NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 25 Sep 2020, 12:25 UTC Resting on the tail of the Great Bear in the constellation of Ursa Major lies NGC 5585, a spiral galaxy that is more than it appears.
ESA Top News 25 Sep 2020, 11:29 UTC Packed safely within protective containers, SEOSAT-Ingenio was transported together with its co-passenger, the CNES French space agency’s Taranis satellite – both scheduled for launch on a Vega rocket in November. Following the airplane off-loading procedures, SEOSAT-Ingenio was then transferred on a dedicated trailer for transport to Guiana Space Centre.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 24 Sep 2020, 18:30 UTC A historic moment is on the horizon for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. In just a few weeks, the robotic OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will descend to asteroid Bennu’s boulder-strewn surface, touch down for a few seconds and collect a sample of the asteroid’s rocks and dust – marking the first time NASA has grabbed pieces of an asteroid, which will be returned to Earth for study.
MIT 23 Sep 2020, 16:00 UTC In 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, including a team of MIT Haystack Observatory scientists, delivered the first image of a black hole, revealing M87* — the supermassive object in the center of the M87 galaxy. The EHT team has used the lessons learned last year to analyze the archival data sets from 2009 to 2013, some of which were not published before. The analysis reveals the behavior of the black hole image across multiple years, indicating persistence of the crescent-like shadow feature, but also variation of its orientation — the crescent appears to be wobbling. The full results appear today in The Astrophysical Journal in an article titled, “Monitoring the Morphology of M87* in 2009–2017 with the Event Horizon Telescope.”
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 23 Sep 2020, 13:16 UTC Recent science missions and results are bringing the search for life closer to home, and scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) and the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) may have figured out how to determine whether life is—or was—lurking deep beneath the surface of Mars, the Moon, and other rocky objects in the universe.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 21 Sep 2020, 15:00 UTC In an interplanetary faux pas, it appears some pieces of asteroid Vesta ended up on asteroid Bennu, according to observations from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. The new result sheds light on the intricate orbital dance of asteroids and on the violent origin of Bennu, which is a “rubble pile” asteroid that coalesced from the fragments of a massive collision.
MIT 21 Sep 2020, 04:00 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.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 18 Sep 2020, 12:24 UTC The twisting patterns created by the multiple spiral arms of NGC 2835 create the illusion of an eye. This is a fitting description, as this magnificent galaxy resides near the head of the southern constellation of Hydra, the water snake. This stunning barred spiral galaxy, with a width of just over half that of the Milky Way, is brilliantly featured in this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Although it cannot be seen in this image, a supermassive black hole with a mass millions of times that of our Sun is known to nestle in the very center of NGC 2835.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) 17 Sep 2020, 22:22 UTC Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) have made the first direct geometric measurement of the distance to a magnetar within our Milky Way Galaxy — a measurement that could help determine if magnetars are the sources of the long-mysterious Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs).Magnetars are a variety of neutron stars — the superdense remains of massive stars that exploded as supernovae — with extremely strong magnetic fields. A typical magnetar magnetic field is a trillion times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field, making magnetars the most magnetic objects in the Universe. They can emit strong bursts of X-rays and gamma rays, and recently have become a leading candidate for the sources of FRBs.A magnetar called XTE J1810-197, discovered in 2003, was the first of only six such objects found to emit radio pulses. It did so from 2003 to 2008, then ceased for a decade. In December of 2018, it resumed emitting bright radio pulses.A team of astronomers used the VLBA to regularly observe XTE J1810-197 from January to November of 2019, then again during March and April of 2020. By viewing the magnetar from opposite sides of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, they were ...