Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Recap: Jun 9th

Another week of interesting discussion, here is a list of the talking points:

A study on retrograde blackholes show that these backwards spinning blackholes seem to have much more energetic jets.

Another Jupiter impact! Comes almost exactly one year since the last impact of Jupiter, both observed by the same amateur astronomer.

The NASA rover Spirit has found very high concentrations of carbonates in its area, indicating a very wet and relatively neutral environment.

A recent story about life on Titan has been more thoroughly explained, read it all here. But let's be clear, there is NO life on Titan.

More on titan, the largest methan/ethane lake is roughly 4 times the size of lake superior.

An old russian lunar rover has been found again, will spark new laser/orbit research.

SpaceX had a successful launch of its Falcon9 into orbit of approx the height of the ISS! good news for private space industry.

A mars crew is embarking on a grounded 520-day mock-mission to mars. Check it out

see you all next week!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 2 Recap

Another succesful summer addition of the astronomy journal club. Jesse Rogerson hosted, here are a list of the various talking points.

First off, if you've ever been interested in seeing a full video of the inside of the ISS, check out this youtube video.

Marshall also provided video of one entire night time-lapse video of the sky above the volcano Cotopaxi, it's quite impressive.

During the years of the moon landings, President Nixon provided each of the 50 states with a commerative chunk of moon rock (approx the size of a golf ball) attached to a plaque. Unfortunately the governors of the states at the time seem to have found these trinkets unimportant as many of them have been lost. Just recently, Colorado both lost and found there little piece of moon history. Check out the story here.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has seen first light! Jupiter never looked so good in IR.

With NASA seemingly out of the race, other countries seem to be stepping up to aim for the moon. JAXA has a plan to have a moon base operational 2020...for robots.

A small chunk of space something went whizzing by Earth recently, although it seems to be manmade.

Herchel has released an image probing to z~5. This galaxy-studded image is impressive to say the least.

The blackhole at the centre of M87 seems to be slightly off-centre (to the tune of 0.1"). A number of reasons have been hypothesized for this difference, though we're not sure why.

Andromeda's black hole seems to be accreting as we speak, over the past 10 years adromeda has brightened over 100 times.

Gemini has observed one of the most massive galaxies in the local universe!

Ever wondered why the martian polar ice caps look the way they do? have no fear, katabatic winds are the reason!

Thanks for coming everyone, see you next week!