Mars 360 - Read more >
Mon, 09 Dec 2013 09:50:00 +0100
Space science image of the week: see the martian north pole from all angles in this new movie from ESA’s Mars Express
Hubble Traces Subtle Signals of Water on Hazy Worlds
Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:30:00 -0500
Astronomers continue to tally up how many planets are orbiting other stars. But
finding out what their atmospheres are made of is another story. Two teams of
scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have found faint signatures of
water in the atmospheres of five distant exoplanets. The planets are not the size
of Earth, but rather massive worlds known as hot Jupiters because they orbit so
close to their stars. Hubble's instruments can deduce the types of gases in the
atmospheres of these monsters by determining which colors of a star's light are
transmitted and which are partially absorbed as the planet passes in front of its
star. The observations demonstrate Hubble's continuing exemplary performance
in exoplanet research.
Infant Galaxies Merging Near 'Cosmic Dawn'
Thu, 21 Nov 2013 10:00:00 -0500
Astronomers using the combined power of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have discovered a far-flung trio of primitive galaxies nestled
inside an enormous blob of primordial gas. The rare triple system
existed when the universe was only 800 million years old. The trio may
eventually merge into a single massive galaxy, researchers predict.
The researchers state that the system provides key insights into the
earliest stages of galaxy formation.
Dr. Jason Kalirai Honored as 2013 Outstanding Young Scientist
Tue, 19 Nov 2013 13:00:00 -0500
Dr. Jason Kalirai, James Webb Space Telescope Project Scientist at the Space
Telescope Science Institute and associate researcher at the Center for
Astrophysical Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., will be
presented the 2013 Annual Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) award by the
Maryland Academy of Sciences and the Maryland Science Center on Nov. 20.
Hubble Reveals First Scrapbook Pictures of Milky Way's Formative Years
Thu, 14 Nov 2013 11:00:00 -0500
According to new Hubble Space Telescope observations of our Milky
Way's siblings, which existed long ago, the night sky must have looked
much emptier in the distant past, when our galaxy was still under
construction. The vast majority of our Milky Way's stars had not yet been
born. Yet the heavens were ablaze with a firestorm of new star formation.
Black hole boasts heavyweight jets - Read more >
Wed, 13 Nov 2013 19:00:00 +0100
Astronomers studying a black hole in our Galaxy with ESA’s XMM-Newton observatory have made a surprising discovery about the cocktail of particles that are ejected from its surroundings.
ExoMars lander module named Schiaparelli - Read more >
Fri, 08 Nov 2013 12:30:00 +0100
The entry, descent and landing demonstrator module that will fly on the 2016 ExoMars mission has been named ‘Schiaparelli’ in honour of the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, who famously mapped the Red Planet’s surface features in the 19th century.
NASA's Hubble Sees Asteroid Spout Six Comet-like Tails
Thu, 07 Nov 2013 11:00:00 -0500
It's not often that astronomers stumble across a celestial interloper that they can
only describe as "weird and freakish." Hubble researchers say they were "literally
dumbfounded" when they took a close-up look at an object that lives in the
asteroid belt but superficially looks like a comet. It has no less than six dust tails
that seem to be forming sequentially. The entire structure rotates like a bicycle
wheel with spokes on one side.
Hubble's New Shot of Proxima Centauri, Our Nearest Neighbor
Fri, 01 Nov 2013 11:30:00 -0400
Proxima Centauri lies in the constellation of Centaurus (the Centaur), just over
four light-years from Earth. Although it looks bright through the eye of the Hubble Space Telescope, as
you might expect from the nearest star to the solar system, Proxima Centauri is
not visible to the naked eye. Its average luminosity is very low, and it is quite
small compared to other stars, at only about an eighth of the mass of the Sun.
These observations were taken using Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary
Camera 2 (WFPC2) in 1996. Proxima Centauri is actually part of a triple star
system its two companions, Alpha Centauri A and B, lie out of frame.
NASA's Great Observatories Begin Deepest Ever Probe of the Universe
Thu, 24 Oct 2013 13:00:00 -0400
NASA's Great Observatories are teaming up to look deeper into the
universe than ever before. With a boost from natural "zoom lenses"
found in space, they should be able to uncover galaxies that are as
much as 100 times fainter than what the Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra
space telescopes can typically see.
This ambitious collaborative program is called The Frontier Fields.
Astronomers will spend the next three years peering at six massive
clusters of galaxies. Researchers are interested not only as to what's
inside the clusters, but also what's behind them. The gravitational
fields of the clusters brighten and magnify distant background
galaxies that are so faint they would otherwise be unobservable.
Galaxy Found in Hubble Survey Has Farthest Confirmed Distance
Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:00:00 -0400
A team of astronomers has discovered a galaxy that sets the current distance record for
galaxies whose distance has been definitively measured by spectroscopic redshift. The galaxy is seen as it was at a time just 700 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only about 5 percent of its current age of 13.8 billion years. This galaxy
and dozens of others were selected for follow-up observations from the approximately
100,000 galaxies discovered in the Hubble Space Telescope CANDELS survey (Cosmic Assembly
Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey). The team used the Keck I Telescope in
Hawaii to measure the redshift of the CANDELS galaxy, designated z8_GND_5296, at 7.51.
This is the highest galaxy redshift ever confirmed. The spectral redshift of galaxies is
caused by the expansion of space from the Big Bang.
Gaia launch postponement update - Read more >
Wed, 23 Oct 2013 18:00:00 +0200
Yesterday, the decision was taken to postpone the launch of ESA’s Gaia mission after a technical issue was identified in another satellite already in orbit.
Gaia: launch postponed - Read more >
Tue, 22 Oct 2013 18:00:00 +0200
Due to recently discovered technical issues with a separate satellite, ESA has decided to perform additional precautionary verifications on its Gaia satellite. Therefore we have requested that Arianespace postpone the Gaia launch, currently scheduled for 20 November.
More details will be given as soon as they are available and the new launch date will be announced when the timeline for completing the additional work has been confirmed.
Celebrating the legacy of ESA’s Planck mission - Read more >
Fri, 18 Oct 2013 14:00:00 +0200
From the tiniest fraction of a second after the Big Bang to the evolution of stars and galaxies over 13.8 billion years, ESA’s Planck space telescope has provided new insight into the history of our Universe. Although science observations are now complete, the legacy of the Planck mission lives on.
Comet ISON Appears Intact
Thu, 17 Oct 2013 14:00:00 -0400
A new image of the sunward plunging Comet ISON taken by NASA's
Hubble Space Telescope on October 9, 2013, suggests that the
comet is intact despite some predictions that the fragile icy
nucleus might disintegrate as the Sun warms it. The comet will
pass closest to the Sun on November 28.
Most Distant Gravitational Lens Helps Weigh Galaxies and Deepens a Galactic Mystery
Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:00:00 -0400
An international team of astronomers has found the most distant gravitational
lens yet a galaxy that, as predicted by Albert Einstein's general theory of
relativity, deflects and intensifies the light of an even more distant object.
The discovery provides a rare opportunity to directly measure the mass of a
distant galaxy. The observation also poses a mystery: lenses of this kind should
be exceedingly rare. Given this and other recent finds, astronomers either have
been phenomenally lucky or, more likely, they have underestimated substantially
the number of small, very young galaxies in the early universe.
Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up - Read more >
Fri, 11 Oct 2013 15:00:00 +0200
ESA’s comet-chasing mission Rosetta will wake up in 100 days’ time from deep-space hibernation to reach the destination it has been cruising towards for a decade.
Martian scars - Read more >
Thu, 10 Oct 2013 11:00:00 +0200
Ripped apart by tectonic forces, Hebes Chasma and its neighbouring network of canyons bear the scars of the Red Planet’s early history.