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Friday, 26 November 2010

[Baa-ebulletin 00535] A Reminder for Next meeting of the BAA

======================================================================
BAA electronic bulletin
======================================================================


I would like to remind you that the next meeting of the BAA will be on
Saturday 11th December 2010 in the new lecture room, Burlington House.

14:30    Dr David Boyd BAA President - Welcome OM, notices etc
14:40    Stewart Moore - Sky Notes
15:00    Dr Martin Dominik - Theory of photometric and astrometric microlensing
16:00    Tea
16:25    Dr David Arditti - Christmas Lecture - Andrew Anslie Common:
the First Modern Astronomer
17:30    Close

Doors open at 14.00 and the meeting will start at 14.30 and is due to
finish by 17:30. Tea will be served in the library at 16:00. Please
not there will be no tea before the meeting.

Hope to see you there

Hazel

Hazel Collett
Meeting Secretary
======================================================================
Baa-ebulletin mailing list visit:
http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2010 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================
--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Profile:
http://www.google.com/profiles/astrocomera
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Web:
http://lyra.freewebsites.com/
--
Information:
http://www.clubbz.com/club/2895/LOWESTOFT---3054/Lowestoft%20And%20Great%20Yarmouth%20Regional%20Astronomers%20(Lyra

SPA ENB No. 299

              ***********************************
                 The SOCIETY for POPULAR ASTRONOMY
               ***********************************
       ====================================================
         Electronic News Bulletin No. 299  2010 November 21
       ====================================================
 
 
Here is the latest round-up of news from the Society for Popular
Astronomy.  The SPA is Britain's liveliest astronomical society, with
members all over the world.  We accept subscription payments online
at our secure site and can take credit and debit cards. You can join
or renew via a secure server or just see how much we have to offer by
 
 
 
SOLAR SECTION REPORT
By Richard Bailey
 
The October Solar Section Report and a selection of pictures taken by
Section members during the month has been uploaded to the SPA Website
(Solar Section) at    http://snipurl.com/1fsgxk
 
 
PLANETS
By Andrew Robertson, SPA Planetary Section Director
 
The anticipated re-appearance of the South Equatorial Belt (SEB) on
Jupiter is happening, and all planetary observers are encouraged to
observe the event.  An alert by John Rogers, Jupiter Section Director
of the BAA, is reproduced below.  It has incited a flurry of pictures
from top astro-imagers from around the world, and already the
phenomenon is rapidly developing.  Professional astronomers are
already on the case and I understand that the plethora of amateurs'
images has been useful.  It initially started out as a small white
spot followed by a dark streak.  The initial white spot has
disappeared but has been replaced by others on either side of the dark
streak.  Images are being taken across the spectrum -- visible,
methane and IR.  The white spots are particularly bright in methane
and IR.  Visually I find that they are not very prominent but the dark
streak is very prominent visually.
 
I'm posting members' images of the event on the SPA Planetary Section
Any reports of observations would be most welcome via:
 
 
JUPITER: THE SEB REVIVAL IS BEGINNING
By John Rogers
BAA Jupiter Section Director
 
A spectacular bright plume has appeared in Jupiter's faded South
Equatorial Belt (SEB), and is expected to become the source of
spectacular disturbances leading to revival of the belt.  The small
bright spot was discovered by Christopher Go (Philippines) in an image
which he took on Nov. 9 at 12:30 UT.  He announced it immediately by
e-mail, and it was confirmed 11-12 hours later by Donald C. Parker
(Florida) and Gary Walker (Georgia, USA), when it was already
brighter.  Don Parker's images included infrared, ultraviolet, and
0.89-micron (methane) bands, and the new spot was amazingly bright in
all of them, showing it to be a convective plume of cloud reaching to
very high altitude.  Indeed it was already visible in a methane-band
image taken in poor seeing by A. Yamazaki (Japan) on Nov. 9 at 14:14
UT.  On its third rotation, Nov. 10 from 09:00 UT onwards, images by
many Japanese observers and by C. Go and T. Akutsu (Philippines)
confirm that it is the brightest spot on the planet in all wavebands.
Its longitude is L2 = 290 (L3 = 149).  (The Great Red Spot is at
L2 = 159.)
 
The plume has appeared inside a cyclonic circulation, called 'barge
B2',which had been very dark a year ago, but turned white in 2010
May/June.  (Details are in our reports:  http://snipurl.com/1h03zy and
http://snipurl.com/1h0461 [Figure 11].)  Thus the former barge already
comprised a white spot, but it was not methane-bright (up to Nov. 7:
Chris Go).  It was still quiet on Nov. 8 (Sadegh Ghomizadeh, Iran).
So the much brighter plume was new on Nov. 9.  We had already
suggested that the SEB Revival might begin with such a plume in one of
the barges, as it did in 2007; the event is a striking confirmation of
that hypothesis.  The rapidly brightening plume is so energetic that
we can confidently expect it to develop into the SEB Revival.  The SEB
Revival is usually spectacular, so we can expect impressive and
rapidly changing disturbances over the next 3 months, until the end of
the apparition.  As the SEB is so thoroughly whitened, and the
outbreak has appeared in an isolated location, we can hope to see the
phenomena displayed in their most complete form.  Normally,
disturbances continue to arise at the same source, and spread out in
three branches: northern and central branches, prograding, and a
southern branch, rapidly retrograding.  If they develop as usual, both
the central and southern branches could impact on the Great Red Spot
in January.  Observers should monitor all aspects of the spreading
disturbances, but also monitor other longitudes, as a secondary source
might also appear.  Observers have the chance to make this the
best-observed SEB Revival ever.
 
 
ERIS MAY AFTER ALL BE SMALLER THAN PLUTO
Space.com
 
Astronomers are now inclined to believe that the dwarf planet Eris --
once thought to be the largest body in the Solar System beyond
Neptune's orbit -- may actually be smaller than Pluto, which has a
diameter of about 2342 km.  A new estimate of the size of Eris could
be made after Eris was observed occulting a star on November 6.  It is
still believed that Eris is about 25 per cent more massive than Pluto,
so if Pluto is a bit bigger, or roughly the same size, Eris must be
denser and therefore made of different material, which comes as a
surprise to some astronomers.  Eris has a highly elliptical orbit,
reaching nearly 100 AU from the Sun at its farthest point, making it
more than three times as distant as Pluto.  It has one known moon.
 
 
BARS KILL SPIRAL GALAXIES?
RAS
 
An international team of scientists has suggested that the bars found
in many spiral galaxies may be helping to kill them off.  The
overwhelming majority of stars in the Universe are found in galaxies
like our own Milky Way, each containing the order of 10*12 stars.
Galaxies come in a variety of shapes, from irregular to spirals, where
spiral arms wind out in a disc from a central bulge.  About half the
spiral galaxies have a bar -- a linear structure of stars crossing the
centre.  Bars are important for the evolution of galaxies, as they
provide a way to move material into and out of the disc and possibly
help to spark star-formation in the central regions.  They may even
help to feed the central massive black hole that seems to be present
in many galaxies.  But we still do not understand why some galaxies
have bars and others do not.
 
The team drew on the work of the volunteers taking part in Galaxy 2
(a 'citizen science' project, www.galaxyzoo.org), a follow-on from the
successful Galaxy Zoo project.  The volunteers were asked to make
detailed classifications of the galaxies that they looked at,
including information on the presence of a bar.  With those data --
the largest-ever sample of galaxies with visual bar identifications --
they have shown that red spirals are about twice as likely to have
bars as blue spirals.  The colours are significant.  Blue galaxies get
their hue from the hot young stars they contain, implying that they
are forming stars in large numbers.  In red galaxies, star-formation
has slowed or stopped, leaving behind the cooler, long-lived stars
that give them their red colour.  For some time data have hinted that
spirals with more old stars are more likely to have bars, but with
such a large number of bar classifications astronomers are much more
confident about that result.  The astronomers conclude that bars might
help to kill spiral galaxies, although how they might do that is
unknown.
 
 
FERMI TELESCOPE FINDS STRUCTURE IN OUR GALAXY
ScienceDaily
 
The Fermi gamma-ray space telescope has found a previously unseen
structure in the Milky Way.  The feature may be the remnant of an
eruption from a black hole at the centre of our Galaxy.  The structure
consists of two gamma-ray-emitting bubbles that extend 25,000
light-years on either of the Galactic Centre and spans more than half
of the visible sky, between the constellations Virgo and Grus.  The
team discovered the bubbles by processing publicly available data from
Fermi.
 
Although hints of them appear in earlier spacecraft data, the bubbles
had not been recognized previously, partly because a fog of gamma rays
appears all over the sky.  The fog happens when particles moving near
the speed of light interact with light and interstellar gas in the
Milky Way.  The Fermi team constantly refines models to uncover new
gamma-ray sources obscured by that so-called diffuse emission.  The
bubble emissions are much more energetic than the gamma-ray fog seen
elsewhere in the Milky Way, and appear to have well-defined edges.
The structure's shape and emissions suggest that it was formed as a
result of a large and relatively rapid energy release -- the source of
which remains unknown.  One possibility includes a particle jet from
the super-massive black hole at the Galactic Centre.  In some other
galaxies, astronomers see fast-particle jets powered by matter falling
towards a central black hole.  While there is no evidence that the
Milky Way's black hole has such a jet today, it may have had one in
the past.  The bubbles may instead have formed, again in analogy with
some other galaxies, as a result of gas outflows from a burst of star
formation, perhaps the one that produced many massive star clusters in
the Milky Way's centre several million years ago.
 
 
YOUNGEST 'NEARBY' BLACK HOLE OR NEUTRON STAR
NASA
 
Astronomers using the Chandra X-ray observatory have found evidence of
a black hole only 31 years old in our cosmic neighbourhood.  It is a
remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100, which is
approximately 50 million light-years away.  Chandra, Swift, XMM-Newton
and ROSAT have seen a bright source of X-rays that remained steady
from 1995 to 2007.  It is suggested that the object is a black hole
being fed either by material falling into it from the supernova or
from a binary companion.  If that interpretation is correct, it is the
nearest place where the birth of a black hole has been observed.  The
scientists think that SN 1979C, first discovered by an amateur
astronomer in 1979, formed when a star about 20 times the mass of the
Sun collapsed.  Although the evidence seems to point to a newly formed
black hole in SN 1979C, another possibility is that the remnant is a
rapidly spinning neutron star with a powerful wind of high-energy
particles that could be responsible for the X-ray emission.  That
would make the object in SN 1979C the youngest and brightest example
of such a 'pulsar wind nebula' and the youngest known neutron star.
The Crab pulsar, the best-known example of a bright pulsar wind
nebula, is about 950 years old.
 
 
COSMIC CURIOSITY IS WORKED BY NOW-DEAD QUASAR
Yale University
 
The once-enigmatic greenish gas cloud called Hanny's Voorwerp (Hanny's
object), discovered in 2007 by the Dutch schoolteacher and 'Galaxy
Zoo' volunteer astronomer Hanny van Arkel, has been discussed in these
Bulletins previously, first in ENB 259 (2008 August) and most recently
in no. 292 (2010 July 18).  It is being illuminated by a quasar (active
galactic nucleus) in the adjacent galaxy IC 2497.  The quasar appears
to have burnt out, although the light it emitted in the past continues
to illuminate the gas cloud and produce a sort of 'light echo' of the
now-dead quasar.  It is estimated that the light from the dead quasar
took up to 70,000 years to reach the Voorwerp, so the quasar must have
shut down within the past 70,000 years -- a surprise, because it has
been assumed that quasars would take millions of years to die down.
Although the galaxy no longer shines brightly in X-ray light as a
quasar, it is still radiating at radio wavelengths.
 
 
DEEP IMPACT LOOKS AT COMET HARTLEY 2
Ball Aerospace, Boulder, Colorado
 
On November 4 the 'Deep Impact' spacecraft photographed Comet
103P/Hartley 2 as part of the EPOXI mission.  The rendezvous with
Hartley 2 is the third mission for the Deep Impact spacecraft.  The
first was in 2005 when an impactor launched from the spacecraft
collided with the nucleus of Comet Tempel 1; images of the nucleus and
excavated debris have thrown light on the composition of Tempel 1.
The second was to provide observations of the Earth in both visible
and infrared wavelengths.  The main phase of the Comet Hartley 2
mission began on November 3 when the spacecraft was about 18 hours
from the time of closest approach; nearly 5800 images were obtained.
The spacecraft was panned to maintain imaging of the comet nucleus
while at the same time keeping its high-gain antenna pointed towards
the Earth.
 
 
HAYABUSA PROBE COLLECTED ASTEROID SAMPLE
BBC News
 
Japanese scientists have confirmed that particles found inside the
Hayabusa probe after its seven-year space trip are from the asteroid
Itokawa.  Japan's space agency JAXA said that microscopic analysis of
1,500 grains retrieved from the craft's sample canister proved that
they were of extra-terrestrial origin.  It is the first time that
samples from an asteroid have been returned to Earth.  The Hayabusa
mission spent three weeks orbiting asteroid Itokawa in 2005 and
attempted to pluck dust from its surface.  No-one was quite sure
whether it had succeeded at the time, because the capture mechanism
appeared to fail just as the craft approached the asteroid's surface.
The Japanese project team were confronted with a number of successive
problems with the spacecraft, but have managed to keep it operational
and bring it back to Earth, albeit three years later than originally
planned.
 
The sample capsule was delivered safely to Earth over Australia in
June, but the main Hayabusa spacecraft was destroyed on re-entry into
the atmosphere.  Scientists at JAXA have subjected minuscule grains
found inside the canister to detailed examination, and say almost all
of them are extra-terrestrial and come from Itokawa.  It appears that
Hayabusa must have disturbed the surface of the asteroid sufficiently
in its approach to kick up dust into the probe's capture tool, even
though the mechanism itself did not work as designed.  The particles
were found to contain the minerals olivine, pyroxene and plagioclase.
Although those are minerals that are common on Earth, the particles
from Hayabusa are said to be quite different from terrestrial ones,
both in the relative abundances of the minerals and in their atomic
composition.  Some also contain the mineral troilite (an iron
sulphide) that has been found in certain meteorites but not on the
surface of the Earth.  The Hayabusa particles represent only the
fourth set of extra-terrestrial materials brought to us by spacecraft.
The others include the Moon rocks recovered by US and Soviet missions,
cometary dust captured by the American Stardust probe, and particles
in the solar wind returned by the Genesis spacecraft.
 
 
COST OF JAMES WEBB TELESCOPE SOARS
BBC News
 
The scale of the delay and cost overrun blighting NASA's James Webb
space telescope has been laid bare by a panel called in to review the
project.  The group believes that the final budget for Hubble's
successor is likely to climb to at least $6500m, for a launch that may
be possible in 2015.  Estimates of the total cost to build, launch and
operate the JWST have increased over the years from $3500m to $5000m
and now to $6500m.  Along with the cost growth, the schedule has
slipped, and the most recent projected launch date in 2014 has seemed
unrealistic for some time.  The group found the original budget for
the project to be insufficient and poorly phased; it did however
commend the technology of JWST as being "in very good shape".
 
The telescope is obviously a major undertaking.  Its primary mirror is
6.5 metres across -- nearly three times Hubble's aperture.  It will
operate behind a large sun-shield, the area of a tennis court, which
will protect it from radiation from the Sun and the Earth.  It is to be
launched on a European Ariane-5 rocket and sent to an observing
position 1.5 million km from the Earth, where it cannot be serviced by
astronauts as Hubble has been.  Whereas Hubble sees mostly in visible
light, JWST will observe in the infrared.  It is expected to have a
10-year lifespan.
 
 
Bulletin compiled by Clive Down
 
 
(c) 2010 the Society for Popular Astronomy
 
--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
--

[Baa-ebulletin 00531] Reminder for Next meeting of the BAA

======================================================================
BAA electronic bulletin
======================================================================


I would like to remind you that the next meeting of the BAA will be on
Saturday 20th November 2010 in the new lecture room, Burlington House.

14:30    Roger Pickard, Vice President - Welcome and notices etc
14:40    A number of short talks by BAA members.
15:40    Dr Nick Hewitt - Sky Notes
16:00    Tea
16:45    Dr Roberto Trotta - "The cosmic enigma"
17.45    Close


Doors open at 14.00 and the meeting will start at 14.30 and is due to
finish by 18:00. Tea will be served in the library at 16:00

Hope to see you there

Hazel

Hazel Collett
Meeting Secretary
======================================================================
Baa-ebulletin mailing list visit:
http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2010 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================
 
--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Profile:
http://www.google.com/profiles/astrocomera
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Web:
http://lyra.freewebsites.com/
--
Information:
http://www.clubbz.com/club/2895/LOWESTOFT---3054/Lowestoft%20And%20Great%20Yarmouth%20Regional%20Astronomers%20(Lyra

Fourth crack found on shuttle Discovery's external tank

NEWSALERT: Monday, November 15, 2010 @ 2009 GMT
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 The latest news from Spaceflight Now


===========================================
Looking for a job out of this world?
The top jobs and the best talents in
the space industry are on Space Careers.

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FOURTH CRACK FOUND ON SHUTTLE DISCOVERY'S EXTERNAL TANK
-------------------------------------------------------
Engineers inspecting the shuttle Discovery's external tank have found a
fourth crack in the structural ribs, or stringers, making up the outer
skin of the compartment between the liquid oxygen and hydrogen sections.

http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts133/101115crack/


MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BROADBAND DREAM ROCKETS INTO REALITY
---------------------------------------------------------
Designed to beam broadband messages to smart phones from more than
22,000 miles in space, a massive spacecraft blasted off Sunday from the
plains of Kazakhstan on a Proton rocket in the first phase of deploying
a unique wireless communications network stretching across North
America. Officials declared the mission a total success.

http://spaceflightnow.com/proton/skyterra1/launch/


MINOTAUR ROCKET READIED FOR LIFTOFF FROM ALASKA THIS WEEK
---------------------------------------------------------
Seven satellites will share a ride to space on a Minotaur rocket Friday,
launching from the southern shore of Alaska to an orbital perch more than
400 miles above Earth with a legion of U.S. military, NASA and university
experiments.

http://spaceflightnow.com/minotaur/stps26/status.html


DELTA 4-HEAVY ROCKET TO FLY FROM FLORIDA ON THURSDAY
----------------------------------------------------
The early weather projections for Thursday night's launch of the Delta
4-Heavy rocket carrying a clandestine spy satellite calls for good
conditions at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

http://spaceflightnow.com/delta/d351/status.html


ORBITAL ATTAINS ENGINE FEAT, TARGETS 2012 FOR CARGO FLIGHT
----------------------------------------------------------
Orbital Sciences Corp. this week successfully test fired the Russian
engine that will propel the Taurus 2 rocket from the launch pad next year,
but the accomplishment comes as the company says the first operational
flight of its space station cargo freighter is delayed until early 2012.

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1011/12aj26test/


+++
NEW INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION PATCHES!
Crew patches for Expeditions 26 and 27 are now available from our store.
http://www.spaceflightnowstore.com/
+++
--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Profile:
http://www.google.com/profiles/astrocomera
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Web:
http://lyra.freewebsites.com/
--
Information:
http://www.clubbz.com/club/2895/LOWESTOFT---3054/Lowestoft%20And%20Great%20Yarmouth%20Regional%20Astronomers%20(Lyra

Jupiter's Missing Stripe, Returning?

Space Weather News for Nov. 11, 2010
http://spaceweather.com

JUPITER'S MISSING STRIPE, RETURNING? Earlier this year when Jupiter's great South Equatorial Belt (SEB) vanished, researchers urged amateur astronomers to be alert for its eventual return. The SEB had come and gone before, they noted, and the revival was something to behold. Alert: It might be happening now. An energetic white plume is rising above Jupiter's cloudtops, possibly heralding the return of the giant planet's missing stripe. Visit http://spaceweather.com for images and updates.

SPACE STATION FLYBY ALERT:  The International Space  Station is about to begin a series of bright evening flybys over North America.  It's easy to see.  Let your cell phone tell you when to look using our Simple Flybys app for Android and iPhone:
http://simpleflybys.com/

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Profile:
http://www.google.com/profiles/astrocomera
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Web:
http://lyra.freewebsites.com/
--
Information:
http://www.clubbz.com/club/2895/LOWESTOFT---3054/Lowestoft%20And%20Great%20Yarmouth%20Regional%20Astronomers%20(Lyra

[Baa-ebulletin 00530] Jupiter: The SEB Revival is beginning

======================================================================
BAA electronic bulletin
======================================================================

BAA e-bulletin, 2010 Nov.10

Jupiter: The SEB Revival is beginning

A spectacular bright plume has appeared in Jupiter's faded South Equatorial Belt (SEB), and is expected to become the source of spectacular disturbances leading to revival of the belt. The small bright spot was discovered by Christopher Go (Philippines) in an image which he took on Nov.9 at 12:30 UT. He announced it immediately by e-mail, and it was confirmed 11-12 hours later by Donald C. Parker (Florida, USA) and Gary Walker (Georgia, USA), when it was already brighter.

Don Parker's images included infrared, ultraviolet, and 0.89 micron (methane) bands, and the new spot was amazingly bright in all of them, showing it to be a convective plume of cloud reaching to very high altitude. Indeed it was already visible in a methane-band image taken in poor seeing by A. Yamazaki (Japan) on Nov.9 at 14:14 UT. On its third rotation, Nov.10 from 09:00 UT onwards, images by many Japanese observers and by C. Go and T. Akutsu (Philippines) confirm that it is the brightest spot on the planet in all wavebands. Its longitude is L2 = 290 (L3 = 149). (The Great Red Spot is at L2 = 159.)

This plume has appeared inside a cyclonic circulation, called 'barge B2', which had been very dark a year ago, but turned white in 2010 May-June. (Details are in our reports:)
http://www.britastro.org/jupiter/2010report05.htm
and
http://www.britastro.org/jupiter/2010report08.htm [Figure 11].
Thus the former barge already comprised a white spot, but it was not methane-bright (up to Nov.7: Chris Go). It was still quiet on Nov.8 (Sadegh Ghomizadeh, Iran). So the much brighter plume was new on Nov.9. We had already suggested that the SEB Revival might begin with such a plume in one of the barges, as it did in 2007; the event is a striking confirmation of this hypothesis.

This rapidly brightening plume is so energetic that we can confidently expect it to develop into the SEB Revival. The SEB Revival is usually spectacular, so we can expect impressive and rapidly changing disturbances over the next 3 months, until the end of the apparition. As the SEB is so thoroughly whitened, and the outbreak has appeared in an isolated location, we can hope to see the phenomena displayed in their most complete form. Normally, disturbances continue to arise at the same source, and spread out in three branches: northern and central branches, prograding, and a southern branch, rapidly retrograding. If they develop as usual, both the central and southern branches could impact on the Great Red Spot in January. Observers should monitor all aspects of the spreading disturbances, but also monitor other longitudes, as a secondary source might also appear. Observers have the chance to make this the best-observed SEB Revival ever.

John Rogers
Jupiter Section Director
- jhr11 at
cam.ac.uk -
2010 Nov.10

======================================================================
Baa-ebulletin mailing list visit:
http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2010 British Astronomical Association http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================
--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Profile:
http://www.google.com/profiles/astrocomera
--

Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Web:
http://lyra.freewebsites.com/
--
Information:
http://www.clubbz.com/club/2895/LOWESTOFT---3054/Lowestoft%20And%20Great%20Yarmouth%20Regional%20Astronomers%20(Lyra

Underlying metal cracks found on Discovery's tank

NEWSALERT: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 @ 2134 GMT
---------------------------------------------------------------------
  The latest news from Spaceflight Now

+++
NEXT SHUTTLE MISSION PATCH AVAILABLE!
The official mission patch for Discovery's last scheduled flight, STS-133,
is now on sale in our store.
http://www.spaceflightnowstore.com/
+++


UNDERLYING METAL CRACKS FOUND ON DISCOVERY'S TANK
-------------------------------------------------
Cracked foam insulation on the shuttle Discovery's external tank was cut
away overnight, revealing serpentine cracks in an underlying structural
rib, or stringer. Based on experience repairing similar cracks on other
tanks, sources said, engineers believe the damage can be fixed at the pad
before the next launch window opens at the end of the month.

http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts133/101110crack/

OUR PREVIOUS STS-133 COVERAGE:
http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts133/


ATK SETS ROCKET PRIORITIES UNDER CONTINUING RESOLUTION
------------------------------------------------------
Responding to guidance directing NASA to lean on space shuttle and Ares
rocket technologies for a new heavy-lift launch vehicle, rocket-builder
ATK is fast-tracking work on parts of an extended five-segment
solid-fueled booster likely to be incorporated on future exploration
missions.

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1011/10heavylift/


NEXT FALCON 9 LAUNCH PUSHED BACK TO DECEMBER
--------------------------------------------
SpaceX is aiming to launch the first test flight of the Dragon cargo
spacecraft as soon as Dec. 7, a delay of two-and-a-half weeks to give
teams more time to complete testing on the ground.

http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/002/status.html


INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION EXPERIMENT DETECTS NOVA
---------------------------------------------------
An X-ray detector on the International Space Station that alerted
astronomers to a giant blast of X-rays, led to the discovery of a
previously unseen nova.

http://astronomynow.com/news/n1010/26nova/


EUTELSAT ABANDONS LOST SATELLITE AFTER FUEL LEAK
------------------------------------------------
Deciding the W3B communications satellite leaked too much propellant to
drive itself back into Earth's atmosphere, Eutelsat has abandoned the
crippled spacecraft in the same transfer orbit it was left in by an Ariane
5 rocket.

http://spaceflightnow.com/ariane/v197/101108w3bupdate/


+++
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Crew patches for Expeditions 26 and 27 are now available from our store.
http://www.spaceflightnowstore.com/
+++
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NASA Sets Shuttle Discovery's Launch For No Earlier Than Dec. 17

NASA Sets Shuttle Discovery's Launch For No Earlier Than Dec. 17
Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:00:00 -0600

NASA Sets Shuttle Discovery's Launch For No Earlier Than Dec. 17

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NASA Questions? Contact Us

This messaage has been sent by NASA Headquarters · Washington, DC 20546

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Rings Around a Crescent

Rings Around a Crescent
Mon, 22 Nov 2010 23:00:00 -0600

A crescent Saturn appears nestled within encircling rings in this Cassini spacecraft image. Clouds swirl through the atmosphere of the planet and a barely visible Prometheus orbits between the planet's main rings and its the thin F ring. Saturn's moon Prometheus appears as a speck above the rings near the middle of the image. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 3 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft's wide-angle camera on Sept. 14, 2010, and was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles, or 2.6 million kilometers, from Saturn and at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 100 degrees. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute




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Good Clear Skies
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Astrocomet
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Colin James Watling
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Profile:
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Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
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Web:
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[Baa-ebulletin 00534] BAA Historical Section – Section Meeting - Reminder

======================================================================
BAA electronic bulletin
======================================================================

BAA Historical Section – Section Meeting - Reminder

Date:     Saturday 27th November 2010

Venue:   The Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0HA.

Time:     10:30-18:00  Registration from 10:00 onwards

Cost:      £13.00 (lunch buffet included) / £7.00 Pounds (no buffet).
Payment on the door.

Theme:    'Twentieth-Century Astronomy'


Program:

10:00-10:30 Registration

10:30   Welcome & Introduction

10:45   Bob Marriott, 'Mary Evershed: First Director of the Historical Section'

11:45   Jeremy Shears, 'Felix de Roy: A Life in Variable Stars'


12:30-13:50 Buffet Lunch


13:50   Lee Macdonald, 'The Isaac Newton Telescope'

14:50   Jay Tate, 'Saving Science Heritage'

15:50   Jacqueline Mitton, ' Maria Mitchell, America's First Female
Astronomer, and her Vassar College Legacy'


16:35-17:00 Break


17:00   Simon Mitton, 'Sir Fred Hoyle'


18:00   Close


We will have display stands for the BAA and Society for the History of
Astronomy; plus poster displays on Fred Hoyle, The Great Melbourne
Telescope, The Catts Telescope and New Zealand Amateur Astronomy.

We are also hoping to visit the historic Northumberland Refractor
(with which Challis and Adams searched in vain for Neptune) during the
lunch break.

We look forward to seeing you!

Section Director: Mike Frost        
frostma@aol.com
Deputy Director: Lee Macdonald  lt@macdonald42.freeserve.co.uk
2010 November 23
======================================================================
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http://lists.britastro.org/mailman/listinfo/baa-ebulletin
(c) 2010 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================
 
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Astrocomet
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Colin James Watling
--
Profile:
http://www.google.com/profiles/astrocomera
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Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Web:
http://lyra.freewebsites.com/
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Information:
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Delta 4-Heavy and Minotaur 4 rockets successfully launched

NEWSALERT: Monday, November 22, 2010 @ 2059 GMT
---------------------------------------------------------------------
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===========================================
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The top jobs and the best talents in
the space industry are on Space Careers.

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EAVESDROPPING CRAFT HEADS TO SPACE ATOP DELTA 4-HEAVY
-----------------------------------------------------
The triple-barreled power of America's biggest unmanned rocket Sunday
launched "the largest satellite in the world" to hear the whispers of
evil. Liftoff of the Delta 4-Heavy booster carrying this reconnaissance
spacecraft for national security occurred on schedule at 5:58 p.m. EST
(2258 GMT) from Cape Canaveral's Complex 37 at the Florida spaceport.

http://spaceflightnow.com/delta/d351/status.html

LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY:
http://spaceflightnow.com/delta/d351/launch/

PREVIEW STORY:
http://spaceflightnow.com/delta/d351/preview.html


MINOTAUR 4 LAUNCHES TO SEND RESEARCH TO NEW HEIGHTS
---------------------------------------------------
A Minotaur rocket topped with a payload of seven satellites launched
Friday from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska. The booster orbited a
cache of experiments to prove new space capabilities and exercise growing
minds.

http://spaceflightnow.com/minotaur/stps26/status.html

LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY:
http://spaceflightnow.com/minotaur/stps26/101120gallery/

PREVIEW STORY:
http://spaceflightnow.com/minotaur/stps26/101118preview/


PLANET FROM ANOTHER GALAXY DISCOVERED
-------------------------------------
A team of astronomers using ESO's 2.2 metre telescope at the La Silla
Observatory in Chile have detected a hot-jupiter planet like no other,
orbiting a star of extragalactic origin that now finds itself in our own
Milky Way.

http://www.astronomynow.com/news/n1011/19exo/


+++
NEW INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION PATCHES!
Crew patches for Expeditions 26 and 27 are now available from our store.
http://www.spaceflightnowstore.com/
+++

--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Profile:
http://www.google.com/profiles/astrocomera
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Web:
http://lyra.freewebsites.com/
--
Information:
http://www.clubbz.com/club/2895/LOWESTOFT---3054/Lowestoft%20And%20Great%20Yarmouth%20Regional%20Astronomers%20(Lyra

Friday, 19 November 2010

[Baa-ebulletin 00533] Brian Marsden (1937 - 2010)

R.I.P Brian Geoffrey Marsden:

======================================================================
BAA electronic bulletin
======================================================================

Brian Geoffrey Marsden    5 August 1937 – 18 November 2010

It is with great sadness I have to report the death of Brian Marsden. For many years Brian ran the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams and the Minor Planet Centre at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Throughout this time he has been a stalwart supporter of the amateur community, working closely with Guy Hurst to ensure the quality and integrity of discovery reports from amateur astronomers. His loss will be keenly felt by the many amateurs who have benefited from his support and advice over the years.

Brian was born in Cambridge, England. After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in mathematics he moved to Yale University Observatory to carry out research into orbital mechanics, in due course obtaining a PhD on "The Motions of the Galilean Satellites of Jupiter". He then joined the staff of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to work on improving the calculation of cometary orbits.

In 1968 Brian succeeded Dr. Owen Gingerich as director of the International Astronomical Union's Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, the organisation responsible for disseminating information worldwide about the discoveries of comets, novae, supernovae and other objects of generally transient astronomical interest. In 1978 he also became director of the IAU's Minor Planet Center. While working at CBAT computing comet orbits, he recognised the existence of a group of relatively short period comets discovered by the SOHO spacecraft which are now known as the "Marsden Group". In 2000 he handed over directorship of CBAT to Daniel Green and 6 years later directorship of the MPC to Dr. Timothy Spahr.

Dr. Marsden leaves a wife Nancy Lou, children Cynthia and Jonathan and grandchildren Nikhilas, Nathaniel and Neena. His sister Sylvia Custerson lives in Cambridge, England.

We extend our sincere condolences to all members of his family.

David Boyd
President
British Astronomical Association

(with apologies for the incomplete earlier transmission)
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Visit:
 

(c) 2010 British Astronomical Association    http://www.britastro.org/
======================================================================


--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
Profile:
http://www.google.com/profiles/astrocomera
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
Web:
http://lyra.freewebsites.com/
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Information:
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Friday, 12 November 2010

Saturn Then and Now: 30 Years Since Voyager Visit

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
 
 
Ed Stone, project scientist for NASA's Voyager mission, remembers the first time he
saw the kinks in one of Saturn's narrowest rings. It was the day the Voyager 1
spacecraft made its closest approach to the giant ringed planet, 30 years ago.
Scientists were gathering in front of television monitors and in one another's
offices every day during this heady period to pore over the bewildering images
and other data streaming down to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
Calif.
 
Stone drew a crude sketch of this scalloped, multi-stranded ring, known as the F
ring, in his notebook, but with no explanation next to it. The innumerable particles
comprising the broad rings are in near-circular orbits about Saturn. So, it was a
surprise to find that the F ring, discovered just a year before by NASA's Pioneer 11
spacecraft, had clumps and wayward kinks. What could have created such a
pattern?
 
"It was clear Voyager was showing us something different at Saturn," said Stone,
now based at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "Over and over,
the spacecraft revealed so many unexpected things that it often took days, months
and even years to figure them out."
 
The F ring curiosity was only one of many strange phenomena discovered in the
Voyager close encounters with Saturn, which occurred on Nov. 12, 1980, for
Voyager 1, and Aug. 25, 1981, for Voyager 2. The Voyager encounters were
responsible for finding six small moons and revealing the half-young, half-old
terrain of Enceladus that had to point to some kind of geological activity.
 
Images from the two encounters also exposed individual storms roiling the planet's
atmosphere, which did not show up at all in data from Earth-based telescopes.
Scientists used Voyager data to resolve a debate about whether Titan had a thick
or thin atmosphere, finding that Titan was shrouded in a thick haze of
hydrocarbons in a nitrogen-rich atmosphere. The finding led scientists to predict
there could be seas of liquid methane and ethane on Titan's surface.
 
"When I look back, I realize how little we actually knew about the solar system
before Voyager," Stone added. "We discovered things we didn't know were there
to be discovered, time after time."
 
In fact, the Voyager encounters sparked so many new questions that another
spacecraft, NASA's Cassini, was sent to probe those mysteries. While Voyager 1 got
to within about 126,000 kilometers (78,300 miles) above Saturn's cloud tops, and
Voyager 2 approached as close as about 100,800 kilometers (62,600 miles), Cassini
has dipped to this altitude and somewhat lower in its orbits around Saturn since
2004.
 
Because of Cassini's extended journey around Saturn, scientists have found
explanations for many of the mysteries first seen by Voyager. Cassini has
uncovered a mechanism to explain the new terrain on Enceladus – tiger stripe
fissures with jets of water vapor and organic particles. It revealed that Titan indeed
does have stable lakes of liquid hydrocarbons on its surface and showed just how
similar to Earth that moon really is. Data from Cassini have also resolved how two
small moons discovered by Voyager – Prometheus and Pandora – tug on the F ring
to create its kinked shape and wakes that form snowballs.
 
"Cassini is indebted to Voyager for its many fascinating discoveries and for paving
the way for Cassini," said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at JPL, who started
her career working on Voyager from 1977 to 1989. "On Cassini, we still compare
our data to Voyager's and proudly build on Voyager's heritage."
 
But Voyager left a few mysteries that Cassini has not yet solved. For instance,
scientists first spotted a hexagonal weather pattern when they stitched together
Voyager images of Saturn's north pole. Cassini has obtained higher-resolution
pictures of the hexagon – which tells scientists it's a remarkably stable wave in one
of the jet streams that remains 30 years later – but scientists are still not sure what
forces maintain the hexagon.
 
Even more perplexing are the somewhat wedge-shaped, transient clouds of tiny
particles that Voyager discovered orbiting in Saturn's B ring. Scientists dubbed
them "spokes" because they looked like bicycle spokes. Cassini scientists have been
searching for them since the spacecraft first arrived. As Saturn approached
equinox, and the sun's light hit the rings edge-on, the spokes did reappear in the
outer part of Saturn's B ring. But Cassini scientists are still testing their theories of
what might be causing these odd features.
 
"The fact that we still have mysteries today goes to show how much we still have to
learn about our solar system," said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager's project manager,
based at JPL. "Today, the Voyager spacecraft continue as pioneers traveling toward
the edge of our solar system. We can't wait for the Voyager spacecraft to enter
interstellar space – true outer space – and make more unexpected discoveries."
 
Voyager 1, which was launched on Sept. 5, 1977, is currently about 17 billion
kilometers (11 billion miles) away from the sun. It is the most distant spacecraft.
Voyager 2, which was launched on Aug. 20, 1977, is currently about 14 billion
kilometers (9 billion miles) away from the sun.
 
The Voyagers were built by JPL, which continues to operate both spacecraft.
Caltech manages JPL for NASA. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative
project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL
manages Cassini for NASA. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were
designed, developed and assembled at JPL.
 
More Voyager information is available at http://www.nasa.gov/voyager and
 
More Cassini information is available at http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and
 
                                        -end-
 
--
Good Clear Skies
--
Astrocomet
--
Colin James Watling
--
--
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)
--
--