Tag Archives: American Astronomical Society

To a Billionth of a Meter: Go Inside a Telescope Mirror Factory |National Geographic


To a Billionth of a Meter: Go Inside a Telescope Mirror Factory

ARTICLE: ASTRONOMICAL TRANSIT


Astronomical Transit

An astronomical transit is the passage of a celestial body or satellite across the face of a relatively larger body. Transits are not the same thing as the familiar solar or lunar eclipse. In an eclipse, a large celestial body hides a major part of a smaller body. In an astronomical transit, a small body crosses in front of a larger one. An astronomical transit can involve two planets, but this has not been observed on Earth since 1818. When will the next planetary transit be visible from Earth? More… Discuss

 

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Hail Yes!

Forget the Emerald City; on Saturn and Jupiter it is all about the diamonds. A team of US researchers is positing that lightning storms in the gas giants’ upper atmospheres turn methane into soot, which hardens into graphite and then diamond as it falls. Tons of diamondhailstones may rain down on the planets each year, and while most are likely about a centimeter in diameter, some could best be described as “diamondbergs.” Alas, these sparklers are not “forever.” As the diamonds reach certain depths, the pressure and temperature become so great that they likely melt into a liquid carbon sea. More… Discuss