26 Sep 2014

The Outer planets| HD TV broadcast

1/10/ 2014 | The Outer Planets from Richard Pearson on Vimeo.

I would like to thank professor Kunio Sayanagi & Trevor Barry for all their help while making this program. We do not often hear about the outer planets, now is a good time because there is interesting things happening in the weather systems of the planets Saturn & Uranus which is causing excitement among planetary astronomers. In addition, the planet Neptune was at opposition on 1 September 2014 and Uranus will be at opposition on 7 October. A planet is at opposition when it lies opposite to the Sun in the sky, and is therefore best placed for observation.

Here is a link to The William Herschel Museum web site | http://herschelmuseum.org.uk/

28 Aug 2014

September 2014 | Comets Unveiled

Comets are colourful fuzz-balls in space that have a small rocky nucleus, a shimmering hallo of dust known as the coma, and a long dusty tail stretching thousands of miles in length. They have been seen by sky watchers for centuries, and were once believed to be omens to bad fortune.

Over the last decade, a number of spacecraft have visited comets, and have helped to reveal their secrets, in this month's program we look at some of their findings to help better understand the discoveries that await us from Rosetta over the next year.

Please visit our web site Vimeo where you can watch all the past shows of Astronomy & Space, and If you like this program please share it with your friends, and members of your local astronomical society.

Scientists spot white dwarf reigniting and exploding

1409185370430_wps_2_Astronomers_studying_SN20It is a blaze of glory rarely seen in the universe.

Astronomers have proved for the first time that dead stars known as white dwarfs can reignite and explode as supernovae.

These incredible images were created to show the stages of the spectacular death,The finding came after the unique signature of gamma rays from the radioactive elements created in one of these explosions was captured for the first time.

Astronomers using ESA's Integral gamma-ray observatory now say they have demonstrated beyond doubt that dead stars known as white dwarfs can reignite and explode as supernovae. 

The 'smoking gun' in this case was evidence for radioactive nuclei being created by fusion during the thermonuclear explosion of the white dwarf star, the European Space agency said.

'Integral has all the capabilities to detect the signature of this fusion, but we had to wait for more than ten years for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to catch a nearby supernova,' says Eugene Churazov, from the Space Research Institute (IKI) in Moscow, Russia and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics,in Garching, Germany.

Although Type IA supernovae are expected to occur frequently across the Universe they are rare occurrences in any one galaxy, with typical rates of one every few hundred years.

Integral's chance came on 21 January 2014, when students at the University College London's teaching observatory at Mill Hill, UK detected a type IA supernova, later named SN2014J, in the nearby galaxy M82.

According to the theory of such explosions, the carbon and oxygen found in a white dwarf should be fused into radioactive nickel during the explosion.

This nickel should then quickly decay into radioactive cobalt, which would itself subsequently decay, on a somewhat longer timescale, into stable iron. Because of its proximity – at a distance of about 11.5 million light-years from Earth, SN2014J is the closest of its type to be detected in decades – Integral stood a good chance of seeing the gamma rays produced by the decay.

Within one week of the initial discovery, an observing plan to use Integral had been drawn-up and approved.

Using Integral to study the aftermath of the supernova explosion, scientists looked for the signature of cobalt decay – and they found it, in exactly the quantities that the models predicted.

'The consistency of the spectra, obtained by Integral 50 days after the explosion, with that expected from cobalt decay in the expanding debris of the white dwarf was excellent,' says Churazov, who is lead author of a paper describing this study and reported in the journal Nature.

With that confirmation in hand, other astronomers could begin to look into the details of the process. In particular, how the white dwarf is detonated in the first place.

24 Aug 2014

Spectacular Landscape of Star Formation

NGC 3603 is an open cluster of stars situated in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way around 20,000 light-years away from the Solar System.

Constellation: Carina
Magnitude +9.1
Right ascension 11h 15m 09.1s
Declination −61° 16′ 17″

NGC 3603 has been subject to intense study as a starburst region for more than a century because it represents a unique combination of proximity, low visual extinction, brightness and compactness. It was observed by John Herschel on the 14th of March 1834 during his visit to South Africa, who remarked that it was "a very remarkable object...perhaps a globular cluster". Herschel catalogued it as nebula 3334 in his Results of Astronomical Observations made at the Cape of Good Hope, published in 1847. In 1864 the Royal Society published his General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters, where he listed it as number 2354. It was subsequently incorporated into the New General Catalogue as by J. L. E. Dreyer as NGC 3603.

This video/ image, captured by the Wide Field Imager at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, shows two dramatic star formation regions in the southern Milky Way. The first is of these, on the left, is dominated by the star cluster NGC 3603, located 20 000 light-years away, in the Carina–Sagittarius spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The second object, on the right, is a collection of glowing gas clouds known as NGC 3576 that lies only about half as far from Earth.1024px-NGC_3603b
        NGC 3603 is a very bright star cluster and is famed for having the highest concentration of massive stars that have been discovered in our galaxy so far. At the centre lies a Wolf–Rayet multiple star system, known as HD 97950. Wolf–Rayet stars are at an advanced stage of stellar evolution, and start off with around 20 times the mass of the Sun. But, despite this large mass, Wolf–Rayet stars shed a considerable amount of their matter due to intense stellar winds, which blast the star’s surface material off into space at several million kilometres per hour, a crash diet of cosmic proportions.
        NGC 3603 is in an area of very active star formation. Stars are born in dark and dusty regions of space, largely hidden from view. But as the very young stars gradually start to shine and clear away their surrounding cocoons of material they become visible and create glowing clouds in the surrounding material, known as HII regions. HII regions shine because of the interaction of ultraviolet radiation given off by the brilliant hot young stars with the hydrogen gas clouds. HII regions can measure several hundred light-years in diameter, and the one surrounding      NGC 3603 has the distinction of being the most massive in our galaxy.
        The cluster was first observed by John Herschel on 14 March 1834 during his three-year expedition to systematically survey the southern skies from near Cape Town. He described it as a remarkable object and thought that it might be a globular star cluster. Future studies showed that it is not an old globular, but a young open cluster, one of the richest known.
        NGC 3576, on the right of the image, also lies in the Carina–Sagittarius spiral arm of the Milky Way. But it is located only about 9000 light-years from Earth — much closer than NGC 3603, but appearing next to it in the sky.
NGC 3576 is notable for two huge curved objects resembling the curled horns of a ram. These odd filaments are the result of stellar winds from the hot, young stars within the central regions of the nebula, which have blown the dust and gas outwards across a hundred light-years. Two dark silhouetted areas known as Bok globules are also visible in this vast complex of nebulae. These black clouds near the top of the nebula also offer potential sites for the future formation of new stars.
        NGC 3576 was also discovered by John Herschel in 1834, making it a particularly productive and visually rewarding year for the English astronomer.

18 Aug 2014

NASA's RXTE Satellite Decodes the Rhythm of Unusual Black Hole

The signals have helped astronomers identify an unusual midsize black hole called M82 X-1, which is the brightest X-ray source in a galaxy known as Messier 82. Most black holes formed by dying stars are modestly-sized, measuring up to around 25 times the mass of our sun. And most large galaxies harbor monster, or supermassive, black holes that contain tens of thousands of times more mass.

“Between the two extremes of stellar and supermassive black holes, it's a real desert, with only about half a dozen objects whose inferred masses place them in the middle ground," said Tod Strohmayer, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Astronomers from Goddard and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) have suspected M82 X-1 of being midsize for at least a decade, but compelling evidence excluding it from being a stellar black hole proved elusive.

"For reasons that are very hard to understand, these objects have resisted standard measurement techniques," said Richard Mushotzky, a professor of astronomy at UMCP.

By going over past RXTE observations, the astronomers found specific changes in brightness that helped them determine M82 X-1 measures around 400 solar masses.

17 Aug 2014

The Demise of Comet ISON

Before comet ISON raced past the Sun, it stopped producing dust and gas, as data from the SUMER spectrograph on SOHO show.

On November 28th of last year, thousands of people worldwide watched comet ISON’s fiery ride past the Sun. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) have now reconstructed the comet’s activity during its final hours. Their conclusion: already hours before its perihelion passage, ISON stopped emitting dust and gas into space. The new analysis is based on data from the spectrograph SUMER on board the solar observatory SOHO, a joint space mission of ESA and NASA. SUMER was the only instrument that was able to obtain data of the comet during the minutes of its closest approach to the Sun.

Ison spectroImages of the comet ISON taken by the spectrograph SUMER on board the solar observatory Soho on 28 November 2013 at 6.01 pm (Central European Time) reveal the tail & shape. The red dots mark the predicted positions of the comet & nucleus in intervals of one minute, the red cross depicts the last position at the time of the picture recording. The white arrow indicates the direction to the sun. Brightness contours and centreline of the tail clarify its appearance.
 
When comet ISON was discovered in the autumn of 2012, scientists and amateur astronomers alike hoped for a “comet of the century”. On November 28th, 2013, only 1.8 million kilometres would separate ISON from the Sun. Due to its brightness, the comet promised to be a unique research object – and, should it survive its flyby of the Sun, a stunning celestial phenomenon in the weeks preceding Christmas. But the story took a different course: already during the final phase of the approach to perihelion, the comet’s tail grew fainter and fainter. It soon became clear, that ISON’s activity had ceased or that the nucleus most likely had completely been disintegrated.

However, what exactly happened on November 28th, 2013 1.8 million kilometres away from the Sun is still not entirely clear. Did the comet break apart before it reached the point closest to the Sun? Or did it withstand the indescribable heat a while longer? Did the dust tail that could be discerned after the flyby maybe even block the view of a remaining solid nucleus? “Our measurements and calculations indicate that ISON ran out of steam before perihelion”, says Dr. Werner Curdt from the MPS, first author of the new publication. Apparently, 8.5 hours before the comet should pass by the Sun, a short and violent outburst occurred that set free a great amount of dust. After that, the dust production completely stopped within a few hours.

Key to the new insights were images of the dust tail which the MPS researchers obtained on November 28th between 17.56 and 18.01 UTC near closest approach with the instrument SUMER (Solar Ultraviolet Measurements of Emitted Radiation) on board SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory). Hours earlier, stunning shots taken by SOHO’s coronagraph LASCO (Large Angle and ison sunSpectrometric Coronagraph) had shown the long stretched tail of the onrushing comet. In order to make structures in the vicinity of our star visible, the instrument occults the solar disk – as in an artificial solar eclipse. However, ISONs trajectory took the comet so close to the Sun that the final phase was obscured by the occulter.

"The only instrument that could obtain serviceable data at this time was SUMER", says Curdt, who has been head of the SUMER team since 2002. "For everyone involved, this was a huge challenge," he adds. The detection of a comparatively faint comet is not what the instrument was designed for, namely to investigate plasma flows, temperatures, and density in the Sun’s hot outer atmosphere.

By operating the instrument in camera mode the researchers were able to record images of the comet’s tail in ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 121.6 nanometres. This light is emitted from the solar disk and reflected by the dust particles into space.

The SUMER images show a slightly curved, pointed tail with a length of at least 240000 kilometres. No signs of a particularly bright area were found at the predicted position of the comet, indicative of an active nucleus. To understand what processes generated this tail shape, the researchers compared the images with computer simulations: they calculated what the tail would look like under certain assumptions regarding the size of the dust particles, their speed, and the time of their emission.

"We were not able to reconstruct anything resembling our images, assuming that ISON was still active during the SUMER observations," says comet researcher and co-author Dr. Hermann Böhnhardt from the MPS, who is the Lead Scientist of Rosetta’s landing mission. The model is most consistent with a scenario where ISON has stopped producing dust and gas hours before. Whether the nucleus had been completely disintegrated cannot be settled without doubt, Böhnhardt explains. Several signs indicate this – for example the distinct increase in dust production approximately 8.5 hours earlier. The scientists’ calculations show that the comet must have emitted around 11500 tons of dust at this time equivalent to a sphere with a diameter of 280 meters.

It is most likely, that the final break-up of the nucleus triggered this dusty firework. Gas and dust trapped inside the nucleus would have been abruptly released in such an event.

11 Aug 2014

August 2014 | What’s on view this month

 

1/08/2014 | The Summer Sky from Richard Pearson on Vimeo.

During August evenings the Milky Way is a fine sight. It begins from the constellations of Perseus in the NW, then passes up through the 'W' of Cassiopeia, Cygnus (The swan) high over head, and then passes down through Scorpio and into Sagittarius close to the southern horizon. There are also a large number of globular clusters on show, as well as some splendid deep sky objects. In this month's program we have some magnificent images taken by several of the very best astronomical photographers.

CREDITS: I am most grateful to Jeff Johnson, Vincent K.H. Cheng, Zlatko Orbanic, Oliver Czernetz, Terry Hancock, Noodle Van, Roberto Colombari, Robert Gendler and Alex Cherney for allowing me to use their splendid deep-sky images. The image of M57 was a corroboration between Trever Hancock & Fred Herrmann.

Out Now Free on line space magazine

Ashampoo_Snap_2014.08.10_17h07m56s_004_The new August issue of Amateur Astro Photography Ezine has now been published. It is full of amazing space images, and brimming with advice for budding space photographers click on the link | http://astrophotomag.com/issue07/

5 Aug 2014

August 17th 2014 | Conjunction of Venus & Jupiter

There will be a nice photo opportunity on the morning of August 17 when the brilliant planet Venus, magnitude -3.9 will be a short distance away from Jupiter ( -1.8) low in the east just before sunrise. The pair will make a lovely pair several mornings before and after this date. It would be nice to see some of your nice photographs of this event during the next month.


 

25 Jun 2014

July 2014

1/07/ 2014 | Story of the Refractor from Richard Pearson on Vimeo.

Many of you are the proud owners of a refractor telescope, which will allow you to observe planets like Venus. In this month's program, we look at the fascinating story of the refractor from its humble beginnings.

References | Patrick Moore 'Data Book of Astronomy;' 'The Story of Astronomy;' 'Eyes on the Universe.'

3 Jun 2014

Observing the Moon

NASA's Luna Recognisance orbiter (LRO) celebrates five years imaging, and studying the Moon on June 18th. The Moon has always been a splendid sight in the night sky, and when an amateur receives his first telescope and sets it up in the garden, the Moon is often the first object to be viewed through the eyepiece. Therefore, in this month's program, we take a look at how best to observe the Moon, and how to recognise some of the main craters.

There is a very nice FREE computer program that you can use to help recognise all of the Luna features, it is called the 'Virtual Moon Atlas,' and it can be downloaded free using this link : http://ap-i.net/avl/en/download.

30 Apr 2014

The constellations of spring

01/05/2014 | The spring sky from Richard Pearson on Vimeo.

In this month’s program we take a look at the spring constellations. The spring sky is a kind of celestial zoo with large constellations, few bright stars, although it is of great interest to photographers because of the clusters of distant galaxies, with the Beehive star cluster centre of attention. I trust that you are now inspired to venture outdoors and view some of the superb objects mentioned in tonight’s program.

I would like to acknowledge photographers OLIVER CZERNETZLEO TRIPLET M65, M66 & NGC 3628, CHRISTOPHER MADSON M101,JOE HABERTHIER, CUMULO ABIERTO M48, AND ANGELO MAZZOTTI M63 for allowing me to use there splendid images. Also STEVE LINDON Editor of AMATEUR ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE for his valuable assistance with month's program.

20 Apr 2014

Watch Classic episodes of The Sky at Night

This is a collection of BBC Sky at Night programs for you to enjoy.

PLAY LIST

Big Bangs (2008)
Bases on the Moon (1963)
Special | Exploring Mars (2009)
The Great Bear
Orion the Hunter
Special | The outer planets
Special | Unfolding Universe
Nothing but blue skies
Mars a Dynamic world
Cosmic fireworks
A look back at The Sky at Night
Patrick Moore interview (2000)

Watch previous episodes of Astronomy & Space

PLAY LIST

2014
April | Observing the Planets
March | Super novae
February | The winter constellations
January | China lands on the Moon
2013
December | Lazarus comets
Radio Astronomy
Voyager at the edge of space
The realm of comets
Gaia journey to the stars

31 Mar 2014

New Astronomy Magazine for photographers

DSC_0010 b

A highly popular magazine dedicated to astrophotographers world wide. 75 pages of useful hints & tips, and brimming with exceptional photographs of the Solar System & Deep sky Objects. Issue 04 is now available on line.

Please visit the website |

Amateur Astrophotography

Observing the Planets

Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn are on view this season, and with a Total Eclipse of the Moon taking place on April 15th, this month we take look at how best to make observations of the planets. I would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance of Jason Higley, Daniele Gasparri (Italy), Trevor Barry, Darryl and Patricia Malilka (Australia) for allowing me to use some of their splendid images of the planets in this month's program.

12 Mar 2014

Magnificent Saturn on 7th March

s2014-03-07_19-14_rgb_tba

A photograph By Trevor Berry using a 16 inch Newtonian telescope.

In the April edition of Astronomy & Space we take a look at the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn, and how to observe them.

More of these splendid photographs in the program.

Richard Pearson

4 Mar 2014

March | Supernovae

Over the last 6 months there have been three reasonably bright supernovas on view for amateur astronomers, two in our own Milky Way galaxy, Nova Delphini & Nova Centauri which were easily visible to the naked eye, and one in the nearby galaxy Messier 82 which reached magnitude +10. Therefore In this month’s program we take a look at supernovae.

3 Mar 2014

Aurora over Nottingham UK

Uma[Left] The Plough (Constellation Ursa Major) taken 1st March 2014 | Nikon D3100., ISO 3100., Exposure 15 seconds. The image was later processed using Adobe Light room.

DSC_0030

[Above] The Northern Lights taken around midnight on 1st March 2014. Cassiopeia can be seen in the middle of the image. The Aurora was lovely, shimmering red over green.

15 Feb 2014

February | The Winter Constellations

1/2/2014 | The Winter Constellations from Richard Pearson on Vimeo.

This month we take a look at the winter constellations, along with the main deep sky objects now visible in small telescopes, and binoculars. We also learn something about the legends of the Stars. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of members of West Yorkshire Astronomical Society during the making of the program.

Australian public Observatory nears completion

dm-gall-observatory-20140214194714748191-620x414Barry Armstead is a DIY master with a vision, and his latest work is set to encourage visitors to look up and think big.

After two years and more than $23,000 spent mainly on building materials, a telescope and its mount, the resourceful handyman's observatory in his southern Canberra front yard will soon welcome lucky children seeking a glimpse of a distant world.

The 25-kilogram telescope was installed last week, and Mr Armstead's newest camera set-up allows the 43-year-old to take photographs of deep space objects.

The former soldier - who in the rest of his spare time has built an impressive Iron Man suit, on display on the ground floor of the two-storey steel observatory - hopes his handiwork will enable visitors to see the beauty of what he believes is a perfect creation.

For the amateur astronomer, the self-made lookout - what he has called ASIGN Observatory II - has brought not just the wonders of the universe closer but also God, and it is something he hopes to share.

dm-wide-observatory-20140214195104284060-620x349"When you see the scale of it all and complexity of it all, it makes you feel very special that it's all made for us,'' he said. ''You can really feel His presence and His touch, His hand in it. With the circulating of the moons, the tides, the placement of our planet in between other planets, we have so many levels of protection here [on Earth] … it's all very, very perfect."

Mr Armstead, a member of an Assemblies of God church, said the five-metre high observatory would be available for religious and secular school and youth groups.

"It is a Christian outreach - I never want to hide that," he said. "But I also want to show them and teach them about the observable universe, how far things are away, and guide them on telescope use."

Mr Armstead said he had no problems from the earthly authorities, with planning approval taking "a month or so". Passing on the generosity that saw the carpet, two computer screens, downstairs TV, fridge and wood donated, as well as significant financial gifts and in-kind labour, free access to the observatory will be given to the young when accompanied by a teacher, parent or guardian.

Some will be just as fascinated by the Iron Man suit, made in the pepakura papercaft style from paper thinner than a greeting card, fibreglass and car body filler.

He would be delighted if an observatory visit led someone to a career as a NASA scientist.

''And if one of them looks at it all and says, 'yep, there's a God,' when I went to heaven I'd be satisfied," he said.

Credit Canberra Times Newspaper.

13 Feb 2014

Constellations 13 Feb 8pm

Canis Major Orion and Taurus

Sirius bottom left, Orion Centre, and Taurus upper right. Nikon D3100, ISO 800, 15sec exposure.

Gemini & Leo Moon in Cancer

Leo lower right, Gemini & Jupiter upper left, and Canis Minor right.

Ursa Major

Ursa Major with Ursa Minor upper left.

Perseus and Cassiopeia

Perseus left, Cassiopeia middle.

3 Feb 2014

Buy Astronomy & Space DVDs | ON LINE SHOP

Each of our astronomy programs is available on DVD to own, to allow you to build up your private astronomical collection. All orders are processed & dispatched within 24 hours, often much sooner.  You will receive an email the moment your order is in the post and on it’s way to you.

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1280px-Lovell_TelescopeP&P of £1.00 per order is added to the above price. The total cost inclusive of P&P in US dollars is $6.60.

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Star photographs by Richard Pearson

ORION 02 02 2014

The constellation of Orion with the planet Jupiter top left, and the star Sirius bottom left taken February 2nd at about 7pm.

URSA MAJOR 02 02 2014

GEMINI 02 02 2014

Left Ursa major & Ursa Minor the celestial bears. Right the planet Jupiter in Gemini (The twins).

29 Jan 2014

January | China Lands on the Moon

There has been a rollercoaster of Chinese emotions over the last month. The atmosphere was tense upon the launch of Chang'e 3 on December 1st, then as the Moon probe entered into Luna orbit China lost two expensive satellites, so the atmosphere again was very tense during the Luna landing. Fortunately all went well, the Chang'e 3 & Jade Rabbit instruments work fine, so the so the science can begin proper from January 10th.

In this program we examine the mission in detail from launch, and what we know about the landing site from previous spacecraft. If you would like to contact me my Email address is Richard.pearson53@yahoo.co.uk Please follow me on Twitter @Richard91113095

Please share this program with your friends by Email, Face-book & Twitter. The next program will be available from January 31st so please make a note in your diary; thank you for watching.

19 Jan 2014

Orion the Hunter

2011 © BBC TV

Here is a real treat for amateur astronomers, a classic episode of the Sky at Night from 2011.

Sir Patrick Moore looks at 'the winter constellation of ‘Orion the Hunter’ assisted by Pete Lawrence, Dr Chris Lintott, Dr Chris North & Dr Paul Abel

17 Jan 2014

December | Lazarus comets

A team of Astronomers from the University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, have discovered a graveyard of comets. The researchers, led by Antioquia astronomer Prof. Ignacio Ferrin, describe how some of these objects, inactive for millions of years, have returned to life leading them to name the group the ‘Lazarus comets’.

In this programme we examine the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars & Jupiter, the discovery of the minor planets, Lazarus comets, and the NASA DAWN space mission to image & study the asteroids Vesta and Ceres. We examine the latest results.

16 Jan 2014

VIMEO plays host to our monthly 30 minute Astronomy Programme

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   ASTRONOMY & SPACE TV  

EUTube mysteriously closed down on 1st January, which was one of our main video channels. I have today launched a new Channel on Vimeo which also features a Discussion Group for members.

Please pay us a visit and become a member.

Our next programme will be available from January 31st so please make a note in your diary.

Thank you for your continued support.

Richard Pearson

NASA reveals plans for biggest rocket ever made to ferry astronauts to the Space Station | Mail Online

article-2540140-1AB0840B00000578-179_634x474NASA reveals plans for biggest rocket ever made to ferry astronauts to the Space Station | Mail Online

14 Jan 2014

Scientists plan to recreate a DYING STAR on Earth to learn more about red giants | Mail Online

article-2539215-1AA7EFBA00000578-414_634x343Scientists plan to recreate a DYING STAR on Earth to learn more about red giants | Mail Online

January 2014 | China Lands on the Moon

Viewing figures | Dec 29 2013 – Jan 14 2014 10,200 with likes from UK, Russia & USA

Spaceflight 101 - Chang'e 3

There has been a rollercoaster of Chinese emotions over the last month.

The atmosphere was tense upon the launch of Chang’e 3 on December 1st, then as the Moon probe entered into Luna orbit China lost two expensive satellites, so the atmosphere again was very tense during the Luna landing. Fortunately all went well, the Chang’e 3 & Jade Rabbit instruments work fine, so the so the science can begin proper from January 10th.

In this program we examine the mission in detail from launch, and what we know about the landing site from previous spacecraft. If you would like to contact me my Email address is Richard.pearson53@yahoo.co.uk Please follow me on Twitter @Richard91113095

3776748_orig

First APXS (Infrared) Spectrum of Luna soil

Please share this program with your friends by Email, Face-book & Twitter. The next program will be available from January 31st so please make a note in your diary; thank you for watching.

Richard Pearson

11 Jan 2014

New Chang’e 3 Images released by China

17 dec

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dec 16

22 dec

New images released on Friday 10th January showing the Change’e 3 lander and Jade Rabbit on the Moon. Click on any of the images to enlarge. The last image was taken of the Earth on December 25th in UV. The earth was 83.7% illuminated and has an angular size of 2 degrees of arc in the Luna sky.

China scientists working on the project say they had a lot of help from NASA and designed Jade Rabbit from plans of NASAs Mars rover vehicles that are now successfully exploring the Red planet.

 

 

dec 25 Dec earth uv

5 Jan 2014

Cold Weather forecast | February

13th January 2014

 

Check-out Gavin’s Weather News Site

http://www.gavsweathervids.com/

BBC News - New Sky At Night presenter Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock 'confused with tea lady'

_71400105_maggieBBC News - New Sky At Night presenter Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock 'confused with tea lady'

The Sky at Night returns early next month in a new 30 minute slot on BBC 4. The show will be available soon after on the BBC I-player catch-up service.

28 Dec 2013

China’s Luna Mission programme 2004 - 2013

Yutu-ChangE3-1Let’s take a look back at China’s Moon programme.

China's lunar mission is divided into three stages: orbiting, landing, and return. The following is the timeline of China's Luna mission development.

1998 Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (COSTIND) begins planning the lunar mission, tackling major scientific and technological problems;

2004 January - lunar orbiter project is formally established;

February - mission is named "Project Chang'e" after a mythical Chinese goddess who flew to the moon;

2007 Oct. 24 - Chang'e-1 is successfully launched;

chang'e 1Nov. 7 - Chang'e-1 enters lunar orbit;

Nov. 26 - a clip of the voice of the probe and a Chinese song "Ode to the Motherland" are sent back from orbit. China's first picture of the lunar surface is published by Xinhua News Agency;

2008 Jan. 31 - COSTIND publishes the first picture of the lunar polar region taken by Chang'e-1;

October - the State Council, China's Cabinet, approves the Chang'e-2 mission;

Nov. 12 - based on data collected by Chang'e-1, the first lunar hologram with a resolution of 7 meters is published;

2009 March 1 - Chang'e-1 impacts the moon under control;

2010 Oct. 1 - Chang'e-2 is sent into space aboard a Long March-3C carrier rocket from southwest China's Xichang satellite launch centre;

chang'e 2Oct. 9 - Chang'e-2 enters 100-km circular lunar orbit;

Oct. 26 - Chang'e-2 enters lower, elliptical orbit; prepares to photograph Sinus Iridium;

Oct. 29 - Chang'e-2 photographs Sinus Iridium and returns to a higher orbit;

Nov. 8 - pictures of Sinus Iridium published by the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND);

2011 April 1 - Chang'e-2 completes all six engineering objectives and four scientific missions. Its design lifetime expires;

April to the end of May - Chang'e-2 surveys south and north poles of the moon, and takes high-resolution pictures of the chosen landing site for Chang'e-3;

Aug. 25 - For the first time in history, from lunar orbit a space craft enters the second Lagrange Point (L2) orbit, where gravity of the sun and Earth balance the orbital motion of the satellite;

2012 Feb. 6 - SASTIND publishes a lunar hologram with a resolution of 7 meters;

Dec. 13 - Chang'e-2 arrives in deep space 7 million km away from Earth, and surveys the Tout asteroid;

Present Chang'e-2 is 60 million km away from Earth and has become China's first man-made asteroid in the solar system. It continues flying into deeper space.

27 Dec 2013

Happy New Year everyone

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Finally finished January’s programme ‘China lands on the Moon.’ It is 40m long. It was challenging to obtain the video sequences and copyright permission. I acknowledge the help of Alan Simpson of the BBC for technical advice, Kevin Adams for his lovely music, NASA and CNTV.

This then is my contribution the BBC’s Astronomy Live Events around the country. I seem to have missed Christmas this year, all I need now is Dr Who to give me a lift in his Tardis to December 23rd….

31 Oct 2013

November 2013 | Radio astronomy

Since this programme was first aired on 31st October it has been seen by over 149,226 viewers.

In addition there were over 5,000 viewers on EuTube which closed down on new year’s day.

Eighty Two years ago American astronomer Karl Jansky constructed the world's first radio telescope and discovered radio waves coming from the Milky Way, which paved the way for a new branch of astronomical research. Last month the final antenna for the Large Millimetre/sub millimetre Array (ALMA) project was handed over to the observatory by the European AEM Consortium to complete the world's largest radio telescope complex in Chile. Therefore In this month's programme, our main theme is radio astronomy.

We also take a look at the highlights for November including a total eclipse of the Sun, on November 3rd, the Leonid meteors, and the latest news about comet ISON. You may also wish to try and glimpse the Ashen light on the night side of the planet Venus.

1 Oct 2013

October 2013 | Voyager 1 at the edge of space

In September NASA officially confirmed that the Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space beyond our solar system in August 2012 when it became the furthest man made object to do so. In this program we take a look at what this actually means.

We also look at the highlights of the October night sky, and with Messier marathon season about to begin we pinpoint several deep sky objects for you to observe. Finally we have the latest news about comet ISON, and nova V339 DELPHINI which flared up in August, and is now getting brighter!

1 Aug 2013

August 2013 | The realm of comets

Hello and welcome to Astronomy & Space. In this program we take a look at the highlights of the August night sky.The maximum of the Perseid meteor shower takes place on the night of August 11th which are associated with comet Swift-Tuttle, and comet ISON looks like it will be a great sight in the December night sky. Our main theme is therefore the Realm of Comets.

1 Jul 2013

July 2013 | Gaia journey to the stars

GAIA is set to launch on December 19th.

In this program first broadcast in July our main theme is the Milky Way.

In recent news it is now estimated that there are 60 billion stars with extra solar planets in our Milky Way, and there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy. In this week’s program we highlight the European Space Agency’s new mission GAIA which is to launch soon atop of a Russian rocket to study the stars of our Milky Way in extra fine detail.