the name of that star? Where's Saturn? Get the answers
fun new astronomy helper from Meade.
Sunspot 956 continues to grow (movie)
and it now has a complex magnetic field that habors energy
for X-class solar
flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 5% chance of such
an explosion during the next 24 hours. Stay tuned.
Gembec of the Czech Republic calls this a "good
sky." The glow of sunset, the planet Mercury, and
a whisper-thin crescent Moon:
Photo details: Canon
135mm lens, ISO 400, 0.5 sec exp.
took the picture last night while the Moon was passing
by Mercury. Consider it a preview: On Saturday night,
May 19th, the crescent Moon will pass even closer to Venus,
and it is a sight you must not miss. Venus and the crescent
Moon will lie barely 1o apart, forming a brilliant
and unforgettable pair. When the sun goes down on Saturday,
be outside looking west: sky
Stephane Levesque of Ste Luce, Quebec; from
Jan Koeman of Kloetinge, the Netherlands; from
Chuck Hunt of Brook Park, Ohio; from
Michael Bromley at the Kufrah Oasis in the Sahara
Desert of Libya; from
Anirudh Walvekar of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; from
Helmut Groell of Moers, Germany; from
Günther Strauch of Borken, Germany; from
Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK.
"The scientific community is still buzzing about
discovery of HE 1523-0901, a 13.2 billion year old
star which formed a mere 500 million years after the Big
Bang," says Anthony
Ayiomamitis of Athens, Greece. "I took this picture
of the star on May 13th."
Photo details: 160mm
Starfire telescope, SBIG ST-2000XM, 2 hr exposure.
by the arrow, HE 1523-0901 is 11th magnitude and located
in the constellation Libra. It looks much like any other
star in the area--but it is special. HE 1523-0901 is one
of the oldest stars in the Milky Way, perhaps one of the
oldest in the Universe, and by studying it astronomers
may be able to learn new things about the genesis of our
team of astronomers led by Anna Frebel of the University
of Texas dated the star using a technique similar to carbon-14
dating. HE 1523-0901 contains radioactive elements uranium
and thorium. (These elements leave their imprint on the
star's spectrum, which is how they can be detected and
measured.) By comparing the abundance of uranium and thorium
to other elements in the star which do not decay, the
researchers were able to make six independent estimates
of the star's age, and they all agreed: 13.2 billion years.
here to read the original research.