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First Global Map Outside the Solar System

Kreuzfeld Re:Starcraft (19 comments)

The flat (Mercator-projected) map of Luhman 16B is available here for download. Feel free to import it into whatever program or game you prefer!

about 3 months ago
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First Global Map Outside the Solar System

Kreuzfeld Re:curious orientation (19 comments)

Good question! Atmospheric scientists aren't actually sure yet whether brown dwarfs should have "bands" like we see on Jupiter and other Solar system gas giants (this was discussed at a meeting in Washington, D.C. Jan 2014) -- and our mapping data wasn't quite sensitive enough to definitively answer that question. (We're less sensitive to axisymmetric features than we are to longitudinal variations). The vertical "stretching" of the map's features toward the poles is an unavoidable artifact of our analysis technique. Cloud patterns may be less elongated than they appear!

about 3 months ago
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First Direct Photo of Exoplanet Confirmed

Kreuzfeld Re:Adaptic optics FTW (189 comments)

Hubble has better resolution at visible wavelengths, but remember we're seeing the planet's thermal radiation and not reflected (visible) light -- so the planet is over 10 times fainter in the visible than at at infrared wavelengths (Figure 6 in the paper). Hubble can also see into the infrared, but because it is smaller than the largest ground-based telescopes Hubble does not offer the best resolution in the infrared.

more than 3 years ago
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Econophysicists Develop and Test "Bubble Index"

Kreuzfeld Not impressed (221 comments)

A 50% success rate means all their predictive tools are no better than flipping a coin; the only difference is their method has kept them employed.

more than 3 years ago
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The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 Passes Senate Panel

Kreuzfeld Re:Much More Than What It Appears To Be (367 comments)

From Sen. Feinstein (D-CA): "Currently, S. 773 is awaiting action in the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and is currently undergoing some major revisions." If this information is still current, anyone concerned with this issue should contact the appropriate members of the committee.

about 4 years ago
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Digitizing and Geocoding Old Maps?

Kreuzfeld Use survey markers (235 comments)

What type of maps are these?

Many professional-style maps in the USA -- e.g. quad sheets, parcel/tract maps, etc. -- will have survey markers indicated. Ideally these would be set benchmark disks with longitude/latitude noted. Many maps also mark boundaries of townships, sections, and half- and quarter-sections, locations of which should be available from the local municipal authorities.

These sort of well-defined points are probably your best bet for empirical location, but if your maps are 100 years old the coordinates may not be precise enough for digital overlays. In the end, you may well be forced to manually align your maps with something more modern.

more than 4 years ago
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What Objects To Focus On For School Astronomy?

Kreuzfeld Learner-centered astronomy (377 comments)

Why not let your students choose some/all of the targets, subject to final vetting (or pre-screening) by you? In this way they gain a feeling of ownership over the process and generally become more invested in the subject matter. You could even point them to Stellarium for free home planetarium software to plan their observations.

Whatever you decide to observe, your students will get more out of it if they are actively involved -- i.e., no passive observing. If you have several nights, you could look at Jupiter each night and have them sketch the arrangement of the moons (c.f. Galilei 1610). If you have a solar filter, you could do the same thing with sunspots (if any are visible). Venus, Mars, or Saturn's rings may be attractive targets, depending on what you want to do with the observations.

Finally, there are additional astronomy education resources at the Astronomy Education Review, a free online journal.

more than 4 years ago
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Canadians Plan to Build World's Biggest Telescope

Kreuzfeld Thirty-Meter Telescope (305 comments)

The name of the telescope is the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), as is made clear here on AMEC's page. The main public page for the project is here. In addition to AMEC, the company mentioned in the article, TMT is also a collaboration of the University of California, CalTech, and many others.

more than 8 years ago

Submissions

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First Global Map Outside the Solar System

Kreuzfeld Kreuzfeld writes  |  about 3 months ago

Kreuzfeld (308371) writes "For many years, astronomers have suspected that brown dwarfs — 'failed stars' with masses between those of planets and stars — have cloudy atmospheres. Our recent paper in Nature presents the first global, 2D map of the patchy clouds in the atmosphere of a brown dwarf: our neighbor, the 6.5 light-years-distant Luhman 16B. Eventually, astronomers will use this technique to make weather movies of global cloud patterns on brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets."

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