NASA: Kepler News and Features 7 Mar 2018, 22:43 UTC Capturing images of our home planet from the perspective of faraway spacecraft has become a tradition at NASA, ever since Voyager, 28 years ago, displayed our “pale blue dot” in the vastness of space. But the view of Earth from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope is quite something else. This Kepler image of Earth was recently beamed back home. Captured on Dec. 10, 2017 after the spacecraft adjusted its telescope to a new field of view, Earth’s reflection as it slipped past was so extraordinarily bright that it created a saber-like saturation bleed across the instrument’s sensors, obscuring the neighboring Moon.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 7 Mar 2018, 18:18 UTC Data collected by NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter indicate that the atmospheric winds of the gas-giant planet run deep into its atmosphere and last longer than similar atmospheric processes found here on Earth. The findings will improve understanding of Jupiter's interior structure, core mass and, eventually, its origin.
ESO Top News 7 Mar 2018, 11:00 UTC New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and other telescopes have been used to create this stunning image showing a web of filaments in the Orion Nebula. These features appear red-hot and fiery in this dramatic picture, but in reality are so cold that astronomers must use telescopes like ALMA to observe them.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 6 Mar 2018, 18:00 UTC Astronomers have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to uncover a vast, complex dust structure, about 150 billion miles across, enveloping the young star HR 4796A. A bright, narrow, inner ring of dust is already known to encircle the star and may have been corralled by the gravitational pull of an unseen giant planet. This newly discovered huge structure around the system may have implications for what this yet-unseen planetary system looks like around the 8-million-year-old star, which is in its formative years of planet construction.
ESO Top News 5 Mar 2018, 14:00 UTC The new MATISSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) has now successfully made its first observations at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MATISSE is the most powerful interferometric instrument in the world at mid-infrared wavelengths.
ESA Top News 5 Mar 2018, 09:00 UTC ESA’s Integral space observatory has witnessed a rare event: the moment that winds emitted by a swollen red giant star revived its slow-spinning companion, the core of a dead star, bringing it back to life in a flash of X-rays.
ESA Top News 5 Mar 2018, 08:05 UTC Saturn’s storm are sights to behold. Unlike other planets in the Solar System, the ringed planet seems to store up huge amounts of energy over multiple Earth decades and then release it all at once in the form of a swirling and chaotic lightning storm. Scientists are unsure why and how the planet behaves this way, but these massive storms occur roughly once every Saturnian year – or once every 30 Earth years – and are known as Great White Spots. The Great White Spot pictured here, also named the Great Northern Storm, was the largest and most intense storm that the international Cassini mission ever observed on Saturn. It began in late 2010 and lasted for months, but affected the clouds, temperatures and composition of the atmosphere for more than three years.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 3 Mar 2018, 00:38 UTC In 1929 Edwin Hubble surprised many people – including Albert Einstein – when he showed that the universe is expanding. Another bombshell came in 1998 when two teams of astronomers proved that cosmic expansion is actually speeding up due to a mysterious property of space called dark energy. This discovery provided the first evidence of what is now the reigning model of the universe: “Lambda-CDM,” which says that the cosmos is approximately 70 percent dark energy, 25 percent dark matter and 5 percent “normal” matter (everything we’ve ever observed). Until 2016, Lambda-CDM agreed beautifully with decades of cosmological data. Then a research team used the Hubble Space Telescope to make an extremely precise measurement of the local cosmic expansion rate. The result was another surprise: the researchers found that the universe was expanding a little faster than Lambda-CDM and the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), relic radiation from the Big Bang, predicted. So it seems something’s amiss – could this discrepancy be a systematic error, or possibly new physics? Astrophysicists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K. believe that strongly lensed Type Ia supernovae are the ...