All of humanity likely saw it, a brilliant supernova that lit up the daytime sky in 1054. But 960 years later, there’s still a lot we dont quite understand about the famous celestial phenomenon.
Fiery Looping Rain on the Sun [Full HQ video]
Eruptive events on the sun can be wildly different. Some come just with a solar flare, some with an additional ejection of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and some with complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.
On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the sun’s lower right hand limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays — a phenomenon known as coronal rain.
There are five special points where a small mass can orbit in a constant pattern with two larger masses (such as a satellite with respect to the Earth and Moon). The Lagrange Points, named in honor of Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, are positions where the gravitational pull of two large masses precisely equals the centripetal force required for a small object to move with them. This mathematical problem, known as the “General Three-Body Problem” was considered by Lagrange in his prize winning paper (Essai sur le Problème des Trois Corps, 1772).
The five Sun–Earth Lagrangian points are called SEL1–SEL5, and similarly those of the Earth–Moon system EML1–EML5, etc. Orbits around Lagrangian points offer unique advantages that have made them a good choice for performing certain spacecraft missions.
For example the Sun–Earth L1 point is useful for observations of the Sun, as the Sun is always visible without obstructions by the Earth or the Moon. SOHO, the ESA/NASA solar spacecraft is positioned there.
read descriptions about invidual L-points here
Mira (MY-rah) is a star that scientists have studied for 400 years. But NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer telescope captured a very surprising image of Mira. It showed for the first time that Mira has a long tail of dust and gas—13 light-years long! That is 20,000 times longer than the average distance from the Sun to Pluto!
A star’s life has a beginning, middle, and end, just like ours. Only a star’s life is much, much longer. Mira is a red giant star near the end of its life. It is blowing off much of its mass in the form of gas and dust. It has already flung out enough material to construct at least 3,000 Earth-sized planets!
Mira is moving at 291,000 miles per hour! This is much faster than the other stars in our part of the Milky Way galaxy. This speed and the huge amount of material coming off Mira have created its contrail-like tail.
Storms on Uranus
This last week, astronomers at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii spotted some huge storms on Uranus. Prior to 2007, when Uranus’ southern hemisphere was visible, there was a really bright storm known as the Berg. Over a few years, that storm started to migrate towards the equator before it disappeared. The current storm, spotted on August 6th in Uranus’ northern hemisphere, is even brighter than the Berg. Near-infrared images show that the storm will reach high altitudes near the tropopause. By studying this storm, we can see how storms on other planets evolve and compare it to those on Earth.
Fibonacci you crazy bastard….
As seen in the solar system (by no ridiculous coincidence), Earth orbits the Sun 8 times in the same period that Venus orbits the Sun 13 times! Drawing a line between Earth & Venus every week results in a spectacular FIVE side symmetry!!
Lets bring up those Fibonacci numbers again: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34..
So if we imagine planets with Fibonacci orbits, do they create Fibonacci symmetries?!
You bet!! Depicted here is a:
- 2 sided symmetry (5 orbits x 3 orbits)
- 3 sided symmetry (8 orbits x 5 orbits)
- 5 sided symmetry (13 orbits x 8 orbits) - like Earth & Venus
- 8 sided symmetry (21 orbits x 13 orbits)
I wonder if relationships like this exist somewhere in the universe….
The Eye of Saturn
Rings Around the Ring Nebula
SciShow Space shares the latest news from around the universe, including new details about our next mission to Mars, and a study that predicts a catastrophic solar storm may be more likely than we thought.