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Watch Geminid Meteor Shower On 13th and 14th December

If you are a sky gazer then you won't like to miss a chance to watch the beautiful Geminid meteor shower coming this week and if astronomers are to be believed its going to the "best meteor shower of the year".

The name Geminids comes from the name "Gemini" constellation.On 13th December and 14th December you can expect these showers late night if you are willing to brave the chill of December.



Observers can see more than 100 meteors per hour.The meteor shower will be more visible as the sky will be dark and moonless on December 14.

One more event astronomical event for this year will be the only Total lunar eclipse on December 20th which will be witnessed North America, Central America, a bit of South America, Greenland and Iceland.

Do let us know if you caught a glimpse of spectacular Geminid meteor shower!
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Jupiter will be close to Earth this September

Jupiter will be close to Earth for this month of September and it will be especially close to Earth on 2oth September.



Jupiter will be closer to Earth again not before year 2022.I hope that viewers will be able to have a beautiful view of this awesome sight.

North Americans can view Jupiter in the east shortly after twilight.
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A pic from Google Earth Image - Identify the object

Can any one identify the object in the pic given below?



The pic was sent my one of my reader who located the mentioned object in Google Earth.
Any help will be appreciated.
Thanks.
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Picture of Flower shaped Nebula NGC 2237

The NASA 's Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WISE) has captured a beautiful pic of a flower shaped nebula (NGC 2237).



Nebula NGC 2237 cannot be viewed with our naked eyes but at the center of flower there is nebula NGC 2244 which is made up of cluster of young stars and it can be viewed with the help of a good telescope.

NGC 2237 is 4,500 to 5,000 light-years away from our galaxy.
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Big Bang theory : An overview

Have you ever given a thought that how our Universe came into be? Our Universe was created in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded at a rapid state and then cooled and it is expanding even now today.The fact is interesting isn't it?

When our Universe came into existence there was NOTHING at all and Big Bang theory gives an explanation to this.




Big Bang theory has been developed by taking theoretical assumptions and observations together by George Lemaitre in 1927 by taking into consideration Albert Einstein's equations of general relativity and proposed and this model was being called "explosion" of a "primeval atom" which later came to be known as Big Bang theory.

In the year 1929 Hubble suggested that the Universe was expanding, contracting the infinite and is changing the "static universe" theory as proposed by Einstein. In "static universe" theory Einstein explained that our Universe is neither expanding nor it is contracting.

According to Big Bang theory after a long period of time the dense matter due to gravitational pull formed stars, galaxies, planets and other heavenly bodies which we find today.

Universe is in the form of dark energy today and near about 72% of the energy of Universe is in this form.

Misconceptions of Big Bang theory:

The most common misconception about Big Bang is that we assume that there was an explosion in the Universe but the experts say that there is an "expansion" and due to this "expansion" things in Universe are moving away from us.

There is no evidence of Big Bang theory as there is no explanation to the concept of what could have caused "Big Bang".

Big Bang theory gives no explanation to the existence of God. It is being believed that the Universe is a super natural creation by God. It gives no explanation to the fact whether God created Universe.

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Perseids Annual Meteor shower being sighted

There was an excellent show of Perseids meteor shower on Thursday night along with thin crescent Moon with Venus, Mars and Saturn in the west-southwestern sky just after sunset.

Many observers have shared their sightings on Twitter.



The Perseids meteor shower is witnessed every year in the second week of August.

Perseids meteor shower was expected to be seen in India too but unforunately due to bad weather which included cloudy skies and showers only few Perseids meteor were seen by few star gazers between 12:30 hrs and 0200 hrs.

Were you able to see the yearly Perseids meteor shower? If yes, then please do share.
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Watch Perseids Meteor shower along with thin crescent Moon this Thursday

If you happen to be a star gazer then be prepared to see the yearly meteor shower of Perseids and you can also see a young Moon along with Venus, Mars and Saturn in the west-southwestern sky just after sunset.




You can enjoy the best Perseids meteor shower on Thursday night till Friday dawn where if you are lucky and have clear sky you can watch 50 to 60 meteors per hour.

It will be a beauty to watch those meteor shower with thin crescent Moon.

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Global Martian Map being developed by NASA for public display and research

Scientists with the help of camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft constructed a map using 21,000 images Thermal Emission Imaging System.



You can just log into jmars and have a look yourself. You can zoom around the images of Mars and it looks really great.The images will be used as a research work on Mars for coming years too.
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On August 5, Mars, Venus and Saturn will form a triangle at Night Sky

Are you among those who love to watch night sky ? Coming the first week of August and you will find Venus, Mars and Saturn in a triangle in the night sky.

You can easily locate Venus as it is bright and the other two planets will be close to it forming a triangle on August 5 .However, Mars and Saturn are not as bright as Venus. On July 31, you will find Mars just below Saturn.

People have always dreaded these planetary alignments as they found it bringing mis-fortune but there is no scientific evidence of this fear.

Graph to help you locate the planets on night sky on August 5.


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Star R136a1is massive than the Sun

A group of astronomers from University of Sheffield,UK,have discovered a star which is about 300 times more bigger than the Sun using a Very Large Telescope (VLT) .

The team of astronomers have found many stars which are seven times hotter, brighter and bigger than the Sun.




One of such star R136a1 which has been found in R136 cluster is the most massive star ever being found according to the research team and the most brightest one also. The star is more than a million year old and has lost lots of mass.The stars loose mass as they age. Scientists say that if R136a1 will be replaced By Sun then it can outshine Sun the same way Sun outshines the Moon.However it will make life IMPOSSIBLE on Earth as it releases high UV radiations.
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Antares


Night sky fascinates me always and I think it fascinates to most of us. I often sit on my terrace during summer nights gazing at sky and the heavenly bodies up there.


Planet Antares is the red giant star and is said to be the 16th brightest star in the sky at night in the constellation Scorpio.Antares has also being nick named as “the Heart of the Scorpion”. Ancient astronomers have nick named it as the “rival of the Mars” as it resembles the Red Planet in color.





Brief history of Antares:


A German astrologer Bayer of 17th century said Antares as a Rebel and Tyrannus, Dutch scholar Grotius (1583-1645) said it means a Bat, in Arabic it means “Shone”, Rudolphine Tables says that Antares means “glowing redly”.



Some link Antares with an Arabic hero Antar or Antarah who was the bravest Arab warrior and a great poet of his time. He has written a poem "Ántara's Ode," where he talks about his lady love.


Star Antares, α scorpio according to the Arabic constellation means Al Kalb, the Heart, one of the fortunate stations.


The Chinese in their constellation have included sigma (σ) and tau (τ) on either side of Antares in which sigma (σ) is the most important.


For the Hindus it is α Antares , σ Antares and τ Antares for their nakshatra where the oldest is known as Ruddy which means from the color of Antares.


In ancient Egypt astronomy Antares represented the Goddess Selkit and the light coming from Antares played an important role in the ceremonies of the temple.

It is also seen as one of the 4 keys in the heavens Michael watcher of the East, Gabriel watcher of the South, Raphael Watcher of the North, Oriel (Antares) Watcher of the West.



Antares is referred to as fallen star and quarter guardian of the western gate in the religion of Stygheria.


Astrological influences of Antares on people are that it makes them tough and belligerent. It is of importance to those who work in military as it gives them courage to do daring tasks and help them to chart out strategies.Antares is associated with violent death of people in battle field or in law and is unfortunate for eyes.


Planet Antares said to be 700 times larger than Sun and is about 600 light years away from our planet Earth. The outer layer of Antares is very thin and a spaceship can easily pass through it. If you happen to get a view of Antares you will notice that the area round it has colorful clouds which are due to the fact that Antares is found in such a place where there are star forming clouds. NASA named Apollo 14 lunar module after Antares in 1971.



If you want to have a view of Antares then you May end is the right time as it is opposing the Sun and is visible for the whole night but you can’t see Antares during the end of November as it gets lost in the glare of the Sun.


Star Antares is found in the eastern sky in the early evening in the heart of the constellation Scorpion but you need a telescope to view it. You will find a red colored bright star beside the Moon.





Enjoy this amazing video on Antares Occultation :





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Hubble finds a planet with a tail like a comet

Hubble Space telescope has discovered a planet which has a tail like a comet! HD 209458b planet is about 153 light years and was found in the year 2003.




Scientists have measured the gas coming out from the planet.

Scientists have used Hubble to find about the atmosphere of the planet as it crossed infront of its star.
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Asteroid Lutetia could lead to discovery of a new world.

European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft Rosetta has captured has captured the so called first close-up images of Asteroid Lutetia on this Saturday ie, 10th July.

The image is spectacular and it shows that the asteroid Lutetia has suffered many impacts as it is 4.5 billion old and the images reveal that it is heavily cratered and it is 75 miles long.



Scientists are taking these pics of Asteroid as "discovery of a new world"!

Could Asteroid Lutetia lead to a "discovery of a new world" only time will say.

Enjoy the video of Asteroid Lutetia flyby :


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Solar eclipse on 11th July

There is going to be a solar eclipse on 11th July where you can expect a light show in skies of the South Pacific, southern Argentina and Chile.

It will be a rare solar eclipse as Moon will be passing between the Sun and Earth.



The eclipse will began at at sunrise about 435 miles southeast of the South Pacific island of Tonga, with the Moon's shadow moving toward the northeast before ending at sunset in South America.It will be a great view to see this eclipse on water as most of eclipse will be found in open water.

Don't ever try to watch this eclipse with your naked eye as it is quite harmful.However for a direct view of the Sun, you can use approved solar filter.

If you are the lucky one to view the eclispe :) then please do share your experience or pics if any!
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A partial lunar eclipse for viewers in North America on 26th June

North America last saw a lunar eclipse on February 2008 but on this 26th June they will get a view of lunar eclipse. People who are in continent's western half will have a better view of this partial lunar eclipse.

The partial phase ends at 6:00 a.m. PDT.

People across Pacific Ocean and in Australia can watch the entire eclipse.

You can watch this with your naked eyes however with binoculars and telescopes used at low power (20x) will help you to have a better view.

You can have a look at the lunar eclipse safely and it does no harm to your eyes. It is so because the light of Moon comes from Sun and the intensity of its radiation is also low.

I love to watch all the rare astronomical events , whether it is a solar eclipse, meteor shower or a comet.

It is estimated that the next lunar eclipse will be on December 21, 2010 and will be a total lunar eclipse and it will be visible for observers for North America.

I hope the North Americans will not miss the chance to watch this one...
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Watch comet McNaught in this June night sky

Do you like to watch comets on a night sky like me ? If your answer is "yes" then you can watch comet McNaught with your naked eyes.The comet's tail will look like a celestial sword angling upward to the northern sky.

The comet was discovered by Robert H. McNaught in September 9, 2009.

It will be a great sight to view the comet from your naked eyes as well as for for photography. It is believed that the light of comet will be 4 times as bright as the faintest star that can be viewed .

The comet as bright as this wo'nt be visible often so better grab the chance as the sky will be dark from June 11 to June 13.
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Atlantis back to home from its final journey to space

Sorry for the late update ......spacecraft Atlantis is back home on this Wednesday from its final mission and the landing was smooth.



My earlier post was on last inspection of Atlantis before landing. Atlantis has been on 32 flights. It was first launched in October 1985. It has made 5 military missions, 7 flights to the Russian Mir Space station and 11 to ISS ( International Space Station).

It is expected that someday Atlantis will be put in museum in ground.
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Astronauts do last inspection of Atlantis before wednesday landing

The astronauts in Atlantis have done the final inspection of the shuttle as it will re-enter the atmosphere of Earth on Wednesday after spending 7 days in International Space Station.

The crew of Atlantis have spent 7 days in ISS where they installed a new Russian research module and changed out six solar array batteries over the course of three spacewalks.The crew members have also cleaned their space suits used during three space station assembly spacewalks in preparation for landing .



All the robotic activities for landing activities are complete .

If the weather permits then Atlantis will be home on Wednesday.
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Astronauts in Atlantis to make first space walk

In my previous post i wrote about Atlantis final journey in space . Now the astronauts in Shuttle Atlantis will do their first space walk in space.

There are 6 crew members in Atlantis and they will be there till next week.



It is said that mission specialists Garrett Reisman and Steve Bowen will venture outside the platform for about 6.5 hours to install an antenna and a robot tool tray.Bowen is making his fourth spacewalk and Reisman is making his second.

The other key tasks will include the replacement of six large batteries and the addition to the underside of the platform of a Russian docking and storage module.
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Spot Shuttle Atlantis in its final journey in Night Sky

Space Shuttle Atlantis has been a work force for mankind for the last 25 years. May be this Friday, Atlantis will be making its final journey to space before retiring. The stats of Atlantis says that Atlantis has spent 282 days in space, circled the globe in 4,462 orbits and traveled 115 million miles during 31 flights that featured 185 different astronauts which is fantastic.



If you want to get a view of Atlantis in its final journey then skywatchers across US will get a fine opportunity to watch this weekend. Both shuttle and space station will be visible as separatte entities as shining "stars" on Friday and Saturday evening.By Sunday evening, Atlantis will be docked to the ISS, and both will appear as a single bright moving "star."

Atlantis and ISS will be visible across parts of southern Canada and most of the 48 continental United States.

If you live in US and want to know viewing schedule for your particular hometown then you can easily find out by searching for one of these four popular Web sites: Chris Peat's Heavens Above, Science@NASA's J-Pass, NASA's SkyWatch and Spaceweather.com or by logging into this site.


Source : space.com.
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Astronauts can now escape from an exploding rocket

NASA has spent $220 million on testing a new escape system rocket in New Mexico on this Thursday dummy crew module more than a mile up in just 20 seconds to demonstrate how a future manned spacecraft could be pulled to safety in the event of a catastrophic on-pad rocket failure.

A solid-fuel motor was used which generated some 500,000 pounds of thrust, the launch abort system ignited with a torrent of orange fire and smoke pulling the dummy crew module to nearly 450 mph in just 2.5 seconds with an acceleration of 16 times the force of gravity.



The heavily instrumented capsule, which will not be used again, hit the ground two minutes and 14 seconds or so after launch, 6,919 feet from its takeoff point. Touchdown velocity was 16 mph, about 6 mph slower than predicted.

"It's a great day for the country, for NASA and for industry," said NASA Test Conductor Don Reed. "It was absolutely successful. We didn't see anything anomalous. Everything worked as it was expected. In fact, we actually touched down at significantly less velocity than we predicted. The performance was absolutely astounding."

Now our astronauts can land safely in case of rocket failure.
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StudSet Satellite all set to launch on May 9

After recent failure of India's space program a unique India-made smallest satellite StudSat which promises to send Indian into higher orbit will leave the ISRO Satellite Center in Bangalore and move to Sriharikota for integration for launch on May 9.
The satellite weighs around 850 gms and it has been designed and developed by about 40 undergraduate students of Engineering college in Bangalore and Hyderabad.
StudSat is an acronym of student satellite . It will be the second Indian satellite to be launched by ISRO in a year.
Last year on 20th April , 2009 the 40-kg Anusat was placed into orbit . StudSat is the country's first pico satellite - the smallest one.
The satellite will be placed in a 700 -km sun synchoronous orbit and will have a mission life ranging between six months and 2 years . The cost of project was Rs. 55 lakhs in Indian currency.
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Extraterrestrials do exist , but don't try talking to them


World's leading scientist Stefen Hawkins says that extraterrestrials are out there and we humans should avoid them . We are all aware of the fact that aliens are one of the biggest mysteries of our Universe. He believes that aliens are not just in planets but also in stars or may be even they are floating in interplanetary space .His logic is that the Earth is not the only place where life has evolved and we need to find out that how the aliens look like.

He has published his documentary series where in one scene shows nerds of two- legged herbivores browsing on an alien cliff - face where they are picked off by flying , yellow lizard- like predators . Another shows glowing fluorescent aquatic animals forming vast shoals in the oceans thought to underlie the thick ice coating Europa , which is one of the moon of Jupiter.

Hawkins is using these scenes to lead us to serious thought that the aliens could be intelligent and can pose threat to human lives.

He says that aliens could just raid our planet for resources and then move on.

Acoording to him , " We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet . I imagine they might exist in massive ships , having used up all the resources from their home planet . Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads , looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach."

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Hubble Space Telescope turns 20

Our Hubble Space Telescope is turning 20 this Saturday on 24th April.

To mark the anniversary enjoy these incredibly beautiful images taken by Hubble.







Spiral Galaxy M81 is located 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major.


Bubble Nebula also known as NGC 7635.



This is an image of the Butterfly Nebula, aka NGC 6302. It was created through the death of a bright, hot central star




This is the image of Mystic Mountain .The image shows a mountain of dust and gas rising in the Carina Nebula. The top of a three-light-year tall pillar of cool hydrogen is being worn away by the radiation of nearby stars, while stars within the pillar unleash jets of gas that stream from the peaks.



Hubble Space Telescope took advantage of a rare opportunity to record Saturn when its rings were edge-on, resulting in a unique movie featuring the nearly symmetrical light show at both of the giant planet's poles .
Happy Birthday to Hubble !

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Great past of Ancient Chinese Astronomy

I was amazed to know that ancient Chinese invented the first planetarium and that too it was made by an emperor . The planetarium used to be a big enclosed place with stars and constellations on the inside. The person using the planetarium would sit in a chair that was hanging from the top of the enclosed dome. Here not to be mistaken we Ancient India and Astronomy too had a great past on ancient astronomy.

Ancient Chinese astrologers in year 2300 BC used to observe total solar eclipse to forecast the health and successes of the emperors and if they were unable to do the predictions correctly they used to be beheaded. They used to predict solar eclipse by analysing Moon's motion.
It is believed that astronomy used to be government's activity in ancient China. The astronomer used to track solar , lunar and other planetary motions and what these phenomenon meant to the ruling emperors.

Solar eclipses, infrequent and dramatic, were important enough to be recorded in chronicles and on "oracle" bones."Oracle" bones are pieces of animal bones and tortoise shells inscribed with astronomical observations, that were probably used for divinations.

Records of solar eclipses from the Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) are found primarily in two official histories: the Han-shu and the Hou-han-shu. However there are no records of eclipses from the Ch-in dynasty which came just prior to the Han dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC).

Total solar eclipse were found in Ming Dynasty. Accurate eclipse can be used to determine the rate of Earth's rotation.
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Lyrid meteor - Another meteor shower this April

I love to watch meteor shower , and my previous post describes about Leonid meteor shower .

Coming this week on 22nd April Lyrid meteor peaks . Lyrid meteor is named after its constellation from where it originates and it peaks on 22nd April a day after when the Moon will reach its first quarter phase.
Lyrid shower is producing meteors from 16th April to 25th April and will peak about 2o meteors per hour after midnight 22nd April. You can have a better view of meteor shower as the Moon will set before the meteor shower activity.

You can expect high meteor shower before the dawn. Since , last few decades viewers have found 60 meteor shower per hour.

If you want to view these meteor shower then go out with your friends and family in your lawn or terrace before midnight, face eastward, and look about halfway up. After midnight, looking overhead will probably net you the most meteors.

I have not been very lucky in watching these amazing meteor shower due to cloudy skies.
Do share your experiences , if any , regarding viewing of meteor shower.
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GSLV failure - a set back for India's space program

There is a set back for India's space program , GSLV D-3 , the satellite launch vehicle showcasing its indigenous cryogenic technology , trailed off its designated course and went out of control shortly after lift-off from the spaceport on 15th April , 2010. India was having a great expectation from this launch as it would have become the sixth nation to successfully deploy the cryogenic technology joining US , Japan , China and France .
The rocket and its two payloads - satellites GSAT -4 and GAGAN - crashed into the Bay of Bengal after ISRO failed to receive any communication from the vehicle .
It took 17 years to develop cryogenic motors as US opposed import bids in 1992.
The powerful booster technology using super cooled liquid fluid is designed to put heavier satellites into high orbits about 36 ,000 km from Earth.
This was second time in six launches that a GSLV mission has failed.
ISRO Chairman Dr.K. Radhakrishnan said , " The mission objectives are not met fully. Everything was fine till the end of the second stage at around 293 secs . The cryogenic stage is supposed to fire almost half the velocity to give the thrust to inject the satellite in its geostationary arch. We are not sure if the engine ignited ."
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Water everywhere on Mars and Moon

Yes water, water is everywhere on Moon and Mars.......Ice deposits at least 6 feet can be found in some small craters on the Moon it was reported by researchers on 12 th April 2010 as the studies showed evidence of water on Moon and Mars .
According to one of the recent studies ice has melted and re-frozen on Mars.
India's spacecraft Chandrayaan has found evidence of thick ice being deposited on some permanently shaded craters on the Moon. Researchers say that Moon has been constantly bombarded with water-bearing objects such as comets and meteorites and implanted with solar wind hydrogen over geological time and some of this material must have made its way into these cold, dark areas.
One of the study showed that 6-feet wide gully on Mars had become nearly 400 feet longer over 2 years and it can be best explain the melting of small amounts of water ice.
Photographs also show dark patches in gully as well as in some smaller new channels.
In September last year several teams reported clear evidence of water likely frozen on desert surfaces of both Moon and Mars and researchers have also seen snow in Mars.
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Apollo 13 could have become a space tomb


We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Apollo 13 mission . As we know that Apollo 13 was the third Apollo mission which was supposed to land on the Moon but unfortuntely a mid oxygen tank rupture caused sufficient damage to force the landing to be aborted .

According to the new study if the NASA's rescue plan had not succeeded in bringing the capsule back to Earth in 1970 then sadly Apollo 13 would have got drifted on a never- ending journey billions of miles in space as a tomb, carrying frozen bodies of the crew members.

Computer simulations by a team of software experts in Philadelphia have shown that lunar gravity would have sent the spacecraft and its astronauts to a creamation in the Earth's atmosphere after only five weeks.

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Has your HiWish come true ?

Has your HiWish come true ?
Yes, the first eight pics chosen by public and imaged as a part of the HiWish project using the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), has been released . It consists of collapsing volcanoes, boulder strewn plains and dune-filled valleys on the red planet.
Only 1% of Mars has been imaged by HiRISE and there is whole planet to be discovered. Near about 1000 suggestions have been received and you can still log in and add your suggestions.

First 8 images which have been imaged are of Samara valles which extends in total over 1,000 kilometres across the southern highlands

gently sloping towards Mars’ northern lowlands in Chryse Basin , thousands of boulders lining the rim of an ancient crater in the region Utopia Planitia ,


northern lowlands and the southern highland lobate debris apron in Deuteronilus Mensae is full of pure ice ,


Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the Solar System, a seven kilometre high cliff is crumbling underneath the weight of the volcano, bumpy, eroded terrain found on the floor of Palos Crater,



weathered by water erosion from a time long ago when the a river running in the 180-kilometre long valley Tinto Vallis breached the walls of Palos Crate ,dust concealed in a hill outside a 30-kilometre wide crater in Zephyria Tholus which is a hill which has uncertain origin ,


icy layers at Mar's north pole
and region filled with plateaus and mesas called Aureum Chaos reveals volcanic and sedimentary deposits stacked up in layers along cliff faces .



Enjoy these amazing pics of Mars !
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Extraterrestrial : anybody out there ?

Are we alone in the Universe ?? This question has always intrigued us and since last 50 years or so mankind is looking for scientific and search evidence for the same.

Many institutions , groups , individual amateurs all are watching Universe for evidence of extraterrestrials or UFOs through electromagnetic radiations.
There are substantial number of evidence of UFO cases which has been backed by thousands of credible witnesses.

There are many photos, videos, radar tracking, satellite sensor reports, landing traces including depressions and anomalous residual radiation, electromagnetic interference, and confirmed physiological effects and personal observation has been made both in day and night regarding these so called extraterrestrial.



I stumbled a recent case in sighting of UFO in the year 2008 and is as follows :
Dozens in Stephenville and Dublin, Texas report seeing large UFO
Date January 8, 2008 Location
Stephenville, Texas, United States

Several dozen people — including a pilot, county constable and business owners — insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it. Locals swear that it was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said the object's lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane. People in several towns who reported seeing it over several weeks have offered similar descriptions of the object .

It is being believed that extraterrestrial life in Universe may have effect on religious ideology so the governments always try to cover up the cases of UFO sighting. A question comes to mind that if there is a mass landing of UFO on Earth then would the priests , pastors and other religious heads would address the event to their congregation ? What will happen if we found out these extraterrestrials are more advanced technologically to us or they are atheist ?

There are many who believe that the human race has evolved from aliens and they will come back again to us and these beliefs are based on religious dogma , ancient prophecies , alien among some.
However, the extraterrestrial or UFO still remains a mystery to be unveiled !

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Ancient India and Astronomy

This post is about the astronomy in ancient India. We all are aware of the fact that ancient India has contributed a lot in the field of astronomy.
The earliest references to astronomy are found in the Rig Veda (a religious text), which are dated 2000 BC. By the year 500 AD astronomy emerged as an important part of study in our ancient India. During that period astronomy was used with astrology for casting of horoscope. Astronomy also developed as an independent subject and their was some independent findings like :

1.The calculation of occurrences of eclipses
2.Determination of Earth's circumference
3.Theorizing about the theory of gravitation
4.Determining that sun was a star and determination of number of planets under our solar system .

In the year 500 AD Aryabhat one of the known historical astronomers from ancient India presented a mathematical system that took the Earth to spin on its axis and considered the motions of the planets with respect to the sun .His book, the Aryabhat, presented astronomical and mathematical theories in which the Earth was taken to be spinning on its axis and the periods of the planets were given with respect to the sun.

Jantar Mantar in Jaipur not only follows the movements of the sun and the moon to help determine auspicious dates for events, it also helps map out the position of the stars in the sky. Although no telescopic instruments were available at the time, the precise observation of the stars was greatly facilitated by observatories such as Jantar Mantar.



How can we forget that On April 19, 1975, India sent into orbit its first satellite Aryabhatta. In 1984, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to go to outer space. Kalpana Chawla, later a US citizen, became the first woman of Indian origin to go to space.
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Does Moon water comes in three flavours ?

There has been surprise discovery of water in Moon . Now the scientists are saying that the water present in Moon's surface comes in three flavours !
According to the findings of Chandrayaan -1 , NASA's Mini-SAR team has found 40 craters which has water ice which is expected to be 2 m deep. If the scientists are to be believed and the water from these craters are converted into rocket fuel , we will have enough fuel to to launch the equivalent of one space shuttle per day for more than 2000 years. Isn't it a great news ?
The three flavours of water are - Mini -SAR's thick lenses of nearly pure water ice , LCROSS's mix of ice crystal and dirt and M -cube's thin layer which is across the surface of the Moon.
It is believed that pure water has deposited on the surface of Moon most probably by the passing comets.Whereas , some have formed under the surface mixing with lunar material and the rest of water is supposed to be formed on the surface through interactions with the solar wind.
Scientists are now seriously thinking about a Lunar Hydrosphere !
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Hubble Space Telescope got Red Carpet treatment

Hubble Space Telescope was orbiting Earth and it missed its new film "Hubble 3D" at the movie's world premiere at Smithsoman National Air & Space Museum , Washington on 9.3.10.
The film's co-starring astronauts walked the red carpet to see the telescopes " life story " first time.
The movie has Hollywood movie stars and it featured the NASA astronaut crew of space shuttle servicing mission who in May 2009 repaired and upgraded the telescope and also filmed their work using an IMAX 3D camera.
Altman mission commander of STS-125, space walkers John Grunsfeld and Mike Massimino , pilot Greg C. Johnson and mission specialist Megan Mc Arthur attended the premiere and they also shot the scenes inside the telescope using HD camera.
The movie changes our view of the Universe. The premiere of "Hubble 3D " was concluded with a cocktail party under a full -scale engineering model of the Hubble telescope.
"Hubble 3D" is open to public in IMAX and IMAX 3D theaters worldwide on 19th March which is narrated by Hollywood actor Leonardo Caprio.
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Earth under attack from Nemesis

Scientists have claimed that an invisible star which is supposed to be 5 times the size of Jupiter is kicking some deadly comets towards Earth.

They believe that the invisible which is nicknamed as " Nemesis" or " The DeathStar" could be responsible for mass extinction on Earth which occurs every 26 million years.

The stars spins through the galaxy and its gravitational pull drags a vast sphere of rock called Oort Cloud and dust twice as far as Nemesis. They are thrown towards Earth as comets which is causing destruction .

NASA scientists believe that they will be able to find about Nemesis using a new heat-seeking telescope that began scanning the skies in January. Researchers have come to know about the existence of Nemesis from orbit of a dwarf planet called Sedna.

The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer which has found a thousand brown dwarf stars within 25 light years of the Sun has sent a photo of a comet disloged from the Oort Cloud.


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Space Tourism

Insurance has been the most prominent hurdle in space tourism. A legislation has been signed into law in New Mexico that reduces the risk that space tourism operators will face crippling lawsuits brought by surviving family members of a participant injured or killed during flight which has been applauded by the President of Virgin Galactic who develops space tourism.
In this the participants will have to sign a waiver before boarding the flight to space.
The law stipulates that spaceflight operators cannot be held liable for the "death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of space flight activities" so long as participants sign a waiver before the flight.
The waiver reads in part: "I understand and acknowledge that under New Mexico law, there is no liability for injury to or death sustained by a participant in a space flight activity provided by a space flight entity if the injury or death results from the inherent risks of the space flight activity. Injuries caused by the inherent risks of space flight activities may include, among others, death, bodily injury, emotional injury or property damage. I assume all risk of participating in this space flight activity."
It is said that near about 330 people have deposited money about $45 million to reserve flights with Virgin Galactic. People have asked to fly on the demonstration flights, displaying an appetite for risk that was not shared by the insurance underwriters, satellite builders, satellite operators and others attending the space-risk forum here. SpaceShip Two vehicle designed by Scaled Composites LLC of Mojave, Calif., is nearing completion of ground tests and it will go more tests like drop and glide tests before powered flight tests began in 2011.
There are still a lot of hicupps as participants are reluctant to sign the waiver before some successful flights were undertaken ......... we will have to wait and watch till then !
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A Gorilla on Mars - Another Myth

I was surfing web when i stumbled upon this news Gorilla seen in Mars . But guys hold on........ it can't be true as there have been various rumors Face on Mars .
Gorilla on Red Planet seems just to be an optical illussion , yup it is an image taken from zoomed in image from Mars Rover.

Have a look at the pic yourself and see if it is really a GORILLA or a ROCK !



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A Giant leap In Moon mission


Chandrayaan-1 has achieved a new milestone as it discovered 600 million metric tons ice on the Moon's North Pole.

The announcement was made at the 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Congress , organised by Houston- based Lunar and Planetary Institute. The discovery was made by a NASA payload on board Chandrayaan-1 called Mini - Sar a light weight intrument that weighs 10 Kg . It found more than 40 small craters with water ice , the size of craters ranging between one and nine miles in Moon.

Scientists say that the discovery of water ice in Moon is important as it can serve as as a natural resource on future missions . The ice can be melted into drinking water or separated into its component of oxygen and hydrogen to provide breathing air and and rocked fuelfor launching interplanetary missions from Moon.


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Astronomical video showing the surface of Mars

Planet Mars has attracted us always Vegetarian and Mars .
I was surfing net when i came across an astronomical video to see the surface of Mars. The video was created with the aid of the virtual reality astronomy program VRMars-Spirit .
Hoping that you will also enjoy going through the video as much as i did.


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Can a vegetarian survive in Mars ?


Do you want to have a Martian home and plan to stay there forever....... then you need a lotta chickens.
Mars climate is not like Earth as there are no plants in Red planet hence, the future settlers of Mars will have to depend on Earth to meet their demand of daily bread.
We are all aware of the fact that chicken is a great source of protein , chicken's dung can be used as manure to grow the crops such as wheat and barley in the Martian soil by genetically altering the plants and can also be used as energy to light up the homes there. It is believed that chicken dung has the highest level of nutrients available.
Using the process of Pyrolysis the future settlers can turn chicken manure into biochar ( a charcoal like product ).
Now, why chickens ?
Simple reason for the use of chickens is that they are easy to transport as compared to other animals which are larger in size. The size of an egg is average 57 gms and an average size of a calf is 32 kgs at the time of the birth so it makes chicken as the preferred choice for the future space animals.
If you are a vegetarian then you will have to give your Mars dream a miss for the time being !


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See Asteroid Vesta with your naked eyes


Mark the date 17 Feb, 2010 as you might see Asteroid Vesta with binoculars or if you are lucky can even see it with your naked eyes as it will shine at a magnitude of 6.1 . Vesta is not the largest asteroid but it will be brightest as it will be opposite to Sun as seen from Earth. It will be at its closest point to Earth in its orbit about 211,980,000 kms away , the asteroid will be visited by the spacecraft Dawn. Vesta will be visible in the Eastern constellation.
Why Asteroid Vesta will be prominent ??














Vesta is in close proximity to Earth these days , full half of Vesta is being bathed by sunlight which makes it brighter and it has unique surface material that is not dark.


Don't miss the opportunity of seeing Vesta !!!!


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Astronomy and Valentine's Day

Astronomy and Valentine's Day ..............??? Valentine's Day is associated with flowers and chocolates ....... but if you love someone who is interested in astronomy then here are few pics to win his/her heart.



This love from Mars is a heart shaped pit formed by collapse within a straight walled trough known as graben. The pic is send by Mars Orbiter Camera ( MOC).


Chandra image is of young star cluster NGC 346 which highlights a heart- shaped cloud of a 8 million-degree celsius gas in the central region.



Asteroid Eros mythical name is fitting of the holiday. It was imaged by Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Spacecraft.


Envisat picks out a heart from the arid landscape of Africa's Sahara. This is a multi-temporal Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) image of the central coast of Mauritania in West Africa .

We are celebrating Valentine' day on our Earth today but we should not forget that love is found every where . Our Universe is after all such a loving place.
Have an Astronomical Valentine's Day !!!




























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Power for Martian homes


Have you ever played with the idea that your future generations could be building their homes in Martian soil. Yes, it can be very much possible ........ a house in Mars . How they will they get energy for using it at home and for cutting rocks ??????
The answer could be biofuels. It is believed that a slightly altered cynobacterium may help us to power future Martian homes.
The sunlight which Mars gets is half the amount of sunlight which Earth receives so no any chances of using solar energy as power. Mars has rust , dust and lots of carbondioxide in its environment and carbondioxide can be used by cynobacterium to turn into a biofuel called isobutanol .
This biofuel can help people living in Mars for power. Biofuels can't burn in the carbon atmosphere so the future houses in Mars need to be altered to carry oxygen as well.
Having an inexpensive biofuel can fulfill our dream of our future generations building homes in Martian soil.

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