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A White Dwarf Pulsar? NASA has found one. January 3, 2008

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Apparently there is alot more to White Dwarf stars then previously thought. Until now a White Dwarf star was thought to be a cooling star that was on its way to fading away..apparently that’s not necessarily the case.
White Dwarf star AE Aquarii according to new NASA research emits pulses of
high-energy (hard) X-rays as it whirls around on its axis.

“We’re seeing behavior like the pulsar in the Crab Nebula, but we’re seeing it in a white dwarf,” says Koji Mukai of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The Crab Nebula is the shattered remnant of a massive star that ended its life in a supernova explosion. “This is the first time such pulsar-like behavior has ever been observed in a white dwarf.”

Vulcan Discovered 148 years ago today January 2, 2008

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  French mathematician Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier claimed on this date in 1860 the discovery of the planet Vulcan. Vulcan was supposed to inhabit the orbit between Mercury and the Sun and was not the home of Logic.

As it turns out Logic which is what let Le Verrier to deduce the existence of Vulcan was flawed as no such planet exists in the orbit he surmised.

To his credit though Le Verrier did ‘discover’ another planet…Neptune.

Toronto Observatory – once one of the largest in the world – to be sold. November 6, 2007

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Further proof that Toronto is a second rate city. The University of Toronto is selling off the David Dunlap Observatory and the 191-acre property that surrounds it.

When the observatory opened in 1935 the 188-centimetre telescope was the world’s second-largest.

The first Black Hole ever discovered – Cygnus X1 was discovered by the Dunlap observatory..

But now the GREED OF TORONTO is sending this great center of science into a black hole fueled by a lack of foresight and a total disrespect for the memory of the man who donated the money to endow the observatory in 1935.

Toronto apparently values development over science – and apparently has little regard for Astronomy.

The Toronto Star has a solid story on this travesty. It’s a darn shame that the University of Toronto, the Government of Ontario and Canada have no respect for the wishes of the people.

Toronto has a very poor relationship with Astronomy in fact – it was just yesterday that we reported on the sad state of the Toronto McLauglin Planetarium…which is now likely set to become a condo development.


Former Toronto Planetarium Site to be sold– for Condos? November 5, 2007

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Toronto claims to be a world class city – but how could it be..when it has turned its back on the stars?

Over a decade ago the Royal Ontario Museum closed what was the Toronto McLaughlin Planetarium – over money issues. They sold off the stellarium, the Zeiss star projector and abandoned–no they NEGLECTED the population of Toronto.

The building has stood vacant – with a few exceptions – for most of this millennium. Now the geniuses that run the ROM who spent all their money on the crystal monstrosity that grows out of the side of the legacy ROM building like some kind of malignant tumor – want to see the Toronto Planetarium site sold for condo development.


The shame is not just on the ROM but on Toronto itself.

A New DAWN For NASA September 27, 2007

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NASA’s Dawn spacecraft took of this morning  Cape Canaveral  on its way to check out a pair of asteriods.

NASA itself has called the extremely efficient space craft – The Prius of space travel

“Dawn has risen, and the spacecraft is healthy,” said the mission’s project manager Keyur Patel of JPL in a statement. “About this time tomorrow [Friday morning], we will have passed the moon’s orbit.”

Dawn’s 4.8-billion-kilometer (3-billion-mile) odyssey includes exploration of asteroid Vesta in 2011 and the dwarf planet Ceres in 2015. These two icons of the asteroid belt have been witness to much of our solar system’s history. By using Dawn’s instruments to study both asteroids, scientists more accurately can compare and contrast the two. Dawn’s science instrument suite will measure elemental and mineral composition, shape, surface topography, and tectonic history, and will also seek water-bearing minerals. In addition, the Dawn spacecraft and how it orbits Vesta and Ceres will be used to measure the celestial bodies’ masses and gravity fields.

Sounds like one heck of a trip to me.