Grad Students and Exoplanets
Hayley Beltz is a 2nd year graduate student a the University of Michigan – she studies exoplanets known as “Hot and Ultrahot Jupiters.” She recently gave a presentation to the Warren Astronomical Society about these worlds, how we find them, and what their atmospheres look like. It was pretty interesting, and I believe the first time we’ve had an actual exoplanet researcher give a talk.
It simply amazes me how exoplanet research has gone from being non-existent when I was at MTU, to become a rapidly growing field of study at universities; the James Webb Space Telescope, with its ability to study exoplanet atmospheres will only accelerate this trend.
Morning: Venus appears very low above the Eastern Horizon at sunrise – continuing appearing a bit lower, and a bit more eastward each morning.
Evening: Jupiter rises in the east, and Saturn appears high above the southeastern horizon after sunset.
Before Midnight: Jupiter appears high in the southeastern sky, and Saturn appears high in the southern sky before midnight.
Early Morning: Saturn sets in the southwest around 3:30 am, while Jupiter appears high in the southwestern sky.
Dawn: Jupiter fades into the dawn above the western horizon- appearing a bit lower each morning.
Early morning: Mars appears near the star Aldebaran a few hours before sunrise, both of them appearing high above the east-southeastern horizon; the constellation Orion is now fully visible before sunrise.
Early morning: The Moon appears near the star Regulus in the eastern sky before sunrise on Sept. 23rd.
- The Moon is a Waning Crescent – visible low to the east before sunrise.
- The New Moon occurs on Sept. 25th – the part of the Moon facing Earth is completely in shadow.
- After Sept. 25th, the Moon will be a Waxing Crescent – visible low to the southwest in the early evening.
If you click on the Moon image above, or click this link, you will go to NASA’s Moon Phase and Libration, 2022 page – it will show you what the Moon looks like right now. If you click the image on that page, you will download a high-rez TIFF image annotated with the names of prominent features – helpful for logging your lunar observations! (See below)
The Sun has four named sunspots – down from eight the last two weeks. These sunspots are all in the southern hemisphere
Spaceweather.com says: Sunspot AR3105 emerging over the sun’s eastern limb is growing rapidly: movie. We’ve seen this sunspot before. It’s AR3089 returning after a 2-week trip around the farside of the Sun. Instead of decaying, the old sunspot seems to be growing again. If this continues, it could soon pose a threat for Earth-directed flares.”
The Sun seen in 193 angstroms on September 19th.
Active regions are spitting continuously; there is a figure 8 coronal hole crossing the equator – I can’t say I’ve ever seen one of those!
The Sun seen in 304 angstroms on September 19th.
The southern hemisphere has several crackling active regions; as happened last week, the thing rotating into view in the southern hemisphere has HUGE loops! The prominence in the upper right is thrashing about wildly!
Videos courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
You can view the Sun in near real-time, in multiple frequencies here: SDO-The Sun Now.
You can create your own time-lapse movies of the Sun here: AIA/HMI Browse Data.
You can browse all the SDO images of the Sun from 2010 to the present here: Browse SDO archive.
Amateur Solar Astrophotography
Solar wind speed is 481.7 km/sec ▲ with a density of 7.27 protons/cm3 ▲▲ at 1225 UT.
Click here to see a near real-time animation of the corona and solar wind from the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
- Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) discovered this month: 142, this year: 1914, all time: 29,740 (+80)
- Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs): 2285 (+1 updated 2022-09-20)
- Total Minor Planets discovered: 1,229,549 (+12,247 updated 2022-09-20)
Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
|Asteroid||Date(UT)||Miss Distance||Velocity (km/s)||Diameter (m)|
|2022 SC1||2022-Sep-20||14.4 LD||10.3||26|
|2022 SW1||2022-Sep-20||1.8 LD||10.1||11|
|2022 SH||2022-Sep-20||7.9 LD||7.6||11|
|2022 SA1||2022-Sep-21||18.7 LD||14.1||33|
|2022 SK1||2022-Sep-22||7.1 LD||8.4||34|
|2022 ST1||2022-Sep-22||4 LD||13.6||13|
|2022 SG||2022-Sep-22||7.3 LD||19.7||45|
|2022 QH8||2022-Sep-22||10.6 LD||15.3||53|
|2022 QK36||2022-Sep-23||18.7 LD||3.7||22|
|2022 SP||2022-Sep-24||9.2 LD||9.8||13|
|2022 SK||2022-Sep-24||18.1 LD||16.6||45|
|2022 RM||2022-Sep-25||14.2 LD||10||31|
|2022 SL1||2022-Sep-25||9.3 LD||8||23|
|2022 SU1||2022-Sep-25||4 LD||13.9||17|
|2022 SP1||2022-Sep-28||19 LD||4.6||19|
|2022 SZ||2022-Sep-28||13.7 LD||7.4||18|
|2022 SR1||2022-Sep-29||12.1 LD||6||25|
|2016 HF2||2022-Sep-29||19.2 LD||5.6||21|
|2018 ER1||2022-Oct-02||14.7 LD||4||27|
|2018 VG||2022-Oct-05||18.5 LD||6.7||12|
|2021 TJ10||2022-Oct-06||19.6 LD||8.1||6|
|2006 SG7||2022-Oct-07||16.7 LD||18.4||93|
|2013 TJ6||2022-Oct-07||11.7 LD||14.4||32|
|2022 RA5||2022-Oct-12||13.2 LD||5.1||34|
|2013 SL20||2022-Oct-14||6.2 LD||12.1||45|
|2020 TO2||2022-Oct-15||1.4 LD||12.6||18|
|2020 BD||2022-Oct-16||12.1 LD||11.4||20|
|2022 QM6||2022-Oct-17||19.8 LD||4.2||69|
|2022 RB5||2022-Oct-23||13.2 LD||5.2||116|
|2005 AZ28||2022-Oct-24||11.5 LD||5.4||56|
|2016 TH94||2022-Oct-25||19.1 LD||13.5||43|
|2019 AN5||2022-Oct-27||20 LD||6.8||213|
|2004 UT1||2022-Oct-29||4 LD||6.3||17|
|2021 VH||2022-Nov-01||5.9 LD||5.3||4|
|2022 RM4||2022-Nov-01||6 LD||23.5||433|
|2020 WD||2022-Nov-08||3 LD||6||8|
|2019 XS||2022-Nov-10||16.7 LD||11.9||60|
|2019 VL5||2022-Nov-15||8.5 LD||8.1||24|
|2018 WH||2022-Nov-16||2.5 LD||7.7||4|
DART impact watch party, anyone?
On September 19, 2022, the NASA All Sky Fireball Network reported 9 fireballs!
LOTs of videos for AMS event #6109-2022 – a huge fireball between Northern Ireland and Scotland – Sept. 14, 2022 at 20:57 UT – this one with exclamatory commentary!
Position of the planets & several spacecraft in the inner solar system on Sept. 20th:
Position of the planets in the middle solar system – Sept. 20th:
Position of the planets in the outer solar system – Sept. 20th:
Solar System News
Seismometers on Insight “hear” meteoroid impacts on Mars; data used to help MRO locate the craters! I’m all for active seismometer networks being installed on the Moon and Mars.
Mars Helicopter Completes Flight 32
#Artemis1 fueling test
DART - Stay on Target!
Animation Featuring Mars Insight
HiRISE - Beautiful Mars
More International Space Station space-to-Earth calls
CAPSTONE Still in safe mode
416.05 ppm #CO2 – up from 413.07 a year ago
See a list of current NASA missions here: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions?mission_status=current
ex·o·plan·et /ˈeksōˌplanət/, noun: a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun.
* Confirmed Planets Discovered by TESS refers to the number planets that have been published in the refereed astronomical literature.
* TESS Project Candidates refers to the total number of transit-like events that appear to be astrophysical in origin, including false positives as identified by the TESS Project.
* TESS Project Candidates Yet To Be Confirmed refers to the number of TESS Project Candidates that have not yet been dispositioned as a Confirmed Planet or False Positive.
September 16, 2022
Six New Planets, Including Two Nearby Super-Earths
This week’s new planets include two temperate super-Earths that transit LP 890-9, a very cool star that is 100 light-years from Earth. Read the Delrez et al. 2022 discovery paper and the University of Liège media release.
All These Worlds
An ever-growing slideshow with exoplanet images I’ve created for these posts:
SpaceWeather.com Realtime Aurora Gallery: https://spaceweathergallery.com/aurora_gallery.html
Latest Aurora Oval Forecast
- Visit an International Dark Sky Park: https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/parks/
- If you live in Michigan, visit the Michigan Dark Skies site: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/darkskies/
Messier Tour: M29 – Open Cluster
Messier 29 (M29) is an open cluster located in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. The cluster has an apparent magnitude of 7.1. Messier 29 is too faint to be spotted by the naked eye, but can be seen in binoculars. It is best observed in telescopes at the lowest powers. The cluster lies at an approximate distance of 4,000 light years from Earth. It has the designation NGC 6913 in the New General Catalogue.
Messier 29 is located in the vicinity of the bright supergiant star Sadr, Gamma Cygni, which marks the intersection of the Northern Cross, a familiar asterism in the summer sky. With a visual magnitude of 2.23, Sadr is the second brightest star in Deneb. M29 can be found 1.7 degrees to the south and a little east of Sadr. It lies in a rich, crowded region of the Milky Way.
Messier 29 is relatively small, occupying an area of 7 arc minutes in the sky, or a quarter the size of the full Moon. The cluster has a linear diameter of only 11 light years. – messier-objects.com
It is classified as Trumpler class III, 3, p, n, which means that it is a detached cluster without noticeable concentration (III), it contains both bright and faint stars (3), it has fewer than 50 stars (p), and there is nebulosity associated with it (n). The nebulosity around the cluster can be seen in photographs.
Messier 29 is approaching us at 28 km/s. The cluster is part of the Cygnus OB1 association, a group of stars that share a common motion, age and place of origin. – messier-objects.com
The five hottest members of M29 are giant stars belonging to the spectral class B0, about 160,000 times more luminous than the Sun. The estimated age of the cluster is 10 million years. There are six stars in M29 that are brighter than magnitude 9.5. The brightest one has a visual magnitude of 8.59.
The cluster’s brightest stars form a quadrilateral and another three form a triangle, located just to the north of the quadrilateral, giving M29 the shape of a squashed dipper. This shape is visible in 3.1-inch telescopes. – messier-objects.com
Without the dust of the Milky Way obscuring the cluster, the stars in M29 would appear about 1,000 times brighter.
Note from Bob: I have to admit – I was shocked by this statement. I stared at it, and the photo of the cluster… realizing that I’ve truly had no idea of the actual amount of dust in our galaxy!
Location of M29 in the Milky Way
The cluster is located 3,740 light years from the Sun, and lies within the disk of the galaxy – my first thought at seeing its position was what would Baade’s Window look like from this cluster? Would it be completely closed, or show a different region of stars behind it?
Here’s my obligatory “What would a planet look like if it were near that Messier object” pic:
Cover Image: Messier 29. Credit: Digitized Sky Survey / WorldWideTelescope
Messier Object List: [Link]
Software Apps used for this post:
NASA Eyes on the Solar System: an immersive 3D solar system and space mission simulator – free for the PC /MAC.
Stellarium: a free web-based planetarium app. It’s a great tool for planning observing sessions. Latest update released on July 7, 2022.
SpaceEngine – Explore the universe in 3D and VR! Latest update released on July 6, 2022.
Worldwide Telescope – operated by the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Latest update released on March 31, 2022.