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  1. Top | #1
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    Post Astronomical News

    Hello.
    I want to put this post to talk about latest news around astronomy, Its a new astronomical news page......
    I'll appreciate if u help me with this post........


    Thank u All
    ویرایش توسط planetstruck : 04-11-2011 در ساعت 09:36 AM دلیل: Adding words,Correcting Grammar points


  2. Top | #171
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    smile link between lunar cycles and human sleep behavior

    Many people complain about poor sleep around full moon. Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland now report evidence that lunar cycles and human sleep behavior are in fact connected. The results have been published in the journal -Current Biology-.

    The research group around Prof. Christian Cajochen of the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel analyzed the sleep of over 30 volunteers in two age groups in the lab. While they were sleeping, the scientists monitored their brain patterns, eye movements and measured their hormone secretions. The findings suggest that even today, despite the comforts of modern life, humans still responds to the geophysical rhythms of the moon.

    Short And Poor Sleep

    The data show that both the subjective and the objective perception of the quality of sleep changed with the lunar cycles. Around full moon, brain activity in the areas related to deep sleep dropped by 30 percent. People also took five minutes longer to fall asleep and they overall slept for 20 minutes less. The volunteers felt as though their sleep had been poorer during full moon and they showed lower levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles. -This is the first reliable evidence that lunar rhythm can modulate sleep structure in humans-, Cajochen says.

    A Relic From The Past According to the researchers, this circalunar rhythm might be a relic from past times, when the moon was responsible for synchronizing human behavior. This is well known for other animals, especially marine animals, where moon light coordinates reproduction behavior. Today, other influences of modern life, such as electric light, masked the moon's influence on us. However, the study shows that in the controlled environment of the laboratory with a strict study protocol, the moon's hold over us can be made visible and measurable again.

    source :http://www.news-medi...p-behavior.aspx
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  4. Top | #172
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    NASA's WISE Finds Mysterious Centaurs May Be Comets



    PASADENA, Calf. -- The true identity of centaurs, the small celestial bodies orbiting the sun between Jupiter and Neptune, is one of the enduring mysteries of astrophysics. Are they asteroids or comets? A new study of observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) finds most centaurs are comets.


    Until now, astronomers were not certain whether centaurs are asteroids flung out from the inner solar system or comets traveling in toward the sun from afar. Because of their dual nature, they take their name from the creature in Greek mythology whose head and torso are human and legs are those of a horse.


    "Just like the mythical creatures, the centaur objects seem to have a double life," said James Bauer of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Bauer is lead author of a paper published online July 22 in the Astrophysical Journal. "Our data point to a cometary origin for most of the objects, suggesting they are coming from deeper out in the solar system."


    "Cometary origin" means an object likely is made from the same material as a comet, may have been an active comet in the past, and may be active again in the future.




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  6. Top | #173
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    Monster Galaxies Lose Their Appetite With Age

    Aug. 1, 2013 — Our universe is filled with gobs of galaxies, bound together by gravity into larger families called clusters. Lying at the heart of most clusters is a
    monster galaxy thought to grow in size by merging with neighboring galaxies, a process astronomers call galactic cannibalism.

    New research from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is showing that, contrary to previous theories, these gargantuan galaxies appear to slow their growth over time, feeding less and less off neighboring galaxies.
    "We've found that these massive galaxies may have started a diet in the last 5 billion years, and therefore have not gained much weight lately," said Yen-Ting Lin of the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, lead author of a study published in the Astrophysical Journal.

    The new findings will help researchers understand how galaxy clusters -- among the most massive structures in our universe -- form and evolve.

    The findings showed that BCG growth proceeded along rates predicted by theories until 5 billion years ago, or a time when the universe was about 8 billion years old. After that time, it appears the galaxies, for the most part, stopped munching on other galaxies around them.

    Another possible explanation is that the surveys are missing large numbers of stars in the more mature clusters. Clusters can be violent environments, where stars are stripped from colliding galaxies and flung into space. If the recent observations are not detecting those stars, it's possible that the enormous galaxies are, in fact, continuing to bulk up.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com

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  8. Top | #174
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          Spin Balance Test Concludes Today; Rocket Undergoes Electrical Testing

    A spin test to check the balance of the MAVEN spacecraft has been going well and is set to conclude today in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The two halves of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V payload fairing were moved into the facility's high bay yesterday, where the spacecraft is undergoing prelaunch activities. Fueling of MAVEN with its control propellant is scheduled for Friday.
    Meanwhile, in the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41, United Launch Alliance is conducting the Combined Systems Test of the Atlas V rocket. This is primarily an electrical test of the vehicle that includes a check of the systems to be activated during the countdown, as well as the vehicle flight events that will take place during the launch.









    The MAVEN Mission

    Date: November 18
    Mission: Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN)
    Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
    Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
    Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41
    NASA is preparing its next Mars explorer for launch. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft will be the first to study the Red Planet's upper atmosphere. Scientists expect data gathered during the MAVEN mission to help explain how Mars' climate has changed over time due to the loss of atmospheric gases.
    A U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane delivered the solar-powered spacecraft to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Aug. 2, kicking off the final weeks of prelaunch activities such as hardware installation, testing and fueling. MAVEN is set to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket during a 20-day launch period beginning November 18. The one-year mission begins in Sept. 2014, when the spacecraft reaches Mars orbit.
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  9. Top | #175
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          Cargo Craft Throughout the Years



    The first Cygnus Spacecraft to visit the International Space Station (ISS), the G. David Low, departed the station at 7:31 AM EST on October 22, 2013. The Cygnus spacecraft is the latest in a long line of cargo vehicles built to resupply the orbital outposts that humanity has positioned in the heavens. Created by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Virginia, it is the second type of vehicle built by a commercial company to visit the ISS.
    As the Soviet long-duration space station missions grew in complexity in the late 1970s designers needed a way to supply the outpost with the resources needed for both man and machine. The crewed Soyuz craft of the time could only accommodate two suited Cosmonauts with room for little else. For enhanced operations on the Salyut 6 space station, the Soviets modified the Soyuz vehicle to serve as an automated cargo truck. Designated as “Progress” when first launched in 1978, the new vehicle was designed to replenish on-orbit supplies of oxygen, food, water, and fuel to reboost the station to maintain altitude. The Progress design has been modified a number of times, and is currently in use for the International Space Station. Soviet spacecraft designers had pioneered the cargo vehicle concept in the 1960s with the design of their military space station series known as Almaz. The TKS spacecraft (Transportnyi Korabl’ Snabzheniia, or Transport Supply Spacecraft) had the ability to transport both crew and cargo simultaneously in one craft. Due to delays and cancellation of the Almaz program, the TKS was never used for its intended purpose. However, the TKS did make several successful uncrewed test flights, including three vehicles launched under the Cosmos designation to the Salyut 6 and 7 space stations. The cargo portion of TKS, known as the Functional Cargo Block, also became the basis for future Russian-built space station modules on both Mir and the International Space Station.
    The development of the multi-national International Space Station brought about the development of many new cargo vehicles to supply the needs of a large permanent crew. In addition to the planned use of the U.S. Space Shuttle and Russian Progress vehicles, two of the other international partners developed automated cargo vehicles as part of their contribution to the program. The European Space Agency (ESA) developed the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). Carrying over 7,600 kilograms of cargo to the station, it is the largest resupply vehicle to visit a space station. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) developed the H-II Transport Vehicle (HTV), which included an unpressurised section as well as a pressurized cargo section. The HTV can carry 6,000 kilograms of pressurized cargo. Progress, ATV, and HTV do not have the ability to return cargo to Earth. Instead, at the end of their missions they perform the important task of “taking out the trash.” All three vehicles are filled with unneeded materials, and after undocking, are de-orbited and burn up over uninhabited stretches of the Pacific Ocean.
    With the retirement of the U.S. Space Shuttle, American resupply flights to the ISS took an 11-month hiatus. The commercial Dragon spacecraft, manufactured by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of California, became the first private/commercial vehicle to visit and resupply the ISS during its May 2012 test mission. Since then, SpaceX has completed two dedicated resupply missions with the Dragon vehicle. The Dragon spacecraft also offers another capability that the ISS has not had since the end of the shuttle program, the ability to return significant amounts of materials from space. In addition to the crew, the Soyuz craft can carry only a very limited amount of material back to the planet. However, the Dragon capsule can return significant quantities of material, including experimental samples that need to be kept frozen. Like the HTV, the Dragon also boasts the ability to bring unpressurized cargo to orbit.
    The latest new commercial space resupply vehicle, Cygnus, can carry 2,000 kilograms of cargo to the station. A slightly larger version capable of carrying an additional 700 kilograms is in development. Cygnus became the second dedicated service vehicle under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) project with it’s successful five-week demonstration mission in autumn of 2013. Although not intended specifically as a cargo vehicle, the U.S. Orion Multi-Purpose-Crew-Vehicle will also be able to bring supplies and crewmembers both to the space station and down to Earth when it begins to fly later in the decade. The cargo lifeline needed to supply our human foothold in space continues to become more robust with the addition of new capabilities from both international and commercial partners.
    Learn more about the cargo vehicles visiting the International Space Station: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/st..._elements.html
    Joey Vars, Fall 2013 Intern






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  10. Top | #176
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          Mars Rover Opportunity Heads Uphill



    PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover has begun climbing "Solander Point," the northern tip of the tallest hill it has encountered in the mission's nearly 10 Earth years on Mars.
    Guided by mineral mapping from orbit, the rover is exploring outcrops on the northwestern slopes of Solander Point, making its way up the hill much as a field geologist would do. The outcrops are exposed from several feet (about 2 meters) to about 20 feet (6 meters) above the surrounding plains, on slopes as steep as 15 to 20 degrees. The rover may later drive south and ascend farther up the hill, which peaks at about 130 feet (40 meters) above the plains.
    "This is our first real Martian mountaineering with Opportunity," said the principal investigator for the rover, Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. "We expect we will reach some of the oldest rocks we have seen with this rover -- a glimpse back into the ancient past of Mars."
    The hill rises southward as a ridge from Solander Point, forming an elevated portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The crater spans 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. The ridge materials were uplifted by the great impact that excavated the crater billions of years ago, reversing the common geological pattern of older materials lying lower than younger ones.
    Key targets on the ridge include clay-bearing rocks identified from observations by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, which is on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The observations were specially designed to yield mineral maps with enhanced spatial resolution.
    This segment of the crater's rim stands much higher than “Cape York,” a segment to the north that Opportunity investigated for 20 months beginning in mid-2011.
    "At Cape York, we found fantastic things," Squyres said. "Gypsum veins, clay-rich terrain, the spherules we call newberries. We know there are even larger exposures of clay-rich materials where we're headed. They might look like what we found at Cape York or they might be completely different."
    Opportunity reached Solander Point in August after months of driving from Cape York. Researchers then used the rover to investigate a transition zone around the base of the ridge. The area reveals contact between a sulfate-rich geological formation and an older formation. The sulfate-rich rocks record an ancient environment that was wet, but very acidic. The contact with older rocks may tell researchers about a time when environmental conditions changed.
    Opportunity first explored the eastern side of Solander Point, then drove back north and around the point to explore the western side. "We took the time to find the best place to start the ascent," said Opportunity's project manager, John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Now we've begun that climb."
    The rover began the climb on Oct. 8 and has advanced farther uphill with three subsequent drives.
    "We're in the right place at the right time, on a north-facing slope," Callas said. In Mars' southern hemisphere, a north-facing slope tilts the rover's solar panels toward the sun during the Martian winter, providing an important boost in available power.
    During the most recent of the five winters that Opportunity has worked on Mars, the rover spent several months without driving, safe on a small, north-facing patch of northern Cape York. The area where the rover is now climbing, however, offers a much larger north-facing area, with plenty of energy-safe ground for the rover to remain mobile. Opportunity is currently at a northward tilt of about 17 degrees.
    In the coming Martian winter, daily sunshine will reach a minimum in February 2014. The rover team plans a "lily pad" strategy to make use of patches of ground with especially favorable slopes as places to recharge the rover's batteries between drives.
    Opportunity landed on Mars on Jan. 25, 2004 (Universal Time and EST; Jan. 24, PST), three weeks after its twin, Spirit. Spirit was the first Martian mountaineer, summiting a 269-foot (82-meter) hill in 2005. Spirit ceased operations in 2010. NASA's newest Mars rover, Curiosity, landed in 2012 and is currently driving toward a 3-mile-high (5-kilometer-high) mountain.
    Recent drives by Opportunity and Curiosity have taken the total distance driven by NASA's four Mars rovers (including Sojourner in 1997) past 50 kilometers. The total on Oct. 21 was 31.13 miles (50.10 kilometers), including 23.89 miles (38.45 kilometers) by Opportunity.
    JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. For more about Spirit and Opportunity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/rovers and http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov . You can follow the project on Twitter and on Facebook at: http://twitter.com/MarsRovers and http://www.facebook.com/mars.rovers


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  11. Top | #177
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          Astronaut Karen Nyberg With Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and Astronaut Luca Parmitano

    ISS037-E-011136 (14 Oct. 2013) --- NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Expedition 37 flight engineer; Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin (center), commander; and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano, flight engineer, pose for a photo in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station


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  13. Top | #178
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    Astronomical News         
    4 Sky Events This Week: Comet Challenge, Stellar Trio, and Planet Pairings

    Posted by Andrew Fazekas in StarStruck on May 27, 2014
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    This image of comet ISON was taken in November 2013, when the comet was 97 million miles from Earth. This week comet 209P/LINEAR will come much closer, but it won’t be as bright, because there’s little dust activity on its surface. Courtesy: NASA/MSFC/Aaron KingeryThe parent of the now famous Camelopardalid meteor shower offers sky-watchers a challenge this week. They can also focus in on the Guardian of the Great Bear and watch four classic naked-eye planets swing into view.
    Comet Challenge. Now that the much hyped but disappointing Camelopardalid meteor showerhas come and gone, its parent comet, 209P/LINEAR, makes its closest approach to Earth, starting today, May 27.
    Last week it was shining feebly at only 13th magnitude, but predictions point to a quick brightening to 11th magnitude and possibly even 10th magnitude this week. That will make it a worthy target for medium-size telescopes, at least six to eight inches in diameter, under bright suburban skies and for smaller scopes in the dark countryside.
    On Thursday the comet will be just five million miles (eight million kilometers) from our planet, about 20 times the distance between Earth and our moon.
    Over the course of the week, LINEAR will glide through the low southwestern constellations of Sextans and Hydra, Corvus and Crater, making it an increasingly difficult target for sky-watchers in the Northern Hemisphere. And it will be moving at quite a clip—about half a degree an hour—the same as the width of the full moon.
    Check out these detailed finder’s charts from Sky & Telescope.
    Arcturus Trio. After nightfall on Wednesday, May 29, look south for three of the brightest “stars” in that part of the sky. At the apex of the triangle is the orange star Arcturus, known in mythology as the “guardian of the bear.” It lies in the kite-shaped constellation Boötes, underneath the constellation Ursa Major, or Big Bear.
    This chart shows the southern sky during the late evening in the Northern Hemisphere, where Arcturus and the planets Mars and Saturn dominate the heavens. Credit: SkySafariArcturus is considered the fourth brightest star in the entire night sky. It’s truly a giant, some 20 million miles (32,186,880 kilometers) wide—25 times as wide as our sun. Because it’s 36.7 light-years from Earth, we see Arcturus today as it appeared back in April 1977, the month when the U.S. performed a nuclear test in Nevada, Shimon Peres became acting prime minister of Israel, and New York’s Studio 54 disco opened.
    The bottom two “stars” of the triangle formation are in fact the planets Saturn and Mars. (Saturn is also part of the constellation Libra, and Mars is part of Virgo.)
    Mercury Revealed. On Friday, May 30, look toward the very low western horizon for a razor-thin crescent moon. The moon will be only 6 degrees to the lower left of the faint planet Mercury, the innermost planet in our solar system. The cosmic pair will be only 10 degrees above the local horizon, about the width of your fist held at arm’s length, so you’ll need a clear line of sight.
    The western sky at dusk on May 31, 2014, shows the crescent moon, Jupiter, and a faint Mercury. Credit: SkySafariMoon joins Jupiter. On Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1, the waxing crescent moon will rise higher, taking its place alongside the brilliant planet Jupiter in the afterglow of sunset. Draw an imaginary line from the moon through Jupiter, and the next bright star you will hit, 33 light-years away, is Pollux, one of the of the twin stars in the constellation Gemini, or the Twins.
    Happy hunting, everyone.

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