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The Astronomy thread

A place to come and chat about anything remotely Discworld, or just the weather.

Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby SANEAlex » Sat Dec 08, 2018 04:06 pm

If you want to have your name transmitted to the outskirts of the Solar System nearby Ultima Thule at the end of this year beginning of next depending upon your time-zone IIRC

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Send-Greetings/

And as it is now an established tradition to spread GNUTerryPratchett around the Solar System as it has been done more than twice his name is on Mars Insight and the Parker Solar Probe and another piece of NASA space hardware whose name i have somehow forgotten :oops:
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Mon Dec 24, 2018 06:13 pm

50 years ago today in 1968, Apollo 8 entered Lunar Orbit, carrying the first humans ever to reach the Moon: Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, Bill Anders. :D
Bearing witness to Earthrise, they read in turn, the first ten verses of Genesis from the KJV Bible.


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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby steeljam » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:29 pm

[quote="Grace Speaker"]50 years ago today in 1968, Apollo 8 entered Lunar Orbit, carrying the first humans ever to reach the Moon: Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, Bill Anders. :D
Bearing witness to Earthrise, they read in turn, the first ten verses of Genesis from the KJV Bible.

The story as it happend Wait after advert.
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby annebn » Tue Jan 08, 2019 01:49 pm

Grace Speaker wrote:
Sandra wrote:I have problems with the figures behind these images. OK with the scale it wouldn't be visible but...

The atmosphere contains more fresh water than is found on the surface (atmospheric rivers alone hold more water than terrestrial rivers).

There is a huge amount hidden underground (as in rivers, aquifers etc in the crust).

Then there is so much water trapped in the mantle - does that count as 'land' or 'water'? The amount is estimated as being enough to add a mile to the sea level of the entire planet. And this is 'water' not 'water of crystallisation', this water is drawn in at subduction zones, eventually it escapes in volcanoes.

It is hard to tell when this water is counted in the figures, but cool image anyhow.
Good points, well made. I have to admit that I don't know how they calculated the scale of these either, as I can't now remember where I got this from so can't check the source data! But it does put in to perspective how tenuous our grip on life is on this planet that humanity is busy destroying


I got curious about this, so I tried to look it up. It's true that a large part of the planets fresh water is found under ground and in swamps etc. And some is tied up in living organisms (mostly plants). But all the fresh water is anyway a tiny amount compared to what's in the oceans. There is a picture from USGS here which shows the different fractions.
https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Sat Jan 19, 2019 02:47 pm

There is an ellipse of the super full moon in the early hours of Monday morning 21st January - here's the advice from the British Astronomical Association

“...This coming Monday, in the early morning hours of January 21, there will be a total eclipse of the Moon. Full Moon itself occurs at 05:16 UT on January 21 with lunar perigee (its closest approach to the Earth) occurring just 14h 43m later at 19:59 UT. When a Full Moon occurs close to the Moon's perigee, it is often dubbed a 'Supermoon'. This is why some people are calling this is a 'Supemoon eclipse'.
Eclipses of the Moon occur when the Full Moon passes through the cone of
shadow cast by the Earth into space. Weather permitting this will be a
fascinating event to watch from the British Isles because the eclipse will
be visible in its entirety everywhere, giving plenty of opportunities for
stunning pictures of a 'ghostly red Moon'.

The lunar eclipse begins at 02:36 UT (in the early hours of Monday morning)
when the Moon enters the fainter outer part of the Earth's shadow known as
the penumbra. At this time the Moon will be fairly high in the south-west,
almost directly below, and in line with, the stars Castor and Pollux in
Gemini, the Twins.
The main phase of the eclipse begins at 03:33 UT when the Moon first enters
the central, dark part of the Earth's shadow known as the umbra and the
partial eclipse begins. The eclipse becomes total at 04:41 UT and lasts for
a full 1 hour 2 minutes. Maximum eclipse is at 05:12 UT. At this time the
Moon will be dropping down into the western sky, among the faint stars of
Cancer, the Crab, but still high enough to be well clear of trees and
buildings.
The total phase of the eclipse ends at 05:43 UT. As the Moon will be passing
through the upper part of the Earth's umbral shadow, it is probable that the
northern parts of the eclipsed Moon may appear quite bright even during
mid-totality, but one never quite knows how dark or how bright a lunar
eclipse will be. Everything depends on the conditions in the Earth's upper
atmosphere through which all light falling onto the shadowed Moon has to
pass. There have been lunar eclipses when the Moon has been difficult to
find even with a telescope, while at other eclipses it has remained bright
red or vividly coloured. The Moon appears a reddish hue because of Rayleigh
scattering - the same effect that causes sunrises and sunsets to appear
reddish - and the refraction of that light by the Earth's atmosphere into
its umbral shadow.
The partial eclipse ends at 06:50 UT, when the Moon exits the umbra. By this
time the Moon will be getting quite low in the west-north-western sky. The
faint penumbral phase finally ends at 07:48 UT.
And don't forget that if you do get up before dawn to watch the lunar
eclipse that Venus and Jupiter are still a spectacular sight together in the
south-eastern twilight sky, with Venus much the brighter of the pair a few
degrees above Jupiter.
Let us hope for clear skies in the early morning hours of Monday, January
21!
This e-bulletin issued by:
Dr John Mason
Press and Publicity Officer
British Astronomical Association”
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby phalarope » Sun Jan 20, 2019 04:48 pm

Grace Speaker wrote:There is an ellipse of the super full moon in the early hours of Monday morning 21st January - here's the advice from the British Astronomical Association

“...The lunar eclipse begins at 02:36 UT ... The main phase of the eclipse begins at 03:33 UT when the Moon first enters the central, dark part of the Earth's shadow known as the umbra and the partial eclipse begins. ... The eclipse becomes total at 04:41 UT and lasts for a full 1 hour 2 minutes. Maximum eclipse is at 05:12 UT. ... The total phase of the eclipse ends at 05:43 UT. ...The partial eclipse ends at 06:50 UT, when the Moon exits the umbra. ... Let us hope for clear skies in the early morning hours of Monday, January 21!
This e-bulletin issued by:
Dr John Mason
Press and Publicity Officer
British Astronomical Association”


So - EST for eastern USA:
9:36 pm the thing begins.
10:33 main phase
11:41 totality
0:12 maximum
0:43 totality ends
1:50 partial ends

Do-able with afternoon nap. However, cloud cover here predicted at 66% (grrrr), and temperatures are plummeting today with high (40 mph) winds. Temp at 9pm expected to be 9F with the wind chill (something like -27C, ick). Conflicted.....
Cheers -
Carol (phalarope)
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Sun Jan 20, 2019 07:17 pm

phalarope wrote: However, cloud cover here predicted at 66% (grrrr), and temperatures are plummeting today with high (40 mph) winds. Temp at 9pm expected to be 9F with the wind chill (something like -27C, ick). Conflicted.....
Yep in much the same boat in London - 1 degree C overnight and lots of cloud forecast :( Thankfully, the full moon is visible from my bedroom window, so I can at least view it it in the warm if the clouds aren't too think - or go straight back to bed if they are! :lol:
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Darren » Sun Jan 20, 2019 09:46 pm

Why did this have to be tomorrow when I'm just going to work and getting up normally at 6:45am, rather than 2 weeks time when I'm up at 4:30am to go to Italy? :twisted:
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby chrisboote » Mon Jan 21, 2019 09:21 am

Grace Speaker wrote:
phalarope wrote: However, cloud cover here predicted at 66% (grrrr), and temperatures are plummeting today with high (40 mph) winds. Temp at 9pm expected to be 9F with the wind chill (something like -27C, ick). Conflicted.....
Yep in much the same boat in London - 1 degree C overnight and lots of cloud forecast :( Thankfully, the full moon is visible from my bedroom window, so I can at least view it it in the warm if the clouds aren't too think - or go straight back to bed if they are! :lol:

Stayed up until 02:40 to watch, thick cloud came over at 02:30 :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Sandra » Mon Jan 21, 2019 01:24 pm

I gave up after 1am, the sky was completely covered by cloud.

Saying that, the sky was beautiful, bright opalescent it would have been wonderful to travel by (old style without streetlights/headlights) but my bed called louder :)
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Mon Jan 21, 2019 01:46 pm

chrisboote wrote:
Grace Speaker wrote:
phalarope wrote: However, cloud cover here predicted at 66% (grrrr), and temperatures are plummeting today with high (40 mph) winds. Temp at 9pm expected to be 9F with the wind chill (something like -27C, ick). Conflicted.....
Yep in much the same boat in London - 1 degree C overnight and lots of cloud forecast :( Thankfully, the full moon is visible from my bedroom window, so I can at least view it it in the warm if the clouds aren't too think - or go straight back to bed if they are! :lol:

Stayed up until 02:40 to watch, thick cloud came over at 02:30 :evil: :evil: :evil:

Similar story for me - it was relatively clear until about 2.30am, with a lovely view of the full moon, then started to cloud over a bit but still able to see the moon as the eclipse started to be visible to the naked eye at around 3am. Sadly half an hour later it was completely overcast and I couldn't see a thing! :evil: I set my alarm for 4.45am on the off chance that I might be able to see totality ending, but full cloud cover was still in progress . . . **sighs** . . . it'll be 2 years until the next eclipse of a supermoon :(
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