An Enticing Night with the Stars: Astronomy session

Winters are the best time to have a great night with your loved ones but it can more beautiful when you go in the outskirts, away from all lights and pollution and look right above you…..You might see diamonds twinkling with a bright Moon. Yes, I am talking about Space and Astronomy and it’s true beauty that most people may not see in the cities due to urbanization and development. Luckily, I was given an opportunity to witness it’s true yesterday by some institutions who conducts Astronomy sessions for their students. I was amazed by the technology they were using to guide their students as they had expensive equipment and other things which are necessary in today’s developing world. Fortunately, the sky was clear and we were enjoying to our fullest with delicious food and comfortable stay provided by the institution. We saw different constellation and planets (including the evening star a.k.a Venus) and discussed regarding different galaxies and other celestial objects that are intriguing for people around the planet. Although the session didn’t last long due to limited time, many students went back with their questions, unanswered. The authorities promised them to introduce a Q&A session for their questions and were delighted to host a fun and beautiful evening for them. The next day, students were accompanied by their teachers to go back home and take rest after their ‘non-stop fun and loving night’. A message that I would like to discuss with the readers here is that education is not about reading textbooks, writing notes and prepare for the exams but rather, it’s a blank canvas that is required to be painted with different colors and finally make a masterpiece!

Here are some of the pictures from last night with tiny adults at the session location. Enjoy!

Image Courtesy: Delhi Public School Tapi


 

Raj Ondhia.

Rondhia 2016.All Rights Reserved. 

Origin of the Moon | The Royal Society

The origin of Earth’s moon has fascinated mankind for thousands of years and has received scientific attention for over forty years, building on the return of rocks from the moon and the growing understanding of planet formation. The central idea of a giant impact on Earth is widely accepted and physically appealing but the constraints imposed by isotopic geochemistry, in particular, have proved daunting. Alex Halliday talks about an issue he has organised for Philosophical Transactions A that summarises the current state of our understanding and the challenges that still remain.

Credits: The Royal Society.

The most mysterious star in the universe | Tabetha Boyajian

Something massive, with roughly 1,000 times the area of Earth, is blocking the light coming from a distant star known as KIC 8462852, and nobody is quite sure what it is. As astronomer Tabetha Boyajian investigated this perplexing celestial object, a colleague suggested something unusual: Could it be an alien-built megastructure? Such an extraordinary idea would require extraordinary evidence. In this talk, Boyajian gives us a look at how scientists search for and test hypotheses when faced with the unknown.

 

The Highest Resolution Image ever seen in Astronomy

What do you get when you combine 15 radio telescopes on Earth and one in space? You get an enormous “virtual telescope” that is 63,000 miles across. And when you point it at a distant black hole, you get the highest resolution image every seen in astronomy.

Although it looks just like a big green blob, it’s actually an enormously energetic jet of matter streaming out of a black hole. And this black hole is 900 million light years away.

As reported at Popular Science, it required an array of 15 radio telescopes on Earth, and the Russian space telescope Spektr-R, to capture the image. This technique—called interferometry—is like creating a telescope that is 63,000 miles across. The detail it provides is like seeing a 50 cent coin on the Moon.

For perspective, the object in the image is 186 billion miles long, at minimum, and would just barely fit in the Oort Cloud.

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NuStar’s latest image maps Andromeda’s dead stars

NuSTAR has observed 40 “X-ray binaries” — intense sources of X-rays comprised of a black hole or neutron star that feeds off a stellar companion.

NGC 4845: Hubble Space Telescope Sees Large Spiral Galaxy

NGC 4845, otherwise known as LEDA 44392 or UGC 8078, is an 11th magnitude spiral galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. It is 58.8 million light-years away from us. The galaxy was originally discovered by the German-born British astronomer William Herschel in 1786.

According to astronomers, NGC 4845 hosts a supermassive black hole in its center. The presence of a black hole in a distant galaxy like this one can be inferred from its effect on the galaxy’s innermost stars; these stars experience a strong gravitational pull from the black hole and whizz around the galaxy’s center much faster than otherwise.

image_3542e-NGC-4845

From investigating the motion of these central stars, astronomers can estimate the mass of the central black hole – for NGC 4845 this is estimated to be hundreds of thousands times heavier than the Sun. This same technique was also used to discover the supermassive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy – Sagittarius A* – which hits some 4 million solar masses.

In 2013 European astronomers were observing another galaxy when they noticed an energetic flare from the NGC 4845’s core. The flare came from the supermassive black hole tearing up and feeding off an object of 14 – 30 Jupiter masses. A brown dwarf or a so-called super-Jupiter exoplanet simply strayed too close and was devoured by the hungry black hole.

“The observation was completely unexpected, from a galaxy that has been quiet for at least 20-30 years,” the astronomers said.

This image includes optical and infrared observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2).

 

Astronomy Sessions held by DPS Tapi and Mr. G.R.Sivakumar

Astronomy Club of DPS Surat and Tapi recently conducted a few Astronomy sessions for Students of Class IV,V and IX. The experience was amazing as students were quite with the technologies used there and were amazed by looking at the stars, away from city lights and pollution. They were provided with delicious food and a pleasant stay for the night (Although none of them were ready to sleep till 3 am). Mr. G.R.Sivakumar (Mentor of Astronomy Club) helped the students to have an interesting and amazing night. Here are some of the photos which can show their excitement as well as their eager to know more about planets and other Astronomical things. (Image Courtesy: DPS Astronomy Club and DPS Tapi)

Michio Kaku: The Universe is a nutshell

About the Speaker:

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Michio Kaku  (born January 24, 1947) is an American futurist, theoretical physicist and popularizer of science. Dr. Kaku is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York. He has written several books about physics and related topics, has made frequent appearances on radio, television, and film, and writes extensive online blogs and articles. He has written three New York Times Best Sellers: Physics of the Impossible (2008), Physics of the Future (2011), and The Future of the Mind(2014). Kaku has hosted several TV specials for the BBC, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and the Science Channel. Read more.