IYA2009 Updates 18 Jul 2009, 14:47 UTC Astronomy is a popular topic with the media, and with the additional publicity afforded by IYA2009, it is good to see prominent newspapers increasing their coverage. El Pais is a national newspaper in Spain, and has a permanent astronomy section on its website, proudly displaying the IYA2009 logo on its banner: http://www.elpais.com/especial/astronomia/ Publico is a well recognised national newspaper in Portugal and has announced today a permanent section on its website dedicated to IYA2009: http://astronomia.publico.pt/
Skymania News 18 Jul 2009, 11:44 UTC The world is celebrating the amazing journey that Apollo 11 made to the Moon 40 years ago. But few realise that an early bid to reach the Moon was launched from England, way back in the 17th century. Incredible as it may seem, one of the greatest scientific minds of the time, Dr John Wilkins, a founder of the Royal Society, was planning his own lunar mission four centuries ago around the time of the English Civil War.
IYA2009 Updates 18 Jul 2009, 10:02 UTC The Cosmic Detective, an official IYA2009 book, has been translated into several languages and is enjoying great success. The German edition has sold around 1000 copies in its first month. The Austrian Government is considering the book as a primer on cosmology to be part of the school curriculum, and ...
21st Century Waves 17 Jul 2009, 22:19 UTC It’s understandable that there’s concern now about why Apollo didn’t continue. Indeed, 40 years ago humans first landed on the Moon. But after five more reps, it — i.e., human spaceflight beyond Earth orbit — was all over. What happened?According to Miles O’Brien, “We did something truly great, but then walked away from it.”
Space Fellowship 17 Jul 2009, 20:55 UTC (NASA) – Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers Michael Barratt, Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Roman Romanenko, Robert Thirsk of the Canadian Space Agency and Frank De Winne of the European Space Agency welcomed the STS-127 crew aboard the station at 3:48 p.m. EDT. The STS-127 crew arrived at the station when space shuttle Endeavour docked at 1:47 p.m.
Astrocast.TV Blog 17 Jul 2009, 16:19 UTC In a paper to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Academy of Sciences, available online now here, British astronomer Tim Naylor presents evidence that the time it takes for stars to form from gas clouds, or reach the main sequence as astronomers say, is actually a bit longer than originally expected. This may help explain some observations and will require some re-writing of introductory astronomy textbooks.
Astrocast.TV Blog 17 Jul 2009, 15:29 UTC In 2007, Marc Kamionkowski of CalTech and Kris Sigurdson of the University of British Columbia, gave a series of talks on dark matter, focusing on the WIMP (weakly interacting massive particle) solution. These talks have been edited and compiled into an excellent overview of the current understanding of dark matter by the speakers with the Italian astronomer Guido D’Amico. If you have an interest in the nature of dark matter, take a look at these edited transcripts online now here.
Space Fellowship 17 Jul 2009, 15:13 UTC (ISRO) – Chandrayaan-1, India’s first mission to Moon, launched on October 22, 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, has completed eight months of successful operation and has made 3,000 revolutions around the Moon. Besides sending more than 70,000 images of the lunar surface which provide breathtaking views of lunar mountains and craters, especially craters in the permanently shadowed areas of the Moon’s polar region, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft is also collecting valuable data pertaining to the chemical and mineral content of the Moon. Chandrayaan-1’s orbit was raised from 100 km to 200 km circular on May 19, 2009. The high orbital altitude of Chandrayaan-1 reduces the resolution of the imagery but provides a wider swath and the data is of good quality.Chandrayaan-1The onboard star sensor used for determining the orientation of the spacecraft started malfunctioning on April 26, 2009. To overcome this anomaly, ISRO devised an innovative technique of using redundant sensors – gyroscopes – along with antenna pointing information and images of specific location on the surface of the moon, for determining the orientation of the spacecraft. This method has been validated and based on this information, mission operations are being carried out satisfactorily. Other than the failure of the ...
Astrocast.TV Blog 17 Jul 2009, 15:04 UTC In a paper to be published in Astronomy and Astrophysics, online now here, an international team of astronomers utilized the CoRoT satellite data to estimate the surface temperature of an exoplanet called CoRoT 1b. If you were curious, this hot Jupiter exoplanet is estimated to be about 2330 Kelvin (2057 Celsius), give or take 100 Kelvin or so.