February 25, 2015

Carnival of Space 394

The Venus Transit has a summary of Venus and Mars conjunction

Venus and Mars between the clouds -19/2/2015

Chandra and #Sciencewoman Belinda Wilkes is the first woman to be the director of a Great Observatory. There are so many women who have been crucial to the Chandra project that we have put together a series of profiles called “Women in the High-Energy Universe.”

Pam Hoffman Everyday Spacer - Give us three days and three nights – learning by day, implementing what you learned and observing at night. We’ll help you understand your scope, scopes in general and the night sky at that time of the year. You’ll go to your next star party excited and ready!

Nextbigfuture - Eagleworks tested one tapered (frustum) cavity, aka Shawyer's EmDrive; and two Cannae drives which are also asymmetric but different resonant cavities. The Cannae drive is said to work on a purported different principle than the EmDrive, according to its inventor Guido Fetta (a net Lorentz force imbalance of electrons upon top vs bottom wall of the cavity). According to this purported working principle, one Cannae drive had radial slots on its rim as required by Fetta in order to produce net thrust, and the second Cannae drive didn't have those slits and was intended to be a "null test device". But the Cannae null test article… also produced net thrust (20 to 40 µN of net thrust depending of the forward or backward direction).

A new model with Quantitised intertia predicts the published EmDrive results fairly well with a very simple formula and suggests that the thrust can be increased by increasing the input power, Q factor, or by increasing the degree of taper in the cavity or using a dielectric.

Nextbigfuture - NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and ESA’s (European Space Agency) XMM-Newton telescope are showing that fierce winds from a supermassive black hole blow outward in all directions -- a phenomenon that had been suspected, but difficult to prove until now.

This discovery has given astronomers their first opportunity to measure the strength of these ultra-fast winds and prove they are powerful enough to inhibit the host galaxy’s ability to make new stars.

Supermassive black holes blast matter into their host galaxies, with X-ray-emitting winds traveling at up to one-third the speed of light. In the new study, astronomers determined PDS 456, an extremely bright black hole known as a quasar more than 2 billion light-years away, sustains winds that carry more energy every second than is emitted by more than a trillion suns.

Supermassive black holes at the cores of galaxies blast out radiation and ultra-fast winds, as illustrated in this artist's conception. NASA's NuSTAR and ESA's XMM-Newton telescopes show that these winds, containing highly ionized atoms, blow in a nearly spherical fashion.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Nextbigfuture - The Aragoscope: Ultra-High Resolution Optics at Low Cost starts from 1 hour into a NASA NIAC video.

The goal is to create space telescopes with hundreds of meters of diameter.

The Aragoscope diffracts light into collection areas. A fraction of the light is collected. A hundred meter aragoscope with many 3 millimeter to one centimeter of width the diffracting rings would collect the light of a one meter telescope. The diffracting rings are a few microns across.

The Aragoscope could provide images up to 1,000 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope.

A conventional space telescope is pointed at an opaque disk along an axis to a distant target. The disk boosts the resolution of the system with no loss of collecting area. It can be used to achieve the diffraction limit based on the size of the low cost disk, rather than the high cost telescope mirror. One can envision affordable telescopes that could provide 7 centimeter resolution of the ground from geosynchronous orbit or images of the sky with one thousand times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope.

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