justin foster

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Fossil Galaxy Provides a Window Into the Early Universe

The dwarf galaxy Segue 1 has remained largely unchanged for billions of years.<p>A tiny galaxy lying just beyond the edge of the Milky Way has failed to evolve normally over the last several billion years, say astronomers, and it represents a sample of the universe as it was in its infancy, around 13 …

APOD: An Unusual Globule in IC 1396 (2014 Apr 14) Credit & Copyright: T. Rector (U. Alaska Anchorage) & H. Schweiker (WIYN, NOAO, AURA, NSF) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140414.html Explanation: Is there a monster in IC 1396? Known to some as the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, parts of gas and dust clouds of this star formation region may appear to take on foreboding forms, some nearly human. The only real monster here, however, is a bright young star too far from Earth to hurt us. Energetic light from this star is eating away the dust of the dark cometary globule near the top of the above image. Jets and winds of particles emitted from this star are also pushing away ambient gas and dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a much larger region on the sky than shown here, with an apparent width of more than 10 full moons. http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im1172.html Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140414 #APOD

Saturn's strange north pole is a giant hexagon

We've learned a lot about Earth's atmosphere and climate by studying other planets. As the American Institute of Physics writes: "In the 1960s and …

Total Lunar Eclipse and Solar 'Ring of Fire' Top April's Stargazing Events

Stargazers have a lot to look forward to this month.<p>The best celestial events in April include eclipses of the sun and moon, a meteor shower and good …

APOD: Fresh Tiger Stripes on Saturn's Enceladus (2014 Apr 06) Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140406.html Explanation: Do underground oceans vent through the tiger stripes on Saturn's moon Enceladus? Long features dubbed tiger stripes are known to be spewing ice from the moon's icy interior into space, creating a cloud of fine ice particles over the moon's South Pole and creating Saturn's mysterious E-ring. Evidence for this has come from the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. Pictured above, a high resolution image of Enceladus is shown from a close flyby. The unusual surface features dubbed tiger stripes are visible in false-color blue. Why Enceladus is active remains a mystery, as the neighboring moon Mimas, approximately the same size, appears quite dead. Most recently, an analysis of slight gravity deviations has given an independent indication of underground oceans. Such research is particularly interesting since such oceans would be candidates to contain life. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA06254 http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-103 http://sci.esa.int/cassini-huygens/53938 Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140406 #APOD

NASA Just Released Surreal Footage Of A Solar Flare On The Sun

The AP has just released video from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The video shows a "mid-level" solar flare, or powerful burst of radiation on the sun's surface, that erupted on April 2.<p>NASA calls it "graceful" in the YouTube footage, setting classical music behind the blends of wavelengths of …

Solar Cycle

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Ocean discovered on Enceladus may be best place to look for alien life

Researchers have discovered a deep saltwater ocean on one of the many small moons that orbit Saturn, leading scientists to conclude it is the most likely place in the solar system for extraterrestrial life to be found.<p>Gravitational field measurements taken by Nasa's Cassini space probe revealed …