Category Archives: Astronomy

First image of a Black hole (and Abstract & Conclusion of scientific paper, published by American Astronomical Society 10th April 2019)

Today the Scientific community and indeed the whole world (especially that of social media) is bubbling up with excitement of the release of photos – first images of a black hole.   I’ve tracked the various links to the original scientific letter published at IOPScience site. Without breaching their brilliant presentation (the Physicist in me struggles to decipher it all), here are some key sections..  like the actual images, Abstract and Conclusion.

-Mani Navasothy

————–

The following Images, Abstract & Conclusion are taken from the article titled:

First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole .

(Published 2019 April 10 • © 2019. The American Astronomical Society- link at the bottom of the blog.

Eight stations of the EHT 2017 campaign over six geographic locations as viewed from the equatorial plane. Solid baselines represent mutual visibility on M87* (+12° declination).
Fig 1: Eight stations of the EHT 2017 campaign over six geographic locations as viewed from the equatorial plane. Solid baselines represent mutual visibility on M87* (+12° declination).
apjlab0ec7f3_lr
EHT image of M87* from observations on 2017 April 11 as a representative example of the images collected in the 2017 campaign. The image is the average of three different imaging methods after convolving each with a circular Gaussian kernel to give matched resolutions. The largest of the three kernels (20 μas FWHM) is shown in the lower right. The image is shown in units of brightness temperature, ${T}_{{\rm{b}}}=S{\lambda }^{2}/2{k}_{{\rm{B}}}{\rm{\Omega }}$, where S is the flux density, λ is the observing wavelength, kB is the Boltzmann constant, and Ω is the solid angle of the resolution element. Bottom: similar images taken over different days showing the stability of the basic image structure and the equivalence among different days. North is up and east is to the left.
apjlab0ec7f4_lr
three example models of some of the best-fitting snapshots from the image library of GRMHD simulations for April 11 corresponding to different spin parameters and accretion flows. Bottom: the same theoretical models, processed through a VLBI simulation pipeline with the same schedule, telescope characteristics, and weather parameters as in the April 11 run and imaged in the same way as Figure 3. Note that although the fit to the observations is equally good in the three cases, they refer to radically different physical scenarios; this highlights that a single good fit does not imply that a model is preferred over others

 

Abstract:

When surrounded by a transparent emission region, black holes are expected to reveal a dark shadow caused by gravitational light bending and photon capture at the event horizon. To image and study this phenomenon, we have assembled the Event Horizon Telescope, a global very long baseline interferometry array observing at a wavelength of 1.3 mm. This allows us to reconstruct event-horizon-scale images of the supermassive black hole candidate in the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87. We have resolved the central compact radio source as an asymmetric bright emission ring with a diameter of 42 ± 3 μas, which is circular and encompasses a central depression in brightness with a flux ratio gsim10:1. The emission ring is recovered using different calibration and imaging schemes, with its diameter and width remaining stable over four different observations carried out in different days. Overall, the observed image is consistent with expectations for the shadow of a Kerr black hole as predicted by general relativity. The asymmetry in brightness in the ring can be explained in terms of relativistic beaming of the emission from a plasma rotating close to the speed of light around a black hole. We compare our images to an extensive library of ray-traced general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of black holes and derive a central mass of M = (6.5 ± 0.7) × 109 M⊙. Our radio-wave observations thus provide powerful evidence for the presence of supermassive black holes in centers of galaxies and as the central engines of active galactic nuclei. They also present a new tool to explore gravity in its most extreme limit and on a mass scale that was so far not accessible.

..

Conclusion and Outlook (first 2 paragraphs).

We have assembled the EHT, a global VLBI array operating at a wavelength of 1.3 mm and imaged horizon-scale structures around the supermassive black hole candidate in M87. Using multiple independent calibration, imaging, and analysis methods, we find the image to be dominated by a ring structure of 42 ± 3 μas diameter that is brighter in the south. This structure has a central brightness depression with a contrast of >10:1, which we identify with the black hole shadow. Comparing the data with an extensive library of synthetic images obtained from GRMHD simulations covering different physical scenarios and plasma conditions reveals that the basic features of our image are relatively independent of the detailed astrophysical model. This allows us to derive an estimate for the black hole mass of M = (6.5 ± 0.7) × 109 M. Based on our modeling and information on the inclination angle, we derive the sense of rotation of the black hole to be in the clockwise direction, i.e., the spin of the black hole points away from us. The brightness excess in the south part of the emission ring is explained as relativistic beaming of material rotating in the clockwise direction as seen by the observer, i.e., the bottom part of the emission region is moving toward the observer.

Future observations and further analysis will test the stability, shape, and depth of the shadow more accurately. One of its key features is that it should remain largely constant with time as the mass of M87* is not expected to change measurably on human timescales. Polarimetric analysis of the images, which we will report in the future, will provide information on the accretion rate via Faraday rotation (Bower et al. 2003; Marrone et al. 2007; Kuo et al. 2014; Mościbrodzka et al. 2017) and on the magnetic flux. Higher-resolution images can be achieved by going to a shorter wavelength, i.e., 0.8 mm (345 GHz), by adding more telescopes and, in a more distant future, with space-based interferometry (Kardashev et al. 2014; Fish et al. 2019; Palumbo et al. 2019; F. Roelofs et al. 2019b, in preparation).

Essential links to full scientific Paper:

Focus on the First Event Horizon Telescope Results –   Shep Doeleman (EHT Director) on behalf of the EHT Collaboration.  April 2019.  

First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole .

 

 

 

Lunar Phenomena in 2019 – (Blue moon, Indigo Moon & Lunar Eclipses)

Here’s a quick infographics on the major Lunar Phenomena coming up in 2019.  It includes  *Astrological Blue moon (2 consecutive full moons in same sign), Traditional *Indigo moon (2 new moons in same month), and of course the eclipses.  I’ll say more on these later. Book mark and come back to this blog again.

-Mani Navasothy

Lunar Phenomena in 2019 by Mani Navasothy.jpg

Solar & Lunar Eclipses data for 2019 (Astronomy)

In 2019 there will be 5 Eclipses!   Here are the dates for each, Orthographic maps, and animated diagrams.

  • 6th January 2019 – Partial Solar Eclipse
  • 21st January 2019 – Total Lunar Eclipse
  • 2nd July- 2019 – Total Solar Eclipse
  • 16th July 2019 – Partial Lunar Eclipse
  • 26th December 2019 – Annular Solar Eclipse

 

se2019jan06p

animated solar eclipse 2019jan06p


total lunar eclipse - jan2019

 


se2019jul02t

animated solar eclipse 2019jul02t


Partial Lunar Eclipse - July 2019.jpg


 

se2019dec26a

animated solar eclipse 2019dec26a


All data (c) Fred Espenak.    Diagrams taken from NASA Eclipse website. https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/resource.html  and http://www.mrEclipse.com website

-Mani Navasothy

ps. I will be providing another blog for Eclipses…but astrologically based.

Meanwhile you can learn about Eclipse Magical working (esoterica & ceremonial), you can check my Eclipse Magic Book here on my blog

Eclipse Magic Book (click this link to read more).

Eclipse Magic Workbook by Mani Navasothy
Eclipse Magic Workbook by Mani Navasothy (pdf version)

Meteors in 2017

Hi all..  a friend (Jemima Marriott) mentioned seeing a bright shooting star 2 nights ago..and it made me realise that I’d not made any notes about meteors..not only for this coming year but all last year (2016).  So a quick search on some reliable astronomy site has produced the following data.

meteor-showers-2017

Major Meteor Showers in 2017

Shower /  Radiant & direction / Morning of maximum/  Best hourly rate / Parent

-Quadrantid /  Draco (NE) /   Jan. 3 /   60-100 /  2003 EH1

-LyridLyra (E) /   April 22 /  10-20 /  Thatcher (1861 I)

-Eta Aquariid* /   Aquarius (E) /  May 6/  20-60 /  1P/Halley

-Delta Aquariid /   Aquarius (S) /   July 30 / 20 /  96P/Machholz

-Perseid*  /   Perseus (NE) /  Aug. 12 /  90 /  109P/Swift-Tuttle

-Orionid  /   Orion (SE) / Oct. 21  /  10-20 /  1P/Halley

-Southern  Taurid*  /   Taurus (S)  /   Nov. 5 /  10-20/  2P/Encke

-Leonid  /   Leo (E) / Nov. 17 /  10-20 /  55P/Tempel-Tuttle

-Geminid /    Gemini (S)  / Dec. 14 /  100-120 / 3200 Phaethon

meteors-2017

 Data taken from  http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/meteor-showers-in-2017/

I’ll write more in these soon…But this should be enough for all to atlast to male a diary note..and more importantly..  look up at the heaves for these messengers 🙂

-Mani Navasothy

ps.  Here’s when i stayed up and actually caught one on camera..few years ago. ..back in 2013.

Meteor Shower Guide for 2016 (Earthsky)

Hi All,  am bit behind with all this astronomy stuff…Will get it sorted and blog info/ details..   But for now, here’s the info from EarthSky site.

Follow the links below to learn about meteor showers in 2016! Remember that, for most showers, you can watch for several nights around the shower’s peak.

January 3-4, 2016 Quadrantids

April 21-22, 2016 Lyrids

May 5-6, 2016 Eta Aquarids

July 28-29, 2016 Delta Aquarids

August 11-12, 2016 Perseids

October 7, 2016 Draconids

October 20-21, 2016 Orionids

November 4-5, 2016 South Taurids

November 11-12, 2016 North Taurids

November 16-17, 2016 Leonids

December 13-14, 2016 Geminids

Partial Solar & Full Lunar Eclipses in Sept’15 – Astrology Charts & astronomy data

Here are the full astrological charts & planetary positions for the upcoming 2 Eclipses (13th Sept & 28th sept). Also below are scientific diagrams / data created by Fred Espanak of NASA.

Chart Partial Solar Eclipse 13 Sept 2015 (c) Mani Navasothy
Chart Partial Solar Eclipse 13 Sept 2015 (c) Mani Navasothy   http://www.EclipseMagic.co.uk
Chart Lunar Eclipse 28 Sept 2015 (c) Mani Navasothy
Chart for Full Lunar Eclipse 28th Sept 2015 (c) Mani Navasothy   http://www.EclipseMagic.co.uk

x

Partial Solar Eclipse 13 sept 2015 (c) Fred Espenak NASA

xTotal Lunar Eclipse 28 sept 2015 (c) Fred Espenak NASA

Bright Stellar Wishes

-Mani Navasothy

ps.  If you are interested in doing magical work  (Eclipse Magic)  leading up to or on one of these Eclipses, you can purchase my Book `Eclipse Magic Workbook’   (published in 2012).   Usual price £12.   Special offer £3.99 till 13th sept’15.   Visit http://www.EclipseMagic.co.uk

Special Offer- Eclipse Magic Workbook - £3.99
Special Offer- Eclipse Magic Workbook – £3.99

Jupiter-Conjunct-Venus (almost)

Some photos of the waxing Moon (taken last night on 28th June’15) and  Jupiter almost conjunct Venus (taken this evening 29th June’15). I will try to take photos of the Jupiter-Venus conjunction over the next few days (wish us astro-photographers clear skies).  🙂   -Mani Navasothy

Jupiter conjunct Venus 29June2015
Jupiter conjunct Venus 29 June 2015 – Mani Navasothy
waxing moon 28june2015 (c) Mani Navasothy
waxing moon 28 june 2015 (c) Mani Navasothy

Photo: Jupiter & Venus in same frame (5th May2015 @ 22:17hrs gmt. S.London)

Just by chance I happen to glimpse a bright `star’ from my bathroom window..almost at low horizon in the west..and I knew instantly what it was..so ran out to garden with my Digital SLR ..and started clicking.. and then I looked to the SW sky and saw an equally bright object and knew ..that’s gotta be Jupiter.. Of course both were confirmed by me using my SKy-eye app on the mobile..(by pointing it / centering on object). So here we are..:-)

This blog shows 2 photos. Here are a few photos I took just hours ago (5th May 2015.. around 22:17hrs GMT) from my garden in South London area…in between fast moving clouds, using my DSLR (sony DSC-HX300).

Jupiter (top left) Venus (bottom right)  - Photo taken on 5thMay'15 @22:17hrs gmt from S.London  (c)MN
Jupiter (top left) Venus (bottom right) – Photo taken on 5thMay’15 @22:17hrs gmt from S.London (c)MN

This shot was taken (hand-held) using the 3D viewable function of the DSLR.

DSC01485
Jupiter (top left) Venus (bottom right) – Photo taken on 5thMay’15 @22:16hrs gmt from S.London (c)MN

This shot was taken using the `superior auto’ function (low light).

It’s notable that currently  Jupiter is at 13’41” Leo, and Venus is 27’17” Gemini.  These two planets are of course called the beneficial planets..  So to capture them both in one frame is a great thrill for me.. 🙂   (no trickery..  it’s why I didn’t even stamp a `copyright’ note on the photo..  lest anyone thought I `graphixed’ it 🙂

-Mani Navasothy

Solar Eclipse – 20th March 2015 – Full Astronomy & Astrology data

People get excited about Eclipses – only when they can actually see them!  Otherwise these wonderful stellar Events just pass many people by – it just happens `somewhere else’ (ie visible in another part of the world, but not where `you’ live). But for astronomers & astrologers, no matter where they are and where the actual eclipses are visible from- it’s always of great interest and importance.  And me?  I am both an amateur astronomer and a full on astrologer. Here in England, it’s hard to plan observing one (safety in mind!) because of unexpected clouds and rain..but i have always marked them on my diary and always taken the opportunity to do personal spiritual & magical work.   (I wrote a book some years ago, called `Eclipse Magic Workbook’ it’s on kindle for sale and on my own websites! See links below)

I see that the internet and social media is beginning to saturate already .with lovely *fantasmagraphical..graphics and such.  So many of them are so very inaccurate. Astronomers would cringe..and erm..so would astrologers.

So as usual, I have spent a great deal of time either creating or compiling the useful data for the upcoming Solar Eclipse of 20th Match 2015.  It’s visible from UK (over 90%).

Here are all the useful stuff

Astrology / Planetary chart for Solar Eclipse 20th March 2015 

This is drawn for exactly 9.45am Universal Time (pretty much same as GMT)..and uses just sun signs only (no house positions shown as that depends on geography). But for those interested, if a Placidus chart is drawn for this event, using coordinates of where greatest Eclipse is visible (Lat 64′ N;  Long 6’W), then Ascendant is in Cancer, and Midheaven is in Aquarius).

Chart  for Solar Eclipse 20 March 2015 (c) Mani Navasothy / www.QuantumPhoenix.net
Chart for Solar Eclipse 20 March 2015 (c) Mani Navasothy / http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

NASA diagram with full astronomical data 

Earth enters the Umbra of the Lunar shadow at 9.09am (UT)..

Greatest Eclipse of the Sun occurs at 9.45am (UT).

Earth leaves the umbral shadow at 10:21am (UT).

The duration of greatest eclipse is 2 min 46 seconds!!   

NASA diagram - astronomical  Data of Solar Eclipse - 20 March 2015
Astronomical Data of Solar Eclipse – 20 March 2015     (created by Fred Espenak, NASA)

Where is this visible?

This is visible from Iceland, Europe, N.Africa,  N.Asia .

Total Eclipse is visible from  N.Atlantic, Faeroe Is, Svalbard.

Solar Eclipse 20March2015 -NASA animation
Solar Eclipse 20March2015 -NASA animation

I’ll be uploading some video-graphics I found and edited together, showing actual visibility (where this eclipse can be seen from) in another blog post, as well as to my youtube channel, and my `Eclipse Magic’ facebook page

-Mani Navasothy

Links

Eclipse Magic- stellar Engineer your life (esoteric website)

NASA site for Eclipses 

Time and Date (for visibility data, clocks )

Supermoon – list of dates 2014- 2012

Encounter with Pluto..soon (in 2015!)

Countdown to PlutoI came across this marvelous news..!   NASA’s fastest spacecraft `New Horizon’ launched in 2006, has been hurtling towards planet Pluto at 1 million miles per day…! Closest approach to Pluto is next year (July, 2015)..but will start taking photos …(tons I imagine) from next January 2015 onwards…!  So we are just under a year away from this event!

Bit of astrology :   The 7 sharp aspects between Pluto and Uranus (squares) will be complete by March 2015..  so it is interesting that humanity’s first proper closest look at Pluto comes just at the end of it..  Uranus is a planet that rules technology..and innovation.. (the `Age of Aquarian planet’) ..and Pluto symbolises smallest things that create the biggest impact..  So by July 2015, I’d say (as an Astrologer), we on Earth will have had some revolutionary changes…at least in our own lives..  if not on a global level..

Right then..  Here’s that NASA post from  http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/scitech/display.cfm?ST_ID=2627

“One of the fastest spacecraft ever built — NASA’s New Horizons — is hurtling through the void at nearly one million miles per day. Launched in 2006, it has been in flight longer than some missions last, and it is nearing its destination: Pluto.

“The encounter begins next January,” says Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute and the mission’s principal investigator. “We’re less than a year away.”

Closest approach is scheduled for July 2015 when New Horizons flies only 10,000 km from Pluto, but the spacecraft will be busy long before that date. The first step, in January 2015, is an intensive campaign of photography by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager or “LORRI.” This will help mission controllers pinpoint Pluto’s location, which is uncertain by a few thousand kilometers.

“LORRI will photograph the planet against known background star fields,” explains Stern. “We’ll use the images to refine Pluto’s distance from the spacecraft, and then fire the engines to make any necessary corrections.”

At first, Pluto and its large moon Charon will be little more than distant pinpricks-“a couple of fat pixels,” says Stern–but soon they will swell into full-fledged worlds.

By late April 2015, the approaching spacecraft will be taking pictures of Pluto that surpass the best images from Hubble. By closest approach in July 2015, a whole new world will open up to the spacecraft’s cameras. If New Horizons flew over Earth at the same altitude, it could see individual buildings and their shapes.

Stern is looking forward to one of the most exciting moments of the Space Age.

“Humankind hasn’t had an experience like this–an encounter with a new planet–in a long time,” he says. “Everything we see on Pluto will be a revelation.”

He likens New Horizons to Mariner 4, which flew past Mars in July 1965. At the time, many people on Earth, even some scientists, thought the Red Planet was a relatively gentle world, with water and vegetation friendly to life. Instead, Mariner 4 revealed a desiccated wasteland of haunting beauty. New Horizons’ flyby of Pluto will occur almost exactly 50 years after Mariner 4’s flyby of Mars-and it could shock observers just as much.

Other than a few indistinct markings seen from afar by Hubble, Pluto’s landscape is totally unexplored. Although some astronomers call Pluto a “dwarf” planet, Stern says there’s nothing small about it. “If you drove a car around the equator of Pluto, the odometer would rack up almost 5,000 miles-as far as from Manhattan to Moscow.” Such a traveler might encounter icy geysers, craters, clouds, mountain ranges, rilles and valleys, alongside alien landforms no one has ever imagined.

“There is a real possibility that New Horizons will discover new moons and rings as well,” says Stern.

Yes, Pluto could have rings. Already, Pluto has five known moons: Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. Numerical simulations show that meteoroids striking those satellites could send debris into orbit, forming a ring system that waxes and wanes over time in response to changes in bombardment.

“We’re flying into the unknown,” says Stern, “and there is no telling what we might find.”

Author: Dr. Tony Phillips
Credit: Science@NASA