ESO Top News 5 Apr 2018, 15:00 UTC New images from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and other telescopes reveal a rich landscape of stars and glowing clouds of gas in one of our closest neighbouring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud. The pictures have allowed astronomers to identify an elusive stellar corpse buried among filaments of gas left behind by a 2000-year-old supernova explosion. The MUSE instrument was used to establish where this elusive object is hiding, and existing Chandra X-ray Observatory data confirmed its identity as an isolated neutron star.
ESA Science & Technology 5 Apr 2018, 14:00 UTC As astronomers worldwide are preparing to explore the second data release of ESA's Gaia satellite, the Data Processing and Analysing Consortium announced just how many sources will be included in the new catalogue, which will be made public on 25 April.
HubbleSite NewsCenter -- Latest News Releases 4 Apr 2018, 17:00 UTC Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have for the first time precisely measured the distance to one of the oldest objects in the universe, a collection of stars born shortly after the big bang. This new, refined distance yardstick provides an independent estimate for the age of the universe. The new measurement also will help astronomers improve models of stellar evolution. Star clusters are the key ingredient in stellar models because the stars in each grouping are at the same distance, have the same age, and have the same chemical composition. They therefore constitute a single stellar population to study.
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory 3 Apr 2018, 17:00 UTC Astronomers have used Chandra to study a gigantic and resilient "cold front" in the Perseus galaxy cluster. This structure spans about 2 million light years, moves at speeds around 300,000 mph, and is some 5 billion years old. Not only has it survived for so long, the cold front has also remained surprisingly sharp and split into two different pieces. The cold front's sharpness suggests that magnetic fields are wrapped around it, preserving it.
ESA Top News 3 Apr 2018, 10:10 UTC What is the first creature that comes to mind when you look at the dark cloud in this image? Perhaps a dark kitten with a vivid white nose, front paws stretching towards the right of the frame and tail up towards the left? Or perhaps a fox, running with its mouth open and looking ahead, its vigilant eyes pointing to the right? In fact, this animal-themed shape belongs to a dark nebula, a dense cloud of gas and dust in the constellation of Orion, the Hunter, with the cat’s nose (or fox’s eye) corresponding to the Orion Nebula Cluster, a star cluster near the famous Orion Nebula, M42. The image is based on data from the first release of ESA’s Gaia satellite, and shows the density of stars observed while scanning that region of the sky.
Hubble Space Telescope News 2 Apr 2018, 15:00 UTC
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 30 Mar 2018, 14:50 UTC This image, captured by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the spiral galaxy NGC 5714, about 130 million light-years away in the constellation of Boötes (the Herdsman). NGC 5714 is classified as an Sc spiral galaxy, but its spiral arms — the dominating feature of spiral galaxies — are almost impossible to see, as NGC 1787 presents itself at an almost perfectly edge-on angle.
MIT 30 Mar 2018, 03:59 UTC As part of an effort to identify distant planets hospitable to life, NASA has established a crowdsourcing project in which volunteers search telescopic images for evidence of debris disks around stars, which are good indicators of exoplanets. Using the results of that project, researchers at MIT have now trained a machine-learning system to search for debris disks itself. The scale of the search demands automation: There are nearly 750 million possible light sources in the data accumulated through NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission alone.
NASA Breaking News 29 Mar 2018, 20:47 UTC A regional dust storm currently swelling on Mars follows unusually closely on one that blossomed less than two weeks earlier and is now dissipating, as seen in daily global weather monitoring by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Images from the orbiter's wide-angle Mars Color Imager (MARCI) show each storm growing in the Acidalia area of northern Mars, then blowing southward and exploding to sizes bigger than the United States after reaching the southern hemisphere.