A Death Star's Ghostly Glow
Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:00:00 -0400
In writer Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart," a killer confesses his crime after he thinks he hears the beating of his victim's heart. The heartbeat turns out to be an illusion.
Astronomers, however, discovered a real "tell-tale heart" in space, 6,500 light-years from Earth. The "heart" is the crushed core of a long-dead star, called a neutron star, which exploded as a supernova and is now still beating with rhythmic precision. Evidence of its heartbeat are rapid-fire, lighthouse-like pulses of energy from the fast-spinning neutron star. The stellar relic is embedded in the center of the Crab Nebula, the expanding, tattered remains of the doomed star.
STScI Appoints Head of Newly Created Data Science Mission Office
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:00:00 -0400
Dr. Arfon Smith has been selected to lead the newly created Data Science Mission Office at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. The Data Science Mission Head is responsible for maximizing the scientific returns from a huge archive containing astronomical observations from 17 space astronomy missions and ground-based observatories.
Schiaparelli descent data: decoding underway - Read more >
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:40:00 +0200
Essential data from the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander sent to its mothership Trace Gas Orbiter during the module’s descent to the Red Planet’s surface yesterday has been downlinked to Earth and is currently being analysed by experts.
ExoMars briefing - Read more >
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 21:00:00 +0200
Watch live: Status report on the ExoMars mission. Streaming starts 08:00 GMT / 10:00 CEST
Signals from Mars - Read more >
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 18:50:00 +0200
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has arrived in Mars orbit. Mission teams are analysing data recorded from the Schiaparelli lander
Hello, Mars - Read more >
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 15:45:00 +0200
Space Science Image of the Week: A recent view of the Red Planet by ESA’s Mars Express workhorse, soon to be joined by ExoMars
Hubble Reveals Observable Universe Contains 10 Times More Galaxies Than Previously Thought
Thu, 13 Oct 2016 10:00:00 -0400
In Arthur C. Clarke's novel "2001: A Space Odyssey," astronaut David Bowman exclaims, "My God, it's full of stars!" before he gets pulled into an alien-built wormhole in space. When the Hubble Space Telescope made its deepest views of the universe, astronomers might have well exclaimed: "My God, it's full of galaxies!" The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, for example, revealed 10,000 galaxies of various shapes, sizes, colors, and ages, all within an area roughly one-tenth the diameter of the full moon. What's mind-blowing is that these myriad galaxies, though plentiful, may represent merely 10 percent of the universe's total galaxy population. That's according to
estimates from a new study of Hubble's deep-field surveys. The study's authors came to the staggering conclusion that at least 10 times more galaxies exist in the observable
universe than astronomers thought.
Buried glaciers on Mars - Read more >
Thu, 13 Oct 2016 11:00:00 +0200
This jumble of eroded blocks lies along the distinctive boundary between the Red Planet’s southern highlands and the northern lowlands, with remnants of ancient glaciers flowing around them.
What to expect from Schiaparelli’s camera - Read more >
Wed, 12 Oct 2016 11:00:00 +0200
As the ExoMars Schiaparelli module descends onto Mars on 19 October it will capture 15 images of the approaching surface. Scientists have simulated the view we can expect to see from the descent camera.
Call for media: ExoMars arrives at the Red Planet - Read more >
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:00:00 +0200
The ExoMars 2016 mission will enter orbit around the Red Planet on 19 October. At the same time, its Schiaparelli lander will descend to the surface. Representatives of traditional and social media are invited to attend a two-day event at ESA’s ESOC control centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
Hubble Detects Giant 'Cannonballs' Shooting from Star
Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:00:00 -0400
Great balls of fire! The Hubble Space Telescope has detected superhot blobs of gas, each twice as massive as the planet Mars, being ejected near a dying star. The plasma balls are zooming so fast through space that they would travel from Earth to the moon in 30 minutes. This stellar "cannon fire" has continued once every 8.5 years for at least the past 400 years, astronomers estimate. The fireballs present a puzzle to astronomers because the ejected material could not have been shot out by the host star, called V Hydrae. The star is a bloated red giant,
residing 1,200 light-years away, which has probably shed at least half of its mass into space during its death throes.
How to follow Rosetta’s grand finale - Read more >
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:30:00 +0200
Rosetta is set to complete its historic mission in a controlled descent to the surface of its comet on 30 September, with the end of mission confirmation predicted to be within 20 minutes of 11:20 GMT (13:20 CEST).
NASA's Hubble Spots Possible Water Plumes Erupting on Jupiter's Moon Europa
Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:00:00 -0400
New findings from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope show suspected water plumes erupting from Jupiter's icy moon Europa. These observations bolster earlier Hubble work suggesting that Europa is venting water vapor. A team of
astronomers, led by William Sparks of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, observed these finger-like projections while viewing Europa's limb as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. The team was inspired to use this observing method by studies of atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars.
Summer fireworks on Rosetta’s comet - Read more >
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:00:00 +0200
Brief but powerful outbursts seen from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko during its most active period last year have been traced back to their origins on the surface.
Hubble Finds Planet Orbiting Pair of Stars
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:00:00 -0400
Two is company, but three might not always be a crowd, at least in space. When astronomers found an extrasolar planet orbiting a neighboring star, a detailed analysis of the data uncovered a third body. But astronomers couldn't definitively identify whether the object was another planet or another star in the system.
Barry M. Lasker Data Science Fellowship
Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:00:00 -0400
The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, announces the initiation of the Barry M. Lasker Data Science Postdoctoral Fellowship. The Lasker Fellowship is a STScI-funded program designed to provide up to three years of support for outstanding postdoctoral researchers conducting innovative astronomical studies that involve the use or creation of one or more of the following: large astronomical databases, massive data processing, data visualization and discovery tools, or machine-learning algorithms. The first recipient of the fellowship is Dr. Gail Zasowski of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore, Maryland. The fellowship is named in honor of STScI astronomer Barry M. Lasker (1939-1999).
Hubble Takes Close-up Look at Disintegrating Comet
Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:00:00 -0400
Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami survived for 4.5 billion years in the frigid Kuiper Belt, a vast reservoir of icy bodies on the outskirts of our solar system. The objects are the leftovers from our solar system's construction. But within the last few million years, the unlucky comet was gravitationally kicked to the inner solar system by the outer planets. The comet, dubbed 332P, found a new home, settling into an orbit just beyond Mars. But the new home, closer to the sun, has doomed the comet. Sunlight is heating up Comet 332P's surface, causing jets of gas and dust to erupt. The jets act like rocket engines, spinning up the comet's rotation. The faster spin rate loosened chunks of material, which are drifting off the surface and into space.
Hubble Uncovers a Galaxy Pair Coming in from the Wilderness
Thu, 11 Aug 2016 13:00:00 -0400
The galaxies in the early universe were much smaller than our Milky Way and
churned out stars at a rapid pace. They grew larger through mergers with other
dwarf galaxies to eventually build the magnificent spiral and elliptical galaxies we
see around us today. But astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have looked at
two small galaxies that were left off the star party list. For many billions of years
Pisces A and Pisces B lived in a vast intergalactic wilderness that was devoid of gas,
which fuels star formation. They got left out in the cold.