sábado, 13 de febrero de 2016

APOD - Yutu on a Little Planet

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 February 13
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

Yutu on a Little Planet
Image Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese National Space Administration,
Emily Lakdawalla (Planetary Society) - Stitched by: Andrew Bodrov

Explanation: Tracks lead to a small robot perched near the top of this bright little planet. Of course, the planet is really the Moon. The robot is the desk-sized Yutu rover, leaving its looming Chang'e 3 lander after a after a mid-December 2013 touch down in the northern Mare Imbrium. The little planet projection is a digitally warped and stitched mosaic of images from the lander's terrain camera covering 360 by 180 degrees. Ultimately traveling over 100 meters, Yutu came to a halt in January 2014. The lander's instruments are still working though, after more than two years on the lunar surface. Meanwhile, an interactive panoramic version of this little planet is available here.

Tomorrow's picture: hearty sky


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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viernes, 12 de febrero de 2016

APOD - Two Black Holes Merge

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 February 12

Two Black Holes Merge
Simulation Credit: Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes Project

Explanation: Just press play to watch two black holes merge. Inspired by the first direct detection of gravitational waves by LIGO, this simulation video plays in slow motion but would take about one third of a second if run in real time. Set on a cosmic stage the black holes are posed in front of stars, gas, and dust. Their extreme gravity lenses the light from behind them into Einstein rings as they spiral closer and finally merge into one. The otherwise invisible gravitational waves generated as the massive objects rapidly coalesce cause the visible image to ripple and slosh both inside and outside the Einstein rings even after the black holes have merged. Dubbed GW150914, the gravitational waves detected by LIGO are consistent with the merger of 36 and 29 solar mass black holes at a distance of 1.3 billion light-years. The final, single black hole has 62 times the mass of the Sun, with the remaining 3 solar masses converted into energy in gravitational waves.

Tomorrow's picture: light-weekend


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
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jueves, 11 de febrero de 2016

APOD - LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves from Merging Black Holes

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 February 11
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves from Merging Black Holes
Illustration Credit: LIGO, NSF, Aurore Simonnet (Sonoma State U.)

Explanation: Gravitational radiation has been directly detected. The first-ever detection was made by both facilities of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Washington and Louisiana simultaneously last September. After numerous consistency checks, the resulting 5-sigma discovery was published today. The measured gravitational waves match those expected from two large black holes merging after a death spiral in a distant galaxy, with the resulting new black hole momentarily vibrating in a rapid ringdown. A phenomenon predicted by Einstein, the historic discovery confirms a cornerstone of humanity's understanding of gravity and basic physics. It is also the most direct detection of black holes ever. The featured illustration depicts the two merging black holes with the signal strength of the two detectors over 0.3 seconds superimposed across the bottom. Expected future detections by Advanced LIGO and other gravitational wave detectors may not only confirm the spectacular nature of this measurement but hold tremendous promise of giving humanity a new way to see and explore our universe.

Tomorrow's picture: open space


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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miércoles, 10 de febrero de 2016

APOD - Galaxies in the River

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 February 10
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download   the highest resolution version available.

Galaxies in the River
Image Credit & Copyright: CEDIC Team - Processing: Markus Blauensteiner

Explanation: Large galaxies grow by eating small ones. Even our own galaxy practices galactic cannibalism, absorbing small galaxies that get too close and are captured by the Milky Way's gravity. In fact, the practice is common in the universe and illustrated by this striking pair of interacting galaxies from the banks of the southern constellation Eridanus, The River. Located over 50 million light years away, the large, distorted spiral NGC 1532 is seen locked in a gravitational struggle with dwarf galaxy NGC 1531 (right of center), a struggle the smaller galaxy will eventually lose. Seen edge-on, spiral NGC 1532 spans about 100,000 light-years. Nicely detailed in this sharp image, the NGC 1532/1531 pair is thought to be similar to the well-studied system of face-on spiral and small companion known as M51.

Tomorrow's picture: adventures in spacetime


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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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martes, 9 de febrero de 2016

APOD - The Rise and Fall of Supernova 2015F

Astronomy Picture of the Day

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2016 February 9

The Rise and Fall of Supernova 2015F
Video Credit & Copyright: Changsu Choi & Myungshin Im (Seoul National University)

Explanation: Sit back and watch a star explode. The actual supernova occurred back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, but images of the spectacular event began arriving last year. Supernova 2015F was discovered in nearby spiral galaxy NGC 2442 by Berto Monard in 2015 March and was unusually bright -- enough to be seen with only a small telescope. The pattern of brightness variation indicated a Type Ia supernova -- a type of stellar explosion that results when an Earth-size white dwarf gains so much mass that its core crosses the threshold of nuclear fusion, possibly caused by a lower mass white-dwarf companion spiraling into it. Finding and tracking Type Ia supernovae are particularly important because their intrinsic brightness can be calibrated, making their apparent brightness a good measure of their distance -- and hence useful toward calibrating the distance scale of the entire universe. The featured video tracked the stellar disruption from before explosion images arrived, as it brightened, and for several months as the fission-powered supernova glow faded. The remnants of SN2015F are now too dim to see without a large telescope. Just yesterday, however, the night sky lit up once again, this time with an even brighter supernova in an even closer galaxy: Centaurus A.

Tomorrow's picture: open space


< | Archive | Submissions | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.


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