Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day to Bob and to Angie!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lunchwalking, the Dallas Years, Day 3

I walked to the Meyerson Hall where the DSO plays and went to Strauss Square and a few other performance venues including the AT&T Performing Arts Center.








Lunchwalking, the Dallas Years, Day 2

On my lunch hour I walked over to the Dallas Museum of Art.  They had an interesting Rothko piece and a Jackson Pollack.  I only had time to walk through a couple of galleries so there's more to come on another lunchwalk.





Monday, September 22, 2014

Lunhwalking, the Dallas Years...

Lunchwalking, the Dallas Years...
 
Working across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art. Closed today but lunching there tomorrow.


Checking out the Ballet









Monday, July 14, 2014

Glad News

Our very own Talia Houston as been nominated as a finalist for DC Public Schools "Employee of the Year".
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Sunday, March 16, 2014




An Aurora on Saturn

This is an image from the Cassini spacecraft reminding us that the solar wind stretches far out beyond the Earth.  Here it's interacting with the magnetic fields at Saturn and generating this beautiful auroral ring, captured here in non-optical light.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

ESOcast 63: Flexible Giants — The Evolution of Telescope Mirrors





ESOcast 63: Flexible Giants — The Evolution of Telescope Mirrors Scopes are giant light buckets and you need big mirrors to collect and direct the light to a focal point.  How big you ask?

Friday, February 28, 2014

IceCube Cosmic Ray Data Contributes to Understanding of Interstellar Space






IceCube cosmic ray data contributes to understanding of interstellar space In a paper recently published in Science Express, cosmic ray data from IceCube was used alongside observations from NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, in a study of the magnetic fields that surround our solar system.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

NeutrinoTelescopes Launch A New Era of Astronomy

ComputeSpace is now integrating data from the IceCube Antarctic Neutrino Observatory!

IceCube detects neutrinos --high-energy "ghost particles" which are passing through the earth by the trillions but rarely interact with anything.  They can tell us about stars from which they are emitted.

We expect to have an interview with IceCube scientists on the site's new ComputeSpace Observatory feature later this year.  Stay tuned! 


 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Computational Astronomy Lives!

Stephen Hawking’s pioneering Cosmos supercomputer for the Miracle Consortia is using the world’s first symmetric multi-processor (SMP) to be powered by Intel’s Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture

Cosmos makes use of SGI’s “Big Brain”–the SGI UV 2000–which houses 32 Xeon Phi co-processors utilizing a total of 1,856 cores in a cache-coherent shared-memory space of nearly 15 terabytes (TB) to focus on scientific discovery, leading worldwide efforts to advance our understanding of the universe.

The Cosmos supercomputer and the Miracle Consortia pursue the most vexing problems in cosmology. Consortia members include top British universities (see full list below). 


The latest COSMOS supercomputer will support key UK research in several key areas:
  • Discovering new extra-solar planets
  • Assist in lattice field-theory simulations of the early universe
  • Validate new cosmological models–including superstrings and extra dimensions
  • Study cosmic background radiation, galaxy distributions and the generation of primordial gravitational waves.
  • Answering “big brain” questions such as “how many exoplanets have the right conditions for life?”

Edison -- New Supercomputer at NERSC


Back in Berkeley, NERSC is updating systems. On my next visit, we'll put up a photo spread.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Validating the Planetary Formation Model



News from Japanese Astronomy





Validating the Planetary Formation Model


Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, Japanese astronomers have spotted strong evidence of a massive planet-forming disk around a young star known as HD 142527. HD 142527 lies in the constellation Lupus at a distance of about 457 light-years from Earth. The astronomers have used ALMA to detect the submillimeter emission from the emission from the dust ring around this baby star. The emission has a non-uniform distribution and the northern side is 30 times brighter than the faint southern side, according to the team.
Recent near-infrared observations with the NAOJ Subaru Telescope revealed that protoplanetary disks have structures that are far more complex than astronomers expected. Spiral or gap structures are thought to be associated with hidden planets in the disk.
However, it is impossible to measure the amount of dust and gas in the densest part of the disk by near-infrared observations. Since near-infrared light is easily absorbed or scattered by a large amount of dust, it isn’t suitable for observing the innermost part of the dense region of the disk. Then, the key to the solution will be millimeter and submillimeter wave.
The new image of HD 142527, which was taken with ALMA, shows that cosmic dust is circling around the star in a form of asymmetric ring.
By measuring the density of dust in the densest part of the ring, the astronomers found that it is highly possible that Jupiter-like giant gaseous exoplanets or Earth-like rocky planets are now being formed in that region. This region is far from the central star, about 5 times larger than the distance between the Sun and the Neptune.
“We are very surprised at the brightness of the northern side,” said Dr Misato Fukagawa of Osaka University, who is the lead author of the paper appearing in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan (full paper in .pdf / arXiv.org version).
“The brightest part in submillimeter wave is located far from the central star, and the distance is comparable to five times the distance between the Sun and the Neptune. I have never seen such a bright knot in such a distant position.”
[...]




Thursday, January 23, 2014

John Dobson, evangelist for amateur astronomy, dies at 98




John Dobson, a former Hindu monk and a self-taught stargazer who developed a powerful, inexpensive telescope that almost anyone could build and became one of amateur astronomy's most influential evangelists, died Jan. 15 at a hospital in Burbank, Calif. He was 98.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ALMA Discovers Giant Protoplanetary Disk around HD 142527






Validating the Planetary Formation Model


ALMA Discovers Giant Protoplanetary Disk around HD 142527 Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, Japanese astronomers have spotted strong evidence of a massive planet-forming disk around a young star known as HD 142527. HD 142527 lies in the constellation Lupus at a distance of about 457 light-years from Earth. The astronomers have used ALMA to detect the submillimeter emission from the emission from the dust ring around this baby star. The emission has a non-uniform distribution and the northern side is 30 times brighter than the faint southern side, according to the team.
Recent near-infrared observations with the NAOJ Subaru Telescope revealed that protoplanetary disks have structures that are far more complex than astronomers expected. Spiral or gap structures are thought to be associated with hidden planets in the disk.
However, it is impossible to measure the amount of dust and gas in the densest part of the disk by near-infrared observations. Since near-infrared light is easily absorbed or scattered by a large amount of dust, it isn’t suitable for observing the innermost part of the dense region of the disk. Then, the key to the solution will be millimeter and submillimeter wave.
The new image of HD 142527, which was taken with ALMA, shows that cosmic dust is circling around the star in a form of asymmetric ring.
By measuring the density of dust in the densest part of the ring, the astronomers found that it is highly possible that Jupiter-like giant gaseous exoplanets or Earth-like rocky planets are now being formed in that region. This region is far from the central star, about 5 times larger than the distance between the Sun and the Neptune.
“We are very surprised at the brightness of the northern side,” said Dr Misato Fukagawa of Osaka University, who is the lead author of the paper appearing in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan (full paper in .pdf / arXiv.org version).
“The brightest part in submillimeter wave is located far from the central star, and the distance is comparable to five times the distance between the Sun and the Neptune. I have never seen such a bright knot in such a distant position.”
[...]




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Phys.org : Distant quasar illuminates a filament of the cosmic web



Distant quasar illuminates a filament of the cosmic web 
 
http://phys.org/news/2014-01-distant-quasar-illuminates-filament-cosmic.html

  Work done using the 10-meter W.M. Keck telescope in Hawaii
Using the 10-meter Keck I Telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, the researchers detected a very large, luminous nebula of extending about 2 million light-years across intergalactic space.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-01-distant-quasar-illuminates-filament-cosmic.html#jCp
Using the 10-meter Keck I Telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, the researchers detected a very large, luminous nebula of extending about 2 million light-years across intergalactic space.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-01-distant-quasar-illuminates-filament-cosmic.html#jCp

http://media.web.britannica.com/eb-media/54/94854-004-F7B167C4.jpg

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Pulsar in stellar triple system makes unique gravitational laboratory

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered a unique stellar system of two white dwarf stars and a superdense neutron star, all packed within a space smaller than Earth's orbit around the Sun. The closeness of the stars, combined with their nature, has allowed the scientists to make the best measurements yet of the complex gravitational interactions in such a system.

For more info, look here

Thursday, January 02, 2014

"He didn't think of himself as a genius.  He thought of himself as incredibly persistent"  -- Susan Cray-Borman on her father, Seymour Cray


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

 

Narlikar pitches for astronomy in school education



PUNE, India: Make astronomy part of school education and include it in the science curriculum, eminent astro- physicist Jayant Narlikar said on Sunday.

He was speaking at the25th foundation day lecture of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) on 'Building scientific institutions: The IUCAA story.'
He said, "In order to spread the astronomy culture in the country, astronomy content must be included in schools in an effective way. Today, astronomy as a topic is covered in geography. Ideally, it should be a part of science and in a more elaborate manner."

We agree and submit our vSpace web application as one tool to aid in accomplishing this task.

For more on this story follow the link: 
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-12-30/pune/45708797_1_astronomy-iucaa-inter-university-centre

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