Keyword: telescope

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  • What will the James Webb Space Telescope reveal ...? (Trunc; Hubble Replacement)

    02/24/2017 9:00:55 AM PST · by Hostage · 43 replies
    New Atlas ^ | 2-24-2017 | Nick Lavars
    The discovery of seven habitable planets just 40 light years away is certainly impressive, but the fact is, they are still 40 light years away. Unless we're willing and able to spend thousands of years traveling through space, we won't be rolling into the TRAPPIST-1 system anytime soon. This means that over the coming decades, advanced scientific instruments closer to home will play very important roles in exploring these distant worlds – perhaps none more so than the James Webb Space Telescope. So what can we expect when it is fired into orbit next year? We checked in with some...
  • Gaia space telescope plots a billion stars

    09/14/2016 5:36:58 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 20 replies
    BBC ^ | 9/14/16 | Jonathan Amos
    The most precise map of the night sky ever assembled is taking shape. Astronomers working on the Gaia space telescope have released a first tranche of data recording the position and brightness of over a billion stars. And for some two million of these objects, their distance and sideways motion across the heavens has also been accurately plotted. Gaia's mapping effort is already unprecedented in scale, but it still has several years to run. Remarkably, scientists say the store of information even now is too big for them to sift, and they are appealing for the public's help in making...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Three Planets from Pic du Midi

    06/02/2016 4:03:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | Thursday, June 02, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Seen any planets lately? All three planets now shining brightly in the night sky are imaged in these panels, captured last week with the 1 meter telescope at Pic du Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees. Near opposition and closest to Earth on May 30, Mars is presently offering the best ground-based photo-ops in the last decade. The sharp image finds clouds above the Red Planet's north pole (top) and towering volcanos near its right limb. Saturn reaches its own opposition tonight, its bright rings and gaps clearly revealed in the telescopic portrait. Jupiter is currently highest during the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxy Evolution Tracking Animation

    05/31/2016 7:12:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | Monday, May 30, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How did the universe evolve from such a smooth beginning? To help understand, computational cosmologists and NASA produced the featured time-lapse animated video depicting a computer simulation of part of the universe. The 100-million light-year simulation starts about 20 million years after the Big Bang and runs until the present. After a smooth beginning, gravity causes clumps of matter to form into galaxies which immediately begin falling toward each other. Soon, many of them condense into long filaments while others violently merge into a huge and hot cluster of galaxies. Investigating of potential universe attributes in simulations like this...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Webb Telescope Mirror Rises after Assembly

    05/10/2016 4:54:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | Monday, May 09, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Move over Hubble -- here comes the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST promises to be the new most powerful telescope in space. In the last month, the 18-segment gold-plated primary mirror for JWST was unveiled. In the featured time-lapse video taken last week, the 6.5-meter diameter mirror was raised to a vertical position. The dramatic 30-second sequence shows NASA engineers monitoring the test as room lights glint brightly off the mirror's highly reflective surface. The beryllium mirrors have been coated with a thin film of gold to make them more reflective to infrared light. The science goals of...
  • Japan Loses Contact With New Space Telescope

    03/27/2016 5:24:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 37 replies
    On Saturday, Japan lost contact with its newest space telescope, called Hitomi or ASTRO-H. The telescope, which includes an instrument from NASA, was intended to study the high-energy universe in X-rays and gamma rays, and observe such objects as supermassive black holes and galaxy clusters. Radar observations Sunday indicated that Hitomi, which launched on February 17, is in at least five pieces—and a plot of its orbit revealed a dramatic change on March 26, the date JAXA lost contact with the spacecraft. That means, says astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, that some kind of “energetic event” has occurred—something more than a simple...
  • Massive Ariane 5 To Launch Giant NextGen Telescope In Dynamic Deployment To L2

    02/02/2016 11:31:13 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    universe today ^ | 02/02/2016 | Evan Gough
    The Ariane 5 rocket is a workhorse for delivering satellites and other payloads into orbit, but fitting the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) inside one is pushing the boundaries of the Ariane 5’s capabilities, and advancing our design of space observatories at the same time. The Ariane 5 is the most modern design in the ESA’s Ariane rocket series. It’s responsible for delivering things like Rosetta, the Herschel Space Observatory, and the Planck Observatory into space. The ESA is supplying an Ariane 5 to the JWST mission, and with the planned launch date for that mission less than three years...
  • Astronomers say real-life 'death star' destroying faraway rocky object

    10/22/2015 1:02:05 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 20 replies
    Associated Press ^ | October 22, 2015 | Associated Press
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A white dwarf star in the Constellation Virgo turns out to be a "death star" worthy of "Star Wars." Astronomers announced Wednesday that they have discovered a rocky object coming apart in a death spiral around this distant star. They used NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler spacecraft to make the discovery, then followed up with ground observations. "This is something no human has seen before," said Andrew Vanderburg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the lead author. "We're watching a solar system get destroyed," he said in a statement.
  • Fargo police 'apologetic' after mistaking students' telescope for a gun

    08/26/2015 9:36:00 AM PDT · by skeptoid · 58 replies
    Grand Forks HerLd ^ | August 26, 2015 | Aaron Burner
    FARGO – A pair of NDSU students got quite the scare Monday night when armed Fargo police officers mistook their telescope for a rifle.
  • Newton's Telescope and Hubble - Objectivity #16 (VIDEO)

    05/12/2015 7:44:59 AM PDT · by servo1969 · 6 replies ^ | 4-20-2015 | Objectivity
    With the 25th anniversary of The Hubble Space Telescope fast approaching, Brady and Keith look at a priceless artefact - Sir Isaac Newton's very own reflecting telescope.
  • Planet spotted deep within our galaxy: One of the most distant planets known

    04/19/2015 4:46:01 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 12 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | April 14, 2015 | Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has teamed up with a telescope on the ground to find a remote gas planet about 13,000 light-years away, making it one of the most distant planets known.
  • Hawaiian leader seeks telescope construction pause at sacred summit

    04/04/2015 8:55:36 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 34 replies
    "Hawaiians absolutely believe in science. How that plays out on this mountain is going to be a matter of getting the right set of people in the room to negotiate some sort of compromise that everyone can live with," Apo told reporters. Stopping construction would be key, he said. "You can't even get to the discussion point until they stop construction," he said. ... The dispute has pitted Native Hawaiians, who believe the telescope site is sacred because it is where their creation story begins, against scientists, who believe it's an ideal location for one of the world's largest telescopes...
  • Three nearly Earth-size planets found orbiting nearby star

    01/20/2015 12:05:17 PM PST · by Red Badger · 23 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | Jan 16, 2015 | Provided by University of Arizona
    NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, despite being hobbled by the loss of critical guidance systems, has discovered a star with three planets only slightly larger than Earth. The outermost planet orbits in the "Goldilocks" zone, a region where surface temperatures could be moderate enough for liquid water and perhaps life, to exist. The star, EPIC 201367065, is a cool red M-dwarf about half the size and mass of our own sun. At a distance of 150 light years, the star ranks among the top 10 nearest stars known to have transiting planets. The star's proximity means it's bright enough for astronomers...
  • Three New Earth-Size Planets Found "Nearby"

    01/18/2015 2:15:42 PM PST · by dila813 · 32 replies
    Forbes ^ | 1/18/2015 @ 12:00PM | Eric Mack
    The Kepler space telescope has spotted over 1,000 exoplanets beyond our solar system, and its latest finds are three almost Earth-sized planets, including one in the habitable zone circling the star EPIC 201367075, just 150 light years from Earth. In the cosmic sense, that’s right around the block, making it one of the 10 closest known stars with observed planets in its gravitational hold. Of course, such distances in the cosmic sense also would take many generations to traverse, so don’t invest in real estate there just yet. Still, the relative closeness of this “EPIC” star and its planets provides...
  • NASA Builds A Time-Machine Telescope 100 Times As Powerful As The Hubble

    11/18/2014 2:32:23 PM PST · by zeestephen · 67 replies ^ | 18 November 2014 | Eric Niler
    Inside a very big and very clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., nearly 30 workers dressed in white protective suits, goggles and blue booties cluster around the parts of a time machine. These parts — gold-covered mirrors, tennis-court-size sun shields, delicate infrared cameras — are slowly being put together to become the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- SN 1006 Supernova Remnant

    07/12/2014 4:20:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | July 12, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A new star, likely the brightest supernova in recorded human history, lit up planet Earth's sky in the year 1006 AD. The expanding debris cloud from the stellar explosion, found in the southerly constellation of Lupus, still puts on a cosmic light show across the electromagnetic spectrum. In fact, this composite view includes X-ray data in blue from the Chandra Observatory, optical data in yellowish hues, and radio image data in red. Now known as the SN 1006 supernova remnant, the debris cloud appears to be about 60 light-years across and is understood to represent the remains of a...
  • This One Weird Trick helps find 715 new Exo-Planets.

    02/27/2014 8:42:49 AM PST · by GraceG · 15 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 2/26/2014 | Elizabeth Howell
    Actual Headline: Mega Discovery! 715 Alien Planets Confirmed Using A New Trick On Old Kepler Data Planet-watchers, some exciting news: you know how we keep talking about planet candidates, those planets that have yet to be confirmed, when we reveal stories about other worlds? That’s because verifying that the slight dimming of a star’s light is due to a planet takes time – -specifically, to have other telescopes verify it through examining gravitational wobbles on the parent star. Turns out there’s a way to solve the so-called “bottleneck” of planet candidates vs. confirmed planets. NASA has made use of a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Long Jet of the Lighthouse Nebula

    02/20/2014 10:15:13 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Lighthouse nebula was formed by the wind of a pulsar, a rapidly rotating, magnetized neutron star, as it speeds through the interstellar medium at over 1,000 kilometers per second. Some 23,000 light-years distant toward the southern constellation Carina, pulsar and wind nebula (cataloged as IGR J1104-6103) are indicated at the lower right in this remarkable image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Energetic particles generated by the pulsar are swept back into the wind's comet-like tail trailing up and to the left, along the direction of the pulsar's motion away from its parent supernova remnant. Both runaway pulsar and...
  • RIP John Dobson

    01/16/2014 10:00:10 AM PST · by DBrow · 14 replies
    Sky and Telescope ^ | 1/16/2014 | Kelley Beaty
    John Dobson, 1915–2014 The long-lived master of sidewalk astronomy died peacefully on January 15th. Emerging from obscurity in 1968, he introduced simple ideas that revolutionized how amateurs make and use large reflecting telescopes.
  • 'Hand of God' Spotted by NASA Space Telescope (Photo)

    01/10/2014 6:32:10 AM PST · by Red Badger · 32 replies ^ | January 09, 2014 02:45pm ET | By Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer
    Religion and astronomy may not overlap often, but a new NASA X-ray image captures a celestial object that resembles the "Hand of God." The cosmic "hand of God" photo was produced when a star exploded and ejected an enormous cloud of material, which NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, glimpsed in high-energy X-rays, shown in blue in the photo. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory had imaged the green and red parts previously, using lower-energy X-rays. "NuSTAR's unique viewpoint, in seeing the highest-energy X-rays, is showing us well-studied objects and regions in a whole new light," NuSTAR telescope principal investigator Fiona...
  • Vintage PHOTOS: c. 1911 ... Cat Drinking from a Bottle and Looking Through a Telescope

    12/10/2013 7:08:00 PM PST · by DogByte6RER · 12 replies
    Gallica via Europeana ^ | 1911 | Agence Rol. Agence photographique
    Circa 1911: Cat drinking from a bottle and looking through a telescope
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Gamma-Ray Earth and Sky

    12/06/2013 2:45:32 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | December 06, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: For an Earth-orbiting gamma-ray telescope, Earth is actually the brightest source of gamma-rays, the most energetic form of light. Gamma-rays from Earth are produced when high energy particles, cosmic rays from space, crash into the atmosphere. While that interaction blocks harmful radiation from reaching the surface, those gamma-rays dominate in this remarkable Earth and sky view from the orbiting Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope's Large Area Telescope. The image was constructed using only observations made when the center of our Milky Way galaxy was near the zenith, directly above the Fermi satellite. The zenith is mapped to the center of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Laser Strike at the Galactic Center

    12/01/2013 7:40:00 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | December 01, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why are these people shooting a powerful laser into the center of our Galaxy? Fortunately, this is not meant to be the first step in a Galactic war. Rather, astronomers at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) site in Chile are trying to measure the distortions of Earth's ever changing atmosphere. Constant imaging of high-altitude atoms excited by the laser -- which appear like an artificial star -- allow astronomers to instantly measure atmospheric blurring. This information is fed back to a VLT telescope mirror which is then slightly deformed to minimize this blurring. In this case, a VLT was...
  • Astronomers 'Dumbfounded' by Six-Tailed Asteroid

    11/07/2013 5:54:43 PM PST · by anymouse · 32 replies
    Reuters ^ | 11/7/2013 | Irene Klotz
    Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have spotted a freakish asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust streaming from its body like spokes on a wheel, scientists said on Thursday.
  • Gravitational Wavelengths Could Crack the Black Hole Code

    10/20/2013 7:35:47 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies ^ | October 20, 2013. | Jessica Rosslee on
    Okay, but what exactly is a gravitational wave and how could they help us crack the conundrum of the black hole code? A gravitational wave is akin to a ripple in space-time. Albert Einstein predicted that massive bodies changing speed or direction generate these gravitational waves. Picture bodies like a pair of black holes orbiting each other. This then creates a gravitational wave that ripples outwards, like a disturbance in a still pool of water after a leaf has dropped onto its surface and ripples are sent across the surface. Like star-crossed lovers, the black holes of two merging galaxies...
  • Tiny fireball exoplanet completes one year in 8.5 hours

    08/20/2013 11:32:49 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 29 replies
    The Register ^ | 19th August 2013 | Neil McAllister
    Molten sphere could give clues to planetary mass Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered a new, Earth-sized exoplanet for which orbiting its star is literally all in a day's work.The newly discovered planet, dubbed Kepler 78b, completes one full revolution around its star in just 8.5 hours – fast enough that by the time you clock in at the office and clock out again, another solar year will have passed for Kepler 78b. To achieve this rapid orbital period, the planet revolves around its star at a distance 40 times closer than Mercury is to our sun.As...
  • A Private Venture Wants to Build a Telescope on the Moon

    07/19/2013 6:46:01 PM PDT · by Windflier · 47 replies ^ | 19 July 2013 | Jamie Condliffe
    There might not be a man on the moon right now—but there may soon be a gazing eye. A new private venture aims to build a long-range telescope on our planet's little satellite, and it could happen as soon 2016. A partnership between Moon Express, Inc. and the International Lunar Observatory Association is all set to install the telescope on the humble lump of rock. The plan is to position the 2-meter dish antenna, known as the International Lunar Observatory, on the rim of a crater near the moon’s South pole. The first step will be a proof-of-concept mission, which...
  • NASA to Attempt Fix for Planet-Hunting Kepler Spacecraft This Month

    07/06/2013 8:40:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    Space dot come ^ | 5 July 2013 | Mike Wall
    Launched in March 2009, NASA's Kepler space telescope has detected more than 3,000 potential alien planets. But that exoplanet hunt stalled in mid-May of this year, when the second of Kepler's four orientation-maintaining reaction wheels failed, hobbling the spacecraft. Since then, the Kepler team has been working on possible fixes for the reaction wheels and plans to try them out out in the coming weeks, officials said... Kepler spots exoplanets by noting the telltale brightness dips caused when they cross their parent stars' faces from the instrument's perspective. This is precision work, and the observatory needs three functioning gyroscope-like reaction...
  • The Hunt is on for Habitable Exomoons

    06/14/2013 9:18:17 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Thursday, June 13, 2013 | Markus Hammonds
    Our solar system is full of moons. Of the 8 major planets, 6 of them have at least one natural satellite in tow, and several of those moons are very interesting places. Icy moons in the outer solar system may even be secretly harboring life. But what about moons elsewhere in the galaxy? The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) is an astronomy project intended to try and find exomoons. And not just any exomoons; the kind of moons that could be a haven for life. While the Kepler telescope has, sadly, been forced into retirement, the data it collected...
  • SETI’s Colossus (Huge 77-meter infrared telescope)

    05/31/2013 5:41:01 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 23 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 5/31/13 | Paul Gilster
    SETIÂ’s Colossus by Paul Gilster on May 31, 2013 For the most part, the focus of SETI since Project Ozma has been directed at intercepting signals deliberately sent our way. It doesnÂ’t have to be so, of course, because extraneous signals from a civilization going about its business would also be profoundly interesting, and even a civilization not much more advanced than ours might be throwing off powerful evidence of its existence through the planetary radars it uses to detect potential impactors in its own system. Whether or not the Ohio State WOW! signal was a SETI detection remains unresolved,...
  • A Telescope at the Bottom of the World

    04/18/2013 8:23:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | Tuesday, April 16, 2013 | Shelley Littin, University of Arizona
    Kulesa and his team communicate with the telescope remotely via satellite, sending it new orders and instructions throughout the year, and downloading new data. They also keep a watchful eye on their experiment through a webcam, which sends image updates from roughly 9,000 miles away roughly every hour. Why Antarctica, though? Even the smallest amount of water vapor in Earth's atmosphere absorbs terahertz-frequency light from space before it reaches a telescope on Earth... From Tucson, Kulesa said, it's about 5-10 millimeters deep in winter and up to 40 millimeters deep during monsoon season in summer. At the telescope site in...
  • Construction of world's largest optical telescope approved

    04/14/2013 8:36:59 PM PDT · by Jyotishi · 40 replies
    CNET ^ | Sunday, April 14, 2013 | Tim Hornyak
    The massive Thirty Meter Telescope will be able to image objects 13 billion light years away, near the beginning of time. Set atop Mauna Kea, the Thirty Meter Telescope will be able to observe planets outside our solar system. (Credit: Courtesy TMT Observatory Corporation) If you love eye-popping images of space, here's welcome news: the Hawaiian Board of Land and Natural Resources has backed building what's to be the world's largest, most powerful optical telescope above the clouds atop the volcano Mauna Kea. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will have a primary mirror of 492 segments measuring some 100 feet...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Infrared Portrait of the Large Magellanic Cloud

    03/22/2013 9:40:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 23, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Cosmic dust clouds ripple across this infrared portrait of our Milky Way's satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. In fact, the remarkable composite image from the Herschel Space Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope show that dust clouds fill this neighboring dwarf galaxy, much like dust along the plane of the Milky Way itself. The dust temperatures tend to trace star forming activity. Spitzer data in blue hues indicate warm dust heated by young stars. Herschel's instruments contributed the image data shown in red and green, revealing dust emission from cooler and intermediate regions where star formation is just...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Clouds, Comet and Crescent Moon

    03/14/2013 7:59:46 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | March 14, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In silhouette against the colorful evening twilight, clouds part for this much anticipated magic moment. The scene captures naked-eye Comet PanSTARRS peeking into northern hemisphere skies on March 12. The comet stands over the western horizon after sunset, joined by the thin, flattened crescent of a day old Moon. Posing for its own beauty shot, the subtly lit dome of the 4.2 meter William Herschel Telescope is perched above cloud banks on the Canary Island of La Palma. While PanSTARRS has not quite developed into the spectacular comet once hoped for, it is still growing easier to see in...
  • Vanity: Looking for First Telescope/Astronomical Binoculars (Under $200)

    03/11/2013 10:23:47 AM PDT · by C19fan · 26 replies
    Vanity | March 11, 2013 | Me
    I am looking at buying my first astronomical instrument. I have a budget of under $150. I was thinking of these two as possibilities: 1: Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 Binoculars2: Orion SkyScanner 100mm TableTop Reflector Telescope Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- PanSTARRS over Parkes

    03/09/2013 5:22:59 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | March 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sweeping quickly through southern skies on March 5, Comet PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) follows the Sun toward the western horizon in this twilight scene. In the foreground is Australia's CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, a 64 meter wide steerable dish that is no stranger to the space age exploration of comets. In March of 1986 the Parkes dish tracked ESA's Giotto spacecraft as it flew by Comet Halley and received the first ever closeup images of Halley's nucleus. At naked-eye visibility, Comet PanSTARRS made its closest approach to planet Earth on March 5. Its closest approach to the Sun will be...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Herschel's Andromeda

    02/02/2013 9:46:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 02, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This infrared view from the Herschel Space Observatory explores the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest large spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way. Only 2.5 million light-years distant, the famous island universe is also known to astronomers as M31. Andromeda spans over 200,000 light-years making it more the twice the size of the Milky Way. Shown in false color, the image data reveal the cool dust lanes and clouds that still shine in the infrared but are otherwise dark and opaque at visual wavelengths. Red hues near the galaxy's outskirts represent the glow of dust heated by starlight to a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cas A: Optical and X-ray

    01/17/2013 4:28:40 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | January 17, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The aftermath of a cosmic cataclysm, supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is a comfortable 11,000 light-years away. Light from the Cas A supernova, the death explosion of a massive star, first reached Earth just 330 years ago. Still expanding, the explosion's debris cloud spans about 15 light-years near the center of this composite image. The scene combines color data of the starry field and fainter filaments of material at optical energies with image data from the orbiting NuSTAR X-ray telescope. Mapped to false colors, the X-ray data in blue hues trace the fragmented outer ring of the expanding...
  • Spitzer telescope sees long, violent history for planet-building

    10/18/2004 8:07:17 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 14 replies · 489+ views
    Monterey Herald ^ | 10/18/04 | Robert Jablon - AP
    LOS ANGELES - The Spitzer telescope's examination of hundreds of stars has found evidence that the times it takes to form an Earth-sized planet may last hundreds instead of tens of millions of years. The telescope revealed dust rings around nearby stars that couldn't have survived long unless violent collisions between gigantic chunks of rock were replenishing them, scientists said during a press conference Monday at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Scientists have long believed that planets are formed when the dust in a disc-like formation around a young star begins to clump. Some of the clumps eventually grow...
  • ESA's new satellite to study super-earths in 2017

    10/20/2012 1:02:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Zee News ^ | Saturday, October 20, 2012 | ANI
    London: Researchers will be focussing on studying planets around other stars will in a new small Science Program mission, Cheops that is expected to launch in 2017, ESA has announced. Cheops -- for CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite -- will target nearby, bright stars already known to have planets orbiting around them. Through high-precision monitoring of the star's brightness, scientists will search for the telltale signs of a 'transit' as a planet passes briefly across its face. In turn, this will allow an accurate measurement of the radius of the planet. For those planets with a known mass, the density will be...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 21st Century M101

    07/13/2012 4:12:38 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 13, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the last entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog, big, beautiful spiral galaxy M101 is definitely not one of the least. About 170,000 light-years across, this galaxy is enormous, almost twice the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. M101 was also one of the original spiral nebulae observed with Lord Rosse's large 19th century telescope, the Leviathan of Parsontown. In contrast, this mulitwavelength view of the large island universe is a composite of images recorded by space-based telescopes in the 21st century. Color coded From X-rays to infrared wavelengths (high to low energies), the image data was...
  • A New Breed of Planet Hunters: Amateur scientists find niche in locating new planets

    06/20/2012 4:29:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Physics Central ^ | Thursday, June 14, 2012 | Brian Jacobsmeyer, ISNS Contributor
    Over the past decade, scientists have found evidence of hundreds of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. A group of volunteers has also joined the search, and they have found several additional planets that initially fell through the cracks. Exoplanets can be detected through a variety of ways, and scientists have increasingly looked for small, regularly repeating dips in light from a star-- a sign of planets passing in front of, or transiting, their home star. This same phenomenon happened in our own solar system earlier this month when Earth-based viewers saw Venus transit the sun for the last...
  • Europe to build world's biggest telescope powerful enough to see mountains on planets beyond our...

    06/20/2012 4:27:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | Tuesday, June 12, 2012 | Eddie Wrenn
    A coalition of 15 European countries has announced plans to build the biggest telescope in the world. The mirror inside the telescope will measure 39metres across -- four times wider than today's biggest telescope -- and it will be so powerful that astronomers will even be able to observe dark, rocky planets far beyond our solar system. The European Southern Observatory project is supported by 15 members of the European Union and has the catchy name 'European Extremely Large Telescope'... even if it will be built in Chile, to avoid light pollution. The twin infrared/optical telescope will sit on top...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NuSTAR X-Ray Telescope Launched

    06/19/2012 3:55:29 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | June 19, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's left after a star explodes? To help find out, NASA launched the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) satellite into Earth orbit last week. NuSTAR's ability to focus hard X-rays emitted from the nuclei of atoms will be used, among other things, to inspect the surroundings of supernova remnants so as to better understand why these supernovas occurred, what types of objects resulted, and what mechanisms make their surroundings glow so hot. NuSTAR will also give humanity unprecedented looks at the hot corona of our Sun, hot gasses in clusters of galaxies, and the supermassive black hole in the...
  • Sometimes, Size is Everything! (that new 39-meter European telescope)

    06/13/2012 9:56:39 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 38 replies
    Starts with a Bang ^ | 6/12/12 | Ethan Siegel
    Artist's impression of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) at night whilst observations are in progress. The 39.3-metre E-ELT will be the largest optical/infrared telescope in the world — the world's biggest eye on the sky. Operations are planned to start early in the next decade, and the E-ELT will tackle some of the biggest scientific challenges of our time. “I went into a clothing store, and the lady asked me what size I was. I said, ‘Actual’. I’m not to scale.” -Demitri Martin When you look out at the Universe, what you can see is limited, at the most...
  • Europe to build world's biggest telescope powerful enough to see mountains on planets beyond solar..

    06/13/2012 8:16:42 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 54 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 6/12/12 | Eddie Wrenn
    Ł872million project will be built on Chilean mountaintop by 2022A coalition of 15 European countries has announced plans to build the biggest telescope in the world. The mirror inside the telescope will measure 39metres across - four times wider than today's biggest telescope - and it will be so powerful that astronomers will even be able to observe dark, rocky planets far beyond our solar system. The European Southern Observatory project is supported by 15 members of the European Union and has the catchy name 'European Extremely Large Telescope'... even if it will be built in Chile, to avoid light...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Two New Hubble-Quality Telescopes Gifted to NASA

    06/10/2012 9:24:45 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | June 10, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What if you were given a new Hubble telescope for free? How about two? The astronomical community is abuzz with just this opportunity as the US National Reconnaissance Office has unexpectedly transferred ownership of two space-qualified Hubble-quality telescopes to NASA. The usefulness of these telescopes in addressing existing science priorities has begun, but preliminary indications hold that even one of these telescope could be extremely useful in searching for extrasolar planets as well as distant galaxies and supernovas that could better explore the nature of dark energy. Although they start out as free, making even one telescope operational and...
  • NASA Kills X-Ray Space Telescope Mission

    06/08/2012 7:21:33 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 12 replies ^ | 06-07-2012 | Content provided by Clara Moskowitz,
    The Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS) was running over-budget, so the space agency scrapped it. ASA is canceling all work on a new space telescope designed to seek out black holes and other cosmic mysteries through X-ray light due to soaring development costs, the space agency announced today (June 7). The mission, called Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS), was running significantly over budget, said Paul Hertz, director of NASA's Astrophysics Division, during a phone call to reporters today. "The GEMS project was initiated under a very well-defined cost cap," Hertz said. "As they approached their confirmation...
  • Ex-Spy Telescope May Get New Identity as a Space Investigator

    06/05/2012 11:17:30 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 2 replies
    NYTimes ^ | 6/4/12 | Dennis Overbye
    The phone call came like a bolt out of the blue, so to speak, in January 2011. On the other end of the line was someone from the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates the nation’s fleet of spy satellites. They had some spare, unused “hardware” to get rid of. Was NASA interested? So when John Grunsfeld, the physicist and former astronaut, walked into his office a year later to start his new job as NASA’s associate administrator for space science, he discovered that his potential armada was a bit bigger than he knew. In a room in upstate New York...
  • NASA's WISE Telescope Detects 4,700 Possibly Hazardous Asteroids (DO NOT PANIC - YET!)

    05/18/2012 1:30:41 AM PDT · by Libloather · 15 replies
    Yahoo ^ | 5/17/12 | Mark Whittington
    NASA's WISE Telescope Detects 4,700 Possibly Hazardous AsteroidsBy Mark Whittington | Yahoo! Contributor Network – 10 hrs ago According to CNN, NASA has announced that there are potentially 4700 asteroids -- give or take 1,500 -- that are large enough and pass close enough to the Earth in their orbits around the sun to constitute a hazard. Hazardous asteroids A hazardous asteroid, as defined by NASA, is a body that is greater than 100 meters or 330 feet in diameter and approaches Earth within 5 million miles, about 20 times the distance from the Earth to the moon. Such an...