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Finding Massive Gas - The International Year of Astronomy

NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
edited April 2009 in Social Entropy++
This year, 2009, is the International Year of Astronomy. Astronomy is the study of celestial objects, and has nothing to do with if your ex-girlfriend was a bitch because she was born in September.

What does it mean to be in living in the International Year of Astronomy?

Well, here is the website, which is just a basic overview of stuff (with a page for donations).

Here are some other features:
Some blogs I like about Astronomy:
- The Bad Astronomer Phil Plait (gets into politics and skepticism and Dr. Who from time to time)
- Universe Today


If you want to learn more about how the Universe works, I suggest Relativity by Albert Einstein, which explains the maths of why if Druhim and I are in spaceships flying away from each other at extremely high speeds and the total rate of separation between the two ships is greater than the speed of light, inside either of those ships it will never look like we are moving away from each other faster than the speed of light. Then read Relativity Simply Explained because math destroys your brains and this book lays out with examples and metaphor.

You can move on to A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking which explains what happened to Sam Neill in Event Horizon and how wacky wheelchair guys can get tons of pussy if they are the smartest people on the planet.

Once you have read that, you will hate me and Science and you'll think the Moon Landings were fake, so I probably don't have to list anything else.



ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2009:
Jan 3-4th - Quadrantids Meteor Shower - in the Western part of North America, you should be able to see this fun meteor shower, assuming you don't mind standing out in the cold in the middle of the night.
March 8th - Saturn will be the closest to us, so a great time for viewing her and her moons.
April 21-22 - Lyrids meteor shower
July 22nd - Total Solar Eclipse - if you live in China or Mongolia or something, I'm looking at you here Viv, your day will get very dark as the moon makes the crazies thing God is punishing them by moving in front of the Sun. One of the greatest astronomical events people can witness.
August 12-13 Perseids meteor shower - there will be a bright moon blocking this out for the most part in the early evening, but if you venture out in the early morning hours, it should look great.
August 14th - Jupiter at opposition, really close. I took a look through a 4-inch telescope at it last year when it was at opposition and you could make out the great red eye and the banding of the cloud layers. It was amazing to see and this will be your best time to see it.
October 13th - Conjunction of Venus and Saturn - these two planets are going to be right the fuck on top of each other in our night sky.
November 17-18 Leonids meteor shower, this is a good one to watch
December 31st - as if crazy people don't need more to worry about, there will be a partial lunar eclipse on New Year's Eve next year, visible through most of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.



So here is the place to talk about astronomy, or, expectedly, just start quoting Aliens.


Spoiler:

NotASenator on
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Posts

  • DrIanMalcolmDrIanMalcolm Does somebody go out into the park and pull up the dinosaurs' skirts?Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    After eight years of kicking Science in the balls, this is what President-elect Obama said when he named his Science advisors:
    Whether it’s the science to slow global warming; the technology to protect our troops and confront bioterror and weapons of mass destruction; the research to find life-saving cures; or the innovations to remake our industries and create twenty-first century jobs—today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation.

    Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources—it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient—especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as President of the United States—and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work.

  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    fuck yeah

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Also, in a really odd turn of events, the wife of NASA administrator Mike Griffin has sent around an email pleading for people to sign an online petition to convince Obama to let Griffin keep his job.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/31/dont-fire-my-husband-nasa_n_154575.html

  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
  • SquallSquall hap cloud Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    HST gets all the attention!

    Where's the love for Spitzer, Chandra, and Compton?

  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Squall wrote: »
    HST gets all the attention!

    Where's the love for Spitzer, Chandra, and Compton?

    Squall goes on my list.

  • MysstMysst King Monkey of Hedonism IslandRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Weaver wrote: »
    It'd be pretty dull though since a lot of what Hubble picks up isn't visible spectrum and the pics that get released are all false color interpretation & such.
    yeah, this is the part that would suck.

    maybe just a bunch of screens showing showing all the post-processed work

  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Mysst wrote: »
    Weaver wrote: »
    It'd be pretty dull though since a lot of what Hubble picks up isn't visible spectrum and the pics that get released are all false color interpretation & such.
    yeah, this is the part that would suck.

    maybe just a bunch of screens showing showing all the post-processed work

    http://hubblesite.org/gallery/

  • SquallSquall hap cloud Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Astro-photography is amazingly fun. I did some a few years ago with the New Mexico Skies Computer Operated Telescopes (CATs) on Young Stellar Objects (YSOs) with particularly nice nebulae. The results were spectacular despite my novice ability.

    You too can make brilliant astro photographs with LRGB fits data and the right photoshop plugin!

  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    That black area right around the star? Relative calm. Here be planets etc. That bright orange? BATTEN DOWN YE HATCHES!

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    or more just make sure everything is adequately EM and radiation shielded

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    NotACrook wrote: »
    Mysst wrote: »
    Weaver wrote: »
    It'd be pretty dull though since a lot of what Hubble picks up isn't visible spectrum and the pics that get released are all false color interpretation & such.
    yeah, this is the part that would suck.

    maybe just a bunch of screens showing showing all the post-processed work

    http://hubblesite.org/gallery/
    That link just loads a blank page for me.

    http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/

    That one works better.

  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm getting this sometime this year and I'll be picking up the t-mount to hook Leanna's D40 to it.

  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    NotACrook wrote: »
    I'm getting this sometime this year and I'll be picking up the t-mount to hook Leanna's D40 to it.


    coming over to your house pronto

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Oh, there's a program called NexRemote for that which lets you control the motorized mount wirelessly through a PC.

    But the best part is that you can use a gamepad to move your telescope around.

  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I guess most people have seen it, but it's still awesome

    relative size of our sun to some of its bigger brothers

    regular%20sig.png
  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    My hopes of eventual interstellar travel are steadfast but laced with obstacles. Such as the interstellar medium, the mixture of gases permeating the spaces between stars, being heated up to near 10,000 Kelvin. "Sir, we're approaching a pocket of heated hydrog-+++CARRIER LOST"

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • MarathonMarathon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    NotACrook wrote: »
    After eight years of kicking Science in the balls, this is what President-elect Obama said when he named his Science advisors:
    Whether it’s the science to slow global warming; the technology to protect our troops and confront bioterror and weapons of mass destruction; the research to find life-saving cures; or the innovations to remake our industries and create twenty-first century jobs—today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation.
    …
    Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources—it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient—especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as President of the United States—and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work.

    This is perfect. I could kiss him.

    Dumb Hero wrote: »
    "Okay, you take 2d4 damage from the ogre's dick impaling your 2inch anus"
    Hey, Satan.
  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    FYI Voyager 1 should hit the heliopause sometime in 2015.

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    weaver was that "Helium Flash" part of the video on the last page a real series of images cause god damn

    regular%20sig.png
  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I don't know

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    An H II region is a cloud of glowing gas and plasma, sometimes several hundred light-years across, in which star formation is taking place. Young, hot, blue stars which have formed from the gas emit copious amounts of ultraviolet light, ionising the nebula surrounding them.

    H II regions may give birth to thousands of stars over a period of several million years. In the end, supernova explosions and strong stellar winds from the most massive stars in the resulting star cluster will disperse the gases of the H II region, leaving behind a cluster such as the Pleiades.

    H II regions are named for the large amount of ionised atomic hydrogen they contain, referred to as H II by astronomers (H I region being neutral atomic hydrogen, and H2 being molecular hydrogen). H II regions can be seen out to considerable distances in the universe, and the study of extragalactic H II regions is important in determining the distance and chemical composition of other galaxies.
    Spoiler:

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Weaver wrote: »
    FYI Voyager 1 should hit the heliopause sometime in 2015.

    Theoretically. We are pretty sure that there is one. Then we get to see if there's a bow shock.

  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Too bad voyager's stellar wind detector died in 1990 or we'd have a better idea

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood Living In Fear. Year Of The Tiger.Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    For like the last three days I've been idly watching a particular star that's been shining really brightly near the moon. Actually it's probably not a star, but I don't have a telescope to figure it out. I kind of suspect it might be Venus, although I'm probably wrong

    AEKTl9K.png
  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    When I was a kid I had a small telescope that I would watch the moon with and I was lucky enough to see one of the occasional jets of gas that vent out from crater floors.

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • SquallSquall hap cloud Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, Venus is relatively close to the moon in the sky right now, it should be the brightest thing in the sky (aside from the moon and sun).

  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Cloudman wrote: »
    For like the last three days I've been idly watching a particular star that's been shining really brightly near the moon. Actually it's probably not a star, but I don't have a telescope to figure it out. I kind of suspect it might be Venus, although I'm probably wrong

    No, you're correct.

    Venus is currently chilling out right near the moon.

  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Cloudman wrote: »
    For like the last three days I've been idly watching a particular star that's been shining really brightly near the moon. Actually it's probably not a star, but I don't have a telescope to figure it out. I kind of suspect it might be Venus, although I'm probably wrong

    no, you're right.

    regular%20sig.png
  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood Living In Fear. Year Of The Tiger.Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Now I feel like some kind of pimp, just guessing that shit on my own.

    I thought it might be Mars for a little while but it was pretty yellow last night so that theory went out the window.

    AEKTl9K.png
  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Venus and Jupiter were hells of close together and close to the crescent moon earlier this year in my sky

    one night they looked just like this : )
    the next they looked just like this ) :

    regular%20sig.png
  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    #pipe wrote: »
    Venus and Jupiter were hells of close together and close to the crescent moon earlier this year in my sky

    one night they looked just like this : )
    the next they looked just like this ) :
    Spoiler:

  • SquallSquall hap cloud Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I love that image.

    When you first see it you're like hey this looks pretty neat then suddenly : )

  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    yeah it was a fun couple of nights

    regular%20sig.png
  • WeaverWeaver hut hut wut wutRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Somebody translate this for me
    The ISM is usually far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Collisions establish a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of velocities, and the 'temperature' normally used to describe interstellar gas is the 'kinetic temperature', which describes the temperature at which the particles would have the observed Maxwell-Boltzman velocity distribution in thermodynamic equilibrium. However, the interstellar radiation field is typically much weaker than a medium in thermodynamic equilibrium; it is most often roughly that of an A star (surface temperature of ~10,000 K) highly diluted. Therefore, bound levels within an atom or molecule in the ISM are rarely populated according to the Boltzmann formula (Spitzer 1978, § 2.4).

    Depending on the temperature, density, and ionization state of a portion of the ISM, different heating and cooling mechanisms determine the temperature of the gas.

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood Living In Fear. Year Of The Tiger.Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    The one thing I'm most excited about for this new year in terms of Astronomy is that moon of Saturn, Enceladus. Place is weird as fuck, and hopefully we'll be able to learn more about it. We've already gotten some stunning images of it already though

    enceladus11_cassini600.jpg

    AEKTl9K.png
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