Category Archives: Scientists

It’s a Boy! Astronomers Capture First Ever Image of an Exo-Planet Being Born

exo-planet

Well, sooner or later, they would’ve captured it—a photograph of a planet being born. And now, sooner than expected, astronomers did.

Unbelievable, isn’t it—how a planet could form entirely out of nothing, in space?

Astronomers captured the very first image of a planet forming in the dust, swirling around a young star. On Monday, July 2, scientists stated that the planet appears as a “bright spot in the snapshot”—which was taken using the “European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope” located in Chile. Moreover, Miriam Keppler (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy—Germany) said that hints of baby planets have been detected before, but yet astronomers weren’t really sure whether their observations were “features in the swirling dust.”
“Planets are born in circumstellar disks.” Keppler stated. “These disks are made out of gas and dust and surround young stars until a lifetime of about 10 million years. The exciting fact of our discovery is that we have here an exceptionally robust detection of a young planet, still embedded in such a disk.
The measurement of the spectrum gives us insights on how planetary atmospheres look at a very early stage of life. This is very important in order to calibrate theoretical models that predict the properties of planets as they evolve.”

According to a paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, scientists describe the planet as a gas giant bigger than Jupiter, located about 1.86 Billion miles from the star PDS-70. The astronomers say in the journal that the baby planet has a “cloudy atmosphere.” They also stated that the new planet has a surface temperature of about 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit.

Furthermore, lest the most important part as to the scientists’ study, is that the “sphere”—seen in the photograph above—blocks out the light from the star. This allows the researchers to observe the much-dimmer dust disk and planet at several different wavelengths. The old and new data show the distinct presence of a planet, thus leaving a gap behind it—followed by a trail.

 

Written by KFC, author of The 11th Syzygy, on 7/3/18.

Longest Lunar Eclipse Will Be Taking Part On July 26…As a Blood Moon

Longest Lunar Eclipse Will Be Taking Part On July 26...As a Blood Moon

If things couldn’t get any worse.

The longest lunar eclipse of the century will take part on July 27, lasting almost two-hours. Furthermore, the Eclipse will rise upon the distant skies and be visible to those living in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, as a Blood Moon. However, the bazaar Blood Moon won’t be of sight to those living in North America—in places such as Canada and the United States. Stargazers, moreover, who live in the United Kingdom have the pleasure of witnessing this event, as it will be rising over the horizon in Earth’s shadow around 8:50 PM (BST), over London. The next time this event will rise over the horizon will be in the next eighty-two-years.

The exact times for which the Blood Moon will appear might vary by a few minutes between specific locations.

According to Dr. Noah Petro of the Goddard Space Flight Center, he stated that the Moon can “either graze through the cone, or go right through the middle. That gets a longer-duration eclipse.” He further stated, “This time, the moon is passing closer to the centre of that cone, and it’s therefore a little bit longer than the eclipse we had back in January. The moon can either graze through the cone, or go right through the middle.”

And this is just the beginning. The moon will be at its farthest orbital point from Earth. This meaning that it will take slightly longer to escape the umbra.

Certainly, this Lunar Eclipse will be splendid to all stargazers from Europe, to South America, stated to the fact that it’s not only a Lunar Eclipse, or that it’s the longest of the century, but of its hot, deep red colour—which will be a baffling event to watch, lasting one hour, forty-three minutes.

 

Written by KFC, author of The 11th Syzygy, on 6/30/18

A Van Gogh Painting? NASA Releases Photo of a Dazzling Jupiter That’s Beyond Realistic

Jupiter, Juno Spacecraft, Vincent Van Gogh

Jupiter is back yet again, showcasing what its surface has in store artistically, making it look as if it’s a piece of art. So far, Jupiter is the most photographed planet in our solar system, even more than the Earth itself (which is often taken by astronauts aboard the ISS.) All of the photos are taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, and later uploaded on social media and their official blog. Over the time Jupiter has had many surfaces, in many colours—including the Great Red Spot—but yet this had been far more dazzling, to that of a masterpiece of a famous painter (take Van Gogh, if you will.)  Thus, the images Juno captures give NASA, as well as scientists and astronomers (who knows, maybe even followers of NASA) grief as to their early plan to extend Juno’s mission, instead of letting it plow before Jupiter’s atmosphere.

According to NASA’s official blog post—for which contained the first bit of the photograph—the image for where the distance was taken was approximately 9,600 miles, above the planet’s cloud tops. And although the distance can be long, there’s plenty to see, due to the fact that the planet is so massive.

NASA stated in the blog post, “The region seen here is somewhat chaotic and turbulent, given the various swirling cloud formations. In general, the darker cloud material is deeper in Jupiter’s atmosphere, while bright cloud material is high. The bright clouds are most likely ammonia or ammonia and water, mixed with a sprinkling of unknown chemical ingredients.

“A bright oval at bottom center stands out in the scene. This feature appears uniformly white in ground-based telescope observations. However, with JunoCam we can observe the fine-scale structure within this weather system, including other structures within it. There is not significant motion apparent in the interior of this feature; like the Great Red Spot, its winds probably slows down greatly toward the center.”

With countless mini swirls, slowly drifting off the upper atmosphere, countless of tiny, intricate details are hidden between the spinning storm clouds on this gigantic planet.

The picture (seen above) didn’t arrive from Juno in its current state. The color was somewhat enhanced by photography experts to bring out as much detail from the image as possible. Plenty of photographs (similar to the most recent one) can be found on NASA’s JunoCam Web Portal. 

Though the new image caught by the Juno Spacecraft takes center stage atop all others, I have an odd hunch that this is photograph is one of the many that will be captured in the following days…weeks…months.

—KFC, Author of The 11th Syzygy (6/26/18)

30 Years Later: When Global Warming First Headlined News Around The World

30 Years Later: When Global Warming First Headlined News Around the World

Sometimes, it feels as if the eighties were only ten-years ago; where the music was alive and the fashion was bolder than that of today’s cat walks. But of deeper, darker parts of the eighties that made the decade shrivel in fear and curiosity made the eighties sort of like a love-hate relationship between two friends. There was the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded shortly after lift-off. There was the murder of singer, songwriter, former Beatle John Lennon. The AIDS Virus was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. President Ronald Reagan announced defense plan called “Star Wars.” Michael Jackson thrilled us all with “Thriller.” Two bodyguards assassinated Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. And then there was the time where Global Warming, in 1988 – not known to many then – broke the news around the world, where, at first, a tinkle of news coverage from around the world covered basic hypothesis that carbon dioxide emitted by fuel burning could warm the planet’s climate, with record heat and fires from the Amazon rain forest to Yellowstone National Park.

At first, of course, the global concerns about deforestation, acid rain, and damage to the ozone layer (from certain synthetic chemicals), global warming went from being an esoteric news item, to appearing on the front pages of newspapers, as well as the leading headlines on major news networks. James Hansen (1941), a NASA climate scientist, on June 23, told a US Senate committee that “human-produced greenhouse gases were measurably heating the climate.”

During that summer, scientists and diplomats gathered in Canada for the Toronto Conference On The Changing Atmosphere. They had recommended that global reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions; and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed that year, under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) to advise the world’s nations on climate risks and responses.

And yet, exactly 30 years later, our world is still under the pressure of climate change; and we often wonder: will it ever end?

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