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Oh, agreed... ;)

ehMac might be a half-decent place to visit once in awhile, were it not for the mongrels shitting all over the place....

:mad:
 

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The Leonid Meteor Shower Will Peak This Weekend

Change your Saturday night plans! The Leonid meteor shower is going to peak this weekend so be ready to find a dark spot away from city lights to enjoy this stellar spectacle.

The Leonids is considered one of the most prolific meteor showers for historical reasons. The general public's interest in meteors is actually due to these meteors. In 1833, the Leonids underwent a spectacular outburst with over 200,000 meteors per hour for almost four hours. This year, unfortunately, won’t be like that. Astronomers expect up to 15 meteors per hour to be visible to observers.

The Leonid shower originates from fragments of the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which orbits the Sun every 33 years. Its last close passage to our planet was in 1998, so the Earth’s orbit is currently within the least dense part of the comet's trail of particles.

The name of these meteors, Leonids, comes from the constellation of Leo (the lion), where they appear to originate from, but you don’t need to find the constellation to be able to spot them. Wherever you look in the sky, you should be able to see some. The longer-tailed ones will actually be more visible in other directions.

But if you want to be prepared, the best time is from 11pm onwards on Saturday, November 17, in an easterly direction. The shower will be visible from both hemispheres starting in the northeast and moving towards the southeast and the zenith (the highest point in the sky) as the night progresses. In the US, the view will be best from the western and southeastern parts of the country.

When going meteor hunting it is important to take your time and let your eyes adjust to the low luminosity. So tuck your phone in your pocket and give yourself 15-20 minutes to get used to the dark. And remember that this year the shower is not an outburst, so you’ll have to be patient. Maybe bring a comfy camp chair. And blankets if you’re somewhere that’s going to get cold.

And if this weekend is not good weatherwise, remember that you can continue to catch the meteor shower until the end of November. Or be patient and prepare for the Geminids next month.
https://www.iflscience.com/space/the-leonid-meteor-shower-will-peak-this-weekend/
 

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I came across this animation again, and thought it had been posted in this thread already, but no. Just as cool as the earlier animation of planets circling a star (post #71 above), here we have stars circling a black hole:

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF8THY5spmo[/ame]
 

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What the heck is going on with Betelgeuse?

Feast Your Eyes On These Incredible New Images Of A Dimming Betelgeuse



Astronomers have employed the incredible visual acuity of the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to capture these incredible images of the changing surface of red supergiant Betelgeuse. The star is currently experiencing a period of yet-to-be explained dimming that has taken it out of the top 20 brightest stars in our sky.

Betelgeuse, like many supergiant stars, is a dynamic object with a changing luminosity. But its dimming, now at 36 percent of its average brightness, is unprecedented. A team of astronomers from KU Leuven in Belgium have been studying this dimming event in detail since December 2019, capturing a stunning new image of the star's surface using the VLT'S SPHERE instrument. As luck would have it, they had also observed the supergiant in January 2019, giving us incredible before and after photos of the dimming star.

Red supergiant stars are a lot more massive than our Sun but mind-bogglingly larger, extending hundreds of millions of kilometers into space, compared to the 1.4 million kilometers (865,370 miles) of our own Sun. For this reason, these stars have very low densities, so internal processes can create peculiar shapes. The two new images show how Betelgeuse is changing shape rather than appearing spherical, which you'd expect from a star.

Researchers trying to understand the cause of the unusual dimming have two main hypotheses.

“The two scenarios we are working on are a cooling of the surface due to exceptional stellar activity or dust ejection towards us,” team leader Dr Miguel Montargès said in a statement. “Of course, our knowledge of red supergiants remains incomplete, and this is still a work in progress, so a surprise can still happen.”

(IFLScience)​
 

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From looking at the two shots, I subscribe to the 'dust ejection' scenario. The core brightness appears to be the same intensity, just hindered by an obstacle, like a cloud of dust.
 

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The Arecibo Observatory has now completely collapsed and destroyed the dish underneath


(Reddit)

Related: After Arecibo, NASA isn't sure what comes next for planetary radar (Space.com)
 
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