Latest Celestial mechanics Stories

Vastly Different Planets Found Closely Orbiting Same Star
2012-06-22 04:33:13

Researchers working on NASA's Kepler Mission have discovered an unlikely pair of planets -- one similar to our planet, and the other roughly the size of Neptune -- locked in a surprisingly close orbit around a distant star located more than a thousand light years from Earth. The work, which was led by Joshua Carter of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and University of Washington Associate Professor of Astronomy Eric Agol, discovered that the smaller planet, which was...

Summer Solstice 2012: What You Need To Know
2012-06-20 09:13:59

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com Wednesday June 20, 2012 is the longest day of the year; the one day with more sunlight hours than any other day in the calendar year; it is also the first day of summer and is known as the Summer Solstice. The longest daylight day of the year occurs when the Sun appears at its highest point in the sky. At that point, the Sun appears to stand still just briefly before it begins its long journey toward the Winter Solstice -- the shortest daylight day,...

2012-06-02 12:01:43

The work of a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, professor has helped reveal a rare orbital shift and the density of an asteroid that will pass close to Earth. Josh Emery, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, and the team of the NASA asteroid sample return mission called OSIRIS-REx have measured the weight and orbit of 1999 RQ36. They have found the asteroid has a low density and its orbit has drifted roughly 100 miles in the last twelve years. This deviation is...

Be Prepared For Manhattanhenge! May 29-20
2012-05-29 13:22:16

Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com On Tuesday evening, residences and onlookers in Manhattan will be treated to a sunset spectacle known as Manhattanhenge. During the event, a half sun will align itself perfectly with the city's 201-year-old grid at 8:17 p.m. as it sets right in line with the streets of Manhattan in New York. The steel construction echoes a similar effect created by Stonehenge, as the ancient arrangement matches the direction of the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset....

Image 2 - Gravity Reveals Previously Unseen Planet
2012-05-11 03:28:40

More than a 150 years ago, before Neptune was ever sighted in the night sky, French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier predicted the planet's existence based on small deviations in the motion of Uranus. In a paper published today in the journal Science online, a group of researchers led by Dr. David Nesvorny of Southwest Research Institute has inferred another unseen planet, this time orbiting a distant star, marking the first success of this technique outside the solar system. Using a...

'Supermoon' Expected This Weekend
2012-05-05 15:05:08

The biggest and brightest full moon of the year will occur this weekend. An estimated 16% brighter than normal, this spectacular ℠Supermoon´ will be visible in the night sky on Saturday (May 5) at 11:35 p.m. EDT, according NASA. Click here for video. The scientific term for the phenomenon is "perigee moon." Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than...

Image 1 - Staring Back At The Man In The Moon, Researchers Look For Answers
2012-03-07 09:03:19

Have you ever wondered where the man in the moon comes from, or perhaps more interestingly, why he always fixes his gaze on us rather than showing his dark backside? Pondering those questions further, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have come up with some answers. The moon´s near side facing us is covered with dark splotches of lunar maria (smooth plains formed by ancient volcanic eruptions) that resembles a man´s face when seen from Earth....

Image 1 - Kepler Finds Two More Two-Sun Planets
2012-01-12 05:42:31

Astronomers announced the findings of two new circumbinary planets, or worlds that orbit two different stars, during the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. The discovery, which was presented by San Diego State University (SDSU) Associate Professor Dr. William Welsh and published online in the journal Nature, used data from NASA's Kepler Mission to locate a pair of transiting circumbinary planet systems. The two worlds, which have been dubbed...

Could A Two Sun System Support A Habitable Planet Or Moon?
2012-01-11 09:44:13

A team of University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) astrophysicists are suggesting that a habitable Earth-like planet could exist in a distant solar system recently discovered by NASA´s Kepler Space Telescope. Kepler-16b, a cold, gaseous planet orbiting two stars -- similar to the fictional Tatooine of Star Wars -- in the Kepler-16 system, was discovered by Kepler back in September. Based on the discovery, the UTA team conclude that an Earth-like planet could exist in the system´s...

Image 1 - First Ever Direct Measurement Of The Earth's Rotation
2011-12-23 05:35:03

Pinpointing the orientation of the Earth's axis using the world's most stable ring laser The Earth wobbles. Like a spinning top touched in mid-spin, its rotational axis fluctuates in relation to space. This is partly caused by gravitation from the sun and the moon. At the same time, the Earth's rotational axis constantly changes relative to the Earth's surface. On the one hand, this is caused by variation in atmospheric pressure, ocean loading and wind. These elements combine in an effect...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).