Nasa Image of the Day
An Astronaut's View from Space

An Astronaut's View from Space

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman tweeted this photo from the International Space Station on Tuesday morning, Sept. 2, 2014. "My favorite views from #space – just past #sunrise over the ocean," the Expedition 40 astronaut tweeted. The Expedition 40 crew has been busy aboard the Space Station, recently performing health checks and humanoid robot upgrades. In the meantime, a trio of orbital residents is packing up gear as they prepare to return home in less than two weeks. Commander Steve Swanson powered down and stowed Robonaut 2 after wrapping up its mobility upgrades this week. He installed new legs on the humanoid robot including external and internal gear as well as cables. This sets the stage for more upgrades in the fall before Robonaut takes its first steps as an assistant crew member. Robonaut was designed to enhance crew productivity and safety while also aiding people on Earth with physical disabilities. Image Credit: NASA/Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid)

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Galileo and 400 Years of Telescopic AstronomyGalileo and 400 Years of Telescopic Astronomy

Astronomy.co.uk has teamed up with Amazon.co.uk to bring you the finest selection of astronomy related books at the best prices.

Browse through our bookstore and check out our fine selection of books from star charts and astrophotography to mathematical astronomy. We are sure you will find the book that best suits your needs.

Sky View Cafe
Sky View Cafe

Sky View Café is a Java applet that lets you use your web browser to see many types of astronomical information, in both graphical and numerical form. You can see which stars and planets will be out tonight in the sky above your home town, see how the next solar or lunar eclipse will look from London, or find out when the Moon rose over Sydney on your birthday ten years ago. Sky View Café includes star charts, a 3-D orrery, displays of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, an astronomical event calendar, an ephemeris generator, and many other features. Enter Sky View Café now!

Astronomy News
Neutron stars at odds - Read more >
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:58:00 +0200


Space Science Image of the Week: Old magnetic neutron star overshadowed by the veil of quiet, younger counterpart



Hang out with Rosetta - Read more >
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:24:00 +0200


Where will Philae land? Join Rosetta mission experts in a Google+ Hangout, Tuesday 2 September, 14:00 GMT (16:00 CEST)



Rosetta arrival competition winners - Read more >
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:00:00 +0200


As Rosetta made its final approach to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, we asked you to join this extraordinary adventure by sharing pictures of your journeys, participating in a fun photo contest that attracted hundreds of entries and nearly 23 000 votes.




NASA Telescopes Help Uncover Early Construction Phase Of Giant Galaxy
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

The birth of massive galaxies, according to galaxy formation theories, begins with the buildup of a dense, compact core that is ablaze with the glow of millions of newly formed stars. Evidence of this early construction phase, however, has eluded astronomers until now. Astronomers identified a dense galactic core, dubbed "Sparky," using a combination of data from Hubble and Spitzer, other space telescopes, and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Hubble photographed the emerging galaxy as it looked 11 billion years ago, just 3 billion years after the birth of our universe in the big bang.



Integral catches dead star exploding in a blaze of glory - Read more >
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:00:00 +0200


Astronomers using ESA’s Integral gamma-ray observatory have demonstrated beyond doubt that dead stars known as white dwarfs can reignite and explode as supernovae. The finding came after the unique signature of gamma rays from the radioactive elements created in one of these explosions was captured for the first time. 




Rosetta: Landing site search narrows - Read more >
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:00:00 +0200


Using detailed information collected by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft during its first two weeks at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, five locations have been identified as candidate sites to set down the Philae lander in November – the first time a landing on a comet has ever been attempted.




Rosetta arrives - Read more >
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:45:00 +0200


Video highlights from the event at ESA's mission control centre during Rosetta's arrival at comet 67P/C-G on 6 August 2014



NASA's Hubble Finds Supernova Star System Linked to Potential 'Zombie Star'
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Supernovae are the most powerful stellar explosions in the universe. Some of them are produced by the detonation of a white dwarf, the stripped-down core of an ordinary star at the end of its life. But 12 years ago, astronomers began noticing weak stellar blasts, a kind of mini-supernova. When one such explosion occurred in the galaxy NGC 1309, astronomers looking through Hubble archival images found for the first time the star system that produced the supernova blast of a white dwarf.



Postcards from Rosetta - Read more >
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:30:00 +0200


Latest images from Rosetta’s comet



Rosetta arrives at comet destination - Read more >
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:40:00 +0200


After a decade-long journey chasing its target, ESA’s Rosetta has today become the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, opening a new chapter in Solar System exploration.




Rosetta rendezvous - Read more >
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 11:25:00 +0200


Watch as ESA's Rosetta spacecraft makes its historic rendezvous with a comet after a decade-long journey through space. Livestream from ESA's operations centre restarts at 11:00 GMT (13:00 CEST) on 6 August



Rosetta takes comet’s temperature - Read more >
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 14:00:00 +0200


ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, finding that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.




Hubble Shows Farthest Lensing Galaxy Yields Clues to Early Universe
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have unexpectedly discovered the most distant cosmic magnifying glass yet, produced by a monster elliptical galaxy. The galaxy, seen here as it looked 9.6 billion years ago, is so massive that its gravity bends, magnifies, and distorts light from objects behind it, a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. In the Hubble image, the galaxy is the red object in the enlarged view at left.



Gaia: ‘Go’ for science - Read more >
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:30:00 +0200


Following extensive in-orbit commissioning and several unexpected challenges, ESA’s billion-star surveyor, Gaia, is now ready to begin its science mission.




Venus Express: up above the clouds so high - Read more >
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:30:00 +0200


ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has climbed to a new orbit following its daring aerobraking experiment, and will now resume observations of this fascinating planet for at least a few more months.




Hubble Finds Three Surprisingly Dry Exoplanets
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the Sun and have come up nearly dry. The planets spectroscopically surveyed have only one-tenth to one one-thousandth the amount of water predicted by standard planet-formation theories. The planets are not habitable because they are gaseous and are as big as Jupiter. They lie so much closer to their host star than Jupiter is to our Sun, so their atmospheres are seething between 1,500 and 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Nevertheless, this result suggests that some percentage of Earth-size exoplanets may be more deficient in water than predicted. And, water is a necessary prerequisite for life as we know it. The search for water-bearing terrestrial worlds may be more challenging than thought for future space telescopes. And, scientists may have to revisit their theories of planet formation.



The halo of a galaxy - Read more >
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:24:00 +0200


Hubble takes in-depth look at the giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A



Call for Media: Rosetta’s comet rendezvous - Read more >
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:20:00 +0200


On 6 August, after a decade-long journey through space, ESA’s Rosetta will become the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet. Members of the media are invited to join ESA at its European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, to mark this momentous occasion.




Venus Express rises again - Read more >
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:00:00 +0200


After a month surfing in and out of the atmosphere of Venus down to just 130 km from the planet’s surface, ESA’s Venus Express is about to embark on a 15 day climb up to the lofty heights of 460 km.




CHEOPS on target - Read more >
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:29:00 +0200


The Characterising ExoPlanet Satellite, ESA's first small Science Programme mission, is ready for construction



Hubble Sees Spiral Bridge of Young Stars Between Two Ancient Galaxies
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

It seems like our compulsive universe can be downright capricious when it comes to making oddball-looking things in the cosmos. The latest surprise to Hubble astronomers is a 100,000-light-year-long structure that looks like a string of pearls twisted into a corkscrew shape. This Slinky-like structure forms a bridge between two giant elliptical galaxies that are colliding. The "pearls" on the Slinky are superclusters of blazing, blue-white, newly born stars. The whole assembly, which looks like a tug-of-war, must result from the gravitational tidal forces present in the collision.



Hubble to Proceed with Full Search for New Horizons Targets
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Planetary scientists have successfully used the Hubble Space Telescope to boldly look out to the far frontier of the solar system to find suitable targets for NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. After the marathon probe zooms past Pluto in July 2015, it will travel across the Kuiper Belt a vast rim of primitive ice bodies left over from the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago. If NASA approves, the probe could be redirected to fly to a Kuiper Belt object (KBO) and photograph it up close.



Swiftly Moving Gas Streamer Eclipses Supermassive Black Hole
Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Active galaxies host supermassive black holes in their cores. The intense gravity of the black hole creates a turbulent cauldron of extreme physics. These galaxies, such as NGC 5548 in this study, are too far away for the plasma fireworks to be directly imaged. Therefore astronomers use X-ray and ultraviolet spectroscopy to infer what is happening near the black hole. The new twist is the detection of a clumpy stream of gas that has swept in front of the black hole, blocking its radiation. This deep look into a black hole's environment yields clues to the behavior of active galaxies.



Hubble Finds That Dwarf Galaxies Formed More Than Their Fair Share of the Universe's Stars
Thu, 19 Jun 2014 08:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

They may be little, but they pack a big star-forming punch. Hubble astronomers have found that dwarf galaxies in the young universe were responsible for an "early wave" of star formation not long after the big bang. The galaxies churned out stars at a furiously fast rate, far above the "normal" star formation expected of galaxies. Understanding the link between a galaxy's mass and its star-forming activity helps to assemble a consistent picture of events in the early universe.



NASA's Hubble to Begin Search Beyond Pluto for a New Horizons Mission Target
Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

The Kuiper Belt is the final frontier of our solar system, and also the vastest. Stretching from 3 to 5 billion miles from the Sun, it contains myriad primitive icy bodies left over from the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago. After passing the dwarf planet Pluto in July 2015, NASA's New Horizons space probe will hurtle deep into the Kuiper Belt at nearly 35,000 miles per hour. The Hubble Space Telescope is being used to search for a suitable Kuiper Belt object that New Horizons could pay a visit to. It would be our first and perhaps last look at such a remote relic from the distant past. The search is very challenging even for Hubble's sharp vision. It has to find something the size of Manhattan Island, as black as charcoal, and embedded against a snowstorm of background stars.



Hubble Team Unveils Most Colorful View of Universe Captured by Space Telescope
Tue, 03 Jun 2014 14:15:00 -0400Hubble Image

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have assembled a comprehensive picture of the evolving universe among the most colorful deep space images ever captured by the 24-year-old telescope. This study, which includes ultraviolet light, provides the missing link in star formation.



Unveiling Venus - Read more >
Fri, 16 May 2014 15:00:00 +0200


Highlights from ESA’s Venus Express, following end of routine science observations after eight years orbiting the veiled planet



Join the adventure - Read more >
Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:49:00 +0100


Follow news, updates and real-time reporting on ESA's comet mission via the Rosetta blog


The Sky Tonight Buy A Star Gift - Name a star for any occasion, view it live on Google Sky
Universal Star Registry Certificate

Astronomy.co.uk Star Naming Service
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This Month's Sky Map
This Month's Sky Map

Take a look at this month's Sky Map to help you explore the wonders of the night sky!

Ideal for all sky watchers including beginners to astronomy.

The Sky Map will help you identify planets, bright stars, constellations and nebulae!
Printable version available too!


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