Saturday, March 25, 2006

Science Questions for Dr. Perry


Class, here is where you can ask Dr. Perry astronomy questions you'd like answered! It's your very own spot to ask an expert! Proofread your questions carefully before you post!

Dr. Perry was one of the managing astrophysicists who worked on Hubble Space telescope. Retired, he is currently producing a local access cable TV show, "Know Your Sky," for Anne Arundel County. His show's purpose is to provide the amateur star gazer with information about celestial objects visible during each month of the year and how to find them in the night sky. His other expertises include forest and agricultural preservation.

111 Comments:

At Thursday, October 13, 2005 1:43:00 PM, Blogger Jordyn said...

Why do they know to count planet x as a planet on the website The nine planets (www.nineplanets.org)?

 
At Thursday, October 13, 2005 1:55:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

What did you do befor becomeing a scientist?

 
At Thursday, October 13, 2005 3:31:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

As a scientist what do you learn and are there any new planets out there?

 
At Friday, October 14, 2005 2:37:00 PM, Blogger Jacob T. said...

where is voyager1 and 2 in the galaxy?

 
At Friday, October 14, 2005 4:43:00 PM, Blogger Hanna 31 said...

Where is voyager1,2 in space at this time?Is it still processing perfectly?

 
At Monday, October 17, 2005 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Courtney said...

Why do you want to be a scientist?
Does it cost a lot of money for all of the suplies for studying the objects in the Solar System?

 
At Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:20:00 PM, Blogger Zac said...

Do you know how the Great Red spot got on Jupiter?

 
At Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:33:00 PM, Blogger Alex L. said...

Did you help hubles? Have you set foot in space? What is it like?

 
At Tuesday, October 18, 2005 12:38:00 PM, Blogger Hanna 31 said...

Where are you working? what did scientist learn from hubles?

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 1:02:00 PM, Blogger Alex C said...

How is a Black Hole form? How far can soler flares last?

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 3:30:00 PM, Blogger Alex C said...

If a solar flare can damage our satilights can it hit a plnet and how far can it go?

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 3:35:00 PM, Blogger Leah said...

Do you think the Voyiger would be forgoten one day?

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:16:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Jordyn, since no "Planet X" has been found, I assume the same criteria that apply to existing planets would be used to identify this new planet... if it's ever found. Having said that, there appear to be several objects that are planet-like yet not quite planets. Pluto falls into thus group. So the rules are not as clear as we might like. Nevertheless, it's important to study all these objects and worry less about whether the are planets, asteroids, or whatever.

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:17:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Chris,
I was a student like you Chris. I always wanted to study science and astronomy in particular.

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:20:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Jacob and Hanna,

The two Voyagers are at the edge of the solar system. In terms of the Galaxy they are very close to home. They have yet to come close to any neighboring star.
NASA tells us that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered the solar system's final frontier, a vast, turbulent expanse where the Sun's influence ends and the solar wind crashes into the thin gas between stars.
Both spacecraft are still going strong and are returning valuable science data. Each Voyagers' cosmic ray detector, magnetometer, plasma wave detector and low-energy charged particle detector all still operational. In addition, the Ultraviolet Spectrometer on Voyager 1 and the Plasma Science instrument on Voyager 2 continue to return data. Both spacecraft are expected to continue to operate and send back valuable data until at least the year 2020.

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:25:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Courtney,
Being a scientist is an exciting career. You get to explore the mysteries of nature. There is always something new and wonderful to see and study.
Modern equipment for studying the Solar System -- spacecraft, large telescopes, and the like are very expensive. These things are provided to scientists by agencies like NASA and by colleges and universities. However, you can begin your own study of the Solar System with just your eyes, then binoculars, and then a small telescope. All these items, not very expensive at all. Keep watching this program and I will get you started.

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:27:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Zac,

The Great Red Spot is a great storm like a hurricane on Earth, but it is huge the size of three earths. It has been there ever since we were able to observe Jupiter with a telescope. It most likely formed early on in Jupiter's lifetime. It comes and goes. Sometimes we see it, at other times we don't. It stays there probably because it never comes over land, as in the case of a hurricane on Earth, and that it is driven by Jupiter's internal heat source.

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:28:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Alex,

Yes, I worked on the Hubble Space Telescope project. We provided astronomers who operated the scientific instruments on Hubble.
And, no I haven't set foot in space although an astronomer who worked for me, Dr. Ron Parise, an astronaut, went into space on the Columbia shuttle. He says the experience was awsome!

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:29:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Hanna 31,

I am now working on making TV programs like this one to get the word out how exciting science is-- especially astronomy.
HST, the Hubble Space Telescope, provides scientists with a view of the universe unequalled by any telescope so far. One of the most fascinating things Hubble lets us do is to look back in time to almost the very beginning of the universe -- the Big Bang.

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:42:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Alex c,

Black holes are formed when a very large (massive) star dies and collapses on itself.

Solar flares are tremendous explosions on the surface of the Sun. In a matter of just a few minutes they heat material to many millions of degrees and release as much energy as a billion megatons of TNT.

The Earth's magnetic field protects us from solar flares. The do however, cause the Northern Lights.

 
At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:47:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

leah,

All things might be forgotten. But if students like you keep the knowledge alive by studying science we will continue to reap the benefits of Voyager.

 
At Thursday, October 20, 2005 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Hanna 31 said...

What is your favorite part of talking about space? How square miles is our planets,solar system,and univers?What is the name of our moon?

 
At Monday, October 24, 2005 3:49:00 PM, Blogger Raquel said...

Who first found out about the nine main planets?

 
At Wednesday, October 26, 2005 6:12:00 PM, Blogger Cecilie said...

Wich planet is most likely to be seen in December?

 
At Friday, October 28, 2005 11:25:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Isn't Mercury a speedy mesenger for romand gods?Shouldn't he be?

 
At Friday, October 28, 2005 8:57:00 PM, Blogger Courtney said...

What do you mostly use while being a scientist?

 
At Monday, October 31, 2005 11:32:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

What was your first project as a scientist?

 
At Tuesday, November 08, 2005 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Jordyn said...

What year will Haleys comet pass again?

 
At Tuesday, November 15, 2005 9:05:00 AM, Blogger Hannah 18 said...

How do sientists know how blackholes form if they have never seen one?

 
At Tuesday, November 15, 2005 9:08:00 AM, Blogger Hannah 18 said...

Will the voyagers ever stop going?

 
At Wednesday, November 23, 2005 4:08:00 PM, Blogger Raquel said...

Who discovered the planets past Pluto? How?

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:19:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

What is your favorite part of talking about space? How square miles is our planets,solar system,and univers?What is the name of our moon?

Thursday, October 20, 2005 12:47:54 PM

The best part is getting young people interested in science.

We call our moon Moon!

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:22:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Who first found out about the nine main planets?

Monday, October 24, 2005 3:49:22 PM

The nine main planets were known by the ancients before recorded history.

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:23:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Wich planet is most likely to be seen in December?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 6:12:08 PM

Venus, Mars, and Saturn are visible in December.

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:25:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Isn't Mercury a speedy mesenger for romand gods?Shouldn't he be?

Friday, October 28, 2005 11:25:42 AM

Mercury was named by the Romans as a speedy messenger because the planet moves so quickly through the constellations.

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:27:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

What do you mostly use while being a scientist?

Friday, October 28, 2005 8:57:17 PM

Astronomers use telescopes for their resarch. Also, they use high speed computers.

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:35:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

What was your first project as a scientist?

Monday, October 31, 2005 11:32:12 AM

My first project was IUE the International Ultraviolet Explorer. This was a space-borne telescope which we used to study the Orion Nebula.

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:37:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

What year will Haleys comet pass again?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 12:01:16 PM

The comet is predicted to return and pass the Sun (perihelion) on July 28, 2061. Its orbital period is 75 years.

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:39:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

How do sientists know how blackholes form if they have never seen one?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 9:05:49 AM

We know about black holes from their interaction with other bodies such as nearby stars which we can see.

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:41:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Will the voyagers ever stop going?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 9:08:03 AM

The Voyagers will continue through space but will finally get out of range of our antennas. Also they will run out of power someday.

 
At Sunday, November 27, 2005 4:50:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Who discovered the planets past Pluto? How?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 4:08:44 PM

We can talk about two types of planets beyond Pluto-- those within the Solar System and those around other stars. Those inside the Solar System are found by their motion against distant stars (we then have to make sure they are not asteroids). Those planets outside the Solar System are too far away to be seen even in the lagest telescopes (so far). So we determine their existence by how they affect the motion of the star they are orbiting (their sun).

 
At Monday, November 28, 2005 6:00:00 PM, Blogger Rachel W. said...

How can you tell which planets are which in the night sky?Basicly all of them are just bright stars.(I know that Mars looks orange.)

 
At Tuesday, November 29, 2005 2:11:00 PM, Blogger Courtney said...

I would like to say thank you too because I bet you really take a lot of time to do those movies for us. Also I would like to ask you what your favorite part about being a scientist? Is it hard? Is it easy? Did it take a lot of time to set up some of the objects? I also bet it is challenging to keep everything in it's place too. Again,thank you for answering questions and sending us the movie!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At Friday, December 02, 2005 10:29:00 AM, Blogger Mikey said...

How was the sun formed and what is the sun made of.

 
At Friday, December 02, 2005 2:03:00 PM, Blogger Alex C said...

Why dose the earth go off course every couple of years and why dont planets colied?

 
At Monday, December 12, 2005 11:32:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

did you ever make a big big teleskopeand how

 
At Friday, December 16, 2005 9:16:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

how large is the soloresitam

 
At Friday, December 16, 2005 9:16:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Monday, December 19, 2005 4:58:00 PM, Blogger Rachel L. said...

What made you become so interested in the Solar System?

 
At Tuesday, December 27, 2005 7:39:00 PM, Blogger Hanna 31 said...

Mr.Perry hope you had a great christmas watch those stars.

 
At Tuesday, December 27, 2005 7:49:00 PM, Blogger Hanna 31 said...

My cousin andI


What do you have to do to become an austronaut or an astraunamer?

 
At Wednesday, December 28, 2005 10:48:00 AM, Blogger Rachel L. said...

Are there any other satellites out in space discovering things other than voyager 1 and 2. If so, what is the names of the satellites?

 
At Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:01:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

How can you tell which planets are which in the night sky?Basicly all of them are just bright stars.(I know that Mars looks orange.)

Planets do not twinkle like stars.
To find out which planet you see, look up positions of planets in astronomy publications or on the internet. I'll be showing you where to look on the 'net next month!

 
At Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:10:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

I would like to say thank you too because I bet you really take a lot of time to do those movies for us. Also I would like to ask you what your favorite part about being a scientist? Is it hard? Is it easy? Did it take a lot of time to set up some of the objects? I also bet it is challenging to keep everything in it's place too. Again,thank you for answering questions and sending us the movie!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My favorite part of being a scientist is sharing my knowledge of astronomy with young people like you.

Next month I will share with you some of the graphics I use on my program. It's "freeware" on the internet.

 
At Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:17:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

How was the sun formed and what is the sun made of.

The sun was formed in a gaseous nebula like the Orion nebula which you saw in the December program. Here the gases and dust particles came together and compressed to make a star.

The sun is made of:
92% Hydrogen
7.8% Helium
0.2% Other elements

 
At Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:25:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

did you ever make a big big teleskopeand how

To make a big telescope takes a lot of equipment and lots of people. I worked with people who have done that. One of those telescopes was the Hubble Space Telescope. It took many years.

 
At Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:32:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Why dose the earth go off course every couple of years and why dont planets colied?

The Earth does no go off course every few years. Perhaps you are thinking of the "leap seconds" that are added or subtracted every few years. This is to synchronize the atomic clocks we use with the rotation of the earth.

Planets do no collide because they obey the laws of physics. Each planet is in its own orbit. And it stays there.

 
At Thursday, January 05, 2006 9:04:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

HOW ARE PLANETES BORN

 
At Thursday, January 05, 2006 9:07:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

what formed the Earth's moon?How?

 
At Thursday, January 05, 2006 9:08:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

what possibly made gas planets?

 
At Thursday, January 05, 2006 9:11:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

CAN PLANETS CRASH TOGETHER AND FORM ONE BIG PLANET

 
At Thursday, January 05, 2006 9:14:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Does the Earth use it's magnetic feild to stay away from the sun

 
At Thursday, January 05, 2006 9:30:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Mr.Perry hope you had a great christmas watch those stars.

Yes, we had a great Xmas. Winter skies are great for watching the stars. Stay tuned for the next Know Your Sky program!

 
At Saturday, January 07, 2006 7:24:00 PM, Blogger Rachel L. said...

Is it interesting to be a scientist? When your a scientist, what are the main things that you do? What is your favorite thing to do as a scientist. Have you ever made a scientific instrument or helped make one? If so, what is it like?

 
At Sunday, January 08, 2006 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Chelsea said...

What year did the scientists figure out they or robots could explore other planets? Have you ever met someone who has been on another planet?If so who was he/she?

 
At Sunday, January 08, 2006 4:57:00 PM, Blogger Jordyn said...

Why did people make up the star consillation thing for each month?

 
At Monday, January 09, 2006 8:58:00 AM, Blogger Courtney said...

Which moon is the fastest on Saturn because there is a lot of moons?

 
At Monday, January 09, 2006 9:12:00 AM, Blogger Cecilie said...

Are all the craters named, and if so why?

 
At Monday, January 09, 2006 6:01:00 PM, Blogger Mrs. Perry said...

Cecilie - I know you're talking about our moon, but you left that out of your question to Dr. Perry:

Are all the craters on the MOON named, and if so, why?

What a great question! :)

 
At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:26:00 AM, Blogger Celia said...

Why do they call constelations different things that they really don't look like?Like Pices dosen't even look like a fish!

 
At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:28:00 AM, Blogger Celia said...

Would you know where the planets should be each month without high tech tools?

 
At Monday, January 23, 2006 9:31:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

how fare is space from eath and how do you now that

 
At Tuesday, January 24, 2006 3:59:00 PM, Blogger Robert P. said...

I want to know when will Jupiter exploed and turn nto a gas giant.

 
At Thursday, January 26, 2006 3:13:00 PM, Blogger Robert P. said...

When will the earth and the other planets go out of orbit.

 
At Friday, January 27, 2006 8:57:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Does planet x have a real name?Is it a gas planet or a solid planet?

 
At Friday, January 27, 2006 9:01:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Can a black hole form next to the sun or any other space planets or objects

 
At Friday, January 27, 2006 9:09:00 AM, Blogger Robert P. said...

When will the sun explode and turn into a black hole.

 
At Friday, January 27, 2006 9:10:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Can Mars escape from the Sun,Mercury,Earth,and Venus?

 
At Tuesday, January 31, 2006 8:56:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

February Q&A St. Leonard 1-15-06

*HOW ARE PLANETES BORN

They are formed from remnants of a nebula that didn't condense under gravity to form a protostar. Instead, these remnants become a thin disc of dust and gas revolving around the protostar and begin to condense about local concentrations of mass within the disc. These concentrations become ever more dense until they collapse inward under gravity to form protoplanets. When the protostar has grown such that it ignites to form a star, its solar wind blows away most of the disc's remaining material. Then there still may be many protoplanets orbiting the star or each other, but over time many will collide, either to form a single larger planet or release material for other larger protoplanets or planets to absorb. Meanwhile, protoplanets that have avoided collisions may become moons of larger planets.

*What formed the Earth's moon? How?

At the ti At the time Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago, other smaller planetary bodies were also growing. One of these hit earth late in Earth's growth process, blowing out rocky debris. A fraction of that debris went into orbit around the Earth and aggregated into the moon.

*What possibly made gas planets?

Only the four outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are composed mainly of gas. Pluto is made of ice and rock. The four gas giants are made mainly of gas because when they formed 4.5 billion years ago they were able to capture a lot of material from the primordial dust cloud. They captured so much material that their gravity was high enough to retain the lighter gases of hydrogen and helium. The smaller planets don't have enough gravity to retain the lighter gases and the hydrogen and helium eventually boils off into space.

*CAN PLANETS CRASH TOGETHER AND FORM ONE BIG PLANET?

Planets can only crash together if their orbits intersect. In the early stages of the formation of the Solar System, protoplanets did collide to make larger planets. Now only the orbit of Pluto intersects with the orbit of Neptune.
Does the Earth use its magnetic field to stay away from the sun
No, the Earth's magnetic field keeps dangerous particles of the solar wind away from us and is responsible for the Aurora displays we see. The Earth stays where it is in relation to the sun because it's in orbit around the sun.
Orbits are the result of a perfect balance between the forward motion of a body in space, the Earth, and the pull of gravity on it from the sun. The Earth moves forward and wants to keep going forward; however, the gravity of the sun pulls it in. There is a continuous tug-of-war between the Earth wanting to go forward and away and the sun wanting to pull it in.



*Is it interesting to be a scientist?

When your a scientist, what are the main things that you do?
What is your favorite thing to do as a scientist. Have you ever made a scientific instrument or helped make one? If so, what is it like?
A career in science is fascinating. Astronomers study the planets, stars, and the universe. There is much to learn. We will probably never have all the answers. We will build bigger and better instruments -- telescopes, spacecraft, and computers to look deeper into space. As I said in earlier programs, I had the good fortune to work on programs such as the IUE and Hubble, very complicated instruments. Lots of people work together to get things right. There is much hard work. But, when the job is done, the satisfaction is great!

*What year did the scientists figure out they, or robots could explore other planets?

Scientists always dreamed they could explore other planets. However, toward the middle of last century -- in the 1940's and 1950's -- rocket propulsion advanced far enough that scientists realized they could truly explore beyond the confines of our own planet.

*Have you ever met someone who has been on another planet? If so who was he/she?

No one has yet traveled to another planet. I did meet two astronauts who walked on the moon. They are John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin.

*Why did people make up the star constellation thing for each month?

Initially, the names came from Astrology when people believed the stars had an effect on their lives. So they created imaginary figures in the sky to represent mythological creatures and gods.
There is no one definitive, absolute, "this is it" answer for the Greek/Roman mythology behind the naming of the 12 constellations contained in the zodiac. Like anything concerning ancient Greek/Roman mythology, there will be differing versions, stories, and/or legends.
The naming of the constellations by the ancient Greeks most likely occurred sometime between the 6th - 5th centuries B.C. However, the first satisfactory evidence of an extensive set of Greek constellations existing comes from the 4th century B.C. astronomer Eudoxus (390 – 340 B.C.). The works of Eudoxus are lost, but are contained in the writings of another Greek, Aratus of Soli (315 – 245 B.C.). Aratus’ poetry "Phaenomena" provides a complete guide to the constellations known to the ancient Greeks as laid down by Eudoxus. Eudoxus had allegedly learned the constellations from priests in Egypt and then introduced them to Greece. It's appears more likely, however, that the cosmological idea of naming the constellations was appropriated from the Greek's neighbors the Babylonians and Sumerians. Upon the Greeks "borrowing" the constellations (and utilizing a few of the same figures and symbols) - they, then, went about devising many of their own unique names and explanations as to how all the different animals and people had gotten into the sky. The ancient Greeks originally gave us 48 "classical" constellations. Since then, more and more constellations have been added - and today there are now a total of 88.


*Which moon is the fastest on Saturn because there are a lot of moons?

Pan, the innermost of Saturn's known moons, is located within the Encke Gap of Saturn's A-ring. It acts as a shepherd satellite and is responsible for keeping the Encke gap open.
• Discovered in 1990 by the Voyager team (by reexamining photos taken nine years earlier near the predicted locations)
• Distance from Saturn: 133,583 km (83,005 miles)
• Period of Orbit around Saturn: 13.8 hours
• Diameter: 20 km (12.5 miles)
• Mass: 5 x 1015 kg (11 x 1015 lbs)

...
*Are all the craters on the moon named, and if so why?


Most are. The crater naming is governed by the International Astronomical Union. We name craters so that we have a way to refer to them just as we have names for towns, cities, rivers, mountains, and yes, people.

 
At Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Robert P. said...

How long will the sun stay up in the sky.

 
At Thursday, February 23, 2006 9:03:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

how can a new planet be formed and how long would it take.

 
At Thursday, February 23, 2006 9:14:00 AM, Blogger Jacob T. said...

How many planets are in the universe?

 
At Thursday, February 23, 2006 9:27:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Do you study molecules in the suns
core.

 
At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 2:01:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

1) Why do they call constellations what they call them? They don’t really look like the things they are named after? Pisces doesn’t even look like a fish!

As I mentioned before, the ancients gave most of the constellations their names when they believed stars could affect our lives (some folks still do). They tried to associate stars with mythological characters. Now, astronomers use these names as place markers to locate various objects in the sky. Whether the constellation looks like the object it’s named after depends on how good your imagination is.



2) Would you know where the planets should be each month without high tech tools?

Yes, you could. Before high speed computers, astronomers calculated the positions of planets by hand. This was a difficult and time-consuming process. They performed complicated calculations. Now, these calculations are programmed for the computer and are completed thousands of times faster.



3) How far is space from earth and how do you now that?

Space is all around us. We are part of it as is the Solar System, our Galaxy, and the Universe. To get a feel for how big this is go to (http://www.kidsastronomy.com/) click on How Big is the Universe and follow the instructions. Your teacher might also find some interesting projects for you to do on this website!

4) Can a black hole form next to the sun or any other space planets or objects?

Near the Sun, unlikely! Black holes form from collapsing stars. There are two main processes constantly going on in massive stars: nuclear fusion (which tends to blow the star's hydrogen outward from the star's center) and gravitation (which tends to pull all hydrogen back in the direction it had come). These two processes balance one another until all the star's hydrogen is exhausted, allowing gravitation to take over. Once gravitation dominates, the star becomes unstable and starts to collapse. Once the star starts to collapse, it does not stop, and the star (and ultimately its atoms) will cave inward upon itself, resulting in the formation of a black hole.




5) When will the sun explode and turn into a black hole?

The Sun will not become a black hole. Not all stars form black holes when they die. A star less than 1.4 times the mass of the sun will become a white dwarf. A star between 1.4 and 3 times the mass of the sun will become a neutron star. It's only those stars greater than 3 times the mass of the sun that become black holes upon collapse.




6) How long will the sun stay up in the sky?

The Sun is about 4.6 billion years old and has enough fuel to go on for another five billion years or so. At the end of its life, the Sun will start to fuse helium into heavier elements and begin to swell up, growing so large that it will swallow the Earth. After a billion years as a red giant, it will collapse into a white dwarf -- the final stage for a star like ours. It may take a trillion years to cool off completely.

 
At Wednesday, March 08, 2006 9:18:00 AM, Blogger Jacob T. said...

Do you know when the next eclipiesion will be.

 
At Wednesday, March 08, 2006 9:19:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 2:02:00 PM, Blogger Troy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

If the sun will destroy the earth then after the sun turns into a
dwarf star then what will happen
to venus,mercury,and mars?

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 11:35:00 AM, Blogger Jacob H. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:28:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

what was the first artificial satillit and how did they make it.

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:29:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

what was the first manned space flight.

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

what was the first robot in space.

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 9:14:00 AM, Blogger Mikey said...

Why did you want to be a Science?What was the first mishin or planet you wint on.

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 9:15:00 AM, Blogger Robert P. said...

How did the planet's form during the big bang.

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 9:21:00 AM, Blogger Robert P. said...

How did the planet's form during the big bang.

 
At Wednesday, April 05, 2006 12:10:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

* Do you know when the next eclipse will happen?

To find out when the next lunar or solar eclipse will occur go to the NASA Eclipse Homepage.

Its URL is: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html

Here you can look up eclipse occurrences past, present, and future.




* If the Sun will destroy the Earth after the Sun turns into a dwarf star then what will happen to Venus, Mercury, and Mars?

As the Sun ages, helium collects in its center. The Sun evolves into the stage of a red giant. In the Sun's core nuclear fusion of helium into carbon and oxygen will trigger the expansion of its outer layers. For a few hundred million years, the expansion of the outer solar layers will continue, and the Sun will engulf the planet Mercury. The temperature on Venus and Earth will rise tremendously. The Sun will expand and after about 30 million years it will swallow Venus and Earth, outer layers will keep expanding outward past Mars and as much as half of the Sun's mass will get lost into space.
So goes the fate of the Sun and the Solar System!

What was the first artificial satellite and how did they make it.

History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth. The launch marked the start of the SPACE AGE and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.
The name Sputnik comes from a Russian word for "traveling companion". Sputnik 1 was launched by an R7 rocket. It carried a thermometer and two radio transmitters. It transmitted atmospheric information by radio. After 57 days in orbit, it burned up while reentering the atmosphere.



* What was the first manned space flight?

The Soviet news agency TASS released the following announcement of the event as it happened.
The world's first spaceship, Vostok, with a man on board, was launched into orbit from the Soviet Union on 12 April 1961. The pilot space-navigator of the satellite-spaceship Vostok is a citizen of the USSR, Flight Major Yuri Gagarin.


* What was the first robot in space?

First we must define what is a robot? Is it any mechanism guided by automatic controls? Or is it a mechanical device capable of performing complex human tasks automatically.
Robots in space fall somewhere in between.
They generally involve a mechanical arm attached to a stationary landing module or to a mobile rover that performs complex tasks.
The first robot in space then could well be the motor-driven mechanical arm equipped with a scoop on the Surveyor 3. It landed on the Moon on April 20, 1967. Signals sent from engineers on Earth, caused the arm to extend and scoop lunar soil. It then placed the soil in front of a camera for scientists on Earth to see.

 
At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:19:00 PM, Blogger Mikey said...

Win was the first time that we had an meater shower.Did you ever se a coment what it look like.Did juipiter ever suck up iny thing.
Will the sun realy blow up becase a lot of people tell me that it
will.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 11:32:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:01:00 AM, Blogger Mikey said...

What was the first planit to be formed.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:07:00 AM, Blogger Mikey said...

Will the Earth ever go cratleing into the sun.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:12:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

how long would it take to get to plouto from the earth.And how many years would it take

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:17:00 AM, Blogger Robert P. said...

Will the univer's ever end.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 9:28:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Is it hard trying to discover
something new in outer space?
Do you think that other scie-
ntists have a hard time?

 
At Monday, May 01, 2006 9:23:00 AM, Blogger Robert P. said...

At the beginning of the big bang.Wear did all those meteor's come from.

 
At Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:00:00 AM, Blogger Mikey said...

Can you tell if there is going to be a black hole.

 
At Tuesday, May 16, 2006 2:45:00 PM, Blogger Chelsea said...

Have you ever done a surgery on a pudle?If you did feel scared?

 
At Tuesday, May 23, 2006 9:20:00 AM, Blogger Robert P. said...

How was the asteroied belt made and how long was the galaxy here.

 
At Monday, June 05, 2006 9:26:00 AM, Blogger Jacob H. said...

when did you first discover black holes?

 
At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Did you ever see a comet? What did it look like?

I have seen many comets. If you are fortunate enough to be in a place where the sky is very clear, the view can be spectacular! Most comets are faint and need binoculars or a telescope to be seen. If you recall, last month's comet SW-3, or fragments of it, was a very faint object. So, keep looking and someday you will see the 'big one"!


Did Jupiter ever suck up anything?

Material constantly falls on to planets. Usually the objects are very small -- micrometeorites or meteorites which burn up in a planet's atmosphere and reach the surface as dust, at best. Jupiter is no exception. Occasionally, a larger object enters a planets atmosphere. JPL reports: From July 16 through July 22, 1994, pieces of an object designated as Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter. This is the first collision of two solar system bodies ever to be observed, and the effects of the comet impacts on Jupiter's atmosphere have been simply spectacular and beyond expectations. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 consisted of at least 21 discernable fragments with diameters estimated at up to 2 kilometers.


Will the sun really blow up because a lot of people tell me that it
will?

That depends on what you mean "blow up". The sun will not explode like a supernova, however, when it goes through its last stages of life it will increase in size. This will happen in 4 to 5 billion years, the sun will expand (blow up?) as it fuses the last of its core hydrogen. The outer layers of gas will swallow some inner planets (possibly even the Earth). This is commonly referred to as the red giant phase. Then the inner parts of the Sun will stop fusing, contract, and become a white dwarf.


When was the first time that we had a meteor shower?

The solar system was born about 4.5 billion years ago. As I explained last month, matter began falling into or accreting into protoplanets or planetesimals -- the beginnings of planets as we know them. This infalling matter might well be considered the first meteor shower.


What was the first planet to be formed?

The inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars most likely formed first at nearly the same time. The outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto formed later.


Will the Earth ever go crashing into the sun?

No, not as long as the Sun remains a main sequence star. However, when the Sun enters its final stages of life, it will expand and likely engulf the Earth.



How long would it take to get to Pluto from the earth?

It takes a long time to get to Pluto, 9.5 years with a gravity boost from Jupiter and about 12 years without. The vehicle that propels New Horizons, the mission to Pluto is the Atlas 5 rocket. This is the fastest space craft ever launched by mankind traveling at speeds of around 8 miles per second. It takes New Horizons only 8 hours to reach the Moon's orbit, versus 3 days for the Apollo missions of the 1960's and 1970's. New Horizons will have an encounter with Jupiter in early 2007 where it will be able to test and calibrate its instruments and cameras. Then it will get a gravity assist sling shot towards Pluto at a velocity of around 10 miles per second! This encounter will trim 5 years off the travel time to Pluto and it will take 8 more years for New Horizons to reach its destination - sometime in 2015.



Will there ever be a planet after planet X?

The designation "Planet X" is just a placeholder for a yet undiscovered planet. If we discover another planet beyond Pluto, and there is some controversy that we may already have -- 2003 UB313 is the temporary name for this possible planet.

If this turns out to really be a planet, we will give it a real name. Then Planet X becomes the placeholder for the next undiscovered planet -- if there is one.

At the beginning of the big bang, where did all those meteors come from?

There were no meteors at the beginning of the Big Bang.
The Big Bang is the scientific theory that the universe emerged from an enormously dense and hot state about 13.7 billion years ago. Things like meteors occur much later, no sooner than the time of the birth of the Solar System, about 4.5 billion years ago.

Can you tell if there is going to be a black hole?

Evidence of black holes is discovered all the time. There is likely one at the center of our Galaxy. However, our sun is too small to become a black hole. It will become a red giant and then a white dwarf.

 
At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 1:02:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

Did you ever see a comet? What did it look like?

I have seen many comets. If you are fortunate enough to be in a place where the sky is very clear, the view can be spectacular! Most comets are faint and need binoculars or a telescope to be seen. If you recall, last month's comet SW-3, or fragments of it, was a very faint object. So, keep looking and someday you will see the 'big one"!


Did Jupiter ever suck up anything?

Material constantly falls on to planets. Usually the objects are very small -- micrometeorites or meteorites which burn up in a planet's atmosphere and reach the surface as dust, at best. Jupiter is no exception. Occasionally, a larger object enters a planets atmosphere. JPL reports: From July 16 through July 22, 1994, pieces of an object designated as Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter. This is the first collision of two solar system bodies ever to be observed, and the effects of the comet impacts on Jupiter's atmosphere have been simply spectacular and beyond expectations. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 consisted of at least 21 discernable fragments with diameters estimated at up to 2 kilometers.


Will the sun really blow up because a lot of people tell me that it
will?

That depends on what you mean "blow up". The sun will not explode like a supernova, however, when it goes through its last stages of life it will increase in size. This will happen in 4 to 5 billion years, the sun will expand (blow up?) as it fuses the last of its core hydrogen. The outer layers of gas will swallow some inner planets (possibly even the Earth). This is commonly referred to as the red giant phase. Then the inner parts of the Sun will stop fusing, contract, and become a white dwarf.


When was the first time that we had a meteor shower?

The solar system was born about 4.5 billion years ago. As I explained last month, matter began falling into or accreting into protoplanets or planetesimals -- the beginnings of planets as we know them. This infalling matter might well be considered the first meteor shower.


What was the first planet to be formed?

The inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars most likely formed first at nearly the same time. The outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto formed later.


Will the Earth ever go crashing into the sun?

No, not as long as the Sun remains a main sequence star. However, when the Sun enters its final stages of life, it will expand and likely engulf the Earth.



How long would it take to get to Pluto from the earth?

It takes a long time to get to Pluto, 9.5 years with a gravity boost from Jupiter and about 12 years without. The vehicle that propels New Horizons, the mission to Pluto is the Atlas 5 rocket. This is the fastest space craft ever launched by mankind traveling at speeds of around 8 miles per second. It takes New Horizons only 8 hours to reach the Moon's orbit, versus 3 days for the Apollo missions of the 1960's and 1970's. New Horizons will have an encounter with Jupiter in early 2007 where it will be able to test and calibrate its instruments and cameras. Then it will get a gravity assist sling shot towards Pluto at a velocity of around 10 miles per second! This encounter will trim 5 years off the travel time to Pluto and it will take 8 more years for New Horizons to reach its destination - sometime in 2015.



Will there ever be a planet after planet X?

The designation "Planet X" is just a placeholder for a yet undiscovered planet. If we discover another planet beyond Pluto, and there is some controversy that we may already have -- 2003 UB313 is the temporary name for this possible planet.

If this turns out to really be a planet, we will give it a real name. Then Planet X becomes the placeholder for the next undiscovered planet -- if there is one.

At the beginning of the big bang, where did all those meteors come from?

There were no meteors at the beginning of the Big Bang.
The Big Bang is the scientific theory that the universe emerged from an enormously dense and hot state about 13.7 billion years ago. Things like meteors occur much later, no sooner than the time of the birth of the Solar System, about 4.5 billion years ago.

Can you tell if there is going to be a black hole?

Evidence of black holes is discovered all the time. There is likely one at the center of our Galaxy. However, our sun is too small to become a black hole. It will become a red giant and then a white dwarf.

 
At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 1:03:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Perry said...

This being June, our astronomers in the fourth grade at St. Leonard are ready to graduate to the fifth grade. I have this message for them:

I hope these programs have given you some insight into the exiting field of astronomy and made you familiar with the planets, stars, and the moon. These celestial objects have become your lifetime friends. Wherever you go, when you look up at the starry sky you will be able spot an old friend. And also, don't forget us. This program will go on. So, if at any time you have a question about astronomy, e-mail me at charpet@comcast.net. And now, to take a quote from a famous newscaster Edward R. Murrow I'll say to you: Fourth graders, "Good night and good luck!"

 

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