Hanging At The Solar System’s End!

November 22, 2012 at 12:44 AM (astronomy topics, curious research, current news, extraterrestrial studies, late night studies, public debate, science and technology, web gossip) (, , , , )

The outer regions of our solar system are being examined now with increasing interest and enthusiasm!  What once may have been thought of as a distant and dull region of space now is being enlivened due to recent research and discoveries.  Indeed, what appears to be an entirely exotic and spectacular scene is appearing within an area once believed to be the empty backyard of our cosmic neighborhood!

I still think that if Pluto at all was to be concerned about Earth’s opinion of it’s status within our solar system, the world quickly would give a dismissive laugh!  The probable truth is that there is so much happening within the general Pluto neighborhood.  It likely could be perceived that the dwarf planet would not have the time to bother with what Earth has decided about it’s stance within space!

Pluto is one of five dwarf planets within our solar system that are being acknowledged, at this point.  Most of them exist beyond Pluto’s orbit, likely recognized as members of The Kuiper Belt.  These are the most-distant, known objects of our solar system.  It is the dwarf planet Ceres, sometimes designated as an asteroid, which is located within The Asteroid Belt.

As well, there is The Oort Cloud!  Located at about one light year from The Sun, 4.6 trillion miles, this has been called “the icy shell” of our solar system.  It’s actual existence is in debate within the scientific community, as some do, and some do not want to state that The Oort Cloud really is out there!  Current studies are showing that the asteroids, comets, and planetesimals of this region were formed in an area of the solar system nearer to The Sun.  Yet, the gravitational forces of the inner planets, along with the extreme force exerted by Jupiter, slung these objects to the furthest areas of the solar system, just held in place by the gravitational power of The Sun.

Past The Oort Cloud is true interstellar space!  Yet, the cloud itself consists of asteroids, along with many bodies of ice and rock, which surround the solar system.  From this region, rocky objects often are ejected, then flung inward to become comets.  It is when these objects interact with other bodies in-toward The Sun that they can become dangerous items that may be on courses to strike the planets, even Earth!




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Lookin’ WAAAAAAAY Back!

November 17, 2012 at 9:36 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

This is some place to which we will never, NEVER, get, not even with satellites, so do not even bother!  Yet, it does not hurt to imagine, to look, and to study in the event that something observable out there could serve as useful on some level that has not yet been recognized.  Plus, it always is a good thing to collect details for study and review purposes!

Astronomers and other scientific researchers have succeeded in locating what is believed to be the farthest-known object within our known universe.  At a distance of roughly 13.3 billion light years away from Earth, a view has been caught of the location now designated as MACS0647-JD.  Through the use of the powerful Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientifc researchers have been able to capture images of this galaxy, which is being seen as it existed merely 420 years after The Big  Bang!

The image of this galaxy that has been viewed shows it as it existed at three percent of it’s current age.  The research is stating that the universe itself was little more than 420 million years old.  The galaxy, MACS0647-JD, seems to exist at nearly 2.5 times smaller than our Milky Way.  The observing astronomers believe that it will merge with smaller galaxies that are near to it, thus assembling into a cosmic collection of greater scale!

MACS0647-JD was discovered by The CLASH Survey.  This program works with The Advanced Camera For Surveys, and The Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide-Field Camera 3.  Through the uses of these tools of cosmic information collection, this ancient galaxy, along with twenty-five galactic clusters are being studied.

The observations made by Hubble Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 and it’s Advanced Camera for Surveys initially located MACS0647-JD.  Confirmations of the galaxy’s actual distance were made by The Spitzer Space Telescope.   Additionally, a the use of a naturally-occurring celestial phenomenon called a gravitational lens was used to get a clear view of the galaxy.  The phenomenon actually is a collection of galaxies itself which produces this area through which light can pass due to the warping of spacetime through the collective gravitational forces emitted by these objects!

Farthest Known Galaxy in the Universe Discovered


The Galaxy

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A Rediculous Roll Call?

November 13, 2012 at 1:57 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I do not know how anyone is keeping count with how many galaxies are supposed to have been identified at this point!  Now, while doing some online nerd searching, I get to a regular science site where I read an e-clip about some of the latest research that is happening.  Scientists in the land down under have plans to make an amazing tally of newly-discovered galaxies through the use of their latest, deep-viewing instrument.

The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, ASKAP, currently is within it’s final stages of review.  It’s construction was completed just this year, and it is located on the facility of The Murchison Radio-Astonomy Observatory, Western Australia.  Through the use of this radio telescope, astronomers will be able to observe objects into the deepest ranges currently possible of spacetime, hoping to gain greater understandings about deep-rooted topics that include the mechanics behind the origins of the universe!

No one ever will know something like how many galaxies there are in the universe.  Yet, there are regular scientific researchers working to keep a seemingly close count.  The 2df Galaxy Redshift Survey seems to be reporting something along the lines of 458,752 observable galaxies (these may have been 2006 results…).

During 2013, ASKAP will be functioning to precede the astronomical viewings of The Square Kilometre Array.  This telescopic tool actually will be an extensive arrangement of sensitively functioning devices that will be strategically situated at locations across Australia and New Zealand.  The instruments will work in conjunction within these precise positions of both nations to pick up signals from deep space, some of which are expected to have been transmitted before the creation of the very first stars!

Updates with the latest astronomical tools will help to bring more clarified views of our neighborhood of the universe.  This involves updated studies that include reviews of our Local Group.  Right now, we recognize our Milky Way Galaxy, Andromeda Galaxy, along with a little more than thirty galaxies and Messier objects as members of our galactic family.  It is certain that clarifications will come with several of the current presentations, including whether or not some galaxies will remain as “members” of The Group, if some will be expelled, or if new members will be inducted!







…on the astronomy vibe, I was with this flow earlier.

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An Extra-Solar World That Seems Like Home?

November 8, 2012 at 10:44 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I have been away from my scene for a minute, trying to get a hold on some things which I hope will bring some enlightening to other areas of the life setting.  That will have me involved with other activities which now have gained my enthusiasm.  Yet, I do intend to continue with my online curiosities!

Also, congratulations to President Barack Obama!  You always had support here, and you will continue to have a following from this direction.  We are looking forward to a progressive and prosperous four more years under your leadership, as we continue to remind the rest of the planet why The United States of America IS the greatest nation on Earth!

I took some time to stray from other recent priorities to return to some of my favorite areas of study, which include astronomy.  I have gotten stuck on trying to learn about the possibility of habitable worlds beyond our solar system, and the actuality of our ever being able to get to any of these places.  Astronomers and other space-studying scientists are making so many remarkable discoveries about what is out there that it is actually astounding!

One recent discovery is of a K-type main sequence star that has been labeled as HD 40307.  This star is roughly 43 light years away from Earth, situated within The Pictor Constellation.  It is located near to The Large Magellanic Cloud.  This is visible from the southern hemisphere.

Right now, HD 40307 is attracting attention because it has an ample number of worlds orbiting it, some of which having the possibilities of being habitable!  Astronomers and other scientific researchers have been able to identify six super-Earth worlds in orbit of HD 40307!  It seems that most of the planets practically are sitting on top of the star, in locations far too hot to support any manners of discernable life.  Five of them are in positions closer to HD 40307 than Mercury is to The Sun!  However, a lastly identified planet, HD 40307 g, seems to be out far enough to be regularly temperate for life to chance-appear!

HD 40307 g seems to be orbiting the star HD 40307 within the realm of the habitable zone.  Also referred to as The Goldilocks Zone, this is where things are “not too hot and not too cold”, practically perfect for supporting life!  Further observations of this world show that it is tidally locked, meaning that one side of HD 40307 always faces it’s host star.

HD 40307 b and HD 40307 d are attracting attentiong because they are being designated as Super Earth worlds.  These are extra-solar planets which are more massive than our Earth, yet not as massive as the larger worlds, gas giants akin to Jupiter and Saturn.  Many have objected to the term Super Earth because it does imply that the planet could be a seemingly plush world, filled with forests, possibly with critters roaming about, and maybe even a sentient species waiting to be contacted.  That is NOT what was meant when the researchers placed the term “Super Earth”, so I am not sure why they stuck with it.

Artist's conception of HD 40307g
An artist’s conception shows what astronomers hope to confirm: water and an atmosphere at 40307g.






American flag animated animated_us_flag.gif photo



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Look Out Mars, Here We Come!

October 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

We mean to get to Mars!  We mean to conquer Mars!  Mars is ours!  That is the understandingMartians, beware!

Humanity has fantasized about The Red Planet for generations, imagining it to be the home of an incredible species of beings, possibly similar to ourselves, possibly hostile to us.  We have long-thought of Mars as a place that, at some point, will require our presence.  Current advances in science and related research have allowed us to recognize that Mars is not a world that is currently inhabited, yet that it may have held life in it’s past.  It does seem that several factions within our human community are anxious to assist Mars with a revival!

Mars One is a privately-owned project, lead by Netherlands-based businessman Bas Lansdorp.  He intents to lead the mission that will be responisble for the transportation of a human subject to Planet Mars.  The full goal is to have an entire human colony upon The Red Planet by the year 2023!

These plans were announced during June.  Lansdorp spoke of working to set up the mission through stages.  First, during 2013, four astronauts will be selected to live within a replica of a Martian environment that will be situated within a desert location.  There, the astronauts will train and prepare, as if they actually were living on Mars.

Next, a communications satelllite will be created.  This is to happen during 2014.  It is likely to be tested, possibly to be sent into space before the astronauts are sent to Mars.  The satellite will be needed for arranging the availabilities for contact between space travellers and Earth links during missions.

Then, a supply ship is to arrive at Mars during 2016.  It is scheduled to land upon The Red Planet, filled with vital living supplies.  This will include 2,500 kilograms of food.  The mission will be expanded two years later, wen an exploration vehicle arrives to probe for the most suitable location for a human settlement to be placed!

Pressing forward into 2021, two life support units, two living units, another supply unit, and an additional rover will arrive.  This all will be used to assist with the construction of a suitable living environment for human beings on Mars.  Mars One will have tested these items beforehand to verify their capacity for sustaining people during long-term missions upon another world.

It will be 2022 when The SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy rocketship launches from Earth, heading to Mars!  By 2023, a landing should occur, with astronauts prepared to reside within the habitable settlement.  An additional accompaniment of four astronauts will arrive during 2025.

I would have to say that the long-term goal is to colonize Mars, to terraform the planet.  In all honesty, we are using/abusing Earth to the limit, and we possibly are running out of room.  The likely truth is that we will need an additional world to live upon, to invade, for the ultimate purpose of human proliferation.  Mars long has been the likely candidate for such a purpose, and we are ultimately reaching the point where we are able to recognize our capacity to place our imaginations into action.  We will be able to travel to Mars, to terraform the planet, so that we can claim it as our own, and maybe so that we can have two worlds that can exist with human beings that are not intent upon destroying both of them!










another animated mars

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Another World Nearby and NOT of The Sun!

October 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

A seemingly similar world has been spotted right next door!  Exciting!  It seems that astronomers whom have been making recent and detailed observations of the night skies have succeeded in locating what must be the nearest planet that is orbiting a star which is not The Sun.  It possibly is where many would have expected it to be located, yet now there is the verification of it’s existence.

Right next door (at 4.3 light years, or 25,278,089,104,689.51 miles away), a new world has been discovered!  It appears to have a likeness to our Earth, in that it is a mere amount more than the mass of our world.  This makes the newly-discovered exoplanet the lightest world outside of our solar system to be identified, thus far!

La Silla Paranal Observatory at Chile is where this discovery was made.  Through the use of the powerful HARPS Instrument, precise peerings into nearby regions of our Milky Way have allowed us to see more of what is sitting right next door.  Alpha Centauri, the ternary stellar system which is the nearest star system to our own, hosts an Earth-like world around one of it’s stars!

The observations are preliminary, but what has been revealed is that a planet with some possible likenesses to our Earth is in orbit of Alpha Centauri B.  It is not immediately akin to Earth, as it is much closer to it’s star.  Floating at an average range of three million miles away from Alpha Centauri B, it is practically in the face of it’s star!  This world is closer to Alpha Centauri B than Mercury is to The SunThis world is on fire!

Currently, the planet has been designated as Alpha Centauri Bb.  It’s host star, Alpha Centauri B, is a part of the three-star system, which is the closest star system to our own solar system within our Milky Way Galaxy.  This system contains Alpha Centauri B, along with Alpha Centauri A, and Proxima Centauri.









Flaming Sun

This world is ON FIRE!!!

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….and You Thought It Was Hot In Your Hood!

October 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Studies of outer space continue to be so captivating because of the continuous levels of awe and inspiration that accompany every image that is captured!  I was looking through some prior notes and online clips on some of the recent presentations, which took me to one of the possibly strangest planetary objects within our Milky Way Galaxy!

It was during 2008 that the talented team working with The Hubble Space Telescope identified particular stars within The Auriga Constellation.  This is a grouping of stars that is visible from the northern hemisphere of our planet.  Designated as M32, major stars within Auriga include Capella, Hasseleh, Hoedus 1, Hoedus 11, and Menkalinan.  Capella, formally entitled Alpha Auriga, is the sixth-brightest star in the sky!

Eight of the stars within Auriga are known to have planets.  WASP-12 is the major star of this constellation, which is a yellow dwarf, akin to our Sun.  It’s orbiting world, WASP-12b, orbits exeptionally close to WASP-12.  The distance has been calculated to be one-fortieth of the distance that separates Earth from The Sun!  This lack of area is at a point that the planet’s atmosphere is sucked off by the heat of WASP-12at a level of 189 quadrillion tons, annually!

SuperWASP has been working to identify extrasolar planets in transit of their host stars since the beginning of the 21st century.  It was during September of 2006 when the group located WASP-1b and WASP-2b.  There is at least one uncomfirmed world, GD 66 b, which was first identified during 2008.  It orbits GD 66, a white dwarf star that also is a pulsar, which is 170 light years away from us!

Auriga Constellation



Tatooine has been found!!!

You surely would feel the heat on WASP 12b!

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Hubble’s Continued and Unparalleled Images!

September 30, 2012 at 11:58 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Following and learning about the continuing studies of space-time is always exciting!  I am reading these recent releases about what The Hubble Space Telescope has been doing, specifically regarding it’s latest images of outer space.  It’s latest work has to be near the top of the list of the most fascinating discoveries ever!

The Hubble Space Telescope has been taking images of the universe, peering into distances that are not readily understood by any viewer.  It has been focusing on a region designated as Hubble Deep Field, which then has peered into Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (I guess…).  All of this distant observation of ancient space-time equates to something nearly 80, 240, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 miles from Earth!

The recent telescopic images of Hubble have gathered images that equate to their existence during the time of the cosmos some 13.2 billion years ago.  One image is of a galaxy labeled as UDFj-39546284 (no, clever nicknames did not make the cut….).  This galaxy has been imaged as it existed roughly 450 million years after The Big Bang.  That is young, in terms of the cosmos, and merely five percent of the current age of the known universe.  This galaxy itself supposedly no longer exists, and it has taken so many years for it’s light to be visible by our instruments!

These current pictures of the cosmos have captured images of roughly 5,500 galaxies.  The Hubble Space Telescope spent roughly fifty days taking these photographs, adding them to the collection of images stored from Hubble Ultra Deep Field.  This is an area of the cosmos, located within the constellation Fornax, a constellation visible from the southern hemisphere.  It is situated between the constellations Cetus and Eridanus.  Fornax is a part of The Fornax Cluster, a grouping of galaxies and dwarf galaxies that are roughly 500,000 light years away!










Galaxy Galaxy Galore

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If We Saw An Alien, Would We Know It?

August 4, 2011 at 12:05 AM (curious research, extraterrestrial studies, late night studies, social opinion) (, , )

I am watching Morgan Freeman as he narrates Through the Wormhole.  This particular episode is the season finale.  It is exceptionally fascinating because he is discussing the possibility of life on alien planets.  I have reviewed some of the information that is being presented, and Mr. Freeman is giving further alluring details about what might exist beyond our Earth!

This episode, the season finale, is entitled “What Do Aliens Look Like?”.  He gave possibilities on how life on other worlds in other solar systems could have evolved, based on the settings of their home planets.  It might depend on how close the planet is to it’s host star.  It could depend on whether or not the life lives on a moon of a larger planet.  It could be based on the age of their homeworld.  Several factors would have to be taken into account in order to determine the true nature of extraterrestrial life.

Freeman reiterates the fact that we have no idea as to what life would be like from another world.  We base our speculations upon our knowledge of what we believe to understand about how the universe operates.  As we take the knowledge of the evolution of life on Earth into account, students of the idea of extraterrestrial life use that as a basis on how life on another world could evolve.  Actual scientists, along with E.T. fanatics, and all others whom are curious about the idea, will roll the dice.  It is figured that out of all that is out there, certainly, Earth is NOT alone!

We have no idea as to what actual life that is alien to our Earth might look like!  Morgan Freeman expressed this sentiment, noting that we are just coming to an understanding of what some of the planets beyond our solar system are like.  Several curious thoughts have been expressed, including how alien life might be built, how it might appear to our eyes, and how it even might be similar to life on Earth!

Recalling the studies of Dr. Stephen Hawking, mathematical ratios dictate that life beyond our world must exist.  He crunches the numbers, based on the actual size of what we have come to understand as the universe, factoring the numbers of galaxies,  suitable stars,  habitable zones with possibly habitable worlds, and a whole bunch of other stuff.  Based on the calculations, and upon actual logic, it is seemingly impossible that Earth is the only planet of ALL that is the universe to host forms of life!

Questions arose about the possible anatomies of alien life.  Might they be bipedal, like us?  Would they have what we believe to be the standard two eyes, one mouth, one nose, all on one head?  Could they come in varieties of colors beyond what we recognize as the skin complexions of human beings?  For all that we know, they might look just like us, or they could look like anything beyond our imagination!

I thought that this was a good topic upon which to end the season of this fascinating series!  Several of us want to believe, do believe that life does exist beyond our Earth and our current understanding.  We can continue to speculate, as we use more scientific facts and evidence about what we understand of life on our world, and about what we are learning about worlds beyond our solar system.  Yet, in truth, we never can be certain until we actually, truthfully, see extraterrestrial life in it’s flesh!

View Image














blue gray alien with wild walk animated  dancing alien for black and dark backgrounds   blue on blue alien walking animated

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