Sonification of the transits of the remarkable Kepler 11 planetary system.
Kepler 11 has a compact system of six planets, detected by the Kepler observatory through their transits of their host star: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler-11
Here, I've taken each transit seen by the observatory and assigned a pitch and volume to it. The pitch (note) is determined by the planet's distance from its star (closer=higher), and they are drawn from a minor 11 chord. The volume is determined by the size of the planet (larger=louder).
The near-4:5 mean-motion resonance (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_resonance) of the innermost two planets is audible as the notes "beat" against each other.
A triple-transit (three planets crossing the face of the star at once) in August 2010 is also audible. This event is what is illustrated in the artist's impression of the system used in cover photo.
Creative Commons license - 2012 - Alex Harrison Parker, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Fly with the New Horizons spacecraft as it cruises by dozens of newly-discovered Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) near its trajectory. These objects were found by our survey team (gray points) as well as by members of the public through Ice Hunters (purple points) during a search - still under way - to find a KBO for New Horizons to approach close enough to take detailed images and measurements of its surface. See below for details.
Animation concept and rendering by Alex Harrison Parker, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
=== Mission to Pluto and Beyond: The search for a Kuiper Belt target ===
On July 14, 2015, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will become the first mission to visit the distant dwarf planet Pluto (2400 kilometers across) and its retinue of five moons, flying by at speeds over 50 times faster than a jet airliner.
With its onboard reserve of fuel, New Horizons is capable of performing a small course correction after this Pluto encounter, with the aim of visiting another much smaller, frozen world deep in the Kuiper Belt. At present, however, there are no known Kuiper Belt objects which New Horizons can reach with its remaining fuel - so a search to find these targets must be performed.
A team of scientists from across the world are making a concerted effort to identify one or more Kuiper Belt encounter targets within reach of New Horizons with its expected fuel supply in 2015. Using some of Earth's largest telescopes, we are searching the area of sky where such an encounter target would be today. This area of sky is extremely difficult to search for faint Kuiper Belt objects, owing to the fact that this region lies in the direction of the core of our Galaxy where the number of background stars is extremely high. Our team has developed a suite of advanced digital image processing algorithms for searching this data, however, and using these we have discovered a host of new Kuiper Belt objects which will fly near the spacecraft - though none yet fit within the available encounter fuel budget.
=== Animation Details ===
This animation shows the flight of the New Horizons spacecraft from 2010 to 2023 through this cloud of newly discovered Kuiper Belt Objects revealed by our search. Each KBO's position and motion has been computed from its best known orbit solution. For many objects these orbit solutions remain relatively uncertain, so the exact flyby geometry may change as we acquire new and better data.
The yellow triangle indicates the position of the New Horizons spacecraft. The large cyan circle marks Pluto's position. The small gray points are the new Kuiper Belt Objects we discovered in the 2011-2012 observing seasons, while the purple points are new Kuiper Belt Objects discovered in 2004-2005 observing season data by members of the public through the "IceHunters" citizen science effort.
The left panels show a top-down (i.e., from above the plane of the Earth's orbit) and side-on view of the spacecraft trajectory and the Kuiper Belt Objects discovered in our survey so far. Distance scales from the Sun are illustrated with gray lines, and the pericentric (closest point to the Sun) and apocentric (farthest point from the Sun) distances of Uranus and Neptune are marked with dashed white lines.
The right panel shows the Kuiper Belt objects from the perspective of the New Horizons spacecraft on its actual trajectory, with the view rendered as facing directly outward from the Sun. The illustrated size of each KBO scales with distance from the spacecraft, but the sizes are not to scale (almost all of the Kuiper Belt objects so far detected will be unresolved by the instruments onboard the spacecraft). For any Kuiper Belt object which passes within 2 AU of the spacecraft, the range in AU is shown.
In the animation, a "flyby" sound is generated by the distance and flyby geometry of each object. Since there is no sound in space, this sound is there purely to enhance the impression of motion through the Kuiper Belt.
Two long-range flybys with Kuiper Belt Objects occur before the Pluto encounter, one late 2013 and one in early 2015. It may be possible for New Horizons to make distant observations of these two objects, though neither is large enough to be resolved.
The "cluster" of distant flybys that begins in June of 2018 is due to the passage of New Horizons into the "cold classical Kuiper Belt," a region of space densely populated by Kuiper Belt Objects.
The hunt for ideal New Horizons encounter targets continues, and future versions of this animation will be updated as new Kuiper Belt objects are discovered.
This animation shows the 2299 high-quality, non-circumbinary transiting planet candidates found by NASA's Kepler mission so far. These candidates were detected around 1770 unique stars, but are animated in orbit around a single star. They are drawn to scale with accurate radii (in r / r* ), orbital periods, and orbital distances (in d / r*). They range in size from 1/3 to 84 times the radius of Earth. Colors represent an estimate of equilibrium temperature, ranging from 4,586 C at the hottest to -110 C at the coldest - red indicates warmest, and blue / indigo indicates coldest candidates.
Watching in full screen + HD is recommended, so you can see even the smallest planets!
The animation is rendered with a time-step of 30 minutes, equal to the long-cadence time sample of the Kepler observatory. Three white rings illustrate the average orbital distances of Mercury, Venus, and Earth on the same scale.
When the system is animated edge-on, it is clear that there is no time during which the sample of stars the Kepler spacecraft is observing does not contain a planet transiting a star. In fact, on average there are dozens of transits occurring amongst the Kepler sample at any given instant.
The Kepler observatory has detected a multitude of planet candidates orbiting distant stars. The current list contains 2321 planet candidates, though some of these have already been flagged as likely false-positives or contamination from binary stars. This animation does not include those candidates.
I have illustrated the planet candidates as if they orbit a single star. Using a transit lightcurve, a planet's distance from a star and its radius are both measured in terms of the host stars' radius, and those relationships are preserved here. This means that for two planets of equal size, if one orbits a larger star it will be drawn smaller here. Similarly, because the orbital distances scale with the host stars' sizes, some planets orbit faster than others at a given distance from the star in the animation (when in reality, planets on circular orbits around a given star always orbit at the same speed at a given distance). These faster-moving planets are orbiting denser stars.
A fraction of these candidates will likely be ruled out as false positives as time goes on, while the remainder stand to be confirmed as real planets by follow-up analysis.
At the beginning of the animation, the grid of rectangles that briefly appears represents the focal plane array of CCD detectors onboard Kepler.
Music: 2 Ghosts I, Nine Inch Nails.
angelrls wrote:I'm now realising that you allow to post videos here, so this is my latest timelapse video "A 2dF night at the Anglo-Australian Telescope":
The video shows the most complex astronomical instrument that astronomers use at the AAT: the Two Degree Field (2dF) system. The main part of 2dF is a robot gantry which allows astronomers to position up to 400 optical fibers in any object anywhere within a two degree field (size equivalent to 4 full moons) of the sky. The new time-lapse video does not only show how 2dF works, but also how the AAT and the dome move and the beauty of the Southern Sky in spring and summer. Other details that appear in the video are the movement of the Moon, the colour of the stars, clouds moving over the AAT, satellites and airplanes crossing the sky, the nebular emission of the Orion and Carina nebulae, the moonlight entering in the AAT dome, and kangaroos moving in the ground.
More details, in the Australian Astronomical Observatory press release: http://www.aao.gov.au/press/timelapse/timelapse-2dF.html
Additional information in Spanish can be found in my personal blog: http://angelrls.blogalia.com/historias/72196
(Puedes encontrar información en español de este video en el enlace previo a mi blog de divulgación astronómica).
Credit: Ángel R. López-Sánchez (Australian Astronomical Observatory / Macquarie University).
The music is an extract from the soundtrack "Epic Soul Factory", by the composer Cesc Villà.
Sorry I also included it in the submisions for September 2012 by mistake. You can delete that reply if it is possible: http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=29452&start=75#p183528
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