Archive for the ‘Astronomy’ Category
This animated set of three images depicts asteroid 2012 DA14 as it was seen on Feb. 14, 2013, at a distance of 465,000 miles (748,000 kilometers). The animation was created by astronomers at the Remanzacco Observatory in Italy using observations obtained remotely from the Faulkes Telescope South in Siding Springs, Australia.
The images were taken with Faulkes Telescope South in Siding Springs, Australia, operated by Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network by E.Gomez. The animation was made by Remanzacco Observatory, Italy.
The asteroid is the large bright spot moving near the middle of the field of view. The other dots are stars in the background. A line that appears in one of the frames comes from a satellite that passed through the field of view.
Image credit: LCOGT/E. Gomez/Faulkes South/Remanzacco Observatory
Nice pic, but not worthy of wall mounting. I like the video better…
Meteorite crash in Russia focuses news article on proposal by Deep Space Industries to establish several sentry lines encircling Earth with small spacecraft able to dart after intruders to get close-up photos and data. [SatNews - 02/15/2013]
Russia may suspend its lease of some facilities at the Baikonur space complex, allowing for joint operation of the space base by Russia and Kazakhstan. [R&D Magazine - 02/15/2013]
Gilat will provide satellite-base communications as the primary mode of connectivity for up to 30,000 ATM sites across India for Nelco and Bharti Airtel. [Satellite Spotlight - 02/15/2013]
NASA satellite image reveals evidence of the recent volcanic eruption on Indonesian island of Paluweh. [SatNews - 02/15/2013]
JPL research team finds way to control erosion of electric rocket engine walls by shaping engine’s magnetic field to shield the walls from ion bombardment. [Space Travel - 02/15/2013]
Society of Exploration Geophysicists article describes how two energy companies used satellite imagery to locate and attempt to unravel mystery surrounding British Royal Air Force fighter plane crash in Egyptian Desert in World War II. [SatNews - 02/15/2013]
NASA shows that Orion spacecraft can safely land even if one of its three parachutes fails to deploy. [Space Travel - 02/15/2013]
Possible changes incorporated in latest Chinese launch vehicle, Shenzhou 10, remain veiled. [Space Daily - 02/15/2013]
Beam Communications enters into agreement with Beijing Marine Communications and Navigation Company for $1 million worth of Beam Inmarsat satellite terminals. [SatNews - 02/15/2013]
As the Sequestration concept gains momentum as a U.S. government satellite acquisition approach, the GAO urges action on the weather satellite gap, adding it to the so-called high-risk list. [Federal Times - 02/14/2013]
France selects Astrium to build the country’s first digital, military ultra-fast broadband satellite network. [UPI - 02/14/2013]
Astrium will contribute to development and demonstration of service to measure citywide emissions of greenhouse gases in Paris. [Satellite Today - 02/14/2013]
Spanish researchers claim to have developed new system capable of increasing conventional GPS devices’ accuracy by as much as 90%. [Satellite Today - 02/14/2013]
Fujitsu Frontech North America will showcase at Video Service Forum’s Los Angeles conference a new firmware release for its video encoders/decoders that dramatically improves end-to-end latency while delivering exceptional video quality at reduced bit rates. [SatNews - 02/14/2013]
COM DEV equipment is utilized aboard NASA’s recently launched TDRS-K satellite. [Broadcaster Magazine - 02/14/2013]
Hughes will demonstrate high-speed wireless 4G/LTE capabilities over satellite at California’s Naval Postgraduate School’s Joint Interagency Field Exploration event. [Satellite Today - 02/14/2013]
Spacenet gets 5-year base contract from one of world’s leading delivery services companies to upgrade and provide network connectivity to more than 5,700 locations. [Satellite Evolution Group - 02/14/2013]
PolarSat gets multi-phase order from GECI for equipment supply and technical services for a VSATPuls3 satellite communications network to upgrade air traffic control communications network within Mozambique. [Satellite Evolution Group - 02/14/2013]
MTN expands its MTN Worldwide TV service to include three new live channels, as well as programming in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. [Satellite Evolution Group - 02/14/2013]
Hughes M2M satellite terminal integrates 9502 modem with compact antenna to create single-piece, integrated, rugged terminal to withstand the most extreme weather conditions, providing IP connectivity over BGAN network. [SatNews - 02/14/2013]
South Korea moves to accelerate development of longer-range ballistic missiles in response to third nuclear test by North Korea. [Space Daily - 02/13/2013]
Boeing signs contract with U.S. Air Force worth more than $50 million for completion and deployment of the 12 GPS satellites it is building for the government. [Satellite Today - 02/13/2013]
ITT Excelis sensor to be used on U.S. Air Force weather satellites under new contract will provide the Air Force and war fighter with better weather information, especially regarding clouds. [SatNews - 02/13/2013]
Norsat introduces GLOBETrekker 2.0 upgraded fly-away satellite terminal. [Stockhouse - 02/13/2013]
Polish satellite TV operators Cyfra+ plan to introduce new satellite platform to include Internet service and compete with Cyfrowy Polsat, which offers LTE Internet service at 150 Mbps. [Satellite Today - 02/13/2013]
Study using data from NASA satellites finds that parts of Middle East region lost 117 million acre feet of freshwater reserves over past 7 years. [SatNews - 02/13/2013]
Near-Earth asteroid not expected to pose any threat to orbiting satellites. [Satellite Today - 02/13/2013]
Hughes to demonstrate how “store of the future” will be driven by its high-powered networks and managed services solutions at EuroCIS 2013. [Yahoo Finance - 02/13/2013]
Deep Space Industries to use cubesats to investigate nature of near-Earth asteroids with goal of eventually mining the asteroids to create propellant to extend the working life of communications satellites among other applications. [SatNews - 02/13/2013]
Landsat satellite successfully launched from Vandenberg AFB. [Satellite Today - 02/12/2013]
NASA demonstrates robotic fluid transfer in space during Robotic Refueling Mission aboard the International Space Station. [SatNews - 02/12/2013]
The 1800th flight of a Soyuz launch vehicle successfully placed Progress cargo spacecraft on target orbit for another mission to the International Space Station. [Satellite Evolution Group - 02/12/2013]
Comtech Xicom gets $.4 million order for traveling wave tube amplifiers from U.S. government agency for military communications. [Satellite Spotlight - 02/12/2013]
SES and Viking Satcom partner for development and deployment of commercial satellite antenna systems to enable expansion of SES’s center arc cable neighborhood. [Satellite Today - 02/12/2013]
Newtec signs Basic Ordering Agreement with the NATO Communications and Information Agency. [Satellite Spotlight - 02/12/2013]
MDA signs contract with OGSystems to develop prototype surveillance solutions for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that will utilize a quickly deployable mobile satellite terminal to receive and process imagery from multiple commercial satellites. [Satellite Today - 02/12/2013]
Kratos gets multi-million SES contract for interference monitoring and geolocation system enhancements. [Equities.com - 02/11/2013]
Harris CapRock and AIS Engineering team to provide end-to-end satellite, teleport and terrestrial services to U.S. intelligence customer. [Orlando Business Journal - 02/12/2013]
Astrium Services signs multi-year renewal agreement for C-band capacity to serve maritime customers in the Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. [Satellite Spotlight - 02/11/2013]
Hosted U.S.A.F. infrared surveillance payload on commercial satellite will be discussed with industry. [Military Aerospace - 02/10/2013]
What is that? HFS!! It’s a meteorite!! A 10-ton rock falling from the sky at 20 km/second — that’s 745 miles per hour! Injured 500 people, too.
The Russian Academy of Sciences is referring to it as the “Chelyabinsk Fireball,” weighing 10 tons and with a velocity of up to 20 meters per second.
Сегодня утром в районе города Челябинска было зарегистрировано падение космического тела, вызвавшее яркую световую вспышку и сильную ударную волну.
Сообщается о выбитых стеклах в домах. По нашим оценкам размер тела составлял несколько метров, масса порядка десяти тонн, энергия несколько килотонн. Тело вошло в атмосферу со скоростью 15-20 км/с, разрушилось на высотах 30-50 км, движение фрагментов с большой скоростью вызвало мощное свечение и сильную ударную волну. Основная часть вещества падающего тела испарилась (сгорела), оставшиеся куски затормозились и могли выпасть на землю в виде метеоритов. Обычно суммарная масса найденных метеоритов составляет не больше 1-5% от начальной массы. Основная энергия выделилась на высотах 5-15 км. Тела такого размера падают довольно часто, несколько раз в год, однако обычно сгорают на больших высотах (порядка 30-50 км). Рассматриваемое тело, по-видимому, было очень прочным, возможно железным. Последний раз похожее явление на территории России наблюдалось в 2002 году (Витимский болид). Более точные оценки можно дать после получения всей имеющейся информации.
Wow. Massive. From the AP…
A meteor that scientists estimate weighed 10 tons streaked at supersonic speed over Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday, setting off blasts that injured some 500 people and frightened countless more.
The Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement that the meteor over the Chelyabinsk region entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of at least 33,000 mph and shattered about 18-32 miles above ground.
The fall caused explosions that broke glass over a wide area. The Emergency Ministry says more than 500 people sought treatment after the blasts and that 34 of them were hospitalized.
“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, about 930 miles east of Moscow, the biggest city in the affected region.
“We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound,” he told The Associated Press by telephone.
Another Chelyabinsk resident, Valya Kazakov, said some elderly women in his neighborhood started crying out that the world was ending.
Some fragments fell in a reservoir outside the town of Cherbakul, the regional governor’s office said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. It was not immediately clear if any people were struck by fragments.
The agency also cited military spokesman Yarslavl Roshupkin as saying that a six-meter-wide (20-foot-wide) crater was found in the same area which could be the result of fragments striking the ground.
Meteors typically cause sizeable sonic booms when they enter the atmosphere because they are traveling much faster than the speed of sound. Injuries on the scale reported Friday, however, are extraordinarily rare.
Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov said that about 600 square meters (6000 square feet) of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed. There was no immediate clarification of whether the collapse was caused by meteorites or by a shock wave from one of the explosions.
Reports conflicted on what exactly happened in the clear skies. A spokeswoman for the Emergency Ministry, Irina Rossius, told The Associated Press that there was a meteor shower, but another ministry spokeswoman, Elena Smirnikh, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying it was a single meteor.
Amateur video broadcast on Russian television showed an object speeding across the sky about 9:20 a.m. local time (0320 GMT), leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash.
Donald Yeomans, manager of U.S. Near Earth Object Program in California, said he thought the event was probably “an exploding fireball event.”
Pretty awesome of MSNBC to report on the Kepler mission’s discoveries…
Our Milky Way galaxy is home to at least 100 billion alien planets, and possibly many more, a new study suggests.
“It’s a staggering number, if you think about it,” lead author Jonathan Swift, of Caltech in Pasadena, said in a statement. “Basically there’s one of these planets per star.”
Swift and his colleagues arrived at their estimate after studying a five-planet system called Kepler-32, which lies about 915 light-years from Earth. The five worlds were detected by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, which flags the tiny brightness dips caused when exoplanets cross their star’s face from the instrument’s perspective.
It was recently published in The Astrophysical Journal. Good luck finding the abstract.
Hoping some of these images make it to the BigBangPrints.com gallery.
Shot through the heart
And you’re to blame
You give love a bad name
I play my part and you play your game
You give love a bad name (bad name)
Just watch the video from the Hubble folks…
The payload deployment test shown above moves the FalconSAT-7 mission forward, which is scheduled for 2015. Why is this “cubesat” important? It uses diffraction instead of refraction or reflection and it is becoming a real alternate to a large space-based observatory in studying the Sun’s chromosphere — especially in the H-alpha wavelengths.
A photon sieve is a novel optical element consisting of a flat opaque sheet with millions of tiny holes. Light passing through these holes is focused in a similar manner to a lens or a mirror. Photon sieves have several key advantages over those more conventional optics:
- Focusing can be achieved from a flat, thin sheet that can be unfurled from a very compact, lightweight package
- Surface quality tolerances are orders of magnitude more relaxed
- The fabrication costs are much lower
The trade-offs include:
- Lower efficiency / loss of light
- Narrow bandwidth giving what are essentially grayscale images
The photon sieve will have the following design parameters:
- 200mm diameter, 400mm focal length, 656.3nm wavelength
- 2.5 billion holes ranging in size from 2-277 microns
- 50% fill factor, 30% focusing efficiency
The telescope has a relatively simple design due to space constraints and has:
- 4 µrad resolution which equates to 600 km at Sun surface
- ~0.1 degree field of view (about a 1/5th of the Sun’s disk)
This is an image of MyCn18, a young planetary nebula located about 8,000 light-years away, taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
This Hubble image reveals the true shape of MyCn18 to be an hourglass with an intricate pattern of ‘etchings’ in its walls. This picture has been composed from three separate images taken in the light of ionized nitrogen (represented by red), hydrogen (green), and doubly-ionized oxygen (blue).
The results are of great interest because they shed new light on the poorly understood ejection of stellar matter which accompanies the slow death of Sun-like stars. In previous ground-based images, MyCn18 appears to be a pair of large outer rings with a smaller central one, but the fine details cannot be seen.
Credit: Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger (JPL), the WFPC2 science team, and NASA/ESA