суббота, 5 января 2019 г.

Cawfields Quarry Roman Milecastle and Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 23.12.18.











Cawfields Quarry Roman Milecastle and Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 23.12.18.


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Merrivale Stone Circle in the fog, Merrivale Prehistoric Complex, Merrivale, Dartmoor,...







Merrivale Stone Circle in the fog, Merrivale Prehistoric Complex, Merrivale, Dartmoor, 29.12.18.


A low lying stone circle with multiple small stones, close to a solitary standing stone or outlier.


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2019 January 5 Yutu 2 on the Farside Image Credit: Chinese…


2019 January 5


Yutu 2 on the Farside
Image Credit: Chinese National Space Administration


Explanation: On January 3, the Chinese Chang’e-4 spacecraft made the first successful landing on the Moon’s farside. Taken by a camera on board the lander, this image is from the landing site inside Von Karman crater. It shows the desksized, six-wheeled Yutu 2 (Jade Rabbit 2) rover as it rolled down lander ramps and across the surface near local sunrise and the start of the two week long lunar day. Ripe for exploration, Von Karman crater itself is 186 kilometers in diameter. It lies within the Moon’s old and deep South Pole-Aitken impact basin with some of the most ancient and least understood lunar terrains. To bridge communications from the normally hidden hemisphere of the Moon, China launched a relay satellite, Queqiao, in May of 2018 in to an orbit beyond the lunar farside.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190105.html


Solitary Bronze Age Hut Circle near Grimspound, Dartmoor, 29.12.18.The foundations of a...








Solitary Bronze Age Hut Circle near Grimspound, Dartmoor, 29.12.18.


The foundations of a roundhouse in the fog.


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HiPOD 4 January 2019: Layered Deposits in the Northern…



HiPOD 4 January 2019: Layered Deposits in the Northern Mid-Latitudes


The objective of this observation is to examine layered features in an irregularly shaped depression and a nearby crater. Some researchers have suggested that the shape of mounds in large craters may be due to the wind. With this image, wind directions may be studied to see if they caused the irregular shape.


ID: ESP_054486_2210
Date: 12 March 2018
Altitude: 297 km


NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


Merrivale Standing Stone in the fog, Merrivale Prehistoric Complex, Merrivale, Dartmoor,...


Merrivale Standing Stone in the fog, Merrivale Prehistoric Complex, Merrivale, Dartmoor, 29.12.18.








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Meteor Activity Outlook for January 5-11, 2019

Peter C. S. captured this bright Geminid meteor on the morning of December 14, 2018, from Bayrischzell, Bavaria, Germany

During this period the moon will reach its new phase on Saturday January 5th. At this time the moon will be located near the sun and will be invisible at night. As the week progresses the waxing crescent moon will enter the evening sky but will set long before the more active morning hours arrive. 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 15 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and 12 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. 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 January 5/6. 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 7:00pm Local Standard Time







Radiant Positions at 12:00am Local Standard Time







Radiant Positions at 5:00am Local Standard Time





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


Now that the activity from particles produced by comet 2P/Encke have ceased encountering the Earth, the Taurid showers are over and we resume reporting activity from the Anthelion (ANT) radiant. This is not a true radiant but rather activity caused by the Earth’s motion through space. As the Earth revolves around the sun it encounters particles orbiting in a pro-grade motion that are approaching their perihelion point. They all appear to be radiating from an area near the opposition point of the sun, hence the name Anthelion. These were once recorded as separate showers throughout the year but it is now suggested to bin them into their category separate from true showers and sporadics. There are several lists that have the delta Cancrids currently active, but we include them with the Anthelions as the celestial positions overlap. This radiant is a very large oval some thirty degrees wide by fifteen degrees high. Activity from this radiant can appear from more than one constellation. The position listed here is for the center of the radiant which is currently located at 07:52 (118) +21. This position lies in eastern Gemini, 7 degrees south of the 1st magnitude star known as Pollux (beta Geminorum). Since the radiant is so large, Anthelion activity may also appear from Cancer as well as Gemini. This radiant is best placed near 01:00 local standard time (LST) when it lies on the meridian and is highest in the sky. Rates at this time should be near 2 per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and 1 per hour as seen from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 30 km/sec., the average Anthelion meteor would be of slow velocity.


The alpha Hydrids (AHY) were discovered by Dr. Peter Brown and are mentioned in his article “A meteoroid stream survey using the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar”. This shower is active from December 17 through January 17 with maximum activity occurring on January 3rd. The radiant is currently located at 08:14 (130) -09. This position lies in southwestern Hydra, 10 degrees west of the 2nd magnitude star known as Alphard (alpha Hydrae). These meteors are best seen near 0200 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. At 43 km/sec. the alpha Hydrids produce meteors of medium velocity. Expected rates this week are near 1 per hour no matter your location.


The kappa Cancrids (KCA) are not normally mentioned as a target for visual observers but during 2015 and 2016, activity has been noticed on video cameras that could be viewed by visual observers. These meteors are expected to be most active on January 10, between 3:00 and 4:00 Universal Time. This is during the evening hours for observers in North America. At that time the radiant will be located in the eastern sky near the position of 09:12 (138) +09. This area of the sky lies approximately 5 degrees northeast of the “head” of Hydra. Nothing extraordinary is expected but any activity would be newsworthy. These meteors would most likely have a velocity of near 50 km/sec. and produce medium-fast meteors. The slender waxing crescent moon will lie in the opposite part of the sky and will not be a factor.


The last of the January Leonids (JLE) are expected this weekend. This shower is active from December 30 through January 7 with maximum activity occurring on January 3rd. The radiant is currently located at 10:03 (151) +23. This position lies in northwestern Leo, 2 degrees west of the 3rd magnitude star known as Adhafera (zeta Leonis). These meteors are best seen near 0300 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. At 59 km/sec. the January Leonids produce meteors of swift velocity. Expected rates this weekend are less than 1 per hour no matter your location.


The December Leonis Minorids (DLM) are a shower of long duration active from December 6th through January 18th. Maximum occurs near December 21st when rates may reach 3 an hour. Current rates are likely around 1 per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and less than 1 as seen from south of the equator. The radiant is currently located at 11:38 (175) +23. This position lies in eastern Leo, 8 degrees north of the 2nd magnitude star known as Denebola (beta Leonis). These meteors are best seen near 0400 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. At 63 km/sec. the December Leonis Minorids produce mostly swift meteors.


The lambda Bootids (LBO) were discovered by Dr. Peter Brown and his team at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. They were using radio means to discover new streams. These meteors are active from December 31 through January 17 with maximum activity occurring on the 16th. The radiant currently lies at 14:04 (211) +50. This position lies on the border of Bootes and Ursa Major, 2 degrees east of the 2nd magnitude star known as Alkaid (eta Ursae Majoris). Current rates are expected to be near 1 per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere. Rates would be less than 1 per hour for observers located in the southern hemisphere. At 41 km/sec. these meteors are of medium velocity.


The gamma Ursae Minorids (GUM) were also discovered by Dr. Peter Brown and associates. These meteors are active from January 09-20, with maximum occurring on the 18th. The radiant is currently located at 15:08 (227) +72, which places it southern Ursa Minor, just southwest of the 3rd magnitude star known as Pherkad (gamma Ursae Minoris). These meteors are best seen during the last few hours before dawn, when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky. Expected rates are less than 1 per hour during this period no matter your location. These meteors encounter the atmosphere at 30 km/sec., which would produce meteors of medium-slow velocity.


The Quadrantids (QUA) peaked on January 3/4 and now only a few remnants are left to be seen . The radiant is currently located at 15:24 (231) +49. This position lies in a blank area of northern Bootes, 10 degrees north of the 3rd magnitude star known as Nekkar (beta Bootis). Since we are well past maximum activity, current rates are less than 1 per hour. These meteors are best seen during the last hour before dawn when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. At 41 km/sec. the Quadrantids produce meteors of moderate velocity. These meteors are visible from the southern tropics but not seen from the deep southern hemisphere.


As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately 10 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 9 per hour as seen from rural observing sites and 2 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
Anthelion (ANT) 07:52 (118) +21 30 01:00 3 – 2 II
alpha Hydrids (AHY) Jan 03 08:14 (130) -09 43 01:00 1 -1 IV
kappa Cancrids (KCA) Jan 10 09:12 (138) +09 50? 0200 ? IV
January Leonids (JLE) Jan 03 10:03 (151) +23 51 03:00 <1 – <1 IV
December Leonis Minorids (DLM) Dec 21 11:38 (175) +23 63 04:00 1 – <1 II
lambda Bootids (LBO) Jan 16 14:04 (211) +50 41 07:00 <1 – <1 I
gamma Ursae Minorids (GUM) Jan 18 15:08 (227) +72 30 08:00 <1 – <1 II
Quadrantids (QUA) Jan 03 15:24 (231) +49 41 08:00 <1 – <1 I

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InSight Places First Instrument on Mars – New Images


NASA – InSight Mission patch.


Jan. 4, 2019



Image above: NASA’s InSight lander placed its seismometer on Mars on Dec. 19, 2018. This was the first time a spacecraft robotically placed a seismometer onto the surface of another planet. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.


NASA’s InSight lander has deployed its first instrument onto the surface of Mars, completing a major mission milestone. New images from the lander show the seismometer on the ground, its copper-colored covering faintly illuminated in the Martian dusk. It looks as if all is calm and all is bright for InSight, heading into the end of the year.


“InSight’s timetable of activities on Mars has gone better than we hoped,” said InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman, who is based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “Getting the seismometer safely on the ground is an awesome Christmas present.” 



Animation above: This set of images from the Instrument Deployment Camera shows NASA’s InSight lander placing its first instrument onto the surface of Mars, completing a major mission milestone. Animation Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.


The InSight team has been working carefully toward deploying its two dedicated science instruments onto Martian soil since landing on Mars on Nov. 26. Meanwhile, the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), which does not have its own separate instrument, has already begun using InSight’s radio connection with Earth to collect preliminary data on the planet’s core. Not enough time has elapsed for scientists to deduce what they want to know — scientists estimate they might have some results starting in about a year.



Animation above: A fish-eye view of NASA’s InSight lander deploying its first instrument onto the surface of Mars, taken by the spacecraft’s Instrument Context Camera (ICC) on Dec. 19, 2018. Animation Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.


To deploy the seismometer (also known as the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, or SEIS) and the heat probe (also known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe, or HP3), engineers first had to verify the robotic arm that picks up and places InSight’s instruments onto the Martian surface was working properly. Engineers tested the commands for the lander, making sure a model in the test bed at JPL deployed the instruments exactly as intended. Scientists also had to analyze images of the Martian terrain around the lander to figure out the best places to deploy the instruments.


On Tuesday, Dec. 18, InSight engineers sent up the commands to the spacecraft. On Wednesday, Dec. 19, the seismometer was gently placed onto the ground directly in front of the lander, about as far away as the arm can reach — 5.367 feet, or 1.636 meters, away).


“Seismometer deployment is as important as landing InSight on Mars,” said InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, also based at JPL. “The seismometer is the highest-priority instrument on InSight: We need it in order to complete about three-quarters of our science objectives.”


The seismometer allows scientists to peer into the Martian interior by studying ground motion — also known as marsquakes. Each marsquake acts as a kind of flashbulb that illuminates the structure of the planet’s interior. By analyzing how seismic waves pass through the layers of the planet, scientists can deduce the depth and composition of these layers.


“Having the seismometer on the ground is like holding a phone up to your ear,” said Philippe Lognonné, principal investigator of SEIS from Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) and Paris Diderot University. “We’re thrilled that we’re now in the best position to listen to all the seismic waves from below Mars’ surface and from its deep interior.”


In the coming days, the InSight team will work on leveling the seismometer, which is sitting on ground that is tilted 2 to 3 degrees. The first seismometer science data should begin to flow back to Earth after the seismometer is in the right position.



Image above: This is NASA InSight’s first selfie on Mars. It displays the lander’s solar panels and deck. On top of the deck are its science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna. The selfie was taken on Dec. 6, 2018 (Sol 10). Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.


But engineers and scientists at JPL, the French national space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) and other institutions affiliated with the SEIS team will need several additional weeks to make sure the returned data are as clear as possible. For one thing, they will check and possibly adjust the seismometer’s long, wire-lined tether to minimize noise that could travel along it to the seismometer. Then, in early January, engineers expect to command the robotic arm to place the Wind and Thermal Shield over the seismometer to stabilize the environment around the sensors.


Assuming that there are no unexpected issues, the InSight team plans to deploy the heat probe onto the Martian surface by late January. HP3 will be on the east side of the lander’s work space, roughly the same distance away from the lander as the seismometer.


For now, though, the team is focusing on getting those first bits of seismic data (however noisy) back from the Martian surface.


“We look forward to popping some Champagne when we start to get data from InSight’s seismometer on the ground,” Banerdt added. “I have a bottle ready for the occasion.”




Animation Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

JPL manages InSight for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission.


A number of European partners, including CNES and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), support the InSight mission. CNES provided SEIS to NASA, with the principal investigator at IPGP. Significant contributions for SEIS came from IPGP, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, the Swiss Institute of Technology in Switzerland, Imperial College and Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and JPL. DLR provided the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) instrument, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronika in Poland. Spain’s Centro de Astrobiología supplied the wind sensors.


Related articles:


NASA’s InSight Places First Instrument on Mars
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2018/12/nasas-insight-places-first-instrument.html


NASA’s InSight Takes Its First Selfie
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2018/12/nasas-insight-takes-its-first-selfie.html


NASA InSight Lander ‘Hears’ Martian Winds
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2018/12/nasa-insight-lander-hears-martian-winds.html


NASA’s Mars InSight Flexes Its Arm
http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2018/12/nasas-mars-insight-flexes-its-arm.html


For more information about InSight, visit: https://mars.nasa.gov/insight


Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS): https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/spacecraft/instruments/seis/


Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3): https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/mission/instruments/hp3/


Images (mentioned), Animations (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Jon Nelson/JPL/Jia-Rui Cook/Andrew Good.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


Dragon Departing Station Next Week; Crew Studies Biology


ISS – Expedition 58 Mission patch.


January 4, 2019


The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is in its final week attached to the International Space Station’s Harmony module. Meanwhile, robotics experts on the ground and the crew aboard the lab are working a wide variety of science activities today.



Image above: The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured attached to the International Space Station almost 257 miles above Quebec on New Year’s Eve. Image Credit: NASA.


The Dragon space freighter has nearly completed its cargo mission to replenish the orbital laboratory after delivering over 5,600 pounds of science and supplies Dec. 8. Dragon will return to Earth Jan. 10 for retrieval in the Pacific Ocean loaded with completed science experiments and used hardware for analysis.



Image above: Flying over Austral Ocean, seen by EarthCam on ISS, speed: 27’577 Km/h, altitude: 419,72 Km, image captured by Roland Berga (on Earth in Switzerland) from International Space Station (ISS) using ISS-HD Live application with EarthCam’s from ISS on January 4, 2019 at 14:25 UTC. Image Credits: Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


New space exposure experiments are being remotely installed outside the station today using a specialized robotic hand known as Dextre. Also, astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques collected biological samples today for stowage and later analysis. The duo then split up for more science work including testing crew brain function and removing science hardware that explores stem cells and other biological processes.


Related links:


Expedition 58: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition58/index.html


SpaceX Dragon: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/spacex.html


Dextre: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/special-purpose-dextrous-manipulator


New space exposure experiments: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7929


Brain function: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=979


Stem cells: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7503


Biological processes: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=1660


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


Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


Cors y Gedol Prehistoric Burial Chamber, North Wales, 4.1.19.One of my favourites…







Cors y Gedol Prehistoric Burial Chamber, North Wales, 4.1.19.


One of my favourites…


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