30 August 2012

Exoplanets: NASA's Kepler Discovers Multiple Planets Orbiting a Pair of stars

NASA's Kepler Discovers Multiple Planets Orbiting a Pair of stars.

Coming less than a year after the announcement of the first circumbinary planet, Kepler-16b, NASA's Kepler mission has discovered multiple transiting planets orbiting two suns for the first time. This system, known as a circumbinary planetary system, is 4,900 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. 

This discovery proves that more than one planet can form and persist in the stressful realm of a binary star and demonstrates the diversity of planetary systems in our galaxy. 

Astronomers detected two planets in the Kepler-47 system, a pair of orbiting stars that eclipse each other every 7.5 days from our vantage point on Earth. One star is similar to the sun in size, but only 84 percent as bright. The second star is diminutive, measuring only one-third the size of the sun and less than 1 percent as bright. 

Here is a video explaining Kepler 47 System and it's orbiting Planets.

Read more on Nasa's Kepler web pages HERE

29 August 2012

Watch the Blue Moon Friday 31.08.2012

On Friday 31.08.2012 you can enjoy a full Moon, but this time the full Moon might just be blue...

blue moon can refer to the third full Moon in a season with four full moons. Most years have twelve full moons that occur approximately monthly.
In many world folklore, eachmoon are named according to its time of year. A moon that came too early had no folk name, and was called a blue moon, retaining the correct seasonal timings for future moons.
A "blue moon" is also used colloquially to mean "a rare event", reflected in the phrase "once in a blue moon".
The most literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon (not necessarily a full moon) appears to a casual observer to be unusually bluish, which is a rare event. The effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere.

The key to a blue moon is having lots of particles slightly wider than the wavelength of red light (0.7 micrometre) — and no other sizes present. This is rare, but volcanoes sometimes produce such clouds, as do forest fires. Ash and dust clouds thrown into the atmosphere by fires and storms usually contain a mixture of particles with a wide range of sizes, with most smaller than 1 micrometre, and they tend to scatter blue light. This kind of cloud makes the moon turn red; thus red moons are far more common than blue moons.

Read more on Wikipedia HERE

26 August 2012

Death of an Icon: Neil Alden Armstrong (1930-2012)

Neil Alden Armstrong (1930-2012).
The first man to walk on the Moon died On August 25, 2012, Armstrong died in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of 82 due to complications from blocked coronary arteries.
On July 21, 1969 Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. where the first men to visit our Moon. Armstrong commanded the mission and was the first man to set foot on the moon. His famous words where "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." that all humanity remembers well.
To Neil's family and relatives, we send our deepest condolences and sympathy for their lost. Neil will be missed by everyone, but will always live in our history, memories and in our hearts.

24 August 2012

This is One to remember! Mars in 50 seconds.

Watch how the Mars Science Laboratory landed on the planet Mars.

This is a full-resolution version of the NASA Curiosity rover descent to Mars, taken by the MARDI descent imager. This video, put together by Daniel Luke Fitch, uses all but a dozen of the full resolution 1600×1200 frames (some haven’t been uploaded from the rover yet). The result is a mind-blowing, HD view of Curiosity’s view as it landed — and it also shows the best views yet of the heat shield impact.

Here is a picture of the camera used to catch this memorable moment in history.

Source of Camera picture: Wikipedia
Source article: Nancy Atkinson Universe Today

21 August 2012

Read the Carnival of Space #263

Read Space Articles/ Carnival of Space #263
Welcome to another installment of The Carnival of Space!
Ray Sanders at Dear is our host this week.

Here's some highlights of Space and Astronomy news from the past week. We've got stories on Mars, The Higgs Boson, Online Astronomy courses, Asteroids, Space shuttle launches and more!
Enter the Carnival of Space HERE

If you have a science/space blog, joining The Carnival of Space is a good way to meet members of the Space/Science blogging community and help your site reach a wider audience.

If you'd like to be a host for The Carnival of Space, please send an email to

17 August 2012

Build your own Plank Satellite at home!

European Space Agency's Plank Satellite
Build your own Plank Satellite at home!

Do you remember the Plank satellite?
Planck is a space observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA) and designed to observe the anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) over the entire sky, at a high sensitivity and angular resolution. Planck was built in the Cannes Mandelieu Space Center by Thales Alenia Space and created as the third Medium-Sized Mission (M3) of the European Space Agency's Horizon 2000 Scientific Programme.
Now it is your turn to build your own Paper Plank satellite at home! At the UK Outreach Site Plank Satellite they have set up a sheet that you can download and cut/assemble on your own.  There is also a video that shows you how to put it all together. Great activity for your Astronomy Club or just you and the kids.

HERE is the link to the UK Outreach Site Plank satellite where you can find the sheet of the satellite.
HERE is the link to the video of the assembly by Edward Gomez and Stuart Lowe
READ MORE on Wikipedia

The Milky Way our Mother Galaxy

The Milky Way our Mother Galaxy
The Milky Way, Kustavi, Finland.

The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Earth. This name derives from its appearance as a dim "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky, in which the naked eye cannot distinguish individual stars.
The term "Milky Way" is a translation of the Classical Latin via lactea, from the Hellenistic Greek γαλαξίας κύκλος (pr. galaxías kýklos, "milky circle"). The Milky Way appears like a band because it is a disk-shaped structure being viewed from inside. The fact that this faint band of light is made up of stars was proven in 1610 when Galileo Galilei used his telescope to resolve it into individual stars. In the 1920s, observations by astronomer Edwin Hubble showed that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies.

READ more on WIkipedia HERE
Watch Milky Way astrophotos HERE
Picture: The Milky Way credit: KTY Toutatis

15 August 2012

Mars: Curiosity rover have Golden Eyes. Camera View Extraordinaire!

Mars rover Curiosity on Mars  Credit: JPL/NASA
Mars rover Curiosity, Sol 10.

Photographer Andrew Bodrov stitched together images from Curiosity’s navigation cameras to create the panorama. “After seeing some of the stitches of Curiosity’s images at NASA’s website, I decided to stitch the panorama myself,” Bodrov told Universe Today.

He uses PTGui panoramic stitching software from New House Internet Services BV ( to create the 360-degree view of the mountains and sky surrounding the car-sized rover that successfully landed on Mars on August 6th.
You can see the Panorama in detail HERE at
John Williams reports. Read more on Universe Today HERE.

14 August 2012

Perseids: Watch Pictures from around the World

Perseid meteor shower Credit: David Kingham
The Perseids were elusive here in Finland. All night we watch the sky, but the clouds got the best of it.

Here is a link of a photo gallery at where you can see picture of the Perseids meteor shower all around the World.

The image of the Perseids is from David’s photostream on flickr, where you can find more details of this brilliant 23 image composite – plus many many more fantastic photographs. Go check it out!

11 August 2012

Catch Shooting Stars Perseids this Week End!

Perseids Meteor shower
This week end August 11-12, 2012  is a good time to go outside and search for the shooting stars Perseids Meteor Shower.
The Perseid meteor shower peaks between midnight and dawn.  This is a fine year for meteors because the Moon is well past full, making the dark enough to reveal fainter meteors.  Look for 1-2 meteors per minute in good sky.

The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear to come, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus. The name derives in part from the word Perseides, a term found in Greek mythology referring to the sons of Perseus.

So get your Sun chairs out and enjoy the scenery with a hot cup of cacao and good company!

Clear skies

09 August 2012

Astrophoto Exhibition @ our Astronomy Club!

Astrophoto Exhibition @ our Astronomy Club here in Kustavi Finland.
01.08.2012 - 02.09.2012

Our Astronomy Club "Toutatis" was founded 2 years ago on October 10, 2010. To celebrate our first 2 years, we have set up a Space Exhibition. This exhibition has more then 40 astrophotos and an interactive exhibition as well.

The astrophotos are from our members. This is to related how we have progress and to see the fruits of our passion.
For the interactive part of the exhibition, we have made 5 ways to experience astronomy and Space. We have of course DVD showings, we have telescope handling, we have sounds from the cosmos, we have memory drawing of the Moon and finally we have a giant Full Moon rug (carpet) where people can step on as they would step on the Moon!

If you are in the neighborhood in Finland, you are very welcome to our Space Exhibition that is set until September 02.2012. Contact us for more information.

Clear skies!

07 August 2012

Mars: Loads of images of and from rover Curiosity

NASA's most advanced Mars rover, Curiosity, has landed on the Red Planet.
The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars early Monday EDT to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.

On this image you can see the deployed parachute of the rover descending to the surface of the planet Mars. This image was caught by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft orbiting Mars.

You can see more images of the rover Curiosity on Nasa's website HERE

06 August 2012

Mars: Planetary Mission Team celebrates safe landing of Curiosity

Mars Planetary Mission Team celebrates safe landing of Curiosity
Mars Planetary Mission Team celebrates safe landing of Curiosity!

Today August 06, 2012 Nasa Planetary Mission Mars Science Laboratory "Curiosity" has landed on the surface of Mars.

All around the world, scientists, astronomers, space bloggers and all the fans of Space are watching and listening to this historical landing of a space probe on another planet in our solar system.

HERE is a link to the Virtual Landing Party Hosted by Canadian colleague Publisher of Universe Today Space Newsblog Fraser Cain.

Now that the landing is safely executed, the collective of teams around the world working on Curiosity will prepare the next stage on preparing the rover to get on it's feet and do system checks after system checks to be finally ready to take the journey through gale Crater and beyond on the surface of Mars.

Congratulation to everyone involved in this epic journey of the Mars Planetary Mission. We are making history along side Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity. We are on Mars!

Follow Nasa through this epic journey on Mars on
Watch Nasa TV HERE
Or leave a comment!

05 August 2012

MARS: Curiosity Rover on Track for Monday Landing

Mars science Laboratory  Curiosity Credit: Nasa
Curiosity, the car-size, one-ton rover is scheduled to land in Gale Crater at about 05:31 UTC on August 6, 2012 (08:31 Finnish time).
The landing will mark the beginning of a two-year prime mission to investigate one of the most intriguing places on Mars.

Here is a nice presentation of what the spacecraft and the rover will go through in entering Mars atmosphere and the landing in it's self on "Mars-ferma".

See the INFOGRAPHIC of the mission HERE.