23 Jan 2012

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5 facts day :)
1. The density of Saturn is so low that if you could put it in water it would float.
2. A piece of neutron star the size of a pinhead would weigh a million tons
3. Saturn has at least 62 moons
4. Light from the Sun travelling at 186,000mph takes 8mins 19secs to reach earth
5. The Sun makes up 99.86% of the solar systems mass.

Chuck Norris jokes
when Alexander bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from Chuck Norris
fear of spiders is arcanaphobia, fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, fear of Chuck Norris is called logic
Chuck Norris won American idol using only sign language
Jesus can walk on water, Chuck Norris can swim through land.

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20 Jan 2012

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Venus transit will happen this year from 5th-6th June but this will only be visible in its entirety from Hawaii, Alaska, Australia the Pacific and Eastern Asia with the beginning of the transit visible from North America and the end visible from Europe.

Venus usually passes under or over the sun in its diagonal orbit, but there are two points in its orbit when it passes directly in front of the sun in its 225 day orbit, but the Venus transit only happens when Venus, Earth and the Sun directly line up as shown in this diagram.

The top shows Venus on its normal orbit and the bottom shows the Venus transit.

This will be an amazing spectacle lets hope it gets broadcast for all to see, as it will be 105 years till it happens again, in 2117, and then it will happen again in 8 years at 2125, and will go on and on for a very long time going 105 years then 8 years 105 years 8 years and on and on. The last time it happened was June 8th 2004, and the first recorded time was November 23 1396, people believe that Aztec astronomers may have seen this transit.

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19 Jan 2012

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I would just like to say I will be carrying on the 5 facts a week, or I may do 5 facts every couple of days, maybe including a Chuck Norris joke :) (everybody loves Chuck Norris jokes)

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This is just one of my pictures from my holiday in Africa of an amazing sunset over Ngorongroro crater, Tanzinia, it just shows the true beauty of our planet.

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I would like to give a massive thanks to OPHIUCHUS for giving me such a warm welcome to the team as the new Editor of Astronomical Uplands, and a massive good bye to Jack Morgan as former editor (Mr meteor) but sadly as Jack is gone, I Alex Doe (little green man) will be taking over.

I am currently in the process of creating a new reporting team, and I promise they will be great.

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New Reporters to Astronomical Uplands

I would like to give a huge thanks to Jack Morgan and his reporting team [Jon Perret, Adam Farmer and Nick Maxfield] for their excellent, interesting and fun articles over the last year.

The GCSE Astronomy class 2009-2011

In particular, Jack became our first student editor last year, and has done a grand job in kick-starting off the Student Voice, and it has been a pleasure to see what he has come up with next - I've personally really enjoyed reading ! Unfortunately, our original team have finished their GCSE course (Well done for the good grades! :-) ) are now into studying for their A levels, so haven't as much time to devote to the Astronomy blog. However, we are hopeful this isn't the end of Jack's involvement in the blog, and that there might be further contributions in the future...

So, thank you, once again, to the four of you for breaking new grounds and creating our first Astronomy reporting team!

Luckily, we have a new, enthusiastic Editor to take Jack's place. Year 9 Astronomy GCSE student, Alex Doe, has volunteered to become our new editor, and will be getting a team together over the next couple of weeks. As before, if you have a contribution to make to the blog, please give it to Alex, or myself (in the prep room opposite L8) and we will reward you with an astronomy badge. Welcome to the team, Alex!

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Faulkes Telescope North - Yr 11

Sky Object Name: m81
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: Jan 19, 2012 10:05:43 UTC
RA: 9h55'33"
DEC: 69°04'00"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 10 secs.
Instrument: FS

Sky Object Name: ngc2438
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: Jan 19, 2012 10:12:35 UTC
RA: 7h41'50"
DEC: -14°44'08"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 20 secs.
Instrument: FS

Sky Object Name: m1 Can you see what this is? It's a short exposure of the Crab Nebula!
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: Jan 19, 2012 10:17:45 UTC
RA: 5h34'31"
DEC: 22°01'00"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 10 secs.
Instrument: FS

Sky Object Name: m66
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: Jan 19, 2012 10:25:42 UTC
RA: 11h20'14"
DEC: 12°59'42"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 40 secs.
Instrument: FS

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9 Jan 2012

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Dec 15 2011 Faulkes Telescope North

Apologies for the long Haitus (break)...but I'm back now, to keep you up to date with Uplands Astronomy goings-on!

This year, Mr Pert has been giving Yr 11 classes a chance to use the Faulkes Telescope, the first session of which was in December, before the Christmas break (again, apologies for my tardiness getting the images up here!).

The Astronomy GCSE class looked at some objects around Orion and Taurus, and took some cool images using FT North in Haleakala, Hawaii.
The first of which was M1, the Crab Nebula, which is a supernova remnant, observed back in 1054 AD. Originally four times as bright as Venus, and visible with the naked eye in the daytime, astronomers have been watching this nebula expand for centuries:

Sky Object Name: M1
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: Dec 15, 2011 11:09:23 UTC
RA: 5h34'30"
DEC: 22°01'00"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 90 secs.
Instrument: FS

The nebula is in Taurus, (hint, also called 'Taurus A' :-) ), and is one of the few recorded supernova in our Galaxy:

(image from British Astronomical Association (Radio Sources))

The second image was of NGC1472, showing one the brighter stars of the Pleiades cluster:

Sky Object Name: ngc1432
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: Dec 15, 2011 11:14:06 UTC
RA: 3h45'48"
DEC: 24°22'00"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 5 secs.
Instrument: FS

This Pleiades (open cluster) is in Taurus, and is found by following Orion's belt stars:

(image Nava Ching)

From the co-ordinates, and using Deep Sky Browser, my guess is this is the star Maia:

(Image from The Encyclopedia of Science)

The next image was of M43, or De Mairan's Nebula, a hydrogen-rich region in Orion:

Sky Object Name: M43
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: Dec 15, 2011 11:18:59 UTC
RA: 5h35'31"
DEC: -5°16'00"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 3 secs.
Instrument: FS

If you can find Orion's Nebula, M43 is it's little brother right next to it:

(Image from Universe Today)

Next was M37, another open cluster, but this one's in Auriga:

Sky Object Name: m37
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: Dec 15, 2011 11:25:06 UTC
RA: 5h52'18"
DEC: 32°33'11"
Filter: RGB
Exposure time: 25 secs.
Instrument: FS

This is where M37 is in Auriga, but isn't very helpful if you don't know where Auriga is (so I'll do a Constellation of the Month on it at some point! :-) ):

(Image from Wikipedia)

Lastly, M78, a reflection nebula in Orion (that means the light you see is of the bright stars reflecting off the gasses around them)This was only imaged with a blue filter:

Sky Object Name: m78
Taken By: Uplands Community College
When taken: Dec 15, 2011 11:28:37 UTC
RA: 5h46'42"
DEC: 0°03'00"
Filter: Bessell B
Exposure time: 20 secs.
Instrument: FS

found here:

(Image from Messier Telrad Finder Charts)
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