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.
Many Worlds 24 Sep 2020, 14:12 UTC As we grow more ambitious in our desires to see further and more precisely in space, the need for larger and larger telescope mirrors becomes inevitable. Only with collection of significantly more photons by a super large mirror can the the quality of the “seeing” significantly improve.
Physics World Blog
New class of supergiant stars could explain missing supernova progenitors - Astronomy and space – Physics World24 Sep 2020, 09:03 UTC A new class of stars called “fast yellow pulsating supergiants” has been identified by astronomers in the US and Switzerland. The discovery could solve the “red supergiant problem” of astrophysics, which refers to the lack of observations of Type IIP supernova progenitor stars with masses in the range of 16-30 solar masses. Stars heavier than about 8 solar masses are thought to spent their final phase of life as red supergiants, before undergoing core collapse and exploding as supernovae. The mass of a Type IIP supernova progenitor can be determined by measuring the star’s brightness just before it collapses – which itself occurs before the star explodes. Although red supergiants have been observed in the 16-30 solar masses range, none so far have been identified as progenitors of Type IIP supernovae. This contradiction of the current theory of stellar evolution is known as the red supergiant problem.It seems that only the lower-mass RSG’s explode, which raises the question: what is the fate of the more massive RSGs? One possibility is that many RSG’s evolve back to their previous yellow or blue stages of their lifecycle. Such post-RSGs would end their lives as something other than RSGs, thereby resolving the red ...
Starts With a Bang! 23 Sep 2020, 14:02 UTC 100 years ago, our understanding of the Universe was very different from what it is today. Einstein’s General Relativity, our theory of space, time, and gravitation, was only five years old, and was far from universally accepted. Most astronomers thought that the entire Universe was contained within the Milky Way and was static: neither expanding nor contracting with time. And the largest, most powerful telescope in the world had just been completed: the 100-inch (2.5 meter) Hooker telescope, which reigned as the largest-aperture observatory from its completion in 1917 until 1949.
Physics World Blog