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

[more stories]

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 (2455475)

October 5, 2010 12:28 by scibuff

Top Stories

Win a trip to ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in the new ESO Hidden Treasure contest – a free competition for everyone who enjoys making beautiful images of the night sky using real astronomical data. The competition has some extremely attractive prizes for the lucky winners who produce the most beautiful and original images, including an all expenses paid trip to ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Cerro Paranal, in Chile, the world’s most advanced optical telescope. –ESO Observatory

ISS Instrument Detects X-ray Nova – An instrument on board the International Space Station has discovered an X-ray nova. The science team from the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) instrument on the Exposed Facility of the Japanese Kibo reported a short-lived X-ray nova became visible in the constellation of Ophiuchus on September 25, 2010, and the MAXI team confirmed that it was an uncatalogued X-ray source. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

The Crab is still crabby – A thousand years ago, and 6500 light years away from Earth, a high mass star exploded. An octillion tons of gas blasted outwards at speeds of thousands of kilometers per second, forming tendrils and wisps as it raced away… – Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

Deep-Sky Wonders Again – Last week I promised to write about the flashlight at night as a metaphor for stargazing techniques — and I’ll get to that in due time. But first I want to write about my observing session last weekend. -Tony Flanders / Sky and Telescope

[more stories]

Videos

Milky Way Time Lapse

  

Photos

Saturn's rings

Saturn's rings

21 Lutetia

21 Lutetia

Sword of Orion

Sword of Orion

M45 - Pleiades

M45 - Pleiades

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Rural vs. Urban sky

Rural vs. Urban sky (click on the image to galaxify)

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

North American cities at night

November 13, 2009 14:56 by scibuff

The lights of North American cities taken by Rosetta OSIRIS Imaging System's Narrow-Angle Camera at 04:44 GMT - Source: ESA ©2009 MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The lights of North American cities taken by Rosetta OSIRIS Imaging System's Narrow-Angle Camera at 04:44 GMT - Source: ESA ©2009 MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

After yesterday’s marvelous crescent of the Earth from 633,000 km, the Rosetta spacecraft delivered another beauty today. At 04:44 GMT, just about 3 hours before its closest approach to Earth, the Narrow-Angle Camera of the OSIRIS Imagining System took a 10-second exposure of Northen American cities at night (click here for a high-resolution version).


Rosetta spacecraft final Earth swingby

Home from 633 000 km

November 12, 2009 17:27 by scibuff

Image of the Earth acquired with the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera from a distance of 633 000 km on 12 November 2009 at 12:28 GMT - Source: ESA ©2009 MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Image of the Earth acquired with the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera from a distance of 633 000 km on 12 November 2009 at 12:28 GMT - Source: ESA ©2009 MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The spectacular image above (large version available here) was taken from the distance of 633,000 km by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera aboard the Rosetta spacecraft as it is heading towards the Earth for the third and final gravity assist. The slingshot maneuver will place Rosetta on the fly-by trajectory to the asteroid 21 Lutetia (in March 2010) and ultimately to a rendezvous with the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in May 2014. In November 2014, after months of comet mapping and characterization, a lander will be released from the height of about 1km to attempt a first every landing on a nucleus of a comet.