Every so often in the summer months I allow myself a bit of leeway with posts, because as fun as it is to write about real science, it’s also a lot of fun to write pure speculation.
Holes are everywhere, if you look... This post is the second in a series that accompanies the upcoming publication of my book 'Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos' (Scientific American/FSG)...
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, the ingress of Venus in the 30.4 nanometer waveband - viewing the solar chromosphere and transition region at temperatures of around 50,000 Kelvin: Next, the full transit in the 17.1 nanometer band - viewing the 'quiet' corona and upper transition region at temperatures of around 630,000 Kelvin: Here we have ingress again, in the 19.3 nanometer band, probing the corona and hot flare structure at about 1.2 to 20 million Kelvin: And finally, the last view of Venus in transit for more than the next 100 years, egress at 17.1 nanometers, probing the 630,000 Kelvin temperature structures:...
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...
Here comes another galaxy... (Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. Mellinger) Some recent research on the long-term future of the Milky Way prompted me to dig out and re-polish this post from the Life, Unbounded archives of 2010...
As the docking attempt between the Dragon cargo vehicle and the International Space Station gets underway, here are some of the latest images, plus the LIVE stream to the Dragon/ISS docking at the bottom!...
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.
Annular eclipse (Credit: sancho_panza) When the Sun is eclipsed by the Moon this Sunday, for many observers across much of the world it will be temporarily replaced by a beautiful ring of fire - a brilliant annulus of stellar plasma just peeking out around the dark lunar disk...
On August 14th 2012 my new book, Gravity's Engines , will launch. I'm enormously excited about this, and over the next couple of months - increasingly so as publication date approaches, Life, Unbounded will carry some posts that talk about the science between the covers...
Lonely Planets of the Cosmos Hot Jupiters are special beasts in the exoplanetary menagerie. These giant worlds orbit their parent stars incredibly tightly, sometimes zipping around in barely a day or two, and so close that they can disturb the stellar atmosphere itself - as well as throwing themselves at the mercy of gravitational tides and scorching radiation.They were also the very first type of exoplanets to be detected around normal, hydrogen-burning, stars like our Sun in 1995...
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