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 (2455492)

October 21, 2010 20:11 by scibuff

Top Stories

Call for media: reacting to threat of asteroid impacts – How would the world react to the threat of an asteroid impact? The media are invited to meet top-level experts at ESA’s space operations centre in Germany on 29 October to find out more. -ESA

Understanding the Unusual LCROSS Ejecta Plume – LCROSS was an unusual mission, in that it relied on an impact to be able to study a planetary body. Not only was the mission unusual, but so was the ejecta plume produced by slamming a hollow Centaur rocket booster into the Moon. “A normal impact throws debris out more than up, like an inverted lampshade that gets wider and wider as it goes out,” said Pete Schultz, from Brown University and a member of the LCROSS science team. -Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

NASA Missions Uncover The Moon’s Buried Treasures – Nearly a year after announcing the discovery of water molecules on the moon, scientists Thursday revealed new data uncovered by NASA’s Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. -NASA/LCROSS

New Cometary Phenomenon Greets Approaching Spacecraft – Recent observations of comet Hartley 2 have scientists scratching their heads, while they anticipate a flyby of the small, icy world on Nov. 4. -NASA/JPL

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Videos

Bo Zhou has found a very bright sun-grazing Kreutz-group comet hours before a toasty demise in the Sun's outer atmosphere - Courtesy of SOHO/LASCO C3 consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

  

Photos

Active Region SN1112

Active Region SN1112

Bubble and M52

Bubble and M52

Isla de Margarita, Isla Cubagua, Coche, Sucre

Isla de Margarita, Isla Cubagua, Coche, Sucre

The Bechar Basin of northwest Algeria

The Bechar Basin of northwest Algeria

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

Titan and Rhea

Titan is precisely twice as far from Cassini than Rhea here. As a result, in relative size Rhea appears exactly 2x larger than it actually is, compared to Titan's size. - Credit: NASA/Cassini

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

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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 (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.

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.