August 29th, 2014

Neptune Reaches Opposition this Weekend

This Friday, August 29th, the outermost planet of the solar system will be rising in the East just as the Sun sets in the west making it a great opportunity to spot the blue ice giant. Although you can’t see it with the naked eye, a pair of binoculars or a telescope with help you out as long as you know exactly where to look for it. Neptune shines at +7.6 magnitude and is 4.3 billion kilometers away from the Earth, so despite it being 58 times larger than our home planet, you will see it as a 6’’ disk.

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Neptune: Big Blue Giant

Credit: Voyager 2, NASA

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August 22nd, 2014

All-New Star Walk 2

Star Walk 2 is a much faster and smoother app, that combined with a cleaner and simpler interface delivers an effortless journey through thousands of stars, comets, and constellations. All-new exclusive handcrafted artwork for constellations, inspired by minimalist low-poly art and stunning new sound effects create an unforgettable stargazing tool.

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August 7th, 2014

Star Walk HD got a Tabby Award

Star Walk HD – 5 Stars Astronomy Guide has been declared a Winner in the following category:

iPad: Education / Adults, professionals and general

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The Tabby Awards, the only global competition for the best tablet apps and games, unveils the 2014 list of Tabby Awards winners, as well as the first Users’ Choice app list.

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August 6th, 2014

67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Comet

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ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 3 August from a distance of 285 km. The image resolution is 5.3 metres/pixel.

Rosetta launched in 2004 arrives at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko today. It is the first mission to rendezvous with a comet.


August 6th, 2014

Rosetta Meets the Comet Today

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Later today, when the distance between the probe and the cometary nucleus will be 100 km, Rosetta will make trajectory corrections and start spinning around the “snow ball” with radius of 4 km. Formally, it is not called “orbiting” as the comet’s gravitation is not enough for Rosetta. The probe will fly in front of the comet to avoid the damage from dust of its tail. 

The engine will be firing for 6 minutes 26 seconds and will start at 08:00 GMT.

The distance to the probe will account for the 22 minutes delay in data transmitting. Because of the difficulties in data transmission we won’t be able to see the video of approaching, but we will be able to see the photos from the navigational camera as soon as it is possible.

Here is the video prepared by ESA demonstrating the fly-over of Rosetta around the comet:

This is the latest model of the nucleus built from the pictures made in July.

You can see the live streaming of the event on the ESA site.

In 4 months there will be another key event – the landing of Philae.