The Planetary Society Blog 13 Aug 2019, 09:00 UTC Last week, scientists gathered at Caltech for the Ninth International Conference on Mars. This conference, which takes place at intervals of several years (the eighth was in 2014), provides an opportunity for the Mars community to summarize the state of science and identify pressing future research questions and techniques.
The Planetary Society Blog 12 Aug 2019, 17:11 UTC Hayabusa2 successfully touched down on asteroid Ryugu on 11 July, just 60 centimeters away from its aimpoint. JAXA flight controllers had known immediately that the second touchdown had gone according to plan. Now, press materials released 25 July and translated to English on 30 July show just how successful it was.
Universe Today 9 Aug 2019, 19:34 UTC Despite all we know about the formation and evolution of the Universe, the very early days are still kind of mysterious. With our knowledge of physics we can shed some light on the nature of the earliest stars, even though they’re almost certainly long gone. Now a new discovery is confirming what scientists think they know about the early Universe, by shedding light on a star that’s still shining.
Starts With a Bang! 9 Aug 2019, 14:01 UTC Our observable Universe is an enormous place, with some two trillion galaxies strewn across the abyss of space for tens of billions of light-years in all directions. Ever since the 1920s, when we first unambiguously demonstrated that those galaxies were well beyond the extent of the Milky Way by accurately measuring the distances to them, one fact leaped out at us: the farther away a galaxy is, on average, the more severely shifted towards the red, long-wavelength part of the spectrum its light will be. This relationship, between redshift and distance, looks like a straight line when we first plot it out: the farther away you look, the greater the distant object’s redshift is, in direct proportion to one another. If you measure the slope of that line, you get a value, colloquially known as the Hubble constant. But it isn’t actually a constant at all, as it changes over time. Here’s the science behind why.
ESO Blog 9 Aug 2019, 10:00 UTC La Silla became ESO’s first observatory when it opened in 1969. Since then, the majestic gathering of telescopes in the Chilean desert has led to an enormous number of scientific discoveries, with on average 300 refereed publications attributed to La Silla telescopes every year. To mark the 50th anniversary of the observatory, we find out what it takes to run such an impressive place from Ivo Saviane, who has been Site Manager since 2013.