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Chris Dolan
1,214 followers -
programmer, cyclist, gamer, former astronomer
programmer, cyclist, gamer, former astronomer

1,214 followers
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That's fascinating. I didn't realize that coal-free intervals were tracked, but it makes sense in retrospect. I wonder what that graph would look like for the US?

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Perhaps the most accurate demographic map you've ever seen.

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A hilltop view from Prairie Moraine park in Verona WI. They did a prairie burn earlier that day so the dark is all soot from last year's grasses.

(I didn't realize my new phone could do 360° panoramas until I took this shot. Cool!)

https://parks-lwrd.countyofdane.com/park/PrairieMoraine

Update: aw, bummer, G+ won't show this picture in 360 mode...
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This article doesn't really delve into how synthetic-aperture, long-baseline interferometry telescopes work but the science that they're trying to do is really cool. I'm really looking forward to seeing the results of this work, which (as Brian suggests in comments) might be publicized in some modest number of months from now.

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Cool! This is a well-known technique for detecting atmospheres of objects outside our solar system, but this is the first time it's been used for an object so small (40% bigger diameter than our Earth).
Breaking: Atmosphere around super-Earth detected!

Gliese 1132 b is 1.6 Earth Masses, orbiting red dwarf GJ 1132 and is located only approximately 39 light years away!

"Astronomers have detected an atmosphere around the super-Earth GJ 1132b. This marks the first detection of an atmosphere around an Earth-like planet other than Earth itself, and thus a significant step on the path towards the detection of life on an exoplanet. The team, which includes researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, used the 2.2 m ESO/MPG telescope in Chile to take images of the planet's host star GJ 1132, and measuring the slight decrease in brightness as the planet and its atmosphere absorbed some of the starlight while passing directly in front of their host star."

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-04-atmosphere-super-earth.html

The Study: John Southworth et al. Detection of the Atmosphere of the 1.6Exoplanet GJ 1132 b, The Astronomical Journal (2017). https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.02425


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Nice article about detecting methane on Mars -- both the science and engineering sides of the work.

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This is a well-written and exciting article about Betelgeuse. You have to read to the end to get the answer to "when" but of course the answer is an unsatisfying "we don't really know." My favorite part is the idea that we could perhaps know if we had a neutrino telescope that could probe what's going on in Betelgeuse's core, but the current state of neutrino research is that we're still trying to figure out our own Sun let alone a distant star.

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That is a gorgeous photo.

If you look carefully you will notice that the moons and Jupiter are almost fully lit, so the Sun is almost directly behind the camera. So, the fact that the shadow is so far to the right of Ganymede shows that Ganymede is pretty far in the foreground. Without that hint, you might think that Ganymede is very close to Jupiter and that the sunlight is coming more from the left.

Ganymede's Shadow
Image Credit & Copyright: Damian Peach, Chilescope
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170325.html

Approaching opposition early next month, Jupiter is offering some of its best telescopic views from planet Earth. On March 17, this impressively sharp image of the solar system's ruling gas giant was taken from a remote observatory in Chile. Bounded by planet girdling winds, familiar dark belts and light zones span the giant planet spotted with rotating oval storms. The solar system's largest moon Ganymede is above and left in the frame, its shadow seen in transit across the northern Jovian cloud tops. Ganymede itself is seen in remarkable detail along with bright surface features on fellow Galilean moon Io, right of Jupiter's looming disk.
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Oh, wow, I never knew that air traffic noise was so directional... I assume those loud zones align with runways.

https://maps.bts.dot.gov/arcgis/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=a303ff5924c9474790464cc0e9d5c9fb

(btw, I believe this is modeled worst-case noise levels as opposed to measured or average noise, but I only skimmed the documentation for the maps and did not read it in depth)

h/t +Brad Templeton in his blog discussion of quieter air vehicles.

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