This needs to get spread a good bit more.
CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope is a 64-m diameter parabolic dish used for radio astronomy. It is located about 20 km north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales (NSW), and about 380 km west of Sydney.
It is operated by CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS), a business unit of CSIRO. CASS also operates the Australia Telescope Compact Array near Narrabri, NSW, and the Mopra radio telescope near Coonabarabran, NSW, and is developing the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope in Western Australia.
The telescope was built in 1961, but only its basic structure has remained unchanged. The surface, control system, focus cabin, receivers, computers and cabling have all been upgraded - some parts many times - to keep the telescope current.
The telescope is now ten thousand times more sensitive than when commissioned in 1961.
The telescope operates twenty four hours per day, through rain and cloud. About 85 per cent of all time each year is scheduled for observing. Less than five per cent of that is lost because of high winds or equipment problems. Most of the rest of the time each year is used for maintenance and testing. Around 300 researchers use the telescope each year, and more than 40 per cent of these users are from overseas.
The moving part of the dish is not fixed to the top of the tower but just sits on it. Because the large surface catches the wind like a sail, the telescope must be ‘stowed’ (pointed directly up) when the wind exceeds 35 km an hour.
The radio waves from objects in space are extremely weak by the time they reach Earth. The power received from a strong cosmic radio source by the Parkes telescope is about a hundredth of a millionth of a millionth of a watt (10-14 W). If you wanted to heat water with this power it would take about 70 000 years to heat one drop by one degree Celsius.
Galaxies contain stars, gas and dust. The gas - mostly hydrogen - is the raw material from which stars form. It emits radio waves, at a frequency of 1420 MHz. Radio astronomers spend a lot of time studying this gas, learning where it is and how it is moving.
Astronomers don’t look through the telescope. Instead, signal processing systems and computers take the radio waves the telescope collects and turns them into pictures (like photographs) of objects in space.
Comet ISON infographic.
(Credit: The Canadian Press)
"Comet ISON did not survive its close passage around the Sun. Nothing whatever seems to have emerged from perihelion. The comet’s head dwindled away to nothing, and then its massive dust and debris tail evaporated almost completely."
This was sad, I was hoping we’ll get to see it.
Sadly, it looks very much like Comet ISON did not survive its brush with the Sun.
More info: http://slate.me/1aYO7An
Image by Damian Peach http://bit.ly/1hQf6DB
France’s first satellite, Asterix 1, launched on November 16, 1965 from Hammaguir, Algeria. Launched on a Diamant A rocket, the successful launch turned France into the world’s third domestic space power.
Free paper model!
Attention, “Finding Nemo” fans: we just added several dozen baby clownfish in our Splash Zone exhibit. And there’s more to come—we’ve got 250 behind the scenes, just waiting to make their debut alongside other “Finding Nemo” characters at the Aquarium.
“We patiently waited for the eggs to develop as the dad clownfish took great care of them,” said Raymond Direen, who cared for the brood with fellow aquarist Jenn Anstey. “The dad constantly used his pectoral fins to fan the eggs and keep them clean. After about two weeks, they separated from the father, and morphed into little baby clownfish.
“We’re pleased with the success and expect them to grow up good and healthy!” says Raymond.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW HE DID THE THING
Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis)
Taxonomy: The Vampyroteuthis infernalis, literally translates to “vampire squid from hell” was first described in 1903 and was thought to be an octopus with eight arms. Subsequent sightings of it showed two additional arms were discovered tucking into pockets. It is currently, the only animal in the order Vampyromorphida, an order “in between” octopus and squid, mainly due to the addition of sensory filaments believed to be used for finding food in the deep sea.
Characteristics: V. infernalis is most commonly known for its jet-black skin, the “cape” webbed skin between the arms and eyes that appear blood red at times. It has excellent predator avoidance behavior, including the ability to invert itself, exposing suckers and cirri, making it look as though it is covered in spines. V. infernalis also has light organs on the tip of each arm and at the base of its fins. The animal will begin to glow and wiggle about while also expelling mucus containing “thousands of glowing spheres of blue bioluminescent light.” While this mucus is being expelled, the vampire squid escapes.
Size: Average size for V. infernalis is between 25 – 30 cm (9-12 inches). For its size, the vampire squid has the largest eyes of any animal in the world; approximately the size of a wolf or full-grown dog.
Distribution and habitat: V. infernalis lives in the oxygen minimum layer (600-800 m depth) because it is highly effective at removing oxygen from the water due to a pigment that easily binds oxygen (hemocyanin). It also has a very low metabolic rate and high gill surface areas. Specimens have been collected from tropical and subtopical waters worldwide.