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Latest Activity: Nov 5, 2016
Started by Donald L. Engel. Last reply by Kiljoy616 Mar 18, 2016.
Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Gerald Payne Sep 17, 2015.
Started by Visvakarman Svetasvatara-Upanish Jun 17, 2015.
Hope I'm around in 4 billion years to see the main show.
The milky way and Andromeda galaxies, set to collide in 4 billion years may already be in contact. Using the Hubble telescope scientists have discovered a halo of gas surrounding Andromeda that's 2 light years in diameter. Being 2 light years distant, a similar halo around our galaxy would mean contact has already begun.
Quasars are the brightest objects in the Universe and so distant, relative to Andromeda that from them has to pas through Andromeda's halo. Light showed a minute dip at selected wavelengths as it passed through the halo en route to Hubble
Sending a probe to Mercury was the most challenging mission they've ever tried. The gravitational well of the Sun is so strong that the inner Planets, although the closest, are the most difficult to reach. It was estimated that a direct spaceflight to Mercury would need to burn so much fuel to check it's momentum there'd be no room for the scientific instruments!
When we consider that they have only a 50 mile 'window' to hit to get the sling right after millions of miles of travel, with everything moving under the influence of gravity, it's no small feat.
I'm often amazed at what scientists have accomplished.
I think it took something like 8 years to get there Idaho, using planetary slingshot manoeuvers, first out to Jupiter and then slinging back to Earth to Venus back to Earth and so on to slow the spacecraft down before it fell into the gravitational well of the Sun.
Messenger slammed into Mercury at 3:27 PM ET. It was on the other side from us, so we got no pictures of it. Other telescopes in space could not get pictures because they would have been looking into the sun.
But it was a sucess. Like several other missions, it exceeded it goal. It's original goal was to take 2,500 images of the planet, but it has returned more than 270,000 to earth.
Today Mercury will have a new crater, the messenger probe will collide with the surface creating a crater 16 metres wide. John Lennon has had a mercurial crater named after him.
I think I will have to work out a way as you say with a longer length tripod and an observing chair. As you say at different altitudes your bound to get varying degrees of comfort no matter where the eyepiece is situated.
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