Sunday, July 3

Astronomy

When a White Dwarf Turned into a Thermonuclear Fireball – Sky & Telescope
Astronomy

When a White Dwarf Turned into a Thermonuclear Fireball – Sky & Telescope

In this artist's view, a white dwarf (left) robs gas from its companion star. The material spirals down to the dwarf's surface, where it's compressed and ultimately ignites in a thermonuclear blast. ESO / M. Kornmesser For the first time, astronomers have spotted the X-ray flash that was issued as the entire surface of a distant stellar remnant ignited in a colossal fireball. The observation, reported in the May 12th issue of Nature, adds the last missing piece to the puzzle of white dwarfs gone nova. A New Star On July 15, 2020, amateur astronomer Robert McNaught noticed a new star in the sky from his observatory in Australia. The nova, dubbed YZ Reticuli, ultimately brightened 1,500-fold to magnitude 3.7, making it clearly visible to the unaided e...
Astronomy

Jupiter and Venus will seem to nearly collide in rare celestial spectacle | Space

Jupiter and Venus, two of the solar system’s brightest planets, will appear to almost touch in a rare celestial spectacle this weekend.Although in reality they will be millions of miles apart, for stargazers on Earth they will appear to be close enough to almost collide in a planetary conjunction that occurs once a year.However, this year Jupiter and Venus will look much closer together than usual and should be visible with just a pair of binoculars or even the naked eye. If you miss it, you will have to wait another 17 years for a repeat performance.As well as the extraordinary planetary conjunction on display, Saturn and Mars will also appear to be in a straight line with Jupiter and Venus.GraphicGraphicBrad Tucker, an astrophysicist at the Australian National University, said the planet...
We can probably find supernovae enhanced by gravitational lensing, we just need to look
Astronomy

We can probably find supernovae enhanced by gravitational lensing, we just need to look

A supernova explosion of a massive star appears brighter to an observer on Earth if a black hole sits between the explosion and the observer. The black hole’s gravity distorts the path of light emitted by the supernova, acting as a lens that magnifies the light. Credit: APS/Carin Cain image Gravitational lensing provides an opportunity to see supernovae and other transients much farther than we normally can. A new research proposal outlines a plan to use a comprehensive catalog of strong gravitational lenses to capture these rare events at extreme distances. ...
TPoint modelling – Astronomy Now
Astronomy

TPoint modelling – Astronomy Now

Figure 1: When setting up a pointing model in TPoint, you can choose the number of stars used via the Fewer Targets/More Targets slider shown at the bottom of the menu. The lower altitude limit of the stars used can be set by clicking on the filled orange circle shown at centre-left and dragging it to increase or decrease the circle size. In this way, stars below a certain altitude are excluded. All images: Nik Szymanek. Back in the July 2018 issue of Astronomy Now, I reviewed The Sky X Professional software with an emphasis on deep-sky imaging. The Sky planetarium package has been available for many years, and each edition has incorporated many new and exciting features. For example, more recent versions introduced the ability to control imaging devices via a ‘Camera Add-on’, which could...
Astronomy

Eta Aquariids meteor shower 2022: how and when to watch it in Australia | Australia news

Star gazers across Australia are in for a treat in the early hours of Saturday with the Eta Aquariid – one of the best meteor showers in the southern hemisphere – due to optimal viewing conditions. Named after Eta Aquarii, the brightest star in the Aquarius constellation, the annual meteor show is famed for its connection to Halley’s comet.Each year, Earth passes through the debris left in the path of the comet’s orbit. As debris enters the Earth’s orbit it disintegrates, leaving fiery streaks in the night sky.“As Halley’s comet goes around the sun, bits of rock and ice fall off leaving a trail of debris around the solar system. As we go around the sun in our orbit, we cross paths with the trail, meaning we get this meteor shower in a regular occurrence around the same time each year,” Aus...