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An International Conference entitled "Close Binaries in the 21st Century: New Opportunities and Challenges", was held in Syros island, Greece, from 27 to 30 June, 2005.

There are many binary star systems whose components are so close together, that they interact in various ways. Stars in such systems do not pass through all stages of their evolution independently of each other; in fact their evolutionary path is significantly affected by their companions. Processes of interaction include gravitational effects, mutual irradiation, mass exchange, mass loss from the system, phenomena of extended atmospheres, semi-transparent atmospheric clouds, variable thickness disks and gas streams.

The zoo of Close Binary Systems includes: Close Eclipsing Binaries (Detached, Semi-detached, Contact), High and Low-Mass X-ray Binaries, Cataclysmic Variables, RS CVn systems, Pulsar Binaries and Symbiotic Stars. The study of these binaries triggered the development of new branches of astrophysics dealing with the structure and evolution of close binaries and the interaction effects displayed by these exciting objects. Close Binaries are classic examples of the fundamental contribution that stellar astrophysics makes to our general understanding of physical processes in the universe.

Ground-based and space surveys will discover many new close binaries, which were previously unknown. In the future, new approaches will also be possible with highly efficient photometric searches looking for very shallow eclipses, such as those produced by Earth-like extra-solar planets.

Contributions to this conference covered the latest achievements in the field and reflected the state of the art of the dynamically evolving area of binary star research.

This book is one of two volumes meant to capture, to the extent practical, the scienti?c legacy of the Cassini-Huygens prime mission, a landmark in the history of planetary exploration. As the most ambitious and interdisciplinary planetary exploration mission ?own to date, it has extended our knowledge of the Saturn system to levels of detail at least an order of magnitude beyond that gained from all previous missions to Saturn. Nestled in the brilliant light of the new and deep understanding of the Saturn planetary system is the shiny nugget that is the spectacularly successful collaboration of individuals, - ganizations and governments in the achievement of Cassini-Huygens. In some ways the pa- nershipsformedandlessonslearnedmaybethemost enduringlegacyofCassini-Huygens.The broad, international coalition that is Cassini-Huygens is now conducting the Cassini Equinox Mission and planning the Cassini Solstice Mission, and in a major expansion of those fruitful efforts, has extended the collaboration to the study of new ?agship missions to both Jupiter and Saturn. Such ventures have and will continue to enrich us all, and evoke a very optimistic vision of the future of international collaboration in planetary exploration. The two volumes in the series Saturn from Cassini-Huygens and Titan from Cassini- Huygens are the direct products of the efforts of over 200 authors and co-authors. Though each book has a different set of three editors, the group of six editors for the two volumes has worked together through every step of the process to ensure that these two volumes are a set.
“Weird Worlds” is the third book in David Seargent’s “Weird” series. This book assumes a basic level of astronomical understanding and concentrates on the “odd and interesting” aspects of planetary bodies, including asteroids and moons. From our viewpoint here on Earth, this work features the most unusual features of these worlds and the ways in which they appear “weird” to us. Within our own Solar System, odd facts such as the apparent reversal of the Sun in the skies of Mercury, CO2-driven fountains of dust on Mars, possible liquid water (and perhaps primitive life!) deep within the dwarf planet Ceres, and a variety of odd facts about the planetary moons are all discussed. A special chapter is devoted to Saturn’s giant moon Titan, and its methane-based weather system and “hydrological” cycle. This chapter also includes recent speculation on the possibility of methane-based organisms and the form that these might take, if they really do exist. Beyond our Solar System, the book looks at the range of worlds discovered and hypothesized.

In “Weird Worlds,” the author discusses planets where temperatures are so high that it rains molten iron, and others so cold that liquid methane floods across plains of ice! Worlds are described where the lightest element acts like a metal and where winds blow at thousands of miles per hour – as well as possible planets whose orbits are essentially parabolic.

In keeping with previous titles in David Seargent’s “Weird” series, “Weird Worlds” contains several projects that astronomers of all levels can undertake.
Starting in 1995 numerical modeling of the Earth’s dynamo has ourished with remarkable success. Direct numerical simulation of convection-driven MHD- ow in a rotating spherical shell show magnetic elds that resemble the geomagnetic eld in many respects: they are dominated by the axial dipole of approximately the right strength, they show spatial power spectra similar to that of Earth, and the magnetic eld morphology and the temporal var- tion of the eld resembles that of the geomagnetic eld (Christensen and Wicht 2007). Some models show stochastic dipole reversals whose details agree with what has been inferred from paleomagnetic data (Glatzmaier and Roberts 1995; Kutzner and Christensen 2002; Wicht 2005). While these models represent direct numerical simulations of the fundamental MHD equations without parameterized induction effects, they do not match actual pla- tary conditions in a number of respects. Speci cally, they rotate too slowly, are much less turbulent, and use a viscosity and thermal diffusivity that is far too large in comparison to magnetic diffusivity. Because of these discrepancies, the success of geodynamo models may seem surprising. In order to better understand the extent to which the models are applicable to planetary dynamos, scaling laws that relate basic properties of the dynamo to the fundamental control parameters play an important role. In recent years rst attempts have been made to derive such scaling laws from a set of numerical simulations that span the accessible parameter space (Christensen and Tilgner 2004; Christensen and Aubert 2006).
Comet nuclei are the most primitive bodies in the solar system. They have been created far away from the early Sun and it is supposed that their material has been altered the least since their formation. The workshop was bringing together representatives of several scientific communities in the fields of interstellar clouds, star-forming regions, the solar nebula, and comets. The intent was to formulate the current understanding and interconnectivity of the various source regions of comet nuclei and their associated compositions and orbital characteristics.

The goal was to better understand the survival of cometary materials (grains, molecules, free radicals, and atoms) from extrasolar sources (circumstellar shells and molecular clouds), their modifications in the solar nebula, and the effects of their properties on the formation and early physical and thermal evolution of the macroscopic bodies, the comet nuclei, in the various subnebulae. Closely associated is their transport into the outer solar system, the Kuiper belt and Oort cloud. The distinction between direct measurements, in situ or by remote sensing, of cometary material properties and properties derived from indirect means, deduced from laboratory studies and theoretical deductions, was emphasized with the aim to guide future investigations. The book is intended to serve as guide for researchers and graduate students working in the field of planetology and solar system exploration. It should also help to influence the planning of scientific strategies for the encounter of the Rosetta spacecraft with Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Knowledge about the outer heliosphere and the interstellar medium, which were long treated as two separate fields, has improved dramatically over the past 25 years as a consequence of recent developments: The discovery of interstellar pickup ions and neutral helium inside the heliosphere, the determination of the interstellar hydrogen distribution in the heliosphere obtained using backscattered solar Lyman-alpha radiation, the prediction and subsequent detection of the hydrogen wall just outside of the heliopause, the development of detailed global models for the interaction of solar wind plasma with the interstellar medium, and most recently, direct in-situ plasma and field measurements inside of the heliosheath. At the same time, our understanding of the nearby galactic environment, including the composition and dynamics of the warm gas clouds and hot gas in the local bubble, has benefited greatly from absorption-line spectroscopy using nearby stars as background sources and dynamic modeling. The present volume provides a synopsis of these developments organised into seven sections: Dominant physical processes in the termination shock and heliosheath, three-dimensional shape and structure of the dynamic heliosphere, relation of the plasmas and dust inside and outside of the heliosphere, origin and properties of the very local interstellar medium, energy and pressure equilibria in the local bubble, physical processes in the multiphase interstellar medium inside of the local bubble, and the roles that magnetic fields play in the outer heliosphere and the local bubble. The last theme is probably the most basic of all as magnetic fields play important roles in most of the phenomena discussed here. The volume concludes with four papers providing the "big picture" by looking at the time evolution of both the heliosphere and the local bubble, looking beyond the local bubble, and finally addressing the challenges in modeling the interface between the two media.
Ever since the Montgolfier's hot air balloon carried a chicken, a goat, and a duck into the Parisian skies, scientists have dreamed of contraptions to explore the atmosphere. With the advent of the space age, new airborne inventions were needed. From the Soviet Venus balloons to advanced studies of blimps and airplanes for use in Mars' and Titan's atmospheres, Drifting on Alien Winds surveys the many creative and often wacky ideas astronautical engineers and space scientists have had for exploring alien skies. Through historical photographs and stunning original paintings by the author, readers also explore the weather on various planets and moons, from the simmering acid-laden winds of Venus to the liquid methane-soaked skies of Titan.

Louis Friedman of the Planetary Society and Jacques Blamont of CNES (both involved in Mars and Venus balloon projects) are both interviewed, along with Victor Kerzhanovich of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (planetary balloon systems), Julian Nott (balloonist adventurer and Titan balloon enthusiast), Ralph Lorenz (John Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab, team member of the proposed Montgolfier balloon on NASA's flagship mission to Titan), Lockheed Martin's Ben Clark (early atmospheric probe designer), Joe Palaia (UAV tests to Devon Island, Canadian Arctic), Joel Levine, Langley Research Center's principal investigator for the Mars ARES (Aerial Regional Environmental Survey), and Andrew Ingersoll, planetary atmospheres expert at California Institute of Technology, among others.

Based on extensive primary sources, many never previously translated into English, this is the definitive account of the origins of Ceres as it went from being classified as a new planet to reclassification as the first of a previously unknown group of celestial objects. Cunningham opens this critical moment of astronomical discovery to full modern analysis for the first time. This book includes all the voluminous correspondence, translated into English, between the astronomers of Europe about the startling discovery of Ceres by Piazzi in 1801. It covers the period up to March 1802, at which time Pallas was discovered. Also included are Piazzi’s two monographs about Ceres, and the sections of two books dealing with Ceres, one by Johann Bode, the other by Johann Schroeter. The origin of the word ‘asteroid’ is explained, along with several chapters on the antecedents of the story going back to ancient Greek times. The formulation of Bode’s Law is given, as are the details on the efforts of Baron von Zach to organize a search for the supposed missing planet between Mars and Jupiter. Examples of verse created to commemorate the great discovery are included in this first volume. The author, who has a PhD in the History of Astronomy, is a dedicated scholar of the story of asteroids and his research on the discovery of Ceres is comprehensive and fully sourced. The discovery came at a time when rival astronomers were in hot competition with each other, and when the true nature of these celestial bodies was not yet known. With astronomers in France, Italy and beyond vying to understand and receive credit for the new class of astral bodies, drama was not in short supply--nor were scientific advances.
Oceans were long thought to exist in all corners of the Solar System, from carbonated seas percolating beneath the clouds of Venus to features on the Moon's surface given names such as "the Bay of Rainbows” and the "Ocean of Storms." With the advent of modern telescopes and spacecraft exploration these ancient concepts of planetary seas have, for the most part, evaporated. But they have been replaced by the reality of something even more exotic. For example, although it is still uncertain whether Mars ever had actual oceans, it now seems that a web of waterways did indeed at one time spread across its surface.

The "water" in many places in our Solar System is a poisoned brew mixed with ammonia or methane. Even that found on Jupiter's watery satellite Europa is believed similar to battery acid. Beyond the Galilean satellites may lie even more "alien oceans." Saturn's planet-sized moon Titan seems to be subject to methane or ethane rainfall. This creates methane pools that, in turn, become vast lakes and, perhaps, seasonal oceans. Titan has other seas in a sense, as large shifting areas of sand covering vast plains have been discovered. Mars also has these sand seas, and Venus may as well, along with oceans of frozen lava. Do super-chilled concoctions of ammonia, liquid nitrogen, and water percolate beneath the surfaces of Enceladus and Triton? For now we can only guess at the possibilities.

'Alien Seas' serves up part history, part current research, and part theory as it offers a rich buffet of "seas" on other worlds. It is organized by location and by the material of which various oceans consist, with guest authors penning specific chapters. Each chapter features new original art depicting alien seas, as well as the latest ground-based and spacecraft images. Original diagrams presents details of planetary oceans and related processes.
Proceedings of the Astrophysics in the Next Decade : JWST and Concurrent Facilities conference.

This professional conference is the "must-attend" meeting to discuss the astrophysics to be enabled by JWST and concurrent facilities during the next decade. This meeting is designed to be of interest and value to the broad astronomical community, who will be preparing science investigations for these facilities.

This meeting, which is hosted by STScI and NASA/GSFC and sponsored by Northrop Grumman, will engage the broad science community in a discussion of science enabled by JWST and concurrent orbital and ground-based facilities. It will describe and stimulate work on the theoretical foundations for astrophysics in the next decade. During 2008, we will produce a reviewed and edited book containing a compilation of the talks and synopses of the discussion periods. We plan that this book will be written in a graduate level pedagogical fashion to yield a reference text of lasting value for astronomers who will be developing investigations for the JWST and other concurrent facilites.

Scientific Organising Committee:
Crystal Brogan, NRAO
Dale Cruikshank, NASA/ARC
Ewine van Dishoeck, Univ. Leiden
Alan Dressler (chair), Carnegie Obs.
Richard Ellis, Caltech
Rob Kennicutt, Cambridge Univ.
Rolf Kudritzki, Univ. Hawaii
Avi Loeb, Harvard
John Mather, NASA/HQ
Yvonne Pendleton, NASA/HQ
Massimo Stiavelli, (JWST SWG liason) STScI
Peter Stockman, (LOC liason) STScI
Leonardo Testi, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (Arceti)
Xander Tielens, NASA/ARC
Meg Urry, Yale
Jeff Valenti, STScI

The SOHO and Cluster missions form a single ESA cornerstone. Yet they observe verydifferentregionsinoursolarsystem:thesolaratmosphereononehandandthe Earth’s magnetosphere on the other. At the same time the Ulysses mission provides observations in the third dimension of the heliosphere, and many others add to the picture from the Lagrangian point L1 to the edge of the heliosphere. It was our aim to tie these observations together in addressing the topic of Solar Dynamics and its Effects on the Heliosphere and Earth with a workshop at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI), under the auspices of the International Living With a Star (ILWS) program. It started out with an assessment and description of the reasons for solar dynamics and how it couples into the heliosphere. The three subsequent sections were each devoted to following one chain of events from the Sun all the way to the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere: The normal solar wind chain, the chain associated with coronal mass ejections, and the solar energetic particles chain. The ?nal section was devoted to common physical processes occurring both at the Sun and in the magnetosphere such as reconnection, shock acceleration, dipolarisation of magnetic ?eld, and others. This volume is the result of an ISSI Workshop held in April 2005. An international group of about forty experimenters, ground-based observers, and theoreticians was invited to present and debate their data, models, and theories in an informal setting.
Titan is practically a planet in its own right, with a diameter similar to that of Mercury, methane rainstorms, organic soot and ethane seas. All of the most detailed knowledge on the moon's geology, volcanology, meteorology, marine sciences and chemistry are gathered together here to paint a factually accurate hypothetical future of early human colonization on this strange world.

The views from Titan’s Mayda Outpost are spectacular, but all is not well at the moon's remote science base. On the shore of a methane sea beneath glowering skies, atmospherics researcher Abigail Marco finds herself in the middle of murder, piracy and colleagues who seem to be seeing sea monsters and dead people from the past. On the Shores of Titan’s Farthest Sea provides thrills, excitement and mystery – couched in the latest science – on one of the Solar System’s most bizarre worlds, Saturn’s huge moon Titan.

"This riveting story, set against a plausibly well integrated interplanetary space, carries us along with its bright and interesting characters. We feel absolutely transported to a hauntingly beautiful and alien Titan through Carroll's masterful weaving of art and science." – Jani Radebaugh, Professor of Planetary Sciences, Titan dune expert, BYU

"It's a fun read! Really makes Titan come alive, literally..." – Astrophysicist and author Ralph Lorenz

"Michael Carroll's new novel "On the Shores of Titan's Farthest Sea" (Springer) is a gripping, good-vs-evil tale that sparkles with imagination. It's set on the shores of Kraken Mare, the vast methane sea found high in the northern latitudes of Saturn's moon, Titan, in a future when humanity has spread throughout the solar system. The villains are wicked, the heroes are scientists (Thanks, Mike!), the story is convincing, the dialogue snappy, and the scenery is right out of our catalog of findings on this cold, hazy and alien world.

If you fancy skipping forward 250 years and checking out how humankind might be navigating the very geography and landforms we have uncovered in our years touring Saturn, this book is for you!" --Carolyn Porco, leader of the Cassini Imaging Science team and the Director of the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS) at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado


Humans evolved when the Sun was in the great void of the Local Bubble. The Sun entered the present environment of interstellar clouds only during the late Quaternary. Astronomical data reveal these long and short term changes in our galactic environment. Theoretical models then tell us how these changes affect interplanetary particles, planetary magnetospheres, and the Earth itself. Cosmic rays leave an isotopic signature in the paleoclimate record that helps trace the solar journey through space.

"Solar Journey: The Significance of Our Galactic Environment for the Heliosphere and Earth" lays the foundation for an interdisciplinary study of the influence of interstellar material on the solar system and Earth as we travel through the Milky Way Galaxy. The solar wind bubble responds dynamically to interstellar material flowing past the Sun, regulating interstellar gas, dust, and cosmic particle fluxes in the interplanetary medium and the Earth. Cones of interstellar gas and dust focused by solar gravity, the magnetospheres of the outer planets, and cosmic rays at Earth all might yield the first hints of changes in our galactic environment.

Twelve articles from leading experts in diverse fields discuss the physical changes expected as the heliosphere adjusts to its galactic environment. Topics include the interaction between the solar wind and interstellar dust and gas, cosmic ray modulation, magnetospheres, temporal variations in the solar environment, and the cosmic ray isotope record preserved in paleoclimate data.

The breadth of processes discussed in this book make it a valuable resource for scientists and students doing research in the fields of Space Physics, Astronomy and the Paleoclimate.

"I admire the great care that Priscilla Frisch has taken in the editorial work, the balanced subjects, the attractive and clear figures. Also the general topic is well chosen and the various chapters are presented very clearly." - C. de Jager

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