astrotweeps: Pratik (@astrogandhi) Profile picture
A new astronomer/planetary scientist tweeting about space each week!
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Dec 1, 2020 17 tweets 9 min read
Many of you may have already heard, but I want to address the latest news on the Arecibo Observatory (@NAICobservatory)

This morning, @NSF announced that the telescope's instrument platform has collapsed onto the dish, irreversibly damaging it:

🧵 (1/n) @NAICobservatory @NSF While Arecibo has suffered from hurricane damage and funding issues for a while, this is likely the final nail in the coffin for this * iconic * telescope.

An absolutely heartbreaking moment for Puerto Rico, the astronomy community, and all the fans of the observatory.

Jul 24, 2020 19 tweets 5 min read
I'm late to tweet today so please accept this bonus story: The Telescope That Fell Down

For this we head to Green Bank Observatory, in the US National Radio Quiet Zone in West Virginia.

In 1988 it was home to the 300 Foot radio telescope.

Isn’t it gorgeous? and TALL?... The Radio Quiet Zone is a fascinating place, with strict restrictions on tech use to minimize radio noise.

In a 20mi radius around the observatory, Wi-Fi, cell phones, and microwaves are banned. Vehicles even run on diesel to prefer interference from gas-engine ignition sparks.
Apr 7, 2020 13 tweets 6 min read
Hi all, in my intro I said I was a cosmochemist. What does this mean? For practical purposes, it means I use meteorites and other extraterrestrial samples to understand the origin and evolution of the chemical elements in space. So I think I’ll start with a primer on meteorites Image Meteorites are rocks that fall from outer space. Really large ones kill dinosaurs, somewhat large ones make big holes in the ground, but most are small (from sub-millimeter to meter size) and provide extremely valuable scientific information ImageImage
Feb 1, 2019 20 tweets 6 min read
Peridot - Story Thread #2 (the siege dragged on ...)

Let's start with the color, because peridot has a really nice color. Not an emerald green or forest green, peridot is sort of greeny/yellow. It has a characteristic golden glow.

(pic from Smithsonian Inst. Geogallery) The color is a great match for the spirit Chartreuse or say Absinthe (cough, ahem). Since I make gemstone stuffs for fun (as in pic), it is very appealing to me to imagine the Earth is filled with gems (however inaccurate that might be.)
Aug 14, 2018 33 tweets 8 min read
Good time-zone dependent morning, everyone! Today I'm going to talk about the research I did for my PhD project, looking at the remnants of planetary systems at white dwarfs. Lets talk about the end of the world(s)! As I mentioned yesterday, white dwarfs are the left over cores of stars that have run out of hydrogen and helium to power nuclear fusion in their cores. Every star less than about 8 times the mass of the Sun will follow the top track here, ending up as a white dwarf.
Jun 5, 2018 55 tweets 12 min read
(a thread on asteroid (3200) Phaethon, why I like it, and how and why we can study things that look like dead comets) I'll start with a small anecdote as to how I got introduced to Phaethon. Back in August, I mentioned to my advisor that I would be going to Hawaii to observe an asteroid sometime during that semester (fall 2017).
Oct 18, 2017 21 tweets 6 min read
And now, thread 2/2: How the TRAPPIST-1 planets make music to save themselves from destruction! Remember how TRAPPIST-1 shares much in common with Jupiter? There's more. Moons Io, Europa, Ganymede are locked in a 'resonant chain'.