Universe Today 30 Sep 2020, 20:38 UTC The detection of phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere was one of those quintessential moments in space science. It was an unexpected discovery, and when combined with our incomplete understanding of planetary science, and our wistful hopefulness around the discovery of life, the result was a potent mix that lit up internet headlines.
Centauri Dreams 30 Sep 2020, 15:09 UTC The European Space Agency’s CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) space telescope reached space in December of 2019, achieving a Sun-synchronous orbit some 700 kilometers up. The instrument has begun its observations of stars near the Sun that are already known to have planetary companions. The idea is to use the 30 cm optical telescope to constrain radius information for these worlds, previously identified in transit and radial velocity studies.
EarthSky Blog 30 Sep 2020, 12:10 UTC Image via NASA/ SDO/ AIA, EVE, HMI science teams.By Graham JonesSolar flares are brief eruptions of intense high-energy radiation from the sun’s surface. They’re associated with sunspots, coronal mass ejections and other signs of high activity on the sun, during its 11-year cycle. Activity on the sun creates what’s known as space weather, which can have an impact here on Earth. For example, a big solar flare can result in charged particles hurled toward Earth that cause disturbances in the power grid, satellites, GPS and airlines. But understanding when and why these powerful solar flares happen is one of most difficult challenges in astrophysics.Now, a team of researchers in Japan think they may have found a way to predict large solar flares and make better forecasts of space weather. Kanya Kusano, Director of the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, and his team developed a physics-based model to predict imminent large solar flares. The study was published in the journal Science on July 31, 2020. Kusano spoke about about work.What is the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, and what’s your role?Kanya Kusano: The human environment is so extended, it even spreads into space. Our institute was established in 2015 ...
Universe Today 29 Sep 2020, 16:24 UTC Is it a new asteroid mini–moon or a human-made mini-moon? That’s the question about a small object approaching Earth, called 2020 SO. NASA’s Small Body Database predicts the object will captured by Earth’s gravity in October 2020 and temporarily be trapped in orbit.
SciTech Daily 28 Sep 2020, 09:42 UTC Eight months after the space telescope CHEOPS started its journey into space, the first scientific publication using data from CHEOPS has been issued. Using data from CHEOPS, scientists have recently carried out a detailed study of the exoplanet WASP-189b. Willy Benz, professor of astrophysics at the University of Bern and head of the CHEOPS consortium, was delighted about the findings: “These observations demonstrate that CHEOPS fully meets the high expectations regarding its performance.”
Universe Today 25 Sep 2020, 20:18 UTC In an expected move, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced a mission extension for their Hayabusa2 spacecraft. Hayabusa2 will be sent to rendezvous with another asteroid in a few years time.
The Planetary Society Blog 25 Sep 2020, 14:30 UTC What is this alien world? Believe it or not, it’s our very own Moon. International Observe the Moon Night takes place this Saturday, 26 September. Whether by using a telescope, taking photos of the night sky, joining a virtual event, learning about our planet’s natural satellite, looking at images of the Moon, or just going outside and looking up, there are lots of ways you can join in on the lunacy. Plus, we’ve put together an explanation of the fascinating phenomenon of why the Moon appears upside down or even sideways depending on where you are and what time it is.
SciTech Daily 25 Sep 2020, 11:28 UTC In a delightful alignment of astronomy and mathematics, scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a “pi Earth” — an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days, in an orbit reminiscent of the universal mathematics constant. The researchers discovered signals of the planet in data taken in 2017 by the NASA Kepler Space Telescope’s K2 mission. By zeroing in on the system earlier this year with SPECULOOS, a network of ground-based telescopes, the team confirmed that the signals were of a planet orbiting its star. And indeed, the planet appears to still be circling its star today, with a pi-like period, every 3.14 days.