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12 Dec 2018, 19:09 UTC On Dec. 21, at 8:49:48 a.m. PST (11:49:48 a.m. EST) NASA's Juno spacecraft will be 3,140 miles (5,053 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops and hurtling by at a healthy clip of 128,802 mph (207,287 kilometers per hour). This will be the 16th science pass of the gas giant and will mark the solar-powered spacecraft's halfway point in data collection during its prime mission. Next Previous
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19 Nov 2018, 16:00 UTC The VISIR instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has captured this stunning image of a newly discovered massive triple star system. Nicknamed Apep after an ancient Egyptian deity, this may be the first ever gamma-ray burst progenitor found. Next Previous
15 Nov 2018, 19:00 UTC The most luminousLuminousIn astronomy, luminosity is an actual unit. It's the amount of energy given off by a star or galaxy, or any other object -- over a specific period of time. "Brightness," in astronomy, is how apparently bright an object appears to an observer. Brightness goes down with distance. Luminosity does not. galaxy in the universe has been caught in the act of stripping away nearly half the mass from at least three of its smaller neighbors, according to a new study published in the journal Science. The light from this galaxy, known as W2246-0526, took 12.4 billion years to reach us, so we are seeing it as it was when our universe was only about a tenth of its present age.New observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and its international partners (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ), ALMA is among the most complex and powerful astronomical observatories on Earth or in space. The telescope is an array of 66 high-precision dish antennas in northern Chile. See more here reveal distinct streamers of material being pulled from three smaller galaxies and flowing into the more massive galaxy, which was discovered in 2015 ... Next Previous
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NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 13 Dec 2018, 18:46 UTC On Nov. 26, NASA's InSight mission knew the spacecraft touched down within an 81-mile-long (130-kilometer-long) landing ellipse on Mars. Now, the team has pinpointed InSight's exact location using images from HiRISE, a powerful camera onboard another NASA spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array) 12 Dec 2018, 13:58 UTC Astronomers have already cataloged nearly 4,000 exoplanets in orbit around distant stars. Though we have learned much about these newfound worlds, there is still much we do not know about the steps of planet formation and the precise cosmic recipes that spawn the wide array of planetary bodies we have already uncovered, including so-called hot Jupiters, massive rocky worlds, icy dwarf planets, and – hopefully someday soon – distant analogs of Earth.
ESO Top News 12 Dec 2018, 13:00 UTC While testing a new subsystem on the SPHERE planet-hunting instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers were able to capture dramatic details of the turbulent stellar relationship in the binary star R Aquarii with unprecedented clarity — even compared to observations from Hubble.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 11 Dec 2018, 20:12 UTC NASA's InSight lander isn't camera-shy. The spacecraft used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie - a mosaic made up of 11 images. This is the same imaging process used by NASA's Curiosity rover mission, in which many overlapping pictures are taken and later stitched together. Visible in the selfie are the lander's solar panel and its entire deck, including its science instruments.
Carnegie Science 11 Dec 2018, 14:43 UTC New work from the Carnegie Supernova Project provides the best-yet calibrations for using type Ia supernovae to measure cosmic distances, which has implications for our understanding of how fast the universe is expanding and the role dark energy may play in driving this process. Led by Carnegie astronomer Chris Burns, the team’s findings are published in The Astrophysical Journal.
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Universe Today 13 Dec 2018, 18:35 UTC Ever since the Apollo missions explored the lunar surface, scientists have known that the Moon’s craters are the result of a long history of meteor and asteroid impacts. But it has only been in the past few decades that we have come to understand how regular these are. In fact, every few hours, an impact on the lunar surface is indicated by a bright flash. These impact flashes are designed as a “transient lunar phenomena” because they are fleeting.
Starts With a Bang! 13 Dec 2018, 15:01 UTC The Universe is expanding, and every scientist in the field agrees with that. The observations overwhelmingly support that straightforward conclusion, and every alternative has failed to match its successes since the late 1920s. But in scientific endeavors, success cannot simply be qualitative; we need to understand, measure, and quantify the Universe’s expansion. We need to know how much the Universe is expanding by. For generations, astronomers, astrophysicists and cosmologists attempted to refine our measurements of the rate of the Universe’s expansion: the Hubble constant. After many decades of debates, the Hubble Space Telescope key project appeared to solve the issue: 72 km/s/Mpc, with just a 10% uncertainty. But now, 17 years later, scientists can’t agree. One camp claims ~67 km/s/Mpc; the other claims ~73 km/s/Mpc, and the errors do not overlap. Something, or someone, is wrong, and we cannot figure out where.
Bad Astronomy 13 Dec 2018, 14:00 UTC I was pretty intrigued when I got a question from Bad Reader Dean Lewis about meteors. During the Perseid meteor shower in 2018 he was away from his family, separated by about 1,000 kilometers. If he saw a meteor, was it possible they could see the same one from their more distant locale? The short answer is: Yes! The long answer is… math. Cool, fun math.
Backreaction 13 Dec 2018, 07:48 UTC To correctly fit observations, physicists’ best current theory for the universe needs a new type of matter, the so-called “dark matter.” According to this theory, our galaxy – as most other galaxies – is contained in a spherical cloud of this dark stuff. Exactly what dark matter is made of, however, we still don’t know.
Universe Today 12 Dec 2018, 20:46 UTC The Voyager 2 spacecraft recently crossed the outer edge of the heliopause – the boundary between our Solar System and the interstellar medium – and has joined Voyager 1 in interstellar space. But unlike its sibling, the Voyager 2 spacecraft carries a working instrument that will provide the first-ever observations of the boundary that exists between the Solar System and interstellar space.
Centauri Dreams 12 Dec 2018, 18:10 UTC The science return from OSIRIS-REx has been surprisingly swift as the spacecraft returns data on near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu. We’re aided here by the timing, as early results are being discussed at the ongoing conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in Washington, DC. The imagery we’ve received of Bennu’s surface has scientists buzzing.