The Astronomy Thread


Karazhan Raider
179d 56m
Pretty sure Bezos space hop is all part of the plan of how he disappears, or his body double disappears.


Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun.
<Silver Donator>
49d 19h 58m
It seems like congress wants them to succeed since they severely lost the bid for the moon contract to SpaceX but then congress just decided to give them $10B anyway.


Golden Baronet of the Realm
Not directly. The video points out they just authorized the 10B, not actually gave the 10B. They're basically forcing NASA to pick a 2nd lander and haven't actually given them the money yet.


I think your wife's a bigfoot gus.
<Silver Donator>
48d 22h 36m

Because it's such a showy star, and easily observable all over the planet — not to mention a popular movie based on the name, as well as the small fact that one day (though not any time soon) Betelgeuse will explode as a supernova and be way brighter than Venus in our sky — people took notice. Especially astronomers, of course, who came up with a lot of ideas for why the star faded so rapidly. Starspots, gas and dust clouds, a temperature drop, and other hypotheses were put forward with varying degrees of success, but a paper just published combines two of them to explain the weird behavior: The star ejected a cloud of gas, and then a temperature drop caused dust to condense in the cloud, blocking the star's surface from our view.​
This conclusion is based on a series of jaw-dropping images taken of Betelgeuse using the SPHERE and GRAVITY cameras hooked up to the monster 8.2-meter Very Large Telescope in Chile. These cameras can be used to produce images with phenomenal resolution, enough to actually see the shape of the star! Usually stars are too small and far way to resolve their surfaces, but Betelgeuse is both close (something like 530 light years away) and enormous (a billion kilometers across), making it possible to map its surface in detail.​