Daily Orbit – Top Stargazing Destinations

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,286
    9-26-13: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, where you can get the best views of the night sky, astronomers discover the densest galaxy ever, and the realities of video game addiction.

    Brace yourself for a US storm surge…


    Astronomers make a dense discovery…


    Can you admit your addiction?


    And we’re staring up at the night sky on the Daily Orbit!

    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit.  I’m Emerald Robinson.


    What’s the latest in travel?  New York? Dubai? South Beach? How about anywhere you get the best view of the night sky?  Red Orbit got the scoop from the International Dark-Sky Association on the best spots to see the stars.  And it’s not Hollywood.  Who made the list? Glacier National Park in Montana, Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah, Death Valley National Park in California, and Acadia National Park in Maine…just to name a few.  For more US destinations and to check out the international list, hit up Daily Orbit Facebook Page.  See you under the stars!


    Astronomer Jim Beaber says that what you’ll probably notice first while stargazing is the Milky Way galaxy. But you wouldn’t be looking at the densest galaxy. Scientists using the Hubble Telescope recently discovered an ultra-compact dwarf galaxy called M60-UCD1, which is the densest galaxy yet discovered.  The closest star next to our sun is Alpha Centauri, which is 25.6 trillion miles away.  In M60-UCD1, there are about 10,000 stars in that same span, spaced at about the distance from Earth to Pluto.  The concentration of stars in that galaxy is about 15,000 times greater than in our corner of the Milky Way.  The presence of a supermassive black hole in its center suggest that it was probably part of a much bigger galaxy at one point and much more similar to our Milky Way. All this talk about the Milky Way makes me want one. 


    Thunderstorms get scarier all the time.  And you have global warming to thank for that!  Scientists at Stanford University are saying that global warming is expected to cause the “perfect storm” of conditions to produce severe thunderstorms across the U.S. in the next century. Through a climate model experiment, they found that global warming will increase convective available potential energy (or CAPE), which is created when air in the low atmosphere warms and rises carrying moisture with it.  It then interacts with strong vertical wind shear--a strong moving wind current that sustains a storm.   Storms like this also lead to tornado formation they say, so get out a raincoat and take cover!


    Do you think about videos all day at work?  Do you lie about how much you play World of Warcraft?  Are you an adult?  Then you might be an addict!  Researchers at the University of Missouri say the biggest reason for adult video game addiction is escapism.  They say it’s a vicious cycle where gamers play to escape from daily life, which in turns gets in the way of their lives.  Problematic gaming includes lying about the amount of time spent playing or missing work and other obligations to play.  Researchers say it’s not all that different from alcohol or drug use with an obsession to get to the “next level” or collect game “rewards,” making it hard to stop playing.   They said the most addictive are massive multiplayer online role-playing games that people disappear into for hours.  Just come back to the other side!!!!


    When I first looked at the picture of this toad, I thought it was a new species they had found with wings.  But it’s not.  A park ranger working in the Peruvian rainforest captured an interesting shot of a cane toad eating a bat, albeit with not very good table manners.  The bats wings were caught sticking out of the toad’s mouth.  But it’s the bat’s fault!  Apparently he was flying too low.  But, don’t worry, the bat managed to escape.   Moral of the story, don’t set your sights too low or you might get eaten alive.  Bet that bat won’t make that mistake again!

    And that’s you Daily Orbit!  Hasta manana Orbiters!