13 Sep 2018, 15:00 UTC The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has started a new mission to shed light on the evolution of the earliest galaxies in the Universe. The BUFFALO survey will observe six massive galaxy clusters and their surroundings. The first observations show the galaxy cluster Abell 370 and a host of magnified, gravitationally lensed galaxies around it. Next Previous
12 Sep 2018, 11:00 UTC FORS2, an instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has observed the spiral galaxy NGC 3981 in all its glory. The image was captured as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems Programme, which makes use of the rare occasions when observing conditions are not suitable for gathering scientific data. Next Previous
6 Sep 2018, 19:20 UTC Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover a ring of black holes or neutron stars in a galaxy 300 million light years from Earth. This ring, while not wielding power over Middle Earth, may help scientists better understand what happens when galaxies smash into one another in catastrophic impacts. Next Previous
29 Aug 2018, 11:00 UTC The Carina Nebula, one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the night sky, has been beautifully imaged by ESO’s VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. By observing in infrared light, VISTA has peered through the hot gas and dark dust enshrouding the nebula to show us myriad stars, both newborn and in their death throes. Next Previous
17 Aug 2018, 15:00 UTC The ALMA telescope in Chile has transformed how we see the universe, showing us otherwise invisible parts of the cosmos. This array of incredibly precise antennas studies a comparatively high-frequency sliver of radio light: waves that range from a few tenths of a millimeter to several millimeters in length. Recently, scientists pushed ALMA to its limits, harnessing the array’s highest-frequency (shortest wavelength) capabilities, which peer into a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that straddles the line between infrared light and radio waves. Next Previous
16 Aug 2018, 17:00 UTC Astronomers using the ultraviolet vision of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have captured one of the largest panoramic views of the fire and fury of star birth in the distant universe. The field features approximately 15,000 galaxies, about 12,000 of which are forming stars. Next Previous
9 Aug 2018, 17:47 UTC Imagine a place where the weather forecast is always the same: scorching temperatures, relentlessly sunny, and with absolutely zero chance of rain. This hellish scenario exists on the permanent daysides of a type of planet found outside our solar system dubbed an "ultrahot Jupiter." These worlds orbit extremely close to their stars, with one side of the planet permanently facing the star. What has puzzled scientists is why water vapor appears to be missing from the toasty worlds' atmospheres, when it is abundant in similar but slightly cooler planets. Observations of ultrahot Jupiters by NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, combined with computer simulations, have served as a springboard for a new theoretical study that may have solved this mystery. Next Previous
2 Aug 2018, 18:34 UTC Thin, red veins of energized gas mark the location of one of the larger supernova remnants in the Milky Way galaxy in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Next Previous
30 Jul 2018, 15:00 UTC Astronomers using ALMA and NOEMA have made the first definitive detection of a radioactive molecule in interstellar space. The radioactive part of the molecule is an isotope of aluminium. The observations reveal that the isotope was dispersed into space after the collision of two stars, that left behind a remnant known as CK Vulpeculae. This is the first time that a direct observation has been made of this element from a known source. Previous identifications of this isotope have come from the detection of gamma rays, but their precise origin had been unknown. Next Previous
26 Jul 2018, 15:00 UTC Astronomers using ALMA studied a cataclysmic stellar explosion known as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB, and found its enduring “afterglow.” The rebound, or reverse shock, triggered by the GRB’s powerful jets slamming into surrounding debris, lasted thousands of times longer than expected. These observations provide fresh insights into the physics of GRBs, one of the universe’s most energetic explosions. Next Previous
NASA Breaking News 17 Sep 2018, 20:27 UTC Members of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft team will host a Science Chat at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 19, on humanity’s farthest planetary flyby, scheduled to occur Jan. 1 when the spacecraft encounters a mysterious object in the Kuiper Belt nicknamed “Ultima Thule.”
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 17 Sep 2018, 17:00 UTC NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is now providing valuable data to help scientists discover and study exciting new exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system. Part of the data from TESS’ initial science orbit includes a detailed picture of the southern sky taken with all four of the spacecraft’s wide-field cameras. This “first light” science image captures a wealth of stars and other objects, including systems previously known to have exoplanets.
Planetary Science Institute 17 Sep 2018, 15:00 UTC The prominent mountain Ahuna Mons is visible on Ceres’ limb. Ahuna Mons has been interpreted as a cryovolcanic edifice. Numerous older, more rounded mountains, like those seen in the lower half of this image, give Ceres a "lumpy" appearance.
NASA Breaking News 15 Sep 2018, 14:15 UTC NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) successfully launched from California at 9:02 a.m. EDT Saturday, embarking on its mission to measure the ice of Earth’s frozen reaches with unprecedented accuracy. ICESat-2 lifted off from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base on United Launch Alliance’s final Delta II rocket. Ground stations in Svalbard, Norway, acquired signals from the spacecraft about 75 minutes after launch. It’s performing as expected and orbiting the globe, from pole to pole, at 17,069 mph from an average altitude of 290 miles.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 13 Sep 2018, 19:41 UTC The explosions of stars, known as supernovae, can be so bright they outshine their host galaxies. They take months or years to fade away, and sometimes, the gaseous remains of the explosion slam into hydrogen-rich gas and temporarily get bright again – but could they remain luminous without any outside interference?
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 13 Sep 2018, 17:52 UTC During NASA's Cassini mission's final distant encounter with Saturn's giant moon Titan, the spacecraft captured the enigmatic moon's north polar landscape of lakes and seas, which are filled with liquid methane and ethane.
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Space-For-All at HobbySpace 18 Sep 2018, 04:59 UTC On Monday evening at the SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, Calfornia, Elon Musk introduced billionaire entrepreneur and art collector Yusaku Maezawa, as the mystery space tourist who has reserved a BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) for a flyby trip around the Moon. (See previous posting.) The flight could happen as early as 2023.
NASA Space Station Blog 17 Sep 2018, 19:49 UTC The Expedition 56 crew members started the work week exploring a variety of life science and ensuring the upkeep of advanced space research gear. U.S. spacesuits were also being looked at today ahead of series of planned spacewalks.
astrobites 17 Sep 2018, 18:21 UTC Our story begins on a bright and not-so stormy brown dwarf. Now brown dwarfs are themselves mysterious objects, but CWW 89Ab is especially odd. But let’s start at the beginning; why are brown dwarfs mysterious? It is theorized that brown dwarfs form similarly to main-sequence stars; a gas cloud collapses, heats up, and eventually ignites. However, brown dwarfs do not have a high enough mass to start fusing hydrogen like a star and instead are left fusing deuterium. Over time, these objects cool off and start to dim and fade away.
Starts With a Bang! 17 Sep 2018, 14:01 UTC The Milky Way is our cosmic home, containing hundreds of billions of stars across 100,000 light-years. But 2.5 million light years away, our big sister, Andromeda, outclasses us in every way.
Parabolic Arc 17 Sep 2018, 07:58 UTC When astronauts land again on the surface of another world, their limited resources will allow for a short window of time each day to explore their new surroundings. Instruments designed to quickly reveal the terrain’s chemistry and form will help them understand the environments around them and how they change over time.