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About Astronomy articles Page 2

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Milky Way Gets a Makeover

Independent Researchers Solve Galactic Mystery.

(HASTINGS, UK / ASHLAND, Ore.) - Spiral galaxies are among the most beautiful and familiar objects in the heavens, but a working explanation as to why galaxies evolve into spirals has eluded astronomers for decades.

Now, two independent researchers have published a compelling solution to this eighty year old problem, which appears in the November 2009 issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

Read Full Article (Dec-08-2009 19:39)

Will the Weather Hold Out for the Geminid Meteor Shower?

First appearing in the 1860s it has steadily increased and with more than 130 per hour observed in 2008. It wasn't until 1983 that 3200 Phaethon was discovered and later attributed as the source of the meteor shower.

(Salem, Ore.) - Geminid meteor from San Francisco 2007 The Geminid meteor shower will peak December 14th and 15th (Sunday 9:10 p.m. PST). The Moon will be close to a new Moon which will help keep skies dark for a good display.

Unfortunately the clear cold weather is expected to be gone, replaced by cold and wet.

Read Full Article (Oct-21-2009 16:06)

A Life-Shrinkers Roll-Call

The world is not what we see, but what we are taught to see and what we believe it to be.

(CALGARY, Alberta) - Constellation Despite the fact that about a third of Americans don’t believe in evolution, we and they still live in a world dominated by science. In 1962 Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India said:

It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste or a rich country inhabited by starving people..."

Read Full Article (Sep-10-2009 12:41)

The Fomalhaut Mystery

Americans are fighters, not lovers.

(CALGARY, Alberta) - I was 11 years old when I discovered astronomy. Early one autumn evening, high in the western twilight, was a bright, white object. Was it a star or a planet? I believed it to be Venus, second planet from the sun, but how to know for sure?

Read Full Article (Feb-20-2008 21:12)

Tonight`s Lunar Eclipse: Last for 7 More Years

The next eclipse is expected on September 28th 2015.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Moon eclipse, 2-20-08 A special visual display for people in the Northwest tonight; a total lunar eclipse was visible around 7:00 PM. Photojournalist Kevin Montgomery snapped this shot from the McMinnville area, far from the city lights which obstruct visibility in the sky at night.

An eclipse of the moon takes place when the sun, earth and moon line up exactly in a straight line. The result is that the full moon slowly disappears, as the earth’s shadow, or umbra, apparently moves slowly across the moon from left to right.

Read Full Article (May-26-2007 07:39)

Oregon`s Pine Mountain Observatory Now Open

Visitors can learn how optical and digital technologies are used to investigate planets, stars and galaxies.

(BEND, Ore. ) - Pine Mountain Observatory Star-gazing, planet-searching and constellation viewing are just a leisurely drive away at the Pine Mountain Observatory located about an hour's drive southeast of Bend.

The observatory, operated by the physics department of the University of Oregon, will be open through Sept. 29th for visitors to drop in on Friday and Saturday evenings, from dusk until late night, weather permitting.

PMO facility consists of three Cassegrain reflecting telescopes, with mirrors of 15-inch, 24-inch, and 32-inch diameters, each in its own domed building.

Read Full Article (May-07-2007 17:00)

Astronomers Announce Monstrous, Brightest Supernova

University of Texas graduate student Robert Quimby first observed the supernova on Sept. 18th, 2006 in the galaxy NGC 1260, located in the constellation Perseus.

(BERKELEY, Calif. ) - nasa stellar explosion An exploding star first observed last September is the largest and most luminous supernova ever seen, according to University of California, Berkeley, astronomers, and may be the first example of a type of massive exploding star rare today but probably common in the very early universe.

UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellows Nathan Smith and David Pooley estimate the star's mass at between 100 and 200 times that of the sun.

Read Full Article (Dec-01-2006 20:16)

Lunar Leonid Strikes

Meteoroids are smashing into the Moon a lot more often than anyone expected.

(NASA) - Lunar Impacts That's the tentative conclusion of Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, after his team observed two Leonids hitting the Moon on Nov. 17, 2006. "We've now seen 11 and possibly 12 lunar impacts since we started monitoring the Moon one year ago," says Cooke. "That's about four times more hits than our computer models predicted."

Read Full Article (Nov-30-2006 16:18)

A New Paradigm for Lunar Orbits

It's 2015. You're NASA's chief engineer designing a moonbase for Shackleton Crater at the Moon's south pole. You're also designing a com-system that will allow astronauts constant radio contact with Earth.

(NASA) - the Moon, shown conceptually in an artist's sketch. But you know that direct transmissions won't work--not always. As seen from Shackleton Crater, Earth is below the horizon for two to three weeks each month (depending on the base's location). This blocks all radio signals, which travel line of sight.

The solution seems obvious. Simply place a satellite in a high, circular orbit going almost over the Moon's poles. Better yet, place three satellites into the same orbit 120 degrees apart. Two would always be above the lunar horizon to relay messages to and from Earth.

There's just one problem.

Read Full Article (Aug-20-2006 22:31)

Watching the Skies: The Gathering

Another great experience for the “newbie” stargazer as she shares with you her excursion to the gathering hosted by Silver Creek Falls and Nightsky 45 Astronomy Club.

(SILVERTON) - galaxies from Hubble Saturday night, our family got together and caravanned from Salem to the “Star Party” at Silver Creek Falls’ Old Ranch site to experience what the summer’s night sky might reveal.

The youngest of the group, 7-year old Ciana, and 5-year old Moria, were excited at this new adventure. Amazingly, the adults were too. We were not disappointed.

Read Full Article
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