Astronews Daily (2455520)

November 19, 2010 12:54 by scibuff

Top Stories

BRIAN MARSDEN (1937 Aug. 5-2010 Nov. 18) – Brian Geoffrey Marsden was born on 1937 August 5 in Cambridge, England. His father, Thomas, was the senior mathematics teacher at a local high school. It was his mother, Eileen (nee West), however, who introduced him to the study of astronomy, when he returned home on the Thursday during his first week in primary school in 1942 and found her sitting in the back yard watching an eclipse of the sun. Using now frowned-upon candle-smoked glass, they sat watching the changing bite out of the sun. What most impressed the budding astronomer, however, was not that the eclipse could be seen, but the fact that it had been predicted in advance, and it was the idea that one could make successful predictions of events in the sky that eventually led him to his career. –M.P.E.C. 2010-W10 / Minor Planet Center

Exoplanet of Extragalactic Origin Could Foretell Our Solar System’s Future – While astronomers have detected over 500 extrasolar planets during the past 15 years, this latest one might have the most storied and unusual past. But its future is also of great interest, as it could mirror the way our own solar system might meet its demise. This Jupiter-like planet, called HIP 13044 b, is orbiting a star that used to be in another galaxy but that galaxy was swallowed by the Milky Way. While astronomers have never directly detected an exoplanet in another galaxy, this offers evidence that other galaxies host stars with planets, too. The star is nearing the end of its life and as it expands, could engulf the planet, just as our Sun will likely snuff out our own world. And somehow, this exoplanet has survived the first death throes of the star. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

A comet creates its own snowstorm – NASA has just released new results and images from the EPOXI spacecraft’s visit to the comet Hartley 2 from November 4… and like the previous ones, these are absolutely stunning jaw-droppers. What scientists have found is that the comet’s solid nucleus is sitting in the middle of a veritable snowstorm! –Phil PlaitBad Astronomy

Hubble Captures New ‘Life’ in an Ancient Galaxy – New observations with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are helping to show that elliptical galaxies still have some youthful vigor left, thanks to encounters with smaller galaxies. Images of the core of NGC 4150, taken in near-ultraviolet light with the sharp-eyed Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), reveal streamers of dust and gas and clumps of young, blue stars that are significantly less than a billion years old. Evidence shows that the star birth was sparked by a merger with a dwarf galaxy. –NASA

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Videos

Scientists say the data collected by the EPOXI mission of comet Hartley 2 are as revealing as the pictures taken on the spacecraft's recent flyby. The spacecraft passed Hartley 2 at an altitude of about 435 miles from the comet's surface, close enough to reveal details of its nucleus and give scientists the most extensive look at a comet in history. Comets are remnants of the formation of our solar system more than 4-and-a-half-billion years old.

Photos

Sunset

Sunset

The Moon

The Moon

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

Aurora over Tromso, Norway

Aurora over Tromso, Norway

Gallery Pick of the Day

NGC 4150

Credit: NASA, ESA, R.M. Crockett (University of Oxford, U.K.), S. Kaviraj (Imperial College London and University of Oxford, U.K.), J. Silk (University of Oxford), M. Mutchler (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore), R. O'Connell (University of Virginia, Charlottesville), and the WFC3 Scientific Oversight Committee

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery.-

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