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Posts Tagged "transit"

Life, Unbounded

The Venus Movies

latest_Venus_AIA12s_193Track

As a final hurrah for the 2012 Venus transit of the Sun, here are some beautiful time-lapse movies from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory; an orbiting telescope that can image the Sun in a variety of narrow wavebands, from visible light to ultraviolet and extreme-ultraviolet, probing the different temperature structures at the solar surface. First up, [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Venus was Just the Beginning: The Science of Planetary Transits

transit_cartoon.001

Are you sick of reading about the transit of Venus this year? Yes? Me too. But the fact is that when astrophysical objects move between us and something else, like the convenient blaze of a star, there is an extraordinary amount that can be learned. I won’t go far into the delights of a venusian [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Dust to Dust: A Disintegrating Exoplanet?

Through the skies darky - a planet turning to dust (Credit: NASA)

A significant number of exoplanets orbit their parent stars far more closely than anything does in our solar system. From hot Jupiters to hot-Neptunes, and hot super-Earths, there is quite an array of worlds in devilishly close proximity to the blazing radiation of a star. In some cases we have been able to measure the [...]

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Life, Unbounded

You Can’t Always Tell an Exoplanet by its Size

Warning: Exoplanets may appear less massive than they really are (images used: Eysteinn Guðni Guðnason and NASA/Kepler)

Warning: Exoplanets may appear less massive than they really are (images used: Eysteinn Guðni Guðnason and NASA/Kepler) Exoplanets can be confusing things. Recently we’ve seem the announcement of a milestone for NASA’s Kepler mission with the confirmation of a planet in the habitable zone of its Sun-like star. The planet, Kepler 22-b, has a diameter [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Pitch Black: The (almost) dark truth about hot Jupiters

Not an exoplanet: Venus transiting the Sun as seen in optical and ultraviolet wavelengths by the TRACE spacecraft (NASA/LMSAL)

The first exoplanet discovered around a normal star in 1995 was anything but normal in comparison to our own solar system. 55 Pegasi b is a gas giant world orbiting every 4.23 days – placing it some eight times closer  to its stellar parent than the planet Mercury is around the Sun. At least half [...]

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Observations

Where to Watch the Transit of Venus

1882 Transit of Venus

Today offers a final opportunity for 21st century stargazers to observe a transit of Venus. For those of you who forgot to bring your telescope to work today, we’ve got a guide for viewing the transit both indoors and outside. DIY Viewing If the weather is cooperating and you’ve got your pinhole projector in hand, you [...]

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Plugged In

For the Holidays: Gingerbread Zoning Suggestions

ginger

The obvious strain on gingerbread houses,  jelleybean-and-honey fastening products, and other sugar-based infrastructure systems brings them to our attention during the holiday season. With the increasing efforts made in city and regional planning to maximize resources, minimize environmental effects, and improve livability through pedestrian access and human-scale development, many in the development community have expressed [...]

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Plugged In

Walking to School with the Police

Do you see this picture? If you look closely enough you can see my adorable children and lovely wife. And they are doing something remarkable: They are walking — walking to school. And if you look at the head of the line you can see something else: a police cruiser. And look — this is [...]

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Plugged In

The solar-powered bike-car thingy we’ve all been waiting for

Okay, sure — you could buy a Smart car, and it costs $13,000 just to drive it home, plus no matter how cute it is it’s still burning gas and if you want to go to a gig with your guitar and your girlfriend, one of them is going to be uncomfortable. Or you could [...]

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