29
May 16

Don´t forget about Space Art

Space Art Contest 2016 is  open and teachers can present their students works until june 15th 2016, so you only have two more weeks to submit your students' works.

Space Art is a project that aims to stimulate very young students (6 to 12 years old) to discover the universe and its beauty. Art is a perfect way to achieve this.

Students should make an image (picture, drawing or painting) and submit it at Space Art's website.

The goal of the European Astronomy Contest Space Art  is to stimulate the creativity and independent work of students from European secondary schools, to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and skills, and to help the spread of information technologies in the educational process.

The idea of the Space Art program is to encourage very young students to imagine about the Universe, to learn about astronomy and discover things for themselves by researching information on an astronomical object.

They just have to look for it in the sky, books or the internet and then draw it or make a picture of it using photography or combined techniques.

Space Art is organised jointly by the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and Universe Awareness (UNAWE). Its aim is to encourage creativity and independent work amongst young students, and to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and creativity. (learn more)

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25
May 16

Hubble finds clues to the birth of supermassive black holes

Source: ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1610

This artist’s impression shows a possible seed for the formation of a supermassive black hole. Two of these possible seeds were discovered by an Italian team, using three space telescopes: the NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope.

Artist’s impression of supermassive black hole seed.
Image credits: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss.

Astrophysicists have taken a major step forward in understanding how supermassive black holes formed. Using data from Hubble and two other space telescopes, Italian researchers have found the best evidence yet for the seeds that ultimately grow into these cosmic giants.(learn more)

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21
May 16

Close-up of the Red Planet

Source:ESA/Hubble heic1609

This image shows our neighbouring planet Mars, as it was observed shortly before opposition in 2016 by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Some prominent features of the planet are clearly visible: the ancient and inactive shield volcano Syrtis Major; the bright and oval Hellas Planitia basin; the heavily eroded Arabia Terra in the centre of the image; the dark features of Sinus Sabaeous and Sinus Meridiani along the equator; and the small southern polar cap.

During May 2016 the Earth and Mars get closer to each other than at any time in the last ten years. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has exploited this special configuration to catch a new image of our red neighbour, showing some of its famous surface features. This image supplements previous Hubble observations of Mars and allows astronomers to study large-scale changes on its surface. (learn more)

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19
May 16

A Beautiful Instance of Stellar Ornamentation

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1616

eso1616aThe glowing gas cloud LHA 120-N55 in the Large Magellanic Cloud .
Credits: ESO.

In this image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), light from blazing blue stars energises the gas left over from the stars’ recent formation. The result is a strikingly colourful emission nebula, called LHA 120-N55, in which the stars are adorned with a mantle of glowing gas. Astronomers study these beautiful displays to learn about the conditions in places where new stars develop.(learn more)

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10
May 16

Mercury transit 2016

On May 9th, 2016, Mercury made a transit in front of the Sun for the first time since 2006. The transit or passage of a planet across the face of the Sun is a relatively rare occurrence. As seen from Earth, only transits of Mercury and Venus are possible. There are approximately 13 transits of Mercury each century. In comparison, transits of Venus occur in pairs with more than a century separating each pair.

m c 160509 Merkurius ylikulkuMercury Transit 2016. Image credits and copyright: Sakari Ekko.

Sakari Ekko an astrophotographer and member of EAAE has made the fantastic image above, as he captured Mercury's transit in Turku, Finland, taking a photo every 20 minutes. Only the last 7 minutes of the transit were lost because the Sun was so low (altitude < 1º) and bad seeing washed out Mercury.

 

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8
May 16

Don't forget your EAAE Summer School registration

Poster DivulgaçãoRegistrations at a reduced fee for the EAAE Summer School 2016 in Algarve, Portugal end on May 15th, 2016.

Also the call for papers ends on the same date.

After that, between the May 15th and June 15th, 2016 registration fee will be 150 euros. After this date registration fee will be 200 euros.

Registration should be made using the form at the following link

http://goo.gl/forms/Hq3ttl1Du6

The Summer School includes 12 hands-on workshops covering all of the most important astronomical areas, visits and lectures.

Highlights include an expedition to the Almendres Cromelech, near Évora, and to Lisbon Astronomical Observatory.

Astronomical observations are also programmed (if the weather conditions allow them). Astronomical lectures will be presented by lecturers from Universities and research centers. (read the whole program here)

Learn more about the Summer School here.

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4
May 16

EAAE and UNAWE launch Space Art 2016 Contest

Space Art Contest 2016 is now open and teachers can present their students works until june 15th 2016.

Space Art is a project whose aim is to stimulate students to discover the universe and its beauty. Art is a perfect way to achieve this.

Students should make an image (picture, drawing or painting) and submit it at Space Art's website.

The goal of the European Astronomy Contest Space Art  is to stimulate the creativity and independent work of students from European secondary schools, to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and skills, and to help the spread of information technologies in the educational process.

The idea of the Space Art program is to encourage very young students to imagine about the Universe, to learn about astronomy and discover things for themselves by researching information on an astronomical object.

They just have to look for it in the sky, books or the internet and then draw it or make a picture of it using photography or combined techniques.

Space Art is organised jointly by theEuropean Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and Universe Awareness (UNAWE). Its aim is to encourage creativity and independent work amongst young students, and to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and creativity. (learn more)

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30
Apr 16

Unique Fragment from Earth’s Formation Returns after Billions of Years in Cold Storage

Source: ESO Science Release eso1614

eso1614aArtist's impression of the unique rocky comet C/2014 S3 (PANSTARRS).
Image credits: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Astronomers have found a unique object that appears to be made of inner Solar System material from the time of Earth’s formation, which has been preserved in the Oort Cloud far from the Sun for billions of years. Observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope, and the Canada France Hawai Telescope, show that C/2014 S3 (PANSTARRS) is the first object to be discovered on a long-period cometary orbit that has the characteristics of a pristine inner Solar System asteroid. It may provide important clues about how the Solar System formed.(Learn more)

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28
Apr 16

Four Lasers Over Paranal

Source: ESO Organisation Release eso1613

eso1613a
The most powerful laser guide star system in the world sees first light at the Paranal Observatory.
Image credits: ESO/F. Kamphues.

On 26 April 2016 ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile hosted an event to mark the first light for the four powerful lasers that form a crucial part of the adaptive optics systems on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Attendees were treated to a spectacular display of cutting-edge laser technology against the majestic skies of Paranal. These are the most powerful laser guide stars ever used for astronomy and the event marks the first use of multiple laser guide stars at ESO.

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22
Apr 16

Hubble captures birthday bubble

Source: ESA/Hubble Photo Release heic1608

heic1608aThe Bubble Nebula.
Image Credits: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team.

This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, released to celebrate Hubble’s 26th year in orbit, captures in stunning clarity what looks like a gigantic cosmic soap bubble. The object, known as the Bubble Nebula, is in fact a cloud of gas and dust illuminated by the brilliant star within it. The vivid new portrait of this dramatic scene wins the Bubble Nebula a place in the exclusive Hubble hall of fame, following an impressive lineage of Hubble anniversary images. (learn more)

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17
Apr 16

Giant black hole found in an unlikely place

Source: ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1607

ann16007aThe elliptical galaxy NGC 1600, 200 million light-years away.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Digital Sky Survey 2

Astronomers have uncovered one of the biggest supermassive black holes, with the mass of 17 billion Suns, in an unlikely place: the centre of a galaxy that lies in a quiet backwater of the Universe. The observations, made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, indicate that these monster objects may be more common than once thought. The results of this study are released in the journal Nature. (learn more)

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1
Apr 16

Journey to the centre of our galaxy

Source: ESA/Hubble Photo Release heic1606

heic1606aThe galactic centre.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, T. Do and A. Ghez (UCLA), and V. Bajaj (STScI)

Peering deep into the heart of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals a rich tapestry of more than half a million stars. Apart from a few, blue, foreground stars, almost all of the stars pictured in the image are members of the Milky Way nuclear star cluster, the densest and most massive star cluster in the galaxy. Hidden in the centre of this cluster is the Milky Way’s resident supermassive black hole. (learn more)

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31
Mar 16

ALMA’s Most Detailed Image of a Protoplanetary Disc

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1611

eso1611aALMA image of the planet-forming disc around the young, Sun-like star TW Hydrae.
Image credits: S. Andrews (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

This new image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows the finest detail ever seen in the planet-forming disc around the nearby Sun-like star TW Hydrae. It reveals a tantalising gap at the same distance from the star as the Earth is from the Sun, which may mean that an infant version of our home planet, or possibly a more massive super-Earth, is beginning to form there.(learn more)

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23
Mar 16

The Wilds of the Local Group

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1610

eso1610aThe WLM galaxy on the edge of the Local Group .
Image credits: ESO.

This scene, captured by ESO’s OmegaCAM on the VLT Survey Telescope, shows a lonely galaxy known as Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte, or WLM for short. Although considered part of our Local Group of dozens of galaxies, WLM stands alone at the group’s outer edges as one of its most remote members. In fact, the galaxy is so small and secluded that it may never have interacted with any other Local Group galaxy — or perhaps even any other galaxy in the history of the Universe. (learn more)

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19
Mar 16

Hubble unveils monster stars

Source: ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1605

heic1605aR136 observed with WFC3
Image credits: NASA, ESA, P Crowther (University of Sheffield)

Astronomers using the unique ultraviolet capabilities of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have identified nine monster stars with masses over 100 times the mass of the Sun in the star cluster R136. This makes it the largest sample of very massive stars identified to date. The results, which will be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, raise many new questions about the formation of massive stars. (learn more)

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17
Mar 16

Unexpected Changes of Bright Spots on Ceres Discovered

Source: ESO Science Release eso1609

eso1609aArtist’s view of bright spots on Ceres imaged by the Dawn spacecraft .
Image credits: ESO/L.Calçada/NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/Steve Albers/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

Observations made using the HARPS spectrograph at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile have revealed unexpected changes in the bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. Although Ceres appears as little more than a point of light from the Earth, very careful study of its light shows not only the changes expected as Ceres rotates, but also that the spots brighten during the day and also show other variations. These observations suggest that the material of the spots is volatile and evaporates in the warm glow of sunlight.(learn more)

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14
Mar 16

Telescopes Combine to Push Frontier on Galaxy Clusters

Source: Chandra

These two galaxy clusters are part of the "Frontier Fields" project, which uses some of the world's most powerful telescopes to study these giant structures with long observations. Galaxy clusters are enormous collections of hundreds or thousands of galaxies and vast reservoirs of hot gas embedded in massive clouds of dark matter. These images contain X-ray data from Chandra (blue), optical light from Hubble (red, green, and blue), and radio data from the Very Large Array (pink).

These two galaxy clusters are part of the "Frontier Fields" project, which uses some of the world's most powerful telescopes to study these giant structures with long observations. Galaxy clusters are enormous collections of hundreds or thousands of galaxies and vast reservoirs of hot gas embedded in massive clouds of dark matter. These images contain X-ray data from Chandra (blue), optical light from Hubble (red, green, and blue), and radio data from the Very Large Array (pink).

MACS J0416.1-2403 and MACS J0717.5+3745 : Two galaxy clusters located about 4.3 billion and 5.4 billion light years away respectively.(read more)

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10
Mar 16

Sharpest View Ever of Dusty Disc Around Aging Star

Source: ESO Science Release eso1608

eso1608aThe dusty ring around the aging double star IRAS 08544-4431.
Image credits: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2
Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin

The Very Large Telescope Interferometer at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile has obtained the sharpest view ever of the dusty disc around an aging star. For the first time such features can be compared to those around young stars — and they look surprisingly similar. It is even possible that a disc appearing at the end of a star’s life might also create a second generation of planets. (learn more)

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5
Mar 16

Hubble breaks cosmic distance record

Source: ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1604

heic1604aMost distant galaxy .
Image credits: NASA, ESA, and P. Oesch (Yale University)

By pushing the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to its limits astronomers have shattered the cosmic distance record by measuring the distance to the most remote galaxy ever seen in the Universe. This galaxy existed just 400 million years after the Big Bang and provides new insights into the first generation of galaxies. This is the first time that the distance of an object so far away has been measured from its spectrum, which makes the measurement extremely reliable. The results will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.(learn more)

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3
Mar 16

The Realm of Buried Giants

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1607

eso1607aThe sky around the star formation region RCW 106 .
Image credits: ESO.

In this huge new image clouds of crimson gas are illuminated by rare, massive stars that have only recently ignited and are still buried deep in thick dust clouds. These scorching-hot, very young stars are only fleeting characters on the cosmic stage and their origins remain mysterious. The vast nebula where these giants were born, along with its rich and fascinating surroundings, are captured here in fine detail by ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.(learn more)

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