ESO Announcements 5 Jun 2020, 12:14 UTC METIS, the powerful imager and spectrograph for ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), has passed its Preliminary Design Review at ESO’s headquarters in Garching, Germany. METIS, short for Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Spectrograph, will make full use of the giant main mirror of the telescope to study a wide range of science topics, from objects in our Solar System to distant active galaxies. METIS will be extremely well suited to study the life cycle of stars, from infant stars and planet-forming discs to older stars near the end of their lifetime.
Gas Far Outside of Our Galaxy Illuminated by Enormous Burst of Energy Unleashed by Milky Way’s Black Hole3 Jun 2020, 12:45 UTC About 3.5 million years ago, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy unleashed an enormous burst of energy. Our primitive ancestors, already afoot on the African plains, likely would have witnessed this flare as a ghostly glow high overhead in the constellation Sagittarius. It might have persisted for 1 million years.
Discover 2 Jun 2020, 19:30 UTC For a long time after their discovery in 1877, scientists assumed Mars’ two puny moons — Deimos and Phobos — were captured asteroids. This belief persisted until evidence revealed both moons formed at the same time as the Red Planet itself, and that the smaller one, Deimos, has a mysteriously tilted orbit. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that researchers put forth a new idea that could explain why Deimos' orbit is slanted by 2 degrees.
Bad Astronomy 2 Jun 2020, 13:00 UTC Three million people in the U.S. alone use lithium as a medication to treat mental illness, including bipolar and major depressive disorders. Lithium is also used in batteries; I have four large lithium-ion batteries in my garage that charge every day from solar panels and power my house at night, and electric cars also use lithium-ion batteries. It's used in making glass and many other products as well.
National Science Foundation's Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory 1 Jun 2020, 15:40 UTC A project started ten years ago by NSF’s NOIRLab Director Patrick McCarthy, then an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science, and fellow Carnegie scientist Daniel Kelson, has come to fruition this month with the results of the Carnegie-Spitzer-IMACS (CSI) Redshift Survey being published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Bad Astronomy 1 Jun 2020, 13:00 UTC Jupiter is a very photogenic planet. That's a big reason scientists installed the JunoCam instrument on Juno, a mission orbiting the ginormous planet. Juno's mission is to study the atmosphere and interior of Jupiter, and has a lot of sophisticated instruments on board to do that.