Astronews Daily (2455548)

December 17, 2010 12:46 by scibuff

Top Stories

Become an Exoplanet Hunter With Newest Zooniverse Citizen Science Project – Planet Hunters is the latest in the Zooniverse project, and users will help scientists analyze data taken by NASA’s Kepler mission, the biggest, badest exoplanet hunting telescope in space. The project goes live on December 16 at http://www.planethunters.org. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Could This be the Start of a New Space Shuttle? – All is not lost for the space shuttle idea. Richard Branson is thinking big again and along with orbital sciences Corp, Sierra Nevada Corp and some others they may build a reusable taxi to space just like the space shuttle. NASA will find $200 million to help with the development. –Weirdwrap

A delicately violent celestial shell game – One of my favorite types of objects in space are the thin, ethereal shells of gas stars create when they die. So I was thrilled* to see this new image of one taken in exquisite detail by the Hubble Space Telescope: –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

X-rays From Lightning – What Superman would See – Using a custom-built camera the size of a refrigerator, Florida researchers have made the world’s first crude pictures of X-rays streaming from a stroke of lightning. –Daily Galaxy

Bright White Storm Raging on Saturn – About a week ago, a bright white storm emerged on Saturn’s northern hemisphere, and amateur astronomer/planet astrophotographer extraordinaire Anthony Wesley from Australia has captured a few images of it. “This is the brightest Saturn storm in decades,” Anthony said on his website, Ice In Space. “If you get a chance to see it visually then take it, as it may be one of the rare “Great White Spot” (GWS) outbreaks on Saturn.” –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

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Videos

Cassini Spots Potential Ice Volcano on Saturn Moon - New data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveal topography on Saturn's moon Titan that makes the best case yet for an ice volcano on Titan and reveals the most Earth-like candidate in the outer solar system.

  

Photos

Discovery on the pad

Discovery on the pad

ISS through clouds

ISS through clouds

Erupting Volcano

Erupting Volcano

Geminid in Death Valley

Geminid in Death Valley

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Launch of TMA-20

Soyuz lift-off with ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli together with Dmitri Kondratyev and Catherine Coleman for a challenging 6-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS) as members of Expeditions 26/27. They were launched in the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 15 December at 19:09 GMT. Paolo’s MagISStra mission will be Europe’s third long-duration mission on the ISS. Between December 2010 and June 2011 he will be part of the ISS crew as a flight engineer. - Credit: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2010

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 (2455544)

December 13, 2010 12:20 by scibuff

Top Stories

That’s no asteroid! – On the evening of 21 February 1906, A. Kopff discovered asteroid 596 Scheila. It was found to have a fairly typical Main Body orbit, meaning that it lives comfortably in the middle of the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. Beyond that, it never attracted much notice, being just one amongst billions of asteroids. –Urban Astronomer

Incredible Engineering Camera Views of the Space Shuttle in Action – Whenever there is any issue with the space shuttle, you’ll hear talk about the engineering camera footage that NASA can look at to review with a fine-tooth comb everything that took place during launch and ascent. Here is a look at some of that footage — in high resolution, and in super slow-motion — to provide a glimpse of the intricate details engineers look for. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Geminids – First Session Results – was able to spend ~40 minutes watching the Geminids so far tonight. This first session lasted from 11:43 pm (6:43 UT) till 12:28 am (7:28 UT). With a limiting magnitude of +5.4, I counted 23 meteors with 13 being Geminids and 10 being non-Geminids –Carl Hergenrother

Saturn Rings Formed From Moon Gone – Saturn’s rings are one of the most awe-inspiring features in the solar system but they may have had a violent creation 4.5 billion years ago according to a new theory advanced by astronomer Robin M. Canup at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, published in Nature. –Spaceports

Comet C/2010 X1 (ELENIN) discoverd Dec 10, 2010 by H15 ISON-NM Observatory, Mayhill. Observer L. Elenin. 0.45-m f/2.8 astrograph + CCD

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Videos

Epic Filament Eruption - A very long solar filament that had been snaking around the Sun erupted (Dec. 6, 2010) with a flourish. STEREO (Behind) caught the action in dramatic detail in extreme ultraviolet light of Helium. It had been almost a million km long (about half a solar radius) and a prominent feature on the Sun visible over two weeks earlier before it rotated out of view. Filaments, elongated clouds of cooler gases suspended above the Sun by magnetic forces, are rather unstable and often break away from the Sun. - Courtesy of SOHO/STEREO consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

  

Photos

(596) Scheila

(596) Scheila

Geminids

Geminids

Filament Eruption

Filament Eruption

The Moon Last Night

The Moon Last Night

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

A Dazzling Planetary Nebula

This picture of NGC 6572 shows the intricate shapes that can develop as stars exhale their last breaths. Hubble has even imaged the central white dwarf star, the origin of the dazzling nebula, but now a faint, but hot, vestige of its former glory. - Credit: ESA/Hubble & 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 (2455527)

November 26, 2010 14:43 by scibuff

Top Stories

Oxygen found on Saturn’s moon Rhea – Nasa’s Cassini probe has scooped oxygen from the thin atmosphere of Rhea – the first time the gas has been detected directly on another world -Ian Sample / Guardian

Summary of International Year of Astronomy 2009 Released – The brochure, called the International Year of Astronomy 2009 Final Report Executive Summary, offers an overview of the many events that took place during the Year, as detailed in full in the 1450-page IYA2009 Final Report, which was released earlier this year. –European South Observatory

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Videos

Timelapse:Thanksgiving Sunset

  

Astronews Daily Ext. Edition (2455505)

November 4, 2010 12:11 by scibuff

Videos

Approaching Hartley 2

Approaching Hartley 2 Four images captured at about 09:20 every day for four days from October 29 to November 1 document the increasing brightness of Hartley 2 against the background star field as seen from Deep Impact, which was approaching for its November 4 flyby. The images have been rotated to align them. Credit: NASA / JPL / UMD / animation by Emily Lakdawalla

Space Shuttle Discovery/STS-133's final RSS rollback

  

Top Stories

Deep Impact’s Hartley 2 Encounter Timeline – Close approach takes place at 13:50 UTC November 4, spacecraft event time. Find out what time this is in your time zone. –Emily Lakdawalla / The Planetary Society

NASA Mission in Final Day Before Comet Meetup – Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have relayed final instructions to their comet-bound spacecraft today, Nov. 3. The new programming will guide NASA’s EPOXI mission through its close approach with comet Hartley 2 –NASA/JPL

STS-133: Discovery scrubbed ahead of tanking for 24 hours – The Mission Management Team (MMT) have concluded their evalations on Thursday morning by deciding to scrub for 24 hours, due to unacceptable weather conditions. The decision came just prior to coming out of the hold for the loading of Discovery’s External Tank (ET-137). –NASA Space Flight

LHC to Recreate Conditions Just After Big Bang – So far, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has destroyed billions of protons by colliding them head-on inside its super-chilled detectors. Soon, however, the protons won’t be alone, lead ions — whole atomic nuclei — will be smashed up. Why? To recreate the conditions immediately after the Big Bang. –Ian O’Neill / Discovery News

Newly Discovered Comet 2010 V1 – IAUC 9175 brings surprising news of the visual discovery of a bright comet by two Japanese amateurs, Kaoru Ikeya and Shigeki Murakami. Visual magnitude estimates by the discoverers and Juan Jose Gonzalez of Spain place the comet between magnitude 7.5 and 9 with the brighter magnitude be more likely. The comet is currently a morning object in Virgo at an elongation of 32°. An orbit has yet to be published. -Carl Hergenrother / Transient Sky

Did Physicists Find Evidence of a Fourth Neutrino Flavor? – When neutrinos change from one phase to another, they tell us something about their mysterious nature. These ghostly subatomic particles come in three flavors, physicists say: muon, tau, and electron. Just this summer, a team caught a neutrino in the act of changing from muon to tau, a finding that backed up the argument that these particles do, in fact, have mass. This week, a new study of neutrino oscillation—the changing of flavors—suggests an deeper mystery, and implies that these three flavors of neutrino may not be enough to account these particles’ behavior. –Discovery Magazine Blogs

Gettin’ high on the Moon – How would you know how high up you are? Well, if you had the elevation data made by the the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter you’d be all set, because then you’d know that if you were at a latitude of 5.4125° and longitude of 201.3665°, you’d be on the highest spot on the Moon! –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

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Photos

Pad 39A at Night

Pad 39A at Night

Storm clouds over VAB!

Storm clouds over VAB!

A crescent Saturn

A crescent Saturn

A visual amateur comet discovery

A visual amateur comet discovery

  
IC 359

IC 359

NGC 7635 - Bubble Nebula

NGC 7635 - Bubble Nebula

NGC7000 - The North American Nebula

NGC7000 - The North American Nebula

M31 - Andromeda Galaxy

M31 - Andromeda Galaxy

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Night Lights

Constellations of lights sprawl across this night scene, but they don't belong in the skies of planet Earth. Instead, the view looks down from the International Space Station as it passed over the United States along the northern Gulf Coast on October 29. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft is docked in the foreground. Behind its extended solar panels, some 360 kilometers below, are the recognizable city lights of New Orleans. Looking east along the coast to the top of the frame finds Mobile, Alabama while Houston city lights stand out to the west, toward the bottom. North (left) of New Orleans, a line of lights tracing central US highway I55 connect to Jackson, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee. Of course, the lights follow the population centers, but not everyone lives on planet Earth all the time these days. November 2nd marked the first decade of continuous human presence in space on board the International Space Station. - Credit: ISS Expedition 25, 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 (2455503)

November 2, 2010 13:53 by scibuff

Top Stories

Tension mounts as spacecraft approaches comet – The NASA/EPOXI team who will be managing and guiding their 3m spacecraft to within 700Km of the nucleus of Comet 103P Hartley/2 are now safely located at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California, where the excitement is growing ahead of only the 5th close approach flyby of a comet in history. –Faulkes Telescope

Mystery of Saturn’s Wonky B Ring: Solved – It has long been known that Saturn’s rings are not the perfect hoops they appear as in small amateur telescopes, and when the Cassini spacecraft entered orbit around Saturn, the wonky disorder of the massive B ring became even more apparent. Scientists were stunned by towering vertical structures, scalloped edges on the rings, and odd propeller-like features. But scientists have now found the cause of these strange features: The region is acting just like a spiral galaxy, said Carolyn Porco, team lead of the Cassini imaging team. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

NASA to Host Live Events for November 4 Comet Encounter – NASA will hold a series of news and educational events about the EPOXI mission’s close encounter with comet Hartley 2, scheduled to occur at approximately 14 UTC on Thursday, Nov. 4. The spacecraft will provide the most extensive observations of a comet in history –NASA/JPL

Two Fireballs Sighted from Comet Hartley 2 -Do They Signal a New Meteor Shower Display? – Astronomers have recorded sightings of two fireballs that may have come from Comet Hartley 2 that made its closest pass by Earth in 24 years this month, prompting speculation on whether the icy cosmic interloper may have a trailing a meteor shower show. –Daily Galaxy

Russians Toast Success of International Space Station – International Space Station will celebrate one more record in its orbital life on November 2, 2010 – 10 years of human space mission. Soyuz TM-31 docked to the station’s Zvezda module on Nov. 2, 2000. Since then, the crews have been constantly working in the orbital outpost. –Parabolic Arc

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Videos

The Deep Impact spacecraft's High - and Medium-Resolution Imagers (HRI and MRI) have captured multiple jets emanating from comet Hartley 2 turning on and off while the spacecraft is 8 million kilometers (5 million miles) away from the comet.

Photos

Discovery on Launch Pad

Discovery on Launch Pad

VLA

VLA

Volcano on the Galapagos Islands

Volcano on the Galapagos Islands

STS-133 NASA Tweetup

STS-133 NASA Tweetup

Gallery Pick of the Day

North American/NGC7000 region Bi-color

North American/NGC7000 region Bi-color - 30 10min subs with 6nm Ha filter and 30 10min subs with the OIII filter at ISO 1600 stacked in DSS then adjusted in PS CS2. Canon 500D(modded) , Orion Atlas mount and the lens was the Nikon 180ED @ f/2.8 and a 7x40mm finder as a guide scope. - Credit: Erik N Larsen

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 (2455476)

October 6, 2010 12:04 by scibuff

Top Stories

Saturn’s Rings Formed from Large Moon’s Destruction – The formation of Saturn‘s rings has been one of the classical if not eternal questions in astronomy. But one researcher has provided a provocative new theory to answer that question. Robin Canup from the Southwest Research Institute has uncovered evidence that the rings came from a large, Titan-sized moon that was destroyed as it spiraled into a young Saturn. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Trojans May Yet Rain Down – In the past decade Neptunian Trojans have been discovered. By the end of this summer, six have been confirmed. Yet despite this small sample, these objects have some unexpected properties and may outnumber the number of asteroids in the main belt by an order of magnitude. – Jon Voisey / Universe Today

China’s Chang’E-2 in Lunar Orbit – Chang’E-2 was captured by the lunar gravity fields after five days of spaceflight. The Chinese space probe has become as lunar orbiter at 11:40, 6th Oct (Beijing local time), according to Yong-Chun Zheng of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. –Spaceports

International Astronautical Congress – Prague 2010 Highlights – I attended the International Astronautical Congress last week in Prague, Czech Republic. I attended the Vancouver Congress years ago, but as an exhibit staffer, not a presenter. This was my first time to present papers. Quite an experience. – Beth Beck

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Videos

The Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft and its booster were moved to its launch pad on a railcar Oct. 5 for final preparations prior to its launch Oct. 8 to the International Space Station. The Soyuz will carry Expedition 25 Soyuz Commander Alexander Kaleri, NASA Flight Engineer Scott Kelly and Russian Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka to the orbiting laboratory. The trio will spend six months on the complex, joining station Commander Doug Wheelock and Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Shannon Walker, who have been in orbit since June. - Credit: NASA TV

  

Photos

Monoceros R2

Monoceros R2

103P/Hartley 2

103P/Hartley 2

North American and Pelican

North American and Pelican

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

G327.1-1.1: Pushing the Envelope

G327.1-1.1: Pushing the Envelope - G327 is the aftermath of a star that exploded as a supernova. X-rays are blue, radio data are red and yellow, and infrared data show the stars in the field - Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/T.Temim et al. and ESA/XMM-Newton Radio: SIFA/MOST and CSIRO/ATNF/ATCA; Infrared: UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF/2MASS

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