Discworld

The Astronomy thread

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

Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby SANEAlex » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:22 pm

VanilliaSuperMoon14-15NovSmall.JPG
SuperMoonAndOrion14-15NovSmall.JPG
I know what you mean about the weather have not seen many shooting stars this year but i did just get a couple of supermoon pics one with Orion to the left & those clouds were moving fast not stationary ones.
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby steeljam » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:17 pm

Grace Speaker wrote:
steeljam wrote:I hate British (London) weather.
Image
Managed to get a clear Sunday to do some wire wool spinning on the Thames at Bermondsey.
WOW!!! Loving these photos, Steve!
I've never heard of wire wool spinning before - what is it, where is it and how do we find out more?


It is quite simple. I have done it my garden. The album also includes some LED lighting images.
Tutorial
A wire wool scourer, a whisk, a length of sturdy rope and an eight-volt battery.
Set up your camera on a tripod and a remote control. Set the camera on bulb (long exposure at F8ish). I set ISO at 100
- Invite friends
- Tie the rope securely to the whisk
- Put the wire wool inside the whisk and tease out the wool so it is not too dense.
- Select a secure location with none or non-flammable vegetation (At home I only did it after rain)
- Use the 8-volt battery to ignite the wire wool (a lighter will also work)
- Press the camera remote
- Spin the whisk which will cause the wire wool to burn more brightly and to send off the flares.
- Once the wool has stopped flaring, turn off the camera remote
- Check results and adjust F-stop and ISO accordingly.
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Whos Wee Dug » Mon Nov 21, 2016 08:10 pm

Some striking images there Steve I like your book room, it's great when you can get it all out on display. :thumbl:
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Wed Feb 15, 2017 08:05 pm

This website is AWESOME and very worrying* at the same time. It's a real time, interactive, 3D map of objects (satellites, rocket bodies and debris**) orbiting earth. :shock: If you hover over one of the objects it tells you it's name & shows the orbit and if you right click it, it will give you the tech specs. You can spin the earth and zoom in and out. It doesn't show the ISS, though, to save you looking for it :wink:

http://stuffin.space/


* There's so much junk and debris flying about up there!
**Hover over "Help" for a legend of what colour is which
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby steveastrouk » Thu Feb 16, 2017 02:57 am

Anyone else planning on seeing the US Total eclipse in August ?
Longest seeing is in Kentucky
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby chrisboote » Thu Feb 16, 2017 08:35 pm

steveastrouk wrote:Anyone else planning on seeing the US Total eclipse in August ?
Longest seeing is in Kentucky


Sadly we are extending our US trip (Nyorlins...) to after the convention, not before
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Sandra » Wed Feb 22, 2017 07:18 pm

So anyone else thinking Trapist-1 will be the focus of the first colonists?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39034050

And who else thinks this sounds a bit Firefly?
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby SANEAlex » Wed Feb 22, 2017 09:00 pm

Sandra wrote:So anyone else thinking Trapist-1 will be the focus of the first colonists?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39034050

And who else thinks this sounds a bit Firefly?


I suspect the 1st colonists will try for proxima centauri b if we get the right data coming back from current studies as that could just be managed in a human lifetime with currently plausible tech. I think at 40 light years this very interesting new system would need a working deep cryogenic sleep system and/or fully working artificial wombs along with robot nannies for us to be able to attempt to colonise it. But I do like the Firefly analogy especially as it could have 3 easy to terraform planets and 4 more that could just about be tweaked with a bit of hard work. But I feel sorry for the person who has to work out the maths for the tides on all those close together planets if they do have surface water.
Someone has to tilt at windmills.
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby steeljam » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:22 pm

SANEAlex wrote:I think at 40 light years this very interesting new system would need a working deep cryogenic sleep system and/or fully working artificial wombs along with robot nannies for us to be able to attempt to colonise it.

The other option is the Ark ship where the people who arrive at the star are the descendants of those who started out.
I remember the first time I read about the migration of butterflies, in particular, the Painted Lady. From starting out from Africa the butterflies that arrive in Britain are the sixth generation. Amazing. How do they know where to go. Scientists have determined that they also make the return journey.
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Sandra » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:59 am

I am expecting generation ships to be the most likely method used - unless we get visited by nice aliens who want to share or we manage to invent the necessary 'How to cheat Einstein' drive.

Considering it's likely to be a one way journey - sending people 40 light years to seven potential planets looks a better bet than a potential that might only have one - the basic odds that the initial settlement (ie O2, H2O, non-toxic, regardless of temperature/climate) will be possible on one planet before having to wait (possibly) centuries for terraforming to work on that planet or on the others.

As for the initial temperature - people here live in a massive range of environments, just compare non-coastal areas of Australian Northern Territory (>40 degrees C) with the northern reaches of Alaska and Canada (<-40 degrees C). As long as the colony has time to adjust (I'm sure it would be possible to change the atmosphere in the ships to allow them to adjust to O2 levels and temperature) before hitting the ground they would do at least as well as some of our favourite SiFi storys.
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Thu Mar 02, 2017 07:29 pm

Oooooo, lovely alignment of Venus, Mars and a new crescent moon in the south west sky this evening :D

A
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Fri Mar 10, 2017 03:11 pm

The Cassini probe has taken the closest photos ever of Saturn's tiny and weirdly-shaped moon, Pan, and the bods at NASA think it looks like a Ravioli - personally I think it has a touch of the brassicas about it . . .

Image

Image
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Fri Mar 10, 2017 03:27 pm

If/when mankind finally makes a successful manned mission out to Mars, this is the view the intrepid astronauts will have when they look back at Earth (as seen from the camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter)

Image
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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Grace Speaker » Wed Mar 22, 2017 01:09 pm

Apropos of nothing at all, NASA have revealed that the Sun has not had any sunspots at all for 11 days :sunny:
This isn't unusual as the Sun moves towards the solar minimum period of it's 11 year cycle. The last solar minimum was 2008 and the next is scheduled for 2019-2020. As this draws nearer, periods of no sunspots will go from being numbered in days, then weeks, then months. It is possible that the sun could go for a whole year without any sunspots at all.

Sun-spotless days since solar maximum began, 2009:
2017 total: 27 days (34%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)

The solar minimum period is a very interesting period in cosmic weather. The reduction of ultraviolet output of the sun decreases, causing the upper Earth atmosphere to cool and shrink, which allows space junk to accumulate at a lower altitude. Also, the heliosphere itself shrinks allowing more cosmic radiation to penetrate the inner solar system and Earth's atmosphere. Geomagnetic storms and auroras on Earth don't stop due to the absence of CMEs however - the solar wind will ensure they still continue.

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Re: The Astronomy thread

Postby Nonny Mouse » Fri Mar 24, 2017 04:01 am

Pan looks like dwarf bread.
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