Brilliant Sirius over a snow-covered spruce tree in the wee hours of an icy morning looks a lot like the Christmas Star. Let’s all enjoy a fine holiday and a happy new year!Share This:
The Rosetta spacecraft made its final maneuver around the Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67p) in 2016 and made a controlled hard landing. Rosetta had accompanied the comet for more than 2 years, measured valuable scientific data, brought a lander on to the comet’s surface and took vast numbers of pictures.
In 2017 the European Space Agency released over 400,000 images from the Rosetta mission. Based on these images, motion designer Christian Stangl and composer Wolfgang Stangl worked together to create this short (but quite astonishing) film.
The sequences are digitally enhanced real-footage from the probe.
Watch the beauty of an active alien body, far out in the dephts of our solar system.Share This:
It’s a question that inevitably arises in conversations about the cosmos: does life exist elsewhere in the universe?
For those who hope the answer is “yes”, the harvest of exoplanets by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope and other telescopes over the past decade has been hugely encouraging. As of mid 2019, in the small slice of sky under its exacting gaze, analysis of Kepler’s measurements found more than two thousand extrasolar planets, and all telescopes have confirmed some 3,700 exoplanets. Extrapolating these results, astronomers estimate our Milky Way galaxy alone might hold some 10 billion planets that may have the temperature and composition to harbor habitable life. With that much real estate, many believe that complex or even intelligent life must have formed on at least some of these? [Read more…] about Is the Universe Too Dangerous for Life?Share This:
As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the still astonishing Apollo 11 moon landing, we backyard stargazers can also get in on the fun (indeed many of us grizzled amateur astronomers can trace our interest in the night sky to the space program of the 1960s). With a modest telescope and good seeing, nearly anyone with a little observing experience can see the region of the Moon where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin briefly walked, and observe the three tiny craters named for the two famous moonwalkers and their crew mate Michael Collins who remained alone in lunar orbit to pilot the Apollo 11 command module [Read more…] about See the ‘Craters of Apollo 11’Share This:
The summer ‘monsoons’ have obliterated the stars for the past couple of weeks and at least for one week more. But a good stargazer still needs to look up from time to time, which is how I found a formation of mammatus clouds passing overhead after an afternoon and evening of heavy thunderstorms near Calgary, Canada.
These ominous and distinctively shaped clouds are usually formed on the underside of anvil-shaped cumulonimbus clouds that cause severe thunderstorms. These sagging pouches are mostly made of ice crystals. An individual “pouch” can range anywhere from one to three kilometers in diameter, and a mammatus cloud field can stretch for dozens of kilometers across the sky.
Their formation is still poorly understood, but they may form from cold, dense air sinks toward the earth from higher up. This sinking air pokes through the bottom of the anvil resulting in the pouch-like appearance. So they may be a rare occurrence of cloud formation caused by sinking air rather than rising air. The cloud droplets and ice crystals eventually evaporate and the mammatus clouds dissipate. These clouds were passing quickly and moved over the horizon before they faded away.Share This: