Dawn Mission: Scientists Unlock Vesta’s Mysteries

Unlocking Vesta’s mysteries are two of Dawn mission’s participating scientists: Brett Denevi studies Vesta’s regolith, the relatively fluffy surface layer, made of dust and rocky debris leftover by impacts; and Paul Schenk explores Vesta’s craters, especially their weird shapes—often caused by that shifting regolith—and the tales they tell of Vesta’s history! Brett and Paul will show how their investigations of Vesta’s weird and wonderful craters and pits tell the tale of the giant asteroid’s history, as well as share the special role participating scientists have on NASA missions.

Duration: 58:41

via Dawn Mission EPO.


via spacefans:

@ScientificScott has been working on more animations for future Space Fan News & Deep Astronomy videos! Here’s one of his latest with the Hubble Space Telescope orbiting the Earth. Enjoy!

Virtual Star Party - April 6, 2014: Saturn Rising

Tonight’s Views:
M42 Orion Nebula
Large and Small Magellanic Clouds with Venus and zodiacal light from Cory
M4, Antares and Ophiuchus from Cory
Tarantula Nebula from Cory
Lunar surface detail
Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula
Rosette Nebula
M104 Sombrero Galaxy
Surface of the Sun
Saturn (blurry)
Triffid Nebula and Lagoon Nebula
California Nebula (top and bottom)
M42 Orion Nebula

Hosts: Fraser Cain and Scott Lewis
Astronomers: David Dickinson, Gary Gonella, Roy Salisbury, Sharin Ahmed, Stuart Forman, Mike Simmons
and some gorgeous pics from Cory Schmitz in the Southern Hemisphere
Scott also shares pics from the viewers
Apps used by Scott: Phases of the Moon and Stellarium

Duration: 58:46

via Universe Today.

Space Fan News - 133 - Yuri’s Night with Ron Garan & Space Shuttle Endeavour!

Astronauts and a space party? Sounds like the place for Space Fans!

Yuri’s Night is a celebration of the man that gave humanity that first step off of this planet and into space. Yuri Gagarin made the first orbit around our Earth on 12 April 1961 and on this day, Space Fans from across the world get together to celebrate this amazing accomplishment!

Scott went out to the California Science Center in Los Angeles for the local celebration at the Space Shuttle Endeavour! While there, he met up with Astronaut Ron Garan who has spent over 178 days in orbit and clocked in over 27 hours walking in space.

Ron took some time out of his busy schedule and spoke with Scott about the importance of Yuri’s Night and the Orbital Perspective which is the foundation of his amazing project Fragile Oasis. Learn more at FragileOasis.org

Also interviewed in this episode are Angeli Richard, Brian Deagon, Dr. Michael Habib and Dr. Denise Kaisler! Was spotted by Space Fan Robyn Ringuette there too.

Background Music: Ouroboros - Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

via Space Fan News.

Spitzer Completes 360-Degree Panorama Of Milky Way

After 10 years capturing 2 million infrared snapshots of our galaxy using the Spitzer Space Telescope, NASA has created a 360-degree panoramic view of our galaxy, showing stars from across the 100,000 light years of the milky way.

via Live Science Videos.

Eyes on the Sky: April 21 thru April 27

See the galaxies Messier 65 and Messier 66 in Leo the Lion. Dave takes the observer step by step through how to locate these galaxies in most any telescope (darker skies will help though!). Also, the mythology of Leo is humorously shared through the occasional “Astronomy Theater” feature. See what’s up in the night sky every week with “Eyes on the Sky” videos, astronomy made easy.

via Eyes on the Sky.

Computers beat brainpower when it comes to counting stars

A team of University of Sydney astronomers has developed a new way to automatically classify huge numbers of astronomical objects, and to discover new, exotic ones almost as soon as they happen.

Massive torrents of raw data are now collected by telescopes on a daily basis creating an urgent need to massively accelerate the reliable classification of millions of stars and galaxies, and to quickly highlight objects that might be new discoveries or that have unusual properties.

More info: http://www.caastro.org/news/2014-autoclass


The Search for Earth-like Planets

Get the latest from the planet-hunting frontier. Find out what we are learning about our place in the cosmos from the search for earth-like planets.

This journey started tens of thousands of years ago, when humans began to fan out across the planet, following unknown pathways, crossing unmeasured distances. We traced coastlines, and sailed uncertain seas. We crossed ocean straits drained by an ice age.

Into every corner of Earth we ventured, looking for places to put down our roots, to raise our families, or just to see what was there. Today, it’s the final frontier that fires our imaginations. With so many stars in our galaxy, we make a simple extrapolation, that the cosmos must be filled with worlds like ours, with life, even intelligent life.

For four years, the historic planet hunting mission, Kepler, starred at a group of 150,000 stars located in a region extending three thousand light years away from earth.

The data collected by this spacecraft has brought a turning point in the long search for other planets like earth. Is ours one of countless life-bearing worlds strewn about the galaxy; or is it a rare garden of eden in a barren universe?

via Cosmic Journeys.

Weekly Space Hangout - April 18, 2014

This week’s stories:
Jason Major (@JPMajor, LightsInTheDark.com):
First Habitable Earth-sized exoplanet found (finally!)
Casey Dreier (@exploreplanets, Planetary.org):
The End of Opportunity and LRO?
Current status of NASA funding
Brian Koberlein (@briankoberlein, briankoberlein.com):
How CERN’s Discovery of Exotic Particles May Affect Astrophysics
BICEP2 inflation results may be due to radio loops
David Dickinson (@astroguyz, www.astroguyz.com):
Views of the Lunar Eclipse
Lyrid Meteors
Sondy Springmann (@sondy):
SpaceX launch or LADEE impact?

Duration: 59:55

via Universe Today.

SkyWeek April 21 - 27, 2014

Magnificent Leo the Lion, one of the few constellations that really resembles its name, is high in the south. Regulus, its brightest star, is important in history and science.

via Sky & Telescope.

Space Fan News Live! №133

In this special edition of SFN Live, Scott will be on location at the California Science Center, which is hosting Yuri’s Night for Los Angeles. If you’re in the LA area and are attending the local Yuri’s Night celebration, let us know and we’ll try to have a hangout in real life (HIRL) with Scott!

Duration: 46:56

via Space Fan News.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/spacefannews
Facebook: http://facebook.com/spacefan

Setting up a tarp as a light block for light trespass

Light trespass is something we occasionally must deal with if we do not observe at a dark sky site. In this video, Dave explains how to set up a simple light-block using a heavy-duty tarp, a few stakes, some cord and two poles. This can enhance astronomy observing, and is a quick and eay set up / tear down too. See what’s up in the night sky every week with “Eyes on the Sky” videos, astronomy made easy.

via Eyes on the Sky.

Google Lunar XPrize Team Hangouts: 002 Chasing the Prize

Join the Google Lunar XPRIZE Technical Director, Andrew Barton, to learn about what must be accomplished to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE. In the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing all these teams to you so you can get to know them, their work, and how they are looking to take us back to the Moon.

A global team of scientists and engineers are all working toward constructing missions to land on, travel across, and send video back from the Moon. With this new Google Hangout on Air series, we will introduce you to the men and women behind each of these planned missions and bring you all the latest developments from Google Lunar XPRIZE.

Duration: 54:17

via Astrosphere Vids.

Who owns the moon?

In this episode we talk about cosmic property rights. Who owns the moon? What about Mars? Can a company legally mine an asteroid?

In space news: ULA and SpaceX go head to head at a Senate hearing committee, how tensions with Russia can negatively impact the US space programs, COSMOS, a new space plane is being developed and the original space shuttle wooden mockup is moving.

You can watch the full Senate sub-committee video here:

Duration: 41:12

via SpaceVidcast.