Sunday, November 27

Astronomy

How Massive Volcanism May Have Altered Venus’ Climate
Astronomy

How Massive Volcanism May Have Altered Venus’ Climate

An artist’s concept of active volcanos on Venus, depicting a subduction zone where the foreground crust plunges into the planet’s interior at the topographic trench. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Peter RubinVenus may have been transformed from a temperate and wet world to the acidic hothouse it is today with help from vast volcanic activity lasting hundreds to thousands of centuries and erupting massive amounts of material. This is according to a scientific paper authored by NASA researchers, which was published earlier this year in The Planetary Science Journal.These “large igneous provinces” in Earth’s history, which caused several mass extinctions on our own planet millions of years ago, are also discussed in the paper.“By understanding the record of large igneous provinces on Earth and Venu...
Are We in for a Leonid Outburst Friday Night?
Astronomy

Are We in for a Leonid Outburst Friday Night?

The November Leonid meteors may produce a surprise outburst this weekend. If forecasters are right, a notorious meteor shower may put on a surprise showing soon, right after its expected peak. The meteor shower in question is the November Leonids. Most years, the Leonids are really nothing to wake up early for, producing an average hourly rate of 10 meteors an hour, barely double the background sporadic rate. But every 33 years or so, the Leonids are the source of great storms of meteors, as the Earth plows headlong into the stream of debris laid down by comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle on its 33-year orbit around the Sun. The orbit of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. Credit: NASA/JPL. The Shower in 2022 Remove All Ads on Universe Today Join our Patreon for as little as $3! Get the ad-free experi...
Rare Books in Focus – Part One – Astronotes
Astronomy

Rare Books in Focus – Part One – Astronotes

Matthew McMahon – Museum Collections Officer Armagh Observatory and Planetarium holds 249 books that have been designated as part of a specific Rare and Antiquarian Book collection. There are many more books in the historic collection that are also very old, however these 249 manuscripts represent over four hundred years of astronomical knowledge from all over Europe. They form the cornerstone of our reference library, a much more substantial collection of thousands of texts. Today I will be pulling some of these books off the shelves to show you and point out some interesting little details.  The books range from the very earliest examples of printed texts to pioneering manuscripts that changed our understanding of science and the universe. Some are much more personal, having been compile...
Track down Messier 76, the superb Little Dumbbell planetary nebula – Astronomy Now
Astronomy

Track down Messier 76, the superb Little Dumbbell planetary nebula – Astronomy Now

Messier 76, the Little Dumbbell Nebula, is an impressive planetary nebula that can prove a bit of a challenge for small telescopes. Image: Peter Goodhew. One of only four planetary nebulae to be included in Charles Messier’s famous catalogue, fabulous Messier 76 (NGC 650/651) in Perseus rewards observers and imagers alike with its dramatic two-loop or -lobe appearance, which sufficiently resembles that of summer’s famous Dumbbell Nebula (Messier 27) in Vulpecula for it to go by the nickname the ‘Little Dumbbell’. While M76 is a fair bit fainter and smaller than M27, and has an unwelcome but well-deserved reputation as one of the toughest objects in Messier’s list to observe, a small telescope will identify it and telescopes in the 200–250mm (eight- to ten-inch) class can start to define a...
Astronomy

Huge ‘planet killer’ asteroid discovered – and it’s heading our way | Asteroids

Astronomers say they have discovered the largest planet killer-sized asteroid in eight years, and that the huge space rock will cross Earth’s orbit.The asteroid, named 2022 AP7, was reported by researchers looking for space rocks within the orbits of Earth and Venus.Writing in the Astronomical Journal, lead study author Scott Sheppard and colleagues at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington say they have found three “rather large” asteroids, one of which – 2022 AP7 – crosses the Earth’s orbit, making it a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA).With a diameter of about 1.1km to 2.3km, the team say 2022 AP7 is the largest PHA discovered since 2014 and probably in the top 5% of the largest ever found.“Any asteroid over 1km in size is considered a planet killer,” said Sheppard, addin...