Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Recap: 28 July 2010

This week the news stories were brought by Jesse Rogerson. Be sure to check out all the links this time there were a few really cool videos!

Top of the list is the recent media surge on the kepler data. The local media reported a 'leak' of new kepler data, based on a TED talk by Dimitar Sasselov. In the talk Dimitar discussed that we have many good candidates for earth-size planets. Good work Kepler!

Asteroid 1999 RQ36 might have a close encounter with earth in 2182, and there's a roughly 1 in 1000 chance it could hit us. While that probably isn't true, near-earth objects and flybys provide a good opportunity for sample return missions. Check the universetoday article.

The H-R diagram OF Astronomers. (keyword here is 'of' know you want to click that)

Check out this video of Curiosity Mars Rover taking its first test drive.

The Mars Odyssey spacecraft has dropped into safe-mode due to a glitch in the electronic encoder. Back to full operations soon.

Saturn's moon Prometheus has been wreaking havoc on the F ring of the planet. Check out this article and video of trails being left behind.

Having a little fun at the expense of 'moon hoax enthusiasts.' Why the moon landings weren't faked.

The second reading of the bill 'put AJC on hiatus' occurred and the democratic decision from last week was overruled by another democratic decision. AJC will continue to operate throughout the month of august! see you all next week!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recap: 21 July 2010

This weeks news stories came from Jesse Rogerson.

NASA's WISE spacecraft has released its first all-sky image in the mid-infrared. Data to be crunched in the coming months. Also took a great shot of the Pleiades.

The next mars rover, Curiosity, will provide us with a 2 min long high-definition video of its decent through the martian atmosphere. It will also use a 'Sky-Crane' to get to the surface. Read up on the details here.

Like Space Elevators? well, one from Earth might be far fetched at the moment, but it MAY be possible to build one from the surface of the Moon with current technology.

The brightest Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) ever has been observed by the SWIFT satellite. It beats the last record holder by a factor of 5, and is located 5 BILLION light years away. This was a monster.

Speaking of records, a star in 30 Doradus (Tarantula Nebula in LMC) has been measured to have a mass of 265 solar masses. If it's correct, that's one heck of a mass.

Finally, the battle for NASA's future plans continues. The Senate has made some tweaks to Obama's plan, focusing more on a new heavy-lift rocket, and less on private industry initiatives. Check out the major changes here.

That ends another week. Next week will be the last meeting of the summer. We'll pick back up again in September.

Recap: 14 July 2010

Rob Berthiaum was kind enough to bring is this weeks astronomy related news.

On its way out to randevous with a comet, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft flew by a rather large asteroid dubbed 'Lutetia.' Check out the images!

Radio astronomers will have more competition in their bandwidth due to increase usage by cell phones.

The National Research Council says NASA is spending too much money. Read up here.

Middle school students across America have the chance to get their own experiment aboard the ISS, as part of a NASA outreach and education program.

NASA and Microsoft team up to create a high resolution 3D map of the martian surface. A really fun tool to play with. Sort of like Google Mars.

Curiosity, the next martian rover, is moving along in its testing. Recently it began moving its wheels! Scheduled touch down sometime in 2012. Check out three generations of mars rovers.

Another case of science fiction becomes science fact: JAXA's solar sail has been deployed and has officially caught wind of the Sun, accelerating itself very slowly. I suppose tacking on this thing might be somewhat more difficult.

From Rob: 'Supernovae may not make the heaviest atoms. But they probably do.'

The Transit Timing Variation (an indirect, indirect way of detecting exo-planets) method has found its first exoplanet!

Last but not least, the solar eclipse of July 11, 2010 was perhaps one of the least viewed ever, due to its horrible path on Earth, but many good images were taken. here's a taste.

thanks rob!

see ya all next week!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Recap: 7 July 2010

This weeks news stories came to you from Jesse Rogerson, here is a list:

the 'Where in the universe' contest hosted by universetoday had a image of Pingualuit Crater.

The Gemini observatory seems to have observed a white dwarf shortly after swallowing a Ceres sized object, check out the press release here.

A mysterious ring of gas in the Leo group has been explained thanks to CFHT.

The CMB observing plank telescope has released an AMAZING all sky image.

SDSS helps cosmologists constrain the mass of the neutrino.

Hayabusa has 12 grains of dust 0.01 mm is size. Something is better than nothing people.

June Round Up

The month of June has been a little slow getting to the blog, so I've condensed it into one post for your reading pleasure.

On June 16th 2010, Prof. Michael DeRobertis lead us through the workshop he went to in Ottawa titled "A Workshop on the Governance of National Astronomical Facilities." The workshop was Canada-centric, discussing what the future looks like for Canadian astronomy. The report PDF will be sent around to everyone, if you're interested in looking at it.

On June 30th, Stu Dack brought us some of the past week's astronomy news stories.
Climate change may be increasing the amount of space junk we have hanging around our planet. Go to the story here to find out how!

NASA has listed the top ten cool things that LRO did in its first year.

Was venus a habitable planet at some point. Check out this article from ESA.

Brown University adds to the ever increasing evidence of liquid water on mars in the past.

The GoogleX prize is still up for grabs, but who's in contention?

Check out this wicked cool Earth gravity map.

Hayabusa has much to tell us, hopefully we'll talk to it soon!