Category Archives: astronomy

India At Mars.. MOM

This is really a proud moment for me and also for every single #Indian as we are now among the very few players of technology who have reached mars “The Red planet” .No words can describe this feeling I am feeling proud on our ISRO scientists and all the associated members with this mission. Heartily congratulations to our countrymen for this milestone.

This is India’s first and worlds cheapest mars orbiter mission which is totally succeeded to reach the mars orbit in its very first attempt on 24 September 2014 2:00 UTC 06:27 AMT .The orbiter was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center SHAR, Sriharikota at 09:08 UTC (14:38 IST) on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket C25.

Mars Orbiter Mission is India’s first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit. The Mission is primarily technological mission considering the critical mission operations and stringent requirements on propulsion and other bus systems of spacecraft.

Mars Orbiter Mission carries five scientific payloads to observe Martian surface, atmosphere and exosphere extending up to 80,000 km for a detailed understanding of the evolution of that planet, especially the related geologic and the possible biogenic processes on that interesting planet. These payloads consist of a camera, two spectrometers, a radiometer and a photometer. Together, they have a weight of about 15 kg.

Objectives Of MOM:

Following are the major objectives of the mission:

A. Technological Objectives:

Design and realization of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars.
Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
B. Scientific Objectives:

Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.
source: ISRO

payload-location Mars Orbiter Mission mom orbitpslv14takeoff3

A Galaxy Collision in NGC 6745



Explanation: Galaxies don’t normally look like this. NGC 6745 actually shows the results of two galaxies that have been colliding for only hundreds of millions of years. Just off the above digitally sharpened photograph to the lower right is the smaller galaxy, moving away. The larger galaxy, pictured above, used to be a spiral galaxy but now is damaged and appears peculiar. Gravity has distorted the shapes of the galaxies. Although it is likely that no stars in the two galaxies directly collided, the gas, dust, and ambient magnetic fields do interact directly. In fact, a knot of gas pulled off the larger galaxy on the lower right has now begun to form stars. NGC 6745 spans about 80 thousand light-years across and is located about 200 million light-years away.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Pyramids, Planets: Alignment!

The Cosmos

On December 3, 2012, the planets Mercury, Venus, and Saturn will align with the Giza Pyramids in Egypt. This will be the first planetary/pyramid alignment in 2,737 years! Now, the three Giza pyramids are also in perfect alignment with the three stars of Orion’s belt. In 1983, Robert Bauval proposed this Orion correlation theory and published this idea in Discussions in Egyptology in 1989. The Giza pyramids were built in the 3rd millennium B.C. The alignment is very curious. Could the Egyptians have built the Giza pyramids that way on purpose?

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Perseid Meteors and the Milky Way

Perseid Meteors and the Milky Way

Explanation: Where will the next Perseid meteor appear? Sky enthusiasts who trekked outside

for the Perseid meteor shower that peaked over the past few days typically had this

question on their mind. Six meteors from this past weekend are visible in the above stacked

image composite, including one bright fireball streaking along the band of the background

Milky Way Galaxy. All Perseid meteors appear to come from the shower radiant in the

constellation of Perseus. Early reports about this year’s Perseids indicate that as many as

100 meteors per hour were visible from some dark locations during the peak. The above

digital mosaic was taken near Weikersheim, Germany.

Image Credit & Copyright: Jens Hackmann

Expansion of the Universe

The Cosmos

Hubble’s Law, written by Edwin Hubble in the 1920s, describes the expansion of the Universe.

Edwin Hubble & Expansion of the Universe – Timeline

1917: Vesto Slipher discovered that the spectra of galaxies were almost always red shift (moving away). Infact, most galaxies are moving away and 2 out of 15 spirals moving at over 2 million miles per hour.

1929: Edwin Hubble derived distances to these galaxies and showed that implied recessional speed, v1, is proportional to its current distance from us

  • Hubble’s Law: V – Hd, where  H is Hubble’s constant (71 km·s –¹/Mpc), v is velocity, and d is distance
  • The value of Hubble’s constant is how fast the Universe is expanding now; if Hubble’s constant is bigger, the Universe is expanding faster

1927: Belgian astronomer, G. Lamaitre, had a similar result, proving that the Universe is expanding

  •  Combined Einstein’s theory…

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Curiosity to Land on the Red Planet


The Cosmos

The Mars Rover Curiosity will land on the Red Planet on August 5, 2012 (Pacific Time).

A collaboration between JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and NASA, Mars Rover Curiosity (SUV), otherwise known as Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), has technology that succeeds its predecessors, Spirit and Opportunity (golf carts) and Sojourner (microwave). NASA launched Curiosity on November 26, 2011 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Curiosity is expected to land on August 5, 2012 on the Aeolis Palus region of the Gale crater. Curiosity‘s four objectives are: 1) determine whether Mars is suitable for life; 2) study Mars’ climate; 3) study Mars’ climate; 4) plan future human mission to Mars.


  • Weight: 2,000 lbs.
  • Length: >9.8 ft.
  • Distance Covered (per day): ~600 ft
  • Lifetime: >687 Earth days (1 Martian year)


  • Power: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) – uses the decay of plutonium-238 to generate…

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Moon Meets Jupiter

Moon Meets Jupiter

Explanation: Skygazers around planet Earth enjoyed the close encounter of planets and Moon in July 15’s predawn skies. And while many saw bright Jupiter next to the slender, waning crescent, Europeans also had the opportunity to watch the ruling gas giant pass behind the lunar disk, occulted by the Moon as it slid through the night. Clouds threaten in this telescopic view from Montecassiano, Italy, but the frame still captures Jupiter after it emerged from the occultation along with all four of its large Galilean moons. The sunlit crescent is overexposed with the Moon’s night side faintly illuminated by Earthshine. Lined up left to right beyond the dark lunar limb are Callisto, Ganymede, Jupiter, Io, and Europa. In fact, Callisto, Ganymede, and Io are larger than Earth’s Moon, while Europa is only slightly smaller.
Image Credit NASA APOD collection:MOON MEETS JUPITER

Orion Nebula.

Orion Nebula.

The Hubble View

Explanation: Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula. Also known as M42, the nebula’s glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud only 1,500 light-years away. The Orion Nebula offers one of the best opportunities to study how stars are born partly because it is the nearest large star-forming region, but also because the nebula’s energetic stars have blown away obscuring gas and dust clouds that would otherwise block our view – providing an intimate look at a range of ongoing stages of starbirth and evolution. This detailed image of the Orion Nebula is the sharpest ever, constructed using data from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla 2.2 meter telescope. The mosaic contains a billion pixels at full resolution and reveals about 3,000 stars.
Image credit NASA APOD Collection: M42: The Orion Nebula