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Look Out Of Your Window Now! Astronomical events.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Withnail, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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    Toward the end of May there's a total eclipse of the Moon on display.

    (Of course there is a flaw in the cunning plan ... :P)

    eclipse.jpg
     
  2. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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    Not one you should look for with the naked eye right now. I'm sure most will be familiar with the Pleiades star cluster, perhaps better known as the Seven Sisters. It's the classic astronomical eye test in the sky. If you can see individual stars, your vision is excellent, to many it looks like a white smudge.
    Right now it's in conjunction with the Sun during daylight hours, that is, the Sun is between us and it. However one machine, the SOHO space telescopic which constantly monitors the Sun (because our parent star has the capacity to slam us back into the stone age) can see the Pleiades as it blanks out the central disk of the Sun as you see in the pix.
    The radiation and ejections from the Sun are visible ... as they used say on sea charts .... here there be dragons. Not that that bothers the Seven Sisters much, they're well over 400 light years distant. You're seeing them as they were roughly when the Stuarts came to the throne and the Civil War was brewing up.

    7sisters.gif (512×512) (spaceweather.com)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
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  3. Trumpet

    Trumpet Well-Known Forumite

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    That CD will never play, too far gone.
     
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  4. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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    What's a CD ? ... must be something before my time ... (cough.) :P
     
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  5. littleme

    littleme 250,000th poster!

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    I've just seen Elon Musks satalites pass by, I counted 19 but there may have been more, I've got to say, that's one of the most amazing sights I've seen!
     
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  6. The Hawk

    The Hawk Well-Known Forumite

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    Yes, they passed over a few minutes after the ISS went over. I managed to count 48. :P

    And yes, they are an amazing sight. The ones you saw were Starlink 27. They are visible for a few days (maybe a week or two) after each launch. Starlink 28 should be launching soon, and there are many more to come, so more opportunities to see them go over.
     
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  7. proactive

    proactive Enjoying a drop of red.

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    Am I the only one who finds the idea of Elon Musk launching hundreds of satellites into the sky more than just a little sinister?
     
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  8. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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    While I admire the technology, I'm fairly under-whelmed by the act itself. So is much of the astronomical community.
     
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  9. The Hawk

    The Hawk Well-Known Forumite

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    This.

    At least they are now being positioned so, after they are fully deployed, they are not visible any more (after around 1 to 2 weeks).

    At least the James Webb telescope won't have to look through a blanket of Starlinks, although it may come across a wandering Tesla.
     
  10. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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    Yes but there are a lot of launches to come if the full constellations they want are deployed. And people tend to think of problems for optical observers, but radio astronomy will see them all the time if they're trying for those frequency bands.
     
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  11. littleme

    littleme 250,000th poster!

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    Oh yes, I think he has designs on being a real life Bond villain.
     
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  12. The Hawk

    The Hawk Well-Known Forumite

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    You prompted me to ask Professor Tim O'Brien (Professor of Astrophysics and Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory) about how much of an impact the Starlink satellites might be.

    He replied "We don't really know yet. Potentially not good as they transmit strong signals from above in areas of the world that were otherwise radio quiet. We are doing some tests."
     
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  13. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Excellent Moon - low down, but worth a glance, if it's visible.
     
  14. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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    I believe it's a Super Moon this month. :)
     
  15. BobClay

    BobClay Well-Known Forumite

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  16. Mudgie

    Mudgie Well-Known Forumite

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    Last evening to the east was a large cloud that looked remarkably like those that were invariably to the east-southeast until a few years ago.
    It's as if it was the ghost of Rugeley Power Station.
     
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  17. The Hawk

    The Hawk Well-Known Forumite

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    Great pass by the space station this evening, closely followed by two more bright objects (the 'new' Nauka module and its booster rocket). It's not every evening you see a rocket going over Stafford.

    The space station will be back over between 23:38 and 23:43 with the Nauka module close by. Not sure if the booster rocket will still be in attendance by then.
     
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  18. proactive

    proactive Enjoying a drop of red.

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    Not since the clampdown on fireworks, certainly.
     
  19. The Hawk

    The Hawk Well-Known Forumite

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    The space station will be back over here between 22:51 and 22:57 this evening. Whether or not the Nauka module will be close by remains to be seen, as the Russians are having multiple problems with it, including serious propulsion issues.

    So, if you look up at the above times, you will be looking for a very bright object moving from west to east, going almost overhead. If you see one bright object, that will be the space station, if you see two that will probably be the space station and the Nauka module.

    I don't know what has happened to the booster rocket, but that was the third bright object last night, and that has probably disappeared by now.
     
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  20. The Hawk

    The Hawk Well-Known Forumite

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    If anyone is interested in the problems the Russians are having with the Nauka module, this is a bit of information that someone has picked up from the Russians and posted in French, which I've translated into English.

    "The situation on board Nauka is complex. The module has two DKS main motors, supplied at 45 bar. There are also a number of small engines called DTS and DPS. For these, the inlet pressure is only 8 bars. There are therefore separate tanks: high pressure for the DKS, and low pressure for the DTS and DPS. For some reason (maybe a software bug), the pressures between the tanks have been equalized, and therefore the operation of the DKS is no longer possible. The TsUP* is therefore in the process of calculating a new rendezvous trajectory which does not rely on the DKS. The initial flight plan was therefore compromised and, in doubt, the Pirs** drop was postponed.

    *TsUP is the Russian Control Centre.
    ** Pirs is the module on the Space Station that is due to undock to make room for Nauki.

    UPDATE: My source in Moscow tells me that TsUP have conducted a successful test engine burn of the Nauka module and it seems that a successful docking, with the Space Station, is looking a bit more hopeful.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021

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