ESO Top News 26 Aug 2009, 08:00 UTC ESO 30/09 - Photo Release:Today ESO has released a new image of the Trifid Nebula, showing just why it is a firm favourite of astronomers, amateur and professional alike. This massive star factory is so named for the dark dust bands that trisect its glowing heart, and is a rare combination of three nebula types, revealing the fury of freshly formed stars and presaging more star birth.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 25 Aug 2009, 15:01 UTC August 25, 2009: Finding a comet can be a quick way to get some immortal fame -- and a little spending money, as well. An annual award of several thousand dollars for discoveries of comets by amateur astronomers has just been announced for five individuals in five different countries.
ASI Agenzia Spaziale Italiana 24 Aug 2009, 08:58 UTC Space shuttle Discovery will carry the Leonardo supply module to the International Space Station during STS-128, along with a new crew member for the station, Nicole Stott. Commanded by veteran astronaut Rick "C.J." Sturckow, the STS-128 mission crew will deliver refrigerator-sized racks full of equipment, including the COLBERT treadmill, an exercise device named after comedian Stephen Colbert. Stott will take the place of Tim Kopra, who moved into the station during STS-127. Pilot Kevin Ford and Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez, John "Danny" Olivas and Sweden's Christer Fuglesang round out the crew. The launch ise scheduled for August 25, 1:36 am EDT.On August 23, NASA's Management Team Chair, Mike Moses gave an update of the maintenance and repair projects performed preparing the shuttle for launch and said the only concern at this point was the possible inclement weather just before the external tank is fueled. "I'm really pleased to report that launch countdown activities are proceeding nominally and we working no issues," said Launch Director Pete Nickolenko. Nickolenko reported that there are four launch attempts available within five days from Aug. 25 through Aug. 30 and he was "96 percent certain" of being able to launch in this time ...
ESA Top News 22 Aug 2009, 00:30 UTC Early this morning, an Ariane 5 ECA launcher lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two telecommunications satellites, JCSat-12 and Optus D3, into geostationary transfer orbits.
University of Florida 19 Aug 2009, 17:01 UTC GAINESVILLE, Fla. — An investigation by a major scientific group headed by a University of Florida professor has advanced understanding of the early evolution of the universe. An analysis of data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Scientific Collaboration, or LIGO, and the Virgo Collaboration has set the most stringent limits yet on the amount of gravitational waves that could have come from the Big Bang in the gravitational wave frequency band where LIGO can observe. In doing so, scientists have put new constraints on the details of how the universe looked in its earliest moments.
NASA: GALEX News 19 Aug 2009, 17:00 UTC For decades, astronomers have gone about their business of studying the cosmos with the assumption that stars of certain sizes form in certain quantities. Like grocery stores selling melons alone, and blueberries in bags of dozens or more, the universe was thought to create stars in specific bundles. In other words, the proportion of small to big stars was thought to be fixed. For every star 20 or more times as massive as the sun, for example, there should be 500 stars with the sun's mass or less. This belief, based on years of research, has been tipped on its side with new data from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The ultraviolet telescope has found proof that small stars come in even bigger bundles than previously believed; for example, in some places in the cosmos, about 2,000 low-mass stars may form for each massive star. The little stars were there all along but masked by massive, brighter stars.
ESO Top News 19 Aug 2009, 10:00 UTC ESO 29/09 - Photo Release:New images released today by ESO delve into the heart of a cosmic cloud, called RCW 38, crowded with budding stars and planetary systems. There, young stars bombard fledgling suns and planets with powerful winds and blazing light, helped in their task by short-lived, massive stars that explode as supernovae. In some cases, this onslaught cooks away the matter that may eventually form new solar systems. Scientists think that our own Solar System emerged from such an environment.