Astronews Daily Extended Edition (2455547)

December 16, 2010 12:18 by scibuff

Videos

Soyuz TMA-20 Launch of Expedition 26 - A Russian Soyuz rocket launched the Expedition 26 crew to the International Space Station. The crew includes Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, American astronaut Catherine Coleman and from the European Space Agency Italian Paolo Nespoli.

Phobos shadow passing over Viking 1 landing site dust storm (40x actual speed) - On September 28, 1977, Viking Orbiter 1 observed a dust storm over the site where it had dropped its lander, more than a year previously. As Viking 1 orbiter watched, the shadow of Mars' inner moon Phobos passed over the cloud tops. Data: NASA/JPL. Processing: Daniel Machá?ek

  

Top Stories

NASA Discovers Asteroid Delivered Assortment of Meteorites – An international team of scientists studying remnants of an asteroid that crashed into the Nubian Desert in October 2008 discovered it contained at least 10 different types of meteorites. Some of them contained chemicals that form the building blocks of life on Earth, and those chemicals were spread through all parts of the asteroid by collisions. –NASA

Near-Synchronous Explosions Connect Across the Vast Distances on the Sun – For several decades, scientists studying the sun have observed solar flares that appear to occur almost simultaneously but originated in completely different areas on the Sun. Solar physicists called them “sympathetic” flares, but it was thought these near-synchronous explosions in the solar atmosphere were too far apart – sometimes millions of kilometers distant – to be related. But now, with the continuous high-resolution and multi-wavelength observations with the Solar Dynamics Observatory, combined with views from the twin STEREO spacecraft, the scientists are seeing how these sympathetic eruptions — sometimes on opposite sides of the sun — can connect through looping lines of the Sun’s magnetic field. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

Galaxy Cluster Reveals Farthest Known Galaxy – Almost all of the bright objects in this Hubble Space Telescope image are galaxies in the cluster known as Abell 2218 -a cluster so massive and so compact that its gravity bends and focuses the light from galaxies that lie behind it. As a result, multiple images of these background galaxies are distorted into long faint arcs. –The Daily Galaxy

No Asteroid Particles Found in Second Hayabusa Compartment, But More in First – No visible material from asteroid Itokawa was found inside the second compartment of a canister returned to Earth by the Hayabusa spacecraft. However, JAXA also announced that more micron-sized grains have been found in the first compartment, opened earlier this year. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

93rd Birth Anniversary of Sir Arthur Clarke – Let’s cherish the 93rd birth anniversary of Sir Arthur Clarke, who rendered an immense service to the world, by means of his innovative concepts on telecommunication + thrilling scientific books, We should do something to remind the world about his being in a day like this, as what his imagination has rendered, continues to grow day by day –IYA 2009 / Sri Lanka

A Majestic Galaxy in One of the Largest Known Structures in the Observable Universe – This image shows a majestic face-on spiral galaxy located deep within the Coma Cluster of galaxies, which lies 320 million light-years away, in the northern constellation Coma Berenices. The galaxy, known as NGC 4911, contains rich lanes of dust and gas near its center. These are silhouetted against glowing newborn star clusters and iridescent pink clouds of hydrogen, the existence of which indicates ongoing star formation. –The Daily Galaxy

Dec 14/15 Meteors (night after the Geminids peak) – What a difference 24 hours makes! Only a day removed from the Geminids peak and rates have crashed to a fraction of their peak. During the past 5 nights SALSA3 detected 12, 22, 69, 124 and now 20 Geminids. This is a characteristic of the Geminids in that the post-peak rates fall off much more rapidly than the pre-peak increase. –Carl Hergenrother

[more stories]

Photos

H-alpha Orion mosaic

H-alpha Orion mosaic

Geminid bolide

Geminid bolide

IC1848 - Soul Nebula

IC1848 - Soul Nebula

Slewing

Slewing

  
Venus Rising

Venus Rising

Toronto, Ward’s Island

Toronto, Ward’s Island

Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como, Italy

Waxing Gibbous Moon

Waxing Gibbous Moon

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Geminids over Kitt Peak

Geminids over Kitt Peak - Credit & Copyright: David A. Harvey

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 (2455545)

December 14, 2010 12:42 by scibuff

Top Stories

Breaking News: Space Shuttle Discovery to Be Rolled Back from Launchpad – NASA managers made the decision on Monday afternoon that space shuttle Discovery will be rolled back from the launchpad for inspections and/or repairs. There’s no word from NASA yet on the reason for the decision, but presumably it has to do with the cracks on the “stringers,” or structural ribs of the shuttle’s external tank. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

NASA Probe Sees Solar Wind Decline En Route To Interstellar Space – The 33-year odyssey of NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached a distant point at the edge of our solar system where there is no outward motion of solar wind. –NASA

SpaceX Looking to Launch Next Dragon Spacecraft – to the ISS – With the success of the first and second launches of the Falcon 9 rocket as well as the successful recovery of the Dragon spacecraft, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has stated its intent to accelerate the pace of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program that the private space firm has with NASA. The company has been inspecting various elements of the Dragon spacecraft that launched to orbit on Dec. 8, to make potential changes to the next Dragon – in preparation for its flight. -Jason Rhian / Universe Today

Mystery on Saturn’s Satellite: Icy Debris Formed Iapetus’ Ridge? – As space-based probes and telescopes continue to reveal new and seemingly unimaginable features of our universe, a geological landmark on Saturn’s moon Iapetus ranks high on the list of things particularly peculiar. –www.jhuapl.edu

[more stories]

Videos

A video camera in Saint Rémy lès Chevreuse, France captures a wonderful Geminid - Credit: Sylvain Weiller

  

Photos

Geminid Meteor

Geminid Meteor

Geminid and M45

Geminid and M45

Tripple Eruption

Tripple Eruption

Discovery on the launchpad

Discovery on the launchpad

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Geminid meteor

A nice Geminid during a large gap just after midnight - 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.

Astronews Daily (2455539)

December 8, 2010 12:50 by scibuff

Top Stories

Japanese spacecraft fails to enter orbit around Venus – Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft missed its chance Monday to enter orbit around Venus, and the next opportunity will not come for another six years, according to statements by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. -Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

Arsenic and old Universe – Two news updates, both of which are pretty interesting. 1) The arsenic-utilizing bacterium is still in the news… Last week, a paper made the rounds on various sites that Roger Penrose and a collaborator had found circular patterns in the cosmic background radiation that might point to clues about what happened before the Big Bang. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

SpaceX Dragon capsule set for launch – A US capsule that could soon be hauling cargo and even astronauts to the space station is set to make its first demonstration flight on Wednesday. –Jonathan Amos / BBC

One Hundred Days until Mercury Orbit Insertion – One hundred days from now, MESSENGER will execute a 15-minute maneuver that will place the spacecraft into orbit about Mercury, making it the first craft ever to do so, and initiating a one-year science campaign to understand the innermost planet. – MESSENGER Mission News

Sneak Attacks from the Sun – Our Sun can be a menace when it sends out powerful solar blasts of radiation towards the Earth. Astronomers keenly watch the Sun to learn more about what powers these solar eruptions, in hopes of being able to predict them. New research shows that one-third of the Sun’s blasts are “sneak attacks” that may occur without warning. –Center for Astrophysics

[more stories]

Videos

A team of NASA-funded researchers find there may be different criteria by which we search for life elsewhere in the universe. Also, shuttle Discovery gets a new target launch date; SOFIA flies its first science mission; NASA's Small Business Awards, and an alternative fuels pilot program. Plus, Scott Kelly's geography trivia from space, and the anniversary of Gemini 7.

  

Photos

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Discovery at the Pad

Discovery at the Pad

Cape Cod, MA

Cape Cod, MA

Sun in 3D

Sun in 3D

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami) outburst development

P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami) outburst development

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 (2455489)

October 19, 2010 13:31 by scibuff

Top Stories

Gallery: Hartley 2 CCD Images – Spectacular photos of comet 103P / Hartley by amateur astronomers.

How high is space?
– I somehow missed this when it came out, but this picture is but one small part of an amazing 600 x 16500 pixel infographic showing the Earth’s atmosphere to scale! It has a lot of info, including heights of various phenomena like weather, meteors burning up, and aurorae. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

Reaching the Mid-Mission Milestone on the Way to Pluto! – On Sunday, Oct. 17, at 3:24 Universal Time, we passed the halfway mark in the number of days from launch to Pluto encounter – the last of our halfway milestones en route to Pluto! From here, we have fewer days in front of us than behind us. – NASA / New Horizons

Our first storm prediction in real-time! – Tin hats on everyone! Stormwatchers have been tracking a solar storm launched from the Sun on the 14th October. Analysis of your results shows that this storm, travelling at 244 km per second, will cross Earth’s orbit at 14:43 GMT on the 21st October just 37 degrees ahead of our planet. – Zooniverse

[more stories]

Videos

Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) - Shuttle Sim .

  

Photos

The Sun and the Moon

The Sun and the Moon

Titan

Titan

NGC 6992 - Veil Nebula

NGC 6992 - Veil Nebula

NGC 3982

NGC 3982

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

IC 1848

IC 1848, located in a HII - star-forming region in the Perseus arm of our galaxy, 10.5 hours of SII, Ha & OIII, HST palette, taken with 11\

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

[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.

Six Eruptions in Two Days

August 27, 2010 09:45 by scibuff

As the STEREO (Behind) spacecraft observed in extreme UV light, the Sun popped off no fewer than six eruptions over just two days (Aug. 14-15, 2010). At one point, three events were occurring at the same time. Most of these were eruptive prominences in which cooler clouds of gases above the surface break away from the Sun. The most powerful of the events, a coronal mass ejection, began around 6:30 UT on Aug. 15. It was harder to see from this spacecraft’s angle since it blasted out from the whiter active region in the lower center, so it had the Sun as its backdrop.


SOHO Pick of the Week: Popping Out All Over - Credit: SOHO/NASA & ESA

Courtesy of SOHO/STEREO consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.