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Archive for the ‘Astronomy’ Category

I couldn’t help myself. I ran home this morning and grabbed my small Cannon 12.1 mega pixel camera and sat down out the front of the museum to take some shots. Had to wait for the clouds to come over the sun slightly as to block out a lot of the brightness and it worked!! Shitty photo I know, but taken by yours truly! Might try again if I’m around in another 100+ years to see the next pair of transits.

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So the Transit of Venus is occurring right now as I write this. It’ll be the last chance any of us have of seeing this in the flesh, or like me, watching it over the internet in the flesh, unless we live past about 150 until the next one occurs.

For those wanting to view it at home without having to stare straight up at the sun here’s a quick video on how to use some binoculars to project and image of it onto some cardboard.

You can also watch it live streamed online on this page.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson is currently on Reddit answer any questions asked of him (there’re 1000s that have appeared in the past 30 minutes) in the r/AMA or Ask Me Anything sub forum. Go here if you’re interested in asking a questions or reading what others have asked him!

Thought I’d chuck up this interview of Neil with Stephen Colbert.

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Australia will soon learn whether we’ve received key support for the Square Kilometre Array to win the rights for building what will become the world’s most powerful telescope.

The SKA is a radio telescope currently in development which will have a collecting area of about a square kilometre, with receiving stations up to 3000kms away from the concentrated central core. It will use a vast range of radio frequencies and its going to be 50 times the size of the current most sensitive radio instrument. Due to the amount data being collected and transmitted throughout the array, more than the capacity of the current global Internet traffic, it will require a computer 100 times more powerful than anything in current existence.

It will be able to continuously survey the sky at 10 000 times faster than ever before, and penetrate something like 15 billion years into the history of the universe, a great deal further than ever before.

As it’s planned to be built in the southern-hemisphere where the view of the Milky Way and so¬†Australia is also in competition with South Africa and New Zealand for the project, which is going to cost up approximately $2 billion to complete. It’s scheduled to begin construction in 2016. Fingers crossed!

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A ‘Blue Marble’ image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA’s most recently launched Earth-observing satellite – Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth’s surface taken on January 4, 2012. The NPP satellite was renamed ‘Suomi NPP’ on January 24, 2012 to honor the late Verner E. Suomi of the University of Wisconsin.

Suomi NPP is NASA’s next Earth-observing research satellite. It is the first of a new generation of satellites that will observe many facets of our changing Earth.

Suomi NPP is carrying five instruments on board. The biggest and most important instrument is The Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite or VIIRS.

Follow this link for larger resolution images.

 

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Stargazers in northern Europe are being treated to a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years. This time-lapse footage shows the Aurora Borealis in the skies above Trondheim, Norway. (Jan. 24)

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