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NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 27 Jan 2020, 08:46 UTC Massive gas giants called "hot Jupiters" - planets that orbit too close to their stars to sustain life - are some of the strangest worlds found beyond our solar system. New observations show that the hottest of them all is stranger still, prone to planetwide meltdowns so severe they tear apart the molecules that make up its atmosphere.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 24 Jan 2020, 13:59 UTC This peculiar galaxy, beautifully streaked with tendrils of reddish dust, is captured here in wonderful detail by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 23 Jan 2020, 18:12 UTC The darkness surrounding the Hale Telescope breaks with a sliver of blue sky as the dome begins to open, screeching with metallic, sci-fi-like sounds atop San Diego County's Palomar Mountain. The historic observatory smells of the oil pumped in to support the bearings that make this giant telescope float ever so slightly as it moves to track the stars.
ESA Space Science 22 Jan 2020, 07:00 UTC Artist's impression of an Atlas V 411 launching Solar Orbiter into space.
ESA Space Science 20 Jan 2020, 16:00 UTC Observations from ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft are shedding light on the mysterious make-up of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, revealing a mix of compounds thought to be essential precursors to life – including salts of ammonium and a particular type of hydrocarbons.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 17 Jan 2020, 12:43 UTC A prototype oxygen plant has been set up in the Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory of the European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, based in Noordwijk in the Netherlands.
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Centauri Dreams 24 Jan 2020, 17:54 UTC Yesterday’s post on the Spitzer Space Telescope leads naturally to the targets it produced for its successor. For when Spitzer’s mission ends on January 30, we have the far more powerful James Webb Space Telescope, also operating at infrared wavelengths, in queue for a 2021 launch. In many ways, Spitzer has been the necessary precursor for JWST, for it was the need to operate a telescope at extremely low temperatures in order to maximize infrared sensitivity that drove Spitzer design. JWST must maintain its gold-coated beryllium mirror at similarly precise temperatures.
Bad Astronomy 24 Jan 2020, 14:00 UTC Every now and again I'll see a nebula I've never seen before, and it's always a bit of a surprise. I've been doing this scicomm thing a long time, and astronomy in general even longer. I've seen a lot of stuff.
Centauri Dreams 23 Jan 2020, 18:04 UTC The Spitzer Space Telescope, which is to end its mission on January 30, has a special place in my memory. I was making a trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of the research for my Centauri Dreams book when I noticed on a monitor a countdown — still in days — for the launch of Spitzer, then known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF).
Forbes articles by Brian Koberlein 22 Jan 2020, 18:10 UTC With over 4,000 confirmed exoplanets, we're starting to get an idea of which types are common and which are rare. We've learned that our solar system is rather unusual in ways you wouldn't expect. Take, for example, the presence of large planets orbiting small stars.