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Scientists Hunt Massive Object in Space

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  • Scientists Hunt Massive Object in Space

    "The presence of such a massive object in the solar system's far-flung Oort Cloud could explain a barrage of comets from an unexpected direction, according to a December article at"

    Read full story on CNN.
    "Fail, to succeed."

  • #2
    There is so much we do not know about the solar system in which our Earth is located. About three weeks ago, I spent most of Saturday evening and night in an observatory, with as astrophotographer, with a dedicated telescope and camera. The observatory was on Mount Lemon near Tucson Arizona and was located at 9154 feet elevation. The astrophotographer first showed our group how to actually see Jupiter while the sun was still out. By using a strong set of binoculars, we were able to see the planet. He then demonstrated how the atmosphere just before sunset refracts the Sun's light and gives the Sun a green halo. He pointed out that you can actually see the Earth's shadow on the sky as the Sun sets. Then a tour of the observatory was provided to explain all of the equipment and provide a breakdown on the cost of all the equipment. What he didn't cover was the cost of the computer software and its' complexity.

    While we were waiting for the Sun to disappear over the horizon, we went into a classroom to watch a brief slide show and he tried to provide a perspective on the Solar System by explaining how large a scale model of it would need to be if you were going to be able to see the smaller objects such as Mercury and the moons on Earth and other planets.

    To be able to see Pluto, the Sun would need to be at least 96 inches or eight feet in diameter. But Pluto would need to be positioned 33985 feet away. See the following link to play games with setting up a model: This link also allows you to see how large things would need to be so that you could see all the moons in the Solar System.

    Then we went back to the observatory to view some stars, a binary star, planets, galaxies, star clusters and the nebula in Orion's belt. Before the sun set, we looked at it also. A filter was used that enabled us to see sunspots and solar flares.

    Following are some of objects we looked at.

    Nebula in Orion's Belt:

    Binary Star (through the telescope we used, the stars were much clearer):

    Star Cluster:



    The links to pictures are not exactly what I saw, but they do give you some idea. While looking at Jupiter, three of its' moons were visible. I guess it was the elevation for when we looked at the binary star there was very little distortion. Different galaxies and nebulae are different colors because of the gases that are present.

    The last thing of the evening was when the astrophotographer, a young guy by the name of Adam Block (, took us through the process of isolating a small part of the nebula in Orion's Belt. The process would take hours (many) to complete. This is because of the repetitive exposures until enough light is collected. This possibly might take a thousand exposures or more. Filters are used to first collect red, then blue and then yellow light. It is done over and over. He did promising to send us the finished product, but it hasn't come yet. This guy is busy and I suspect that I may never see it, but if it does, I'll post it here.

    As I was probing the Internet I also located the following link:

    It is picture of the observatory, Mt Lemon, and Tucson.