Welcome to MacAstrofix ....... Astronomy Diary for December ........ Could YOU Be an Astronaut ? ........ Possible Evidence of Life on Mars ........ Large Ice Sheet Discovered on Mars ........ Clues from Running Water on the Early Martian Surface ........ Schiaperelli Mars Landing - Software Error ? ....... Meteoroids Hit the Moon More Often than Thought ........ Universe May have 2 Trillion Galaxies ........ Juno's Main Rocket Burn Delayed ........

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Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

 

An Astronomy Diary for December

Animation Credit: NASA MSFC

Some astronomy highlights for viewing during December

can be seen here...

 

Transit of Mercury from Shetland

9th May 2016

Click here to see images of the transit of Mercury

as observed in Shetland.

 

What`s in the Shetland Sky in 2016?

  

                 

Weather Today  Mossbank Shetland

                                                                             Live Video Stream and Weather Data

 

Some Suggestions for Binoculars

 

Free Online Courses

Courses in Astronomy, Physics, Astrobiology and more

starting soon

 

The Voice of Jupiter 2014

Our first attempt to record Jupiter`s radio emissions

on 20.1Mhz ( June 2014 ) Listen to the files here .

 

Meteor Shower Camelopardalids 2014

Did you know you can also listen to meteor showers ?

Plots and Audio samples from the Camelopardalids !

 

Preliminary Report

Hurlers Stone Circles Project - Cornwall

Original Hurlers Story Here !

 

News from Around the Web

 

Are Silica Formations Evidence of

Past Life on Mars?

 silica formations on the Gusev crater on Mars

silica formations on the Gusev crater on Mars, image taken by 'Spirit'  in 2008.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Silica formations on Mars are similar to those found

in the Chilean desert and may have been caused

by microbial life

 

The Effects of Running Water on the

Early Martian Surface

water on Mars?

Image credit: William Dietrich / University of California Berkley

A new study suggests that  climate cycles on early

Mars may help us understand the effects of liquid

water on the planet's surface

 

Large Ice Sheet Discovered on Mars

sheet of ice on Mars

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter discovers sheet of

ice under the Martian soil -  the size of New

Mexico and 260 to 560 feet thick

 

Could YOU Be an Astronaut?

 

First Observations of Solar Wave

Erupting upwards from Sunspot

Scientists track a solar wave, seen here in 16 wavelengths
of light    Credit: Zhao et al/NASA/SDO/IRIS/BBSO
 

New sunspot observations may help scientists

explain why the Sun’s corona is hotter than the

region below

 

Galactic Cannibal captured by Hubble

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Astronomers think that galaxy NGC 1222 is 

swallowing two smaller dwarf galaxies that came

too close to it and that this could have triggered

the starburst seen in the image

 

GRAPES-3 Shows Temporary Crack in

Earth's Magnetic Field

 

credit: NASA

Scientists report that the GRAPES-3 Muon telescope

recorded a burst of cosmic rays that indicated a

crack in the Earth's magnetic shield in June 2015

The GRAPES-3 muon telescope, the largest and most sensitive cosmic ray monitor recorded a burst of galactic cosmic rays that indicated a crack in the Earth's magnetic shield. The burst occurred when a giant cloud of plasma ejected from the solar corona struck Earth at a very high speed causing massive compression of the Earth's magnetosphere and triggering a severe geomagnetic storm

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-grapes-earth-magnetic-shield.html#jCp
The GRAPES-3 muon telescope, the largest and most sensitive cosmic ray monitor recorded a burst of galactic cosmic rays that indicated a crack in the Earth's magnetic shield. The burst occurred when a giant cloud of plasma ejected from the solar corona struck Earth at a very high speed causing massive compression of the Earth's magnetosphere and triggering a severe geomagnetic storm

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-grapes-earth-magnetic-shield.html#jC
The GRAPES-3 muon telescope, the largest and most sensitive cosmic ray monitor recorded a burst of galactic cosmic rays that indicated a crack in the Earth's magnetic shield. The burst occurred when a giant cloud of plasma ejected from the solar corona struck Earth at a very high speed causing massive compression of the Earth's magnetosphere and triggering a severe geomagnetic storm

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-grapes-earth-magnetic-shield.html#jCpim

 

Schiaperelli: Software Fault?

Image: ESA

4 Minutes and 41 seconds into its descent to Mars,

Schiaperelli's shield and parachute ejected ahead

of schedule. Was a software error to blame?

 

What Went Wrong with Schiaperelli

Landing?

Schiaperelli with parachute

Image: ESA Schiaperelli with deployed parachute

Data from Schiaperelli's descent in the Martian

atmosphere has been successfully received and is

currently being analysed. ESA reports that most

steps in the 6 minute descent were completed

successfully. The soft landing was unsuccessful

and ESA engineers are working to find out why

 

Open University Space Month

image: ESA  Schiaperelli probe seperation whilst approaching Mars

October 2016 is Open University's Space Month

culminating in the arrival of TGO at Mars and the

landing of Schiaperelli on 19th October

 

Schiaperelli Mars Landing Visualised

Visualisation of the ExoMars Schiaparelli module entering and descending

through the martian atmosphere (ESA)

ESA's robotic probe, Schiaperelli, is due to

separate from its orbiter this coming Sunday

and should land on Mars three days later

(19th October).  This would be Europe's first ever

successful landing on Mars. The probe will

monitor conditions on the surface and test

technology for ESA's ExoMars rover, which

is expected to launch in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Trace Gas Orbiter will 'sniff'

the planet's atmosphere for methane.

 

A detailed description of the mission is available

from ESA

 

Meteoroids Hit the Moon More Often

Than Thought

Bootprint on the Moon

Image: NASA   Buzz Aldrin's bootprint on the Moon - July 20, 1969.

Observations by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance

Orbiter suggest that our Moon is bombarded by

more small meteoroids than predicted. This

means that any future lunar base will need to be

much sturdier than thought. Tracks left by

astronauts will be gone in tens of thousands of

years rather than millions...

 

Juno's Main Rocket Burn Delayed

Planet Jupiter

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

The main engine burn which was due to

change Juno's orbital period from 19 October

has been delayed. This will allow NASA to test

engine valves that were not performing

as expected.

 

Universe May have 2 Trillion Galaxies

Field of Galaxies

Image: Hubble Telescope

A new 'census' estimates that the observable

universe is home to about 2 trillion galaxies,

increasing the previous estimation by a factor of 10

 

Rosetta - Says Goodbye

Rosetta sends final image 20m above her comet,

5 seconds before a controlled crash landing

which ends her 12 year mission

 

SpaceX Plans to Send Humans

to Mars 'Within Six Years'

Image: NASA. Twin peaks on Mars

SpaceX founder announces goal to 'make life

interplanetary' by 2022 and reveals plans for

reusable spaceship

 

More Stories in News Archive

 

 

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