more invaluable science nuggets and pretty pictures

  • The Galileoscope is a very cheap but functional 50mm astronomical refractor kit for introducing kids to optical observing; NB PRICE GOES UP NEXT WEEK!
    They can also be donated – through an online click.
    But, now Ric and Jean Edelman of Edelman Financial Services have donated $250,000 to the AAS to buy and distribute 15,000 Galileoscopes for distribution to teachers around the US for use in classroom.
    Nice one.

    Hm. Y’know Goldman Sachs could go a long way towards repairing their public image with a token $250,000,000 donation towards a functional but cheap 50m reflector…
    – hey, all the cool financial industry people who are actually doing well are doing it!
    Can you do less, GS?

  • Chandra peer into the Heart of Darkness

    MegaSec exposure of Sgr A* – click to embiggen

    see Chandra blog for the really big high-res image and flash zoom-in.
    There is an associated model for why the current accretion rate on the central black hole is so low – about 0.01 of the Bondi rate – (Shcherbakov et al). Going beyond the good old blah blah rotation blah blah magnetic fields blah blah?
    Shcherbakov & Baganoff and Shcherbakov & Penna

  • Comerford et al have a double nucleus AGN with double double peaked emission lines. Consistent with ~ 2kpc separation double black hole.
    The think they have 32 more in their sample…
    That’d be good and interesting.


  • WFC3 took some near IR images of the Ultra Deep Field.
    Hubblesite has the resultant multicolour pretty pictures.

    There are, que surprise, itsy-bitsy high redshift galaxies in there…
    papers galore coming out

  • The Arp Catalog of peculiar galaxies is one of the great classic photographic catalogs, which has driven multiple scientific querys over the decades.
    It also motivated the long simmering controversy over whether quasar redshifts were cosmological (they are).
    A occasionally seen feature in galaxies is a linear feature, sometime radially aligned, or near radial, from the center of the galaxy.
    A classic example being Arp 192.

    Arp 192 – click to embiggen

    It was an asteroid trail, no linear feature.
    Noticed by Rick Johnson, an amateur obsever.
    Confirmed by a fortuitous Sloan image of the field.
    As per Kanipe et al. backtracking known asteroids, it was 2002 TU 240 zipping past.
    No one looked again in all those decades.. ?! Well, there are a lot of galaxies in that catalog and few available eyeballs.
    Hm, I wonder if Hal as had an asteroid named after him?

  • WFC3 also did near IR imaging of a part of the GOODS field.
    Details at Hubblesite with high res and zoom-in images.

    Pretty cool.