The wait is over, First ever black hole image released

Astronomers have taken the first ever image of a black hole, which is located in a distant galaxy.

It measures 40 billion km across – three million times the size of the Earth – and has been described by scientists as “a monster”.

The first ever picture of a black hole: It’s surrounded by a halo of bright gas pulled in by the hole’s gravity

The black hole is 500 million trillion km away and was photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the world.

Details have been published today in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Prof Heino Falcke, of Radboud University in the Netherlands, who proposed the experiment, told BBC News that the black hole was found in a galaxy called M87.

Astronomers have suspected that the M87 galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its heart from false colour images such as this one. The dark centre is not a black hole but indicates that stars are densely packed and fast moving Image copyright : DR JEAN LORRE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

“What we see is larger than the size of our entire Solar System,” he said.

“It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe.”

The image shows an intensely bright “ring of fire”, as Prof Falcke describes it, surrounding a perfectly circular dark hole. The bright halo is caused by superheated gas falling into the hole. The light is brighter than all the billions of other stars in the galaxy combined – which is why it can be seen at such distance from Earth.

The edge of the dark circle at the centre is the point at which the gas enters the black hole, which is an object that has such a large gravitational pull, not even light can escape.

The eventual EHT array will have 12 widely spaced participating radio facilities, Via BBC

The image matches what theoretical physicists and indeed, Hollywood directors, imagined black holes would look like, according to Dr Ziri Younsi, of University College London – who is part of the collaboration.

“Although they are relatively simple objects, black holes raise some of the most complex questions about the nature of space and time, and ultimately of our existence,” he said.

“It is remarkable that the image we observe is so similar to that which we obtain from our theoretical calculations. So far, it looks like Einstein is correct once again.”

But having the first image will enable researchers to learn more about these mysterious objects. They will be keen to look out for ways in which the black hole departs from what’s expected in physics. No one really knows how the bright ring around the hole created. Even more intriguing is the question of what happens when an object falls into a black hole.

Let’s know some basics of Black hole.

What is a black hole?

A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape its gravity

Despite the name, they are not empty but instead consist of a huge amount of matter packed densely into a small area

There is a region of space beyond the black hole called the event horizon. This is a “point of no return”, beyond which it is impossible to escape the gravitational effects of the black hole

Prof Falcke had the idea for the project when he was a PhD student in 1993. At the time, no one thought it was possible. But he was the first to realise that a certain type of radio emission would be generated close to and all around the black hole, which would be powerful enough to be detected by telescopes on Earth.

He also recalled reading a scientific paper from 1973 that suggested that because of their enormous gravity, black holes appear 2.5 times larger than they actually are.

These are the first eht findings Messier M87 – Black Hole, this is the first image of a Black Hole, from M87. The image you are looking at confirms the existence, of a supermasssive black hole, at the center of Messier 87, located 53.49 million light years. The orange glow, is a number of things, namely gas. But it now confirms that these black holes heat gases to such a hot temperature, that they can’t even form stars. We now have direct evidence, which would confirm that black holes impact on the shape of their host galaxy. From this image, we can also calculate the properties (Speed, length and so on) of the jets forming in this black hole, and we can also confirm that the theory of relativity has yet surpassed another important test.

These two previously unknown factors suddenly made the seemingly impossible, possible. After arguing his case for 20 years, Prof Falcke persuaded the European Research Council to fund the project. The National Science Foundation and agencies in East Asia then joined in to bankroll the project to the tune of more than £40m.

It is an investment that has been vindicated with the publication of the image. Prof Falcke told me that he felt that “it’s mission accomplished”.

How was it captured?

To capture this, the EHT Team used a process called Interferometry which links radio telescopes.

He said: “It has been a long journey, but this is what I wanted to see with my own eyes. I wanted to know is this real?”

No single telescope is powerful enough to image the black hole. So, in the biggest experiment of its kind, Prof Sheperd Doeleman of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, is director of a project that set up a network of eight linked telescopes. Together, they form the Event Horizon Telescope and can be thought of as a planet-sized array of dishes.

Each is located high up at a variety of exotic sites, including on volcanoes in Hawaii and Mexico, mountains in Arizona and the Spanish Sierra Nevada, in the Atacama Desert of Chile, and in Antarctica.

A team of 200 scientists pointed the networked telescopes towards M87 and scanned its heart over a period of 10 days.

The information they gathered was too much to be sent across the internet. Instead, the data was stored on hundreds of hard drives which were flown to a central processing centres in Boston, US, and Bonn, Germany, to assemble the information. Prof Doeleman described the achievement as “an extraordinary scientific feat”.

“We have achieved something presumed to be impossible just a generation ago,” he said.

“Breakthroughs in technology, connections between the world’s best radio observatories, and innovative algorithms all came together to open an entirely new window on black holes.” As reported by BBC.

Where is it?

At the center of the Messier 87 galaxy

The team is also imaging the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

How far is it?

53.49 Million Light Years.

Odd though it may sound, that is harder than getting an image from a distant galaxy, more than five light-years away. This is because, for some unknown reason, the “ring of fire” around the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way is smaller and dimmer.

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Nasa spacecraft observes movement of water molecules on Moon 

Scientists, using an instrument aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have observed water molecules moving around the dayside of the Moon.

A paper published in Geophysical Research Letters describes how Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) measurements of the sparse layer of molecules temporarily stuck to the surface helped characterize lunar hydration changes over the course of a day.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has observed water molecules moving around the dayside of the Moon, a finding that may prove beneficial as the agency plans to put astronauts back on the lunar surface.

NASA’s LRO has spotted movement of water molecules around the moon’s dayside

Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) — the instrument aboard LRO — measured sparse layer of molecules temporarily stuck to the Moon’s surface, which helped characterise lunar hydration changes over the course of a day, revealed the paper published in Geophysical Research Letters.

“The study is an important step in advancing the water story on the Moon and is a result of years of accumulated data from the LRO mission,” said John Keller, LRO deputy project scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland.

This LRO image of the moon shows areas of potential frost. (Photo : NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio)

Until the last decade, scientists thought that the Moon was arid, with any water existing mainly as pockets of ice in permanently shaded craters near the poles.

More recently, they identified surface water in sparse populations of molecules bound to the lunar soil, or regolith.

But, the amount and locations were found to vary based on the time of day. The lunar water is more common at higher latitudes and tends to hop around as the surface heats up.

Scientists had hypothesised that hydrogen ions in the solar wind may be the source of most of the Moon’s surface water. As a result, when the Moon passes behind the Earth and is shielded from the solar wind, the “water spigot” should essentially turn off.

However, the water observed by LAMP does not decrease when the Moon is shielded by the Earth and the region influenced by its magnetic field, suggesting water builds up over time, rather than “raining” down directly from the solar wind.

“These results aid in understanding the lunar water cycle and will ultimately help us learn about accessibility of water that can be used by humans in future missions to the Moon,” said lead author Amanda Hendrix, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.

“Lunar water can potentially be used by humans to make fuel or to use for radiation shielding or thermal management; if these materials do not need to be launched from Earth, that makes these future missions more affordable,” Hendrix added.

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FarFarOut : Astronomers discover solar system’s most distant object

A new object has been discovered in the distant reaches of our solar system and given the name FarFarOut, according to a prominent astronomer.

At 140 times further away from the sun than our own planet is, the newly identified body – if its discovery is confirmed – will become the furthest known object in our solar system.

The current record holder – a dwarf planet at 120 times the Earth-sun distance – was named merely FarOutwhen it was spotted by the same team in December last year.

The latest discovery was made by Dr Scott Sheppard, of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, who with his team is working on analysing astronomical data to track down a much mooted but as yet unspotted body known as Planet Nine, thought to have 10 times the mass of Earth.

The solar system’s most distant object is 140 times farther from the sun than Earth. Credits: NASA/JPL-CALTECH

The hypothetical Planet Nine, thought to be lurking in the distant Oort cloud, has been suggested as exerting a gravitational pull on objects in the depths of the solar system, including the recently discovered dwarf planet The Goblinand another object named Biden.

Sheppard said he made the discovery of FarFarOut when a lecture he was due to give on his team’s work was postponed and he went back to analysing his data.

“This is hot off the presses,” he said, giving his rescheduled lecture in Washington DC on Thursday. “Yesterday it snowed so I had nothing to do so I went looking through some of our data.”

He said FarFarOut was somewhat mysterious. “It is very faint; it is on the edge of our ability to detect it,” Sheppard said. “We don’t know anything about the orbit of this object, we just know it is far, far out.”

Sheppard said further observations were in the offing to shed more light on the find.

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Striking photos of Super Snow Moon February 2019

Stargazers will be treated to a trio of successive celestial events in 2019. The biggest and brightest full moon of 2019 lit up the skies last night. This Super Snow Moon was just one of three Supermoons to lift the late-night gloom this year.

Hope you all enjoyed the yesterday’s Super Moon (Feb 19, 2019) which is the largest super moon of the year 2019.

We’ve collected some best shots of this fantastic supermoon all around the world, and sharing those photos (With sources) in this post.

Let’s start with India… The first photo is from City of Bhopal, India (Photo by Sanjeev Gupta)

HONDURAS-ASTRONOMY-MOON A church’s cross is silhouetted against the “Supermoon” as seen from Tegucigalpa on February 19, 2019. Orlando SIERRA / AFP

Full Moon February 2019 Kazakhstan
The Çamlıca Mosque in Istanbul in front of the Snow Moon – named for the time of year at which it appears. Photograph: Erdem Şahin/EPA
Construction labourers work as the moon rises over a building site in Kolkata. This will be its brightest occurrence for seven years Photograph: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images
Atmosphere thai temple in dark time with full moon. Photo: AdobeStock
Spectacular Super Moon #Credits : Saravanan Manian #Location : Chennai, India
Supermoon from Perth. Taken by travel photographer, Shelly, from Where’s Shelly. Image credit: Twitter/@wheresshellyii
Super snoo moon, Poole Dorset, United Kingdom. Taken by Simon Treasure on Canon. Image credit: Twitter/@Simon_Treasure
Emirates Air Line cable cars are silhouetted against the backdrop of a ‘Super Snow Moon’ in Greenwich, London. Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images RTI
ARGENTINA-ASTRONOMY-MOON An Embraer 190-100IGW plane (registration LV-CKZ) of Aerolineas Argentinas, on a regular flight from Buenos Aires to the Argentine city of Bahia Blanca, passes in front of the “Supermoon” as seen from Buenos Aires on February 19, 2019. ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP
The supermoon between the statues of Alexander the Great (R) and Diogenes of Sinope. VALERIE GACHE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
VENEZUELA-SUPERMOON The super moon is photographed while rising behind El Avila hill on the sky of Caracas, Venezuela on February 19, 2019. YURI CORTEZ / AFP
A man walking along the Huntington Beach Pier is silhouetted against the setting Super Snow Moon. MARK RIGHTMIRE/MEDIANEWS GROUP/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER VIA GETTY IMAGES
Captured with a Canon 200D and a 75-300mm lens at full zoom, by Tyrone from Noble Media Solutions. Image credit: Facebook/Noble Media Solutions PTY
The Super Snow Moon rises behind the Empire State building in New York City. ATILGAN OZDIL/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

Super moon at Singapore

Trish Minogue Collins wrote on February 19, 2019: “Moonrise behind the Stargazer sculpture in a field in Manorville, New York.” Credits
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Greg Diesel Walck of Alexandria, Virginia, took this photo on February 19, 2019. He said: “As I was taking photos of the supermoon I got lucky and caught this plane speeding in front!”
Setting #SnowMoon over the Great South Bay, Long Island, New York, February 19, 2019, by Michael Busch.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Steve Pond in East Grinstead, West Sussex, took this photo on February 19, 2019. He wrote: “Moonset with just over 2 hours to closest perigee for 2019.”
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Roy Bradfield in Sunderland, England, captured the moon as it was setting behind low clouds on February 19, 2019.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Tom Marsala in Menifee, California, captured this image on February 19, 2019. He told us: “I was collimating my new telescope and tested it on the full moon tonight. A beautiful sight indeed!”
Lynton Brown took this photo of the supermoon on February 18, 2019. He wrote: “On top of Radio tower 3WV Dooen Australia.”
Barbara Alsworth Fabian captured the super Snow Moon at Santa Barbara, California’s Shoreline Park at 5:38 p.m. on February 18, 2019.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | “The biggest full moon supermoon of 2019 over Meteora monastery at Greece,” wrote Aimilianos Gkekas. He captured this image on February 18, 2019.
Dr Ski in Valencia, Philippines wrote: “It’s probably just me, but I can’t tell the difference between tonight’s “super” full moon and any of the over 700 full moons I’ve seen over the short span of my existence on this planet. But with a reference, the difference becomes very obvious. February’s full moon at perigee of course means that apogee occurred during new moon. So I had to use January’s apogee moon for comparison. Both images are at 40X.” It’s true most people can’t discern the size difference between a supermoon and ordinary full moon, using the eye alone. Here’s one observer who thinks it’s possible.
Super Moon February 2019 Greenwich, London. Source AP
Super Moon February 2019 Frankfurt, Germany, Source: AP
Super Moon February 2019 Lisbon
Super Moon February 2019 Athens, Greece
Super Moon February 2019 Northeast England
Full Moon February 2019 Nicosia, Cyprus
Super Moon February 2019 Nicosia, Cyprus
The moon over Ajaccio on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
A man walking along the Huntington Beach Pier is silhouetted against the setting Super Snow Moon. MARK RIGHTMIRE/MEDIANEWS GROUP/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER VIA GETTY IMAGES
The Super Snow Moon rises behind lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York City, as seen from Green Brook Township, New Jersey. GARY HERSHORN/GETTY IMAGES
The Super Snow Moon sets behind the Statue of Liberty as the sun rises in New York City. GARY HERSHORN/GETTY IMAGES
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Largest Super Moon of 2019, Full Snow Moon of February

As we witnessed the first super moon of 2019 in January, which is Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse, we are going to have the second Super moon of the year on February 19th, the speciality of this super moon is that, it is the latgest super moon of the year 2019, when the moon comes within 221,681 miles of Earth.

An image of the moon taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is shown in two halves to illustrate the difference in the apparent size and brightness of the moon during a supermoon. The left half shows the apparent size of a supermoon (full moon at perigee), while the right half shows the apparent size and brightness of a micromoon (full moon at apogee). Credits: NASA/Goddard/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

What’s Super Moon :

The Moon doesn’t orbit in a perfect circle. Instead, it travels in an ellipse that brings the Moon closer to and farther from Earth in its orbit. The farthest point in this ellipse is called the apogee and is about 405,500 kilometers from Earth on average. Its closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of about 363,300 kilometers from Earth. During every 27-day orbit around Earth, the Moon reaches both its apogee and perigee.

Full moons can occur at any point along the Moon’s elliptical path, but when a full moon occurs at or near the perigee, it looks slightly larger and brighter than a typical full moon. That’s what the term “supermoon” refers to.

In this super moon, our planet’s satellite appears 10 percent larger and almost 30 per cent brighter in the sky.

On February 19th, The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.

When it will appear as the largest ?

Around 15:53 UTC, the full moon will be closest to the earth. Which is 221,681 miles away from Earth.

Timings : 15:53 UTC

21:23 IST

What is Snow Moon ?

As Early Native American tribes kept track of seasons by giving names to each full moon, This full moon was known by these native tribes as the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year.

Full Hunger Moon ?

Since hunting is difficult due to Heavy snow fall, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult.

Second of the Three super moons of 2019

This is also the second of three supermoons for 2019. The next one will take place on March 21, the same day as the Spring Equinox.

The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

Please spread the word.

You can read our post on January’s super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse at the below link.

Last ‘blood moon’ eclipse of the decade – Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse January 2019

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NASA pays tribute to fallen heroes with day of Remembrance

Every year, NASA recognizes astronauts who lost their lives in the pursuit of spaceflight with an official Day of Remembrance. This year, it’s celebrated on February 7th.

Remembering Apollo 1

On Jan. 27, 1967, veteran space explorer Gus Grissom, first American spacewalker Ed White, and rookie Roger Chaffee were sitting on the platform for a pre-launch test when a flame broke out in their Apollo capsule.

The investigation into the fatal accident led to major design and engineering changes, making the Apollo spacecraft safer for the coming journeys to the moon

Apollo 1 Crew (l-r): Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White, Roger B. Chaffee , Image Credits : NASA

Remembering Challenger

On the morning of Jan. 28, 1986 Just 73 seconds after launch , a booster engine failed and caused the Shuttle Challenger to break apart, taking the lives of all seven crewmembers.

President Ronald Reagan eulogized the crew, quoting from the poem “High Flight”: “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.'”

STS-51L Crew (l-r): Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka, Pilot Michael J. Smith, Payload Specialist Christa McAuliffe, Commander Francis R. Scobee, Payload Specialist Gregory B. Jarvis, Mission Specialist Judith A. Resnik, Mission Specialist Ronald E. McNair. Image Credit: NASA

Remembering Columbia

The seven-member crew of the STS-107 mission was just 16 minutes from landing on the morning of Feb. 1, 2003, when Mission Control lost contact with the shuttle Columbia. A piece of foam, falling from the external tank during launch, had opened a hole in one of the shuttle’s wings, leading to the breakup of the orbiter upon re-entry.

Among those who died was India’s pride Kalpana Chawla who is still considered a shining beacon of hope for all Indian girls and Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.
Columbia, which had made the shuttle program’s first flight into space in 1981, lifted off for its 28th mission, STS-107, on Jan. 16, 2003. STS-107 was a flight dedicated to various experiments that required a microgravity environment. The crew comprised commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; mission specialists Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, and Laurel Clark; and payload specialist Ilan Ramon, the first Israeliastronaut. As Columbia was reenteringEarth’s atmosphere, it broke apart overTexas at approximately 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time at an altitude of 60 km (40 miles), showering debris across southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana. The disintegration of the craft was recorded by television cameras and U.S. Air Forceradar. Its major components and the remains of the crew were recovered over the following month.

Addressing the nation, President Bush said, “mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on.”

You can read our recent post on Columbia Space Tragedy on this following link.

16 Years for the Space Tragedy – Columbia Disaster

STS-107 Crew (l-r): Mission Specialist 1 David M. Brown, Commander Rick D. Husband, Mission Specialist 4 Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Mission Specialist 2 Kalpana Chawla, Payload Commander Michael P. Anderson, Pilot William C. McCool, Payload Specialist 1 Ilan Ramon, Image Credit: NASA

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16 Years for the Space Tragedy – Columbia Disaster

Remembering The Breakup of U.S. space shuttle orbiter Columbia. on Feb. 1, 2003, that claimed the lives of all seven astronauts on board just minutes before it was to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Among those who died was India’s pride Kalpana Chawla who is still considered a shining beacon of hope for all Indian girls and Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.

Columbia, which had made the shuttle program’s first flight into space in 1981, lifted off for its 28th mission, STS-107, on Jan. 16, 2003. STS-107 was a flight dedicated to various experiments that required a microgravity environment. The crew comprised commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; mission specialists Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, and Laurel Clark; and payload specialist Ilan Ramon, the first Israeliastronaut. As Columbia was reenteringEarth’s atmosphere, it broke apart overTexas at approximately 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time at an altitude of 60 km (40 miles), showering debris across southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana. The disintegration of the craft was recorded by television cameras and U.S. Air Forceradar. Its major components and the remains of the crew were recovered over the following month.

The destruction of Columbia followed by almost exactly 17 years the loss ofChallenger in a launch accident on Jan. 28, 1986. Ironically, the cause of the Columbiacatastrophe soon was determined to be launch-related as well.

Films showed that a piece of insulating foam broke loose from the external propellant tank and struck the leading edge of the left wing approximately 81 seconds after liftoff. Bits of foam had detached in past missions without serious mishap, and, at the time of the Columbialaunch, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) engineers did not think that the foam carried enough momentum to cause significant damage.

In fact, as demonstrated in postaccident tests, the foam was capable of punching a large hole in the reinforced carbon-carbon insulation tiles that protected the shuttle’s nose and wing leading edges from the extreme heat of atmospheric reentry. Although some engineers had wanted ground-based cameras to take photos of the orbiting shuttle to look for damage, the request did not get to the right officials.

During Columbia’s atmospheric reentry, hot gases penetrated the damaged tile section and melted major structural elements of the wing, which eventually collapsed. Data from the vehicle showed rising temperatures within sections of the left wing as early as 8:52 am, although the crew knew of their situation for perhaps only a minute or so before vehicle breakup. Subsequent investigation by NASA and the independent Columbia Accident Investigation Board uncovered a number of managerial shortcomings, in addition to the immediate technical reason (poor manufacturing control of tank insulation and other defects), that allowed the accident to happen.

The most palpable result of the accident was a grounding of the remaining threeshuttles—Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour(the last built to replace Challenger)—until NASA and its contractors could develop means to prevent similar accidents, which included kits for repairs in orbit.

Assembly of the International Space Station(ISS) in Earth orbit was suspended after theColumbia accident until shuttle flights could resume. Limited research on the ISS was conducted by rotating two-person crews launched in Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The shuttle did not return to space until the STS-114 mission, which launched on July 26, 2005.

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Last ‘blood moon’ eclipse of the decade – Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse January 2019

Few parts of the world are going to witness the rare cosmic event called Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse which is a result of three lunar phenomena happening together. And is the last ‘blood moon’ eclipse of the decade.

Let’s see why it is been called as “Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse” first.


Total Lunar Eclipse:

A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and covers the Moon with its shadow.

Super Moon:

This is called as a ‘Super moon’ because during this the Moon is at its closest distance to the Earth in the orbit and this point is known as the “perigee”.

In a super moon, our planet’s satellite appears 14 per cent larger and almost 30 per cent brighter in the sky.

Blood Moon:

The reason this is called a Blood Moon is because during a total lunar eclipse, the moon appears to take a reddish colour, hence the name Blood Moon.

What makes the moon turn red?

So why does the Moon appear red? During the lunar eclipse, the Moon is blocked from the sunlight since the Earth is in the way. Instead of reflecting sunlight as the Moon would have done at any other point, the Earth casts a shadow on the satellite

However not all sunlight is blocked, and because the Earth’s atmosphere allows the red wavelength light to pass through, the Moon reflects those and appears to have a reddish colour. This is because red light has a longer wavelength and can travel a longer distance, rather than blue light, which the Earth’s atmosphere filters out.

Wolf Moon:

Finally, this is called a Wolf moon is a part of tradition of referring to January’s full moon. There’s no actually wolf connection to the moon here.


A blood moon as seen from Sydney, Australia on July 28, 2018 CAMERON SPENCER, GETTY IMAGES



Visibility of this eclipse:

According to NASA, if the skies are clear the eclipse will be visible across North America, South America, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, France and Spain. The rest of Europe and Africa will also get a glimpse of the Super Blood Wolf Moon.

7 Stages of the Eclipse:

A total lunar eclipse usually happens within a few hours. Totality can range anywhere from a few seconds to about 100 minutes. The July 26, 1953 total lunar eclipse had one of the longest periods of totality in the 20th century—100 minutes and 43 seconds.

There are 7 stages of a total lunar eclipse:

  • Penumbral eclipse begins: This begins when the penumbral part of Earth’s shadow starts moving over the Moon. This phase is not easily seen by the naked eye.
  • Partial eclipse begins: Earth’s umbra starts covering the Moon, making the eclipse more visible.
  • Total eclipse begins: Earth’s umbra completely covers the Moon and the Moon is red, brown, or yellow in color.
  • Maximum eclipse: This is the middle of the total eclipse.
  • Total eclipse ends: At this stage, Earth’s umbra starts moving away from the Moon’s surface.
  • Partial eclipse ends: Earth’s umbra completely leaves the Moon’s surface.
  • Penumbral eclipse ends: At this point, the eclipse ends and Earth’s shadow completely moves away from the Moon.

When the Eclipse Happens Worldwide — Timeline

Lunar eclipses can be visible from everywhere on the night side of the Earth, if the sky is clear. From some places, the entire eclipse will be visible, while in other areas the Moon will rise or set during the eclipse.

Event UTC Time
Penumbral Eclipse begins 21 Jan, 02:36:29
Partial Eclipse begins 21 Jan, 03:33:54
Full Eclipse begins 21 Jan, 04:41:17
Maximum Eclipse 21 Jan, 05:12:14
Full Eclipse ends 21 Jan, 05:43:15
Partial Eclipse ends 21 Jan, 06:50:39
Penumbral Eclipse ends 21 Jan, 07:48:02


How long will the total lunar eclipse last?

The total lunar eclipse, which is also being called as a Super Blood Wolf Moon, will last around one hour and two minutes. This is peak eclipse or the greatest eclipse period, which is when Moon comes closest to the axis of Earth’s shadow

The entire eclipse will start at 7:34 pm PST / 11:41 pm EST and last till 10.50 pm PST and this includes partial and total eclipse. The peak eclipse will start at 8.41 pm PST and end at 9.43 pm PST. For India, this comes to 10.11 AM on the morning of January 21 and ending at 11.13 am IST on January 21, however, the eclipse will not be visible to people in India and other Asian countries. The entire event, which includes total as well as partial lunar eclipse will reportedly last for three and a half hours.

Appearance of Super Blood Wolf Moon

 In the first phase, no real difference will appear in the moon. In the second phase, a partial eclipse will appear. About 90 minutes later, it will reach totality. The moon will give a  reddish glow. The process then goes in reverse.

How to see Super Blood Wolf Moon

There’s no need of any special equipment to watch Super Blood Wolf Moon. If the weather is clear, stargazers will be able to enjoy this celestial show.


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Spectacular event in sky : Geminid meteor shower 2018 peaks overnight tonight

As we enjoyed the spectacular meteor shower of orionids in October, Now we going to have one more in the name of Geminids .

The Geminid meteor shower peaks this week, so hope for clear skies that will let you see a beautiful show of green fireballs on Thursday and Friday.

The Geminids are considered one of the best meteor showers every year because the individual meteors are bright, and they come fast and furious: This year, there will be more than 1 per minute, reaching 100 meteors per hour. Under light-polluted skies, fewer meteors will be visible.

This will be the last and strongest meteor shower of the year, according to NASA.

The Geminid meteor shower – always a highlight of the meteor year – will peak around the mornings of December 13 and 14, 2018. The Geminids are a very reliable shower if you watch at the peak time of night (centered on about 2 a.m. for all parts of the globe) and if you watch in a dark sky. The meteors tend to be bold, white and quick. This shower favors Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, but it’s visible from the Southern Hemisphere, too. The curious rock comet called 3200 Phaethon is the parent body of this shower.

Although the Geminid shower is known for its “shooting stars,” the number of meteors visible depends on the time and how dark it is. There will be fewer of them earlier in the evening, but the shower should hit a maximum of about 100 per hour around 2 a.m., NASA said. For those in the suburbs, expect about 30 to 40 per hour. And if you’re in a city like New York, San Francisco or Atlanta, you probably won’t see anything.

Why at 2 A.M.?

The best time to view the Geminids is around 2 a.m. local time, The moon will be first quarter, so it will set around midnight; there will be no moonlight to interfere with the Geminids this year.”

It’s because that’s when the shower’s radiant point – the point in our sky from which the meteors seem to radiate is highest in the sky. As a general rule, the higher the constellation Gemini the Twins climbs into your sky, the more Geminid meteors you’re likely to see. The Geminids’ radiant point is highest around 2 a.m.

The Geminid meteor shower is nearly 200 years old, according to known records — the first recorded observation was in 1833 from a riverboat on the Mississippi River — and is still going strong. In fact, it’s growing stronger. That’s because Jupiter’s gravity has tugged the stream of particles from the shower’s source, the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, closer to Earth over the centuries.

When to see them?

The meteors tend to peak about 2 a.m. your local time wherever you’re observing from, but can be seen as early as 9-10 p.m.

Where to look at ?

The Geminids, as their name implies, appear to emanate from the bright constellation Gemini (the twins). To find Gemini in the Northern Hemisphere, look in the southwestern sky for the constellation Orion, which is easy to spot by the three stars in the hunter’s “belt.” Then look just up and to the left of Orion to see Gemini, high in the southwestern sky. In the Southern Hemisphere, Gemini appears to the lower right of Orion and both will hang in the northwestern sky.

Although the meteors will appear to stream away from Gemini, they can appear all across the sky. For best results, you should look slightly away from Gemini so that you can see meteors with longer “tails” as they streak by; staring directly at Gemini will just show you meteors that don’t travel very far.

Where do they come from?

The Geminids are associated with the near-Earth object 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid that may have undergone a collision with another object in the distant past to produce the stream of particles that Earth runs into — creating the meteor shower.

The asteroid orbits the sun every 1.4 years. It occasionally comes close to Earth (at a safe distance) and also passes very close to the sun, inside of Mercury’s orbit and only 0.15 astronomical units from the sun. (An astronomical unit is the distance between the sun and the Earth: about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers.)

Rocks in space that are about to collide with Earth’s atmosphere are called meteoroids. Those that streak through the atmosphere are called meteors, and if they reach the ground (which won’t happen with the Geminids, as the particles are too small to survive the trip) the rocks are called meteorites.

How to get the best view?

As we all know, Hunting for meteors, like the rest of astronomy, is a waiting game, just make yourself comfortable the best thing you can do is lie back in a cosy position and try to take in the entire night sky at once.

They can be seen with the naked eye so there’s no need for binoculars or a telescope, though you will need to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark.

“The Geminid will appear to break out from a radiant point near the constellation of gemini” this is what all we think, but there will be no need to find the constellation because the shooting stars will zip by too fast for you keep track.

Instead you just find a quiet, dark spot devoid of any sources of light.

Try to avoid urban areas, roads and street lamps which could under your viewing experience.

Just remember your eyes might take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to completely adjust to the dark.

So, cheers to all stargazers, sky watchers, astronomy lovers and the explorers, don’t miss this out and don’t forget to remind your friends.

We are going to share the live streaming of Geminid Meteor showers in our official Facebook page.

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44 years for the first interstellar radio message

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” So said sci-fi author Arthur C Clarke.

We have nearly 200 billion galaxies (As per Hubble Telescope), Discovering planets outside our Solar System has raised hopes that we may one day contact alien lifeforms.

Since the early 20th century, Our Scientists are trying their best to find a way to contact the intelligent life over this vast universe.

Keep all the possibilities a side; let’s give a thought, how about sending a message to space about the existence of Humans on our planet earth?

That was the day, exactly 44 years back, few got the same thought and sent a message to the universe, the message is named as Arecibo message, this post explains about the First interstellar radio message to the space.

Dr. Frank Drake, then at Cornell University and creator of the Drake equation, wrote a message with help from Carl Sagan, among others, The first  interstellar radio message carrying basic information about humanity and Earth sent to globular star cluster M13 in the hope that extraterrestrial intelligence might receive and decipher it. The message was broadcast into space a single time via frequency modulated radio waves at a ceremony to mark the remodeling of the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico on 16 November 1974.  The message was aimed at the current location of M13 some 25,000 light years away because M13 was a large and close collection of stars that was available in the sky at the time and place of the ceremony. The message consisted of 1,679 binary digits, approximately 210 bytes, transmitted at a frequency of 2,380 MHz and modulated by shifting the frequency by 10 Hz, with a power of 450 kW. The “ones” and “zeros” were transmitted by frequency shifting at the rate of 10 bits per second. The total broadcast was less than three minutes.

The number 1,679 was chosen because it is a semiprime (the product of two prime numbers), to be arranged rectangularly as 73 rows by 23 columns. The alternative arrangement, 23 rows by 73 columns, produces an unintelligible set of characters (as do all other X/Y formats). The message forms the image shown on the right when translated into graphics, characters, and spaces.

This is the message with color added to highlight its separate parts. The actual binary transmission carried no color information.

The message consists of seven parts that encode the following (from the top down).

  1. The numbers one (1) to ten (10) (white)
  2. The atomic numbers of the elements hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus, which make up deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) (purple)
  3. The formulas for the sugars and bases in the nucleotides of DNA (green)
  4. The number of nucleotides in DNA, and a graphic of the double helix structure of DNA (white & blue)
  5. A graphic figure of a human, the dimension (physical height) of an average man, and the human population of Earth (red, blue/white, & white respectively)
  6. A graphic of the Solar System indicating which of the planets the message is coming from (yellow)
  7. A graphic of the Arecibo radio telescope and the dimension (the physical diameter) of the transmitting antenna dish (purple, white, & blue)


The numbers from 1 to 10 appear in binary format (the bottom row marks the beginning of each number).

Even assuming that recipients would recognize binary, the encoding of the numbers may not be immediately obvious because of the way they have been written. To read the first seven digits, ignore the bottom row, and read them as three binary digits from top to bottom, with the top digit being the most significant. The readings for 8, 9 and 10 are a little different, as they have been given an additional column next to the first (to the right in the image). This is intended to show that numbers too large to fit in a single column can be written in several contiguous ones, where the additional columns do not have the least-significant-digit marker.


DNA elements


The numbers 1, 6, 7, 8, and 15 appear. These are the atomic numbers of hydrogen (H), carbon (C), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), and phosphorus (P), the components of DNA.




The nucleotides are described as sequences of the five atoms that appear on the preceding line. Each sequence represents the molecular formula of the nucleotide as incorporated into DNA (as opposed to the free form of the nucleotide).

Double helix

DNA double helix; the vertical bar represents the number of nucleotides. The value depicted is around 4.3 billion, which was believed to be the case in 1974 when the message was transmitted. It is currently thought that there are about 3.2 billion base pairs in the human genome.


The element in the center represents a human. The element on the left (in the image) indicates the average height of an adult male: 1.764 m (5 ft 9.4 in). This corresponds to the horizontally written binary 14 multiplied by the wavelength of the message (126 mm). The element on the right depicts the size of human population in 1974, around 4.3 billion (which, coincidentally, is within 0.1% of the number of DNA nucleotides). In this case, the number is oriented in the data horizontally rather than vertically. The least-significant-digit marker is in the upper left in the image, with bits going to the right and more significant digits below.



Sun Mercury Venus       Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto

The solar system, showing the Sun and the planets in the order of their position from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. (Pluto has since been reclassified as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union, but it was still considered a planet at the time the message was transmitted.)

The Earth is the third planet from the Sun; its graphic is shifted up to identify it as the planet from which the signal was sent. Additionally, the human figure is shown just above the Earth graphic.

In addition to showing position, the graphic provides a general, not-to-scale size reference of each planet and the Sun.



The last part represents the Arecibo radio telescope with its diameter: 2,430 multiplied by the wavelength gives 306.18 m (1,004 ft 6 in). In this case, the number is oriented horizontally, with the least-significant-digit marker to the lower right in the image. The part of the image that looks like a letter “M” is there to demonstrate to the reader of the message that the curved line is a paraboloid mirror.

The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI and NRAO

Since it will take nearly 25,000 years for the message to reach its intended destination (and an additional 25,000 years for any reply), the Arecibo message is viewed as a demonstration of human technological achievement, rather than a real attempt to enter into a conversation with extra-terrestrials. In fact, the core of M13, to which the message was aimed, will no longer be in that location when the message arrives. However, as the proper motion of M13 is small, the message will still arrive near the center of the cluster.  According to the Cornell News press release of November 12, 1999, the real purpose of the message was not to make contact but to demonstrate the capabilities of newly installed equipment.

Thanks to Google,

On 16 November 2018, Google released a Doodle to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the transmission of the first interstellar radio message to the space.

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