Expanding Solar System
This evocative movie of four planets more massive than Jupiter orbiting the young star HR 8799 is a composite of sorts, including images taken over seven years at the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii.
The movie clearly doesn’t show full orbits, which will take many more years to collect. The closest-in planet circles the star in around 40 years; the furthest takes more than 400 years.
Credit: Jason Wang and Christian Marois
At the very centre of the image above is something incredible – a single, positively-charged strontium atom, suspended in motion by electric fields.
Not only is this an incredibly rare sight, it’s also difficult to wrap your head around the fact that this tiny point of blue light is a building block of matter.
The image was captured by physicist David Nadlinger from the University of Oxford, and it’s been awarded the overall prize in the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council photo competition.
To give you a little perspective on the size of this set-up, the atom is being held in place by electric fields emanating from those two metal needles on either side of it.
The distance between them is about 2 millimetres (0.08 inch).
The atom is being illuminated by a blue-violet laser. The energy from the laser causes the atom to emit photons which Nadlinger could capture on camera using a long exposure.
The whole thing is housed inside an ultra-high vacuum chamber and dramatically cooled to keep the atom still. Nadlinger took this photo through the window of the vacuum chamber.
To learn more, click here.
Image Credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF
As part of an engineering test, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image of the Earth and Moon using its NavCam1 imager on January 17 from a distance of 39.5 million miles (63.6 million km). When the camera acquired the image, the spacecraft was moving away from home at a speed of 19,000 miles per hour (8.5 kilometers per second).
Earth is the largest, brightest spot in the center of the image, with the smaller, dimmer Moon appearing to the right. Several constellations are also visible in the surrounding space. The bright cluster of stars in the upper left corner is the Pleiades in the Taurus constellation. Hamal, the brightest star in Aries, is located in the upper right corner of the image. The Earth-Moon system is centered in the middle of five stars comprising the head of Cetus the Whale.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin
Do you think it’s possible that Pluto is an escaped moon of Neptune, and if not, why not? The opinions I can find on the matter leave me a bit confused.
Well, first of all I’m not an expert and my explanation may be wrong. I’ve heard of it, but it seems that hypothesis is not very likely. If pluto has orbited Neptune before, it would have to have a phenomenon with an extremely large energy so that Pluto would leave the Neptunian orbit and manage to escape.
Although at some point the orbits of Pluto and Neptune “ get close ”, it is still far enough away that they do not interact, and Pluto has an inclined orbit compared to Neptune. These factors make it even more difficult.
Images taken by the International Space Station
Sensacional esse blog. Sou apaixonada por astronomia, astrofísica, e cosmologia. Além de ser fã de Carl Sagan, adorei o tumblr, a estrutura e as imagens. Parabéns pelo excelente trabalho.
Muito obrigado 🙂
Happy Valentines Day!! I think your blog is Astro-ordinary! Have a great day!!!
Thank you very much 🙂