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  1. First images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot reach Earth July 12, 2017 William Harwood STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS & USED WITH PERMISSION An enhanced color view of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from the Juno spacecraft flyby Monday. Credit: NASA / SWRI / MSSS / Greg Smye-Rumsby / Astronomy Now Two days after NASA’s Juno spacecraft streaked over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, pictures of the solar system’s largest, most powerful storm, have been transmitted to Earth, giving eager scientist close-up views of the 10,000-mile-wide anticyclone where 400-mph winds have been howling for at least 187 years and possibly much longer. The solar-powered Juno reached the low point of its 53-day orbit around Jupiter, at 9:55 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Monday, passing within about 2,200 miles of the planet’s cloud tops. Eleven-and-a-half minutes later, it made its first pass directly over the Great Red Spot at an altitude of about 5,600 miles and a velocity of some 130,000 mph. The spacecraft’s camera — JunoCam — and its eight other science instruments were all operating at close approach and the first raw, unprocessed pictures were posted on the camera website early Wednesday. Additional processing is expected to bring out much more detail in the images that, when coupled with data from Juno’s other instruments, will shed more light on the nature of the storm and presumably help answer questions that have baffled scientists for nearly two centuries if not longer. Despite long-term observations by ground-based telescopes and a variety of spacecraft, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Voyager probes and the Galileo orbiter, scientists still do not understand what powers the storm, how deep it extends below Jupiter’s cloud tops, how long it has swirled or even the source of its reddish hue. Likewise, no one knows why the Great Red Spot has shrunk over the past several decades, becoming more circular than oval, whether the reduction is a transient phenomenon or an indicator that the storm may be dissipating. “Not a lot is known,” Scott Bolton, principal investigator with NASA’s Juno probe, told CBS News in an interview Monday. “Here’s the largest and most fierce storm in the entire solar system and it’s lasted hundreds of years, so that’s a lot different than anything else we’ve ever studied. “The question is, how can it last that long? What’s powering it, how’s it really working inside?” With any luck, the Juno spacecraft might may provide at least some of the answers to Bolton’s questions. This illustration depicts NASA’s Juno spacecraft soaring over Jupiter’s south pole. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech While NASA’s Voyager spacecraft captured spectacular zoomed-in images of the Great Red Spot during flybys in 1979, as did the Galileo orbiter in the 1990s and the Cassini probe during its voyage to Saturn, they were not nearly as close to Jupiter as Juno is at the low point of its orbit. JunoCam is a relatively wide-angle camera intended to provide context for Juno’s other instruments and it was added to the mission primarily to engage the public. Because Juno is spinning, the camera’s images show thin strips of the cloudscape below that can be stitched together later to form a full picture. Juno will make repeated passes over the Great Red Spot and “we’re so close, I think we’re going to blow their stuff away,” Bolton said of earlier missions. “We’ll see when we see it. Eventually, we’ll be able to make a bit of a movie, I’m hoping, that you won’t have been able to see before. We’ll definitely get an up-close-and-personal view, and hopefully be able to provide something that lets the viewer feel like they’re riding along.” Launched Aug. 5, 2011, the solar-powered Juno picked up a gravitational boost during a close flyby of Earth in October 2013, putting the craft on a trajectory to intersect Jupiter. Six years later, on July 4, 2016, Juno’s main engine fired to put the craft into an initial 53-day polar orbit. Mission managers originally planned to maneuver Juno into a 14-day “science orbit,” but they opted not to use the main engine again because of a potential problem with the propellant pressurization system. That will stretch out the time needed to complete the mission’s planned observations, but it has no impact on the quality of the data. The unprocessed JunoCam images of the Great Red Spot will be enhanced to bring out subtle details and other data. Scientists are especially eager to learn how far down into the atmosphere the huge storm might extend. Juno’s microwave radiometer can detect radiation coming from six cloud levels, allowing scientists to get an indirect view of what’s going on as deep as 340 miles below the visible cloud tops. Earlier Juno observations of other regions show “there are motions going on deep in Jupiter … that we did not expect,” Bolton said. “Even 50 kilometers down it doesn’t seem to be behaving the way we thought,” he said. “Most scientists believed that as soon as you drop below the sunlit clouds and you got into where the sunlight didn’t reach that everything would kind of be uniform and boring. And that’s not the case. We see quite a bit of variability.” As for how deep the Great Red Spot might extend, “nobody knows,” Bolton said. “Juno’s equipped to see below the cloud tops,” he said. “We will compare how Jupiter looks underneath its cloud tops at different latitudes with the part where you go right over the Great Red Spot and see if it looks any different. We’ll look several hundred kilometers down in this first pass.” During future passes over the Great Red Spot, Bolton said Juno will map out the gravitational field below and around the storm to find out if there might be a “blob of mass” far below the cloud tops that could play a role in the storm’s persistence. “We will not look at that on this flyby but some future one,” Bolton said. “The first (pass) is just look remotely, we’ll see down a few hundred kilometers. … We’ll sort of just investigate how does the veneer of Jupiter match with what’s underneath. “We’ll also see the dynamics and the sheer beauty of the Great Red Spot for the first time,” he added. “We’ll search for lightning, signals of maybe water clouds or ammonia ice coming up through this region, we just don’t know what to expect. And one of the things I’ve learned from Juno already, even if I thought I knew what to expect, don’t believe it too much.” https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/07/12/first-images-of-jupiters-great-red-spot-reach-earth/
  2. This Is What Will Happen in the Next 100 Trillion Years
  3. Salamun Alaykum. We should all feel guilty of what has been done to our Islam (Shia Islam). We have heard so many breath taking ahadeeth from Ahlulbayt(a.s) on "Knowledge" and how it is better even than the blood of martyrs. But if we see our situation in the Globe "Where are WE??" Are we even close? On one hand where our Ulema e Ekraam have established a Legacy of being THE BEST intellectually in the field of Islamic Science but on the other hand the people who are responsible to grow the community in other fields such as Tech, Medicine, Astronomy, Physics, Chemical Science etc etc and the list goes on. Why so? What has caused us be far behind those who don't deserve to be there. Holy Prophet(saws) said "Knowledge is the lost entity of a believer." And I don't remember the exact hadeeth but it goes like this - (narrated from 5th and 5th Imam(a.s)) - "Those who are not on the top among the peers and claim to be our shia have false claims, They are not our Shia." What are some root causes we are lagging behind so much? Where world is growing day by day the gap between us and them is going even even more wider. Also after the advent of Social Media the "Wonderful" has taken place. More than half of us have lost our interest + time from studies. Rather I should say We have been largely deviated. Lets draw a line of comparison between the lives of Ulema who are pursuing Islamic science as their knowledge sphere and on the contrary We who are into the Worldly Sciences. Our Greater Ulemas are so much immersed into their studies (Allamah Tabatabai (r.a) is one of the greatest examples) that they don't even have the time to talk unnecessarily. Their life is filled with knowledge and they don't show any sign of arrogance. They are the real embodiment of the lives of Prophets of Allah. But we as the follower of Wordly Science are neither immersed into it nor we are creating a legacy out of it. The families of Ulemas have a chain of Ulemas in their Lineage. But we don't have such chains. If we do have this just Imagine - "How many levels can we grow from our status quo!" I see Iran as a Global Example of how they have established a greater Legacy in Both the Spheres of lives - Religious studies and Worldly Sciences. Please if you all have any solutions of how a global student community can be setup to bring a revolution in this sphere of life then please drop your ideas. And Tag people in this post so that they do notice where are we heading!
  4. Salam There is consensus amongst Shias and Sunnis that fajr begins when there is a faint glow of the morning Sun across the horizon, before the Sun actually rises above the horizon. This is referred to in the verse in Surah Baqara v187: وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ And eat and drink until the white thread becometh distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. The white thread of dawn referred to in the verse is that faint glow of white across the horizon. This was fairly easy to see in the past when people lived in small communities without loads of buildings in the way, and without modern day light pollution. For most of us today, its a lot harder if not impossible to determine the start of fajr directly, so we rely on prayer timetables. Unfortunately there is no agreement amongst prayer timetables as to the start of fajr, with both Sunni and Shia timetables disagreeing with each other on the exact time. The disagreement basically boils down to what angle the Sun has to be below the horizon before the condition mentioned in the above verse is met, namely the appearance of a white thread across the horizon. Some say fajr begins when the Sun is 18 degrees below the horizon- this is known as the astronomical twilight. Others, such as Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi believe that fajr begins when the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon- this is the nautical twilight. See here : https://www.al-islam.org/articles/al-fajr-sadiq-new-perspective-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi I've checked najaf.orgs timings against different angles, and cant seem to figure out what their method is : http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/surfbin/placefinder_beta.cgi?program=Prayers&ticket=d57af32f57c40e74 Recently, the OpenFajr project based in Birmingham has tried to determine the exact timing of fajr using a 180 degree camera, and a panel of experts, including the Seminary in Najaf (according to their paper). They have found that the timing of fajr isnt fixed to a particular angle of the Sun below the horizon, but seems to vary from 12 to 15 degrees in Birmingham. It could be different in other parts of the world. See here : http://www.openfajr.org/#about All this presents us with 2 problems: When are we supposed to pray fajr, and when do we begin our fasts? I havent been able to find anything from Sayid Sistani [ha] other than the general rule in the above verse. Caution seems to dictate that we pray at 12 degrees, but then when do we begin our fast? We can do Imsak, but for what time period? On Jan 1st in London, the Sun is at 12 degrees at 6.43am, and is at 15 degrees at 6.23, so 20mins Imsak gets us 3 degrees extra. But this is different at different times of the year Any suggestions or corrections welcome.
  5. Salam, According to the Holy Quran, verse 41:12 Verse 37:6 Verse 67:5 All of these verses tell us that there are seven heavens or skies and that stars are present in the lowest or the nearest sky, while we all know that stars are very far away. Planets, comets, asteroids and the Moon are much closer to us than the stars. And for all we know, however deep you may travel into the known universe, there are galaxies with millions of stars as far as we know. So how can the stars be part of the lowest or nearest heaven ? Specially when we bring into consideration the following verse about the Moon: Verse 71:15-16 Unless I'm wrong and I hope to be, these verses sound like the moon resides somewhere between the seven heavens. Or that in all the seven heavens the Moon and the Sun exist as part of the whole heaven... while the stars, on the other hand, are located in the nearest or closest heaven. It just seems strange, though I have some possible answers on my mind, but I'm not satisfied with them so I seek help in this regard.
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