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#comets
nobrashfestivity · 2 years ago
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Unknown, Comets from the Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs, 1552
Later published as The Book of Miracles
Wikimedia
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nemfrog · 3 years ago
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“Meteorites, aerolites, and fireballs.” Elements of astronomy. 1868. 
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weirdlandtv · 2 years ago
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THE WANDERINGS OF A COMET (1844). French caricaturist, J. J. Grandville (1803-1847).
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nobrashfestivity · a month ago
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Unknown, The Comet Book, 1587
source: public domain review
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thepersonalwords · 2 years ago
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You see, you may be damaged and broken and unhinged. But so are shooting stars and comets.
Nikita Gill, Your Soul is a River
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nasa · 11 months ago
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The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Here!
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Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls 
The Perseids are at their peak this week!
The Perseid meteor shower, one of the biggest meteor showers of the year, will be at its brightest early in the morning on Thursday, August 12 and Friday, August 13. Read on for some tips on how to watch the night sky this week – and to find out: what exactly are the Perseids, anyway?
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Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Your best chance to spot the Perseids will be between 2 AM and dawn (local time) the morning of August 12 or 13. Find a dark spot, avoid bright lights (yes, that includes your phone) and get acclimated to the night sky.
Your eyes should be at peak viewing capacity after about 30 minutes; with a clear, dark sky, you could see more than 40 Perseids an hour! If you’re not an early bird, you can try and take a look soon after sunset (around 9 PM) on the 12th, though you may not see as many Perseids then.
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Credit: NASA/MEO
If it’s too cloudy, or too bright, to go skywatching where you are, just stay indoors and watch the Perseids online!
Our Meteor Watch program will be livestreaming the Perseids from Huntsville, Alabama on Facebook (weather permitting), starting around 11 p.m. EDT on August 11 and continuing through sunrise.
So… why are they called the Perseids?
Because all of a meteor shower’s meteors have similar orbits, they appear to come from the same place in the sky – a point called the radiant. 
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The radiant for the Perseids, as you might guess from the name, is in the constellation Perseus, found near Aries and Taurus in the night sky.
But they’re not actually coming from Perseus, right?
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Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Right! The Perseids are actually fragments of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits within our solar system.
If you want to learn more about the Perseids, visit our Watch the Skies blog or check out our monthly “What’s Up” video series. Happy viewing!
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space!
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weirdlandtv · a year ago
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Illustrator, Kaye Blegvad.
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nasa · 3 years ago
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10 Things: Mysterious 'Oumuamua
The interstellar object 'Oumuamua perplexed scientists in October 2017 as it whipped past Earth at an unusually high speed. This mysterious visitor is the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere.  Here are five things we know and five things we don’t know about the first confirmed interstellar object to pass through our solar system.
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1. We know it’s not from around here.
 The object known as 1I/2017 U1 (and nicknamed ‘Oumuamua) was traveling too fast (196,000 mph, that’s 54 miles per second or 87.3 kilometers per second) to have originated in our solar system. Comets and asteroids from within our solar system move at a slower speed, typically an average of 12 miles per second (19 kilometers per second) . In non-technical terms, 'Oumuamua is an “interstellar vagabond.”
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Artist impression of the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua. Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, ESO, M. Kornmesser
2. We’re not sure where it came from.
'Oumuamua entered our solar system from the rough direction of the constellation Lyra, but it’s impossible to tell where it originally came from. Thousands of years ago, when 'Oumuamua started to wander from its parent planetary system, the stars were in a different position so it’s impossible to pinpoint its point of origin. It could have been wandering the galaxy for billions of years.
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3. We know it’s out of here.
'Oumuamua is headed back out of our solar system and won’t be coming back. It’s rapidly headed in the direction of the constellation Pegasus and will cross the orbit of Neptune in about four years and cover one light year’s distance in about 11,000 years.
4. We don’t really know what it looks like.
We’ve only seen it as a speck of light through a telescope (it is far away and less than half a mile in length), but its unique rotation leads us to believe that it’s elongated like a cigar, about 10 times longer than it is wide. We can’t see it anymore. Artist’s concepts are the best guesses at what it might look like.
5. We know it got a little speed boost.
A rapid response observing campaign allowed us to watch as 'Oumuamua got an unexpected boost in speed. The acceleration slightly changed its course from earlier predictions.
“This additional subtle force on ′Oumuamua likely is caused by jets of gaseous material expelled from its surface,” said Davide Farnocchia of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “This same kind of outgassing affects the motion of many comets in our solar system.”
6. We know it’s tumbling.
Unusual variations in the comet’s brightness suggest it is rotating on more than one axis.
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This illustration shows ‘Oumuamua racing toward the outskirts of our solar system. As the complex rotation of the object makes it difficult to determine the exact shape, there are many models of what it could look like. Credits: NASA/ESA/STScI
7. We don’t know what it’s made of.
Comets in our solar system kick off lots of dust and gas when they get close to the Sun, but 'Oumuamua did not, which led observers to consider defining it as an asteroid.
Karen Meech, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy, said small dust grains, present on the surface of most comets, may have eroded away during ′Oumuamua's long journey through interstellar space. "The more we study ′Oumuamua, the more exciting it gets." she said. It could be giving off gases that are harder to see than dust, but it’s impossible to know at this point.
8. We knew to expect it.
Just not when. The discovery of an interstellar object has been anticipated for decades. The space between the stars probably has billions and billions of asteroids and comets roaming around independently. Scientists understood that inevitably, some of these small bodies would enter our own solar system. This interstellar visit by ‘Oumuamua reinforces our models of how planetary systems form.
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9. We don’t know what it’s doing now.
After January 2018, 'Oumuamua was no longer visible to telescopes, even in space. But scientists continue to analyze the data gathered during the international observing campaign and crack open more mysteries about this unique interstellar visitor.
10. We know there’s a good chance we’ll see another one...eventually.
Because ′Oumuamua is the first interstellar object ever observed in our solar system, researchers caution that it’s difficult to draw general conclusions about this newly-discovered class of celestial bodies. Observations point to the possibility that other star systems regularly eject small comet-like objects and there should be more of them drifting among the stars. Future ground- and space-based surveys could detect more of these interstellar vagabonds, providing a larger sample for scientists to analyze. Adds, Karen Meech, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy: “I can hardly wait for the next interstellar object!"
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.
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sixpenceee · 2 years ago
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Ever wanted to know how big comets actually are? Here's comet 67P in relation to the city of Los Angeles! 👀🌠 (via r/interestingasf**k)
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nobrashfestivity · a year ago
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Unknown, Comets from the Augsburg Book of Miraculous Signs, 1552
Later published as The Book of Miracles
Wikimedia
more
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nasa · a year ago
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Whilst practicing solar distancing, Parker Solar Probe caught this rare glimpse of the twin tails on comet NEOWISE.☄
The twin tails are seen more clearly in this WISPR instrument processed image, which increased contrast and removed excess brightness from scattered sunlight, revealing more de-"tails". C/2020 F3 NEOWISE was discovered by our Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), on March 27. Since it's discovery the comet has been spotted by several NASA spacecraft, including Parker Solar Probe, NASA’s Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory, the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, and astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com
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clawmarks · 2 years ago
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Illustration from The book of Khalid - Ameen Fares Rihani - 1911 - via Internet Archive
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nasa · a year ago
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Galactic Ghouls and Stellar Screams
A quiet, starry night sky might not seem like a very eerie spectacle, but space can be a creepy place! Monsters lurk in the shadowy depths of the universe, sometimes hidden in plain sight. Many of them are invisible to our eyes, so we have to use special telescopes to see them. Read on to discover some of these strange cosmic beasts, but beware — sometimes fact is scarier than fiction.
Monster Black Holes ⚫
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You know those nightmares where no matter how fast you try to run you never seem to get anywhere? Black holes are a sinister possible version of that dream — especially because they’re real! If you get too close to a black hole, there is no possibility of escape.
Just last year our Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope traced an otherworldly ghost particle back to one of these monster black holes, providing additional insight into the many signals we’re picking up from some of the most feared creatures in the cosmic deep.
But it gets worse. Our Hubble Space Telescope revealed that these things are hidden in the hearts of nearly every galaxy in the universe. That means supermassive black holes lurk in the shadows of the night sky in every direction you look!
A Hazy Specter 👻
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This fiendish specter lives in the center of the Milky Way, haunting our galaxy’s supermassive black hole. But it’s not as scary as it looks! Our SOFIA observatory captured streamlines tracing a magnetic field that appears to be luring most of the material quietly into orbit around the black hole. In other galaxies, magnetic fields seem to be feeding material into hungry black holes — beware! Magnetic fields might be the answer to why some black holes are starving while others are feasting.
Bats in the Belfry 🦇
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The universe has bats in the attic! Hubble spotted the shadow of a giant cosmic bat in the Serpens Nebula. Newborn stars like the one at the center of the bat, called HBC 672, are surrounded by disks of material, which are hard to study directly. The shadows they cast, like the bat, can clue scientists in on things like the disk’s size and density. Our solar system formed from the same type of disk of material, but we can only see the end result of planet building here — we want to learn more about the process!
Jack-o-lantern Sun 🎃
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A jack-o-lantern in space?! Our Solar Dynamics Observatory watches the Sun at all times, keeping a close eye on space weather. In October 2014, the observatory captured a chilling image of the Sun with a Halloweenish face!
Skull Comet 💀
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On Halloween a few years ago, an eerie-looking object known as 2015 TB145 sped across the night sky. Scientists observing it with our Infrared Telescope Facility determined that it was most likely a dead comet. It’s important to study objects like comets and asteroids because they’re dangerous if they cross Earth’s path — just ask the dinosaurs!
Halloween Treat 🍬
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Trick-or-treat! Add a piece of glowing cosmic candy to your Halloween haul, courtesy of Hubble! This image shows the Saturn Nebula, formed from the outer layers ejected by a dying star, destined to be recycled into later generations of stars and planets. Our Sun will experience a similar fate in around five billion years.
Witch’s Broom Nebula 🧹
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Massive stars are in for a more fiery fate, as the Witch's Broom Nebula shows. Hubble’s close-up look reveals wisps of gas — shrapnel leftover from a supernova explosion. Astronomers believe that a couple of supernovae occur each century in galaxies like our own Milky Way.
Zombie Stars 🧟
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Supernovae usually herald the death of a star, but on a few occasions astronomers have found “zombie stars” left behind after unusually weak supernovae. Our Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has even spotted a mysterious glow of high-energy X-rays that could be the “howls” of dead stars as they feed on their neighbors.
Intergalactic Ghost Towns 🏚️
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The universe is brimming with galaxies, but it’s also speckled with some enormous empty pockets of space, too. These giant ghost towns, called voids, may be some of the largest things in the cosmos, and since the universe is expanding, galaxies are racing even farther away from each other all the time! Be grateful for your place in space — the shadowy patches of the universe are dreadful lonely scenes.
Mysterious Invisible Force 🕵️‍♀️
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Some forces are a lot creepier than floorboards creaking or a door slamming shut unexpectedly when you’re home alone. Dark energy is a mysterious antigravity pressure that our Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is going to help us understand. All we know so far is that it’s present everywhere in the cosmos (even in the room with you as you read this) and it controls the fate of the universe, but WFIRST will study hundreds of millions of galaxies to figure out just what dark energy is up to.
Want to learn some fun ways to celebrate Halloween in (NASA) style? Check out this link!
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com
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nasa · a year ago
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Get Ready Stargazers: The Geminids Are Here!
The Geminid meteor shower, one of the biggest meteor showers of the year, will peak this weekend, December 13 to 14. We get a lot of questions about the Geminids—so we’ve put together some answers to the ones we’re most commonly asked. Take a look!  
What are the Geminids?
The Geminids are pieces of debris from an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. Earth runs into Phaethon’s debris stream every year in mid-December, causing meteors to fly from the direction of the constellation Gemini – hence the name “Geminids.”  
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Image Credit: Arecibo Observatory/NASA/NSF
When is the best time to view them?
This year, the peak is during the overnight hours of December 13 and into the morning of December 14. Viewing should still be good on the night of December 14 into the early morning hours of the 15th. Weather permitting, the Geminids can be viewed from around midnight to 4 a.m. local time. The best time to see them is around 2 a.m. your local time on December 14, when the Geminid radiant is highest in your night sky. The higher the radiant – the celestial point in the sky from which meteors appear to originate – rises into the sky, the more meteors you are likely to see.
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Image Credit & Copyright: Jeff Dai
What is the best way to see them?
Find the darkest place you can and give your eyes about 30 minutes to adapt to the dark. Avoid looking at your cell phone, as it will disrupt your night vision. Lie flat on your back and look straight up, taking in as much sky as possible. You will soon start to see the Geminid meteors!
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Image Credit: NASA/Bill Dunford
Can you see the Geminids from anywhere in the world?
The Geminids are best observed in the Northern Hemisphere, but no matter where you are in the world (except Antarctica), some Geminids will be visible.
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Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake
How many Geminids can I expect to see?
Under dark, clear skies, the Geminids can produce up to 120 meteors per hour – but this year, a bright, nearly full moon will hinder observations of the shower. Still, observers can hope to see up to 30 meteors per hour. Happy viewing!  
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Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com
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clawmarks · 2 years ago
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Illustration from Rambosson’s Astronomy - 1875 - via Internet Archive
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