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News and findings about our cosmos.

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This community's icon was made by Aaron Schneider, under the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

founded 2 years ago

Source: NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Explanation: Are asteroids dangerous? Some are, but the likelihood of a dangerous asteroid striking the Earth during any given year is low. Because some past mass extinction events have been linked to asteroid impacts, however, humanity has made it a priority to find and catalog those asteroids that may one day affect life on Earth. Pictured here are the orbits of the over 1,000 known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs). These documented tumbling boulders of rock and ice are over 140 meters across and will pass within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth -- about 20 times the distance to the Moon. Although none of them will strike the Earth in the next 100 years -- not all PHAs have been discovered, and past 100 years, many orbits become hard to predict. Were an asteroid of this size to impact the Earth, it could raise dangerous tsunamis, for example. To investigate Earth-saving strategies, NASA successfully tested the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission last year. Of course, rocks and ice bits of much smaller size strike the Earth every day, usually pose no danger, and sometimes create memorable fireball and meteor displays.


I took this picture from my backyard in April. More details on my Astrobin page:


Do we have any other former SETI@home users here?

I'm still bummed that the project stopped and for that matter that nothing really came of their analyzation phase. Nothing seems to have happened since they moth balled it..

I wasn't the most active user by by far but I had tens of thousands of classic cpu hours and some millions od current score after close to 20 years of on and off participation.

Sure, there are other projects I could join but.. there was something magical about SETI to me.

For those who never heard of the project:

You could donate spare cpu cycles to help analyze data from the Arecibo radio telescope to look for signs of artificial signals. You had it running in the background and as a screensaver if you wanted to see what you were analyzing.

I'm sure most of you have heard of it or similar distributed computing projects. There are plenty to choose from using BOINC (that S@h used) over at is one if the most known similar ones.

I just wanted to vent a bit.

I'm still struck now and then by the fact that they stopped the project and I get bummed out..


Original tweet from The SETI Institute

Image Link From NASA

via Gizmodo


Continued fallout from the explosion of the Centaur upper stage on ULA's test stand as Vulcan's launch continues to slip.

In a statement, ULA described the work needed on the Centaur V upper stage as “minor reinforcement at the top of the forward dome,” or the uppermost section of the liquid hydrogen tank. The changes will add strength to the tank, which contains super-flammable fuel chilled to minus 423° Fahrenheit (minus 253° Celsius).

The pressure is on as the DOD is eagerly waiting for Vulcan.

The US Space Force is eager for the Vulcan rocket to enter service. The Pentagon selected ULA and SpaceX in 2020 to launch around 40 of the military’s most critical surveillance, communications, and navigation satellites from 2022 through 2028. ULA won the rights to launch about 60 percent of the missions, primarily using the new Vulcan rocket, with SpaceX taking the remaining 40 percent with its Falcon rocket family.


Collection Link from Digital Photography Review



"This cloud of orange and red, part of the Sh2-284 nebula, is shown here in spectacular detail using data from the VLT Survey Telescope, hosted by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). This nebula is teeming with young stars, as gas and dust within it clumps together to form new suns. If you take a look at the cloud as a whole, you might be able to make out the face of a cat, smiling down from the sky.

The Sh2-284 stellar nursery is a vast region of dust and gas and its brightest part, visible in this image, is about 150 light-years (over 1400 trillion kilometers) across. It's located some 15,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Monoceros.

Nestled in the center of the brightest part of the nebula—right under the cat's nose—is a cluster of young stars known as Dolidze 25, which produces large amounts of strong radiation and winds. The radiation is powerful enough to ionize the hydrogen gas in the cloud, thereby producing its bright orange and red colors. It's in clouds like this that the building blocks for new stars reside.

The winds from the central cluster of stars push away the gas and dust in the nebula, hollowing out its center. As the winds encounter denser pockets of material, these offer more resistance, meaning that the areas around them are eroded away first. This creates several pillars that can be seen along the edges of Sh2-284 pointing at the center of the nebula, such as the one on the right-hand side of the frame. While these pillars might look small in the image, they are in fact several light-years wide and contain vast amounts of gas and dust out of which new stars form.

This image was created using data from the VLT Survey Telescope (VST), which is owned by The National Institute for Astrophysics in Italy, INAF, and is hosted at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile. The VST is dedicated to mapping the southern sky in visible light and makes use of a 256-million-pixel camera specially designed for taking very wide-field images. This image is part of the VST Photometric Hα Survey of the Southern Galactic Plane and Bulge (VPHAS+), which has studied some 500 million objects in our home galaxy, helping us better understand the birth, life, and eventual death of stars within our Milky Way."


I witnessed the almost turquoise fireball while on a walk with my dogs. Since reporting it today morning, the event report features two pretty good videos of the meteor.


"The postponement is motivated by obligatory compliance with the prevention of forest fires... as well as the high temperatures" in southern Spain "to ensure the safety of the area where the launch is carried out".

First time I have seen this cited as a reason for a launch delay.


The early history of computer graphics involves NASA and JPL.


The Astronomy Quiz of The Day has been updated for today, June 25th 2023! Play it here:


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