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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
3 Jun 2019, 15:00 UTC Next Previous
31 May 2019, 18:24 UTC Next Previous
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 16 Jul 2019, 16:00 UTC The only visual record of the historic Apollo 11 landing is from a 16mm time-lapse (6 frames per second) movie camera mounted in Buzz Aldrin’s window (right side of Lunar Module Eagle or LM). Due to the small size of the LM windows and the angle at which the movie camera was mounted, what mission commander Neil Armstrong saw as he flew and landed the LM was not recorded. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team reconstructed the last three minutes of the landing trajectory (latitude, longitude, orientation, velocity, altitude) using landmark navigation and altitude call outs from the voice recording. From this trajectory information, and high resolution LROC Narrow Angle Camera (LROC NAC) images and topography, we simulated what Armstrong saw in those final minutes as he guided the LM down to the surface of the Moon. As the video begins, Armstrong could see the aim point was on the rocky northeastern flank of West crater (190 meters diameter), causing him to take manual control and fly horizontally, searching for a safe landing spot. At the time, only Armstrong saw the hazard; he was too busy flying the LM to discuss the situation with mission control.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 16 Jul 2019, 14:00 UTC As a spacecraft descends to the lunar surface, it sprays it with water and other gases that are released as the vehicle thrusts its engines to slow itself for a soft landing. For astronauts who will be cataloging local water supplies, these Earthly contaminants will make it hard to distinguish between bona-fide Moon water and water from their vehicle’s exhaust.
United Kingdom Space Agency
Press release: On 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 launch, UK and NASA state intent to work on future Moon missions16 Jul 2019, 13:40 UTC The agreement was announced in a speech from Science Minister Chris Skidmore at the Policy Exchange in London on ‘Embracing the New Space Age’ on 16 July, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch.
ESA Space Science 16 Jul 2019, 13:00 UTC The first direct measurement of the bar-shaped collection of stars at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy has been made by combining data from ESA’s Gaia mission with complementary observations from ground- and space-based telescopes.
German Aerospace Center (DLR) 15 Jul 2019, 14:55 UTC Ryugu and other asteroids of the common ‘C-class’ consist of more porous material than was previously thought. Small fragments of their material are therefore too fragile to survive entry into the atmosphere in the event of a collision with Earth.
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SPACE.com 16 Jul 2019, 17:10 UTC The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is NASA's next flagship telescope. Expected to launch in the mid-2020s, this instrument will give astronomers a clearer and more expansive view of the universe than ever before, with the ultimate goal of answering some of the biggest mysteries in space.
Starts With a Bang! 16 Jul 2019, 15:23 UTC If you were alive in 2006, you likely remember a momentous event in astronomy: the International Astronomical Union (IAU) took it upon themselves to redefine what it meant to be a planet. While eight of the nine classical planets in our Solar System were still in, from Mercury to Neptune, the smallest and most distant among them — Pluto — was out.
Universe Today 16 Jul 2019, 10:06 UTC Astronomers have discovered, for the first time, moons forming in the disk of debris around a large exoplanet. Astronomers have suspected for a long time that this is how larger planets—like Jupiter in our own Solar System—get their moons. It’s all happening around a very young star named PDS 70, about 370 light years away in the constellation Centaurus.