Astro: Bright Comet alert for northern hemisphere viewers tonight!

Hot on the tail (literally) of the recent Asteroid 2012 DA14 and the russian fireball incident, it looks like 2012 will indeed be the year for these cosmic fireworks! If your in the northern hemisphere you should be able to catch it easily with the naked eye (i.e. no telescope or bino’s) and promises to be the best Comet for quiet a few years.

Called Comet Pan-STARRS or officially C/2011 L4, it should be as bright as a 1st magnitude star for everyone in Europe, North America, Russia, China and the far-east and will reach its closet approach to Earth on 7th March 2013. And if you missed it yesterday, don’t worry, it will be visible for a few more days before reaching its closet approach (perihelion) to the Sun on 10th March in which it may break up. Want to find out how to watch it, then continue reading this post…

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Astro special: Earth Asteroid is at its closest today. Watch it online here!

Last week I posted a blog on the soon to arrive Asteroid 2012 DA14. Well, today, Friday 15th February 2013 it’s finally here, or shall I say, its closest approach to our Earth. It’s now nearer to us than many communications satellites in Earth orbit and tumbling around at a mind-blowing 20,000 mph.

If it’s a clear night you might just spot a glimpse of the huge rock, around 150 feet wide and will approach Earth at a ‘tiny’ 17,000 miles, in astronomical terms this is right up close. And if you want to get up close and personal to Asteroid 2012 DA14 check out the this blog for a live video feed of the rock, coming to its closest approach 19:24 hrs GMT or 2.24pm EST today..

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Astro: Gamma Ray Burst nearly wiped out Earth in 8th century!

Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the most powerful explosions in the universe, fact. They are caused when a massive Star (much bigger than our own Sun) explodes by collapsing in on itself, probably producing a Neutron Star or a massive Black Hole. The result is that a huge amount of energy, in the form of Gamma Rays, X-Rays etc are produced, killing everything in its path for many light-years.

If a GRB does hit Earth, the chances it will cause everything living thing death, a bit like a mass extinction which caused the demise of the Dinosaurs. Now researchers have found the probability of a GRB did indeed hit our Earth way back in the 8th century, and here’s how they know this..

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News: The new Raspberry PI official HD camera

Cambridge, UK-based Raspberry, the makers of the top-selling credit card sized bare bones computer, the PI, are about to launch another, cheap-as-chips attachment for it, an HD quality camera.

According to Engaget, the ‘eye pi‘ camera will set users back around $25 (about £19) and for the price it seems pretty high spec with a 1080p HD camera at 30fps on a small PCB measuring around 25 x 20 x 9mm, connected to the standard PI ribbon cable to be connected to your PI computer.

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Astro: Asteroid on closest Earth fly-by next week!

It’s widely know that Asteroids and Comets played a part in wiping out living things on Earth in the distant past, including the Dinosaurs. And next week our Earth gets skimmed (astronomically speaking) by a huge boulder from the depths of our solar system. But according to NASA, the ‘half-the-size’ of a football field rock will miss Earth by ‘just’ 17,200 miles give or take.

If the nights are clear you might just be able to glimpse the boulder as a spec of light, or if NASA (we all hope) are wrong then it might just be the final Friday on Earth as we know it! If you want to know more, get an idea of how close it will pass Earth then read on!

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Astronomy: The great Comet heading our way in 2013

 The last big Comet to take everyone in the UK (and northern hemisphere) by storm, well it was Hale-Bopp which reached its closest (perihelion) and most spectacular view in 1997. A true sight to behold with its huge, bright tale, the ‘dirty snowball’ was visible on many a clear night and, until now, was the most spectacular Comet visible from Earth for many many years.

Enter the new boss of Comets coming out way to a sky near year. Comet ISON may not have a name to role of the tounge like Hale-Bopp or even Hayley, however so far it promises to be totally spectacular and may even surpass previous Comet encounters, with some scientists predicting it will even outshine the full moon!

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