From The Director

by Rex Parker, PhD director@princetonastronomers.org

Meet on Campus Feb 14

We’ll be back at Princeton Feb 14 for the monthly meeting with hopes that the Peyton Hall auditorium AV upgrade is finished so we can run this as hybrid-virtual. If you absolutely cannot make it physically there will be a Zoom link for the live meeting sent by email and on the website. The massive construction project across the street continues and the old parking lots are gone forever. So the University wants us to park (free) in the new garage at 148 Fitzrandolph Rd, off of Faculty Rd.  That means a 15 minute walk around the football stadium to Peyton once you park your car.  Our guest speaker will be John Church of AAAP.  For more information on John’s presentation and for the walking route map to Peyton Hall, see Victor’s article below 

We’re looking for additional members to give an Un-journal Club, a brief informal presentation for the second half of the meeting.  “Un-journal” means this is not grad school, you don’t need scholarly journal-like topics, just what you care about in astronomy.  You can use PowerPoint slides, JPEG’s, astro-images, travel pictures, book reviews, whatever you want (you can bring a USB memory stick to use on my laptop, or your own laptop).  To get onto the schedule for an upcoming meeting, please contact us.

AAAP Astro-Imaging Interest Group Formed

In response to growing interest in the club and technical innovations in the field, we have created a new special interest group dedicated to hands-on astro-photography in its many forms. Michael DiMario is appointed chair (thanks Michael!) and will be coordinating future sessions.  Members will have received emails last month describing the proposal and an invitation to join the group.  If you are interested but didn’t respond yet please contact me.

Astro Geo Connections to Extraterrestrial Objects 

The distinctions between astronomy and geology blur when the object of study goes from interplanetary to earthbound.  Comets and asteroids, meteors and meteorites, all have their own geochemistry story to tell.  The stakes and interest have never been higher for transient near-earth objects, especially after the book “Extraterrestrial” by Avi Loeb (AAAP’s guest speaker and topic last October) threw down the gauntlet for bolder interpretation of certain unusual interplanetary objects.  Dr. Loeb of Harvard, head of the Galileo Project, recently described on his blog how he is going to lead an expedition to collect fragments of the first interstellar meteor which crashed into the south Pacific in 2014. The Galileo Project expedition received more than a million dollars in funding for this and they have a boat and team of professionals experienced in ocean expeditions. They are designing and manufacturing the required sled, magnets, collection nets and mass spectrometer to find an interstellar object. 

In Jan 2014 an object from interstellar space (labeled IM1) hit Earth at high speed, and the fireball disintegrated into fragments off the coast of Papua New Guinea.  From the observations available Loeb identified this as the first interstellar meteor ever discovered, confirmed in 2022 by the US Space Command under the Dept of Defense and NASA. The data on the path and energy released by the fireball suggested its composition was unlike other meteors in the near earth object catalogs.  This has inspired the Galileo Project looking for the meteor fragments on the ocean floor. Analyzing the fragments’ composition could indicate whether the object is natural or artificial. For more insight into the nature of this object see a recent paper by Loeb https://lweb.cfa.harvard.edu/~loeb/ALS.pdf.

The Legacy of Astronomer Fritz Zwicky

An otherwordly news item keeps popping up in the media these days.  Dubbed by the media as “the green comet”, this interplanetary visitor from the Oort Cloud is C/2022 E3 (ZTF). The name translates as the 3rd comet discovered in the 5th two-week period in 2022 by the Zwicky Transient Facility (see https://www.ztf.caltech.edu/.  Named for the brilliant though apparently difficult Cal Tech astronomer  Fritz Zwicky, today’s ZTF project is the offspring of the National Geographic-Palomar Sky Survey conducted in the 1950s – emulsion astrophotography days. This was the first advanced photo-telescopic survey of the deep sky, reaching 22nd magnitude.  The new ZTF survey is built around the same 48” Oschin Schmidt camera telescope constructed by Cal Tech in the 1940s. The original Palomar survey photographic plates were digitized decades ago and distributed as a 102-CD disk collection.  It survives today as one of the optional databases in TheSkyX,software running at the club observatory (and my own).  Now the Oschin Schmidt is adapted for a very large CCD sensor to provide a 47 square degree field of view and covers the whole northern sky every two nights sequentially repeating. The fast cadence is part of the innovation of time-domain astronomy, looking for fast-movers and transients including near-Earth asteroids, comets, and distant supernovae.

An Appreciation of Green Chemistry

The green color in a comet’s core but not tail is an intriguing puzzle only recently solved. It is not the same photochemistry as other astrophysical processes, for example the blue-green fluorescence emission from doubly-ionized oxygen (OII) in planetary nebulae. The nucleus of a comet is an agglomeration of rock, dust, and frozen gases.  As it gets closer to the sun and larger in our skies, heat increases and causes sublimation of gases to form a nebulous envelope around the nucleus, the coma.  The tail is an extension of the coma’s molecules drawn out by the solar wind.  Yet the green around the nucleus disappears in the tail which instead displays a distinct reddish brown color. 

It was long speculated that a comet’s green comes from the breakdown of the reactive molecule dicarbon (diatomic carbon, C2).  Dicarbon is abundant in the galaxy and the solar system but kinetically unstable on earth;  in flames it quickly polymerizes to carbon soot.  The multiple valence states occupied by electrons of dicarbon give rise to a colorful optical spectroscopy.  The famous British physicist and chemist Wollaston, member of the Royal Society, analyzed blue-green flames in 1802 — the first study of dicarbon. 

A recent photochemistry lab experiment provides deeper evidence supporting a mechanism for cometary green glow.  UV-laser irradiated dicarbon dichloride was analyzed spectroscopically (Borsovszky. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2021, Vol 118, No 52).  The sample was exposed to UV plus longer wavelength radiation to generate a metastable state (a radical) of the C2 molecule in a cuvette.  The radical then decays and emits a characteristic green photon.  The unique emission spectrum of photo-activated dicarbon is known as the Swan band, after the famed Scots physicist Swan in the 1850s.  Swan bands are characteristic of carbon stars and some nebulae as well as comets.  The emission wavelength (color) is very sensitive to the environment because the chemical species producing it is short-lived.  Based on the study cited above, the half-life of the dicarbon radical is only ~2 days when the comet is about 1AU from the Sun.  This is the strongest physical chemistry data available explaining why a comet’s head but not tail glows green, as the coma’s dicarbon radical with short half-life dissipates in material streaming out to the tail. 

Green color in the coma fades away in the tail in comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF).  The image is from my home observatory before sunrise on Jan 10 using a 12.5” reflector, tracking on the comet so the stars are trailing.  The image is made from 15×2 min subframes with an ASI071MC CMOS camera.

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From the Program Chair

By Victor Davis

Welcome Back to Peyton Hall

The February, 2023 meeting of the AAAP will take place IN PERSON on Tuesday, February 14th at 7:30 PM. As usual, the meeting is open to AAAP members and the public. It’s worth noting that this is Valentine’s Day, and members are reminded to be extra thoughtful toward our life partners who tolerate, and occasionally encourage, our astronomical proclivities.

Hybrid Meeting

You may choose to attend the meeting in person or participate via Zoom or YouTube as we’ve been doing for the past few years. (See How to Participate below for details). Participants who choose to participate virtually will be able to log in to the meeting as early as 7:00 pm to chat informally with others who log in early. We’ve had some security concerns during a past broadcast, so we’re re-instituting the Zoom waiting room. Please be patient for the host to recognize you and grant you entry into the meeting. Be aware that you must unmute yourself to be heard by other participants.

For the Q&A session, you may ask your question using Zoom’s chat feature or you may unmute yourself and ask your question directly to the speaker. To address background noise issues, we are going to follow the rules in the table below regarding audio. If you are not speaking, please remember to mute yourself. You are encouraged, but not required, to turn your video on.

I’ll be out of town for the meeting, but plan to participate via Zoom and introduce the guest speaker as usual.

john_church-small

Featured Speaker: John Church, PhD
Retired Research Scientist
Long-time member of AAAP
j.church@mindspring.com

Cosmic Clockwork: Occultations, Eclipses, and Transits Occultations, eclipses, and transits are among the most impressive solar system events we can observe.  Once portents of doom or omens of the machinations of deities, these events are vivid illustrations of celestial mechanics. Our ability to predict them accurately signals the attrition of magic into rational thought. Nevertheless, they are magical events. At no other times can we get such a sense of the power associated with the movement of massive objects in our relatively near cosmic neighborhood.  In particular, a total solar eclipse is an unforgettable experience as the entire landscape quickly darkens and the sun’s magnificent corona appears for a short time.

These events have also been of deep scientific interest on many occasions.  Transits of Venus were formerly used to determine the scale of the solar system.  Timings of lunar occultations helped refine long-term estimates of the gradual recession of the moon.  Historical records of ancient eclipses were useful in pinning down the gradual slowing of Earth’s rotation due to tidal friction.  Studies of the sun’s corona enabled advancements in solar physics.  Modern techniques have largely taken over in these areas, but such occasions will always remain of deep human interest.

John Church, PhD
A native of Richmond, John Church graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and then earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.   His thesis work was concerned with the reaction of crystalline carbohydrate derivatives with oxygen under relatively mild conditions.  He spent his career in research and development with American Can Company at their Corporate R&D laboratory in Princeton and then with Colgate-Palmolive at their Corporate Research Center in Piscataway.

John is the author of sixteen scientific, historical, and technical publications, including several on the optics of refracting telescopes as well as one on close conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn.  He holds ten U.S. patents and is the author of a book chapter on the chemistry of bleach. He has written three books and edited several others.  One of his Sky & Telescope articles traced the history of the 6 ¼ inch Hastings-Byrne refractor now installed in our observatory in Washington Crossing State Park, which he and many others helped build in the late 1970’s.

John has served as Assistant Director, Director, and Program Chair of the AAAP.  This September will mark his 53rd year as a club member.  His civic activities include presently serving on the West Windsor Township Zoning Board of Adjustment.  He is married and has three children and six grandchildren.

In 2017, John organized a trip to Oregon to watch the Total Solar Eclipse. He recorded the visit in this document The Total Eclipse.

AAAP webcast:  This month’s AAAP meeting, beginning with Rex’s opening remarks and ending at the beginning of the business meeting, will be webcast live on YouTube and recorded for subsequent public access on AAAP’s YouTube channel. Be aware that your interactions during this segment, including questions to our guest speaker, may be recorded for posterity.

Join YouTube Live to listen to the speaker John Church using the link below –

Logo-with-play

YouTubeAAAP February 2023-John Church, PhD on “Cosmic Clockwork: Occultations, Eclipses, and Transits “

This session will be recorded and saved on YouTube. Send me an email at program@princetonastronomy.org if you have any concerns

Using Zoom: While we are social distancing, the AAAP Board has chosen to use Zoom for our meetings, based on our belief that many members have already used Zoom and have found it easy to use. One of its great features is you can choose whether you want to install the software on your computer or use it within your browser.

NOTE: The Zoom site has many training videos. If you’re unsure how Zoom works you might want to view the videos on how to join a meeting or how to check your computer’s audio and video before the meeting.

How to Participate:

  • Please make sure you have Zoom installed on your computer. You do not need a Zoom account or to create one to join the meeting. Nor are you required to use a webcam.
  • Please see below for the link to the meeting, or visit our website.

Join Zoom Meeting Link  Meeting ID: 845 6648 2175   Passcode: 138071

There is no “Unjournal Club” presentation scheduled this month. As you may know, guest speakers receive a baseball cap with the AAAP logo embroidered upon it as a “thank you” for making a presentation to us. We’re expanding the hat giveaway to members who contribute an “Unjournal Club” presentation to encourage participation.

We hope to make these short presentations a regular feature of our monthly meetings. We’d like to know what members are doing or what members are thinking about in the broad range of topics encompassed by astronomy. A brief ten-minute (or so) presentation is a good way to introduce yourself and the topics you care about to other club members. If you are interested in presenting a topic of interest, please contact either director@princetonastronomy.org or program@princetonastronomy.org.

A look ahead at future guest speakers:

March 14, 2023Joe DePasquale, Space Telescope Science Institute Joe is Senior Data Imaging Developer in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute. A colleague of January’s guest speaker, Alyssa Pagan, Joe will describe his work turning data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) into images combining science and art to illuminate our perspectives on our universe.
April 11, 2023Ira Polans, former Program Chair of AAAP Ira will speak briefly on The Anasazi of the Southwest: Chaco Canyon and the Sun Dagger and then introduce the film The Sun Dagger, narrated by Robert Redford. The film tells the story of its exciting discovery in the 1970s by Washington artist Anna Sofaer and its subsequent investigation. It also examines the life and culture of the Anasazi (Ancestral Puebloan) Indians who built the calendar and thrived in the arid canyon environment a thousand years ago. Since then the sun dagger has marked the seasonal solstices and equinoxes in vivid symbolic images of light and shadow on stone. Join us to learn more about this fascinating discovery!
 
NOTE: This film is solely for in-person viewing, as copyright restrictions will not permit broadcasting it on the internet. This meeting will not be a hybrid meeting.
May 9, 2023Alain Maury, Astronomer and discoverer of comets and asteroids. Alain Maury operates a time-sharing observatory near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. He’s also an active observer and discoverer or co-discoverer of several dozen comets and asteroids, several of which (i.e. 3780 Maury) were named in his honor. He’ll talk about his observatory, its operation, and his numerous astronomical activities.
June 13, 2023Bill Murray, AAAP’s Outreach Director and staffer at NJ State Museum planetarium Bill will give his traditional planetarium show at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.
Summer Hiatus
Later this fallGary Rendsburg, Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Rutgers Prof. Rendsburg will talk about “The Jewish Calendar,” with emphasis on its astronomical connections to lunar months, intercalated month to adjust to the solar year, festival days, and new moon observances.

As always, members’ comments and suggestions are gratefully accepted and much appreciated.

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Minutes of the January 10, 2023, AAAP Members General Meeting (hybrid)

by Gene Allen, Secretary

Director Rex Parker convened the meeting at 1930 on Zoom due to the Peyton Hall auditorium being closed for an audio/video upgrade. After a brief introduction listing the threat to the historic Holmdel Horn, the Rocket Lab private mission to Venus, approaching comet C/2022 E3, and advances in fusion research, formerProgram Chair Member Ira Polans introduced speaker Alyssa Pagan, Science Visuals Developer in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). She detailed the software and techniques she uses to transform raw black and white images taken at various frequencies by the James Webb Space Telescope into gorgeous color images. She made a JavaScript program they wrote to eliminate saturated star centers available to us.

NOTE: The recording of this and other AAAP talks can be found on the AAAP YouTube page at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiJvXfK9DGCmGwiKK_Q6ieg

Some 75 attendees were noted during the talk.

Following a break, the meeting was reconvened at 2105.

The National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reported that for the first time ever they extracted more energy from a fusion reaction than was used to create it. The NIF is the world’s largest and most energetic laser system and the size of a sports stadium. They have been making more advances with laser heating and containment than have the folks at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in their tokamak. It’s been a few years since our AAAP after-hours tour and it was suggested that we see about inviting one of their staff as a speaker to bring us up to date.

There were appreciative comments about the Zoomed astrovideo sessions and a request to make them regular. That is difficult to arrange because of frequently bad weather and limited availability of those who are willing and able to contribute scopes. The discussion morphed into a request for an astro-imagers sub-group among AAAP members. The idea is for a collaborative education group of those actively engaged in taking astro photos or processing photos downloaded from the web. Member Dr. Michael DiMario stepped forward and offered to serve as Lead Facilitator. The Secretary offered to try to set up a separate group on the AAAP mail server, much like that for keyholders, and in addition it was proposed that Discord be used.

The trajectory of comet C/2022 E3 was reviewed and its closest passage to Earth on February 1 was noted, making January the best time to image it. Rex shared a video of the comet that he created by combining multiple FITS files into an .AVI using Maxim DL. He encouraged us to observe and image it.

Observatory Co-Chair Dave Skitt gave an update on the latest changes at Simpson Observatory:

 – An inexpensive hand truck was acquired and outfitted to move the donated 12” Dob out for use.

 – Larger monitors have been acquired and installed. All now connect via HMDI.

 – The noisy Hastings mount has been lubed but not exercised fully due to weather.

 – The water supply valve at the Nature Center has been holding so the line shows zero pressure.

Some park leadership personnel have left or retired, acting/temporary superintendent Lee German has been appointed, and money has been released for a new visitor center. It is a good time to make appeals for tree trimming and desperately needed decent gates and gravel on our evening entry route.

A Board Meeting will be held via Zoom on January 24. All members are welcome to attend.

The meeting was adjourned at 2230.

Our membership currently numbers 191. 59 joined in 2022, and 3 have already joined in 2023. We have had 125 renew in CY 2022 while 60 allowed their membership to expire, giving us a 68% retention rate.

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Minutes of the Board of Trustees Meeting, January 24, 2023,

by Gene Allen, Secretary

The meeting was convened on Zoom by Director Rex Parker at 1930 with the agenda for the evening. Officers also in attendance were Program Chair Victor Davis, Outreach Chair Bill Murray, Observatory Co-Chairs Dave & Jen Skitt, and Secretary Gene Allen. The 11 others attending included Sidereal Times Editor Surabhi Agarwal and members John Miller, Ira Polans, Michael DiMario, Debbie Mayes, and Len Cacciatore.

Speaker for February

The status of the audio/video upgrade to Peyton Hall is unknown but Program Chair Victor Davis has so far been unable to replace Dr. Jenny Greene who forgot or changed her mind about addressing us. There was apparently no hard copy evidence of her commitment to counter her present denial, but in any case, she will not be doing it. Member Ira Polans is unwilling to move up his program due to the unknown status of the a/v equipment. Member John Miller is a frequent visitor to Peyton Hall and he offered to try to encourage another faculty member to address us on short notice. The new Astro-Imagers Group is just forming and unable to present a program. Editor Surabhi Agarwal suggested putting together a program about fighting light pollution.

New Astro-Imagers Special Interest Group

Member Michael DiMario, who has agreed to lead the group, shared his concept of collaborative education/learning.

The group will meet on the 4th Tuesday of the month.

First meeting will be February 28.

Meetings will be planned to be 1-1.5 hours in length.

The name is to be Astro-Imagers to abbreviate to A-I rather than AI, to include EAA as well as astrophotography, and to focus on the participants rather than the subject matter.

Michael strongly prefers to use Groups.io rather than Discord for several reasons and will try it out.

No one offered to set up Groups.io, but Editor Surabhi Agarwal offered to research and compare them.

Director Rex Parker appointed Michael as Astro-Imagers Chair to provide him some authority in the role.

A Special Interest Group to Reduce Light Pollution was proposed by Editor Surabhi Agarwal but no action was taken.

At present there is no one tasked with member engagement. Member John Miller recalled how having a goodie table in the lobby outside the auditorium in Peyton Hall provided an opportunity to engage in conversation that has been missing for a decade. He suggested that someone organize one once again, tasking members to help by bringing snacks and sodas. Peyton could again provide a table that would be draped with our logo cloth. Secretary Gene Allen pointed out that Member Debbie Mayes has been regularly greeting visitors at the observatory and providing our Facebook presence, so she is already doing much of the job of a Promotion Chair. Director Rex Parker liked the idea and is considering appointing her to that role.

Observatory Maintenance & Equipment

Observatory Co-Chair Dave Skitt reported on continuing and new projects:

The water line that froze and ruptured in the bathroom last year due to a leaking supply valve in the Nature Center has been repaired and is holding.

No one has yet offered to coordinate professional installation of carpet.

He will purchase a small folding table for Promotion Chair Debbie Mayes to use on Public Nights instead of bringing one each time.

He still has dibs on two park benches at a building planned to be demolished.

Along with Member Tom Swords he is trying out offering wide and narrow fields of view using a 533 or 585 camera.

He will work back channels to try to get the park maintenance staff to re-gravel our entry road and take down some dead trees that impede our sky view, rather than approach the temporary, disinterested Superintendent.

We were reminded that our lease runs out in a couple of years, and the future is uncertain.

No one has heard anything about Communiversity 2023. Our participation is usually coordinated by Assistant Director Larry Kane, but his health issues have been especially challenging lately.

There is still some interest in a members gathering at Baldpate Mountain, but no action has been taken on it. It would be primarily a social event but could include some star gazing.

There is a wide consensus that we need to keep doing hybrid meetings from Peyton Hall.

The meeting was adjourned at 2110.

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New Member Daniel Mints

Hi everyone!

My name is Dan Mints and I started getting serious into amateur astronomy and astrophotography since February 2022. Almost a year later, I find it to be such a rewarding hobby. I started off with a Celestron Nexstar 8se and as I got further into astrophotography I upgraded to an AVX mount.

In December, my wife and I welcomed a new child to our family, Andrew. As he gets older, I hope that I can introduce him to the hobby as well! I recently purchased an ASIAIR and guidescope, which has allowed me to both automate the astrophotography process and improve the quality of my photos immensely. Not only that, it lets me stay inside and spend time with my new son instead of poking around on a laptop outside in the cold! My next area of interest is wide-field astrophotography, so I am looking to get a Samyang 135mm F/2 setup and take pictures of targets I could only image a small portion of with my C8. 

Here are a few of my favorite shots done with the C8 over the past year:

Thor’s Helmet
M33
Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF
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From the Lens of Lisa

by Lisa Ann Fanning

Hello again! Once again the clouds were the main attraction, with just a few windows of clear skies.

Photobombed! 1/3/23
My bff, an airplane enthusiast, helped me surmise  this is Jet Blue flight (6396) Embraer 190 from Raleigh to JFK.

Exploring the moon

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) … iPhone 13 – 10 second exposure through Swarovski Optik Scope.  Better views desired! Jan 27, 2023

An incredible sunrise from the Cape May, NJ – Lewes, DE Ferry Jan 15, 2023

Here’s to clear skies and a brightening comet!

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Items for Sale

Michael DiMario has items for sale.

For Sale As Is; Rarely Used. SBIG-2000XM Imaging Camera: 2 Megapixel, 1600-1200 pixels, SBIG CFW-8A Color Filter Wheel. $20

SBIG ST-4 Imaging Camera Auto Tracker.  $10

Please send inquiries to Michael at k2mjd@outlook.com

Posted in February 2023, Sidereal Times | Leave a comment

Snippets

compiled by Arlene & David Kaplan

-BBC

Mysterious ‘whirlpool’ appears in the night sky above Hawaii An observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii captured footage of a flying spiral making its way through the night sky in the early morning hours of 18 January. Scientist believe the phenomenon is connected to the launch of a SpaceX satellite…more

-BBC
-NYT

Earth’s Inner Core: A Shifting, Spinning Mystery’s Latest Twist Imagine Earth’s inner core — the dense center of our planet — as a heavy, metal ballerina. This iron-rich dancer is capable of pirouetting at ever-changing speeds. That core may be on the cusp of a big shift…more

-NYT

A New View of the Most Explosive Moon in the Solar System Io, the third largest of Jupiter’s moons, is caught in a pressurized, explosive dance. Orbiting near Ganymede and Europa, two of the other largest Jovian moons, and the planet itself, Io’s mineral composition is constantly pulled and pushed by gravity, creating frictional heat deep inside the moon. …more

-NYT

Where is Physics Headed (and How Soon Do We Get There)? The future belongs to those who prepare for it, as scientists who petition federal agencies like NASA and the Department of Energy for research funds know all too well. The price of big-ticket instruments like a space telescope or particle accelerator can be as high as $10 billion…more

-BBC

Yorkshire Dales: Dark sky sites set for added protection measures Strict new light pollution rules have been proposed to help protect some of the darkest skies in England. Harrogate Borough Council wants to bring in fresh controls for all new outside lights in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)…more

-NYT

Are We Living in a Computer Simulation, and Can We Hack It? If you could change the laws of nature, what would you change? Maybe it’s that pesky speed-of-light limit on cosmic travel — not to mention war, pestilence and the eventual asteroid that has Earth’s name on it. Maybe you would like the ability to go back in time —…more

-BBC

Winchcombe meteorite: Is this the UK’s most important fireball? A PhD student looking into what scientists regard as the most important space rock ever to be recovered in the UK has said: “It’s pretty exciting”. Niamh Topping, 23, is in her first year at the University of Leicester, studying water and rock reactions in the early solar system…more

-NYT

Europe’s mission to Jupiter’s icy moons ready for launch Europe is about to undertake one of its grandest ever space missions, to explore the icy moons of Jupiter. The Juice satellite is going through final testing in Toulouse, France, after which it will be shipped to the launch site in South America…more

-BBC

JCan humanity’s new giant leap into space succeed?ames Hugely technically challenging and costly goals have been touted, not least the aim of people living and working on other worlds, possibly within ten years – but in a divided world where international good will is scarce, are they realistic?Nasa’s return to the Moon has begun with its Artemis programme…more

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