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Latest Celestial mechanics Stories

d3b81f55411ad442d7d91372629e79701
2007-03-07 14:21:57

For the very first time, astronomers have witnessed the speeding up of an asteroid's rotation, and have shown that it is due to a theoretical effect predicted but never seen before. The international team of scientists used an armada of telescopes to discover that the asteroid's rotation period currently decreases by 1 millisecond every year, as a consequence of the heating of the asteroid's surface by the Sun. Eventually it may spin faster than any known asteroid in the solar system and...

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2007-01-12 06:00:00

ST. LOUIS -- The laboratory is cluttered with dirty dishes, Dorito crumbs, aluminum foil and needle-nose pliers _ the detritus of graduate students whose 600-pound steel and wire Tinkertoy is rising in the middle of the room. With the apparatus, Ramanath Cowsik, a Washington University physicist, will poke and prod at some of the most daunting problems remaining in physics: What is causing the universe to fly apart, faster and faster each year? Why is gravity so weak and so different...

2006-08-22 13:50:50

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A team of U.S. scientists has found the first direct evidence of the existence of "dark matter," a little-understood substance with a huge influence on gravity, the team's leader said on Tuesday. Scientists still do not know what exactly dark matter is, but have theorized it must exist to account for the amount of gravity needed to hold the universe together. They estimate that the substance accounts for 80 to 90 percent of the matter in the...

2006-08-22 13:46:44

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A team of U.S. scientists has found the first direct evidence of the existence of "dark matter," a little-understood substance with a huge influence on gravity, the team's leader said on Tuesday. Scientists still do not know what exactly dark matter is, but have theorized it must exist to account for the amount of gravity needed to hold the universe together. They estimate that the substance accounts for 80 to 90 percent of the matter in the...

5c91c9e4d00406cf00f33f4099672b851
2006-06-16 09:38:26

Washington, DC -- Three new objects locked into roughly the same orbit as Neptune -- called "Trojan" asteroids -- have been found by researchers from the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) and the Gemini Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii. The discovery offers evidence that Neptune, much like its big cousin Jupiter, hosts thick clouds of Trojans in its orbit, and that these asteroids probably share a common source. It also brings the total of known Neptune Trojans...

f407f37a19283e3b57a8b23a1eb0887a1
2006-05-10 17:30:00

Though he couldn't be observed directly, the Invisible Man knew his presence could be betrayed by his effect on visible things. Employing a similar principle, a team led by Andrew Gould of Ohio State University will hunt for hard-to-see celestial objects, like black holes and dark matter, by observing how they affect light coming from stars behind them. This "gravitational lens" effect, predicted by Albert Einstein, has been observed repeatedly from the ground. But NASA's SIM PlanetQuest...

2006-04-06 14:20:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- The newly discovered outer ring of Uranus is bright blue, for the same reason the Earth's sky is blue -- it is made up of tiny particles, astronomers said on Thursday. It is "strikingly similar" to Saturn's outer ring, which astronomers last month confirmed was probably generated by one of the planet's moons, Enceladus. Like Saturn's ring, the Uranus ring also has a small moon in it, called Mab. But Mab is too small and too cold to...

8d54b08dc8c8a21cac62d13ef5d57b35
2006-02-02 07:45:00

Berkeley -- A bound pair of icy comets similar to the dirty snowballs circling outside the orbit of Neptune has been found lurking in the shadow of Jupiter. Astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, working with colleagues in France and at the Keck Telescope in Hawaii, have calculated the density of a known binary asteroid system that shares Jupiter's orbit, and concluded that Patroclus and its companion probably are composed mostly of water ice covered by a patina of dirt....

2006-01-12 06:32:48

An international team of astronomers today announced the first results from the Radial Velocity Experiment, an ambitious all-sky spectroscopic survey aimed at measuring the speed, temperature, surface gravity and composition of up to a million stars passing near the sun. Those first results from the project, known for short as RAVE, confirm that dark matter dominates the total mass of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, team members at The Johns Hopkins University and elsewhere said. The full...

2005-12-15 16:05:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A distant object named Buffy has been spotted circling the sun far beyond Neptune in a strange tilted orbit that is making some astronomers question how the outer reaches of the solar system formed. Officially called 2004 XR 190 by the International Astronomical Union but code-named Buffy, the object is now about 58 times as far from the sun as Earth, and twice as far from the sun as Neptune. At this distance from the heart of the planetary system, Buffy is a considered...


Latest Celestial mechanics Reference Libraries

Earth Day
2012-04-23 12:12:49

Earth Day is a day early each year on which events are held to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. It is now coordinated worldwide through the Earth Day Network, founded by Dennis Hayes, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. The United Nations designated April 22 as International Mother Earth Day in 2009, and will continue to be held each year on April 22 through at least 2015. The name and concept of Earth Day was allegedly...

0_526999cd53385fe59877aee7aa5d6eb7
2011-06-20 11:32:36

The Summer Solstice, or "Midsummer," derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), occurs exactly when the Earth's axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'. This is the time when the Sun is at its highest, or most northerly, point in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere. Except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous for many months during the spring and summer, the day on which the Summer solstice occurs is the day of the year with...

45_b90d45a4e7d89d873d39705549e516ce
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Sample Entry: Astronomy is the scientific study of stars, planets, comets, galaxies, and other phenomena that occur outside Earth's atmosphere (e.g. cosmic radiation). Astronomy deals with the evolution, physics, chemical makeup, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, and also the formation of the universe. The word Astronomy comes from the Greek words astron (meaning "star") and nomos (meaning "law"). Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Since the dawn of man, people always...

22_438736ec75b9bfaca9b25a90d91dcfaa2
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Autumnal Equinox -- In astronomy, is the equinox at the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere: the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward. The equinox occurs around September 22-24, varying slightly each year according to the 400 year cycle of leap years in the Gregorian Calendar. In the southern hemisphere, the equinox occurs at the same moment, but at the beginning of spring. There are two conventions for dealing with this: either the...

9_4e0ee555c18ad7f31f4e1417f556ae6a2
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Satellite -- A satellite is an object that orbits another object. With sufficient tangential velocity, the object does not collide with the primary object it orbits, but maintains a distance from that object as the rate at which it falls towards that object is similar to the rate that it travels away, thus the object orbits the primary object and becomes a satellite. In other words: gravitational force serves as the centripetal force needed to make the object circle the primary...

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Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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