Astronews Daily (2455520)

November 19, 2010 12:54 by scibuff

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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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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.-

Astronews Daily (2455497)

October 27, 2010 12:10 by scibuff

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Hubble Predicts the Future of Omega Centauri – Using four years of data from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, astronomers have made the most accurate measurements of the movement of stars in the globular cluster Omega Centauri, and now can predict their movements for the next 10,000 years. This “beehive” of stars is tightly crammed together, so resolving the individual stars was a job that perhaps only Hubble could do. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

ISS Fires Its Rockets to Avoid Space Debris Collision – The International Space Station (ISS) fired its rockets for three minutes Tuesday to change its position in order to avoid a possible collision with a piece of orbiting junk, officials said.The Itar-Tass agency cited Russian space centre officials outside Moscow as saying that the chances of a collision were minimal – only one-thousandth of a per cent. –Daily Galaxy

Countdown to Comet Flyby Down to Nine Days – NASA’s EPOXI mission continues to close in on its target, comet Hartley 2, at a rate of 12.5 kilometers (7.8 miles) per second. On Nov. 4 at about 10:01 a.m. EDT (7:01 a.m. PDT) the spacecraft will make its closest approach to the comet at a distance of about 700 kilometers (434 miles). It will be the fifth time that a comet has been imaged close-up and the first time in history that two comets have been imaged with the same instruments and same spatial resolution. –NASA/JPL

3C186: Precocious Galaxy Cluster Identified by Chandra – NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has observed an unusual galaxy cluster that contains a bright core of relatively cool gas surrounding a quasar called 3C 186. This is the most distant such object yet observed, and could provide insight into the triggering of quasars and the growth of galaxy clusters. –NASA/Chandra


Aboriginal Astronomers Saw Stellar Blowup in 1843
– Now a team of researchers from Macquarie University in Austrlia is reporting what they believe is the only indigenous record of one of the most spectacular southern astronomical events of the 19th century. –Airspace Mag

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Videos

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) today dedicated the nearly two-mile long Governor Bill RIchardson Spaceway at Spaceport America, representing significant progress toward launching commercial customers into space from the desert of New Mexico. Governor Bill Richardson, Sir Richard Branson and approximately 30 of more than 380 Virgin Galactic future astronauts attended the event along with guests from around the world and watched a flyover and landing by Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo, in a captive carry with SpaceShipTwo.

  

Photos

Observaing the sky

Observaing the sky

3C186

3C186

The Sun today

The Sun today

Auroro Photos

Auroro Photos

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Bratislava, Slovakia as seen by Expedition 14 on March 13, 2007 from the altitude of 339km

Bratislava, Slovakia as seen by Expedition 14 on March 13, 2007 from the altitude of 339km

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

Astronews Daily ext. Edition (2455491)

October 21, 2010 11:25 by scibuff

Videos

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A European team of astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has measured the distance to the most remote galaxy so far. By carefully analysing the very faint glow of the galaxy they have found that they are seeing it when the Universe was only about 600 million years old (a redshift of 8.6). These are the first confirmed observations of a galaxy whose light is clearing the opaque hydrogen fog that filled the cosmos at this early time. - Credit: ESO

  

Top Stories

Record-breaking galaxy found at the edge of the Universe – The record for the most distant object in the Universe ever seen has been smashed: a galaxy has been found at the staggering distance of 13.1 billion light years! –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

The Tug of Exoplanets on Exoplanets – Earlier this year, I wrote about how an apparent change in the orbital characteristics of a planet around TrES-2b may be indicative of a new planet, much in the same way perturbations of Uranus revealed the presence of Neptune. A follow up study was conducted by astronomers at the University of Arizona and another study on planet WASP-3b also enters the fray. -Jon Voisey / Universe Today

Astronomers Find Weird, Warm Spot on an Exoplanet – Observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope reveal a distant planet with a warm spot in the wrong place. – NASA/JPL

Spring Has Sprung … On Titan – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has sent back dreamy raw images of Saturn’s moon Titan that show the appearance of clouds around the moon’s midsection. These bright clouds likely appeared because the moon is changing seasons and spring has arrived in Titan’s northern hemisphere. –NASA/JPL

New NASA Moon Plan: Pay Others to Go – Congress may have put the kibosh on NASA’s plan to return astronauts to the moon, but that doesn’t mean the agency is giving up its lunar ambitious. The new plan? Pay others to go. -Irene Klotz / Discovery News

Views from Mauna Kea – As this observing run on Mauna Kea draws to a close (tonight is my last night), i share another round of views from the volcano. I never really get tired of these sunsets. –Amanda Bauer

Halley’s Comet comes back to life tonight – Tomorrow morning is the peak of the annual Orionid meteor shower. It’s one of two times each year our planet intersects the orbit of Halley’s Comet and samples some of the debris the comet leaves in its wake as it rounds the sun once every 76 years. –Astro Bob

ISS Prepares for Busy Upcoming Year of Logistics Operations – The ISS Program is gearing up for what will be a very busy upcoming year of logistics operations, with a total of eleven Visiting Vehicles (VVs) scheduled to visit the orbital outpost in 2011. Manifested arrivals consist of five Russian Progresses, three SpaceX Dragons, one Orbital Cygnus, one Japanese HTV, and one European ATV. At least one, and possibly two Space Shuttles are also scheduled to visit the station next year. –NASASpaceFlight.com

Watching the Sun – After the deepest solar minimum in 100 years, the sun is finally kicking into high gear. According to Space Weather, the sun spent 260 days without any sunspots in 2009; in 2010, so far, that number has plummeted to 45. -Heather Goss / Aviation Week

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Photos

Sun with annotated sunspots

Sun with annotated sunspots

Moon closeup

Moon closeup

Sunset

Sunset

NGC 6946

NGC 6946

  
NGC 891

NGC 891

M27 - Dumbell Nebula

M27 - Dumbell Nebula

NGC 7380 - Wizard Nebula

NGC 7380 - Wizard Nebula

Jupiter with Aurora

Jupiter with Aurora

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

The most distant galaxy so far

This image shows the infrared Hubble Ultra Deep Field taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in 2009, in which several robust candidate distance-record-breaking objects were discovered - Credit: NASA/ESA

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

Astronews Daily (2455482)

October 12, 2010 12:40 by scibuff

Top Stories

Flying to the Moon – From the Space Station? – Last month the International Space Station partner agencies met to discuss the continuation of space station operations into the next decade and its use as a research laboratory. They also did a little forward thinking, and talked about some unique possibilities for the station’s future, including the potential for using the space station as a launching point to fly a manned mission around the Moon. –Nancy AtkinsonUniverse Today

NASA Administrator Thanks President Obama and Congress for Agency’s New Direction Support – The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in support of President Obama’s signing of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 on Monday, Oct. 11, 2010 … –NASA

Solar storms coming our way this week? – The Sun is getting back into the swing of things: a big active region on its limb erupted yesterday (October 10), sending out a small storm of subatomic particles into space. We weren’t in the line of fire, but over the next few days the rotation of the Sun will bring Active Region 11112 closer to the center of the Sun’s disk, and if that region erupts it may send a storm our way. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

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Videos

Animation of 2010 TD54 composed of subframes recorded during the
approach on Oct. 12, 2010 with Paramount ME, Celestron C-14 operating at f/5.5, SBIG ST-10 binned 3x3 with clear filter. Field of view is about 18x26 arc minutes. Mount set to allow the target to pass through the field of view. 16 five second exposures shot between 08:51:51 and 08:54:04 UTC.- Credit: Patrick Wiggins (MPC Code 718)

  

Photos

Active Region 11112

Active Region 11112

Milky Way, Jupiter and Scorpio

Milky Way, Jupiter and Scorpio

Sunrise

Sunrise

Obama Signs NASA Authorization Act

Obama Signs NASA Authorization Act

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Latest image of aurora borealis above Yellowknife, taken at 03h10 MDT October 10, 2010.

Latest image of aurora borealis above Yellowknife, taken at 03h10 MDT October 10, 2010.

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

Amazing photo of aurora from space

April 29, 2010 11:49 by scibuff

NASA Astronaut Clayton C. Anderson (STS-117, Expedition 15/16, STS-120, STS-131) captured this amazing photo of Aurora from orbit while abroad Space Shuttle Discovery during the recent STS-131 mission. If you look closely, you can see the constellation Orion just above the Earth on the right; easy recognizable are the “belt” stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka, the B-type blue supergiant Rigel and even the Orion nebula.

Aurora from the Space Shuttle

Aurora from the Space Shuttle - Credit: NASA/Clayton Anderson