Pluto to Make a Star "Wink Out" Twice This Week

Find out when and where to watch it happen.Main Content
Photo: Dwarf planet Pluto and its moons

Pluto and its three known moons—Charon, Nix, and Hydra—as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.

On Thursday tiny Pluto will cause a bright star to fade in the nighttime sky, and an army of astronomers is fanning out across the Pacific to capture the rare event.

The unprecedented sky show involves what scientists call an occultation—when an object passes directly in front of a star, as seen from Earth, causing the star to dim temporarily.

Starting at 11:15 UT on June 23, Pluto and its largest moon Charon will both occult a very bright star. Just a few days later, beginning at 14:18 UT on June 27, Pluto and its smaller moon Hydra will each pass in front of a different bright star.

"We've never had an event like this one we're seeing now," said team member Leslie Young of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "We're getting two bright stars, both brighter than Pluto itself—as seen from Earth—occulting Pluto just about four days apart."

The pair of unusual celestial events will provide astronomers with a Pluto "weather report" and may shed light on other mysteries ahead of a visit to the dwarf planet in 2015 by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.

For instance, by reading the starlight that filters through Pluto's atmosphere during the occultations, scientists will be able to take more exact measurements of Pluto's size and the temperature and density of its atmosphere.

Amateur stargazers across Australia and the Pacific will also be scanning the skies during both events, and Young says their data will be welcome.

The project's wiki planning page features finder charts, schedules, local occultation timings, and other useful information for those hoping to take in a truly historic view of Pluto and its moons.

"All you really need is an 11-inch telescope with video capability and some way of timing exactly when things happen," Young said.

Double Pluto Events Like "Christmas in June"

Occultations of Pluto were very rare before 2002. But since then Pluto has moved in its tilted orbit so that it's now entering the star-rich central plane of our Milky Way galaxy.

That means Pluto has been been passing between Earth and other stars more often.

Still, an occultation with a particularly bright background star happens, on average, just once every two or three years, and time is running out to learn as much as possible about Pluto before the New Horizons spacecraft arrives in the dwarf planet's home region, the Kuiper belt.

"It's really Christmas in June, the totality of this event," said Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission.

The hitch is that there's always the chance a patch of bad weather could obscure the occultation entirely.

It's also key that at least some of the observers get the best possible vantage point, which is found within the narrow shadow cast on Earth by Pluto and its moons.

"We don't know Pluto's position in the sky perfectly, or the star's position in the sky perfectly, so there is always some uncertainty about exactly where the shadow will cross," team member Young explained.

To make sure they get what they need from the occultations, Young and colleagues have coordinated a massive campaign that's sent astronomers and mobile observatories to several exotic locales.

Team members are even now setting up base camps in eastern Pacific sites such as Hawaii, California, and Mexico, as well as in western Pacific countries including the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The dozen or so telescopes out in the field includes two 14-inch mobile units funded by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration, which are stationed in Nauru and the Marshall Islands. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)

"We're going to countries that we've never been to before and working out practicalities—from customs to connectivity of telephones and the Internet—and trying to find out how it works to observe in those countries," Young said.

"But we work with local observers, both professionals and amateurs, and that helps a lot."

(Get daily field updates and pictures from team members in the Philippines and the Marshall Islands.)

Getting Pluto's Weather Report

If all goes as planned, the team will come home with valuable new data on the small and largely mysterious world.

"Whenever you have a bright-star [occultation], you get a detailed look at the weather report on Pluto," Young said. "We can sample the atmosphere at the scale of a kilometer or better and get details of waves on Pluto, the jet stream on Pluto, and turbulence on Pluto, which is astonishing."

The dwarf planet Pluto and its moons have been moving away from the sun since 1989 on their 248-year orbit. Teams should therefore be able to see any seasonal changes in atmospheric pressure and temperature that have occurred since previous observations.

"We expect Pluto's atmosphere to change as it moves away from the sun," Young said.

"It's made of nitrogen, just like Earth's. But unlike Earth, Pluto is so cold that nitrogen is also frozen on the surface. So eventually, as Pluto moves away from the sun, the atmosphere will cool down and snow out, and it will be ten or a hundred or perhaps a thousand times less dense than it is now."

(Related: "Pluto Has 'Upside Down' Atmosphere.")

Because two occultations are occurring one after the other, scientists will also have an unprecedented opportunity to see what a day looks like in the life of Pluto.

"Pluto's day is 6.5 times longer than the Earth day, so with occultations just about four Earth days apart, we can see how the dynamics of weather on Pluto change from one part of the day to the next," Young said.

Astronomers Jane Greaves of the University of St. Andrews in the U.K. said she is excited about the occultation because the bright starlight could reveal more about the thin upper layers of Pluto's atmosphere.

"Occultations over the past couple of decades have been mysterious, with [Pluto's] atmosphere sometimes staying stable and sometimes swelling up for no obvious reason," said Greaves, who is not part of the current occultation field team.

"Adding to this sequence will hopefully help show if and why Pluto has such erratic weather."

(Related: "Pluto Has Toxic Carbon Monoxide in Its Atmosphere.")

Pluto's Orbital Mysteries

The June 23 occultation will also reveal precisely where Pluto and Charon are relative to one another in the sky.

The data should help astronomers solve an orbital mystery that was revealed by the discovery of the two smaller moons Nix and Hydra almost six years ago.

"We once thought that Pluto and Charon orbited in simple ellipses. But, with the discovery of the small moons, we found they all pull on each other and affect each other in subtle ways," Young said.

Pinpointing the orbits more exactly will reveal the objects' masses—and will help astronomers plan observation strategies for the New Horizons spacecraft.

"Knowing the orbits better will help us refine where we aim our cameras—you don't want an image with half of an object out of the frame," explained NASA's Stern.

"Knowing the orbits more accurately will also make us more efficient, so we have time to do more things—and we're only going to be there once."

(Related: "Pluto is the Biggest Dwarf Planet After All?")

The June 27 Hydra occultation is especially exciting, team member Young added, because the small moon has been an elusive target for the past six years. With this round of observing, her team is hopeful that they'll finally be able to pinpoint Hydra's size.

"It's been very hard to do, because until recently we didn't know the orbit of Hydra relative to Pluto very well, and because the object is so small that we have a very small chance of being in Hydra's shadow" to observe it from the proper place on Earth, Young said.

Recent work with Hubble Space Telescope images has narrowed Hydra's position relative to Pluto to within tens of kilometers. With that information in hand, observations from the June 23 occultation can be analyzed in time to pinpoint where in Australia to place a telescope to be in Hydra's shadow four days later.

"By the time [astronomer] Marc Buie starts driving out of Alice Springs two days before the second occultation, we'll be able to tell him and his army of amateurs where to go."

Even with all the planning, NASA's Stern added, part of the allure is that no one's quite sure exactly what they'll see during the Pluto occultations.

"That's the great thing about astronomy," Stern said. "Sometimes when you unwrap a present, you really get a surprise gift."

(The Pluto occultation research is supported by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration, NASA's Planetary Astronomy program, NASA's New Horizons Mission, and the Southwest Research Institute.)

Antenna to replace batteries and provide unlimited free energy for electric cars

Since the early 1900s free unmetered energy was discovered and the technology behind this free unlimited and unmetered source of energy was made public by people like Nikola Tesla and Thomas Henry Moray. To demonstrate how this free unlimited energy source can be used by mankind Nikola Tesla powered an all steel frame and body 1931 Pierce-Arrow with electrical energy that was harnessed from thin air.

Not a drop of gasoline or diesel fuel was used. In fact the internal combustion engine was completely removed. No battery banks were used either. This vehicle was driven to speeds of 90 miles per hour with no fossil fuel and just a single 12 volt battery. This infinite and free energy source produces absolutely zero emissions. When asked where the power came from, Tesla replied, “From the ethers all around us”.

What is ethers? Ethers is electromagnetic radiation. Radio waves is electromagnetic radiation which has the lowest frequency, the longest wavelength, and is produced by charged particles moving back and forth. Electricity – AC power – is produced when electrons move back-and-forth in a wire, sending a wave of electric power through the wire.

Thomas Henry Moray is important in regards to free unlimited and unmetered energy because he successfully demonstrated to us that the electromagnetic radiation Telsa was using to power a 1931 Pierce-Arrow can be harnessed freely. His free unmetered energy receiving device is used today by ham radio operators and CB radio users around the World. It was also used by millions of people for decades until cable eliminated its mass usage. What is this free unlimited and unmetered energy receiving device? It is called an antenna.

Ham radios and CB radios use antennas to communicate with other ham radio and CB operators. This form of communication is free. They both use antennas to harness and use the free electromagnetic energy that is around us 24/7 and 365 days a year. Cellular phones are replacing ham radios and CB radio with a metered (pay for usage) communication system. With cell phones we are forced to pays the providers to use what is available for free. With ham radios there is no charge (unmetered) for “any” calls between users. With ham radios you can make unlimited free unmetered calls to other ham radio users, anywhere in the World. How much does it cost you to make a call with your cell phone to someone living overseas? A metered rate that you are forced to pay when all along you can make the same call for free using ham radios or CB (citizen Band) radios.

For decades long haul truck drivers never had to pay to make a call to other truck drivers or call for help in an emergency. For decades all of their communications were free and unmetered. Today the CB is being forcibly removed (banned with hands-free laws) and replaced with metered pay by the minute cell phones.

Can you remember the days when we watched TV for free? For decades, like ham radios and CB radios, our TV sets were hooked up to a free energy receiver called a TV antenna. Because of those antennas we never had to pay a dime for any of the shows we watched. Today free unmetered TV antennas have been replaced with metered fiber optic cable. Today we are forced to pay every month to watch TV.

For decades antennas have been used to harness and use free, unmetered and unlimited electromagnetic radiation. Tesla was trying to educate us to the fact that electromagnetic radiation is energy – free, unmetered and unlimited energy. For decades we have actually used this free energy receiving device in a very limited capacity – in communications.

TV and radio signals are electromagnetic waves, and all electromagnetic waves possess some amount of electromagnetic energy. All you need is an appropriate device to convert this energy into usable electricity. Tesla used such a device and with that deice he successfully demonstrated that electricity can be generated from radio waves using a simple antenna. Instead of being tuned for communications or receiving TV programing Tesla tuned his device for free energy harvesting. Tesla’s simple device consisted of an antenna that was connected to a variety of electrical components such as capacitors, variable capacitors, inductors, diodes, chokes, and resistors, in a specific order. Many of these components were grounded. At the other end of this free energy harvesting system, the terminals provided continuous electrical current. That continuous electrical current was then used to power the electric motor that Telsa installed in the 1931 Pierce-Arrow.

Today, in 2011, every all-electric vehicle manufacturer can use this free energy harvesting technology to power their all-electric vehicles. Their vehicles would never have to be plugged in for a recharge. No charging stations would ever need to be built. No longer would their vehicles’ driving range be limited to the limited energy stored in batteries. The antenna free energy receiver would give their vehicles an unlimited driving range. No CO2 emissions would ever be emitted. Zero CO2 emissions would mean city smog would be history. Global warming would no longer be a concern. Carbon emission related illnesses and diseases would disappear. Man and Earth would be healthy again.

Today mankind becomes free of oil because you now know how we can harness and use free unlimited and unmetered energy just by using a free energy receiving device called the antenna.

This new power for the driving of the world’s machinery will be derived from the energy which is everywhere present in unlimited quantities.” ~ Nikola Tesla

Related Articles

Replicating Nikola Tesla’s electric car technology would end oil dependency forever.

Free energy in unlimited quantities for everyone, everywhere and anytime of the day.

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Laporan Gerhana Bulan Penuh Malaysia

3.29am mufti ns, teluk kemang

3.23am mufti ns, teluk kemang (kemuncak gerhana)

Masjid Negara : 03 :19 pagi

Masjid Negara : 03:04 pagi

Masjid Negara : 03:02 pagi

Balai Cerap Selangor : 03:05 pagi

Masjid Negara : 2.50 am, Gerhana Bulan dah separuh, Makin berawan dekat Masjid Negara

2:42 : Gunung Kinabalu

Masjid Negara : 02 :27

Dari Masjid Negara, Gerhana dah mula nampak : 02:22

NASA Releases New Lunar Eclipse Video

In anticipation of the upcoming lunar eclipse later this month, NASA has released a new video that shows how lunar eclipses work.

The video was produced by Chris Smith at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
› Download high resolution versions

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) team will release another video next week focusing on the role of LRO during the eclipse. LRO has been providing the most detailed imagery of the moon since it launched in 2009.

On June 15 2011, viewers outside of North America will be able to see the lunar eclipse. From beginning to end, the eclipse will last from 17:24 UTC (1:24 p.m. EDT) to 23:00 UTC (7:00 p.m. EDT). Totality, the time when Earth's shadow completely covers the moon, will last about an hour and 41 minutes.

A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth lines up directly between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun's rays and casting a shadow on the moon. As the moon moves deeper and deeper into Earth's shadow, the moon changes color before your very eyes, turning from gray to an orange or deep shade of red.

The moon takes on this new color because indirect sunlight is still able to pass through Earth's atmosphere and cast a glow on the moon. Our atmosphere filters out most of the blue colored light, leaving the red and orange hues that we see during a lunar eclipse. Extra particles in the atmosphere, from say a recent volcanic eruption, will cause the moon to appear a darker shade of red.

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are perfectly safe to view without any special glasses or equipment. All you need is your own two eyes. And while we won't be able to catch this particular eclipse in the continental U.S., we will get our next opportunity on April 15, 2014, so mark your calendars!
Chris Smith and Nancy Neal Jones
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Why does the moon look red during a total lunar eclipse?


During a total lunar eclipse – like the lunar eclipse on the night of June 15, 2011 – Earth’s shadow on the moon often looks red. Why?

During a lunar eclipse, you’ll see the Earth’s shadow creeping across the moon’s face. The shadow will appear dark, like a bite taken out of the moon’s face, until the shadow completely covers the moon. Then, during the breathtaking moments of totality, the shadow on the moon’s face often often suddenly changes. Instead of dark, it appears red. Why?

Lunar eclipse of March 3, 2007. Image by Joshua Valcarcel. (Wikimedia Commons)

The reason stems from the very air we breathe. If the Earth had no air, then Earth’s shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse would appear black. The presence of Earth’s air means that, during a lunar eclipse, sunlight can filter through Earth’s atmosphere onto the shadow on the moon. This filtered sunlight makes the moon appear red during a total eclipse.

But red isn’t the only color of a totally eclipsed moon. An eclipsed moon can appear brown, red, orange or yellow. The color depends on the presence of dust and clouds in Earth’s atmosphere. If there has been a major volcanic eruption, for example, the shadow on the moon will appear dark throughout an eclipse. In December 1992, not long after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, there was so much dust in Earth’s atmosphere that the totally eclipsed moon could barely be seen.

Can anyone know in advance how red the moon will appear during a total lunar eclipse? Not precisely. Before an eclipse takes place, you’ll often hear people speculating about it. Still, no one knows for certain how red the moon will appear when eclipse time comes. That uncertainty is part of the fun of eclipses, so enjoy! And watch for the red moon during a lunar eclipse.

Gerhana Bulan Penuh Paling Gelap Dalam 11 Tahun

KUALA LUMPUR: Fenomena gerhana bulan penuh dijangka berlaku Khamis ini iaitu gerhana paling gelap dalam tempoh 11 tahun apabila bulan melintasi umbra.

Ini akan berlaku bermula jam 1.24 pagi untuk selama 100 minit dan menjadi gelap sepenuhnya pada jam 3.22 pagi.

Ketua Bahagian Falak, Kompleks Falak Al-Khawarizmi, Dr Kassim Bahali, berkata apa yang lebih menarik ialah fenomena itu berlaku sebanyak dua kali tahun ini, sekali lagi pada Disember nanti selepas kali terakhir berlaku pada 16 Julai 2000.

Katanya, gerhana penuh bulan yang cuma berlaku ketika fasa purnama ini juga boleh dilihat di benua Afrika, Eropah, sebahagian besar Asia dan Australia.

“Gerhana ini dikatakan paling gelap pernah berlaku kerana biasanya walaupun gerhana penuh, kita masih boleh melihat sedikit cahaya pada permukaan bulan. Keadaan ini disebabkan ketika fasa gerhana penuh itu, bulan melintasi bayang paling gelap bumi iaitu umbra. Permulaan gerhana penuh kali ini boleh dilihat penduduk di selatan Chile, timur Argentina dan timur Brazil.

“Di Malaysia, gerhana dapat dilihat ketika bulan terbit di langit timur pada awal pagi. Penghujung gerhana penuh dapat dilihat penduduk Thailand, Kemboja, Vietnam dan barat Australia. Bahagian barat Eropah pula akan melihat bulan terbit yang mengalami gerhana penuh. Mereka melihat bulan gelap terbit di timur yang kebiasaannya terang ketika fasa purnama. Kali ini bulan kelihatan seolah-olah hilang,” katanya.

Kejadian gerhana bulan hanya berlaku ketika fasa purnama dan apabila seluruh atau sebahagian bulan memasuki bayang bumi. Cahaya matahari yang jatuh ke atas bumi menyebabkan sebahagian bumi terang (siang) dan sebahagian lagi gelap (malam) serta menyebabkan bayang bumi mengunjur ke angkasa.

Beliau berkata, ada dua bahagian bayang, di bahagian dalam dan luar. Bayang bahagian dalam dinamakan umbra, yang lebih gelap daripada bahagian luar, penumbra.

“Sekiranya bulan purnama, ia memasuki kawasan bayang akan mengakibatkan terjadinya gerhana. Jika seluruh bulan memasuki umbra, gerhana penuh akan berlaku. Jika hanya sebahagian bulan memasuki umbra, gerhana separa yang akan berlaku dan jika bulan hanya memasuki penumbra, gerhana penumbra yang akan terjadi.

“Bagaimanapun gerhana bulan tidak berlaku setiap bulan. Ini disebabkan satah orbit bulan condong sebesar lima darjah berbanding dengan satah orbit bumi. Gerhana hanya berlaku sekiranya bulan melalui satah orbit bumi,” katanya.

Pada 15 Jun ini, gerhana penuh terjadi disebabkan seluruh bulan memasuki umbra. Magnitud gerhana kali ini ialah 1.71, yang menunjukkan darjah kegelapan permukaan bulan. Nilai ini menunjukkan gerhana bulan kali ini adalah gelap.

Di Malaysia, fasa gerhana kali ini bermula apabila bulan menyentuh penumbra pada jam 1.24 pagi waktu tempatan, 16 Jun 2011. Ketika fasa gerhana ini bermula, bulan berada di langit barat. Ketika berada dalam bayang penumbra, cahaya bulan mula berkurangan tetapi sukar dikesan dengan mata kasar.

“Fasa penuh bermula apabila bulan mula menyentuh umbra pada jam 3.22 pagi. Bulan mula kelihatan gelap secara perlahan-lahan sehingga ia menjadi gelap sepenuhnya jam 03.22 pagi dan di tengah-tengah fasa penuh pada jam 04.13. Tempoh bulan mengalami fasa gelap sepenuhnya selama 100 minit.

“Bulan mula meninggalkan bayang umbra dan memasuki penumbra secara perlahan-lahan pada jam 5.02 pagi. Ia mula kelihatan bercahaya sedikit demi sedikit sehingga penuh sejam kemudian dan kembali normal pada 07:02 pagi. Gerhana bulan boleh dilihat dengan mata kasar tanpa perlu menggunakan penapis,” katanya.


18 Destinasi Dan Tempat Penting MESTI DIKUNJUNGI Di Sekinchan

   Sumber Foto : CelcomDigi Disediakan Oleh : Mohd Ezli Mashut Sekinchan, sebuah perkampungan nelayan dan kawasan pertanian yang terletak di...