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Watsisname
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15 Jan 2021 21:47

I do not believe it is in SE yet, though it will be amazing to see. It's a pretty new discovery, in large part thanks to the efforts of amateur astronomers and citizen scientists working with TESS data, who appear as co-authors in the paper. :)
 
A-L-E-X
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15 Jan 2021 21:48

Watsisname wrote:
I do not believe it is in SE yet, though it will be amazing to see. It's a pretty new discovery, in large part thanks to the efforts of amateur astronomers and citizen scientists working with TESS data, who appear as co-authors in the paper. :)

Wow, that is amazing!  How do they gather the data?  Are they using their own cameras attached to their telescopes?  I've been looking into getting into that kind of research!
 
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22 Feb 2021 18:00

How far south might Northern Lights get with this solar storm?
https://twitter.com/TamithaSkov/status/ ... 1239590915

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Watsisname
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23 Feb 2021 17:06

A-L-E-X, the Space Weather Prediction Center is currently only forecasting G1 (minor) geomagnetic storms. So unless you live north of the green (G=1 or Kp=5) line here, it's more likely a non-event.

Image

The most recent WSA-ENLIL solar wind model also suggests the CME will deliver a more glancing blow than initially forecasted, hence the SWPC's more pessimistic forecast. That kind of change is also quite common. Be wary of aurora forecasts that are based on CME models made very soon after the CME happens. It pays to wait a little bit for the CME to move further, so that we have a better idea of its true shape and motion.

That all being said, aurora activity can be different than predicted, so it doesn't hurt to look. I've seen aurora several times when no significant activity was forecast, and sometimes when significant activity was forecast for my latitude, the show ended up being a dud.
 
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23 Feb 2021 23:08

Thanks, Wat, this explains why so many of these events end up being disappointing.  As people jump on early forecasts and make predictions of major events that dont pan out.

But the idea of unexpected aurora activity sounds like a special treat.  It reminds me of late December last year when I was in the mountains and got out of my car at around 9 PM to gaze at Orion and out of nowhere I saw this bright meteor streak across it.  And then I saw a couple more in the next ten minutes and I still wonder if that was a freak occurrence or some meteor shower that isn't listed.  I only saw 3-4 meteors but they were very bright and quite long streaks.  It was between Xmas and New Years (on the 28th if I remember correctly) and around 9 PM in the Poconos.
 
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midtskogen
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23 Feb 2021 23:29

Some very minor aurora visible from 69N in Norway last night.  I would say no more than one could expect during an average night.
NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI
 
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02 Mar 2021 06:15

A-L-E-X wrote:
Thanks, Wat, this explains why so many of these events end up being disappointing.  As people jump on early forecasts and make predictions of major events that dont pan out.

But the idea of unexpected aurora activity sounds like a special treat.  It reminds me of late December last year when I was in the mountains and got out of my car at around 9 PM to gaze at Orion and out of nowhere I saw this bright meteor streak across it.  And then I saw a couple more in the next ten minutes and I still wonder if that was a freak occurrence or some meteor shower that isn't listed.  I only saw 3-4 meteors but they were very bright and quite long streaks.  It was between Xmas and New Years (on the 28th if I remember correctly) and around 9 PM in the Poconos.

It was really interesting, I suppose. As far as I know, not every meteor shower is predictable. It seems to me that the near-earth orbit is not completely covered and some part of the data eludes us.
 
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05 Mar 2021 07:58

https://medium.com/predict/922a24921ec1

This is an interesting read about how we could mine the sun and other bodies in the solar system and simultaneously reduce the impact of mining on earth's ecosystems and help build a space faring civilization.
 
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11 Mar 2021 04:37

The Crab Nebula has now been mapped in 3D. It would make for a nice addition to SE.

 
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11 Mar 2021 05:08

FastFourierTransform wrote:
The Crab Nebula has now been mapped in 3D. It would make for a nice addition to SE.


Wow... with SpaceEngine graphics it would look insane!
Actually it looks a bit boring, but slightly more realistic, the perfect thing would be an half way between the two.
scr00008.jpg
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

CPU: Intel Core i7 4770 GPU: Sapphire Radeon RX 570 RAM: 8 GBs
 
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12 Mar 2021 02:51

FastFourierTransform wrote:
The Crab Nebula has now been mapped in 3D. It would make for a nice addition to SE.


I really wish there was a way in SE to go back in time and model the supernova explosion as it happened!  The above image actually looks like an explosion frozen in time, seeing all the energy and particles moving outwards would be even more interesting.
 
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16 Mar 2021 05:19

Is this accurate?  I really like it and always wanted to see a periodic table like this!

https://www.sciencealert.com/this-aweso ... -your-body
 
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Watsisname
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18 Mar 2021 03:08

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Is this accurate?  I really like it and always wanted to see a periodic table like this!

It may not be perfect, since our understanding of the different ways these elements are synthesized and dispersed through the cosmos continues to be updated, but it is about as accurate as it can be given current knowledge (and certainly much more accurate than most old and popular descriptions of the origins of the elements). I've seen similar graphics several years ago and there have been a few iterations of improvements since then.
 
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21 Mar 2021 00:38

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Is this accurate?  I really like it and always wanted to see a periodic table like this!

It may not be perfect, since our understanding of the different ways these elements are synthesized and dispersed through the cosmos continues to be updated, but it is about as accurate as it can be given current knowledge (and certainly much more accurate than most old and popular descriptions of the origins of the elements). I've seen similar graphics several years ago and there have been a few iterations of improvements since then.

Wat, are some of the elements we call "artificial" able to exist for short periods of time when stars explode?  I remember when Neptunium and Plutonium were considered naturally existing (Plutonium should be, one of its isotopes has a very long half life and is considered the most toxic substance on the planet), I was wondering if that might also be the case for some elements beyond it.
 
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Watsisname
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21 Mar 2021 04:04

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Wat, are some of the elements we call "artificial" able to exist for short periods of time when stars explode?

Yes, absolutely, and kilonovae (when two neutron stars merge together) are best at both producing and ejecting these heavy elements (especially with atomic masses greater than about 140, roughly corresponding to element 45 and up) into the universe. 

For context, let's first look at where the artificial elements lie on the periodic table. Courtesy of wikipedia

Image


Technetium (Tc) with atomic number 43 was first made artificially, as this element has no long-lived isotopes to be found in nature (its longest half-life is about 4.2 million years.) Besides Technetium, the artificial elements have atomic numbers greater than 95. Can supernovae make these elements? You bet. They do so by what's called the "r-process", which is where prolific numbers of free neutrons are available to be rapidly absorbed (hence the "r" in the name) to build larger nuclei. There is a good review of this process within neutron star mergers which is freely available to read here: Neutron Star Mergers and Nucleosynthesis of Heavy Elements (annualreviews.org). Here's one of the most useful figures:


Image


This shows the relative abundances of the nuclei synthesized by neutron star mergers as a function of their atomic mass, and compares to the relative abundances seen in the solar system. In fact, these kinds of simulations are what motivate the graphic you showed earlier. This is how we figure out how much of these elements come from different processes in the universe.

Unfortunately, the simulations referenced here cut off above atomic mass numbers of about 240 (remember atomic mass number A, means total number of protons + neutrons, while atomic number Z is just the number of protons and defines the element). So we don't really see the upper tail of elements synthesized here. However, I found a paper published late last year with newer simulations, and while the paper is not free to view, I'll share some of its figures. First is the relative abundance of nuclei, as a function of the mass number, produced by the merger according to three different models. The abundances are also shown at different times after the merger, and you may notice how the heaviest nuclei decay away.


Image


Here we can see the r-process nucleosynthesis is creating nuclei with mass numbers well above 300! These are enormous nuclei! For perspective, on the periodic table, the average mass number of element 118 (Oganesson) is 294. However, there is a caveat: because these nuclei are formed by the r-process, they are far more neutron rich than stable nuclei with the same mass number. So they have fewer protons than we would expect for their mass numbers if we just glanced at a periodic table. We can see that more easily in the next figure, where the stable nuclei are represented by black squares.


Image


From this we can see that the r-process nuclei with atomic masses of 280 should correspond roughly to atomic number 95. The ones with atomic masses of 300 should have about 100 protons, and those with atomic masses of 330 should have about 110 protons. So these models are showing that neutron star mergers should be very effective at synthesizing the heaviest elements, even well into what we consider "artificial" elements. The reason we call them "artificial" is not that nature can't make them, but rather that they decayed long before they could be incorporated into Earth and found by humans.

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