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Unique comet

Leaving the Oort cloud, the Earth is approaching comet Catalina, consisting of primordial matter.

Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina has completed journey around the Sun and is now approaching Earth. The comet will fly at a distance of 108 million km from the planet. It can be seen with the naked eye or in binoculars 17 January 2016 in the area of the constellation URSA major, reports Global Science .

The comet opened in October 2013 with the help of automated search system, which was developed under the project called the Catalina Sky Survey, providing a view of the sky.

C/2013 US10 is one of the many comets are in the Oort cloud, located at a distance of 50-100 thousand astronomical units.

Experts believe that the cloud is material left from the formation of the entire Solar system.

The first Catalina circled around the Sun took place at the end of November. Now the comet can be observed in the constellation of Virgo, however, this requires special optics. Continue reading

Available on science

At the end of last week in Ulyanovsk has started an interesting project Simple science. Its initiator is the teacher of UVAU HA Leonid Podymov.

— The main purpose of my lectures is to educate. I would like to tell Ulyanovsk on the latest and most interesting achievements in modern science into simple language so that it is clear even to the unprepared listener, — says the organizer of the “Simple science”.

Leonid physicist by education, so the project is focused mainly on natural Sciences. In particular, the first lecture was devoted to astronomy — or rather, cosmic distances and scale.

— Many people know that, for example, our Solar system is big. But it is actually an ordinary person is unlikely to adequately represent these scales and distances — simply because it is not something to compare. I tried using a few simple techniques to bring clarity in such comparisons, says the teacher.

So, during the speech he invited the audience to spend with him a few thought experiments.

— Let’s imagine that our planet has shrunk to the size of a standard basketball ball whose radius 12.2 centimeters. If we reduce all other razmery accordance with a given scale, we get the following illustrative figures: the Sun will be a ball with radius 13 meters. Continue reading

The largest planet

People were engaged in agriculture in the stone age, 30 – 35 thousand years ago. This is evidenced by the notches on animal bones and rocks, cave paintings. This is, perhaps, the earliest “scientific notes”, in which the authors noted the different phases of the moon and count days and nights.

Monitored by our astronomical instruments, the universe consists by weight of about 76 percent hydrogen and 23 helium. Only slightly more than one percent accounts for all other elements of the periodic table.

It is estimated that the galaxy contains more than a hundred and twenty billion stars and to represent its enormous size, we will give one comparison: if the path from the Sun to Earth light travels in 8 minutes, the diameter of the galaxy it will for a hundred thousand years.

To show the progress made over half a century in the study of the Universe, astronomer Paul Couderc came to a startling comparison. Suppose that all known astronomy to 1900 area of the Universe displayed on the plan area of one square meter. Continue reading

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