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20 Jun 2019, 16:00 UTC Summary: Using the both ALMA and the VLT, astronomers have imaged the cold, rock-strewn rings encircling the planet Uranus. Rather than observing the reflected sunlight from these rings, ALMA and the VLT imaged the millimeter and mid-infrared “glow” naturally emitted by the frigidly cold particles of the rings themselves.The rings of Uranus are invisible to all but the largest telescopes — they weren’t even discovered until 1977 — and they stand out as surprisingly bright in new thermal images of the planet taken by two large telescopes in Chile.The thermal glow gives astronomers another window onto the rings, which have been seen only because they reflect a little light in the visible, or optical, range and in the near-infrared. The new images taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and its international partners (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ), ALMA is among the most complex and powerful astronomical observatories on Earth or in space. The telescope is an array of 66 high-precision dish antennas in northern Chile. See more here and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) allowed the team for the first time to measure the temperature of the rings: a cool 77 Kelvin, ... Next Previous
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10 Jun 2019, 13:00 UTC
Breakthrough Watch and the European Southern Observatory achieve “first light” on upgraded planet-finding instrument to search for Earth-like planets in nearest star systemNext Previous
5 Jun 2019, 17:00 UTC ** Summary: New ALMA observations reveal a never-before-seen disk of cool, interstellar gas wrapped around the supermassive black holeSupermassive Black HoleA black hole that has a million or as much as a billion solar masses. These large black holes lurk at the centers of most galaxies. at the center of the Milky Way. This nebulous disk gives astronomers new insights into the workings of accretion Accretion diskA disk of gas that accumulates around a center of gravitational attraction, such as a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole. As the gas spirals in, it becomes hot and emits energy at a variety of wavelengths, including X-ray and radio waves. : the siphoning of material onto the surface of a black hole. The results are published in the journal Nature. **Through decades of study, astronomers have developed a clearer picture of the chaotic and crowded neighborhood surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Our galactic center is approximately 26,000 light-years from Earth and the supermassive black hole there, known as Sagittarius A* (A “star”), is 4 million times the mass of our Sun.We now know that this region is brimming with roving stars, interstellar ... Next Previous
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NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 22 Jul 2019, 16:20 UTC Southern California got all shook up after a set of recent quakes. But Earth isn't the only place that experiences quakes: Both the Moon and Mars have them as well. NASA sent the first seismometer to the Moon 50 years ago, during the Apollo 11 mission; the agency's InSight lander brought the first seismometer to Mars in late 2018, and it's called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS).
ESA Top News 22 Jul 2019, 13:36 UTC An ambitious instrument for ESA’s ExoMars 2020 mission has passed its testing in conditions resembling those on the Red Planet. It will now be transported to Russia for its acceptance review, followed by integration onto the Kazachok Surface Platform, scheduled for launch this time next year.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 19 Jul 2019, 11:46 UTC Galaxies come in many shapes and sizes. One of the key galaxy types we see in the universe is the spiral galaxy, as demonstrated in an especially beautiful way by the subject of this Hubble Space Telescope image, NGC 2985. NGC 2985 lies over 70 million light-years from the solar system in the constellation of Ursa Major (the Great Bear).
ESA Science & Technology 18 Jul 2019, 16:01 UTC Observing stars that are known to harbour planets with unprecedented accuracy to characterise their planetary population – this is the main goal of ESA's upcoming CHEOPS mission, scheduled for launch between 15 October and 14 November. But how exactly is the mission going to achieve this?
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 17 Jul 2019, 15:00 UTC In 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke stood on the Moon and looked back at Earth. From the lunar surface, they took a picture of Earth like none before: the first view of our planet in far ultraviolet light.
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Astronomy Now 22 Jul 2019, 19:31 UTC Seeking to become the fourth nation to successfully land on the Moon, India launched an ambitious robotic lunar mission named Chandrayaan 2 on Monday, targeting a touchdown near the lunar south pole on 6 September.
New Scientist 22 Jul 2019, 16:00 UTC Early in the Milky Way’s history, it devoured another, smaller galaxy and made that galaxy’s stars its own. Now, astronomers have pinpointed the timing of this monstrous meal and identified which stars make up the grisly remains.
Universe Today 19 Jul 2019, 19:17 UTC LightSail 2, the brainchild of The Planetary Society, has gifted us two new gorgeous images of Earth. The small spacecraft is currently in orbit at about 720 km, and the LightSail 2 mission team is putting it through its paces in preparation for solar sail deployment sometime on or after Sunday, July 21st.
Planet Hunters Blog 19 Jul 2019, 15:15 UTC Since Planet Hunters launched in 2010, we’ve made all sorts of interesting discoveries, but apart from the occasional blog posted here you’ve had to wait until we’ve written them up in peer reviewed papers to hear about them. Such formal publication is important – it’s how information gets written into the scientific record, and how credit is recorded – but it’s slow, and this can be frustrating. It’s especially frustrating for volunteers who think they’ve found something and who then have to wait years for us to get around to doing the work required to turn a ‘maybe’ into a candidate worth publishing.