Caroline Herschel – German-British Astronomer 16 March 1750 – 9 January 1848
227 years ago, on Aug. 1, 1786, Caroline Lucretia Herschel became the first woman to discover a comet. She discovered 8 comets in total, the first being on August 1st, 1786.
Today Space.com took time to recognize this remarkable woman and her contributions to Astronomy.
Caroline frequently used a small Newtonian sweeper to study the sky. On Feb. 26, 1783, she discovered an open cluster known today as NGC 2360. She went on to discover 14 new nebulae, including NGC 205, the companion to the Andromeda Galaxy.
Caroline made significant contributions to the field of astronomy. She was also the first woman officially recognized in a scientific position, and the first woman to receive honorary membership into Britain’s prestigious Royal Society.
That’s right. NASA has discovered a Black Hole that seems to have taken a nap. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory caught signs of the area 10 years ago as the Black Hole was eating up pieces of the Sculptor galaxy. Recently NuSTAR (NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) picked up the area today and found the Black Hole asleep.
This Sculptor Black Hole is about 5 million times the mass of our sun. It lies at the center of the Sculptor galaxy, also known as NGC 253. The galaxy is known as a star burst galaxy and has been actively giving birth to new stars, only to have them eaten by the black hole. 13-million miles away from our own Milkyway Galaxy, this is our nearest star burst galaxy neighbor.
What are these mysterious, electric blue clouds called? Hint: They are clouds from outer space, formed by meteor dust. They are usually seen in summer in northern skies. However, this year they arrived on May 13, the earliest onset on record, and have reached all the way to Middle America.
Let’s go sledding! Well we may not be able to go sledding, but NASA has found evidence of ice-sleds on Mars. The unique features were found by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
After studying images and conducting their own tests on sand dunes in Utah and California, NASA has concluded that these deep groves seen in MRO images are probably from frozen carbon dioxide — dry ice sleds, gliding down the dunes on Mars.
The grooves are called linear gullies. They are typically seen with a relatively constant width of a few yards or meters across. They have levees along the sides, much like you’ve seen when you carve a line in the sand at the beach with a stick. But unlike gullies that are made by water, the bottom portion of these gullies are not filled with debris carried down the hill by the water. The Martian ice-gullies simply have pits at the end of their line, perhaps where the ice sled ended up and melted away.
Earth dodged a bullet on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013. An asteroid narrowly missed hitting earth and no one even knew it was on it’s way until a few days earlier.
While the U.S. Government is expanding spending for the Pentagon (for what reason we don’t really know), NASA’s budget is officially less than a fraction of a penny out of every dollar we spend. Time to start complaining.
The asteroid sped past Earth at 38,000 miles per hour about 2am. Imagine taking a trip from New York City to New Zealand and you’ll travel the distance between Earth and this asteroid. A mere 8,900 miles. No danger, Scientists say the asteroid would have burned up if had entered Earth’s atmosphere. But one can’t help but think of the asteroid that fell to Russia a few years ago, causing damage and injuries.
Asteroid by NASA
Alex Gibbs from the Catalina Sky Survey, the discoverer of this asteroid, created a video of 2012 KT42 during its closest approach to Earth. You can find the video at UniverseToday.com.