20
May 15

The Dreadful Beauty of Medusa

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1520

ESO’s Very Large Telescope images the Medusa NebulaESO’s Very Large Telescope images the Medusa Nebula.
Image credits: ESO.

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its transition into retirement, it shed its outer layers into space, forming this colourful cloud. The image foreshadows the final fate of the Sun, which will eventually also become an object of this kind. (read more)

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16
May 15

The Dark Side of Star Clusters

Source: ESO Science Release eso1519

This huge elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 (also known as Centaurus A) is the closest such galaxy to the Earth, at a distance of about 12 million light-years. Observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a new class of “dark” globular star clusters around this galaxy. These are marked in red. Normal globulars are marked in blue and globulars showing similar properties to dwarf galaxies are in green. The dark globulars appear very similar to other globulars around this galaxy but contain much more mass.

This huge elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 (also known as Centaurus A) is the closest such galaxy to the Earth, at a distance of about 12 million light-years. Observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a new class of “dark” globular star clusters around this galaxy. These are marked in red. Normal globulars are marked in blue and globulars showing similar properties to dwarf galaxies are in green. The dark globulars appear very similar to other globulars around this galaxy but contain much more mass. Image credits: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey. Acknowledgement: Davide de Martin

 

Observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a new class of “dark” globular star clusters around the giant galaxy Centaurus A. These mysterious objects look similar to normal clusters, but contain much more mass and may either harbour unexpected amounts of dark matter, or contain massive black holes — neither of which was expected nor is understood. (read more)

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15
May 15

Hubble traces the migration of white dwarfs in cluster 47 Tucanae

Source: ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1510

heic1510aGlobular cluster 47 Tucanae.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
Acknowledgment: J. Mack (STScI) and G. Piotto (University of Padova, Italy)

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have, for the first time, collected a census of young white dwarf stars beginning their migration from the crowded centre of an ancient star cluster to its less populated outskirts. The new results challenge our ideas about how and when a star loses its mass near the end of its life. (read more)

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13
May 15

Auroras on Mars

Source: NASA Science News
splash1

In late Dec. 2014, NASA's MAVEN spacecraft detected evidence of widespread auroras in Mars's northern hemisphere.  The "Christmas Lights," as researchers called them, circled the globe and descended so close to the Martian equator that, if the lights had occurred on Earth, they would have been over places like Florida and Texas. (read more)

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5
May 15

Fire and Ice: A MESSENGER Recap

Source: NASA Science News

splash2

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft crashed into Mercury on April 30th, ending a years-long mission that made many unexpected discoveries about the innermost planet. Today's story summarizes some of MESSENGER's most surprising finds. (learn more)

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26
Apr 15

Celestial fireworks celebrate Hubble’s 25th anniversary

Source: ESA/Hubble Photo Release heic1509

heic1509a

The glittering tapestry of young stars flaring to life in this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image aptly resembles an exploding shell in a fireworks display. This vibrant image of the star cluster Westerlund 2 has been released to celebrate Hubble’s 25th year in orbit and a quarter of a century of new discoveries, stunning images and outstanding science.(learn more)

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20
Apr 15

ALMA Reveals Intense Magnetic Field Close to Supermassive Black Hole

Source: ESO Science Release eso1515

eso1515aArtist’s impression of a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy.
Image credits: ESO/L. Calçada

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has revealed an extremely powerful magnetic field, beyond anything previously detected in the core of a galaxy, very close to the event horizon of a supermassive black hole. This new observation helps astronomers to understand the structure and formation of these massive inhabitants of the centres of galaxies, and the twin high-speed jets of plasma they frequently eject from their poles. The results appear in the 17 April 2015 issue of the journal Science. (learn more)

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16
Apr 15

Death of giant galaxies spreads from the core — Hubble and VLT observations show that star formation shuts down in the centres of elliptical galaxies first

Source:ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1508

heic1508aImage credit:ESA/Hubble & NASA
Image acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt and J. Blakeslee (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory). Note that the image is not related to science release content.
Science acknowledgement: M. Carollo (ETH, Switzerland)

Astronomers have shown for the first time how star formation in "dead" galaxies sputtered out billions of years ago. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that three billion years after the Big Bang, these galaxies still made stars on their outskirts, but no longer in their interiors. The quenching of star formation seems to have started in the cores of the galaxies and then spread to the outer parts. The results will be published in the 17 April 2015 issue of the journal Science. (learn more)

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6
Apr 15

Colliding Stars Explain Enigmatic Seventeenth Century Explosion

Source: ESO Science Release eso1511

This chart of the position of a nova (marked in red) that appeared in the year 1670 was recorded by the famous astronomer Hevelius and was published by the Royal Society in England in their journal Philosophical Transactions. New observations made with APEX and other telescopes have now revealed that the star that European astronomers saw was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful analysis using submillimetre telescopes was needed before the mystery could finally be unravelled more than 340 years later.

This chart of the position of a nova (marked in red) that appeared in the year 1670 was recorded by the famous astronomer Hevelius and was published by the Royal Society in England in their journal Philosophical Transactions. New observations made with APEX and other telescopes have now revealed that the star that European astronomers saw was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful analysis using submillimetre telescopes was needed before the mystery could finally be unravelled more than 340 years later.

New observations made with APEX and other telescopes reveal that the star that European astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful analysis using submillimetre telescopes was needed before the mystery could finally be unravelled more than 340 years later. The results appear online in the journal Nature on 23 March 2015. (learn more)

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10
Mar 15

An Old-looking Galaxy in a Young Universe

Source: ESO Science Release eso1508

Location of the distant dusty galaxy  A1689-zD1 behind the galaxThe rich galaxy cluster Abell 1689. A1689-zD1, is located in the box — although it is still so faint that it is barely seen in this picture. Image credits: NASA; ESA; L. Bradley (Johns Hopkins University); R. Bouwens (University of California, Santa Cruz); H. Ford (Johns Hopkins University); and G. Illingworth (University of California, Santa Cruz)

One of the most distant galaxies ever observed has provided astronomers with the first detection of dust in such a remote star-forming system and tantalising evidence for the rapid evolution of galaxies after the Big Bang. The new observations have used ALMA to pick up the faint glow from cold dust in the galaxy A1689-zD1 and used ESO’s Very Large Telescope to measure its distance. (learn more)

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10
Mar 15

Puzzling Bright Spots on Dwarf Planet Ceres

Source: NASA Science News

Ceres-bright-spotTwo views of Ceres acquired by Dawn  on Feb. 12, 2015, from a distance of about 83,000 kilometers as the dwarf planet rotated.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Researchers are puzzled by a number of bright spots on Ceres, which are coming into focus as NASA's Dawn spacecraft approaches the dwarf planet. (read more)

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9
Mar 15

Dawn’s Arrival at Ceres

Source: Dawn Mission Education and Communications


Note the timeline at upper right.

Dawn will enter Ceres' orbit on the first days of May 2015. This animation gives a three-dimensional view of Dawn’s complex approach to Ceres. The spacecraft deftly maneuvers into orbit with its ion propulsion system, flying to RC3 orbit, which is achieved when the thrust is turned off. (The size of Ceres is exaggerated compared to the size of the orbit here.) At the end, the viewpoint shifts to provide another perspective on the unique trajectory.

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7
Mar 15

Abell 2597: NASA's Chandra Observatory Finds Cosmic Showers Halt Galaxy Growth

Source: NASA /Chandra

a2597_w11Abell 2597. Image credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Michigan State Univ/G.Voit et al; Optical: NASA/STScI & DSS; H-alpha: Carnegie Obs./Magellan/W.Baade Telescope/U.Maryland/M.McDonald.

This galaxy cluster comes from a sample of over 200 that were studied to determine how giant black holes at their centers affect the growth and evolution of their host galaxy, as reported in our latest press release. This study revealed that an unusual form of cosmic precipitation enables a feedback loop of cooling and heating, stifling star formation in the middle of these galaxy clusters.

Abell 2597, shown here, is a galaxy cluster located about one thousand million light years from Earth. This image contains X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Digitized Sky Survey (yellow) and emission from hydrogen atoms (red) from the Walter Baade Telescope in Chile.

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7
Mar 15

20th EAAE Summer School 2015

EAAE Summer Schools for Teachers

London, England, 20th July to 24th July 2015.

The European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) is collaborating with the Royal Astronomical Society to organize the 20th EAAE Summer School for Teachers under the theme — Universe in the Classroom. The Summer School will take place from Monday 20th July 2015 to Friday 24th July, Burlington House, that is the home of the Royal Astronomical Society. Burlington House is located in the center of London near the Ritz Hotel, Fortnum & Masons and Eros in Piccadilly and shares the courtyard with the Royal Academy of Arts and their gallery.

The Summer School will explore several themes in astronomy didactic appropriate for teaching since very early ages until college.

Topics since Earth, Moon and Sun relations, atmospheres of the planets, basic concepts of astrophysics, brightness of variable and binary stars, and how do work astronomical imaging in the classroom are the topics of some of the workshops of the Summer School. Since 2015 is the International of Light and Light-based Technologies there will also be a specific workshop concerning the major physical phenomena and properties of light and their application in astronomy.

Highlights include an expedition to Greenwich and guest lectures by Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, Astronomer Royal (The next 20 years in Astronomy) and Prof. Martin Barstow, President of the Royal Astronomical Society (European Space Astronomy).

Astronomical observations are also programmed (if the weather conditions allow them). Astronomical lectures will be presented by lecturers from Universities and research centers. The registration fee is 100 (72.5 GBP) euros before the 1st of June 2015.

Between the 1st of June and the 1st of July registration fee will be 150 euros (108.5 GBP).

After this date registration fee will be 200 euros (145 GBP).

The fee covers all astronomical activities and materials. The meals, transport and accommodation are on the participant’s responsibility and not included in the fee. If participants want a sandwich lunch the price for the 4 days (except Greenwich day) is 27£.

The Summer School can have a maximum 60 participants.

This Summer School is done in Association with IAU and NASE.

Registration

Registration should be made using the form at the following link

http://goo.gl/forms/Hq3ttl1Du6

After making your registration the participation fee must transferred to the bank account with the following data

Holder                  EAAE
Bank                    Kreissparkasse München Starnberg BLZ 702 501 50
Account Number  10815850
IBAN                    DE21 7025 0150 0010 8158 50
Swift / BIC             BYLADEM1KMS

Your registration will only be complete when your fee is payed.

Important:

  • Fee before the 1st of June - 100 euros (72.5 GBP).
  • Fee from 1st of June to the 1st of July registration- 150 euros (108.5 GBP).
  • Fee after the 1st of July - 200 euros (145 GBP).
  •  Sandwich lunch for the 4 days  at the Royal Astronomical Society (except Greenwich day) is 27£.

 

Note for Erasmus+ applicants

To apply for Erasmus+, participants should apply on the Key Action 1 (KA1) — Learning mobility of individuals, and present the European Association for Astronomy Education - EAAE as the course provider with the PIC 942480713. If required EAAE will provide a provisional registration to applicants.

Provisional Timetable

Monday

20 July

Tuesday

21 July

Wednesday

22 July

Thursday

23 July

Friday

24 July

09:00/10:30 Introduction
and Opening S
Workshop 3 Greenwich Day
Introduction
Workshop 6 Workshop 9
10:30/10:45 Tea/coffee Tea/coffee Departure for
Greenwich
Tea/coffee Tea/coffee
10:45/12:15 Workshop 1 Workshop 4 Greenwich Workshop 7 Workshop 10
12:15/13:30 Lunch Lunch Greenwich Lunch Lunch
13:30/14:30 Lecture 1 Lecture 2 Greenwich  LEcture 3
M. Rees
 Short
presentations
14:30/14:45 Tea/coffee Tea/coffee Greenwich Tea/coffee Tea/coffee
14:45/16:15 Workshop 2 Workshop 5 Greenwich Workshop 8  Assessment and
closing S
17:00  Walking Tour 1  Walking Tour 2

 

Lectures

  1. The Next 20 years in Astronomy, Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal.
  2. European Space Astronomy, Martin Barstow, President, RAS.
  3. Odysseus, Alexandre da Costa, President, EAAE.

Topics of Workshops

  1. International year of light, Alexandre da Costa.
  2. Chemical Travel trough planetary atmospheres. Episode I, Josep Coromines.
  3. Chemical travel trough planetary atmospheres. Episode II, Josep Coromines.
  4. Parallel Earth, Rosa M. Ros.
  5. Sun and stars in our sky – a demonstrator, Sakari Ekko.
  6. Solar demonstrators, Rosa M. Ros.
  7. Brightness of variable and binary stars, Ederlinda Viñuales Gavín.
  8. What causes the seasons on Earth? Seasons on other planets in the Solar System, Ederlinda Viñuales Gavín.
  9. Astronomical imaging in the classroom, Alexandre da Costa.
  10. Astrophysics The Basics, Alan Pickwick.

 

 

Address of Venue.

The Royal Astronomical Society
Burlington House
Piccadilly
London
W1J 0BQ

Google Longitude and latitude:  51.508645, -0.139134

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6
Mar 15

An explosive quartet

Source: ESA/Hubble

heic1505aGalaxy cluster MACS j1149.5+223 and a supernova four times over.
Image credits:NASA, ESA, S. Rodney (John Hopkins University, USA) and the FrontierSN team; T. Treu (University of California Los Angeles, USA), P. Kelly (University of California Berkeley, USA) and the GLASS team; J. Lotz (STScI) and the Frontier Fields team; M. Postman (STScI) and the CLASH team; and Z. Levay (STScI)

.

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have, for the first time, spotted four images of a distant exploding star. The images are arranged in a cross-shaped pattern by the powerful gravity of a foreground galaxy embedded in a massive cluster of galaxies. The supernova discovery paper will appear on 6 March 2015 in a special issue of Science celebrating the centenary of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity.(learn more)

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5
Mar 15

Subtracting Gravity from Alzheimer's

Credit: NASA Science News

The key to unraveling the mysterious cause of Alzheimer’s disease may not lie in the recesses of the human brain, but rather in the weightless expanse of space.

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2
Mar 15

Celebrate the Hubble anniversary with a video contest!

Source: ESA/Hubble

On 23 April 2015, the European Space Agency together with NASA celebrate 25 years since the Hubble Space Telescope has been in orbit! We would like to invite you to join the celebrations by promoting an excellent opportunity to engage your students.

The ESA/Hubble Ode to Hubble competition lets anyone inspired by Hubble express their feelings or share their ideas in a creative and innovative way by creating an original short video. Invite your students to get creative and they could win a piece of Hubble!

OdeHubble

As long as it can be uploaded as a YouTube, Vine and Instagram video less than three minutes long participants can submit anything. Pan over a drawing, scroll over a poem or text, film your own Hubblecast, film yourself performing or talking about a Hubble topic, create an animation or compose a piece of music and upload it as a video piece. It just has to be innovative, creative and, most of all, inspired by Hubble, or one of its great discoveries or images.

Categories

There are two categories for the competition.

with each having five runners up and one winner. If you don’t create a piece of your own, you can still get involved by crowd-judging the entries to whittle the selection down to a shortlist.

Prizes

The two winners will receive the once-in-a-lifetime prize of a section of Hubble’s solar array mounted in perspex. These little pieces of Hubble are part of the huge solar arrays that spent 3 years orbiting the Earth, giving Hubble its power, until they were replaced in 1993. The winners will also receive a metal-backed copy of the 25th anniversary image signed by astronomers and astronauts who have worked on Hubble. The two winning videos will be featured in our special “Ode to Hubble” Hubblecast. The producers of the five shortlisted videos for each category will receive the wonderful book The Universe through the Eyes of Hubble and their videos will be hosted on the spacetelescope.org website.

Important dates

  • Submit your video by 12 March 2015! (11:59pm CEST)
  • Starting 13 March 2015 crowd-vote the entries until 1 April 2015!
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4
Feb 15

New infrared view of the Trifid Nebula reveals new variable stars far beyond

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1504

Image cVISTA views the Trifid Nebula and reveals hidden variable starsVISTA views the Trifid Nebula and reveals hidden variable stars.
Image credit: ESO/VVV consortium/D. Minniti

A new image taken with ESO’s VISTA survey telescope reveals the famous Trifid Nebula in a new and ghostly light. By observing in infrared light, astronomers can see right through the dust-filled central parts of the Milky Way and spot many previously hidden objects. In just this tiny part of one of the VISTA surveys, astronomers have discovered two unknown and very distant Cepheid variable stars that lie almost directly behind the Trifid. They are the first such stars found that lie in the central plane of the Milky Way beyond its central bulge. (learn more)

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28
Jan 15

Cometary globule CG4 aka the Mouth of the Beast

Source: Photo Release eso1503

VLT image of the cometary globule CG4VLT image of the cometary globule CG4.
Image credits:ESO

Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this new image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Although it appears to be big and bright in this picture, this is actually a faint nebula, which makes it very hard for amateur astronomers to spot. The exact nature of CG4 remains a mystery.(read more)

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27
Jan 15

The Rolling Hills of Mercury

Friday_January_23
This incredible image attests to how the MESSENGER spacecraft is now able to resolve Mercury's surface: with a resolution of a little more than five meters (seventeen feet) per pixel, a person of average walking pace could cross this scene in about an hour. The image shows the fine texture on the inner wall of an unnamed impact basin 100 km (62 mi.) in diameter, situated immediately west of the larger Dali basin. Both this basin and its larger neighbor are filled with smooth plains and deformed by lobate scarps and wrinkle ridges.
This image was acquired as a high-resolution targeted observation. Targeted observations are images of a small area on Mercury's surface at resolutions much higher than the 200-meter/pixel morphology base map. It is not possible to cover all of Mercury's surface at this high resolution, but typically several areas of high scientific interest are imaged in this mode each week.
The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. In the mission's more than three years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.
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