury and Venus. These are both inner planets.  They orbit the sun closer than Earth’s orbit.  And for that reason, both Mercury and Venus show phases as seen from Earth at certain times in their orbit – a few days before or after the planet passes between the sun and Earth.  At such times,  turn your binoculars on Mercury or Venus. Good optical quality helps here, but you should be able to see them in a crescent phase. Tip: Venus is so bright that its glare will overwhelm the view. Try looking in twilight instead of true darkness.

Mars. Mars – the Red Planet – really does look red, and using binoculars will intensify the color of this object (or of any colored star). Mars also moves rapidly in front of the stars, and it’s fun to aim your binoculars in its direction when it’s passing near another bright star or planet.

Jupiter. Now on to the real action!  Jupiter is a great binocular target, even for beginners.   If you are sure to hold your binoculars steadily as you peer at this bright planet,  you should see four bright points of light near it.  These are the Galilean Satellites – four moons gleaned through one of the first telescopes ever made, by the Italian astronomer Galileo. Note how their relative positions change from night to night as each moon moves around Jupiter in its own orbit.

Saturn.Although a small telescope is needed to see Saturn’s rings, you can use your binoculars to see Saturn’s beautiful golden color.  Experienced observers sometimes glimpse Saturn’s largest moon Titan with binoculars.  Also, good-quality high-powered binoculars – mounted on a tripod – will show you that Saturn is not round.  The rings give it an elliptical shape.

Uranus and Neptune. Some planets are squarely binocular and telescope targets. If you’re armed with a finder chart, two of them, Uranus and Neptune, are easy to spot in binoculars. Uranus might even look greenish, thanks to methane in the planet’s atmosphere. Once a year, Uranus is barely bright enough to glimpse with the unaided eye . . . use binoculars to find it first. Distant Neptune will always look like a star, even though it has an atmosphere practically identical to Uranus.

There are still other denizens of the solar system you can capture through binocs. Look for the occasional comet, which appears as a fuzzy blob of light. Then there are the asteroids – fully 12 of them can be followed with binoculars when they are at their brightest. Because an asteroid looks star-like, the secret to confirming its presence is to sketch a star field through which it’s passing. Do this over subsequent nights; the star that changes position relative to the others is our solar system interloper.

Milky Way Galaxy arching over a Joshua tree

Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters
Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters





5. Use your binoculars to explore inside our Milky Way.  Binoculars can introduce you to many members of our home galaxy. A good place to start is with star clusters that are close to Earth. They cover a larger area of the sky than other, more distant clusters usually glimpsed through a telescope.

Beginning each autumn and into the spring, look for a tiny dipper-like cluster of stars called the Pleiades.  The cluster – sometimes also called the Seven Sisters – is noticeable for being small yet distinctively dipper-like. While most people say they see only six stars here with the unaided eye, binoculars reveal many more stars, plus a dainty chain of stars extending off to one side. The Pleiades star cluster is looks big and distinctive because it’s relatively close – about 400 light years from Earth. This dipper-shaped cluster is a true cluster of stars in space.  Its members were born around the same time and are still bound by gravity.  These stars are very young, on the order of 20 million years old, in contrast to the roughly five billion years for our sun.

Stars in a cluster all formed from the same gas cloud. You can also see what the Pleiades might have like in a primordial state, by shifting your gaze to the prominent constellation Orion the Hunter. Look for Orion’s sword stars, just below his prominent belt stars. If the night is crisp and clear, and you’re away from urban streetlight glare, unaided eyes will show that the sword isn’t entirely composed of stars. Binoculars show a steady patch of glowing gas where, right at this moment, a star cluster is being born. It’s called the Orion Nebula. A summertime counterpart is the Lagoon Nebula, in Sagittarius the Archer.

With star factories like the Orion Nebula, we aren’t really seeing the young stars themselves. They are buried deep within the nebula, bathing the gas cloud with ultraviolet radiation and making it glow. In a few tens of thousands of years, stellar winds from these young, energetic stars will blow away their gaseous cocoons to reveal a newly minted star cluster.

Scan along the Milky Way to see still more sights that hint at our home galaxy’s complexity. First, there’s the Milky Way glow itself; just a casual glance through binoculars will reveal that it is still more stars we can’t resolve with our eyes . . . hundreds of thousands of them. Periodically, while scanning, you might sweep past what appears to be blob-like, black voids in the stellar sheen. These are dark, non-glowing pockets of gas and dust that we see silhouetted against the stellar backdrop. This is the stuff of future star and solar systems, just waiting around to coalesce into new suns.

Andromeda Galaxy from Chris Levitan Photography.
Andromeda Galaxy from Chris Levitan Photography.

Many people use the M- or W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia to find the Andromeda Galaxy.  See how the star Schedar points to the galaxy?  Click here to expand image.
Many people use the M- or W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia to find the Andromeda Galaxy. See how the star Schedar points to the galaxy?


6. Use your binoculars to view beyond the Milky Way.  Let’s leap out of our galaxy for the final stop in our binocular tour. Throughout fall and winter, she reigns high in the sky during northern hemisphere autumns and winters: Andromeda the Maiden. Centered in the star pattern is an oval patch of light, readily visible to the unaided eye away from urban lights. Binoculars will show it even better.

It’s a whole other galaxy like our own, shining across the vastness of intergalactic space. Light from the Andromeda Galaxy has traveled so far that it’s taken more than 2 million years to reach us.
Two smaller companions visible through binoculars on a dark, transparent night are the Andromeda Galaxy’s version of our Milky Way’s Magellanic Clouds. These small, orbiting, irregularly-shaped galaxies that will eventually be torn apart by their parent galaxy’s gravity.

Such sights, from lunar wastelands to the glow of a nearby island universe, are all within reach of a pair of handheld optics, really small telescopes in their own right: your binoculars.

John Shibley wrote the original draft of this article, years ago, and we’ve been expanding it and updating it ever since. Thanks, John!
Bottom line: For beginning stargazers, there’s no better tool than an ordinary pair of binoculars. This post tells you why, explains what size to get, and gives you a rundown on some of the coolest binoculars sights out there: the moon, the planets, inside the Milky Way, and beyond. Have fun!

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Scientists Solve Mystery of Strange Object at Milky Way Center ~ Greg Giles


This image shows the supermassive black hole Sgr A* and the region around it. The inset shows Sgr A* and G2. Image credit: NASA / CXC / MIT / F.K. Baganoff et al. / E. Slawik / G. Witzel et al.

A mysterious red object heading towards a black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy turns out to be a pair of binary stars that have merged together, according to a team of researchers led by Dr Gunther Witzel from the University of California Los Angeles.


Astronomers have been gazing at a giant mystery located at the center of our Milky Way galaxy for over a decade now, but a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters claims to have identified the culprit - apair of binary stars that merged together at some point in their history. The object that was falsely believed to be a gas cloud is now headed toward our galaxy’s supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A* (or Sgr A*).

The object, named G2, is located approximately 26,000 light-years from Earth and has a mass about three times that of our planet.

“This may be happening more than we thought. The stars at the center of the galaxy are massive and mostly binaries. It’s possible that many of the stars we’ve been watching and not understanding may be the end product of mergers that are calm now.”

“It was one of the most watched events in astronomy in my career,” Prof Ghez said. “G2 now is undergoing a ‘spaghetti-fication’ – a common phenomenon near black holes in which large objects become elongated.”

“We are starting to understand the physics of black holes in a way that has never been possible before,” Prof Ghez concluded.
Greg Giles

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Ramblings of an Insomniac Sagittarius ~ Virtual Reality & the Light at the End of the Tunnel ~ By Greg Giles





Ramblings of an Insomniac Sagittarius


So what's keeping me up tonight?


Well, it's this light; you know the one, the bright light at the end of the tunnel that so many report after a near-death experience. I think about that light a lot, and it's no wonder really as, although our world is full of countless mysteries, there aren’t too many that are as incredible to think about then the question of life after death. One of my favorite pastimes is to try to picture just what it is exactly that awaits us at the end of our current lives, and at the end of that lighted tunnel. 


Firstly, let's take a cursory look at the odds that there is something for us after this lifetime. At minimum it's a 50-50 shot, as either there is something after here or there isn't. But we can go beyond that and adjust those odds a bit by adding variables to our equation.

Let's consider the countless reports of an afterlife witnessed during a near-death experience. If just one of these reports is accurate-just one mind you, then the odds that something awaits us after this lifetime shifts dramatically, wouldn't you say?


Aside from that, we can add as a variable the incredible long shots necessary for life as we know it to come into being. These long shots certainly shift our odds considerably, and I must say it’s quite refreshing and enjoyable to stand on the short-shot side for once.

Another piece of evidence we would be remiss not to examine is a piece of evidence that is certainly the largest and for me, the most obvious, yet I believe it is the single piece of evidence that is more commonly overlooked when examining the life after death question; our visible universe itself. Just think about it for a moment; does this incredible, remarkable, miraculous, gorgeous, mysterious and seemingly boundless kingdom resemble in any way an accident? Or does it resemble more a product of conscious and purposeful creation? 


When I look around, especially when I look up, I am left with absolutely no doubt that all and everything is a product of intelligent design. So for me, the odds are astoundingly good there awaits us something incredible, something miraculous, and for me, something so exciting to think about. I think a lot of us may lose sight of that sometimes.


So, what is it then that awaits us? Let's start off with what is, for me, but perhaps not you, the most hellish possibility. If the bright light at the end of the tunnel is a hospital delivery room and we are immediately born right back into this world, well then, I would have to say that all those biblical stories about hell are true. 


But moving on to more positive possibilities of the white light at the end of the tunnel, I feel a very good possibility would be that the white light that we are seeing is actually our eyes filling with light as we remove a virtual reality headset. You may feel that this is kind of an odd possibility, but I feel it is a very real possible that all of us are playing an Earth-sized virtual reality game, an MMORPG, or massively multiplayer online role-playing game, not unlike World of Warcraft. 
Playing World of Warcraft



Can you imagine that? Just imagine, at the end of your life here, you experience the sensation of someone somewhere helping you pull from your head a virtual reality headset as your eyes fill with the bright light of a room, possibly even your very own bedroom, somewhere, sometime. Where could that possibly be, and what can our reallives possibly be like?  


Just think about for a moment. If our lives are constructs of a super advanced virtual reality game, just imagine what our genuine reality could be like. It could be absolutely unidentifiable to the lives we are now living. We could be living eternal and incredible lives humans currently reserve only for gods. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Wouldn't that be miraculous? And I see all this as a very plausible possibility. I even see this possibility as the most plausible, as amazing as that may seem.  


Now, if we are currently living a reality that is completely removed from our true reality, then how would we have entered this virtual state? We must enter it somehow, and we aren’t getting hit over the head with a brick like in an Ignatz and Krazy Kat cartoon. No, there must be some kind of process we go through to enter this state of reality, and I feel it’s likely we utilize some kind of virtual reality technology, even if that technology is largely natural, meaning we utilize our minds more than we rely on technology. Nonetheless, I believe that we are using some kind of virtual reality to enter this reality, this MMORPG. 

Ignatz & Krazy Kat ~ Probably one of the reasons we are playing this virtual reality game


Just sitting here at the computer sharing my thoughts about this with you causes my mind to stir, and I see I’m going to be up very late tonight as I lie in bed pondering all of this, but I can't think of a better reason to miss a little sleep.

Greg Giles

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Our Milky Way strips nearby galaxies of star-forming hydrogen


 Artist's impression of the Milky Way. Its hot halo appears to be stripping away the star-forming atomic hydrogen from its companion dwarf spheroidal galaxies.  Image credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF
Artist’s impression of the Milky Way. Its hot halo appears to be stripping away the star-forming atomic hydrogen from its companion dwarf spheroidal galaxies. Image credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF

Excerpt from
earthsky.org

Astronomers have discovered that our nearest galactic neighbors are devoid of star-forming gas, and that our Milky Way is to blame.

New observations by large radio telescopes reveal that within a well-defined boundary around our galaxy, dwarf galaxies are completely devoid of hydrogen gas. Beyond this point, dwarf galaxies are teeming with star-forming material. 

The Milky Way galaxy is actually the largest member of a compact clutch of galaxies that are bound together by gravity. Swarming around our home galaxy is a menagerie of smaller dwarf galaxies, the smallest of which are the relatively nearby dwarf spheroidals, which may be the leftover building blocks of galaxy formation.

Further out are a number of similarly sized and slightly misshaped dwarf irregular galaxies, which are not gravitationally bound to the Milky Way and may be relative newcomers to our galactic neighborhood.

Kristine Spekkens is an assistant professor at the Royal Military College of Canada and lead author on a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. She said:
"Astronomers wondered if, after billions of years of interaction, the nearby dwarf spheroidal galaxies have all the same star-forming ‘stuff’ that we find in more distant dwarf galaxies."

Previous studies have shown that the more distant dwarf irregular galaxies have large reservoirs of neutral hydrogen gas, the fuel for star formation. These past observations, however, were not sensitive enough to rule out the presence of this gas in the smallest dwarf spheroidal galaxies. 

Spekkens said:
"What we found is that there is a clear break, a point near our home galaxy where dwarf galaxies are completely devoid of any traces of neutral atomic hydrogen."
 Bottom line: New observations by large radio telescopes reveal that within a well-defined boundary around our galaxy, dwarf galaxies are completely devoid of star-making hydrogen gas. Astronomers say our Milky Way is to blame.

Known Milky Way satellite galaxies.  Click here for more about this diagram.
Neighboring galaxies to our own Milky Way (Descriptions below)
 

NAME DISTANCE (kpc) DISCOVERY PAPER
Canes Major 7.2Martin et al. 2004, A dwarf galaxy remnant in Canis Major: the fossil of an in-plane accretion on to the Milky Way
Segue 317 Belokurov et al. 2010, Big Fish, Little Fish: Two New Ultra-Faint Satellites of the Milky Way
Segue 123 Belokurov et al. 2007, Cats and Dogs, Hair and A Hero: A Quintet of New Milky Way Companions
Sagittarius24Ibata, Gilmore & Irwin, 1994, A dwarf satellite galaxy in Sagittarius 1995, Sagittarius: the nearest dwarf galaxy
Segue 234.7 Belokurov et al. 2009, The discovery of Segue 2: a prototype of the population of satellitesof satellites
Bootes II 43 Walsh, Jerjen & Willman, 2007, A Pair of Bootes: A New Milky Way Satellite
Coma 44 Belokurov et al. 2007, Cats and Dogs, Hair and A Hero: A Quintet of New Milky Way Companions
Willman 1 (SDSSJ1049+5103) 45Willman et al. 2005, A New Milky Way Companion: Unusual Globular Cluster or Extreme Dwarf Satellite?
Bootes III 46Grillmair 2009, Four New Stellar Debris Streams in the Galactic Halo
LMC 50.8-
SMC 59.7-
Bootes 60 Belokurov et al. 2006, A Faint New Milky Way Satellite in Bootes
Ursa Minor 66A.G. Wilson of the Lowell Observatory in 1955, Sculptor-Type Systems in the Local Group of Galaxies
Sculptor (Scl) 79discovered in 1938 by Harlow Shapley, A Stellar System of a New Type
Draco 82 A.G. Wilson of the Lowell Observatory in 1955, Sculptor-Type Systems in the Local Group of Galaxies
Sextans 89 Mike Irwin, M.T. Bridgeland, P.S. Bunclark and R.G. McMahon, 1990 A new satellite galaxy of the Milky Way in the constellation of Sextans
Ursa Major (UMa) 100Willman et al. 2005, A New Milky Way Dwarf Galaxy in Ursa Major
Carina 103Cannon, R. D., Hawarden, T. G., & Tritton, S. B., 1977, A new Sculptor-type dwarf elliptical galaxy in Carina
Hercules 140 Belokurov et al. 2007, Cats and Dogs, Hair and A Hero: A Quintet of New Milky Way Companions
Fornax 140discovered in 1938 by Harlow Shapley, described in "Two Stellar Systems of a New Kind", Nature, Vol. 142, p. 715
Canes Venatici II 150 Sakamoto & Hasegawa 2006, Discovery of a Faint Old Stellar System at 150 kpc
Leo IV 160 Belokurov et al. 2007, Cats and Dogs, Hair and A Hero: A Quintet of New Milky Way Companions
Pisces II 182 Belokurov et al. 2010, Big Fish, Little Fish: Two New Ultra-Faint Satellites of The Milky Way
Leo II (Leo B) 208 Robert G. Harrington and Albert George Wilson, 1950, Two New Stellar Systems in Leo
Canes Venatici 220Zucker et al. 2006 A New Milky Way Dwarf Satellite in Canes Venatici
Leo I 254 Robert G. Harrington and Albert George Wilson, 1950, Two New Stellar Systems in Leo

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Exoplanet is first ‘ice giant’ found outside our solar system

Exoplanet is first ‘ice giant’ found outside our solar system

The planet orbits one member of a binary star system 25,000 light-years from Earth.


space.gotnewswire.com


According to an Ohio State University (OSU) statement, a team led by OSU researcher Radek Poleski has discovered the first exoplanet that resembles the planet Uranus in our own solar system. The exoplanet falls into the category of ‘ice giants’, and adds another type of world to the exoplanet roster, which already includes rocky planets similar to Earth and gas giants akin to Jupiter.
The exoplanet is located in a binary star system approximately 25,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. One of the member stars is about two-thirds the mass of the Sun, while the other is about one-sixth as massive. The exoplanet itself is four times the mass of Uranus and orbits the larger of the two stars at nearly the same distance as Uranus revolves around the Sun.
The exoplanet and its home star system were found with the 1.3-meter Warsaw Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, in the course of the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE). The star system was discovered in light magnified by an intervening gravitational microlens, and object between Earth and the star system; the light from the more distant object, the binary system in this case, is magnified by the gravity of the microlensing object.
It was actually two separate microlensing events, one in 2008 and the other in 2010, that revealed the existence of the binary system and its ice giant planet. OGLE’s database currently includes 13,000 microlensing events; Poleski is designing software to scrutinize the database for indications of additional exoplanets in other solar systems.
“Only microlensing can detect these cold ice giants that, like Uranus and Neptune, are far away from their host stars. This discovery demonstrates that microlensing is capable of discovering planets in very wide orbits,” Poleski explained.
“We were lucky to see the signal from the planet, its host star, and the companion star. If the orientation had been different, we would have seen only the planet, and we probably would have called it a free-floating planet.”
The new research has been published online in The Astrophysical Journal.

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Today’s New Moon Commences Libra Cycle

cafeastrology.comA NEW Moon occurs on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at 2:14 AM EDT. Early Wednesday, a new cycle begins. The Virgo New Moon cycle ends and the Libra New Moon cycle begins. The New Moon in Libra cycle is a good time to commit ...

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Weekly astrology 21 May 2012 with Michele Knight

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Weekly astrology 14 May 2012 with Michele Knight

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Aries weekly astrology 14 May 2012 with Michele Knight

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