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Astronomia (437)

192021
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! EN_90241263_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Uranus and moons. Computer illustration of the planet Uranus and its five largest moons, shown to scale. From left to right, the moons are Umbriel, Miranda, Oberon, Titania and Ariel. Uranus' thin rings are also seen in the plane of the moons. Uranus' axis of revolution lies at 98 degrees to the plane of the solar system, so it appears to roll around the Sun on its equator. Uranus is a gas giant planet which orbits around 2900 million kilometres from the Sun. It takes 84 years to complete one orbit.
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! EN_90243657_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Binary star system SS433. Computer illustration of the unusual binary star system SS433. This is a binary star system in which one component (top left) is a blue giant star, and the other (centre) is an extremely dense neutron star. The neutron star is pulling material from the blue star, which forms an accretion disc around it. Hot gases in the accretion disc emit X-rays before they fall onto the neutron star. The jets seen perpendicular to the disc travel at over a quarter of the speed of light away from the disc. The precession of the accretion disc (wobbling motion) causes the jets to swing around in a precise, regular period of 164 days.
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! EN_90213900_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Planetary orbits. Computer illustration of the orbits of the nine planets of the solar system. The Sun is at centre. The planets are (from the nearest to the furthest from the Sun): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (blue, top right). Due to Pluto's highly elliptical orbit, Neptune is sometimes the furthest planet from the Sun. The Sun produces a continuous stream of charged particles called the solar wind (white/light blue). The Sun and planets are not shown to scale.
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! EN_90213478_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Solar system. Illustration of the Solar System showing the planetary orbits and a comet (upper centre). From the nearest to the Sun outwards, the planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (a Dwarf planet). The asteroid belt lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The planets orbits all lie in roughly the same plane, but the comet has a steep, eccentric orbit. Most comets are thought to reside far from the Sun, but occasional disturbances send one inwards on an elongated orbit. This comet's orbit passes very close to Earth's. It is thought a comet impact may have caused the death of the dinosaurs.
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! EN_90219342_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Comet impact. Second of 3 images of a comet impact on Earth, simulated in three dimensions by the Intel Teraflop (trillion operations per second) supercomputer, the world's fastest computer. The comet (centre) is falling through the atmosphere (green) towards an ocean (orange) and its seabed (red). The city silhouette at lower right is three kilometres (km) across. The comet is 1 km across and its impact energy will be equivalent to ten times the explosive power of all Earth's nuclear weapons. Such impacts are a statistical certainty in Earth's future. This simulation was run over 48 hours at the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, USA. (See also R450/182 & R450/184).
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! EN_90219343_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Comet impact. First of 3 images of a comet impact on Earth, simulated in three dimensions by the Intel Teraflop (trillion operations per second) supercomputer, the world's fastest computer. The comet has struck an ocean, throwing large amounts of steam (light blue) & comet debris (yellow) into the atmosphere. The city silhouette (at lower right) is 3 kilometres (km) across. The comet was 1 km wide and its impact energy was equivalent to ten times the explosive power of all Earth's nuclear weapons. Such impacts are a statistical certainty in the future. This simulation was run over 48 hours at the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, USA. (See also R450/186 & R450/187).
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! EN_90219343_0002 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Comet impact. Second of 3 images of a comet impact on Earth, simulated in three dimensions by the Intel Teraflop (trillion operations per second) supercomputer, the world's fastest computer. The comet has struck an ocean, throwing large amounts of steam (light blue) & comet debris (yellow) into the atmosphere. The city silhouette (at lower right) is 3 kilometres (km) across. The comet was 1 km wide, and its impact energy was equivalent to ten times the explosive power of all Earth's nuclear weapons. Such impacts are a statistical certainty in the future. This simulation was run over 48 hours at the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, USA. (See also R450/185 & R450/187).
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! EN_90219343_0003 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Comet impact. Third of 3 images of a comet impact on Earth, simulated in three dimensions by the Intel Teraflop (trillion operations per second) supercomputer, the world's fastest computer. The comet has struck an ocean, throwing large amounts of steam (light blue) & comet debris (yellow) into the atmosphere. The city silhouette (at lower right) is 3 kilometres (km) across. The comet was 1 km wide, and its impact energy was equivalent to ten times the explosive power of all Earth's nuclear weapons. Such impacts are a statistical certainty in the future. This simulation was run over 48 hours at the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, USA. (See also R450/185 & R450/186).
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! EN_90219344_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Comet impact. Third of 3 images of a comet impact on Earth, simulated in three dimensions by the Intel Teraflop (trillion operations a second) supercomputer, the world's fastest computer. The comet has struck an ocean (orange), throwing large amounts of high-pressure steam into the atmosphere (green). The city silhouette (at lower right) is 3 kilometres (km) across. The comet was 1 km wide and its impact energy is equivalent to ten times the explosive power of all the world's nuclear weapons. Such impacts are a statistical certainty in Earth's future. This simulation was run over 48 hours at the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, USA. (See also R450/182 & R450/183).
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! EN_90244689_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Earth as an atom. Abstract computer illustration depicting an atom composed of globes of the Earth, arranged on a starfield. The atomic nucleus consists of a large Earth centred on North America. Orbiting the nucleus like electrons are smaller Earth's revealing different views of the continents.
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! EN_90246634_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Magnetosphere. Artwork showing the interaction between the Earth's magnetosphere (blue) and the solar wind (yellow arrows). The solar wind is a stream of charged particles like protons flowing from the Sun. The Earth's outer magnetic field, or magnetosphere, protects the planet from the solar wind but is itself distorted in the process, form- ing a bowed shock front on the sunward side (left) and a tail millions of kilometres long on the far side. Some of the particles become trapped in two concentric, doughnut-shaped rings (orange, shown in cross-section) called Van Allen belts. Earth's magnetic field is produced by molten iron in the central core that swirls as the planet rotates.
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! EN_90214099_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY The asteroid belt, an illustration showing the position of the main asteroid belt in the solar system. The six innermost planets are shown (from centre orbit); Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The main asteroid belt is in the space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The existence of a planet between Mars and Jupiter was proposed by a group of six astronomers in 1800, the proposal based on Bode's Law of the relationship of planetary orbits. The first of the asteroids (or minor planets) was discovered a year later. Several thousand have had their orbits accurately computed, but it is thought that the solar system contains over 40,000 asteroids.
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! EN_90246718_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Artwork showing the interaction between the Earth's magnetosphere (blue region) and the solar wind (yellow arrows). The solar wind is a stream of charged particles such as protons flowing outwards from the Sun. The Earth's outer magnetic field or magnetosphere is distorted by the wind, forming a bow-shaped shock front on the sunward side (left) and, on the opposite side, a magnetotail millions of kilometres long. Some of the particles entering the magnetosphere spiral down the magnetic field lines onto the poles, forming oval belts of aurorae. Other particles become trapped in two concentric, doughnut-shaped regions (pink) known as the Van Allen belts.
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! EN_90255258_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Diagram showing the interaction of the Earth's magnetosphere (blue region) with the solar wind (yellow arrows). The solar wind is a stream of atomic particles flowing outwards from the Sun. The Earth's outer magnetic field or magnetosphere is distorted by the wind, forming a bow-shaped shock front on the sunward side (left) and, on the opposite side, a magnetotail millions of kilometres in length. Some of the particles entering the magnetosphere (red arrows) spiral down the magnetic field lines onto the poles, where they form oval belts of aurorae. Others become trapped in two concentric, doughnut- shaped regions (red) known as the Van Allen belts.
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! EN_90227065_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Illustration showing the evolution of a high-mass star, ending in a supernova explosion. Stage one (left) shows a normal blue star, powered by hydrogen fusion. As the hydrogen fuel in the core becomes depleted, the helium 'ash' contracts, heats up and ignites. The higher temperatures of helium-burning cause the star to expand & become a red giant (stage 2). In a similar way, successive heavier elements begin to burn in shells around the core. Eventually the core is converted to iron & the fusion ceases. Both the core & atmosphere then collapse (3). When nuclear density is reached, the core rebounds (4), sending out a shock wave which tears the star apart.
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! EN_90214904_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Artist's impression of the Big Bang, the titanic explosion which cosmologists believe created the Universe. Recent estimates suggest the Big Bang occurred about 15 billion years ago. The theory of the Big Bang is based on the fact that the visible universe is still expanding, & on the discovery of background radiation - the so-called 'microwave background' - that is believed to be the remnant from the primordial explosion. In this picture, the Big Bang is portrayed at a time when giant clouds of gas (white spots) have already started condensing into what will later become galaxies.
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! EN_90227338_0010 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Computer graphic display of the intensity of light emitted by spiral galaxy M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, & its companion NGC 5195. Intensity is represented by height. M51 is the 'peak' at right, with NGC 5195 at left; the small spikes surrounding the galaxies are foreground stars. In fact, M51's centre is so bright that its peak has been artificially truncated; the image highlights the complex structure in the galaxies' 'foothills' summing 16 million picture elements (pixels) from several optical photographs obtained by the 1. 2 meter Schmidt telescope at Mt Palomar Observatory.
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