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Alpha Game 170 From A to Z   Fun and Games

Started 5/11/18 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 4995808 views.
PTG (anotherPTG)

From: PTG (anotherPTG)


Rigel is a blue supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. It has the Bayer designation β Orionis, which is Latinized to Beta Orionis and abbreviated Beta Ori or β Ori. Rigel is the brightest and most massive component – and the eponym – of a star system of at least four stars that appear as a single blue-white point of light to the naked eye. This system is located at a distance of approximately 860 light-years (260 pc) from the Sun.

A star of spectral type B8Ia, Rigel is calculated to be anywhere from 61,500 to 363,000 times as luminous as the Sun, and 18 to 24 times as massive, depending on the method and assumptions used. Its radius is more than seventy times that of the Sun, and its surface temperature is 12,100 K. Due to its stellar wind, Rigel's mass-loss is estimated to be ten million times that of the Sun. With an estimated age of seven to nine million years, Rigel has exhausted its core hydrogen fuel, expanded, and cooled to become a supergiant. It is expected to end its life as a type II supernova, leaving a neutron star or a black hole as a final remnant, depending on the initial mass of the star.

Orion constellation map.svg

Rigel: Orion's Brightest Star | Space

Sirius (is the brightest star in the night sky. Its name is derived from the Greek word Σε?ριος, or Seirios, meaning lit. 'glowing' or 'scorching'. The star is designated α Canis Majoris, Latinized to Alpha Canis Majoris, and abbreviated Alpha CMa or α CMa. With a visual apparent magnitude of −1.46, Sirius is almost twice as bright as Canopus, the next brightest star. Sirius is a binary star consisting of a main-sequence star of spectral type A0 or A1, termed Sirius A, and a faint white dwarf companion of spectral type DA2, termed Sirius B. The distance between the two varies between 8.2 and 31.5 astronomical units as they orbit every 50 years. Sirius appears bright because of its intrinsic luminosity and its proximity to the Solar System. At a distance of 2.64 parsecs (8.6 ly), the Sirius system is one of Earth's nearest neighbors. Sirius is gradually moving closer to the Solar System, so it is expected to increase in brightness slightly over the next 60,000 years, reaching a peak magnitude of −1.68. After that time, its distance will begin to increase, and it will become fainter, but it will continue to be the brightest star in the Earth's night sky for approximately the next 210,000 years, before Vega, another A-type star and more luminous than Sirius, becomes the brightest star. Sirius A is about twice as massive as the Sun (M?) and has an absolute visual magnitude of +1.43. It is 25 times as luminous as the Sun, but has a significantly lower luminosity than other bright stars such as Canopus, Betelgeuse, or Rigel. The system is between 200 and 300 million years old. It was originally composed of two bright bluish stars. The initially more massive of these, Sirius B, consumed its hydrogen fuel and became a red giant before shedding its outer layers and collapsing into its current state as a white dwarf around 120 million years ago. Sirius is known colloquially as the "Dog Star", reflecting its prominence in its constellation, Canis Major (the Greater Dog). The heliacal rising of Sirius marked the flooding of the Nile in Ancient Egypt and the "dog days" of summer for the ancient Greeks, while to the Polynesians, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, the star marked winter and was an important reference for their navigation around the Pacific Ocean)

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Off to work.............................


From: LvlSlgr


Neil deGrasse Tyson - is an American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. Tyson studied at Harvard University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Columbia University. From 1991 to 1994, he was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. In 1994, he joined the Hayden Planetarium as a staff scientist and the Princeton faculty as a visiting research scientist and lecturer. In 1996, he became director of the planetarium and oversaw its $210 million reconstruction project, which was completed in 2000. Since 1996, he has been the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City. The center is part of the American Museum of Natural History, where Tyson founded the Department of Astrophysics in 1997 and has been a research associate in the department since 2003.

From 1995 to 2005, Tyson wrote monthly essays in the "Universe" column for Natural History magazine, some of which were later published in his books Death by Black Hole (2007) and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (2017). During the same period, he wrote a monthly column in StarDate magazine, answering questions about the universe under the pen name "Merlin". Material from the column appeared in his books Merlin's Tour of the Universe (1998) and Just Visiting This Planet (1998). Tyson served on a 2001 government commission on the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and on the 2004 Moon, Mars and Beyond commission. He was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal in the same year. From 2006 to 2011, he hosted the television show NOVA ScienceNow on PBS. Since 2009, Tyson has hosted the weekly podcast StarTalk. A spin-off, also called StarTalk, began airing on National Geographic in 2015. In 2014, he hosted the television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a successor to Carl Sagan's 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences awarded Tyson the Public Welfare Medal in 2015 for his "extraordinary role in exciting the public about the wonders of science".

Comment: Whenever he's on one of the late night talk shows, I make certain I record it. He's so interesting.

Tyson (right) with Bill Nye and U.S. President Barack Obama take a selfie at the White House, 2014

The Webb Telescope Images Are Deeply Inspiring To Neil deGrasse Tyson

America's favorite astrophysicist is a huge fan of the Webb Telescope and the incredible feats of engineering that made possible the images of the universe t...

  • Edited November 5, 2022 4:19 pm  by  LvlSlgr
PTG (anotherPTG)

From: PTG (anotherPTG)


Ursa Minor, also known as the Little Bear, is a constellation located in the far northern sky. As with the Great Bear, the tail of the Little Bear may also be seen as the handle of a ladle, hence the North American name, Little Dipper: seven stars with four in its bowl like its partner the Big Dipper.

A spiral galaxy in Ursa minor

Mark Vande Hei (is a retired United States Army officer and current NASA astronaut who has served as a flight Engineer for Expedition 53, 54, 64, 65, and 66 on the International Space Station. Vande Hei was born November 10, 1966, in Falls Church, Virginia. He graduated from Benilde-St. Margaret's High School in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, in 1985. Vande Hei earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physics from Saint John's University in 1989, and a Master of Science degree in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1999. In March 2021 it was confirmed that Vande Hei would be making a second space flight, as a flight engineer onboard Soyuz MS-18, and be part of ISS Expedition 64/65. On April 9, 2021, Vande Hei alongside Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov successfully launched onboard Soyuz MS-18 at 3:42 am EDT. On September 14, 2021, it was announced that Vande Hei and Pyotr Dubrov had their six-month stays on the station extended by another six months. This means Vande Hei would break the record for the longest spaceflight by an American astronaut with 353 days. Two weeks of technical and weather delays, together with Crew-2 approaching the maximum on-orbit duration of their Crew Dragon craft, forced a highly undesirable “indirect handover”. As such, Crew-2 departed the station on November 7, 2021, whilst Crew-3 launched three days later and arrived safely at the sprawling orbital outpost on November 11, 2021. In this instance, there was no absence of U.S. personnel, since NASA’s Mark Vande Hei was still on ISSS. But had he not been aboard, the indirect handover of USOS operations from Crew-2 to Crew-3 might have left an unwanted gap in U.S. station crewing. On January 6, 2022, Hei and Dubrov completed 273 days on ISS, surpassing Andrew R. Morgan‘s record of 272 days on-board. Shortly before his return to Earth, he passed 340 days in space, surpassing Scott Kelly as the record holder for the longest American spaceflight. He returned to Earth with Soyuz MS-19 on March 30, 2022, having spent a total of 355 days in space on a mission to better observe the effects of long-duration spaceflight on humans. Six months after returning from his 355 days in space, Mark returned to his high school, Benilde-St. Margaret's on September 23, 2022. During the 2015-2016 school year, two students from Benilde-St. Margaret's school was chosen to give their student ID cards to Vande Hei so he could take him up to space with him. On September 23, 2022, Mark returned these IDs when at the school. A representative for Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced that September 23, 2022, is officially Mark Vande Hei day in Minnesota. Brian Bruess, the owner of colleges St. Johns and St. Benedicts, also came to congratulate Mark)

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Mark Vande Hei: Breaking Records for Science

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is returning to Earth after living in space for 355 days, the record for the longest single spaceflight by a NASA astronaut. Th...

On March 10, 2022, Dmitry Rogozin posted a video on social media threatening to abandon Vande Hei on the ISS in retaliation against American sanctions on Russia's high tech imports that were placed upon Russia after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He landed as planned on March 30............................................


PTG (anotherPTG)

From: PTG (anotherPTG)


The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51a, M51a, and NGC 5194, is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus. It lies in the constellation Canes Venatici, and was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Its distance is 31 million light-years away from Earth.

The galaxy and its companion, NGC 5195, are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may be seen with binoculars.The Whirlpool Galaxy has been extensively observed by professional astronomers, who study it to understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.

Messier 51 (The Whirlpool Galaxy) | NASA

Flyby of the Whirlpool Galaxy - YouTube

X-37 (also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), is a reusable robotic spacecraft. It is boosted into space by a launch vehicle, then re-enters Earth's atmosphere and lands as a spaceplane. The X-37 is operated by the United States Space Force, and was previously operated by Air Force Space Command until 2019 for orbital spaceflight missions intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies. It is a 120-percent-scaled derivative of the earlier Boeing X-40. The X-37 began as a NASA project in 1999, before being transferred to the United States Department of Defense in 2004. The X-37 first flew during a drop test in 2006; its first orbital mission was launched in April 2010 on an Atlas V rocket, and returned to Earth in December 2010. Subsequent flights gradually extended the mission duration, reaching 780 days in orbit for the fifth mission, the first to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket. The latest mission, the sixth, launched on an Atlas V on 17 May 2020)

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Off to work...........................

PTG (anotherPTG)

From: PTG (anotherPTG)


Yelena Vladimirovna Kondakova (born March 30, 1957) is the third Soviet or Russian female cosmonaut to travel to space and the first woman to make a long-duration spaceflight. Her first trip into space was on Soyuz TM-20 on October 4, 1994. She returned to Earth on March 22, 1995, after a five-month stay at the Mir space station. Kondakova's second flight was as a mission specialist on the United States Space Shuttle Atlantis during mission STS-84 in May 1997. She was the last Russian woman in space until her successor cosmonaut Elena Serova flew to the International Space Station (ISS) on September 25, 2014.

Yelena Kondakova.jpg

Z Series Space Suits (is a series of prototype extra-vehicular activity (EVA) space suits being developed in the Advanced Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AEMU) project under NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program. The suits are being designed to be used for both micro-gravity and planetary EVAs. Along with a NASA designed life support system, the new higher pressure Z suits allow for bypassing pre-breathe and allows for quick donning of the suit and exit of the space craft. The Z-1 is the first suit to be successfully integrated into a suitport dock mechanism eliminating the need for an air lock, and reducing the consumable demands on long term missions. A later variant is planned to be tested on the International Space Station in 2017)

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Z2 prototype..................

Calling it a night...................................

PTG (anotherPTG)

From: PTG (anotherPTG)


Aldebaran is the brightest star in the zodiac constellation of Taurus. It has the Bayer designation α Tauri, which is Latinized to Alpha Tauri and abbreviated Alpha Tau or α Tau. Aldebaran varies in brightness from an apparent visual magnitude 0.75 down to 0.95, making it (typically) the fourteenth-brightest star in the night sky. It is located at a distance of approximately 65 light-years from the Sun. The star lies along the line of sight to the nearby Hyades cluster.

Aldebaran is a giant star that is cooler than the Sun with a surface temperature of 3,900 K, but its radius is about 44 times the Sun's, so it is over 400 times as luminous. It spins slowly and takes 520 days to complete a rotation. Aldebaran is believed to host a planet several times the mass of Jupiter, named Aldebaran b.

The planetary exploration probe Pioneer 10 is heading in the general direction of the star and should make its closest approach in about two million years.

Taurus constellation map.svg