Thursday, February 11, 2016

Albert Einstein Is Proven Correct Again!

Einstein’s Gravitational Theory Proven! After 100 years of theory and decades of experiments, astronomers have detected gravitational waves directly for the first time. The finding not only confirms yet another aspect of Albert Einstein’s theory of, known as general relativity, but it also opens another avenue for researchers to observe and study the universe. They have detected gravitational waves. Before crashing together, the black holes were 1.3 billion light-years away and 36 and 29 times our Sun's mass. Afterward, the new combined black hole has only 62 solar masses, with a mass difference of 5,000 supernovas' worth of energy which radiated away as gravitational waves. These ripples open a new window on the universe, allowing astronomers to hear in the darkest regions of space where telescopes yield no information. Black holes infamously impossible to observe directly, they emit no light. But with gravitational waves, astronomers can probe and will discover black holes completely invisible to traditional observatories. Along with this there will surely be new surprises as well.
This is one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the decade, if not the century. There’s already talk of Nobel prizes!
Albert Einstein was an incredible genius! That’s the short of it. Jeff

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Night Sky Jan, 2016

5 planets are visible with the naked eye in the east before sunrise this week. You will be dazzled by the brightness of Venus and how prominent Jupiter is. I really enjoy looking for elusive Mercury as it hugs close to the horizon. Mars will appear bigger and brighter than at any other time since 2005 as it approaches opposition in May. It will become large enough that I will be able to see the white polar caps and other surface features through my telescope. Wait for those phony postings about it being larger than the full Moon once again. LOL

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tonight, A Total Eclipse of The Moon!

During a total eclipse, the Earth blocks nearly all direct sunlight from reaching the moon.
Indirect sunlight still manages to make it there filtering out most of the light, except for much of the red or orange hues. This makes the moon appear a rusty, reddy, orange colour,
The amount of dust and clouds in Earth's atmosphere during the total eclipse determine what colour the moon appears. It could be red, orange, yellow or brown.
Our moon ranges from roughly 355,000 to 405,000 kms away from Earth during its orbit, Tonight be just 357,000 km away. This makes it look 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than when it's farther away. Both a Supermoon and Lunar Eclipse are fairly common on their own, but this pairing occurs together only once every few decades.
The lunar eclipse and Supermoon will happen simultaneously, an event the world hasn't seen in more than three decades. The last one was in 1982. 
It you miss tonights celestial show will have to wait about 18 years for your chance to catch another Supermoon eclipse, which occurs in 2033.

Dress warm tonight!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Eclipse of the Super Moon

This Sunday September 27, the Full Moon plunges through Earth’s shadow for the second time this year. It’s the biggest Full Moon of 2015.
The lunar eclipse begins when the Moon starts to enter the dark umbra portion of Earth’s shadow at 9:07 p.m. that is when visually you can detect a subtle darkening of the Moon’s left edge.
For the next 64 minutes, the shadow creeps across the Moon’s face. Totality begins once the entire Moon resides inside the umbra at 10:11 p.m. Earth’s satellite should take on an orange-red hue — the light from all our planet’s sunrises and sunsets — until totality ends at 11:23 p.m. The partial phase wraps up when the Moon exits the umbra at 12:27 a.m.
At 10:11 is when totality begins. So this is the best time to look until 11:23 while the Moon is completely immersed in the Earth’s shadow. From a dark sight I appreciate watching the stars and Milky Way pop into view.

Your backyard should offer a nice a view, no special equipment required. Simply step outside, and enjoy the Moon’s colorful show. If you would like to come by and view through my telescope, message me!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Falls 2015 Dazzling Morning Display!

Jupiter passed on the far side of the Sun less than a month ago, but it already has returned to view before dawn in the east sky. The giant planet rises about 80 minutes before our sun. Shining brightly, it stands out even in twilight below Venus and Mars. The three morning planets will undergo a spectacular series of conjunctions during October. A conjunction is a close grouping of celestial sky objects. Here is an evening shot I took showing the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in the western sky on July 1, 2015.

Our sister planet Venus reaches its greatest brilliancy of the year September 21.  Mars lies to its lower left, glowing in a lovely orange color contrast. Meanwhile, Jupiter hugs the horizon 10° below Mars, the span of your closed fist held at arm’s length. Mercury joins the planetary trio in October’s morning sky for the most gorgeous planetary lineup of 2015. A crescent Moon briefly joins the crowd, jumping from one planet to the next in four consecutive days beginning on October 9th.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Under Moon-Free Skies August 12/13.

This annual shower has it all! It offers a consistently high rate of meteors year after year as it produces a higher percentage of bright ones than most other showers. It occurs in August when the earth’s orbit passes thru the debris left behind from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Many people take summer vacation now and the weather has favorable night time temperatures.
The shower not only produces lots of “shooting stars”, up to 100 per hour at the peak under optimal circumstances, but it does so this year with the Moon out of the sky. The best views will come in the predawn hours of Thursday morning when the shower’s radiant climbs the highest. It is more typical to see a meteor every couple of minutes or 25-30 shooting stars per hour. That may include some particularly bright ones known as Fireballs that the Perseids are known for. Well worth the wait!
You want to take in as much sky as possible. And best of all, you can observe the spectacle while lying down in a rural area away from town or city light pollution. The darker the sky, the more you will see. Who could ask for more?
Just look. No binoculars or telescope. Try leaving the shutter open on your camera with a wide angle lens mounted on a tripod with a cable or electronic shutter release. Exposure for a few minutes at a time and you may catch several in a single exposure.
The meteor shower is expected to peak at 4 a.m. on Aug. 13, although there should be an above average number of them right thru to August 20th or so. That's because the meteor shower is caused by the Earth passing through a trail of dust and debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which can be thicker in some places than others. Whether it's the peak night or not, you'll see more meteors in the early morning than the late evening. Here’s why! The geometry of the earth and the debris itself means you'll see more meteors, just as when you drive in a blizzard, you’ll see more snow hitting the front windshield of the car than the back window. Later in the night, the part of the sky where the meteors originate will also be higher overhead, giving you a better view.
Look toward Perseus and Casseiopeia
The meteors will streak across the sky at about 60 kilometres per second from near the constellation Perseus that the meteor shower is named for. For the best views of this shower, look about two-thirds of the way up from the horizon toward the northeast. Don't get tunnel vision staring at one location. Let your eyes wander so your peripheral vision can pick up faint or bright meteors that you otherwise might not see. Enjoy!