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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Journey to Mars till 2010

I have got this awesome Infographic from SPACE.com and thought of sharing with all..

Find out about the many attempts to land robots on Mars in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Transit of Venus on June 6th 2012 -- My Clicks

Friends here are few clicks which I have taken during Transit of Venus. I hope you will like these..

Friday, May 11, 2012

Transit of Venus on June 06, 2012

Year 2012 is very special for us because of various reasons including Transit of Venus on Jun 06, 2012. Yes, Transit of Venus is going to be one of the very unique event of our entire Life.

What is Transit of Venus..?

When Venus passes between Earth and Sun, the event is known as Transit of Venus. Transit of Venus occurs in a particular manner where a pair of transits occur in duration of 8 years and this pattern repeats in every 243 years. The First of this pair occured June 08, 2004 and after 8 years, now it is time for second transit of that pair, which is going to happen on June 06, 2012...

Visible timing in India:

03:39:21 -- Ingress exterior (Transit of Venus begins)
03:57:09 -- Ingress interior (Start of Umbra)
05:22:13 -- Transit of Venus visible at sunrise
07:10:23 -- Maximum Transit (center of Transit)
10:05:06 -- Egress interior (End of Umbra)
10:22:25 -- Egress exterior (Transit of Venus ends)

Start point of Transit is calculated when the planet's disk is externally tangent with the Sun. Then Venus will traverse across the Sun's disk as a black spot and it will take around 5-6 hours for this. Then Venus will reach to the opposite solar limb. The time when the planet's disk will again become tangent with the Sun will be calculated as End point of Transit.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Earth-Sized Alien Worlds

Learn about the latest Kepler space telescope discovery of alien Earths, Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, in this SPACE.com infographic.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse December 10, 2011

The second of two Lunar Eclipse (Chandra Grahan) of year 2011, will be on December 10, 2011. The first was occurred on June 15, 2011. The Eclipse will occur in Aries constellation (Mesha Rashi) and close to star 41 Arietis (Bharani Nakshatra). Total Lunar Eclipse - the moon is fully covered - is from 7:36:16 PM IST to 8:37:24 PM IST.


It will be visible in India, , Nepal, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia and United States.

Duration (hh:mm:ss) :

Totality -- 00:51:08

Partial -- 3:32:15

Penumbra -- 5:56:21

Stages and timings:

P1 = 17:03:36 IST / 11:33:36 UTC

U1 = 18:15:43 IST / 12:45:43 UTC

U2 = 19:36:16 IST / 14:06:16 UTC

Max = 20:01:49 IST / 14:31:49 UTC

U3 = 20:27:24 IST / 14:57:24 UTC

U4 = 21:47:58 IST / 16:17:58 UTC

P2 = 22:59:57 IST / 17:29:57 UTC

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kepler 16b -- World Orbiting Two Stars

One more fascinating discovery by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. “A planet named as Kepler 16b, orbiting a binary start system around 200 light-years away for us”… This is very interesting as the same kind of stuff was shown in Star Wars 30 years back, where a planet named Tatooine shown to orbit a double start system. Though there is very less or almost no possibility of life on Kepler 16b because it is very cold and gaseous, which was not the case with Tatooine as shown in Star Wars.

I would say it is not important factor that Kepler does not resembles Tatooine in structure, but the important fact is.. we have found a brand new class of planetary system. The system where planets can orbit a binary star system in which the stars itself orbit each other. This is a new world where two Suns set over horizon everyday… and give a very unique 3 bodies eclipse opportunity..!!

References:http://www.nasa.gov(Details from NASA website)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

GRAIL -- The Twin Spacecrafts

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL is a lunar mission by NASA and scheduled to be launched on September 8, 2011 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 17B. Though there are launch opportunities till Oct 19, 2011.

The main objectives of GRAIL is to determine the structure of the lunar interior deep till core, and to advance understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon. GRAIL will fly twin spacecraft in near polar orbits of Moon, where one spacecraft will follow the other to measure its gravity field in extraordinary detail.
They will fly over the areas of greater and lesser gravity over the lunar surface for measuring Gravity range. They will move slightly toward and away from each other so that the instrument aboard each spacecraft will measure the changes in their relative velocity very precisely. This data will be translated into a high resolution map the Moon's gravitational field.
References:http://www.nasa.gov(Details from NASA website)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lunar Eclipse June 15,2011

During June 15th late night to June 16th early morning we will witness one of the largest and darkest Lunar Eclipse of this century. The total phase of this lunar eclipse will last 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000 and next such eclipse will take place in 2041.

The full eclipse will be visible from south west Africa, Madagascar, the Middle East, central Asia, India, Sri Lanka, eastern China, Bangladesh, western Myanmar, western Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, western Indonesia, Antarctica, and western edge of Western Australia. Details of eclipse are as follows:

Date Stage Phase Time(IST)
June 15 P1 Moon enters penumbra 22:53:05
June 15 U1 Moon enters umbra 23:52:37
June 16 U2 Start of totality 00:52:11
June 16 U Maximum eclipse 01:42:24
June 16 U3 End of totality 02:33:02
June 16 U4 Moon leaves umbra 03:32:35
June 16 P4 Moon leaves penumbra 04:32:15

  • Penumbral Magnitude: 2.7117
  • Umbral Magnitude     : 1.7050

    The various region and timings can be seen in below picture. (IST= UT+5:30)

    Source: http://asd-www.larc.nasa.gov/Instrument/Assets/eclipses/LE2011Jun15T.gif

  • Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Goodbye to Mars Rover SPIRIT -- By John Callas

    A Letter from Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas

    Dear Team,

    Last night, just after midnight, the last recovery command was sent to Spirit. It would be an understatement to say that this was a significant moment. Since the last communication from Spirit on March 22, 2010 (Sol 2210), as she entered her fourth Martian winter, nothing has been heard from her. There is a continued silence from the Gusev site on Mars.

    We must remember that we are at this point because we did what we said we would do, to wear the rovers out exploring. For Spirit, we have done that, and then some.

    Spirit was designed as a 3-month mission with a kilometer of traverse capability. The rover lasted over 6 years and drove over 7.7 kilometers [4.8 miles] and returned over 124,000 images. Importantly, it is not how long the rover lasted, but how much exploration and discovery Spirit has done.

    This is a rover that faced continuous challenges and had to fight for every discovery. Nothing came easy for Spirit. When she landed, she had the Sol 18 flash memory anomaly that threatened her survival. Scientifically, Mars threw a curveball. What was to be a site for lakebed sediments at Gusev, turned out to be a plain of volcanic material as far as the rover eye could see. So Spirit dashed across the plains in an attempt to reach the distant Columbia Hills, believed to be more ancient than the plains.

    Exceeding her prime mission duration and odometry, Spirit scrambled up the Columbia Hills, performing Martian mountaineering, something she was never designed to do. There Spirit found her first evidence of water-altered rocks, and later, carbonates.

    The environment for Spirit was always harsher than for Opportunity. The winters are deeper and darker. And Gusev is much dustier than Meridiani. Spirit had an ever-increasing accumulation of dust on her arrays. Each winter became harder than the last.

    It was after her second Earth year on Mars when Spirit descended down the other side of the Columbia Hills that she experienced the first major failure of the mission, her right-front wheel failed. Spirit had to re-learn to drive with just five wheels, driving mostly backwards dragging her failed wheel. It is out of this failure that Spirit made one of the most significant discoveries of the mission. Out of lemons, Spirit made lemonade.

    Each winter was hard for Spirit. But with ever-accumulating dust and the failed wheel that limited the maximum achievable slope, Spirit had no options for surviving the looming fourth winter. So we made a hard push toward some high-value science to the south. But the first path there, up onto Home Plate, was not passable. So we went for Plan B, around to the northeast of Home Plate. That too was not passable and the clock was ticking. We were left with our last choice, the longest and most risky, to head around Home Plate to the west.

    It was along this path that Spirit, with her degraded 5-wheel driving, broke through an unseen hazard and became embedded in unconsolidated fine material that trapped the rover. Even this unfortunate event turned into another exciting scientific discovery. We conducted a very ambitious extrication effort, but the extrication on Mars ran out of time with the fourth winter and was further complicated by another wheel failure.

    With no favorable tilt and more dust on the arrays, Spirit likely ran out of energy and succumbed to the cold temperatures during the fourth winter. There was a plausible expectation that the rover might survive the cold and wake up in the spring, but a lack of response from the rover after more than 1,200 recovery commands were sent to rouse her indicates that Spirit will sleep forever.

    But let’s remember the adventure we have had. Spirit has climbed mountains, survived rover-killing dust storms, rode out three cold, dark winters and made some of the most spectacular discoveries on Mars. She has told us that Mars was once like Earth. There was water and hot springs, the conditions that could have supported life. She has given us a foundation to further explore the Red Planet and to understand ourselves and our place in the universe.

    But in addition to all the scientific discoveries Spirit has given us in her long, productive rover life, she has also given us a great intangible. Mars is no longer a strange, distant and unknown place. Mars is now our neighborhood. And we all go to work on Mars every day. Thank you, Spirit. Well done, little rover.

    And to all of you, well done, too.

    Sincerely, John

    Taken from: http://blogs.jpl.nasa.gov/2011/05/a-heartfelt-goodbye-to-a-spirited-mars-rover/

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Glimpse of Internation Space Station above NOIDA with BONUS of Meteor Shower this May

    Below are the sighting opportunities of International Space Station in next few days… Keep tracking…!!

    Satellite Local(Date/Time) Duration(Min) MAX Elev(Deg) Approach (Deg-Dir) Departure (Deg-Dir)


    Wed May 04/08:24 PM



    10 above N 13 above NNE


    Thu May 05/08:47 PM



    14 above NNW 27 above NNW


    Fri May 06/07:37 PM



    10 above N 10 above ENE


    Fri May 06/09:12 PM



    14 above WNW 14 above WNW


    Sat May 07/08:01 PM



    17 above NNW 31 above ESE


    Sun May 08/08:26 PM



    19 above W 23 above SSW


    Tue May 10/07:39 PM



    21 above W 11 above S

    BONUS-- Meteor Shower This May will bring a lot for people who love Astronomy. During the very first week(Each Spring) Earth passes through the debris trail of Halley's Comet. When the these debris hit Earth's atmosphere these cosmic bits burn up in our atmosphere and result in the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower.

    We can see annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower every year. In 2011 the peak will occur on the night of May 5 and into the morning of May 6 (Best timing 2:30am to 5:00 am May 6th). Even you can see this shower on 5th morning and 7th morning as well at same time(2:30 am to 5:00 am) but less frequency.

    Direction: -- Aquarius Constellation –( look in East of South East direction during the above mentioned hours between elevation 20 degree to 90 degrees)

    **@ rates of about 40-60 meteors per hour under ideal conditions. Ideal viewing conditions are a dark, clear sky away from city lights, especially just before dawn.

    Don’t miss --- one of the few rare and awesome Natural Phenomena........!!!!

    References:http://www.nasa.gov(Details from NASA website)

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Robonaut 2 & STS-133

    STS -133 mission is going to be one of the milestone in human history because of various reasons out of which two are very important from my point of view.

    1. It will be the 39th and final flight of space shuttle Discovery.

    2. Robonaut 2 or R2.

    R2 will be the first humanoid robot in space. Engineers will test and monitor how dexterous robots behave in space and how such devices can help astronauts in the future. In future it will work on the International Space Station and venture outside the station to help spacewalkers. R2 is jointly developed at the Johnson Space Center in Houston by General Motors and NASA.

    According to NASA, It can lift 20 pounds with each arm, which is about four times that of other humanoid robots. This is really good stuff…

    Anyways.. I am glad with this step.. but at the same time I am a little worried… lots of bad thoughts coming into my mind…

    Is this really good to send a Robot in space….? Can I say… we are are going to plant first seed of fictional Human war with intellegent robots…. ? Amagingly R2's face is similer to Boba Fett who was the main villain in Star Wars. Whatever it is, I wish I am wrong… but at the same time I can’t ignore a single possibility out of all impossibilities…!!

    References:http://www.nasa.gov(Details and Image taken from NASA website)

    Friday, February 4, 2011


    NanoSail-D finally deployed.. don’t laugh, I know this is a two week old news.. Frankly speaking… I am not getting time to write posts.. too busy with my day to day work.

    Anyways, it’s a big achievement because NanoSail-D is the first one of its type ever deployed successfully in space by human. Few years ago, the Planetary Society attempted a mission called Cosmos 1, which was very similar to NanoSail-D but the Cosmos 1 was destroyed because of failure of launch vehicle which prevented it from reaching its intended orbit. Deployment of NanoSail-D nanosatellite was confirmed by engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. EST. It is operating as planned with its 100-square-foot polymer sail.

    Solar Sails like NanoSail-D take the advantage of sunlight (not like solar cells..!!), and do not require chemical fuel (wow… either not like other spacecrafts..!!). Isn’t that interesting…? If not like above two methods then how…? Here is the concept..

    I will take a scenario.. just for some fun, but it will solve my motive.

    As per Hindu mythology when HANUMAN (monkey God) was a kid, he assumed Sun as a ripe orange. With the help of his divine powers he became enormous and took the Sun into his mouth (just a myth). But if this was the real scenario.. can you imagine what he could have felt that time…?

    A lots of HEAT, of course, but there was one more thing.. “PRESSURE”. The heat because of Hydrogen fusion and the pressure because of momentum of photons (because photon exhibit wave-particle duality).

    For us it only comes to about a millionth of an unit. But in space, even this pressure can be of ultimate use because it is there every time regardless of hours, days or years. The good news is its unlimited and absolutely free of cost. Solar Sails can catch the radiation blowing from the Sun and get the momentum transferred to a very slowly but accelerated speed. This speed keeps on increasing with respect to time and can reach to extent where interplanetary transportation is possible in few hours.

    We are doing fantastic but still there is a lot to be discovered and revealed at least the reason “Why we are here…?”

    For more details of NanoSail-D please refer This Link.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Discovery of Kepler -10b -- The first confirmed Rocky Planet

    Again a stunning news in the world of astronomy.. “Discovery of first Rocky Planet” – “Kepler -10b”. It is a Rocky Planet.. wow…!!

    But the only problem is, it is not in habitable zone because its orbital period is 0.84 days, and therefore, it is 20 times closer to its star (Kepler -10), with respect to distance of Mercury from our Sun.

    But no worries… it just a beginning… there is a lot to be discovered. But yes there is no doubt that we have already started a glorious journey of revealing the secrets of this mysterious Universe.

    No doubt, discovery of Kepler-10b is going to be one of the milestone, which will inspire our scientists to let the thought “Keep Discovering……” alive.

    I wish all the very best and give my regards to NASA, ESA, ISRO… and all other space agencies and Institutions and the scientists who are involved in all these discoveries…

    I have trust and I believe that one day we will definitely reveal the answer of the question… “Why we are here….?”.

    References:http://www.nasa.gov(Details and Image taken from NASA website)

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Partial Solar Eclipse Jan-4th, 2011

    Dear readers…Once again.. I am back on blogger after a long break.. First of all I would like to Wish a Happy & Pleasent New Year 2011 to all my friends and blog readers.

    Same like last year(2010) we will be one of the witness of a beautiful natural phenomena , Solar Eclipse. But not like last year’s Jan-15th ,2010 Annular Eclipse, this year we will see Partial Solar Eclipse today on Jan-4th ,2011.

    Geographic Region of Eclipse Visibility will be Europe, Africa, Central Asia. The partial eclipse will be visible near sunrise over most of Europe and northeastern Asia. It will end at sunset over Western Asia. It will be visible as a minor partial eclipse over Northern Africa and the Arabian peninsula. The below diagram(Taken from NASA website) shows the trace of today’s partial solar eclipse.

    Eclipse can also be seen from India as well (northern India --Delhi and regions north to Delhi). Delhi residents might be able to catch a glimpse of the eclipse between 3.12pm and 3.52pm. Though it would be challenging because moon would cover only 2.7% of the Sun's apparent diameter. So all the very best and I hope you all will have a nice view of this Partial Solar Eclipse

    Below is the list of Solar and Lunar Eclipses throughout the year 2011: During 2011, there will be four partial solar eclipses and two total lunar eclipses:

  • 04 JAN 2011   Partial Solar Eclipse
  • 01 JUN 2011   Partial Solar Eclipse
  • 15 JUN 2011   Total Lunar Eclipse
  • 01 JUL 2011   Partial Solar Eclipse
  • 26 NOV 2011   Partial Solar Eclipse
  • 10 DEC 2011   Total Lunar Eclipse

    References: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEdecade/SEdecade2011.html

  • Monday, January 25, 2010

    Six graceful years

    Two excellent rovers landed on Mars in January 2004. Opportunity(MER-B) Mars Exploration Rover - B, is one of them which landed on Mars on 25th January 2004 05:05 Ground UTC (circa 13:15 local time). The first rover Spirit(MER-A) landed on Mars three weeks before MER-B, on other side of Mars on 04:35 Ground UTC on January 4, 2004.

    The original mission was planned for 90 sols(day on mars), but amazingly these excellent rovers have completed 6 glorious earth years. Today is the 6th earth anniversary of MER-B, yes the rover "Opportunity" is completing 6 earth years(2135 sols) on Mars. No doubt its a big achievement..

    On this occasion, I would like to give my Regards and Congratulations to NASA for there tremendous creativity and initiatives.

    References: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html; http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/profile.cfm?MCode=MER_B; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_rover