New features (for the week of SEP 18, ) at Certified Professional Astrologer Richard Nolle's Astropro website. See amazing photos from the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's iconic observatory in space. They had started dating when she was 19 and he was She (we've got the same divorce rate as the rest of the country in the family Date: Nov 04
This astronomy calendar of celestial events contains dates for notable celestial events including moon phases , meteor showers , eclipses , oppositions , conjunctions , and other interesting events. Most of the astronomical events on this calendar can be seen with unaided eye, although some may require a good pair of binoculars for best viewing.
Many of these events and dates used here were obtained from the U. Naval Observatory , The Old Farmer's Almanac. Events on the calendar are organized by date and each is identified with an astronomy icon as outlined below. All dates and times are given in Coordinated Universal Time UTC must be converted to your local time.
You can use the UTC clock below to figure out how many hours to add or subtract for your local time. January 3, 4 - Quadrantids Meteor Shower. The Quadrantids is an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. It is thought to be produced by dust grains left behind by an extinct comet known as EH1, which was discovered in The shower runs annually from January It peaks this year on the night of the 3rd and morning of the 4th.
The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight leaving fairly dark skies for what could be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky. January 12 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.
This phase occurs at This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Wolf Moon because this was the time of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps. This moon has also been know as the Old Moon and the Moon After Yule. January 12 - Venus at Greatest Eastern Elongation.
The planet Venus reaches greatest eastern elongation of This is the best time to view Venus since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the bright planet in the western sky after sunset. January 19 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
January 28 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
February 11 - Full Moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year. Since hunting is difficult, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult.
February 11 - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse the Moon will darken slightly but not completely. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of eastern South America, eastern Canada, the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Africa, and western Asia. NASA Map and Eclipse Information. February 26 - New Moon. February 26 - Annular Solar Eclipse. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is too far away from the Earth to completely cover the Sun.
This results in a ring of light around the darkened Moon. The Sun's corona is not visible during an annular eclipse. The path of the eclipse will begin off the coast of Chile and pass through southern Chile and southern Argentina, across the southern Atlantic Ocean, and into Angola and Congo in Africa. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout parts of southern South America and southwestern Africa.
NASA Map and Eclipse Information NASA Interactive Google Map. March 12 - Full Moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Worm Moon because this was the time of year when the ground would begin to soften and the earthworms would reappear. This moon has also been known as the Full Crow Moon, the Full Crust Moon, the Full Sap Moon, and the Lenten Moon. March 20 - March Equinox. The March equinox occurs at The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world.
This is also the first day of spring vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of fall autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. March 28 - New Moon. April 1 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 19 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
April 7 - Jupiter at Opposition. The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long.
This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons. A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter's cloud bands.
A good pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter's four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet. April 11 - Full Moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the first spring flowers. This moon has also been known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Growing Moon, and the Egg Moon. Many coastal tribes called it the Full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
April 21, 22 - Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. The shower runs annually from April It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 21st and and morning of the 22nd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The crescent moon should not be too much of a problem this year. Skies should still be dark enough for a good show. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
April 26 - New Moon. April 29 - International Astronomy Day. Astronomy Day is an annual event intended to provide a means of interaction between the general public and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals.
The theme of Astronomy Day is "Bringing Astronomy to the People," and on this day astronomy and stargazing clubs and other organizations around the world will plan special events. You can find out about special local events by contacting your local astronomy club or planetarium. You can also find more about Astronomy Day by checking the Web site for the Astronomical League. May 6, 7 - Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak.
Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley, which has known and observed since ancient times. The shower runs annually from April 19 to May It peaks this year on the night of May 6 and the morning of the May 7.
The waxing gibbous moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year. But if you are patient, you should be able to catch quite a few of the brighter ones.
Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky. May 10 - Full Moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance. This moon has also been known as the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon. May 17 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. May 25 - New Moon. June 3 - Venus at Greatest Western Elongation.
Marine chronometerSo I self consciously tested night cap and kept feeling to make sure my wallet was still in my coat. I get a lot of good comments on it as well. I have to say that Nightcap comes very close. Any etheric devices discovered may be removed before or after this drain as appropriate. You can be or more miles away from a line, and still be within its range, in other words. Like all Dunhill tobacco's lovely in the tin and comes pretty much ready to smoke. This edgy marbled invitation with a touch of gold foiling is a unique and beautiful way to invite guests!
The responses of microorganisms viruses, bacterial cells, bacterial and fungal spores, and lichens to selected factors of space microgravity, galactic cosmic radiation, solar UV radiation, and space vacuum were determined in space and laboratory simulation experiments.
In general, microorganisms tend to thrive in the space flight environment in terms of enhanced growth parameters and a demonstrated ability to proliferate in the presence of normally inhibitory levels of antibiotics. The mechanisms responsible for the observed biological responses, however, are not yet fully understood.
A hypothesized interaction of microgravity with radiation-induced DNA repair processes was experimentally refuted. The survival of microorganisms in outer space was investigated to tackle questions on the upper boundary of the biosphere and on the likelihood of interplanetary transport of microorganisms.
It was found that extraterrestrial solar UV radiation was the most deleterious factor of space. Among all organisms tested, only lichens Rhizocarpon geographicum and Xanthoria elegans maintained full viability after 2 weeks in outer space, whereas all other test systems were inactivated by orders of magnitude.
Using optical filters and spores of Bacillus subtilis as a biological UV dosimeter, it was found that the current ozone layer reduces the biological effectiveness of solar UV by 3 orders of magnitude. If shielded against solar UV, spores of B. The data support the likelihood of interplanetary transfer of microorganisms within meteorites, the so-called lithopanspermia hypothesis. The vast, cold, and radiation-filled conditions of outer space present an environmental challenge for any form of life.
Earth's biosphere has evolved for more than 3 billion years, shielded by the protective blanket of the atmosphere protecting terrestrial life from the hostile environment of outer space. Within the last 50 years, space technology has provided tools for transporting terrestrial life beyond this protective shield in order to study in situ responses to selected conditions of space reviewed in reference and, recently, references 26 , 38 , and From a biological perspective applicable to organisms ranging from humans to microbes, the two most influential physical modifications experienced onboard an orbiting spacecraft are the state of near weightlessness created by the vehicle's free-fall trajectory and the increased radiation exposure incurred as a consequence of being outside Earth's protective atmosphere.
Other environmental factors, such as space vacuum, thermal extremes, solar UV radiation, and the presence of high-velocity micrometeoroids and orbital debris, are mitigated by spacecraft design in order to provide internal conditions conducive to sustaining life. Alternatively, space technology provides the opportunity to expose microorganisms intentionally to the harsh external environment or selected parameters of it. This review covers the primary aspects of space microbiology that have been studied to date.
Emphasis is placed on recent findings that have not yet been dealt with in a critical review, especially those that are of relevance to future space exploration programs. The fields covered include i the use of the space environment for understanding basic biological mechanisms, such as the role of gravity at the cellular, subcellular, and extracellular levels, biological effects of the radiation field in space, survival factors in the upper boundary of Earth's biosphere, and the likelihood of interplanetary transport of microorganisms via meteorites; and ii application-oriented aspects, such as the use of microorganisms in bioregenerative life support systems, the monitoring, characterization, and control of spacecraft microflora, and associated microbial crew health concerns.
While all of these factors have scientific importance, the latter, applied topics will be of paramount importance in future space exploration activities and will pose high demands on the microbiological research community. By providing a comprehensive review of these somewhat disparate research disciplines, we hope to convey the complexity of characterizing and analyzing microbial responses to various space environment stressors and also to recognize that the potential for synergistic effects must be considered as well.
Experiments in space have also been complemented by studies using terrestrial laboratory facilities designed to simulate selected parameters of outer space, such as microgravity via clinorotation, space vacuum and thermal extremes in hypobaric chambers, and certain qualities of radiation in space, studied by use of heavy ion accelerators to simulate cosmic rays or polychromatic UV sources to simulate solar extraterrestrial UV radiation.
In order to first familiarize the reader with the experimental conditions of relevance to space microbiology, this review starts with a short introduction describing the primary parameters encountered in the outer space environment that govern microbial growth and behavior or affect survival. A categorical review of the literature pertaining to microgravity, radiation, and atmospheric effects on microorganisms follows, including an overview of the novel types of facilities and payloads used to conduct the studies.
The majority of experiments on microorganisms in space were performed using Earth-orbiting robotic spacecraft, e. Only twice, during translunar trips of Apollo 16 and 17 in the early s, were microorganisms exposed to space conditions beyond Earth's magnetic shield, in the MEED microbial ecology equipment device facility and in the Biostack experiments reviewed in reference We first discuss the Earth's environment, from its surface, through the ozone layer, and up to interplanetary space.
To understand airborne microbes and the extent to which they may be found viable, we must know the atmospheric environment. The atmosphere is a blanket of gases surrounding Earth that is held in by gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth's surface by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation Fig. There is no definite boundary between the atmosphere and outer space. With increasing altitude, the atmosphere becomes thinner and eventually fades away into outer space. Three quarters of the atmosphere's mass is within 11 km of the surface.
The five layers of the atmosphere are depicted in Fig. Each layer possesses different characteristics. The temperature of the Earth's atmosphere varies with altitude; the mathematical relationship between temperature and altitude varies among the different atmospheric layers. The troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere; it begins at the surface and extends to between 7 km at the poles and 17 km at the equator. Fifty percent of the total mass of the atmosphere is located in the lower 5.
Solar heating of the Earth's surface causes warm air masses to form, which cool as they rise and then fall to the surface to be warmed again. This leads to vertical mixing of not only the gases in the atmosphere but also any particles carried by those air masses, including microbes. The tropopause is the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere.
The stratosphere extends from the top of the troposphere to an altitude of approximately 50 km. Unlike the case in the troposphere, temperature increases with altitude in the stratosphere. The vast majority of the ozone layer is located in the stratosphere Fig. The stratopause, at an altitude of 50 to 55 km and a pressure of 0.
Temperature reaches a maximum in the stratopause. The mesosphere, at an altitude of 50 to 90 km, is directly above the stratosphere and directly below the thermosphere. At this altitude, temperature decreases with increasing altitude due to decreasing solar heating and increasing cooling by CO 2 radiative emission. It is between the maximum altitude for aircraft and the minimum altitude for orbital spacecraft, and as a result, it is accessed by sounding rockets.
The mesosphere is the highest altitude from which viable microbes have been isolated The mesopause, at an altitude of 80 to 90 km, separates the mesosphere from the thermosphere. It is here that the temperature minimum occurs. The thermosphere begins at an altitude of approximately 90 km and extends to to 1, km. Thermospheric temperatures increase with altitude due to absorption of highly energetic solar radiation by the small amount of oxygen present.
Although the temperature is high, it would seem cold to microbes due to the scarcity of molecules of gas to transfer heat. The ISS has a stable orbit within the thermosphere, between and kilometers. It is within the thermosphere that UV and cosmic radiation causes some elements to ionize and create the ionosphere.
The exosphere is the uppermost layer of the atmosphere before the gasses dissipate into outer space In the exosphere, an upward-travelling molecule will fall back to Earth due to gravity unless it is travelling at escape velocity The gases within the exosphere are primarily hydrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, and atomic oxygen. Atmospheric density decreases with height Fig. This pressure drop is approximately exponential, so that pressure decreases by approximately half every 5.
To demonstrate how the atmosphere affects incoming solar radiation, Fig. The UV absorption properties of O 3 and O 2 are central to the protective nature of the ozone layer.
In low Earth orbit LEO , which reaches up to an altitude of km, the radiation field is composed primarily of three types of radiation: GCR originates outside the solar system in cataclysmic astronomical events, such as supernova explosions.
Along their trajectory, HZE particles interact with the atoms of the target, thereby causing a track of destruction that is a function of the energy deposition along their path. If the particle flux is weighted according to the energy deposition, Fe ions become the most important component of GCR, although their relative abundance is comparatively small 0.
To catch such rare events, methods have been developed to precisely localize the trajectory of an HZE particle relative to the biological system and to correlate the physical data of the particle to the observed biological effects along its path reviewed in references 94 , 98 , , , and The fluence of GCR is isotropic, and energies of up to 10 20 eV can be present.
When GCR enters our solar system, it must overcome the magnetic fields carried along with the outward-flowing solar wind, whose intensity varies with the approximately year cycle of solar activity. With increasing solar activity, the interplanetary magnetic field increases, resulting in a decrease of the intensity of GCR of low energies.
Hence, the GCR fluxes vary with the solar cycle and differ by a factor of approximately 5 between the solar minimum and solar maximum, with a peak level during minimum solar activity and the lowest level during maximal solar activity.
SCR consists of the low-energy solar wind particles that flow constantly from the sun and the so-called solar particle events SPEs that originate from magnetically disturbed regions of the sun and sporadically emit bursts of charged particles with high energies up to several GeV. SPEs develop rapidly and generally last no more than a few hours. However, for missions in LEO, the Earth's magnetic field provides a latitude-dependent shielding against SPE particles, so they are experienced only in high-inclination orbits.
These van Allen belts consist of two radiation belts that are comprised of electrons and protons as well as some heavier particles trapped in closed orbits by the Earth's magnetic field.
The main production process for the inner belt particles is the decay of neutrons produced in cosmic particle interactions with the atmosphere. The outer belt consists mainly of trapped solar particles.
In each zone, the charged particles spiral around the geomagnetic field lines and are reflected back between the magnetic poles that act as mirrors.
Electrons reach energies of up to 7 MeV, and protons reach energies of up to about MeV. The inner fringes of the inner radiation belt come down to the altitude of LEO, which results in a 1, times higher proton flux than in other parts of the orbit. This complex radiation field experienced in outer space cannot be simulated by any ground-based facility. Solar UV radiation can be divided into three spectral ranges: UVC to nm , contributing 0. On its way through the atmosphere, solar radiation is modified by scattering and absorption processes.
Numerous lines of isotopic and geologic evidence suggest that the Archean atmosphere was essentially anoxic. As a result, the amount of ozone in the stratosphere, if any, would have been insufficient to affect the surface UV radiation environment. It took more than 2 billion years, until about 2. This UV screen allowed life to spread more easily over the continents and to colonize the surface of the Earth Today, the stratospheric ozone layer effectively absorbs UV radiation at wavelengths shorter than nm.
In order to determine the biological effectiveness of environmental UV radiation, E eff , spectral data are multiplied with an action spectrum of a relevant photobiological reaction. For example, for DNA damage , the effectiveness of environmental UV radiation follows the equation.
The major constituents of this environment are molecular oxygen and nitrogen as well as highly reactive oxygen and nitrogen atoms. In the vicinity of a spacecraft, the pressure increases and varies depending upon the degree of outgassing from the spacecraft.
If the pressure reaches values below the vapor pressure of a certain material, then the material's surface atoms or molecules vaporize.
Vacuum desiccation is the main process affecting biological samples exposed to space vacuum. The temperature of a body in space, determined by the absorption and emission of energy, depends on its position with respect to the sun and other orbiting bodies as well as on its surface, size, mass, and albedo.
Periodically, an Earth-orbiting object is shaded from the sun as it passes on the Earth's night side.