Category Archives: Astronomy

Watch: Casting a $20 Million Mirror for the World’s Largest Telescope (Giant Magellan Telescope)

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a ground-based extremely large telescope under construction, planned for completion in 2025. When completed, it will be one member of the next class of giant ground-based telescopes that promises to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe. It will be constructed in the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

GMT has a unique design that offers several advantages. It is a segmented mirror telescope that employs seven of today’s largest stiff monolith mirrors as segments. Six off-axis 8.4 meter or 27-foot segments surround a central on-axis segment, forming a single optical surface 24.5 meters, or 80 feet, in diameter with a total collecting area of 368 square meters. The GMT will have a resolving power 10 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope!

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Farout: the most-distant body ever observed in Solar System

Researchers discovered the farthest known object in our solar system and named it “Farout” (far-out-there). It is about 120 times farther than Earth is from the Sun (120 AU Notes 1). For comparison, the most distant planet, Neptune is about 30 AU from the Sun. At its most distant, once upon a time the ninth planet, now a dwarf planet, Pluto, can be 49 AU (7.29 billion km, or 4.53 billion miles) from the Sun. Currently, Pluto is at about 34 AU, making  Farout more than three-and-a-half times more distant than the Solar System’s most-famous dwarf planet.

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Watch: Yet Another Scale Model of the Solar System

Previously I posted articles titled “If The Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – A Tediously Accurate Map Of The Solar System” and “A Scale Model Of Solar System Drawn In The Desert And The Result Is Stunning”. Since the human brain cannot deal with the really large numbers, these articles provide amazing ways to understand how big actually our Solar System is.

Now, in his YouTube channel, The Science Asylum, physicist Nick Lucid provides yet another scale model of the solar system. A very nice video conceptualizing how mind-bogglingly big our solar system (and space) is.

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How many stars one can see with the naked eye?

The total number of the stars which can be seen with the naked eye is 9,095, according to the Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Edition. Also known as the Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars or Yale Bright Star Catalogue,
the catalog lists all stars of stellar magnitude 6.5 Notes 1 or brighter, which is roughly every star visible to the naked eye from Earth.

The catalog contains 9,110 objects, of which 9,095 are stars, 11 are novae or supernovae, and 4 are non-stellar objects.

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10 Amazing Facts about Space

The endless depths of the sky intrigue almost all humans alike. Space is like an abstract dream coming to life when it unfolds into a number of unseen horizons. The enormous nebulas, staggering hypernovae and the smattering of countless planets and stars make it a canvas of muse.

We are but a speck of dust in a desert full of possibilities when compared to the vastness of space. There are many realities prospering in the skies above us, it is only natural that we are still unaware of the majority of phenomena taking place on and around the stars.

Just like the count of stars, there are unlimited obscure and consternating facts dwelling in the depths of space. Most of them are surprising and are reminders for us that we are just an addition to the universe. Let us take a swim into the sky with these 10 amazing facts which are bound to fascinate you.

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Watch: The Milky Way as You’ve Never Seen It Before

In April 2018, the European Space Agency’s Gaia observatory released its second data catalog, which includes the distances to over 1.3 billion stars. In the video published by the American Museum of Natural History, museum’s astrophysicist Jackie Faherty breaks down why this information is so revolutionary and explains how this information is helping scientists and non-scientists alike understand the universe like never before.

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50 Scientific Facts About the Earth

One of the most surprising facts about the Earth is how we easily forget that what an amazing and interesting planet we live on. As Carl Sagan pointed out, “It’s home, it’s us”. It is the only world known planet to support an atmosphere with free oxygen, liquid water on the surface, and, perhaps this is the most important amazing, life. Here are 50 scientific facts about the Earth.

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This is probably the most beautiful Solar Eclipse photo ever

More than a year ago, on Monday, August 21, around 2 million to 7.4 million Americans traveled to see the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to go coast to coast in the United States. Photographer Jon Carmichael chose another way. He got aboard a Southwest Airlines aircraft and captured the Great American Total Solar Eclipse from an unusual vantage point at 39,000 feet (11,890 meters). And the result is probably the most beautiful Solar Eclipse photo ever.

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