Minnesota State University Moorhead Astronomy News Feeds

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Mammatus Clouds over Nebraska
December 15, 2019

Mammatus Clouds over Nebraska When do cloud bottoms appear like bubbles? Normally, cloud bottoms are flat. This is because moist warm air that rises and cools will condense into water droplets at a specific temperature, which usually...

Astronomical Time Information for
the Fargo-Moorhead Area

Current Local Time:Sunday, December 15, 2019 3:09:55 pm CST
Julian Date:2458833.38189
Local Sidereal Time:20:21:02.5

The following sunrise/sunset times are for Paul P. Feder Observatory at Buffalo River State Park, about 14 miles from the MSUM Campus. They are only accurate to about 3 minutes since no attempt has been made to deal with the effects of changing temperature/humidity on atmospheric refraction. However, they should be reasonably accurate anywhere in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Daylight on Sunday, December 15, 2019 in Paul J. Feder Observatory
Solar Day (Sun Rising/Setting)8:03 am CST4:37 pm CST
Astronomical Day (Darkest Skies)6:13 am CST6:28 pm CST
You can click on the "ICAL" button to the right to download an iCal file with the Sunrise and Sunset times for the next year (iCal files should be compatible with Mac OS X iCal or Microsoft Outlook).

Astronomical News

BIG DISCLAIMER: This page of links is assembled automatically via software algorithm, and therefore while we do provide links to these other astronomy oriented websites, I do not necessarily endorse any claims or opinions expressed by those authors.

Universe Today (Top 5 items)

  1. NASA Maps Out the Water On Mars. Some Will Be So Easy to Get, You Could Dig it Out With a Shovel (Sat Dec 14 2:47 pm)
    NASA has created a map showing how water is distributed on Mars. The water is frozen under the surface of the planet, and some of it is only 30 cm (12 inches) deep. At that depth, astronauts won't need a machine to access it: just a shovel....
  2. Planets Started Out From Dust Clumping Together. Here’s How (Sat Dec 14 1:04 pm)
    A new study by a team of German physicists and an American biomedical engineer has solved a long-standing problem in how planets form. The post Planets Started Out From Dust Clumping Together. Here's How appeared first on Universe Today.
  3. The Spaceport America Cup Joins Crowdsourcing Platform HeroX to Propel Student Innovation! (Sat Dec 14 12:36 pm)
    The 2020 Spaceport America Cup will be the largest to date, thanks to a new collaboration with crowdsourcing powerhouse HeroX! The post The Spaceport America Cup Joins Crowdsourcing Platform HeroX to Propel Student Innovation! appeared first...
  4. The Site Has Been Chosen! Here’s Where OSIRIS-REx is Going To Take a Sample from Bennu (Fri Dec 13 4:24 pm)
    NASA has chosen the sampling site for its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. After narrowing it down to four potential sites and examining them in detail, they?ve settled on one location. Their choice? Nightingale. OSIRIS-REx has been at asteroid Bennu...
  5. North and South America, At Night (Fri Dec 13 1:15 pm)
    Along with all of their space-exploration, planet-hunting, and astronomy-based endeavours, NASA also keeps a very keen eye on Earth. In fact, they have 18 satellites whose job it is to look only at Earth. And those 18 advanced satellites are...

EurekaAlert Space News (Top 5 items)

  1. NYU Abu Dhabi researcher discovers exoplanets can be made less habitable by stars' flares (Sat Dec 14 11:00 pm)
    (New York University) In this new study, NYUAD Center for Space Science Research Scientist Dimitra Atri found that not all exoplanets in habitable zones will be able to maintain hospitable conditions for life. Exoplanets in close proximity...
  2. Finding a killer electron hot spot in Earth's Van Allen radiation belts (Thu Dec 12 11:00 pm)
    (Nagoya University) JAXA and NASA satellite observations show where killer electrons are generated in the Van Allen radiation belts surrounding Earth.
  3. Hubble watches interstellar comet Borisov speed past the sun (Wed Dec 11 11:00 pm)
    (ESA/Hubble Information Centre) The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has once again captured comet 2I/Borisov streaking through our solar system on its way back into interstellar space. At a breathtaking speed of over 175 000 kilometres per...
  4. A galactic dance (Wed Dec 11 11:00 pm)
    (Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)) Galaxies lead a graceful existence on cosmic timescales. Over millions of years, they can engage in elaborate dances that produce some of Nature's most exquisite and striking grand...
  5. NASA's MAVEN maps winds in the martian upper atmosphere (Wed Dec 11 11:00 pm)
    (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Researchers have created the first map of wind circulation in the upper atmosphere of a planet besides Earth.

Astronomer's Telegrams (Top 5 items)

  1. ATel 13351: GRAWITA TNG classification of ZTF19acykzsk (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    We report the classification of ZTF19acykzsk (Andreoni et al. GCNC 26424), transient candidate within the error area of the GW event S191213g (LVC, GCNC 26402). ...
  2. ATel 13350: MASTER: outburst detection with ampl>5.1m (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    MASTER OT J064829.56+021205.9 discovery- preliminary dwarf nova outburst with ampl > 5.1 MASTER-IAC auto-detection system discovered OT source at (RA, Dec) = 06h 48m 29.56s +02d 12m 05.9s on 2019-12-14.17137 UT. ...
  3. ATel 13349: SALT spectroscopy of the rapidly fading transient ASASSN-V J060000.76-310027.83 (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    On 2019 December 12, beginning at 01:56:13 UTC, we obtained two consecutive 600 s exposures with the Robert Stobie Spectrograph on the Southern African Large Telescope of the unusual fading transient source ASASSN-V J060000.76-310027.83, reported...
  4. ATel 13348: Spectroscopic classification of the bright dwarf nova TCP J00590972+3438357 (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    We report on a spectrum of the bright optical transient TCP J00590972+3438357. As reported to CBAT, this object was discovered by Seiji Ueda at 12.4 mag on 2019-12-13.4309 UT. ...
  5. ATel 13347: INTEGRAL indication of enhanced non-thermal emission by eta Carinae (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    INTEGRAL performed a target-of-opportunity observation of the colliding wind binary eta Carinae from 2019-12-06 13:10:19 to 2019-12-07 09:28:36 (UTC). This was after the report of an X-ray flare seen by NICER (ATel #13327) and the enhanced...