NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 8 Aug 2018, 15:14 UTC The Sun contains 99.8 percent of the mass in our solar system. Its gravitational pull is what keeps everything here, from tiny Mercury to the gas giants to the Oort Cloud, 186 billion miles away. But even though the Sun has such a powerful pull, it's surprisingly hard to actually go to the Sun: It takes 55 times more energy to go to the Sun than it does to go to Mars. Why is it so difficult? The answer lies in the same fact that keeps Earth from plunging into the Sun: Our planet is traveling very fast — about 67,000 miles per hour — almost entirely sideways relative to the Sun. The only way to get to the Sun is to cancel that sideways motion.
ESO Top News 8 Aug 2018, 10:00 UTC A glittering host of galaxies populate this rich image taken with ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope, a state-of-the-art 2.6-m telescope designed for surveying the sky in visible light. The features of the multitude of galaxies strewn across the image allow astronomers to uncover the most delicate details of galactic structure.
ESA Top News 6 Aug 2018, 07:40 UTC On 6 August of 2014, after a decade of travelling through interplanetary space, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its final target: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G). The mission was the first to successfully land on a comet when it sent the lander Philae down to the surface a few months later, while the orbiter studied 67P/C-G in detail before the mission’s end on 30 September 2016. Over its lifetime Rosetta extensively mapped the comet’s surface, which has since been divided into 26 geological regions named after Ancient Egyptian deities. The entire comet has been likened to a duck in shape, with a small ‘head’ attached to a larger ‘body’.
New Horizons 4 Aug 2018, 05:09 UTC Using telescopes to watch the distant Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule pass in front of star on Aug. 3-4, observing teams in Senegal and Colombia report that they've gathered data on New Horizons' next flyby target.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 3 Aug 2018, 13:14 UTC Obtained for a research program on star formation in old and distant galaxies, this NASA/ESA (European Space Agency) Hubble Space Telescope image taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) demonstrates the immense effects of gravity; more specifically, it shows the effects of gravitational lensing caused by a galaxy cluster called SDSS J1152+3313.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) 2 Aug 2018, 22:33 UTC Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) have made the first radio-telescope detection of a planetary-mass object beyond our Solar System. The object, about a dozen times more massive than Jupiter, is a surprisingly strong magnetic powerhouse and a “rogue,” traveling through space unaccompanied by any parent star.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope 2 Aug 2018, 18:34 UTC Thin, red veins of energized gas mark the location of one of the larger supernova remnants in the Milky Way galaxy in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
HubbleSite NewsCenter -- Latest News Releases 2 Aug 2018, 17:00 UTC It takes more than a massive outburst to destroy the mammoth star Eta Carinae, one of the brightest known stars in the Milky Way galaxy. About 170 years ago, Eta Carinae erupted, unleashing almost as much energy as a standard supernova explosion. Yet that powerful blast wasn’t enough to obliterate the star, and astronomers have been searching for clues to explain the outburst ever since. Although they cannot travel back to the mid-1800s to witness the actual eruption, they can watch a rebroadcast of part of the event — courtesy of some wayward light from the explosion. Rather than heading straight toward Earth, some of the light from the outburst rebounded or “echoed” off of interstellar dust, and is just now arriving at Earth. This effect is called a light echo.
Gemini Observatory 2 Aug 2018, 16:59 UTC Observations from the Gemini South and other telescopes in Chile played a critical role in understanding light echoes from a stellar eruption which occurred almost 200 years ago. Gemini spectroscopy shows that ejected material from the blast is the fastest ever seen from a star that remained intact.