Arianespace Press Releases 15 Jun 2009, 00:00 UTC Arianespace has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) at the 2009 Paris Air Show to launch the first operational Galileo navigation satellites. Two Soyuz medium-lift vehicles are scheduled to loft the four spacecraft in pairs from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana beginning in the second half of 2010. On a busy first day at the biennial air show event, Arianespace also entered into contracts with RUAG Aerospace for a series of payload adapters; and with Oerlikon Space AG for payload fairings – all to be used on the 35 Ariane 5 launchers for the upcoming PB batch ordered by Arianespace. The company signed a framework contract as well with ESA concerning the procurement of launch services for future ESA missions.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 12 Jun 2009, 22:08 UTC A JPL-developed and -built cooler on the Planck spacecraft has chilled the mission's low-frequency instrument down to its operating temperature.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Press Releases 10 Jun 2009, 20:30 UTC JAXA maneuvered the lunar explorer “KAGUYA” (SELENE) main orbiter to drop it onto the fo
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 10 Jun 2009, 19:04 UTC In November 2008, Caroline Moore, a 14-year-old student from upstate New York, discovered a supernova in a nearby galaxy, making her the youngest person ever to do so. Additional observations determined that the object, called SN 2008ha, is a new type of stellar explosion, 1000 times more powerful than a nova but 1000 times less powerful than a supernova. Astronomers say that it may be the weakest supernova ever seen.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 10 Jun 2009, 18:41 UTC June 10, 2009: Astronomers are announcing today that a sequence of images collected with the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA) clearly reveals the presence of a rotating molecular disk orbiting the young binary star system V4046 Sagittarii. The SMA images provide an unusually vivid snapshot of the process of formation of giant planets, comets, and Pluto-like bodies. The results also confirm that such objects may just as easily form around double stars as around single stars like our Sun.
Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) 10 Jun 2009, 10:00 UTC Astronomers at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) have recently used, for the first ever time, an electron-multiplying detector for astronomical spectroscopic observations, allowing a high-time resolution analysis of the orbital motion of a short orbital period cataclysmic variable.
Keck Observatory 9 Jun 2009, 19:00 UTC Astronomers using the W. M. Keck Observatory have discovered distant galaxies as massive as the Milky Way yet ten to 1000 times more compact. The new results, announced June 9 at the 214th American Astronomical Society meeting in Pasadena, provide astronomers with surprising clues about early star and galaxy formation at a time when the Universe was just a few billion years old. “The shapes of these galaxies tell us that it is not reasonable to expect they could occur from mergers. Instead, the kind of disks we’re seeing and the constituent stars seemed to have formed all at once, directly from the gas. In the old lingo, this is monolithic galaxy formation,” said astronomer Alan Stockton of the University of Hawai’i.
Keck Observatory 9 Jun 2009, 17:33 UTC PASADENA, Calif.—Astronomers using the Keck telescopes have solved the mystery of dark gamma ray bursts—intense flashes of X-ray and gamma-ray radiation that have little to no optical signature. The observations have allowed the astronomers to peer through celestial gas and dust to reveal star formation and stellar death in the dusty corners of otherwise dust-free galaxies. “We have compelling evidence that a large percentage of star formation in the early Universe is actually hidden by dust, even inside galaxies that do not appear dusty,” astronomer Daniel Perley of the University of California, Berkeley announced June 8, 2009 at the 214th…
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory 9 Jun 2009, 17:00 UTC A new image from Chandra X-ray Observatory shows a supernova remnant with a different look.This object, known as SNR 0104-72.3 (SNR 0104 for short), is in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small neighboring galaxy to the Milky Way. Astronomers think that SNR 0104 is the remains of a so-called Type Ia supernova caused by the thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf.