ESA Top News 9 Oct 2017, 07:00 UTC Mercury, the innermost planet of our Solar System is a grey, barren world to our human eyes. In stark contrast, this map shows a portion of the surface in a patchwork of colour, each shade corresponding to a different type of geological feature. The image is an excerpt from a detailed geological map that is the first complete geological survey of this region made using data from NASA’s Messenger mission, which orbited Mercury from 2011 to 2015. It covers a section in the planet’s northern hemisphere known to planetary geologists as the Victoria Quadrangle, and is centred on about 45ºW / 45ºN.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 6 Oct 2017, 18:46 UTC The discovery of evidence for ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits on Mars identifies an area on the planet that may offer clues about the origin of life on Earth. A recent international report examines observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of massive deposits in a basin on southern Mars. The authors interpret the data as evidence that these deposits were formed by heated water from a volcanically active part of the planet's crust entering the bottom of a large sea long ago.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 6 Oct 2017, 13:45 UTC At a distance of just 160,000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the Milky Way’s closest companions. It is also home to one of the largest and most intense regions of active star formation known to exist anywhere in our galactic neighborhood — the Tarantula Nebula. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows both the spindly, spidery filaments of gas that inspired the region’s name, and the intriguing structure of stacked “bubbles” that forms the so-called Honeycomb Nebula (to the lower left).
ESA Space Science 6 Oct 2017, 13:00 UTC ESA and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, together with the BBK Foundation, have joined forces to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this emblematic arts centre. Chasmata is a pioneering journey to Mars through the medium of contemporary art, music and architecture.
ASI Agenzia Spaziale Italiana 6 Oct 2017, 11:06 UTC “Beep…beep…beep”. The signal emitted by Sputnik 1 launched by the Soviet Union sixty years ago during the night between 4 and 5 October marked the beginning of the race to space and of the use of satellites. But that's not all.
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory 5 Oct 2017, 17:56 UTC Researchers are testing a prototype “radio” that could let them listen to the tune of mysterious dark matter particles.
Square Kilometer Array 5 Oct 2017, 13:25 UTC Organohalogen methyl chloride discovered by ALMA around the infant stars in IRAS 16293-2422. These same organic compounds were discovered in the thin atmosphere surrounding 67P/C-G by the Rosetta space probe. Credit: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF). SKA Global Headquarters, Jodrell Bank, UK, Thursday 5 October 2018 – Most people aren’t familiar with methyl chloride, but this complex organic molecule was widely believed to be an indicator of Life if detected on another planet. In a recent study published in Nature, an international team of astronomers led by Edith Fayolle (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and including SKA Project Scientist Tyler Bourke detected the molecule around an infant star system, putting this theory into question. The team used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile to make the detection in a dusty & cloudy environment containing several proto-stars of similar mass to the Sun, located about 400 light years from Earth. The molecule was also previously detected in similar abundance by the Rosetta probe around the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Since comets are remnants of early planetary formation, these new observations support the idea that planetary systems have a similar chemical composition than their parent star-forming regions. “Methyl chloride is usually associated with industrial ...
ESA Top News 5 Oct 2017, 11:22 UTC A bright fireball was spotted over the Netherlands and Belgium on 21 September at 21:00 CEST (19:00 GMT). It was caused by a small meteoroid, estimated to be around several centimetres, entering Earth’s atmosphere and burning up. The fireball was captured by a number of all-sky camera stations of the Dutch–Belgian meteor network operated by amateurs of the Dutch Meteor Society and the Meteor Section of the Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy. They use automated photographic cameras with fish-eye lenses to capture images of the night sky on clear nights. This remarkable image was captured by one of the stations, at Ermelo, operated by Koen Miskotte. It is a 1.5 minute exposure with a Canon EOS 6D DSLR and a fish-eye lens. The camera lens was equipped with an LCD shutter that, during the exposure, creates brief ‘breaks’ at a rate of 14 per second. These are the dark gaps in the trail making it look dashed. Because the LCD shutter rate is known, you can count the dashes and obtain the duration of the fireball: 5.3 seconds. The image also provides information on the deceleration of the meteoroid in the atmosphere. In this case, it entered the ...