Saturday 20th of July 2019

a sunday picnic launched on saturday...


One of the most significant Russian space science missions in the post-Soviet era has launched from Baikonur.

The Spektr-RG telescope is a joint venture with Germany that will map X-rays across the entire sky in unprecedented detail.

Researchers say this information will help them trace the large-scale structure of the Universe.

The hope is Spektr-RG can provide fresh insights on the accelerating behaviour of cosmic expansion.

It should also identify a staggering number of new X-ray sources, such as the colossal black holes that reside at the centre of galaxies.

As gas falls into these monsters, the matter is heated and shredded and "screams" in X-rays. The radiation is essentially a telltale for the Universe's most violent phenomena.


I watched the launch on Sputnik website... I think I was more apprehensive than the only interviewer/journalist/presenter — an even spirited knowledgeable elegant woman who interviewed an enthusiastic engineer, smiling technicians, a space scientist explaining the Lagrangian mechanics to position Spektr-RG — and a jovial director of mission, as if all this was a Sunday picnic.

The countdown was more precise than a Swiss train. The seconds kept ticking back. One was surprise when the 0:00:00 count was announced and shown — and nothing happened for a couple of seconds. But this was a timing technicality... The ignition had been precisely done on the dot, but the rocket engines blasted with normal delay. NASA would countdown 0:00:00 to engine blast, while announcing ignition a few seconds earlier.

The MASSIVE Proton rocket took off with the usual lack of smoke — typical of Russian rocket technology. No trace gases, only a large hot flame. The reportage followed the take-off until one could not see the rocket and thus it was followed by interesting graphics of the rocket performance, with direct precise commentary from the control room about the various stages of separations. It was impressive. 

The Spektr-RG telescope is one of five missions as described by Science magazine...:

Russia’s beleaguered space science program is hoping for a rare triumph this month. Spektr-RG, an x-ray satellite to be launched on 21 June from Kazakhstan, aims to map all of the estimated 100,000 galaxy clusters that can be seen across the universe. Containing as many as 1000 galaxies and the mass of 1 million billion suns, the clusters are the largest structures bound by gravity in the universe. Surveying them should shed light on the evolution of the universe and the nature of the dark energy that is accelerating its expansion.

First proposed more than 30 years ago as part of a Soviet plan for a series of ambitious “great observatories” along the lines of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Spektr-RG fell victim to cost cutting in cash-strapped, post-Soviet Russia. But roughly €500 million satellite, which will carry German and Russian x-ray telescopes, was reborn early last decade with a new mission: not just to scan the sky for interesting x-ray sources, such as supermassive black holes gorging on infalling material, but to map enough galaxy clusters to find out what makes the universe tick. The new goal meant further delays. “There have been many ups and downs,” says Peter Predehl, leader of the team at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching, Germany, that built one of the satellite’s two telescopes. “Whenever we thought we were out of the woods, a new one came along.”

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Spektr-RG (Russian for Spectrum + Röntgen + Gamma; also called Spectrum-X-GammaSRGSXG) is a Russian/German high-energy astrophysics space observatory which was launched on 13 July 2019.[4] It will follow on from the Spektr-R satellite telescope launched in 2011.



In celestial mechanics, the Lagrangian points (/ləˈɡrɑːndʒiən/ also Lagrange points,[1] L-points, or libration points) are the points near two large bodies in orbit where a smaller object will maintain its position relative to the large orbiting bodies. At other locations, a small object would go into its own orbit around one of the large bodies, but at the Lagrangian points the  gravitational forces of the two large bodies, the centripetal force of orbital motion, and (for certain points) the Coriolis acceleration all match up in a way that cause the small object to maintain a stable or nearly stable position relative to the large bodies.

There are five such points, labeled L1 to L5, all in the orbital plane of the two large bodies, for each given combination of two orbital bodies. For instance, there are five Lagrangian points L1 to L5 for the Sun-Earth system, and in a similar way there are five different Lagrangian points for the Earth-Moon system. L1, L2, and L3 are on the line through the centers of the two large bodies. L4 and L5 each form an equilateral triangle with the centers of the large bodies. L4 and L5 are stable, which implies that objects can orbit around them in a rotating coordinate system tied to the two large bodies.


what every kids should be taught in school...

minor planet is an astronomical object in direct orbit around the Sun (or more broadly, any star with a planetary system) that is neither a planet nor exclusively classified as a comet.[a] Before 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially used the term minor planet, but during that year's meeting it reclassified minor planets and comets into dwarf planets and small Solar System bodies (SSSBs).[1]

Minor planets can be dwarf planetsasteroidstrojanscentaursKuiper belt objects, and other trans-Neptunian objects.[2] As of 2019, the orbits of 794,832 minor planets were archived at the Minor Planet Center, 541,128 of which had received permanent numbers (for the complete list, see index).[3]

The first minor planet to be discovered was Ceres in 1801. The term minor planet has been used since the 19th century to describe these objects.[4] The term planetoid has also been used, especially for larger (planetary) objects such as those the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has called dwarf planets since 2006.[5][6] Historically, the terms asteroid, minor planet, and planetoid have been more or less synonymous.[5][7] This terminology has become more complicated by the discovery of numerous minor planets beyond the orbit of Jupiter, especially trans-Neptunian objects that are generally not considered asteroids.[7] A minor planet seen releasing gas may be dually classified as a comet.

Objects are called dwarf planets if their own gravity is sufficient to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium and form an ellipsoidal shape. All other minor planets and comets are called small Solar System bodies.[1] The IAU stated that the term minor planet may still be used, but the term small Solar System body will be preferred.[8]However, for purposes of numbering and naming, the traditional distinction between minor planet and comet is still used.


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