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International Dark Sky Week 14 – 20 April, 2012 April 16, 2012

Posted by astronewsus in Celestial Events, Current Events, Miscellaneous, News Stories, Projects & Fun Things.
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Celebrate the stars! Created in 2003 by high-school student Jennifer Barlow, IDSW has grown to become a worldwide event and a key component of Global Astronomy Month. The goals of IDSW are to appreciate the beauty of the night sky and to raise awareness of how poor-quality lighting creates light pollution.

Light pollution is a growing problem. Not only does it have detrimental effects on our views of the night sky, but it also disrupts the natural environment, wastes energy, and has the potential to cause health problems.

Full Story: http://www.darksky.org/idsw

Eyes on the Sky: Apr 9 thru Apr 15 April 9, 2012

Posted by astronewsus in Celestial Events, Current Events, Reblogged.
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Thanks to Heavens With Lamps for the weekly reminder of what to look out for in the skies above 🙂

Heavens With Lamps

Eyes on the Sky: Apr 9 thru Apr 15

Seeing double in Taurus with the Goddess galloping by

Venus continues moving away from the Pleiades star cluster this week, nearby the Hyades instead, setting up both color contrasts with the 1st magnitude Aldebaran and helpfully pointing the way to some binocular double stars in the vicinity.  Saturn reaches opposition at the end of the week on April 15th, and offers up an even more steeply-tilted ring system this year compared to last.  With a handful of bright moons revolving around it – plus the planet splitting some 8th and 10th magnitude stars – there’s plenty to see in the sky naked eye, with binoculars and/or with a small telescope this week.  Wishing you clear and dark skies as you find and see what’s up this week!

Download Saturn chart here (file size is 2.9MB).

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Sounds of Mars & Venus Revealed for 1st Time April 3, 2012

Posted by astronewsus in Mars, Projects & Fun Things, Saturn, Solar System, Venus.
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In a world first, the sounds of Mars and Venus are revealed as part of a planetarium show in Hampshire this Easter.

Despite many years of space exploration, we have no evidence of the sound of other planets. While most planetary probes have focused on imaging with cameras and radar and a couple have carried microphones, none of them successfully listened to the sound of another world.

Now, a team from the University of Southampton, led by Professor Tim Leighton, has the answer. Using the tools and techniques of physics and mathematics, they created the natural sounds of other worlds, from lightning on Venus to whirlwinds on Mars and ice volcanoes on Saturn’s moon, Titan. In addition to these natural sounds, they have modelled the effects of different atmospheres, pressures and temperatures on the human voice on Mars, Venus and Titan (Saturn’s largest moon). They have developed unique software to transform the sound of a voice on earth to one that’s literally ‘out of this world’.

Full Story: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2012/apr/12_59.shtml

Auroras Broadcast Live from Alaska, Mar. 22/23 March 20, 2012

Posted by thelastsongiheard in Astrophotography, Aurorae, Celestial Events.
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Solar activity is at its highest in years and Slooh Space Camera will capture the beauty and fire of one of natures most spectacular phenomena — The Aurora Borealis. Astronomer Bob Berman will be onsite outside of Fairbanks, Alaska at one of the best viewing sites in the world, reporting in as we view the beautiful blaze of the Northern Lights live and in true color.

The show will begin on Thursday. 3/22 starting at 11:00 PM PDT / 2:00 AM EDT (06:00 UTC on 3/23). The broadcast can be accessed at Slooh’s homepage or by visiting Slooh’s G+ page, where you will be able to see the panel interact live via G+ Hangouts On Air.

Media websites can embed Slooh’s live syndicated image feed directly into their own coverage of the event by visiting Slooh’s media page.

Viewing the Aurora Borealis is not easy unless the display is unusually intense, the auroral oval has thickened and moved south, you live in the northern third of the US, and observe away from city lights, where the sky is dark. However, central Alaska sits directly under the auroral oval and can see the Northern Lights most nights when the sun is active, like now.

Full Story: http://www.slooh.com/pr/slooh-live-feed-aurora-march-2012.php