Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Thursday, September 03, 2015
Over the last few years I've become a big fan of Matlab and its free, open-source, twin Octave so I was pleased to discover at least some professional Astronomers use it. The Astronomy & Astrophysics package for Matlab (Ofek 2014, see also http://ascl.net/1407.005) contains just under a thousand Matlab functions, including catalog access and ds9-interaction.
Hat tip: The Astrophysics Source Code Library.
Posted by Dave Strickland at 9:52 PM
Monday, July 13, 2015
|True color image of Charon (left) and Plut (right), taken July 09 2015. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute|
|Surface features on Pluto. July 12 2015. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute|
But already the views of Pluto and Charon are amazing, all the more so because they're just so different.
|Surface features on Charon. July 12 2015. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute|
Posted by Dave Strickland at 7:28 AM
Thursday, July 09, 2015
Interesting times, but not much time to comment on them.
The Sun is doing it's thing as always. Not much too special to talk about today. For more data go to http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/
|AIA 211 Angstrom band is red, AIA 193 Angstrom band is green, and AIA 171 is blue|
In our back yard the robotic missions to Minor Planets Ceres and Pluto are really getting interesting.
|Dwarf planet Ceres as seen by NASA's DAWN mission|
Fun Ceres facts: It is about 590 miles across, and accounts for about 25% of the entire asteroid belt's mass. Yet it is less than 1/14th of the mass of Plute, the other dwarf planet of note at the moment.
It is amazing to finally see non-deconvolved images of Pluto that actually look like something other than a blurry blob. [Read more at Space.com] Original images from JHU Applied Physics Lab.
|New Horizon's image of Pluto and Charon taken on 06/29/2015 at a distance of 18 million km.|
|Sharpless 308. Copyright Kfir Simon|
Speaking of Wolf Rayet stars, how about Wolf Rayet galaxies? Why, it's a Hubble image of the famous SBS1415+437. (Just kidding, this galaxy is not well known, even among the so-called Wolf Rayet galaxies.)
|The Wolf-Rayet galaxy SBS1415+437. Credit NASA/HST/Aloisi et al?|
Go read the background at SpaceTelescope.org's Image of the Week. Although it is not clear from the Image of the Week site the image is probably that described in Aloisi et al, 2005, ApJ, 631, L45 which detected the presence of old (1+ Gyr) stars in SBS1415+437., which had bearing on an old (by now) debate about whether the so-called Wolf Rayet galaxies in the local Universe where young galaxies just experiencing their first burst of star formation (Answer: In general no, they're not).
I of course chose the bubble, superbubble, Wolf Rayet galaxy, and NGC 6503 images because I did some work on wind-blown bubbles, superbubbles, WR galaxies and NGC 6503 back in the days I was a professional astronomer. Red and green Solar images are for Micah and Caelan, who are very into that type of solar imagery at the moment.
Posted by Dave Strickland at 7:50 AM