суббота, 17 ноября 2018 г.

Kepler Space Telescope Bid ‘Goodnight’ With Final Set of Commands


NASA – Kepler Space Telescope patch.


Nov. 17, 2018


On Thursday evening, NASA’s Kepler space telescope received its final set of commands to disconnect communications with Earth. The “goodnight” commands finalize the spacecraft’s transition into retirement, which began on Oct. 30 with NASA’s announcement that Kepler had run out of fuel and could no longer conduct science.



Reflections from NASA’s Kepler Mission

Video above: Kepler’s astounding success in proving there are more planets than stars in our galaxy, and the existence of many worlds that could be favorable to life has forever changed our perspective. Many members of the Kepler team and scientists offered thoughts on what this mission, and its finding of “more planets than stars,” has meant to them. Video Credit: NASA.


Coincidentally, Kepler’s “goodnight” coincides with the anniversary of the death of its namesake, German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion and died 388 years ago on Nov. 15, 1630.


The final commands were sent over NASA’s Deep Space Network from Kepler’s operations center at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, or LASP, at the University of Colorado in Boulder. LASP runs the spacecraft’s operations on behalf of NASA and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation in Boulder, Colorado.


 Kepler’s team disabled the safety modes that could inadvertently turn systems back on, and severed communications by shutting down the transmitters. Because the spacecraft is slowly spinning, the Kepler team had to carefully time the commands so that instructions would reach the spacecraft during periods of viable communication. The team will monitor the spacecraft to ensure that the commands were successful. The spacecraft is now drifting in a safe orbit around the Sun 94 million miles away from Earth.



Kepler Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA

The data Kepler collected over the course of more than nine years in operation will be mined for exciting discoveries for many years to come.


NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley manages the Kepler and K2 missions for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation operates the flight system with support from LASP.


Related article:


NASA Retires Kepler Space Telescope, Passes Planet-Hunting Torch:
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2018/10/nasa-retires-kepler-space-telescope.html


Kepler and K2: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html


Image (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Rick Chen.


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


NASA, Northrop Grumman Launch Space Station, National Lab Cargo


Northrop Grumman – NG-10 CRS Cygnus patch.


Nov. 17, 2018



Image above: Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft launches on an Antares rocket at 4:01 a.m. EST Nov. 17, 2018, from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 10th contracted cargo resupply mission for NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. Image Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky.


Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station with about 7,400 pounds of cargo after launching at 4:01 a.m. EST Saturday from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.



Image above: Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft blasted off at 4:01 a.m. EST today loaded with about 7,400 pounds of science, supplies and goodies for the station crew. Image Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky.


The spacecraft launched on an Antares 230 Rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at Wallops on the company’s 10th cargo delivery flight, and is scheduled to arrive at the orbital laboratory Monday, Nov. 19. Expedition 57 astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the space station’s robotic arm to grapple Cygnus about 5:20 a.m. Installation coverage will begin at 4 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.



NG CRS-10: Antares 230 launches SS John Young Cygnus spacecraft

This Commercial Resupply Services contract mission will support dozens of new and existing investigations as Expeditions 57 and 58 contribute to some 250 science and research studies. Highlights from the new experiments include a demonstration of 3D printing and recycling technology and simulating the creation of celestial bodies from stardust.


Recycling and Fabrication in Space


The Refabricator is the first-ever 3D printer and recycler integrated into one user-friendly machine. Once it’s installed in the space station, it will demonstrate recycling of waste plastic and previously 3D printed parts already on-board into high-quality filament (i.e. 3D printer ‘ink’). This recycled filament will then be fed into the printer to make new tools and parts on-demand in space. This technology could enable closed-loop, sustainable fabrication, repair and recycling on long-duration space missions, and greatly reduce the need to continually launch large supplies of new material and parts for repairs and maintenance.


The demonstration, which NASA’s Space Technology Mission and Human Exploration and Operations Directorates co-sponsored, is considered a key enabling technology for in-space manufacturing. NASA awarded a Small Business Innovation Research contract valued to Tethers Unlimited Inc. to build the recycling system.



Cygnus 5 approaching the ISS. Image Credit: NASA/ISS-45

Formation of the Early Solar System


The Experimental Chondrule Formation at the International Space Station (EXCISS) investigation will explore how planets, moons and other objects in space formed by simulating the high-energy, low-gravity conditions that were present during formation of the early solar system. Scientists plan to zap a specially formulated dust with an electrical current, and then study the shape and texture of the resulting pellets.


Understanding Parkinson’s Disease


The Crystallization of LRRK2 Under Microgravity Conditions-2 (PCG-16) investigation grows large crystals of an important protein, leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), in microgravity for analysis back on Earth. This protein is implicated in development of Parkinson’s disease, and improving our knowledge of its structure may help scientists better understand the pathology of the disease and develop therapies to treat it. LRRK2 crystals grown in gravity are too small and too compact to study, making microgravity an essential part of this research. This investigation is sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory on the space station, which Congress designated in 2005 to maximize its use for improving quality of life on Earth.



Northrop Grumman CRS-10 Mission to the Space Station: What’s On Board?

The Cygnus spacecraft will remain at the space station until February before its destructive reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, disposing of several thousand pounds of trash. This is the seventh flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft, and the fourth using Northrop Grumman’s upgraded Antares 230 launch vehicle featuring new RD-181 engines that provide increased performance and flexibility.


The spacecraft for this mission is named in honor of astronaut John Young. Young was selected for NASA’s second astronaut class and flew during the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. He walked on the Moon during Apollo 16 in 1972 and commanded the first space shuttle mission in 1981. Young passed away in January.


Learn more about Northrop Grumman’s mission at: https://www.nasa.gov/northropgrumman


For more than 18 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, 230 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,500 research investigations from researchers in 106 countries.


Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at: https://www.nasa.gov/station


Commercial Resupply: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/index.html


NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/live


Images (mentioned), Videos, Text, Credits: NASA/Josh Finch/Karen Northon/JSC/Gary Jordan/NASA TV/SciNews.


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Deep-time evolution of animal life on islands…


Deep-time evolution of animal life on islands http://www.geologypage.com/2018/11/deep-time-evolution-of-animal-life-on-islands.html


Climate change likely caused migration, demise of ancient Indus…


Climate change likely caused migration, demise of ancient Indus Valley civilization http://www.geologypage.com/2018/11/climate-change-likely-caused-migration-demise-of-ancient-indus-valley-civilization.html


Earth’s magnetic field measured using artificial stars at 90…


Earth’s magnetic field measured using artificial stars at 90 kilometers altitude http://www.geologypage.com/2018/11/earths-magnetic-field-measured-using-artificial-stars-at-90-kilometers-altitude.html


Scientists Help Provide First-Ever Views of Elusive Energy…


Scientists Help Provide First-Ever Views of Elusive Energy Explosion http://www.geologypage.com/2018/11/scientists-help-provide-first-ever-views-of-elusive-energy-explosion.html


Seismic study reveals huge amount of water dragged into Earth’s…


Seismic study reveals huge amount of water dragged into Earth’s interior http://www.geologypage.com/2018/11/seismic-study-reveals-huge-amount-of-water-dragged-into-earths-interior.html


Huge Crater Discovered in Greenland…


Huge Crater Discovered in Greenland http://www.geologypage.com/2018/11/huge-crater-discovered-in-greenland.html


2018 November 17 The Tarantula Nebula Image Credit &…


2018 November 17


The Tarantula Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Peter Ward (Barden Ridge Observatory)


Explanation: The Tarantula Nebula, also known as 30 Doradus, is more than a thousand light-years in diameter, a giant star forming region within nearby satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. About 180 thousand light-years away, it’s the largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies. The cosmic arachnid sprawls across this spectacular view, composed with narrowband filter data centered on emission from ionized hydrogen atoms. Within the Tarantula (NGC 2070), intense radiation, stellar winds and supernova shocks from the central young cluster of massive stars, cataloged as R136, energize the nebular glow and shape the spidery filaments. Around the Tarantula are other star forming regions with young star clusters, filaments, and blown-out bubble-shaped clouds. In fact, the frame includes the site of the closest supernova in modern times, SN 1987A, left of center. The rich field of view spans about 1 degree or 2 full moons, in the southern constellation Dorado. But were the Tarantula Nebula closer, say 1,500 light-years distant like the local star forming Orion Nebula, it would take up half the sky.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap181117.html


Six Science-y Shipments Sent to the Space Station

Northrop Grumman launched its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit

to the International

Space Station
at 4:01 a.m. EST on Nov. 17 from Wallops Flight

Facility
in Virginia. Cygnus launched on an Antares rocket carrying crew

supplies, equipment and scientific research to crewmembers aboard the station.

The spacecraft is named after NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy officer John Young, who

walked on the Moon during Apollo 16 and commanded the first space shuttle

mission. Throughout his lifetime, Young logged 835 hours in space over the course of six missions.


Antares launched the S.S. John Young from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A on Wallops

Island, carrying tons of cargo, including scientific investigations that will

study 3D printing and recycling, cement solidification, and crystals that may

fight Parkinson’s disease.


image

Here’s a look at six science-y experiments and research this mission will deliver to the space station.


1. 3D printing and recycling


Refabricator demonstrates an integrated 3D printer

and recycler for the first time aboard the space station.


image

It

recycles waste plastic materials into high-quality 3D-printer filament, which

could enable sustainable fabrication, repair, and recycling on long-duration

space missions.


2. Sensory input in microgravity


Changes

in sensory input in microgravity may be misinterpreted and cause a person to

make errors in estimation of velocity, distance or orientation.


image

VECTION,

a Canadian Space Agency (CSA)

investigation, examines this effect as well as whether people adapt to altered

sensory input on long-duration missions and how that adaptation changes upon

return to Earth.


3. Solidifying cement in space


The

MVP-Cell

05
investigation uses a centrifuge to provide a variable gravity environment to

study the complex process of cement solidification, a step toward eventually

making and using concrete on extraterrestrial bodies.


image

4. From stardust to solar systems


Much

of the universe was created when dust from star-based processes clumped into

intermediate-sized particles and eventually became planets, moons and other

objects. Many questions remain as to just how this worked, though.


image

The

EXCISS investigation seeks

answers by simulating the high-energy, low gravity conditions that were present

during formation of the early solar system. Scientists plan to zap a specially

formulated dust with an electrical current, then study the shape and texture of

pellets formed.


5. Growing crystals to fight

Parkinson’s disease


The

CASIS

PCG-16
investigation grows large crystals of an important protein, Leucine-rich

repeat kinase 2, or LRRK2, in microgravity for analysis back on Earth.


image

This

protein is implicated in development of Parkinson’s disease, and defining its

shape and morphology may help scientists better understand the pathology of the

disease and develop therapies to treat it. Crystals of LRRK2 grown in gravity are

too small and too compact to study, making microgravity an essential part of

this research.


6. Better

gas separation membranes


Membranes represent one of the most

energy-efficient and cost-effective technologies for separating and removing

carbon dioxide from waste gases, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. CEMSICA tests membranes made from particles of calcium-silicate (C-S) with pores

100 nanometers or smaller. Producing these membranes in microgravity may

resolve some of the challenges of their manufacture on Earth and lead to

development of lower-cost, more durable membranes that use less energy. The

technology ultimately may help reduce the harmful effects of CO2 emissions on

the planet.


For daily updates, follow @ISS_Research.


Make sure

to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:
http://nasa.tumblr.com


Morning at Avebury, 17.11.18.


Morning at Avebury, 17.11.18.


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Avebury Prehistoric Stone Avenue, 17.11.18.


Avebury Prehistoric Stone Avenue, 17.11.18.


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Roman Centurion Sculpture Maquette and Final Work, Segedunum Roman Fort, Wallsend,...



Roman Centurion Sculpture Maquette and Final Work, Segedunum Roman Fort, Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne


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Segedunum Roman Fort and Recreated Roman Gardens, Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne











Segedunum Roman Fort and Recreated Roman Gardens, Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne


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Fluorite & Smoky Quartz | #Geology #GeologyPage…


Fluorite & Smoky Quartz | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral


Locality: Göscheneralp, Uri, Switzerland


Size: 5 × 4.6 × 2.2 cm


Photo Copyright © Viamineralia /e-rocks.com


Geology Page

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Tanzanite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality: Merelani…


Tanzanite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral


Locality: Merelani Hills, Arusha Region, Tanzania (United Republic)


Size: 3.2 × 1.5 × 1.3 cm


Photo Copyright © Viamineralia /e-rocks.com


Geology Page

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BqRZdqLF77m/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=14ywhbtyflocp


Erythrite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality : Bou Azzer…


Erythrite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral


Locality : Bou Azzer District, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Souss-Massa-Draa Region, Morocco


Size : 1,8 x 1,1 x 0,8 cm


Photo Copyright © Le Comptoir Géologique


Geology Page

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Grand Canyon | #Geology #GeologyPage #Arizona #USA The Grand…


Grand Canyon | #Geology #GeologyPage #Arizona #USA


The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the state of Arizona in the United States.


The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters). Nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.


Geology Page

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Fluorite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality: La Barre,…


Fluorite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral


Locality: La Barre, Puy-de-Dôme (63), France


Size : 3,3 x 2,6 x 1,8 cm


Photo Copyright © Le Comptoir Géologique


Geology Page

www.geologypage.com

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqRZvgilWvd/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=1w9d2nh2azrmc


Uranocircite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality:…


Uranocircite | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral


Locality: Streuberg Quarry, Bergen, Bergen U deposit, Zobes-Bergen District, Vogtland, Saxony, Germany


Size : 2,5 x 1,8 x 1,8 cm


Photo Copyright © Le Comptoir Géologique


Geology Page

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BqRZ2lDlGoF/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=11dhwjg8cv6


Meteor Activity Outlook for November 17-23, 2018

Wade Earl created this composite of Perseid activity on August 10, 11, and 12, 2018. He recorded 58 meteors  taken with a Canon 5D2 at ISO 800 with a Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art lens stopped down to f/1.6. The nice, dark skies of eastern Oregon provide the backdrop.

During this period the moon will reach its full phase on Friday November 23rd. At this time the moon will be located opposite the sun and will lie above the horizon all night long. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will set during the early morning hours allowing a few hours of observations before the start of morning twilight. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 2 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 20 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and 14 from the southern tropics. The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity. Evening rates are reduced during this period due to moonlight. Note that the hourly rates listed below are estimates as viewed from dark sky sites away from urban light sources. Observers viewing from urban areas will see less activity as only the brighter meteors will be visible from such locations.


The radiant (the area of the sky where meteors appear to shoot from) positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning November 17/18. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period. Most star atlases (available at science stores and planetariums) will provide maps with grid lines of the celestial coordinates so that you may find out exactly where these positions are located in the sky. A planisphere or computer planetarium program is also useful in showing the sky at any time of night on any date of the year. Activity from each radiant is best seen when it is positioned highest in the sky, either due north or south along the meridian, depending on your latitude. It must be remembered that meteor activity is rarely seen at the radiant position. Rather they shoot outwards from the radiant so it is best to center your field of view so that the radiant lies near the edge and not the center. Viewing there will allow you to easily trace the path of each meteor back to the radiant (if it is a shower member) or in another direction if it is a sporadic. Meteor activity is not seen from radiants that are located far below the horizon. The positions below are listed in a west to east manner in order of right ascension (celestial longitude). The positions listed first are located further west therefore are accessible earlier in the night while those listed further down the list rise later in the night.





Radiant Positions at 7pm LST


Radiant Positions at 7:00pm

Local Standard Time






Radiant Positions at 12:00 LST


Radiant Positions at 12:00am

Local Standard Time






Radiant Positions at 5am LST


Radiant Positions at 5:00am

Local Standard Time





These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week.


The Northern Taurids (NTA) are active from a large radiant located at 04:22 (065) +25. This area of the sky is located in northern Taurus, about 7 degrees east of the naked eye open cluster known as the Pleiades. This position is close to the Southern Taurids so great care must be taken in separating these meteors. You must have the two radiants near the center of your field of view to properly differentiate these sources. Current rates would be 2 per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and 1 per hour as seen from south of the equator. These meteors may be seen all night long but the radiant is best placed near midnight local standard time (LST) when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 28 km/sec., the average Northern Taurid meteor would be of slow velocity.


The omicron Eridanids (OER) were discovered by Japanese observers using video data from SonotoCo in 2007-2008. This is a weak shower that usually produces rates less than 1 per hour, even at maximum activity. The radiant is currently located at 04:28 (067) +01, which places it on the Eridanus/Taurus border, 6 degrees west of the 4th magnitude star known as pi5 Orionis. These meteors may be seen all night long but the radiant is best placed near midnight LST when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 29 km/sec., the average omicron Eridanid meteor would be of slow velocity.


The Southern Taurids (STA) are active from a large radiant centered near 04:31 (068) +18. This position lies in central Taurus, 2 degrees northwest of the orange 1st magnitude star known as Aldebaran (alpha Tauri). These meteors may be seen all night long but the radiant is best placed near midnight LST when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Rates at this time should be near 1 per hour regardless of your location. With an entry velocity of 27 km/sec., the average Southern Taurid meteor would be of slow velocity.


The November Orionids (NOO) are active from a radiant located at 05:20 (080) +16. This area of the sky lies on the Taurus/Orion border, 10 degrees north of the 2nd magnitude star known as Bellatrix (gamma Orionis). This area of the sky is best placed in the sky near 0100 LST, when it lies highest above the horizon. This stream is active from November 7 through December 17, with maximum activity occurring on November 29. Rates should be near 1 per hour no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 43 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of medium speed.


The theta Aurigids (THA) were discovered by Dr. Peter Brown using the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar. This stream is active from November 17 through December 1, with maximum activity occurring on November 26. The radiant currently lies at 05:46 (086) +35, which places it in central Auriga, 3 degrees southwest of the 3rd magnitude star known as theta Aurigae. This area of the sky is best placed in the sky near 0200 LST, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Rates should be less than 1 per hour no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 33 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of medium-slow velocity. These meteors are expected to be faint and may be difficult to observe unless viewing conditions are near optimum.


The alpha Monocerotids (AMO) are a shower of variable strength capable of outbursts, but usually very quiet. Activity may be seen for a week centered on November 22, but activity is usually limited to November 21-23. Maximum activity is expected on November 22 when the radiant lies at 07:47 (117) +01. This area of the sky lies in southeastern Canis Minor, 4 degrees southeast of the brilliant zero magnitude star known as Procyon (alpha Canis Minoris). This area of the sky is best placed in the sky near 0400 LST, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Rates of less than 1 per hour are expected at maximum but there may be a small amount of activity occurring near 00:50 Universal Time. This timing favors Europe, Africa, and western Asia. Unfortunately this occurs near the full moon so observations will be difficult at best.


The Orionids (ORI) are still active from a radiant located at 08:15 (124) +14, which places it in southwestern Cancer, 6 degrees north of the 4th magnitude star known as Tarf (beta Cancri). This area of the sky is best placed in the sky near 0400 LST, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Rates should be near 1 per hour no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 67 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of swift speed.


The Leonids (LEO) are active from November 2-30 with maximum activity occurring near November 17th. The radiant is currently located at 10:19 (155) +21. This area of the sky is located in western Leo, just north of the 2nd magnitude star known as Algieba (gamma Leonis). Rates are expected to be near 3 per hour this weekend . Rates seen from the southern hemisphere will be slightly lower. These meteors are best seen during the last hour before dawn when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. With an entry velocity of 70 km/sec., the average Leonid meteor would be of swift velocity.


As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately 12 sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near 2 per hour. As seen from the tropical southern latitudes (25S), morning rates would be near 8 per hour as seen from rural observing sites and 1 per hour during the evening hours. Locations between these two extremes would see activity between the listed figures.


The list below offers the information from above in tabular form. Rates and positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning except where noted in the shower descriptions.































































































SHOWER DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY CELESTIAL POSITION ENTRY VELOCITY CULMINATION HOURLY RATE CLASS
RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Standard Time North-South
Northern Taurids (NTA) Nov 02 04:22 (065) +25 28 00:00 2 – 1 II
omicron Eridanids (OER) Nov 04 04:28 (067) +01 29 00:00 <1 – <1 IV
Southern Taurids (STA) Oct 29-Nov 03 04:31 (068) +18 27 00:00 1 – 1 II
November Orionids (NOO) Nov 29 05:20 (080) +16 43 01:00 1 – 1 II
November theta Aurigids (THA) Nov 26 05:46 (086) +35 33 02:00 <1 – <1 IV
alpha Monocerotids (AMO) Nov 22 07:47 (117) +01 63 04:00 <1 – <1 III
Orionids (ORI) Oct 22 08:15 (124) +14 67 05:00 1 – 1 I
Leonids (LEO) Nov 17 10:19 (155) +21 70 07:00 3 – 2 I

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Comet 17P/Holmes which exhibited a Great Outburst in October 2007 was Born in a Region of...


Figure 1: Mid-infrared image of Comet 17P/Holmes on October 25, 2007. The mid-infrared observations of the comet by COMICS on the Subaru Telescope were carried out for four consecutive nights from two days to five days after its great outburst on October 23, 2007 UT. (Credit: NAOJ)


A team of astronomers led by Yoshiharu Shinnaka of Koyama Astronomical Observatory of Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan, has discovered that Comet 17P/Holmes formed in a cold region of the solar nebula far from the Sun. This suggests that Comet 17P/Holmes probably includes highly volatile species abundantly (with low sublimation temperatures below ~50 K) and that sublimation of these volatiles could be responsible for the comet’s explosive releases of dust grains. These new insights come from re-analysing mid-infrared spectra of the comet taken by the Cooled Mid-Infrared Camera and Spectrograph (COMICS) on the Subaru Telescope during October 25 to 28, 2007.


Comet 17P/Holmes is a short-period comet with an orbital period of ~7 years. The comet underwent a great outburst starting on October 23, 2007 (when the comet was 2.5 au from the Sun), five months after perihelion at 2.05 au on May 5, 2007. The total magnitude of this outburst reached a maximum brightness of ~2-3 mag in V-band within two days after the outburst, increasing from an initial brightness of ~17 mag. This huge outburst, with a 15 mag brightness increase, was unlike any other. Other than the outburst in 2007, Comet 17P/Holmes had exhibited outbursts in November 1892, when the comet was discovered by E. Holmes, and January 1893.


This research focuses on the dust components released from Comet 17P/Holmes. A cometary nucleus includes minerals called silicates. Cometary silicates consist of both amorphous and crystalline forms. Silicates in amorphous form exist in interstellar space and might have been incorporated into the cometary nucleus in the solar nebula in the early Solar System. Meanwhile, it has been thought that crystalline silicates formed by the annealing of amorphous silicate grains or direct condensation of gaseous materials in hot regions of the solar nebula near the Sun and were incorporated into cometary nuclei in the cold comet-forming region (~5—30 au from the Sun) after radial transportation of the silicate grains in the solar nebula. Because the mass fraction of crystalline silicates with respect to the total (amorphous + crystalline) silicates is expected to be smaller for further distances from the Sun in the solar nebula, it is thought that a smaller mass fraction of crystalline silicates in a comet indicates that the comet formed at a further distance from the Sun in the solar nebula.


The researchers found that dust grains of Comet 17P/Holmes contain a large amount of amorphous silicates (less crystalline silicates) compared with grains of other comets. This result is evidence that Comet 17P/Holmes formed in a farther, colder region in the solar nebula than other comets. At such a region, it is expected that much CO ice (which has a low sublimation temperature of ~30 K) and amorphous water ices (which through crystallization in the low temperature conditions become an energy source for explosive sublimation) would have existed. 



Figure 2: The mid-infrared spectrum of Comet 17P/Holmes on October 25, 2007. Four striking thermal emission features of silicate dust grains are seen around 10 microns. Narrow peaks originate from crystalline silicate and the peak position depends on the Mg/Fe ratio of the silicate grains. The sets of six vertical lines (red, orange, green, blue, purple, and black in order from left to right) indicate peak wavelengths of the 10.0, 10.4, 11.2 and 11.9 microns lines with Mg/(Mg + Fe) ratios of 100% to 0% in 20% intervals. The vertical gray bar is the absorption band of telluric ozone (O3). (Credit: NAOJ)


These results were published on October 31, 2018 in The Astronomical Journal (Shinnaka et al., 156, 242, “Mid-infrared Spectroscopic Observations of Comet 17P/Holmes Immediately After Its Great Outburst in 2007”). This research paper is also available as a preprint (Shinnaka et al., arxiv: 1808.07606) on arxiv.org. This research is supported by Grants-in-Aid from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellows, 15J10864 (YS) and for Scientific Research (C), 17K05381 (TO). This paper is based on data collected at the Subaru Telescope and obtained from SMOKA, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.


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Russia’s Cargo Craft Blasts Off to Station for Sunday Delivery


ROSCOSMOS – Russian Vehicles patch.


November 16, 2018



Image above: Russia’s Progress 71 cargo craft blasts off on time to the International Space Station for a Sunday delivery. Image Credits: ROSCOSMOS/NASA.


Carrying almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted Russian Progress 71 cargo spacecraft launched at 1:14 p.m. EST (12:14 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, Baikonur) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.


At the time of launch, the International Space Station was flying about 252 statute miles over southern Kazakhstan.


The resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned. The Russian cargo craft will make 34 orbits of Earth before docking to the orbiting laboratory at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. NASA Television coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin at 1:45 p.m.



Soyuz-FG launches Progress MS-10

Progress 71 will remain docked at the station for more than four months before departing in March for its deorbit in Earth’s atmosphere.


Crew aboard the space station are scheduled to receive two cargo resupply missions in the coming days. Tomorrow, launch of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket with Cygnus cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station is targeted for 4:01 a.m. from Pad 0A of Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. NASA TV will provide launch broadcast coverage online beginning at 3:30 a.m. A Cygnus launch Saturday would result in capture and berthing on Monday, Nov. 19.


Related links:


Expedition 57: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition57/index.html


NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/live


ROSCOSMOS Press Release: https://www.roscosmos.ru/25739/


Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html


International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html


Image (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: NASA/Marck Garcia/SciNews.


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HiPOD (16 November 2018): Gullies and Crevasses on a Mesa    –…



HiPOD (16 November 2018): Gullies and Crevasses on a Mesa 


   – Alt: 302 km, less than 5 km across.


NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


Roman-era mosaic unearthed in ancient city of Antiochia ad Cragum on southern coast of...

A rare, second-century figural floor mosaic has been unearthed in the ancient Roman city of Antiochia ad Cragum on the southern coast of Turkey.











Roman-era mosaic unearthed in ancient city of Antiochia ad Cragum on southern coast of Turkey
Turkish members of an excavation team led by Nebraska art history professor Michael Hoff sweep dirt 
away from a new mosaic discovered in August 2018 [Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln]

The newly discovered mosaic features unusual composition and risqué subject matter – essentially ancient dirty jokes about the mythological characters Narcissus and Ganymede. The mosaics adorned the floor of a marble-lined public latrine that apparently served patrons of the adjacent Great Roman Bath Complex and those attending events at a nearby bouleuterion, or council house.
Michael Hoff, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln art history professor who has led excavations at Antiochia ad Cragum since 2005, also reported that the 2018 excavation uncovered a hoard of more than 3,000 coins, dating to the early 17th century, which may have been treasure buried by Barbary Coast pirates at the site of an abandoned bathhouse near the ancient city; and a human skeleton, possibly a murder victim whose body had been dumped in the same bathhouse a thousand years earlier.


Forensic anthropologists Emily Hammerl of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Megan Moore of Eastern Michigan University, both working on site, examined the skeleton and concluded it belonged to a young man who died at a different location before his body was moved to the bathhouse.











Roman-era mosaic unearthed in ancient city of Antiochia ad Cragum on southern coast of Turkey
The mythological figure Ganymede appears in this detail of the mosaic paving for an ancient latrine 
discovered near the town centre [Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln]

Though it’s not rare to find a latrine in an ancient city, Hoff describes this find as “extraordinary.”


“When we excavate a city like this, we sometimes forget about the human factor – that this was a city of people, not just of things,” he said. “What we find is things, but this is really a reminder that there were real people involved in this story and they had a sense of humor. It’s a humanizing factor that made our find even more exciting.”


The mosaic was found in one of the earliest examples of latrines found in Anatolia, according to an expert in ancient mosaics.


“Of course, all of the ancient cities had latrines – but not all of them have been exposed or survived to the present day,” said Birol Can, an art historian from Uşak University in Turkey and a visiting research professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.











Roman-era mosaic unearthed in ancient city of Antiochia ad Cragum on southern coast of Turkey
The mythological figure Narcissus appears in this detail of an ancient latrine’s mosaic floor
[Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln]

Few with mosaic paving, found mostly in Italy, have survived from Roman days, Can said. Only two Italian examples feature human figures like those depicted in the Antiochia ad Cragum mosaics.


The latrine mosaics at Antiochia ad Cragum are particularly notable for their humorous, “not-suitable-for-work,” content. Two of three panels survive, each about 3 meters by 2 meters, both featuring bathroom humor versions of Greek myth.


One panel features Narcissus, the boy who fell in love with his own beauty, and the other Ganymede, cupbearer to the gods. In the mosaic versions, Narcissus has fallen in love with part of his own anatomy and Ganymede is bearing the ancient version of toilet paper.


“The Antiochia ad Cragum latrine mosaics are a unique example of both the quality of workmanship and the highlighted topic,” Can said. “(They are) completely original in terms of narrative form, although they contain mythological figures.”











Roman-era mosaic unearthed in ancient city of Antiochia ad Cragum on southern coast of Turkey
Discoveries at the ancient Roman city of Antiochia ad Cragum in Turkey include: 1. A swimming pool and bath house 
with a plaza paved with an elaborate geometric mosaic discovered in 2012; 2. A bath complex that has been
 partially excavated; 3. An adjoining latrine where unusual mosaics were uncovered this year; and 4. Fan-shaped 
ruins that once supported bleacher seating in a building that may have served as a council house 
or bouleuterion, music hall and theatre [Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln]

Mosaics were a laborious and expensive art, he said, and the customers who commissioned these works took into consideration both their own tastes and beliefs, as well as the appreciation of other viewers.


At some time in its history, part of the mosaic was damaged and repaired with plain stones, most likely to save on expense. It was damaged again, perhaps when the building’s walls were knocked down and its marble paneling salvaged to make mortar, Hoff noted. One panel is completely missing and a significant portion of the Narcissus panel is gone.


Antiochia ad Cragum was established about the time of Nero during the first century and flourished during the height of the Roman Empire. At its height, it may have been home to more than 6,000 people. By the time of the fourth century, the area was a key site for the development of Christianity. The city was abandoned by the time the Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantine Empire in 1071.


The archaeological team excavating the site previously has uncovered several other mosaics, most notably a 1,600-square-foot geometric mosaic that surrounded a swimming pool outside the Great Roman Bath Complex. That work is believed to be the largest mosaic of its type in the region.


The Antiochia ad Cragum excavation is in partnership with Uşak University in Turkey, Clark University in Massachusetts, the Peter Kiewit Institute at the University of Nebraska and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey. Students from St. Olaf College in Minnesota also regularly participate in the project.


Author: Leslie Reed | Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln [November 13, 2018]



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