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 (2455499)

October 29, 2010 13:19 by scibuff

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In which I predict the eventual downfall of mankind – A couple of days ago I recorded a video interview with the Fourcast podcast, where four people sit around and predict the future. It was a lot of fun — we talked about beaming energy, world governments, Firefly, colonizing the Moon, and BBQs. Seriously. -Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

Kepler Spacecraft Can “Hear” a Red Giant Concerto in Space – Not only is the Kepler spacecraft hunting down extrasolar planets, but it also provides the ability to study stars in unprecedented detail. “We knew that if Kepler had the sensitivity of detecting Earth-size planets, that it would have capability to transform our knowledge of stars themselves,” said Natalie Batalha of San Jose State University in California, a co-investigator on the Kepler Astroseismic Science Consortium. This international partnership of over 400 astronomers uses the Kepler spacecraft to “listen” to tiny oscillations, or “star quakes,” in red giant stars, allowing scientists to do groundbreaking work in deducing the fundamental properties of stars. -Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Space Radar Provides a Taste of Comet Hartley 2 – Exactly one week before the world gets a new look at comet Hartley 2 via NASA’s EPOXI mission, observations of the comet by the Arecibo Planetary Radar in Puerto Rico have offered scientists a tantalizing preview. -NASA/JPL

ISS Particle Detector Ready to Unveil Wonders of the Universe – The Principal Investigator (P.I.) for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS-02) experiment, Professor Samuel Ting, says that the experiment is already accruing data as it awaits its February 2011 launch date. Scheduled to fly aboard the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, STS-134, AMS-02 will search through cosmic rays for exotic particles, antimatter and dark matter. The experiment will be mounted to the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) and will require no spacewalks to attach. -Jason Rhian / Universe Today

Chasing comets! – Secondary school pupils at the Collège Monteil (Monistrol sur Loire, France) have been busy observing Comet 103P/Hartley using the Faulkes Telescopes. -Faulkes Telescopes

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Sun

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

STS-133 Crew Arrives for Discovery's Final Planned Launch.

STS-133 Crew Arrives for Discovery's Final Planned Launch.

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 (2455488)

October 18, 2010 12:43 by scibuff

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How to Weigh a Star Using a Moon – How do astronomers weigh a star that’s trillions of miles away and way too big to fit on a bathroom scale? In most cases they can’t, although they can get a best estimate using computer models of stellar structure. -Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics

Get ready to see lots more exoplanet images soon – Nearly 500 exoplanets — planets orbiting other stars — have been detected since the first was discovered in the mid-90s. A variety of methods have been used to find them: Doppler shift of starlight as the circling planets tug their stars, the dip in light as a planet passes directly in front of its star, even the change in light of a distant star as the gravity of a planet briefly magnifies it a la Einstein. -Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

STS-133: TCDT completed – Engineers troubleshooting leaky flight cap - Another milestone was passed on Friday, after Discovery, along with her astronauts and controllers, successfully completed the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT). With the dress rehearsal completed, engineers are pushing forward with troubleshooting on a Air Half Coupling (AHC) flight cap, a Quick Disconnect (QD) which is leaking small amounts of hypergolic vapors. -NASA Space Flight

Soyuz moves to the launch pad with its six Globalstar second-generation satellites – The Soyuz vehicle with Globalstar’s initial cluster of six second-generation satellites is now on Launch Pad #6 at Baikonur Cosmodrome, where it is being readied for liftoff on October 19 in an Arianespace mission performed by its Starsem affiliate. -Ariane Space

Facing the radiation dangers of interplanetary travel - In principle, with enough money and expertise, it should be possible to build and fly a manned spacecraft to Mars and return safely to Earth. However, nobody knows yet how to deal with the dangerous cosmic radiation that floods through space. -ESA

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Videos

10 Years of www.esa.int

10 Years of www.esa.int

  

Photos

M33 - Triangulum Galaxy

M33 - Triangulum Galaxy

Solar prominence

Solar prominence

Alluvial fans in Pakistan

Alluvial fans in Pakistan

Waxing gibbous Moon

Waxing gibbous Moon

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

STS-133 heading for the TCDT

The STS-133 crew leaves the crew quarters at the Operations and Checkout Building to head to the launch pad 39A for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) - Credit: NASA/KSC

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 (2455484)

October 14, 2010 13:01 by scibuff

Top Stories

Ghosts of the Future: First Giant Structures of the Universe Hold 800 Trillion Suns – Astronomers using the South Pole Telescope report that they have discovered the most massive galaxy cluster yet seen at a distance of 7 billion light-years. The cluster (designated SPT-CL J0546-5345) weighs in at around 800 trillion Suns, and holds hundreds of galaxies. -Science Daily

Confirmed Exoplanets Could Reach 500 by the End of This Month – If it seems like a new extrasolar planet is discovered every week these days, that’s because there is. In fact, the rate is actually faster than one per week – 70 have been discovered thus far this year alone, bringing the overall tally of confirmed exoplanets at 494. At that pace we very well might hit exoplanet number 500 before the end of this month. -Clay Dillow / PopSci

Being in space can change the way you view the Earth – That was certainly the case for the Apollo 8 crew who produced the iconic image of our planet emerging from behind the limb of the Moon -Jonathan Amos / BBC

Hubble and Rosetta unmask nature of recent asteroid wreck – High-resolution images from the Hubble Space Telescope and a rare view obtained, from a unique perspective, by the Rosetta spacecraft provide a comprehensive picture of P/2010 A2, a puzzling body in the asteroid main belt. -ESA

Camera That Saved Hubble Leaves Nest for Good – NASA’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 was loaded for transport from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Oct. 13, 2010. – NASA/JPL

Where In The Universe Challenge #122 – Ready for another Where In The Universe Challenge? Here’s #105! Take a look and see if you can name where in the Universe this image is from. -Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

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Videos

This spectacular image shows the Rosette star formation region, which is located about 5,000 light years from Earth.

  

Photos

Melas Chasma in Valles Marineris rift valley on Mars

Melas Chasma in Valles Marineris rift valley on Mars

Sculptor Galaxy

Sculptor Galaxy

Sun and Mercury

Sun and Mercury

Tarantula Nebula

Tarantula Nebula

  
Horse Head and Small Flame

Horse Head and Small Flame

M33 - Triangulum Galaxy

M33 - Triangulum Galaxy

M45 - Pleiades

M45 - Pleiades

Bubble Nebula

Bubble Nebula

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

STS-133 Mission: Inside a shuttle training aircraft, Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey practices landings at Kennedy

STS-133 Mission: Inside a shuttle training aircraft, Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey practices landings at Kennedy - Credit: KSC/NASA

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 (2455470)

September 30, 2010 12:37 by scibuff

Top Stories

NASA and NSF-Funded Research Finds First Potentially Habitable Exoplanet – A team of planet hunters from the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington has announced the discovery of a planet with three times the mass of Earth orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star’s “habitable zone.” -NASA

Related stories – Universe Today, University of Hawaii, University of California – Santa Cruz

All Systems Go for NASA’s $19 Billion Budget – The House of Representatives voted late Wednesday to accept the Senate’s version of NASA’s $19 billion fiscal 2011 budget proposal, which would provide money for an additional shuttle flight, kick-start development of a new heavy-lift booster for deep space exploration, and fund the development of commercial manned spacecraft for trips to and from low-Earth orbit. -CBS News

Largest Clouds Ever Seen on Titan – The Cassini spacecraft recently swooped by Saturn’s largest moon Titan and captured images of large patches of clouds. – Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

NASA’s EPOXI Mission Sets Up for Comet Flyby – Earlier today, navigators and mission controllers for NASA’s EPOXI mission watched their computer screens as 23.6 million kilometers (14.7 million miles) away, their spacecraft successfully performed its 20th trajectory correction maneuver. The maneuver refined the spacecraft’s orbit, setting the stage for its flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4. – NASA/JPL-Caltech

High School students co-author scientific paper – Ten Sydney high-school students have taken a first step into the world of research by co-authoring a scientific paper with professional astronomers about a dying star. -Faulkes Telescope Project

Compete and find your way to Jupiter! – The ESA Advanced Concepts Team is celebrating World Space Week (4-10 October 2010) with the release of ‘The Space Game’, an online game for interplanetary trajectory design. -ESA

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Videos

  

Photos

IRAS 22298+6505

IRAS 22298+6505

Moon tonight

Moon tonight

Cloud shadows at sunset

Cloud shadows at sunset

NGC 2683

NGC 2683

  
NGC 7293 - Helix Nebula

NGC 7293 - Helix Nebula

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy

M101 - Pinewheel Galaxy

M101 - Pinewheel Galaxy

M33 - Triangulum Galaxy

M33 - Triangulum Galaxy

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Jupiter and its moons tonight

Jupiter and its moons tonight. From left, Callisto, Ganymede, Io and Europa. Uranus at top left - Credit: Richard Fleet

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

Send a message to aliens

August 18, 2009 11:04 by scibuff

Update: The submission deadline for new message has passed. The packed is now being converted and packaged to be transmitted on August 29.

If you sometimes get tired of talking to your fellow Earthlings, consider sending a message to beings who could be living 20.3 light years away via the HelloFromEarth website.

HelloFromEarth is a project created by COSMOS magazine for National Science Week in Australia in collaboration with Australia’s Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and NASA, that enables anyone to send a short message to the potential inhabitants of the planet designated as Gliese 581 d.

Artist's impression of Gliese 581 d

Artist's impression of Gliese 581 d

Gliese 581 d is an extrasolar planet in the constellation Libra about 20.3 light years away from our solar system. It orbits a red dwarf (Gliese 581) at a distance of 0.22 AU – well within the habitable zone of the star, where liquid water could exists.

Artist's impression of the planetary system around the red dwarf Gliese 581. In the foreground planets Gliese 581 c and Gliese 581 b with super-Earth Gliese 581 d in a closeup - Source: ESO

Artist's impression of the planetary system around the red dwarf Gliese 581. In the foreground planets Gliese 581 c and Gliese 581 b with super-Earth Gliese 581 d in a closeup - Source: ESO

Until now, almost 19,000 messages from all around world have been collected for Glieseans to read. Submissions are accepted until August 24, after which the data will be send to NASA’s JPL in California to be encoded into binary form and packaged for transmission. JPL will then send the data back to Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla, known as the Deep Space Station 43 (DSS43), which has for years been providing communication for NASA’s interplanetary missions. The 40-year-long wait for a potential response will begin August 29, 2009 when the 70-meter main antenna at DSS43 will transmit the signal aimed towards the Gliese 581 system.

Click here to send your message to Glieseans.

Here are a few selected submissions:

These are not the droids you’re looking for. Don – Denton, TX, United States

We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars… Jeff N – Sydney, Australia

2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37 41 43 47 53 59 61 67 71 73 79 83 89 97 101. Sam -Adelaide, Australia

All truth passes through three stages: first, it’s ridiculed; second, it’s violently opposed and third, it’s accepted as self-evident. It’s time to contact us! Simone – Latina, Italy

To Mr. Alien. I’ve got some jokes for you. Knock Knock. Who’s there. Rocket. Rocket who. Rockets coming to tickle you!! Watch out. See you later, Jack – Melbourne , Australia

We’ve been trying, but can’t read your crop circles. Tatyana – Seattle, WA, United States

Does “Santa” visit your planet? Have a happy holiday. Jan Kurrels – Canberra, Australia

What is the purpose of life? What is the universe and is there something beyond it? Can we reach your level of evolution one day? Pls answer. Bojidar -Sofia, Bulgaria

This is a chain SMS. Please send this forward to 10 new civilizations within a century and something good will happen to you. Kari-Pekka Arola – Tampere, Finland

Live Long and prosper. Miranda – Cleveland, United States

Please send the Cylon Number Six in the red dress. Craig Cormick -Canberra, Australia