ESO Top News 3 Feb 2010, 11:00 UTC ESO is releasing a magnificent VLT image of the giant stellar nursery surrounding NGC 3603, in which stars are continuously being born. Embedded in this scenic nebula is one of the most luminous and most compact clusters of young, massive stars in our Milky Way, which therefore serves as an excellent “local” analogue of very active star-forming regions in other galaxies. The cluster also hosts the most massive star to be “weighed” so far.
ASI Agenzia Spaziale Italiana 2 Feb 2010, 15:45 UTC Almost four months have passed since ROSA (Radio Occultation Sounder for Atmosphere) was switched on (25 September 2009), just 48 hours after launch. ROSA is the ASI instrument on board the Indian satellite Oceansat-2 that studies the environmental and atmospheric conditions on our planet. And now commissioning on the data sent back to Earth has started. In detail, the ROSA mission – which uses the radio occultation technique - consists primarily in taking very precise measurements of the temperature, humidity and pressure of the atmosphere from sea level to an altitude of about 100 km. Secondly, ROSA very precisely measures the density of electrons in the ionosphere up to an altitude of about 800 km. These are all measurements that are extremely important for studying the terrestrial climate, which has caused ROSA to be likened to a sort of accurate 'global thermometer'.
HubbleSite NewsCenter -- Latest News Releases 2 Feb 2010, 15:00 UTC Something awfully curious is happening 100 million miles from Earth in the asteroid belt. There's a newly discovered object that superficially looks like a comet but lives among the asteroids. The distinction? Comets swoop along elliptical orbits close in to the Sun and grow long gaseous and dusty tails, as ices near the surface turn into vapor and release dust. But asteroids are mostly in circular orbits in the asteroid belt and are not normally expected to be "volatile."
Science and Technology Facilities Council News and Press Releases 2 Feb 2010, 11:17 UTC UK scientists are gearing up for the launch of NASA's latest space mission, set to launch from Cape Canaveral at 15.30 GMT, on Tuesday, 9 February 2010.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 1 Feb 2010, 20:02 UTC Argentina's president got an up-close look at NASA's Aquarius instrument at the Argentine facility where it's being integrated with the SAC-D spacecraft.
ESA Human Spaceflight and Exploration 1 Feb 2010, 15:24 UTC Space is a hostile environment for living things, but small organisms on the Expose-E experiment unit outside Europe’s Columbus ISS laboratory module have resisted the solar UV radiation, cosmic rays, vacuum and varying temperatures for 18 months. A certain lichen seems to be particularly happy in open space!
Indiana University Astronomy and Astrophysics 1 Feb 2010, 15:00 UTC Mars will be at its highest and brightest for the year during February, coming into view in the east as evening twilight fades. The red planet was closest to Earth in its orbit on Jan. 27, and it will remain near its best all month as it outshines every star except Sirius. This will be a fine opportunity to view Mars through a telescope, since it won't be bigger or brighter until 2014.