Night Sky Calendar - Northern Hemisphere
November 2009
Celestial Object

02 - Full Moon at 19:14 UT
05 - Taurid (south) meteor shower peaks. Active between 25 Sept and 25 Nov.
000 Associated with Comet 2P/Encke.
09 - Moon near Mars (morning sky) at 14h UT. Mag. +0.3.
12 - Taurid (north) meteor shower peaks. May produce the occasional bright fireball.
17 - Leonid meteor shower peaks at 9h UT. Arises from debris ejected by
000 Comet Tempel-Tuttle in 1533. Expect about 25 to 30 meteors per hour under
000 dark skies. Predictions of enhanced activity between 21-22h UT on 17 Nov
000 (favours sky watchers in Asia).
21 - Alpha Monocerotid meteor shower peaks at 15:25 UT. A usually minor
000 shower active 15-25 Nov. Radiant is near Procyon. Predictions of enhanced
000 activity this year. Timing favours Far East Asia, Australia and across the
000 Pacific to Alaska.
00 0 0 0 0 0// Get the complete calendar version at skymaps.com
7 -

The photo was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and shows a detail of the nebula. This close-up shows a dense cloud of dust and gas, a stellar nursery full of embryonic stars. This cloud is about 8 light-years away from the nebula's central star, not shown in this picture. Located in Sagitarius, the nebula's name means "divided into three lobes".


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

 New Kuiper Belt Object with Strange Orbit Discovered 

New object in the furthest reach of solar system known as Kuiper Belt region has been discovered. The object, nick named "Buffy" is located 58 AU or almost twice as far from the Sun as Neptune. Based on the brightness of the object it has diameter between 500 and 1000 km (300 to 600 miles). The object, which received the official designation 2004 XR 190 in the International Astronomical Union's official announcement, was discovered during routine operation of the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS) running as part of the Legacy Survey on the Canada France Hawaii Telescope.

Measurement of Buffy's new position proved that the orbit was not only extremely tilted, inclined (tilted) at 47 degrees to the plane of the planetary system (essentially tying the record for a Kuiper belt object) but confirmed that Buffy was unlike any other previously-known object because it was on a nearly circular orbit while at a very large distance.

Why is Buffy's orbit considered so unusual? Only one other detected object, Sedna, remains further than 50 astronomical units (AUs) from the Sun throughout its entire orbit. However, Sedna is on a very elliptical orbit, swooping in to 76 AU before traveling back out beyond 900 AU. In contrast, Buffy spends all of its time in the narrow range between 52 and 62 AU from the Sun. Combined with the tilt in its orbit, this new object challenges current theories about the history of the early Solar System.

Posted @ 8:04 PM by kinzi


Thursday, December 01, 2005

 A Protoplanetary System Found on a Brown Dwarf 

A team of scientists using ground based-telescope and orbitting space telescopes have made a discovery of a brown dwarf or a failed star in the process of forming planetary system. The brown dwarf, called Cha 110913-773444, lies 500 light years away in the constellation Chamaeleon and has 10 times the mass of Jupiter or less than one-hundredth the mass of the Sun. The discovered object was the smallest star known to have protoplanetary disk that one day would form rocky and gaseous planets, which constitute a mini solar system.

Brown dwarfs are born like stars, condensing out of thick clouds of gas and dust. But unlike stars, brown dwarfs do not have enough mass -- and therefore do not have enough pressure and temperature in their cores -- to sustain nuclear fusion. They remain relatively cool objects visible in lower-energy wavelengths such as infrared. A protoplanetary disk is a flat disk made up of dust and gas that is thought to clump together to form planets. Our solar system was formed from such a disk about five billion years ago. NASA's Spitzer telescope has found dozens of disk-sporting brown dwarfs so far, several of which show the initial stages of the planet-building process. The material in these disks is beginning to stick together into what may be the "seeds" of planets.

Posted @ 10:26 PM by kinzi



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    ryan kinzi
    Nightsky calendar (a brief version) by Skymaps & NASA's Space Calendar | Image of FCO - credit: NASA. Design & page layout © kinzi - 2009 | Contact me? xeno@(no-spam)cougars.com


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    The Oort cloud, is a postulated spherical cloud of comets situated about 50,000 to 100,000 AU from the Sun. This is approximately 1000 times the distance from the Sun to Pluto or roughly one light year, almost a quarter of the distance from the Sun to Proxima Centauri, the star nearest the Sun. The Oort cloud would have its inner disk at the ecliptic from the Kuiper belt. Although no direct observations have been made of such a cloud, it is believed to be the source of most or all comets entering the inner solar system (some short-period comets may come from the Kuiper belt), based on observations of the orbits of comets.
    Source: Wikipedia

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