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Moon-Jupiter Occultation by Andrei Juravle on Flickr.

Via Flickr: On July 15 2012 with Canon 550D on Newton 200/1200 mounted on NEQ6Pro

Moon-Jupiter Occultation by Andrei Juravle on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
On July 15 2012 with Canon 550D on Newton 200/1200 mounted on NEQ6Pro

— 1 year ago with 4 notes
#astronomy  #astrophotography  #moon  #jupiter  #occultation 
paintedoranges:

The Moon, Jupiter & Venus tonight in Dayton, Ohio

paintedoranges:

The Moon, Jupiter & Venus tonight in Dayton, Ohio

(Source: undisclosedstarlight)

— 2 years ago with 16 notes
#astronomy  #beautiful  #outer space  #jupiter  #moon  #venus 
Kepler Mission Discovers “Tatooine-like” Planet

by Ray Sanders, Universe Today

In a news conference today, Kepler mission scientists announced the  first confirmed circumbinary planet ( a planet that orbits a binary star  system). The planet in question, designated Kepler-16b has been  compared to the planet Tatooine from the Star Wars saga.
Would it be possible for someone like Luke Skywalker to stand on the  surface of Kepler-16b and see the famous “binary sunset” as depicted in Star Wars?  Despite the initial comparison between Kepler-16b and Tatooine, the  planets really only have their orbit around a binary star system in  common. Kepler-16b is estimated to weigh about a third the mass of  Jupiter, with a radius of around three-quarters that of Jupiter.
Given the mass and radius estimates, this makes Kepler-16b closer to  Saturn than the rocky, desert-like world of Tatooine. Kepler-16b’s orbit  around its two parent stars takes about 229 days, which is similar to  Venus’ 225-day orbit. At a distance of about 65 million miles from its  parent stars, which are both cooler than our sun, temperatures on  Kepler-16b are estimated in the range of around -100 C.
The team did mention that Kepler-16b is just outside of the habitable  zone of the Kepler-16 system. Despite being just outside the habitable  zone, the team did mention that it could be possible for Kepler-16b to  have a habitable moon, if said moon had a thick, greenhouse gas  atmosphere.
During the press conference John Knoll, visual effects supervisor at  ILM, mentioned: “When I was a kid, I didn’t think it was going to be  possible to make discoveries like this.” Knoll also added, “The science  is stranger and cooler than fiction!”
The Kepler mission detects exoplanet candidates by using the transit  method which detects the dimming of the light emitted from a star as a  planet crosses in front of it. In the case of Kepler-16b, the detection  was complicated by the two stars in the system eclipsing each other.
The system’s brightness showed variations even when the stars were  not eclipsing each other, which hinted at a third body. What further  complicated matters was that the variations in brightness appeared at  irregular time intervals. The irregular time intervals hinted that the  stars were in different positions in their orbit each time the third  body passed. After studying the data, the team came to the conclusion  that the third body was orbiting, not just one, but both stars.
“Much of what we know about the sizes of stars comes from such  eclipsing binary systems, and most of what we know about the size of  planets comes from transits,” added Kepler scientist Laurance Doyle of  the SETI Institute. “Kepler-16 combines the best of both worlds, with  stellar eclipses and planetary transits in one system.” Doyle’s findings  will be published in the Sept. 15th issue of the journal Science.
The Kepler mission is NASA’s first mission capable of finding  Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone – the region around a  star where liquid water can exist on the surface of an orbiting planet. A  considerable number of planets and planet candidates have been detected  by the mission so far. If you’d like to learn more about the Kepler  mission, visit: http://kepler.nasa.gov/
You can also read more about the Kepler-16b discovery at: http://kepler.nasa.gov/Mission/discoveries/kepler16b/
Source: NASA news conference / NASA TV
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt. Artist’s rendering of Kepler-16b.

Kepler Mission Discovers “Tatooine-like” Planet

by Ray Sanders, Universe Today

In a news conference today, Kepler mission scientists announced the first confirmed circumbinary planet ( a planet that orbits a binary star system). The planet in question, designated Kepler-16b has been compared to the planet Tatooine from the Star Wars saga.

Would it be possible for someone like Luke Skywalker to stand on the surface of Kepler-16b and see the famous “binary sunset” as depicted in Star Wars?
 
Despite the initial comparison between Kepler-16b and Tatooine, the planets really only have their orbit around a binary star system in common. Kepler-16b is estimated to weigh about a third the mass of Jupiter, with a radius of around three-quarters that of Jupiter.

Given the mass and radius estimates, this makes Kepler-16b closer to Saturn than the rocky, desert-like world of Tatooine. Kepler-16b’s orbit around its two parent stars takes about 229 days, which is similar to Venus’ 225-day orbit. At a distance of about 65 million miles from its parent stars, which are both cooler than our sun, temperatures on Kepler-16b are estimated in the range of around -100 C.

The team did mention that Kepler-16b is just outside of the habitable zone of the Kepler-16 system. Despite being just outside the habitable zone, the team did mention that it could be possible for Kepler-16b to have a habitable moon, if said moon had a thick, greenhouse gas atmosphere.

During the press conference John Knoll, visual effects supervisor at ILM, mentioned: “When I was a kid, I didn’t think it was going to be possible to make discoveries like this.” Knoll also added, “The science is stranger and cooler than fiction!”

The Kepler mission detects exoplanet candidates by using the transit method which detects the dimming of the light emitted from a star as a planet crosses in front of it. In the case of Kepler-16b, the detection was complicated by the two stars in the system eclipsing each other.

The system’s brightness showed variations even when the stars were not eclipsing each other, which hinted at a third body. What further complicated matters was that the variations in brightness appeared at irregular time intervals. The irregular time intervals hinted that the stars were in different positions in their orbit each time the third body passed. After studying the data, the team came to the conclusion that the third body was orbiting, not just one, but both stars.

“Much of what we know about the sizes of stars comes from such eclipsing binary systems, and most of what we know about the size of planets comes from transits,” added Kepler scientist Laurance Doyle of the SETI Institute. “Kepler-16 combines the best of both worlds, with stellar eclipses and planetary transits in one system.” Doyle’s findings will be published in the Sept. 15th issue of the journal Science.

The Kepler mission is NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone – the region around a star where liquid water can exist on the surface of an orbiting planet. A considerable number of planets and planet candidates have been detected by the mission so far. If you’d like to learn more about the Kepler mission, visit: http://kepler.nasa.gov/

You can also read more about the Kepler-16b discovery at: http://kepler.nasa.gov/Mission/discoveries/kepler16b/

Source: NASA news conference / NASA TV

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt. Artist’s rendering of Kepler-16b.

— 2 years ago with 5 notes
#NASA  #National Aeronautics and Space Administration  #Kepler  #Kepler Mission  #Tatooine  #Planet  #Space  #Astronomy  #Science  #Space Science  #Planet Finder  #Circumbinary  #Circumbinary Planet  #Binary Star  #Binary Star System  #Kepler-16b  #Star Wars  #Luke Skywalker  #Binary Sunset  #Jupiter  #Jupiter's Mass  #Saturn  #Venus  #Habitable Zone  #Kepler-16  #Kepler-16 System  #Exoplanet  #Exoplanetary Science  #Planetary Science  #ILM 
TrES-2b: Dark Planet 

Illustration Credit:  David A. Aguilar (CfA), TrES, Kepler, NASA
Why is this planet so dark?  Planet TrES-2b reflects back less than one percent of the light it receives, making it darker than any known planet or moon, darker even than coal.  Jupiter-sized TrES-2b orbits extremely close to a sun-like star 750 light years away, and was discovered producing slight eclipses in 2006 using the modest 10-cm telescopes of the Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES).  The alien world’s strange darkness, however, was only uncovered recently by observations indicating its slight reflective glow by the Sun-orbiting Kepler satellite.  An artist’s drawing of planet is shown above, complete with unsubstantiated speculation on possible moons.    Reasons for TrES-2b's darkness remain unknown and are an active topic of research.

TrES-2b: Dark Planet

Illustration Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA), TrES, Kepler, NASA

Why is this planet so dark? Planet TrES-2b reflects back less than one percent of the light it receives, making it darker than any known planet or moon, darker even than coal. Jupiter-sized TrES-2b orbits extremely close to a sun-like star 750 light years away, and was discovered producing slight eclipses in 2006 using the modest 10-cm telescopes of the Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES). The alien world’s strange darkness, however, was only uncovered recently by observations indicating its slight reflective glow by the Sun-orbiting Kepler satellite. An artist’s drawing of planet is shown above, complete with unsubstantiated speculation on possible moons. Reasons for TrES-2b's darkness remain unknown and are an active topic of research.

— 2 years ago with 7 notes
#APOD  #Astronomy  #Astronomy Picture of the Day  #Picture of the Day  #Image of the Day  #TrES-2b  #Dark Planet  #Planetary Science  #Space  #Space Science  #TrES  #Kepler  #NASA  #National Aeronautics and Space Administration  #Jupiter  #Jupiter-sized Planet  #Sun-like Star  #Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey  #Exoplanet Survey  #Exoplanet  #Alien World  #New Discoveries  #New Discovery  #Discovery 

Juno Rockets Toward Jupiter

Video Credit: NASA

Next stop: Jupiter. Last week included one of the few times in history that humanity launched something completely off the Earth, moving away so fast that it will never return. Well, almost — Juno's planned trajectory actually brings it homeward bound in about two years, zipping by, this time using the Earth’s gravity to pull it to an even higher speed, high enough to reach Jupiter. The above video depicts the launch of Juno aboard a Atlas V rocket. When the robotic Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter in 2016, it will spend just over a year circling the Solar System’s largest planet, using its unique cadre of instruments to probe the planet, sending back clues of its structure and origin. Then Juno will be instructed to dive into the thick atmosphere of the Jovian giant, taking as much data as it can before it melts.

— 2 years ago
#NASA  #National Aeronautics and Space Administration  #Space  #Astronomy  #Science  #Space Science  #Planetary Science  #Juno  #Jupiter  #Spacecraft  #Rocket Launch  #Launch  #Earth  #Video  #YouTube  #Atlas V  #Atlas V Rocket  #Juno Spacecraft  #2016  #Solar System  #Jovian Giant  #Jupiter Atmosphere  #APOD  #Astronomy Picture of the Day  #Picture of the Day  #Image of the Day 
Dawn’s Grand Finale

Image Credit & Copyright:  Luis Argerich 
After more than a month, the lovely lineup of four naked-eye planets in dawn skies is coming to a close.  Still, on May 31st a slender Moon joined the grouping along the eastern horizon for a final celestial performance, presented in this early morning scene from a beach near Buenos Aires, Argentina.  A favorable view of the configuration in the southern hemisphere autumn, the photo was taken about 30 minutes before sunrise.  In order from bottom to top, wandering Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are stretched along the ecliptic plane.  The Moon’s sunlit crescent is sinking into the colorful twilight glow just left of Mercury.  In dawns to come, Mars and Jupiter will continue to rise while Venus and Mercury sink toward the horizon, drawing closer to the rising Sun.

Dawn’s Grand Finale

Image Credit & Copyright: Luis Argerich

After more than a month, the lovely lineup of four naked-eye planets in dawn skies is coming to a close. Still, on May 31st a slender Moon joined the grouping along the eastern horizon for a final celestial performance, presented in this early morning scene from a beach near Buenos Aires, Argentina. A favorable view of the configuration in the southern hemisphere autumn, the photo was taken about 30 minutes before sunrise. In order from bottom to top, wandering Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are stretched along the ecliptic plane. The Moon’s sunlit crescent is sinking into the colorful twilight glow just left of Mercury. In dawns to come, Mars and Jupiter will continue to rise while Venus and Mercury sink toward the horizon, drawing closer to the rising Sun.

— 2 years ago with 10 notes
#APOD  #Astronomy Picture of the Day  #Astronomy  #Photography  #Photograph  #Picture  #Photographer  #Luis Argerich  #Planets Alignment  #Planets  #Alignment  #Moon  #Mercury  #Venus  #Mars  #Jupiter  #Sunrise  #Buenos Aires  #Argentina  #Southern Hemisphere  #Ecliptic Plane  #Ecliptic  #Moonrise  #Twilight  #Twilight Glow  #Dawn 
Planets, Endeavour at Dawn.

Image Credit & Copyright:   Daniel Herron (Atlanta Astronomy Club)
When dawn broke over Kennedy Space Center on Monday, May 16, the space shuttle orbiter Endeavour still stood on pad 39A.  Its final launch, on mission STS-134 to the International Space Station, was only hours away.  Shining through the early morning twilight four planets were also poised above the eastern horizon, a moving scene captured here from across the Banana River at the center’s Saturn V VIP viewing site.  Scattered by planet Earth’s dense atmosphere, floodlight beams play over the launch pad, glancing skyward toward the celestial beacons.  Jupiter is highest, near the top of the frame, but even the solar sytem’s ruling gas giant is outshone by brilliant Venus near picture center.  Innermost planet Mercury is below Venus, to the right.  Below and left, Mars almost fades into the twilight glow.  The four planets continue to hug the eastern horizon at dawn throughout the month, while Endeavour is now scheduled to make its final approach to planet Earth on June 1.

Planets, Endeavour at Dawn.

Image Credit & Copyright: Daniel Herron (Atlanta Astronomy Club)

When dawn broke over Kennedy Space Center on Monday, May 16, the space shuttle orbiter Endeavour still stood on pad 39A. Its final launch, on mission STS-134 to the International Space Station, was only hours away. Shining through the early morning twilight four planets were also poised above the eastern horizon, a moving scene captured here from across the Banana River at the center’s Saturn V VIP viewing site. Scattered by planet Earth’s dense atmosphere, floodlight beams play over the launch pad, glancing skyward toward the celestial beacons. Jupiter is highest, near the top of the frame, but even the solar sytem’s ruling gas giant is outshone by brilliant Venus near picture center. Innermost planet Mercury is below Venus, to the right. Below and left, Mars almost fades into the twilight glow. The four planets continue to hug the eastern horizon at dawn throughout the month, while Endeavour is now scheduled to make its final approach to planet Earth on June 1.

— 2 years ago with 2 notes
#APOD  #Astronomy  #Picture of the Day  #Science  #Endeavour  #STS-134  #Planets Alignment  #Jupiter  #Venus  #Mercury  #Mars  #Space Shuttle 
Io: The Prometheus Plume

Credit:  Galileo Project, JPL, NASA
What’s happening on Jupiter’s moon Io?  Two sulfurous eruptions are visible on Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io in this color composite image from the robotic Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003.  At the image top, over Io's limb, a bluish plume rises about 140 kilometers above the surface of a volcanic caldera known as Pillan Patera.  In the image middle, near the night/day shadow line, the ring shaped Prometheus plume is seen rising about 75 kilometers above Io while casting a shadow below the volcanic vent.  Named for the Greek god who gave mortals fire, the Prometheus plume is visible in every image ever made of the region dating back to the Voyager flybys of 1979 - presenting the possibility that this plume has been continuously active for at least 18 years.  The above digitally sharpened image of Io was originally recorded in 1997 from a distance of about 600,000 kilometers.  Recent analyses of Galileo data has  uncovered evidence of a magma ocean  beneath Io's surface.

Io: The Prometheus Plume

Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA

What’s happening on Jupiter’s moon Io? Two sulfurous eruptions are visible on Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io in this color composite image from the robotic Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003. At the image top, over Io's limb, a bluish plume rises about 140 kilometers above the surface of a volcanic caldera known as Pillan Patera. In the image middle, near the night/day shadow line, the ring shaped Prometheus plume is seen rising about 75 kilometers above Io while casting a shadow below the volcanic vent. Named for the Greek god who gave mortals fire, the Prometheus plume is visible in every image ever made of the region dating back to the Voyager flybys of 1979 - presenting the possibility that this plume has been continuously active for at least 18 years. The above digitally sharpened image of Io was originally recorded in 1997 from a distance of about 600,000 kilometers. Recent analyses of Galileo data has uncovered evidence of a magma ocean beneath Io's surface.

— 2 years ago with 2 notes
#APOD  #Astronomy  #Picture of the Day  #Astrophotography  #Io  #Jupiter  #Moon