Astronomy News Thread

Right next door - relatively speaking…



Might not be if the speed of light is the different in different directions*…

*No reason to assume this, but can’t be proven that it isn’t

Speed of light won’t change. But time itself might change.

OK, how did you “spoiler” that article?

Here you go: Using spoilers in your posts

Use [ details = “Spoiler Text” ]

[ /details ]

…without the spaces.

OK, let’s see:

RNG post

blah, blah blah

OK, got it!

Jupiter and Saturn getting too close in these COVID times. I hope they wear masks.

That’s a long time.

Bump, for early notification of Geminids, from 12/3 to peak at 12/14 morning.

So, why is this, I wonder?

The Geminids, which peak during mid-December each year, are considered to be one of the best and most reliable annual meteor showers. The Geminids did not start out that way. The Geminids first began appearing in the mid-1800s. However, the first showers were not noteworthy with only 10 - 20 meteors seen per hour. Since that time, the Geminids have grown to become one of the most major showers of the year. During its peak, 120 Geminid meteors can be seen per hour under perfect conditions. The Geminids are bright and fast meteors and tend to be yellow in color.

Unlike most meteor showers which originate from comets, the Geminids originate from an asteroid: 3200 Phaethon. Asteroid 3200 Phaethon takes 1.4 years to orbit the sun once. It is possible that Phaethon is a “dead comet” or a new kind of object being discussed by astronomers called a “rock comet.” Phaethon’s comet-like highly elliptical orbit around the sun gives credence to this hypothesis. However, scientists are not certain how to define Phaethon. When Phaethon passes by the sun it does not develop a cometary tail, and its spectra looks like a rocky asteroid. Also, the bits and pieces (2-3 gm/cc) that break off to form the Geminid meteoroids are also several times denser than cometary dust flakes (0.3 gm/cc).

So, something happened in the 1800’s to cause an increase?

Well, it was overcast last night for The Geminids.
But, the night before, I went out, saw one within about 10 seconds, then no others for a few minutes before going back in.

Bump for “Great Conjunction.”
Google doodle today.
And this Italian on YouTube for a little over two hours talking about it, using his own telescope and camera on his roof.

This page also has links to other sites doing pretty much the same thing over the day.

So, if the sky is clear just after sunset, you can see this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event.

Bump, for 2021:
Bunch of conjunctions, total Lunar Eclipse, Perseids with no moon.

2/11: Jupiter-Venus
3/9-3/10: Moon-Mars-Saturn-Jupiter formation
5/26: Total Lunar Eclipse
7/12: Venus-Mars conjunction
8/12-8/13: Perseids
8/18: Mars-Mercury conjunction

Anyone planning to watch the Perseverence landing? I have NASA’s youtube channel on now.

1 Like

Cool. Thanks for posting.
I have a nephew who works at NASA.
I have no idea what projects he works on, so it will be interesting if he pops up on the “broadcast”.

I love that they have an entire department for “Attitude Control”…they’re probably responsible for bringing in cookies or donuts on people’s birthdays.

Looks like it made it. Yay!


Bump, for Total Lunar Eclipse on Wednesday Morning at… 4:18AM PDT?"?"?

I saw the Starlink satellites last Saturday night in the MSP area. That is all.