space-pics: Meteorite From Mars is Water-Rich
Looks like in the NY/NJ area clouds are going to cancel the Perseids display overnight - unless there is some clearing by 3am. Who is staying/getting up to check?
When to watch
The peak of the shower, when you will see the highest concentration of meteors, will occur between 3 and 5am on Sunday the 12th—but viewers should see sparks before then. Rao suggests heading out around 10pm to situate yourself, but make sure you’re prepared for a long night. “There are only two dangers to keep you from seeing the Perseid meteor shower: being drenched in dew and falling asleep,” says Rao.
What to bring
Fortunately, the Perseids are visible to the naked eye, but if you must bring additional equipment, leave your telescope at home—it will just restrict your view of the sky. Instead, grab a pair of binoculars: The magnifying lenses will help you quickly zoom in on the meteors and follow the vapor trails that they leave behind.
Where to look
Set your gaze on the northeastern part of the sky, where the constellation Perseus (for which the shower is named) is located. This group of stars will rise in view throughout the night, but avoid concentrating on any one spot, as sightings tend to occur sporadically. “Just keep looking around.There will be lull periods when nothing much is happening, but eventually a meteor will come through your line of sight.”
On June 18, 1983, a young physicist from California took her seat aboard the space shuttle and launched into history. On that date, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as a mission specialist on STS-7. In this image, Ride monitors control panels from the pilot’s chair on the flight deck.
Image Credit: NASA
This image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows Venus (top left) as it nears the disk of the sun on June 5, 2012. Venus’s 2012 transit was the last such event until 2117. Credit: NASA/SDO, AIA
Apollo 15 Onboard Photo: Earth’s Crest Over the Lunar Horizon Collection: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Collection Name of Image: Apollo 15 Onboard Photo: Earth’s Crest Over the Lunar Horizon Full Description: This view of the Earth’s crest over the lunar horizon was taken during the Apollo 15 lunar landing mission. Apollo 15 launched from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on July 26, 1971 via a Saturn V launch vehicle. Aboard was a crew of three astronauts including David R. Scott, Mission Commander; James B. Irwin, Lunar Module Pilot; and Alfred M. Worden, Command Module Pilot. The first mission designed to explore the Moon over longer periods, greater ranges and with more instruments for the collection of scientific data than on previous missions, the mission included the introduction of a $40,000,000 lunar roving vehicle (LRV) that reached a top speed of 16 kph (10 mph) across the Moon’s surface. The successful Apollo 15 lunar landing mission was the first in a series of three advanced missions planned for the Apollo program. The primary scientific objectives were to observe the lunar surface, survey and sample material and surface features in a preselected area of the Hadley-Apennine region, setup and activation of surface experiments and conduct in-flight experiments and photographic tasks from lunar orbit. Apollo 15 televised the first lunar liftoff and recorded a walk in deep space by Alfred Worden. Both the Saturn V rocket and the LRV were developed at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Date of Image: 1971-07-26
Venus as the Morning Star
I never will have time
I never will have time enough
How beautiful it is
The way the moon
Floats in the air
And lightly as a bird
Although she is a world
Made all of stone.
I never will have time enough
The way the stars
Hang glittering in the dark
Of steepest heaven
Their dewy sparks
Their brimming drops of light
So fresh so clear
That when you look at them
It quenches thirst.
by Anne Porter, from Living Things: Collected Poems
Moons outnumber the planets by around 20 to 1 - here is a guide to ten of the solar system’s most noteworthy moons 10 Moons Every Person Should Know
Mimas, moon of Saturn
Beloved if only because of its resemblance to a certain sci-fi film location…
Mimas is small and icy, but it’s also home to “Herschel” — the name astronomers have given that massive crater situated on the moon’s leading hemisphere.
At 139-kilometers wide, Herschel is almost one-third the diameter of Mimas itself, and is what makes it seem so Death Star-ish. (BTW, the Herschel crater was discovered three years after the release of that Star Wars - but those films do have a knack for predicting some astronomical discoveries).
Plus, it’s also geeky cool that temperature maps of Mimas reveal hot regions that look like Pac-Man eating a dot.
One of my favorite moons. Everyone has favorite moons, right?
Io moon to Jupiter - very close in size to our own moon, but it couldn’t be more different. Despite having a mean surface temperature of less than -250 degrees Fahrenheit, Io is home to over 400 raging volcanoes, making it the single most geologically active object in the solar system.
Seeing the Aurora Borealis is on my bucket list…
Aurora Borealis Over the Midwest
In this image taken on Jan. 25, 2012, the Aurora Borealis steals the scene in this nighttime photograph shot from the International Space Station as the orbital outpost flew over the Midwest. The spacecraft was above south central Nebraska when the photo was taken. The image, taken at an oblique angle, looks north to northeast.
Image Credit: NASA
Western Europe at Night
With hardware from the Earth-orbiting International Space Station appearing in the near foreground, a night time European panorama reveals city lights from Belgium and the Netherlands at bottom center. the British Isles partially obscured by solar array panels at left, the North Sea at left center, and Scandinavia at right center beneath the end effector of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System or Canadarm2. This image was taken by the station crew on Jan. 22, 2012.
A quintet of Saturn’s moons come together in the Cassini spacecraft’s field of view for this portrait.
Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) is on the far left. Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 miles across) orbits between the A ring and the thin F ring near the middle of the image. Brightly reflective Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) appears above the center of the image. Saturn’s second largest moon, Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across), is bisected by the right edge of the image. The smaller moon Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across) can be seen beyond Rhea also on the right side of the image.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. Rhea is closest to Cassini here. The rings are beyond Rhea and Mimas. Enceladus is beyond the rings. The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 29, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (684,000 miles) from Rhea and 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Enceladus.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
A Tale of Three Galaxies - - Arp 274, also known as NGC 5679, is a system of three galaxies that appear to be partially overlapping in the image, although they may be at somewhat different distances. The spiral shapes of two of these galaxies appear mostly intact. The third galaxy (to the far left) is more compact, but shows evidence of star formation.
Two of the three galaxies are forming new stars at a high rate. This is evident in the bright blue knots of star formation that are strung along the arms of the galaxy on the right and along the small galaxy on the left.
The largest component is located in the middle of the three. It appears as a spiral galaxy, which may be barred. The entire system resides at about 400 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo.
Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 was used to image Arp 274 in April 2009. Blue, visible and infrared filters were combined with a filter that isolates hydrogen emission. The colors in this image reflect the intrinsic color of the different stellar populations that make up the galaxies. Yellowish older stars can be seen in the central bulge of each galaxy. A bright central cluster of stars pinpoint each nucleus. Younger blue stars trace the spiral arms, along with pinkish nebulae that are illuminated by new star formation. Interstellar dust is silhouetted against the starry population. A pair of foreground stars inside our own Milky Way are at far right.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)