Nasa Image of the Day
Expedition 42 Launches to the International Space Station

Expedition 42 Launches to the International Space Station

The Soyuz TMA-15M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 as seen in this long exposure carrying Expedition 42 Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineer Terry Virts of NASA, and Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA) into orbit to begin their five and a half month mission on the International Space Station.  Image Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

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

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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!

This Month's Sky Map
This Month's Sky Map

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The Sky Tonight Astronomy News
Simulating Space - Read more >
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:50:00 +0100


Space Science Image of the Week: BepiColombo orbiter ready to feel the heat



Pioneering Philae completes main mission before hibernation - Read more >
Sat, 15 Nov 2014 10:30:00 +0100


Rosetta’s lander has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.




Dr. Roeland van der Marel Appointed as STScI Lead on Proposed "Wide View" Space Telescope
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 10:00:00 -0500Hubble Image

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, has appointed Dr. Roeland van der Marel to lead its work on a proposed NASA space telescope that will provide images as sharp as the Hubble Space Telescope, but over a hundred times larger area. The space observatory, called the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope-Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST-AFTA), is being studied for launch in the mid-2020s, pending program approval by NASA. The telescope will be used to probe the distribution of dark matter and the characteristics of dark energy, measure the abundance and characteristics of planets orbiting other stars, and will provide observations and surveys to study many other astrophysical subjects. STScI is presently the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the science and mission operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018. Van der Marel joined the STScI staff in 1997. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is an expert on black holes and the structure of galaxies.



Three touchdowns for Rosetta’s lander - Read more >
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:40:00 +0100


After achieving touchdown on a comet for the first time in history, scientists and engineers are busy analysing this new world and the nature of the landing. 




The Party's Over for These Youthful Compact Galaxies
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:00:00 -0500Hubble Image

Hubble has uncovered young, massive, compact galaxies whose raucous star-making parties are ending early. The firestorm of star birth has blasted out most of the remaining gaseous fuel needed to make future generations of stars. Now the party's over for these gas-starved galaxies, and they are on track to possibly becoming so-called "red and dead galaxies," composed only of aging stars. An analysis of 12 merging galaxies is suggesting that energy from the star-birthing frenzy created powerful winds that are blowing out the gas, squelching future generations of stars. This activity occurred when the universe was half its current age of 13.7 billion years.



Welcome to a comet - Read more >
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 10:55:00 +0100


Rosetta’s lander Philae is safely on the surface of the comet



Incoming! - Read more >
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 18:50:00 +0100


The final stages of Philae’s touchdown seen through the eyes of the lander’s downwards-looking descent camera



Touchdown! Rosetta’s Philae probe lands on comet - Read more >
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 17:30:00 +0100


ESA’s Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on a comet, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved.




Farewell, Philae - Read more >
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:13:00 +0100


Rosetta’s parting image of Philae as the lander began its seven-hour descent to the surface of the comet



Farewell Rosetta - Read more >
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:30:00 +0100


Philae’s parting image of Rosetta, taken shortly after separation



Rosetta and Philae separation confirmed - Read more >
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:02:00 +0100


The Philae lander has separated from the Rosetta orbiter, and is now on its way to becoming the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet.




Rosetta and Philae Go for separation - Read more >
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 08:00:00 +0100


Following a night of critical Go/NoGo decisions, Rosetta and Philae are cleared for separation, despite a problem onboard the lander. The mission is set to become the first in history to touch down on a comet.




Hubble Surveys Debris-Strewn Exoplanetary Construction Yards
Thu, 06 Nov 2014 13:00:00 -0500Hubble Image

Over the past few years, astronomers have found an incredible diversity in the architecture of exoplanetary systems, as well as the planets themselves. A survey using the sharp view of the Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a similar diversity in the debris systems that coincide with the formation of exoplanets. These circumstellar dusty disks are likely generated by collisions between objects left over from planet formation around stars. The survey's results suggest that there is some sort of interdependence between a planet and the accompanying debris system.



Once upon a time... - Read more >
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 09:15:00 +0100


Rosetta and Philae get ready for their comet landing adventure



Farewell ‘J’, hello Agilkia - Read more >
Tue, 04 Nov 2014 14:30:00 +0100


The site where Rosetta’s Philae lander is scheduled to touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November now has a name: Agilkia.




Hubble Sees 'Ghost Light' From Dead Galaxies
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

The universe is an infinite sea of galaxies, which are majestic star-cities. When galaxies group together in massive clusters, some of them can be ripped apart by the gravitational tug of other galaxies. It's a giant cosmic mosh pit. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to probe the massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744 nicknamed Pandora's Cluster have found forensic evidence of galaxies torn apart long ago. It's in the form of a phantom-like faint glow filling the space between the galaxies. This glow comes from stars scattered into intergalactic space as a result of a galaxy's disintegration.



Here's Looking At You: Spooky Shadow Play Gives Jupiter a Giant Eye
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

The Hubble Space Telescope treats astronomers to gorgeous close-up views of the eerie outer planets. But it's a bit of a trick when it seems like the planet's looking back at you! In this view, the shadow of the Jovian moon Ganymede swept across the center of the Great Red Spot a giant storm on the planet. This gave Jupiter the uncanny appearance of having a pupil in the center of a 10,000-mile-diameter "eye." Now if it blinks, we may really have to worry!



Ambition - Read more >
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:40:00 +0200


How Rosetta is turning science fiction into science fact



Rosetta: the ambition to turn science fiction into science fact - Read more >
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:35:00 +0200


Imagine: with a wasteland as their canvas, a Master and his young Apprentice set about turning rubble into planets and moons, asteroids and comets. They levitate the worlds above their heads, spinning them in orbit around their symbolic Sun.




Close Encounters: Comet Siding Spring Seen Next to Mars
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

This is a photo composite of the encounter of Comet Siding Spring with Mars on October 19, 2014. Separate Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars and the comet have been combined together into a single picture. This is a composite image because a single exposure of the stellar background, Comet Siding Spring, and Mars would be problematic because the objects are all moving with respect to each other and the background stars. Hubble can only track one planetary target at a time. Also, Mars is actually 10,000 times brighter than the comet, and the exposure here has been adjusted so that details on the Red Planet can be seen.



Fly over Mars in 3D - Read more >
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:22:00 +0200


Enjoy a 3D flight over ‘chaotic terrain’ on Mars



Herschel's Comet - Read more >
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:30:00 +0200


A month before retiring in 2013, Herschel took a look at Comet Siding Spring. The comet is now heading for a close encounter with Mars on Sunday



Hubble Finds Extremely Distant Galaxy through Cosmic Magnifying Glass
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Peering through a giant cosmic magnifying glass, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted one of the farthest, faintest, and smallest galaxies ever seen. The diminutive object is estimated to be more than 13 billion light-years away. This new detection is considered one of the most reliable distance measurements of a galaxy that existed in the early universe, said the Hubble researchers. Hubble detected the galaxy due to the lensing power of the mammoth galaxy cluster Abell 2744, nicknamed Pandora's Cluster. The cluster is so massive that its powerful gravity bends the light from galaxies far behind it, making the background objects appear larger and brighter in a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.



NASA's Hubble Telescope Finds Potential Kuiper Belt Targets for New Horizons Pluto Mission
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

The Kuiper Belt is a vast disk of icy debris left over from our Sun's formation 4.6 billion years ago. Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) are a unique class of solar-system body that has never been visited by interplanetary spacecraft. They contain well-preserved clues to the origin of our solar system. NASA's New Horizons probe will fly by Pluto in mid-2015 and then continue across the Kuiper Belt on its way toward interstellar space. The Hubble Space Telescope was used to do a deep sky survey to identify KBOs that the New Horizons spacecraft could potentially visit on its outbound trajectory. The deep sky survey was successful, and Hubble found targetable KBOs for New Horizons.



Hubble Maps the Temperature and Water Vapor on an Extreme Exoplanet
Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

Located 260 light-years away, exoplanet WASP-43b is no place to call home. It is a world of extremes, where seething winds howl at the speed of sound from a 3,000-degree-Fahrenheit day side, hot enough to melt steel, to a pitch-black night side with plunging temperatures below 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The Hubble Space Telescope has been used to make the most detailed global map yet of the thermal glow from this turbulent world. The astronomers were also able to map temperatures at different layers of the world's atmosphere and traced the amount and distribution of water vapor. The Jupiter-sized planet lies so close to its orange dwarf host star that it completes an orbit in just 19 hours. The planet is also gravitationally locked so that it keeps one hemisphere facing the star.



NASA Telescopes Find Clear Skies and Water Vapor on Exo-Neptune
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:00:00 -0400Hubble Image

The weather forecast for a planet 120 light-years from Earth is clear skies and steamy water vapor. Finding clear skies on a gaseous world the size of Neptune is a good sign that even smaller, Earth-size planets might have similarly good visibility. This would allow earthbound astronomers to measure the underlying atmospheric composition of an exoplanet. Astronomers using the Hubble, Spitzer, and Kepler space telescopes were able to determine that the planet, cataloged HAT-P-11b, has water vapor in its atmosphere. The world is definitely steamy with temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The planet is so hot because it orbits so close to its star, completing one orbit every five days.



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


Where will Philae land? Watch a replay of the Rosetta Google+ Hangout held on Tuesday 2 September



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


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