World of Archangels

Who is your Guardian Angel

Friendship is often based on mutual support along with elements of trust and understanding. The archangels play significant roles in this regard. These are God's topmost angels who often captures people's attention and admiration. It is believed that Gabriel frequently communicate with God and thus considered the most powerful of all. Your guardian angel may sometimes try to send you an urgent message in relation to guidance and insight into the past, present and future. Questions regarding love, relationship or money will be addressed instantly if you connect with your angel today. As a being, you are entitled to love and care, you need to develop your prevailing relationship by means and harmony in the balance you aspire for and permit healing to occur where necessary. You need to open with regards to new dimensions to the relationships you have already have with others. Angels have special plans for you, with essential lessons and a bright down. Your guardian angel is watching over you, waiting for you to begin listening. In whatever circumstance you face, take note there is always an angel besides you for support More here...

Who is your Guardian Angel Summary

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Going to work for NASA

I drew a picture and a draftsman tidied it up (this was before computers could draw). In retrospect it amazes me that so much could come from such a little booklet. Now, in today's intensely competitive environment, such a short proposal would have no chance, but in those days most proposals were about as thin as ours. I have to think we had a guardian angel, and it was true, we did Nancy Boggess was at NASA Headquarters, and she was a strong advocate of the new field of space infrared astronomy. Also, major scientific advisory committees had told NASA that our subject was very important.

Etherm Mcy T Gm Tkh L rT

Where we have ignored thermodynamic details and estimated the thermal energy of the celestial body by first using a mean specific heat cy and a mean temperature T, and then halving the gravitational energy of a sphere of mass and radius . This is a valid approach for gas spheres in hydrostatic equilibrium. Because of their self-luminosity, celestial bodies change their thermal energy content -in the absence of sufficient energy sources - and hence must evolve on the Kelvin-Helmholtz timescale. That timescale is of the order of 1 Ma for the objects under consideration. The determination of the luminosity and the temperature leads to the introduction of an energy equation that contains the important energy transfer processes. For celestial bodies these are Following the notation of classical stellar structure theory, V denotes the gradient along the structure T(r),P(r) of a celestial body, whereas Vs is the respective slope along an adiabat (or more precisely isentrope), i.e. a...

Solution A Planetary System Is a Dangerous Place

Destruction may come not just from the distressingly long list of celestial hazards. Some threats are much closer to home. We have already mentioned the most obvious worry meteorite impact. Tiny meteorites fall to Earth every day medium-sized objects land every few years large objects say, 20 km wide hit Earth every few hundred million years. Although large meteorites only hit Earth infrequently, when they do hit they cause total devastation. If a 20-km-wide asteroid hit Earth today, it would almost certainly kill every human being. Multiply the small chance of an Meteor impact, global glaciation, super-volcanoes. Even on a placid planet like Earth, life has to contend with a lot. Sometimes, whether the cause is one of the three mechanisms mentioned above, or one of the celestial agents of destruction, life barely hangs on.

Resolution A Approved without recorded vote

A planet1 is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit. 2. A dwarf planet is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape,2 (c) has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit, and (d) is not a satellite.

Discovery of the Pulsar

The pulsar is a celestial object (thought to be a young, rapidly rotating neutron star) that emits radiation in the form of rapid pulses with a characteristic pulse period and duration. In August 1967, a then-graduate student Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943- ) and her academic advisor, the British astronomer and Nobel laureate Antony Hewish (1924- ), detected the first pulsar. The unusual celestial object emitted radio waves in a pulsating rhythm. Because of the structure and repetition in the radio signal, their initial inclination was to consider the possibility that the repetitive radio signal was really from an intelligent extraterrestrial civilization. However, subsequent careful investigation and the discovery of another radio wave pulsar that December quickly dispelled the little green The sky is full of radio waves. In addition to the electromagnetic signals that human beings generate as part of their information-dependent technical civilization (for example, radio, TV, and radar),...

The current passage rate of Oort cloud comets does it represent a quiescent stage or an excited one

A steady-state supply of Oort cloud comets, as due to the dominant action of tides of the galactic disk, will produce a pattern of aphelion points on the celestial sphere concentrated at mid-galactic latitudes. As shown before (cf. eq. (6.2)), the change in the perihelion distance of Oort cloud comets by the tidal force of the galactic disk is proportional to sin 20, i.e. it is maximum for a galactic latitude 0 45 . By contrast, comet showers will not show such a galactic dependence, but the concentration of aphelion points will be related instead to the path of the passing star or GMC.

The Sky Is Falling The Sky Is Falling

The rate of collision of celestial objects with the Earth has been well established, and the destruction wreaked by such impacts is also well understood. Such events have occurred countless times throughout the history of our planet and they will inevitably recur in the future. For example, it was a great planetary collision nearly 4 billion years ago that created the Earth-moon system, and in so doing may have made our planet unique as a womb for the gestation and diversification of life. A second great collision some 65 million years ago slayed the planet's dragons and set the stage for mammalian, and ultimately human, evolution. But of greatest relevance to our species are the future collisions, great and small, that will inevitably occur. For alone among the countless species that have populated this Earth, we have it in our power to defend the planet from these strikes.

Exploring Small Bodies in the Solar System

Just two decades ago, scientists did not have very much specific information about the small bodies in the solar system, such as comets and asteroids. There was a great deal of speculation about the true nature of a comet's nucleus, and no one had ever seen the surface of an asteroid up close. All that changed very quickly when robot spacecraft missions flew past, imaged, sampled, probed, and even landed on several of these interesting celestial objects. This section of the chapter discusses NASA's Stardust spacecraft and its comet sampling missions, which represents one of the most significant small-body missions that have taken place. Scientists currently believe that asteroids are the primordial material that was prevented by Jupiter's strong gravity from accreting (accumulating) into a planet-size body when the solar system was born about 4.6 billion years ago. It is estimated that the total mass of all the asteroids (if assembled together) would comprise a celestial body about...

Through The Looking Glass

In January 1610, Galileo Galilei swung his crude telescope skyward, smashing the perfect, crystalline celestial spheres of Aristotle,* and knocking the Earth off its immobile, biblically enshrined pedestal. Galileo's early observations of Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon were nails sealing the coffin of the pre-Copernican worldview. The surface of our Moon, viewed through Galileo's telescope, displayed a complex topography of shadows, pits, and mountains. This was not the flawless, smooth sphere required by Aristotle's dichotomy between a perfect, spiritual celestial realm and an imperfect Earth. The Moon's flaws suggested to Galileo that it was a world like Earth. Suddenly, it didn't seem at all preposterous that the other planets might be Earth-like. The abstract Copernican universe became real. Galileo concluded that the other planets are worlds, and that the world our Earth is merely one of many planets circling the Sun.

Computations and Methods

For computer simulations of dynamical systems one has to choose an appropriate dynamical model, that will give a good approximation for the system under consideration. In a first step we will apply the simplest model which is most probably the fastest one for the computations. This is, in our case, the elliptic restricted three-body problem (ER3BP) where the motion of a mass-less body (m3) is studied in the gravitational field of two massive bodies, i.e., the so-called primaries (mi and m2). Since m3 does not influence the motion of the primaries (i.e., in our case the two stars), they move on Keplerian orbits around their center of mass. This model is commonly used in studies of celestial mechanics and gives quite reasonable results if the mass of the third body is small compared to the other two.

Solution Our Search Strategy Is Wrong

A targeted search focuses upon individual nearby stars. It uses instruments of great sensitivity in the hope of detecting signals deliberately beamed toward us or leakage radiation that happens to pass our way. A wide-sky survey scans large areas of the celestial sphere and thus encompasses a myriad of stars. The sensitivity of a wide-sky survey is vastly inferior to a targeted search.

To a cluster very very far away

As a side project at Carnegie, I took electronic snapshots of the remaining unidentified southern X-ray sources from the EMSS. Some celestial objects, such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds and Alpha Centauri, are only visible from the southern hemisphere. So, while I was in Chile, I snapped images through the duPont 100-inch telescope of southern EMSS source positions with no obvious optical counterparts.

Current regulations for spacecraftborne bioload

Building on this broad obligation to 'avoid' contamination of celestial bodies, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) has taken on the role of co-ordinating the regulations that are applied to space missions. Table 14.2 summarizes the position of the COSPAR planetary protection group as of October 2002, with the core recommendations being made at the 25th COSPAR meeting (De Vin-cenzi and Stabekis, 1984) with sub-categories for Mars missions being developed by the Space Science Board (SSB) of the US National Research Council.

Lunar orbit insertion why kilometres

As Apollo was being planned, detailed studies were made of how best to perform lunar orbit rendezvous - the bringing together of two spacecraft around the Moon, one of which had come up from the surface. As this was then considered to be difficult and dangerous, much effort was devoted to trying to optimise all the variables that affected the operation. Through this process, planners came to the conclusion that when the LM lifted off, the CSM should be in a circular orbit, 110 kilometres above the Moon. This requirement led to every Moon-bound Apollo mission being targeted to pass around the far side with a minimum altitude of 110 kilometres. This point of closest approach was called the pericynthion - a term from celestial mechanics meaning the lowest point in a lunar orbit made by a craft arriving from another body (the highest point being the apocynthion) - and it was around the pericynthion that the LOI burn was made. These two terms are rather unwieldy and refer to the particular...

Why must we find the answer

The Tunguska explosion was a cataclysm that has happened countless times in Earth's history, and it is sure to happen again - that's what Academician Nikolai Vasilyev (1930-2001) believed. 'Had such a cosmic body exploded over Europe instead of the desolate region of Siberia, the number of human victims would have been 500,000 or more, not to mention the ensuing ecological catastrophe', he said. 'The Tunguska episode marks the only event in the history of civilization when Earth has collided with a truly large celestial object, although innumerable such collisions have occurred in the geological past. And many more are bound to occur.'

The Dynamics of Planetary Systems

The structure of the Sun's planetary system has been the subject of numerous studies ever since it was discovered that the orbits of the planets were governed by an extremely simple law the law of gravitation. Celestial mechanics has allowed the positions of the planets and satellites to be predicted with great precision. Moreover, the study of the stability of orbits has revealed the fundamental role of resonant interactions that govern complex configurations that are sometimes stable, and sometimes chaotic. Exosystems offer dynamicists a new field to explore or to use to test the mechanisms worked out in the Solar System.

New Ways of Seeing Old Ways of Thinking

Historians divide observational astronomy into three periods. The first period, the era of naked-eye astronomy, dates from the earliest human observation of the skies and ends in 1609. This preoptical period included the work of Ptolemy (second century, a.d.) and Copernicus, two of the greatest figures in the history of astronomy. The second period began with Galileo's use of a telescope in 1609 to study the major heavenly bodies. Telescope makers devised new and more powerful instruments during the following three centuries, when optical telescopes ruled the astronomical sciences. Then, in 1931, Karl Jansky of Bell Telephone Laboratories detected radio signals coming from regions beyond the solar system. Jansky's discovery marks the beginning of the third period of observational astronomy, the era of the radio telescope. A radio telescope is essentially a large antenna, often shaped as a parabolic dish, used to detect, amplify, and analyze radio emissions from celestial sources. It...

Some Necessary Conditions for Systemic Chemical Self Organization

The mere presence of the building blocks (at any celestial body as well as on the Earth) as known to be essential of today's life, even those of the earliest remnants of life we are aware of, is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the origin of life. Even more important, it is by far not sufficient, as especially Nicolis and Prigogine (1977) have pointed out. At least we will give here some important necessary conditions beyond pure chemistry. Nevertheless, it is unsure whether the set of all necessary conditions being mentioned together is a sufficient condition. It is important only that conditiones sine qua non are discussed here in the view how comets and other celestial objects could have provided those.

Mars The Once and Future Abode of Life

The planet Mars, the celestial symbol of war and strife, shines a dull red color in our earthly sky it is truly different in appearance from the other planets, which shine with a resplendent silvery glow. Indeed, this malevolent orb, which casts its one-eyed Voldamor-tian1 gaze upon us, can affect our bodily humors, or so the astrologers of yesteryear would tell us, and it can determine the outcome of conflict and dastardly enterprise. None of us really believes in such astral influences anymore, but we do know that if Mars isn't a deathly world, it is an apparently dead and decidedly barren one (Figure 3.2). Rumors soon started to spread. Strange stones had apparently fallen after the strange celestial sounds had passed. Within a few days, some 40 rocks, weighing in at a total mass of about 10 kg, had been collected. It was claimed that one of the stones had struck and killed a dog, but there is no real evidence for this having actually happened. The Nakhla meteorite as the fall of...

Atmospheric Effects And Their Reduction

At these wavelengths the atmosphere seems to glow, night and day. This emission makes it more difficult to discern faint celestial objects. By placing infrared telescopes at high altitudes the problems of emission and absorption in the mid-infrared can be reduced, but only by going into space can they be completely overcome. As well as degrading images by producing extraneous radiation, scattering also degrades images by scattering back to space some of the radiation from a celestial object, thus reducing its apparent brightness. By siting a telescope away from artificial lighting and at high altitude, these problems can be reduced, but again can only be eliminated by going into space.

The Limits of the World

While the youthful and oft times wayward mathematician George Joachim Rheticus looked after the publishing details of his great text, Copernicus was probably only vaguely aware that his new ideas had finally been brought into print. Such was the sadness that permeated the final hours of this great philosopher. As Copernicus set out upon his final journey, his newly published text set the Earth on a new and fantastic journey of its own. Wrenched from the very core of the then-known universe, Copernicus put the Earth in motion. This new philosophy that poet John Donne complained ''put all in doubt,'' set Earth adrift in space, third planet out from the Sun. Transposed one with the other, the Sun replaced Earth at the center of all things, for, as Copernicus wrote, ''Who would place this lamp of a very beautiful temple in another or better place.'' While no longer the stationary socket about which the great axle of the celestial sphere indomitably turned, the Earth was still a special...

The Main Asteroid Belt

Asteroids are usually thought of as coming from the main asteroid belt, the collection of celestial bodies with orbits lying between Mars and Jupiter. About 95 percent of asteroids reside in this main belt, which stretches from 1.7 to 4 AU from the Sun. Based on modern studies using infrared imaging, there seem to be between 1.1 million and 1.9 million main belt asteroids larger than a half mile (about 1 km) in diameter. Many millions or perhaps billions of smaller asteroids also orbit in the main belt. Though there are millions of individual bodies in the asteroid belt, the total mass of all the asteroids is less than one 10th of a percent of the mass of the Earth and was probably only a few times that when the asteroid belt was new. If all the bodies now in the asteroid belt were accumulated into one planetesimal, it would be only about 900 miles (1,400 km) in diameter, much smaller than the Moon.

May comets harbor lifeforms

The origin and early evolution of life on Earth argues in favor of liquid water as a necessary ingredient. There are no known organisms on Earth that can thrive on pure ice or that can extract liquid water from ice using metabolic energy (see, e.g. McKay 1997). Therefore, the search for life in comets - or in other celestial bodies - should follow the search for present or past existence of liquid water. Several authors have considered the possibility that the heat released by short-lived radioactive isotopes, in particular 26Al, would have maintained a liquid water core for a time long enough to allow the development of micro

By Jove yes it was the show of shows

In July 1994 the Hubble Space Telescope, orbiting 600 kilometres above Earth, and hundreds of thousands of telescopes around the world were aimed at Jupiter to watch the celestial drama of the century. Never in history had anyone witnessed the cataclysmic collision of two worlds, a comet crashing into a planet.

Homeotic Genes Determine Segment Identity

Dreds of hereditary factors, which we must imagine as corresponding to infinitesimal corpuscular elements (e.g., genes). And this localization Morgan had found in a statistic way A German scientist has appropriately compared this to the astronomical calculation of celestial bodies still unseen but later on found by the tube but he adds Morgan's predictions exceed

Finding easter island

Hence to an explanation for the title of this first chapter. Easter Island is the remotest speck of land on Earth, surrounded by the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. At first sight it seems quite extraordinary that it could have been encountered by the seafaring Polynesians, however audacious. Surely, one would suppose, it was a chance discovery, perhaps by mariners who had been blown far off course, which led to the prows of the first canoes accidentally grating onto a beach of Easter Island perhaps some 1500 years ago. Another quirk of history Very probably not. Easter Island may have marked one of the furthest points in this great human diaspora, but its discovery was inevitable given the sophisticated search strategy of the Polynesians. As Geoffrey Irwin has shown,42 not only were these people superb navigators, but they developed a method of quartering the ocean that aimed to find new lands. Century by century their net of exploration widened. When a particular season failed in the...

Major Characteristics Shared By The Known Ring Systems

Each of the ring systems seems to exhibit a structure which has the appearance of a series of concentric ringlets, with easily observable radial structure and little or no observable azimuthal variations. This radial sorting of ring particles is primarily the result of gravitational interaction with nearby planetary satellites, although there are a variety of ways this interaction affects the structure. Sometimes it causes sharp inner or outer boundaries of a ring. At other times gaps in an otherwise (radially) continuous ring are created. Gravitational forces from nearby satellites can even result in effectively corrugating the rings (bending waves) or causing tightly wound spiral variations in the ring particle population (density waves). We will attempt to explain these effects (at least those that are well understood) in terms that do not require the reader to have an extensive background in celestial dynamics or a keen understanding of higher mathematics. All in all, the creation...

Contamination of spacecraft and planets

The transfer of material that is not native to a planet has been happening over the history of the Solar System, with meteorite delivery being a common example of this interchange. With the development of rocket launchers capable of injecting objects into interplanetary trajectories, mankind joined Nature in being able to alter another planet's composition. Generally spacecraft and their associated hardware are designed and assembled so as to minimize the amount of debris that they carry. This chapter examines the problems associated with the unintentional delivery of living or dead organic matter to celestial bodies so-called 'forward contamination'. The topic is often referred to by the phrase planetary protection, and its scope includes not only the possible contamination of planetary bodies, but also the potential introduction to the Earth of materal from a non-terrestrial biosphere. Furthermore, the threat that planetary protection seeks to minimize is not restricted to the...

An Earlierthanplanned Landing

It was already becoming clear by this stage that the STS-35 mission would probably not run to its planned length of 9 days and 21 hours this time, however, the reason could not be traced to mechanical problems, but to weather conditions at Edwards Air Force Base, which were predicted to be unfavourable for a landing anytime between 12 and 14 December. NASA managers therefore decided to bring Columbia home a day earlier than originally intended, on 11 December. The early return forced astronomers to hastily reprioritise their remaining celestial targets.

Organizations of Interest

Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Its individual members are professional astronomers all over the world, at the Ph.D. level or beyond and active in professional research and education in astronomy. However, the IAU maintains friendly relations with organizations that include amateur astronomers in their membership. National members are generally those with a significant level of professional astronomy. With more than 9,100 individual members and 65 national members worldwide, the IAU plays a pivotal role in promoting and coordinating worldwide cooperation in astronomy. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and any surface features on them.

Observations From Earth

By the time the subsequent pair of transits occurred, in 1874 and 1882, the nascent field of celestial photography had advanced enough to allow scientists to record on glass plates what they saw through their telescopes. No transits took place in the 20th century the first of the next pair was widely observed and imaged in 2004.

Terrestrial planets and life

The cratering record on the Moon seems to suggest a spike in the impact rate about 700 My after the formation of the Solar System (e.g., Hartmann et al. (2000)). This cataclysmic event in our early history turns out to be a puzzle from the point of view of both celestial mechanics and the origin of life. Insofar as the latter is concerned, there exists some (controversial) carbon isotopic evidence for the existence of life 3.7-3.85 Gy ago (Wells et al. (2003) and references therein), right around the time

Orfeusspas A Freeflying Observatory

During orbital operations, the two spectrographs were operated alternately, by 'flipping' a mirror into the beam reflected off the instrument's primary mirror. Echelle covered a wavelength range from 90 to 125 nanometres, while its extreme-ultraviolet counterpart encompassed the 40-115 nanometre span. Two reflection gratings then dispersed the incoming light from celestial sources into a spectrum, which was projected onto a two-dimensional microchannel plate detector.

More Capable Hubble

Celestial objects of particular fascination for ACS researchers include intrinsically bright, but very distant quasars at the very edge of the detectable Universe, which are thought to have supermassive, 'feeding' black holes at their centres. With the ability of the coronagraph to block out the bright cores of the quasars, it was hoped to gain more insightful views of the physical conditions in their outermost reaches. ''We're looking forward to taking images of quasars,'' said Holland Ford, ''and seeing the structures that surround them much better with ACS' higher resolution and higher sensitivity.'' Mark McCaughrean of the Astrophysical Institute in Potsdam, Germany, for example, had used the instrument before it shut down and felt it ''definitely has a few tricks up its sleeves'', including the capability to observe celestial objects in certain portions of the infrared band. Cool stars and young giant planets, he said, contain steam in their atmospheres, which has proved...

The Late Heavy Bombardment

T here was a period of time early in solar system development when all the celestial bodies in the inner solar system were repeatedly impacted by large bolides. This high-activity period might be anticipated by thinking about how the planets formed, accreting from smaller bodies into larger and larger bodies, and so it may seem intuitive that there would be a time even after most of the planets formed when there was still enough material left over in the early solar system to continue bombarding and cratering the early planets.

Around The World In Minutes

The concept of the orbit, and of weightlessness, is one that is often misunderstood by laypeople who harbour the mistaken idea of there literally being no gravity up there. To understand how objects move in space, otherwise known as celestial mechanics, one has first to grasp the concept of freefall, because, for much of the time, that is the condition of everything in space. Our communications and weather satellites are in constant freefall around Earth, as is the Moon. Earth itself, along with the other planets, is in a permanent state of freefall around the Sun, which itself freefalls around our galaxy. Even the immense Milky Way galaxy that we inhabit is freefalling along with a collection of others in our local group of galaxies in an eternal gravitational dance that is essentially no different to the freefall experienced by a stone dropped off a bridge into a river.

The Discovery of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

Michael Brown made the announcement in July 2005 that he, Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory, and David Rabinowitz of Yale University had confirmed the existence of a Kuiper belt body larger than Pluto.This body, Eris (2003 UB ), is thought to have a diameter of about 1,460 miles (2,400 km), making it the largest solar-system body discovered since the discovery of Neptune in 1846. NASA released an official statement in which 2003 UB313 (it had not yet received its final name) was referred to as the 10th planet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was forced then to take action, and voted to adopt two key resolutions at their General Assembly in Prague, Czech Republic, on August 24, 2006.The members agreed that a planet is defined as a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to produce an equilibrium (nearly spherical) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit of other objects. This means that the...

The Pernicious Legacy Of The Great Chain Of Being

Underlying much of the fallacious demand for 'missing links' is a medieval myth, which occupied men's minds right up to the age of Darwin and stubbornly confused them after it. This is the myth of the Great Chain of Being, according to which everything in the universe sat on a ladder, with God at the top, then archangels, then various ranks of angels, then human beings, then animals, then plants, then down to stones and other inanimate creations. Given that this goes way back to a time when racism was second nature, I hardly need add that human beings were not all sitting on the same rung. Oh no. And of course males were a healthy rung above females of their kind (which was why I let myself get away with 'occupied men's minds' in the opening sentence of this section). But it was the alleged hierarchy within

Navigating to the Moon

There is a poetic beauty to the Apollo flights which lies in the fact that the crews navigated between worlds by sighting on the very same stars their ancestors would have employed to guide boats and ships across the oceans of Earth. The maritime connection even extended to the instrument used for the task, because the Apollo spacecraft had its own sophisticated version of the sextant, an optical device used for centuries by sailors to measure angles between stars, the Sun and Earth's horizon. Yet sighting on celestial objects was only one of a range of techniques that NASA brought to bear on the problem of guidance and navigation, skills that had to be mastered to ensure that 400,000 kilometres of space between Earth and the Moon were crossed in both directions accurately and safely. These skills required consummate finesse in the measurement of extremely subtle parameters, and mathematical competence to interpret the results correctly, as excessive errors were utterly and lethally...

Debates and the geosphere

Comets were particularly noticeable in the last quarter of the seventeenth century, with a bright comet seen in 1680 and another in 1682. William Whiston (1666-1753) was perhaps the first to argue that comets might have played a role in Earth history, speculating that a comet approaching close by the Earth in the year 2349 BC had led to widespread flooding and wholesale extinction of animals, plants, and humans (Whiston 1696). Edmund Halley (1656-1742), in a paper read to the Royal Society in 1694, proposed that a collision between the Earth and comet had been God's instrument for unleashing a cataclysm as enormous and powerful as Noah's (Halley 1724-5). At the conclusion of his classic paper on comets, Halley (1705) noted that the comet of 1680 had come close to the Earth and was prompted to write 'But what might be the consequences of so near an appulse or of a contact or lastly, a shock of the celestial bodies, (which is by no means impossible to come to pass) I leave to be...

Inner Planet Crossing Asteroids The Aten Amor and Apollo Families

Earth Orbit Apollo Asteroids Nasa

Far from being a bare rock, this asteroid has its own regolith, the rocks and dust that form the soil on rocky celestial bodies. The crater shown in the figure on page 72, Psyche, is the largest on Eros. A large boulder perched on the crater wall illustrates Eros's unusual gravity Because of its elongated shape the regions with lowest gravity on Eros are not necessarily in the bottoms of craters. The boulder appears to rest on the sloping wall of the crater instead of rolling down to the floor. These and the other NEAR Shoemaker mission craft photos were groundbreaking in the understanding of asteroids these missions have provided data detailed enough to create an image of what standing on the asteroid might be like. Daytime temperature is about 212 F (100 C), the boiling point of water on Earth, while at night the temperature falls to 238 F ( 150 C). Gravity on tiny Eros is of course weak A 100-pound (45-kg) object on Earth would weigh about an ounce on Eros.

Surprising Importance of Plate Tectonics

We begin our celestial survey with Mercury, a cratered world of great heat on the sunlit side and great cold on its dark side of the slowly spinning planet. Yet we quickly find that Mercury is not only free of atmosphere, liquid water, and life but is also volcanically dead. Its surface shows mainly numberless craters of a meteor-ravaged world, scars left by the bombardment by comets and asteroids. In contrast to Earth, in the 4 billion years since that time of stony rain, little of geological importance has happened on this planet. Mercury looks like our Moon.

Towards a theology of evolution

It is self-evident that whatever our peculiarities as humans, we are embedded in the natural world, and just as clearly we are one product of an evolutionary process that began about four billion years ago. In itself, the mechanism of evolutionary change is so unexceptional as to be almost trivial. As Martin Carrier4 has written, 'Darwinian theory plays a role in evolutionary biology that is analogous to the one Newtonian theory plays in celestial mechanics. It provides the mechanism of change it specifies the law-governed processes that determine how species develop and adapt in a possibly changing environment.'5 Despite this simple process most biologists will freely acknowledge that both the routes and the products of evolution are profoundly fascinating. I have already alluded to a few of these, such as the problem of the origin of life itself. Probably of equal moment is to discover how it is that proteins fold so effectively and quickly. Evolution also presents what Denis...

Martin Harwit An attempt at detecting the cosmic background radiation in the early s

After my fellowship year, I accepted a one-year assistant professorship at Cornell, at the end of which I was free to take a leave of absence. I knew I wanted to carry out infrared astronomical observations and felt that ultimately infrared spectroscopy would offer great insights. But the Earth's atmosphere absorbs much of the infrared spectrum and, even worse, glows strongly in the infrared. To obtain a clear view of the sky in this wavelength band, I knew I would need to take telescopes above the atmosphere moreover, these telescopes would have to be cooled to cryogenic temperatures. Otherwise the glow from the telescope would be far stronger than any celestial signal. At MIT I had built a sensitive cooled infrared apparatus. At Michigan, in Sutherland's laboratory, I had gained experience with spectroscopy, and in Leslie Jones's group, I had learned how to build apparatus carried aloft in rockets. All I needed to do was to put all this together.

Imperial ambitions and the Permian System

Towards the end of the 1840 expedition, Murchison and his party reached Archangel and began their long trek east and then southwards, following the course of the River Dvina. In places along the valley, they found cliffs with interstratified limestones, layers of white alabaster (the calcium sulphate mineral gypsum), along with red and green marls. At first they were puzzled and did not know whether they were part of the Carboniferous or Triassic. The few fossil clams they found were not diagnostic, but then they found fossils of a particular kind of lamp shell (productid brachiopods) in the limestones, which look very like those known from the Carboniferous and so opted for that designation. However, the occurrence of the gypsum plus the red and green marls, which was rather more typical of the younger Triassic strata, created something of a problem and they did not feel enormously confident about their diagnosis.

Chapter Comparative Fairy Mythology and Folklore

This is an interesting statement since early Christian theologians used to say that Fairies were fallen angels, or, as Harry Percival Swan wrote, the fairies were angels who had remained neutral during the great war in heav-en.3 Should we assume that a worldwide race of little people existed, in the dim recesses of time If so, how did they become associated with evil We do know that pagan traditions and icons were intentionally altered by the Church to reflect darker, more evil aspects in an effort to sway pagan populations away from their original beliefs and into the fold of Christianity. According to 19th century folklorist John Fiske Christianity, having no place

Passband Luminosities Phoebe

The Wilson-Devinney (WD) model used in the following discussion computes the observable flux scaled to an arbitrary level. The model adapts to this level by determining for each passband i the corresponding WD passband luminosity, L 1i, not considering any color information that might have been present in the data. Because Tb is observationally revealed by its B - V (or any other suitable) color index,1 some of the relevant temperature information is lost. One solution to this problem is to couple the passband luminosity by exploiting the observed color index (the method proposed by Prsa & Zwitter 2005b), another solution is to resort to Wilson's (2007a, b, 2008) temperature-distance theorem matching discussed in Sect. 5.1.2.3. Both approaches depend on reliable photometric calibrations cf. Landolt (1992) covering celestial equator regions, Henden & Honeycutt (1997) and Bryja & Sandtorf (1999) covering fields around cataclysmic variables, Henden & Munari (2000) covering...

Preservation Potential And Some Ancient Analogues

Within the Waterberg paleodesert, preservation is essentially through incorporation of larger desiccated mat fragments into rapidly formed flash-flood deposits. Without these latter, larger desiccated mat fragments would break up further, and along with earlier smaller fragments would be picked up by the predominant winds, dispersed and incorporated as small, discrete fragments within wind-deposited sediment. Their chances of identification as mat proxies would be very limited. The major control on their potential preservation would thus appear to be climatic, dependent specifically on a succeeding wet desert flash-flood event occurring before desiccated mat fragments had been left to the vagaries of the predominant wind regime for too long. A celestial body such as the planet Mars, where strong wind regimes may have been important in forming surficial sedimentary deposits, may thus make the search for evidence of pre-existing life difficult preservation of any mat proxies would be...

The Galilean Satellites

Galileo proposed that the four Jovian moons he discovered in 1610 be named the Medicean stars, in honour of his patron, Cosimo II de' Medici, but they soon came to be known as the Galilean satellites in honour of their discoverer. Galileo regarded their existence as a fundamental argument in favour of the Copernican model of the solar system, in which the planets orbit the Sun. Their orbits around Jupiter were in flagrant violation of the Ptolemaic system, in which all celestial objects must move around Earth. In order of increasing distance from the planet, these satellites are called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, for figures closely associated with Jupiter in Greek mythology. The names were assigned by the German astronomer Simon Marius, Galileo's contemporary and rival, who likely discovered the satellites independently. There proved to be a particular aptness in the choice of Io's name Io the wanderer (Greek ion, going) has an indirect influence on the ionosphere of Jupiter.

Space Astrophysics Day Friday June

In effect, the Salyut crew were the first space astronomers. Gamma-ray astronomy had only recently become feasible, and was giving insights into the structure of the universe. Gamma rays are the most energetic form of light. They are produced by fusion reactions in the cores of stars, but are soon absorbed and so stars appear dark in this part of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, they are emitted by violent events such as a supernovas (when a massive star 'explodes') and by the much less dramatic decay of radioactive elements in space. Objects like supernova remnants, black holes, neutron stars and pulsars are all sources of celestial gamma rays. In addition, there are powerful 'flashes' known as gamma-ray bursts which can release more energy in a few seconds than the Sun will emit during its entire 10-billion-year lifetime The exact cause of such bursts is disputed, and there may in fact be several causes. Thus far it would seem that all of the bursts originate from outside

Closest Telescope Position To Spin Axis

As the spacecraft passed behind the limb of an object, the manner in which its signal was attenuated would provide information about the environment close to the body. The principal investigator for the Occultation Experiment was A.J. Kliore of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition, detailed tracking of the spacecraft during its encounters would enable the masses of the objects - planets and satellites -to be measured, and so yield clues as to their internal structures. No spacecraft instrumentation was required. The tracking would be facilitated by measuring the Doppler on the spacecraft's radio signal. J. D. Anderson of JPL was the principal investigator for this Celestial Mechanics Experiment.

The Astronomical Unit

In 1767, at the age of 18, Pierre Simon Laplace was appointed as professor of mathematics in Paris, where he devoted the majority of his attention to a comprehensive study of the manner in which the planets perturb one another gravitationally, with a view to determining whether the observed arrangement of the Solar System was stable. He concluded that while the eccentricities of the individual orbits would vary over time, the system would adjust to compensate, and was therefore stable. In addition, using Newton's law of gravitation, he was able to use the magnitude of these perturbations to calculate that the Earth was about 150 million kilometres from the Sun - a value that was designated the Astronomical Unit (AU) because, when combined with Kepler's empirical laws of orbital motion, it gave the basis for a scale by which to measure the Solar System. Upon applying this scale, it became evident that Saturn orbits at the astonishingly large distance of 1.4 billion kilometres. The...

Planetary Quarantine Program

Be designed and configured to minimize the probability of alien-world contamination by terrestrial life-forms. As a design goal, these spacecraft and probes had a probability of 1 in 1,000 (1 x 10-3) or less that they could contaminate the target celestial body with terrestrial microorganisms. Decontamination, physical isolation (for example, prelaunch quarantine), and spacecraft design techniques have all been used to support adherence to this protocol. P(c) is the probability of contamination of the target celestial body by terrestrial microorganisms, P(g) is the probability of microorganism growth after release on a particular planet or celestial object. As previously stated, P(c) had a design goal value of less than or equal to 1 in 1,000. A value for the microorganism burden (m) was established by sampling an assembled spacecraft or probe. Then, through laboratory experiments, scientists determined how much this microorganism burden was reduced by subsequent sterilization and...

Scala Naturae versus Phylogenetic Bush

The idea of evolution proceeding along some kind of scale from simple to complex also has pre-evolu-tionary roots. Aristotle, for example, ordered animals according to the degree of perfection of their eggs (see Gould, 1977). Later religious thinkers then described an elaborate scale of nature, or scala naturae, with inanimate materials on its bottom rung and archangels and God at the other extreme. The early evolutionists, such as Lamarck, transformed this static concept of a scala naturae into a dynamic phylogenetic scale that organisms ascended as they evolved. Darwin himself had doubts about arranging species on a scale, but most of his followers had no such qualms (Bowler, 1988). Even today, the phylogenetic scale is taught in many schools and it persists in medicine and academia. For example, the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) guide for institutional animal care and use still recommends that researchers, whenever possible, should work with species lower on the...

The Kant Laplace Nebular Hypothesis

A significant step forward was made by Pierre-Simon Laplace of France some 40 years later. A brilliant mathematician, Laplace was particularly successful in the field of celestial mechanics. Besides publishing a monumental treatise on the subject, he wrote a popular book on astronomy, with an appendix in which he made some suggestions about the origin of the solar system.

Jupiter Fast Facts about a Planet in Orbit

Jupiter Orbit

Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in the sky, despite its great distance from Earth.The brightness of a celestial object when seen from a given distance is called its apparent magnitude. This scale has no dimensions, but allows comparison between objects. The lower the magnitude number, the brighter the object. The full Moon has magnitude 12.7 and the Sun has 26.7.The faintest stars visible under dark skies are around +6. Jupiter has an apparent magnitude of about 2. Mars is about as bright as Jupiter, and all the other planets are dimmer than the brightest star visible from Earth, which is Sirius, at apparent magnitude 1.46 (Saturn's apparent magnitude is only +0.6).

Arecibo Interstellar Message

Arecibo Telescope

When the giant telescope operates as a radio-wave receiver, it can listen for signals from celestial objects at the farthest reaches of the universe. As a radar transmitter receiver, it assists astronomers and planetary scientists by bouncing signals off the Moon, off nearby planets and their satellites, off asteroids, and even off layers of Earth's ionosphere.

P a quest for all balls

The concept behind the P52 became familiar to amateur astronomers of the generation after Apollo as powerful computers became small and cheap enough to build into backyard telescopes. By aligning these inexpensive instruments on two stars in succession, their computers learned the orientation of the universe around them and could quickly and easily aim themselves at any desired celestial object in a manner greatly reminiscent of the Apollo G& N system.

The Development of Planetary Astronomy

Newton wrote about the motions of the celestial bodies, but he was silent about the possibility ofother worlds outside the solar system. He did not include these topics in his Principia. Newton finally broke his silence on the subject after prodding by the Reverend Richard Bentley. Bentley feared that nonbe-lievers might interpret the Newtonian universe as a godless mechanical system. Newton revealed his ideas about God's role in the origin of the universe and suggested that the stars might serve as centers of attraction for other planetary systems. Herschel modeled his telescopes on the new type of instrument invented by Sir Isaac Newton. The Newtonian reflector telescope uses a concave parabolic mirror to gather the light emitted by celestial objects. The light is then reflected through a small lens to the viewer's eye. A Newtonian reflector differs from the more familiar Galilean refractor telescope in which a viewer looks directly through a tube containing two different size...

Looking back in time Searching for the most distant galaxies

When I was seven, at my first school book fair, I came away with a title, Insight into Astronomy. The ''pull'' behind the choice came from the quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the preface ''If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance . . .'' The idea of vast cosmic distances, measured in light travel time, so that celestial objects are viewed through a kind of time machine, captured my imagination. What would an early snapshot of our own galaxy look like

William H Pickering Amd Planets O P Q R S T And U

He had more than average scientific accomplishments. He was a pioneer in new celestial photography technology. In 1899 he discovered Phoebe, the ninth moon of Saturn and the first satellite to be found photographically. He also produced the first complete photographic atlas of the Moon (1903).

Ejection freeing the lander

Apollo Tunnel Docking Mechanism

In some romantic sense, the S-IVB stage had the most bittersweet, almost tragic fate of all the Saturn components. These large, perhaps elegant stages had been faithful servants to their Apollo masters, who they dutifully sent onwards to the Moon. They were spared the ignominious crash into the sea that befell their larger brethren, the SIC and the S-II. Instead, they were sent away from Earth to meet a celestial end. Of

Early Ideas About Comets

Colophon Comet

The ancient peoples paid special attention to whatever occurred in the heavens, noting on one side the regularity of several celestial phenomena, such as the rise and the setting of the Sun, Moon and stars, and the phases of the Moon, and on the other side the irruption of unexpected transient events, like eclipses, comets, novae and meteors, that broke such a regularity. Since the heavenly bodies were associated to divinities with influence on terrestrial affairs, the unexpected events caused concern and were regarded as portents of upcoming disasters. The history of cometary thought began as a discussion on whether comets were celestial bodies or atmospheric phenomena. The Pythagoreans in the sixth century BC and Hippocrates of Chios (ca. 440 BC) are credited with the idea that comets were planets that appeared infrequently close to the horizon like Mercury. Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (ca. 500 - 428 BC) and the atomist Democritus of Abdera (ca. 460 - 370 BC) believed that each comet...

Historical observations

Careful observations of Mars' motion across the celestial sphere led early astronomers to deduce two things about the planet. First they determined that Mars' sidereal period (time to return to same position relative to the stars) is about 687 Earth days (1.88 Earth years). The Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus found that the sidereal period (P) of a planet located beyond the Earth's orbit is related to its synodic period (S time for planet to return to same Earth-Sun-planet configuration) by Mars also played a major role in determining the shapes of planetary orbits. It was Tycho Brahe's very accurate and voluminous observations of Mars' celestial positions that led Johannes Kepler in 1609 to deduce that planetary orbits were elliptical with the Sun at one focus of the orbit. Mars has the second most elliptical orbit of the eight major planets in the Solar System - Mercury's orbital eccentricity is higher but the planet is difficult to observe due to its proximity to the Sun.

The Planets of the Ancients

In addition to the fixed stars, the ancient observers noted that, apart from the Sun and the Moon, there were five celestial bodies which looked like stars but behaved in a different manner. In the first place, these apparent stars did not belong to any of the constellations. Although they traversed the sky from east to west each night like the fixed In 1543, after more than 30 years of preparation, the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus published his great work On the Revolutions of the Celestial Bodies, in which he revived the heliocentric (Sun-centered) concept of Aristarchus. In the Copernican system, the Sun v as stationary and the planets,

Taxonomy And Classification

Not all classification schemes for animals translate across cultures or stand the test of time. For example, the classification of animals in an ancient Chinese encyclopedia includes the following groups (a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c) those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (f) fabulous ones, (g) stray dogs, (h) those that are included in this classification, (i) those that tremble as if they were mad, (j) innumerable ones, (k) those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush, (l) others, (m) those that have just broken a flower vase, (n) those that resemble flies from a distance (Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, referred to by Borges, 1964).

Part Two The Solar System

There was a time - and very recently - when the idea of the possibility of learning the composition of the celestial bodies was considered senseless even by prominent scientists and thinkers. That time has now passed. The idea of the possibility of a closer, direct study of the universe will today, I believe, appear still wilder. To step out onto the soil of asteroids, to lift with your hand a stone on the moon, to set up moving stations in ethereal space, and establish living rings around the earth, the moon, the sun, to observe Mars from a distance of several tens of versts, to land on its satellites and even on the surface of Mars - what could be more extravagant However, it is only with the advent of reactive vehicles that a new and great era in astronomy will begin, the epoch of a careful study of the sky The prime motive of my life is to do something useful for people That is why I have interested myself in things that did not give me bread or strength. But I hope that my...

R Bruce Partridge Early days of the primeval fireball

As anyone who has lived in New Jersey knows, however, the atmosphere over Princeton is not exactly stable. To cancel out the atmosphere to first order, we needed to make calibration observations of a stable, unmoving region of the sky through a comparable air mass. We thus elected to switch the beam (observing direction) between the north celestial pole (the fixed point) and a point an equal angular distance away from the zenith to the south. We thus ended up scanning a circle at declination 5 8 . There were two levels of beam switching. First, we switched at about 1000Hz back and forth between our main horn antenna and a much smaller antenna pointed toward the zenith. As a further control, we switched the beam of the primary antenna itself every few minutes by raising a reflecting sheet to divert the beam to the north celestial pole. This was the Princeton isotropometer housed in an unused pigeon coop on a tower of Guyot Hall (Figures 4.23 and 4.24).

The Cosmic Connection

The first scientists and philosophers - Aristotle, for example - imagined that the heavens were made of a different sort of material than the Earth, a special kind of celestial stuff, pure and undefiled. We now know that this is not the case. Pieces of the asteroid belt called meteorites samples of the Moon returned by Apollo astronauts and Soviet unmanned spacecraft the solar wind, which expands outward past our planet from the Sun and the cosmic rays, which are probably generated from exploding stars and their remnants - all show the presence of the same atoms we know here on Earth. Astronomical spectroscopy is able to determine the chemical composition of collections of stars billions of light-years away. The entire universe is made of familiar stuff. The same atoms and molecules occur at enormous distances from Earth as occur here within our Solar System.

Literary and Historical References

The above text provides clear evidence that eclipses were regarded as omens at this early period (as is true of other celestial phenomena). Such a belief was extremely prevalent in China during later centuries. The term translated here as eclipse (shi) is the same as the word for eat. Evidently the Shang people thought that a monster actually devoured the Sun or Moon during an eclipse. Not until many centuries later was the true explanation known, but by then the use of the term shi was firmly established to describe eclipses, and so it remained throughout Chinese history. The oracle-bone text, translated above, twice gives the day of the sexagenary cycle this cycle, which was independent of any astronomical parameter, continued in use (seemingly without interruption) until modern times. Nevertheless, as the year in which an eclipse occurred is never mentioned on the preserved oracle bones (many of which are mere fragments), dating of these observations by astronomical calculation has...

Prediction and Calculation of Solar and Lunar Eclipses

An observer is looking out from its centre. To this observer, the Sun and Moon appear projected on the celestial sphere. While this sphere appears to rotate daily, as measured by the positions of the stars, around Earth's axis of rotation, the Sun's disk appears to travel slowly along the ecliptic, making a complete revolution in one year. At the same time, the Moon's disk travels along its own path, once during a lunar month. The angular diameters of the Sun's and the Moon's disks are each about 0.5 but vary slightly. To the observer on Earth at the centre of the sphere, the Sun's disk will travel along the ecliptic and the Moon's disk along its designated path. The Sun is so distant compared with the size of Earth that, from all places on Earth's surface, the Sun is seen nearly in the same position as it would be from the very centre. On the other hand, the Moon is relatively near, and so its projected position on the celestial sphere is different for various places of observation...

Percival Lowell and the Canals of Mars

While his nonscientific (but popular) interpretation of observed surface features on Mars proved quite inaccurate, his astronomical instincts were correct for another part of the solar system. Based on perturbations in the orbit of Neptune, Lowell predicted in 1905 the existence of a planet-sized, trans-Neptunian object. In 1930, the U.S. astronomer Clyde Tombaugh (1906-97), working at the Lowell Observatory, discovered Lowell's Planet X and called the tiny planet Pluto. The story of distant Pluto came full circle in August 2006 when members of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) (meeting in Prague, the Czech Republic) voted to demote Pluto from its traditional status as one of the nine major planets and placed the celestial object into a new class called a dwarf planet.

Surface Appearance and Conditions on Neptune

Neptune has a visual magnitude of only 7.8, and so cannot be seen with the naked eye.The magnitude scale has no dimensions, but allows comparison of brightness between celestial objects.The lower the magnitude number, the brighter the object.The brightest star is Sirius, with a magnitude of 1.4.The full Moon has magnitude 12.7 and the Sun 26.7. The faintest stars visible under dark skies are around +6. During its close opposition, Mars rose to an apparent magnitude of 2.9. Neptune is therefore far dimmer than the faintest visible stars. Neptune's surface reflects almost a third of the sunlight that strikes it, so only about two-thirds of the paltry light that reaches distant Neptune is available to heat the planet. In the absence of internal heat, relying solely on heat from the Sun, Neptune's temperature at a pressure of one bar would be 375 F ( 226 C). Because Neptune has an internal heat source, its mean

Terraforming the Planets

Our motivations for planetary re-engineering must be clear. This is not a solution to the overpopulation problem. Several hundred thousand people are born every day on Earth. There is certainly no prospect in the immediate future of transshipping hundreds of thousands of people to other planets each day. In its entire history mankind has managed to launch one dozen people to another celestial body. Nor are we likely to see in the immediate future a thriving mining industry in which ores are extracted from another planet and transshipped to Earth The freightage would be prohibitive.

Arno Penzias Encountering cosmology

In the pointing project, I made use of the fact that Bell Labs experimental satellite receiving systems were designed to function as radiometers as well as receivers - so as to provide a convenient means of measuring each system's sensitivity (normally expressed in units of equivalent noise temperature), as well as a way of monitoring atmospheric attenuation. As a result of this work, most early commercial satellite receiving systems were also configured to operate in a radiometric mode. In that way, operators could use celestial radio sources as reference objects for antenna pointing as well as measuring overall sensitivity. This practical work allowed me to stay connected to the work going on around me, even though the majority of my time continued to be spent on radio astronomy.

The New Space Race Chiral Molecules on Comets and on Mars

Comets are fascinating celestial objects. But they are much more than that. It is probable that comets, to a large extent, consist of pristine interstellar material (Greenberg 1982 Irvine et al. 2000).1 This material could have been delivered to the early Earth by comet dust, as well as asteroids, and interplanetary dust particles, during the epoch of heavy bombardment (Oro 1961 Chyba and Sagan 1992). Comets were thus discussed to hold the key of the origin of life on Earth and they may have played a crucial role in the origin of biomolecular asymmetry. It is therefore of importance to understand the chemical composition of comets and particularly the stereochemistry of cometary organic ingredients more in detail. The determination of enantiomeric ratios in the matter of such extraterrestrial bodies in situ is long overdue (Thiemann 1975 Brack and Spach 1986). The cometary sampling and composition experiment (COSAC) is part of the payload of the Lander Philae in ESA's cometary mission...

Astro Four Powerful Eyes On The Universe

By 1982, however, control had passed to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the missions were renamed 'ASTRO'. Two years later, the first flight of the series was tentatively scheduled for the spring of 1986 - exactly the same time that Halley's Comet would visit the inner Solar System - and a special Wide Field Camera was added to permit detailed observations of the celestial wanderer. By the end of January 1986, ASTRO-1 had completed its final checkout and was ready for installation into Columbia's payload bay, when Challenger was lost. It was hoped that ASTRO-1's sensitive ultraviolet instruments, coupled with BBXRT's capabilities, would be able to 'see' hot, swirling material being dragged into a black hole's clutches. Other studies would focus on existing stars 'binary' systems, in which two stars reside close to one another and sometimes exchange material, and stellar clusters, in which anything up to a million stars reside. In 'visible' light, it is difficult to distinguish...

Outcome of Resonant Encounters

The main application of the second fundamental model of resonance is the study of resonant encounters that may occur in the course of the orbital evolution of two celestial bodies. As seen above, orbital evolution takes place in the case of migrating planets in the protoplanetary disk. The outcome of a resonant encounter can either be resonant capture or passing through a resonance without capture.

Lingulella almost identical to its modern relatives

Many of the problems that we meet in evolutionary argumentation arise only because animals are inconsiderate enough to evolve at different rates, and might even be inconsiderate enough not to evolve at all. If there were a law of nature dictating that quantity of evolutionary change must always be obligingly proportional to elapsed time, degree of resemblance would faithfully reflect closeness of cousinship. In the real world, however, we have to contend with evolutionary sprinters like birds, who leave their reptile origins standing in the Mesozoic dust - helped, in our perception of their uniqueness, by the happenstance that their neighbours in the evolutionary tree were all killed by a celestial catastrophe. At the other extreme, we have to contend with 'living fossils' like Lingula which, in extreme cases, have changed so little that they might almost interbreed with their remote ancestors, if only a matchmaking time-machine could procure them a date.

Surveyor oflnferno

According to Dante, these funnel-shaped circles were created when Lucifer was thrown out of the upper reaches of Heaven, hit the Earth with great force - quite literally as a fallen angel - and then bored into the soil right to the centre of the sphere.

Infrared Astronomy

Infrared (IR) astronomy is the branch of modern astronomy that studies and analyzes infrared (IR) radiation from celestial objects. Most celestial objects emit some quantity of infrared radiation. However, when a star is not quite hot enough to shine in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, it emits the bulk of its energy in the infrared. IR astronomy, consequently, involves the study of relatively cool celestial objects, such as interstellar clouds of dust and gas (typically about -280 F 100 kelvins ) and stars with surface temperatures below temperatures below about 10,340 F (6,000 kelvins). Unfortunately, water and carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere absorb most of the interesting IR radiation arriving from celestial objects. Earth-based astronomers can use only a few narrow IR spectral bands or windows in observing the universe, and even these IR windows are distorted by sky noise (undesirable IR radiation from atmospheric molecules). With the arrival of the space...

Positional Astronomy

A well-defined co-ordinate system is an essential requirement if individual objects are to be identified in a unique manner. In astronomy, objects are observed on the celestial sphere with positions defined in spherical co-ordinate systems, measured in angular units (degrees, radians). These are directly analogous to the system of longitude and latitude used to determine positions on the surface of the Earth indeed, the primary celestial system is a direct projection of the geographic system. There are four main celestial systems, each defined with reference to a fundamental reference plane which passes through the centre of the sphere (the observer). The circle defined by where this plane intersects the celestial sphere (AFBC in Figure 1.2) is a great circle defining the diameter of the sphere as r 1 unit, the length of this circle is 2-k, the maximum possible. Any circle defined by a plane which does not pass through the centre of the sphere (such as DSE, parallel to ABC, in Figure...

Motions Of The Moon

The study of the Moon's motions has been central to the growth of knowledge not only about the Moon itself but also about fundamentals of celestial mechanics and physics. As the stars appear to move westward because of Earth's daily rotation and its annual motion about the Sun, so the Moon slowly moves eastward, rising later each day and passing through its phases new, first quarter, full, last quarter, and new again each month. The long-running Chinese, Chaldean, and Mayan calendars were attempts to reconcile these repetitive but incommensurate movements. From the time of the Babylonian astrologers and the Greek astronomers up to the present, investigators looked for small departures from the motions predicted. The English physicist Isaac Newton used lunar observations in developing his theory of gravitation in the late 17th century, and he was able to show some effects of solar gravity in perturbing the Moon's motion. By the 18th and 19th centuries the mathematical study of lunar...

Transit Planetary

A planetary transit involves the passage of one celestial body in front of another, much larger-diameter celestial body. In solar system astronomy, one very important example is the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun, as seen by observers on Earth. Because of orbital mechanics, observers on Earth can witness only planetary transits of Mercury and Venus. There are about 13 transits of Mercury every century (100 years), but transits of Venus are much rarer events in fact, only seven such events have occurred since the invention of the astronomical telescope. These transits took place in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, and most recently on June 8, 2004. Any person who missed observing the 2004 transit should mark his (her) astronomical calendar because the next transit of Venus takes place on June 6, 2012. From celestial mechanics, transits of Venus are only possible early December and early June when Venus's nodes pass across the Sun. If Venus reaches inferior conjunction...

Deep Impact

ARE we cleverer than the dinosaurs One day, about 65 million years ago, a fireball streaked across the sky above what is now Central America, and impacted the ground in the region of the Yucatan peninsular. The object, traveling at huge speed, was an asteroid about 10 km (6 miles) across, and the enormous energy released by the impact produced global devastation and played havoc with Earth's climate. As a consequence of this meeting of the celestial with the terrestrial, many scientists believe that the 160-million-year reign of the dinosaurs was brought to an end. Could this happen again, with people this time being the victims of potential extinction

Info

The basic problem that has to be solved to determine migration rates for a proto-giant planet orbiting in a nebula disc is the fluid dynamical analogue to the restricted three-body problem of celestial mechanics. In the classical problem of celestial mechanics the motion of a test particle is considered in the combined gravitational field of the Sun and a planet. For a proto-giant planet two modifications have to be made

Hydrogen leaks

Built by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center - from where the telescope was operated - the BBXRT observed high-energy celestial targets, including active galaxies, quasars and supernova remnants particularly that of Supernova 1987A. Prior to each observation 'run', it was intended that stored commands would be loaded into the telescope's computer and when the crew manoeuvred Columbia to face a celestial target, TAPS automatically aligned the BBXRT with that target.

Box Star names

The trouble with the Greek alphabet is that it only has 24 letters, yet there are far more stars in each constellation than this that are visible to the unaided eye, and hugely more that are visible through even a small telescope. There were several attempts to extend the lettering system, but today we use only the Greek letters. To include more stars, numbering systems were introduced, and one still in widespread use was brought in by the British astronomer John Flamsteed (1646-1719). The final version of his catalog, containing nearly 3,000 stars, was published in 1725. Within each constellation, stars are numbered in the order of increasing celestial longitude (called right ascension), as these were in about 1700, and not according to brightness. Examples are 51 Pegasi (star 51 in Pegasus, the flying horse) and 47 Ursae Majoris (star 47 in Ursa Major, The Great Bear). Also common today is a numbering system published in 1914-1918 by the US astronomer Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941)...

The Ideas

Scientific perceptions of advanced extraterrestrial life are based upon a trio of ideas that first appeared in the religious and philosophical thought of antiquity and the Middle Ages. The first idea is that the universe is very large, if not infinite in extent. The second, that we are not alone in the universe, there are other inhabited worlds somewhere in the vastness of space. The third, that there is an essential difference between the superior beings of the celestial world and the inferior ones who live on Earth.

Early Observations

The celestial path of Venus over a period from January to July. The motion is from right to left and moves from south to north of the celestial equator. Fig. 1.2. The celestial path of Venus over a period from January to July. The motion is from right to left and moves from south to north of the celestial equator. The earliest star chart yet known, but which unfortunately hasn't survived, is that of Hipparchus (c 127 BC). The earliest catalogue that has survived is the Almagest (c 137 AD) of Ptolemy with 1028 entries, including the five wandering stars. He attempted an explanation of the heavens as he saw them and offered a model of the observed motions of the Sun, Moon and planets which survived more than 1000 years. He made four assertions. The first is that the Earth is at rest (this seemed very obvious and was hardly an assertion to him). The second was that the Earth is at the centre of the firmament, as indeed it appears to be. The third that the Moon orbits the Earth...

Astro Comes Alive

By midday on the 4th, when observations resumed, Flight Director Al Pennington described the outlook as brighter, although two dozen celestial targets scheduled for that day had been lost. ''What we have to do,'' said Mission Scientist Ted Gull, ''is make sure we reallocate what is left to the higher-priority objects that have been lost.'' By the day's end, the pace had picked up - with ASTRO-1 scrutinising the bright galaxy NGC 4151, thought to contain a massive black hole at its centre, and As the telescopes found their feet, efforts were underway to obtain full capabilities from the IPS's Optical Sensor Package (OSP), whose star trackers provided one means of locking onto celestial objects. Thanks to support from Houston and Huntsville, successive refinements were made to its pointing geometry. These proved successful on 4 December, when Durrance accomplished the first operational identification of a desired celestial target a white dwarf star. ''Intensive efforts continue in...

Third Body Forces

Third-body force perturbations are caused by the gravitational influence of a third body in addition to the spacecraft and the Earth. The Earth is not isolated in the universe there are other celestial bodies out there, the gravitational fields of which can have a significant effect on the motion of an Earth-orbiting spacecraft. The Sun and the Moon have the greatest perturbing effect. If we think about these bodies, and look at Figure 3.7, then the total gravity force governing the motion of the spacecraft becomes a The effects of third-body forces on low-altitude circular orbits are small. In this case, the Earth's gravity field dominates the contributions from other celestial bodies due to the spacecraft's closeness to the Earth. However, if the spacecraft's orbit takes it to a significant distance from the Earth, for example, in geostationary Earth orbit or at the apogee of a highly eccentric orbit, then the gravitational influence of third bodies is more important. The Earth's...

Success from failure

The result of these pointings was a total of 231 observations of some 130 different celestial targets, with ASTRO-1 operating for 143 hours and accomplishing some 70 of the mission's original objectives. Despite its own pointing problems, the BBXRT also returned an enormous amount of valuable data one of its most important targets was Markarian 335, a bright, compact object 325 million light years from Earth and considered a possible contender for having a black hole at its core. The telescope allowed astronomers to 'see' for the first time X-ray emissions from material being sucked into the hole.

Origin And Evolution

Lunar origin theories can be divided into three main categories coaccretion, fission, and capture. Coaccretion suggests that the Moon and Earth were formed together from a primordial cloud of gas and dust. This scenario, however, cannot explain the large angular momentum of the present system. In fission theories a fluid proto-Earth began rotating so rapidly that it flung off a mass of material that formed the Moon. Although persuasive, the theory eventually failed when examined in detail scientists could not find a combination of properties for a spinning proto-Earth that would eject the right kind of proto-Moon. According to capture theories, the Moon formed elsewhere in the solar system and was later trapped by the strong gravitational field of Earth. This scenario remained popular for a long time, even though the circumstances needed in celestial mechanics to brake a passing Moon into just the right orbit always seemed unlikely.

Back In The Ussr

We have no doubt whatsoever that life and civilizations exist on a multitude of celestial bodies, but . . . modern technological civilization (on Earth) has its origin no more than two hundred years in the past. And yet, the ages of planets may differ by as much as millions of years. Hence it seems that Earth civilization is not yet past the diapers age, and that there should be enormous disparity with extraterrestrial civilizations.

Genesis Of Chandra

Additionally, the observatory would spend 85 of its time above the radiation belts, allowing it a large, uninterrupted portion of each orbit for celestial observations, and avoiding interference from energetic particles that could otherwise overwhelm its sensitive instruments. ''Once it's up there and working, there's reason to be hopeful that it will work for 10 to 15 years anyway in that orbit,'' said Tananbaum, '' but we've got to get it right the first time.''

Astronomical Targets

As gas and dust is accelerated, for example, it collides with increased energy levels and emits X-rays before vanishing. By examining such emissions in unprecedented detail, Weisskopf explained, astrophysicists hoped ''to really nail down black hole signatures''. Additionally, supernova explosions thought to lead to black holes came under Chandra's X-ray gaze in fact, one of its first celestial targets was the remnant of a massive star in the Large Magellanic Cloud that was seen to explode in 1989.

An Astronomical Icon

In June 1990, six weeks after it was placed into orbit, scientists realised with horror that the telescope's primary mirror had been polished to the wrong specification and was suffering from a complaint called 'spherical aberration'. In effect, its 2.4-m-diameter mirror had been ground too flat by only the tiniest of measures - a fiftieth the thickness of a single human hair - but more than enough to have a detrimental impact on Hubble's observations, blurring all of its images of stars, galaxies and other celestial objects and rendering it the butt of jokes rather than an icon to be revered. Three years later, in February 1997, another Shuttle crew removed two instruments and installed two new ones a Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) to investigate the chemical composition of various celestial sources and a Near-Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) to provide Hubble with the capability to conduct infrared imaging and spectroscopy. Unfortunately, the...

Saturns Atmosphere

Secchi, the Italian pioneer of astronomical spectroscopy, spotted dark bands towards the red end of the spectra of Jupiter and Saturn, and concluded that their atmospheres were ''not yet cleansed'' of primordial gases as the Earth's had evidently been in its early history. Several years later, in London, William Huggins, who compared the realisation that a spectrum could reveal the chemical composition of a celestial object to ''coming upon a spring of water in a dry and dirty land'', mounted a spectroscope on an 8-inch refractor and independently discovered the lines towards the red end of Saturn's spectrum.

Piazzis planet

In 1787 von Zach took a solo search for the planet, but without success. 'It cannot be a matter for one or two astronomers to scrutinise the entire Zodiac', he wrote in Monatliche Correspondenz (Monthly Correspondence), the world's first astronomical journal, which he founded. The hunt for the missing planet began in earnest when, in 1800, von Zach organised a group of 24 astronomers who called themselves the 'celestial police'. They divided the entire Zodiac into 24 zones. The zones were then allocated to the members by lot. Each member was to be responsible for drawing up a star chart for his zone.

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