The Astronomical World of Harry Potter part 4: Hermione and Ginny

the astronomical world of harry potter

Last year, we had a series of three blogs dealing with the astronomical world of Harry Potter.  Not only did we looked at how some of the characters in the Harry Potter series got their names from the Roman, Greek, & Norse mythologies, but how those mythologies played into the develop of their respective characters.  If you missed it, we covered Draco, Luna, Dumbledore, Fenrir, Sirius and Bellatrix.

So, what about two of Harry Potter’s most trusted friends: Hermione and Ginny?

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Ninth Planet May Exist

 

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An artist’s impression of a possible ninth planet. It would be quite large — at least as big as Earth — with a thick atmosphere around a rocky core. CreditCalifornia Institute of Techonology

 

 Caltech scientists Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown make the case for Planet Nine, a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system.

The Most Violently Explosive Supernova so Far Detected

sn-supernova_3

Supernovae are some of the brightest events that happen in space.  However, in recent decades scientists have discovered a rare new class of blasts known as superluminous supernovae (SLSNe), or “hypernovae” to some.  The new discovery was spotted last June by the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN).  At its peak, the new supernova known as ASAS-SN-15lh outshone our entire Milky Way galaxy by 50 times.

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Cosmic Highlights of 2016

cosmic hightlights of 2016

Now that 2015 has come and gone we can look back on some of the more notable astronomical events: March brought the total eclipse of the sun that could be viewed in the North Atlantic, and in April there was the total eclipse of the moon which could be viewed primarily on the Pacific edge of US and Canada.  Well, 2016 is here and the folks at Universe2Go have provided a nice infographic for all the upcoming astronomical events that you should be keeping an eye on.

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Artist Creates Entire Known Universe in a Single View

Pablo Carlos Budassi

Pablo Carlos Budassi recently unveiled a new illustration based on almost incomprehensible logarithmic maps created by Princeton University.  It shows the entire known visible universe. Though it is not a true map, it should be considered a “visualization showing fields of view” of the entire observable universe.

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The Lowest Note In The Known Universe

A massive black hole releases sound waves in a deep bass pitch, astronomers have found.

A massive black hole releases sound waves in a deep bass pitch, astronomers have found. Researchers used NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory to “listen” to wavelengths coming from the heart of the Perseus A Cluster, a giant clump of galaxies 250 million light-years from Earth (A light-year is the distance light travels in a year in a vacuum, about 9.5 trillion kilometers.)

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Hubble Captures First-Ever Predicted Supernova

macs j1149.5

Many stars end their existence by going out in a huge explosion known as a supernova. However, only a few of these stellar explosions have been caught in the act. When they are, spotting them successfully has been down to pure luck—until now. On 11 December 2015 astronomers not only imaged a supernova in action, but saw it when and where they had predicted it would be.

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Riding Light – A 43 Minute Real Time Journey from the Sun to Jupiter at the Speed of Light

riding light

Light travels at a speed of 186,282 miles per second.  Jupiter is 483,737,000 miles from the Sun.  In an effort to convey the vastness of space, Alphonse Swinehart created an animation to illustrate that even the fastest moving thing still takes over 43 minutes just to reach Jupiter.

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