22
Jul 14
18
Jul 14

Rosetta's comet may be a contact binary

Rosetta_OSIRIS_NAC_comet_67P_20140714_625

Image credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Credit: NASA Science News

New images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko show that the target of ESA's Rosetta probe is no ordinary comet.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, was imaged on 14 July 2014 by OSIRIS, Rosetta's scientific imaging system, from a distance of approximately 12 000 km (image on the right).

The image suggests that the comet may consist of two parts: one segment seems to be rather elongated, while the other appears more bulbous.(learn more)

 

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16
Jul 14

New Horizons only one year away from Pluto

Source: NASA Science News

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is only a year away from Pluto. Researchers are buzzing with anticipation as NASA prepares to encounter a new world for the first time in decades.(read more)

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7
Jul 14

NameExoWorlds - Help decide the names of planets orbiting other stars

unnamed-exoplanets
Image Credit: IAU / M. Kornmesser / N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

The International Astronomical Union has unveiled a worldwide contest, NameExoWorlds, which gives the public a role in naming planets and their host stars beyond the solar system. This contest is creating some controversy. Nonetheless, it is an interesting contest for teachers to work with their students. (learn more)

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4
Jul 14

Saturn's moon Titan has a very salty ocean

Credits: NASA Science News

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Titan's ice shell, which overlies a very salty ocean, varies in thickness around the moon.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/SSI/Univ. of Arizona/G. Mitri/University of Nantes

Scientists analyzing data from NASA’s Cassini mission have found evidence of an ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, which might be as salty as the Earth's Dead Sea.(learn more)

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3
Jul 14

A Stellar Womb Shaped and Destroyed by its Ungrateful Offspring

Credit: ESO Photo Release eso1420

The Gum 15 star formation region
The Gum 15 star formation region.
Image credit: ESO

The little-known cloud of cosmic gas and dust called Gum 15 is the birthplace and home of hot young stars. Beautiful and deadly, these stars mould the appearance of their mother nebula and, as they progress into adulthood, will eventually also be the death of her. (learn more)

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11
Mar 14

Concerns and Considerations with the Naming of Mars Craters

Source: IAU-iau1402-News Release

iau1402a

Recently initiatives that capitalise on the public’s interest in space and astronomy have proliferated, some putting a price tag on naming space objects and their features, such as Mars craters. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) would like to emphasise that such initiatives go against the spirit of free and equal access to space, as well as against internationally recognised standards. Hence no purchased names can ever be used on official maps and globes. The IAU encourages the public to become involved in the naming process of space objects and their features by following the officially recognised (and free) methods.(read more)

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8
Mar 14

A Telescope Bigger than a Galaxy

Source: Science@NASA

Astronomers have figured out how to use the gravity of distant galaxies to bend light and magnify images, forming gigantic telescopes that see deeper into the cosmos than ever before.

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7
Mar 14

Crashing Comets Explain Surprise Gas Clump Around Young Star

Source: ESO Science Release eso1408

eso1408a
Artist's impression of Beta Pictoris.
Image credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/F. Reddy

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in northern Chile have today announced the discovery of an unexpected clump of carbon monoxide gas in the dusty disc around the star Beta Pictoris. This is a surprise, as such gas is expected to be rapidly destroyed by starlight. Something — probably frequent collisions between small, icy objects such as comets — must be causing the gas to be continuously replenished. The new results are published today in the journal Science.(read more)

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6
Mar 14

Hubble witnesses an asteroid mysteriously disintegrating

Source: ESA/Hubble heic1405

heic1405a
Asteroid P/2013 R3 breaks apart.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, D. Jewitt (UCLA).

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the never-before-seen break-up of an asteroid, which has fragmented into as many as ten smaller pieces. Although fragile comet nuclei have been seen to fall apart as they approach the Sun, nothing like the breakup of this asteroid, P/2013 R3, has ever been observed before in the asteroid belt.(read more)

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5
Mar 14

First Light for MUSE

Source: ESO-eso1407

eso1407a
MUSE views the strange galaxy NGC 4650A.
Image credits: ESO/MUSE consortium/R. Bacon/L. Calçada.

A new innovative instrument called MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) has been successfully installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MUSE has observed distant galaxies, bright stars and other test targets during the first period of very successful observations. (read more)

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5
Mar 14

ESA Summer Workshop for Teachers 2014

Source: ESA

This year ESA is once again organising a summer workshop for secondary school teachers of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related subjects. The workshop  will be held at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), located in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, from 21 - 25 July 2014. (learn more)

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4
Mar 14

Spiral galaxy spills blood and guts

Source: ESA/Hubble-HEIC1404

heic1404aNew Hubble image of spiral galaxy ESO 137-001.
Image credits: NASA, ESA. Acknowledgements: Ming Sun (UAH), and Serge Meunier

This new Hubble image shows spiral galaxy ESO 137-001, framed against a bright background as it moves through the heart of galaxy cluster Abell 3627. This cluster is violently ripping the spiral’s entrails out into space, leaving bright blue streaks as telltale clues to this cosmic crime. (read more)

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21
Feb 14

Biggest metor impact on the Moon recorded.

The University of Huelva has released (see above) images of the high-speed impact of a wayward space rock on the surface of the moon last year triggered the brightest lunar explosion ever seen, scientists say.

Video footage of the record-breaking meteorite strike on the moon, which occurred on Sept. 11, 2013 and was unveiled today (Feb. 24), shows a long flash that was almost as bright as the North Star Polaris. That means the boulder-sized meteorite's lunar crash could have been visible to anyone on Earth who happened to be staring up at the moon at 8:07 p.m. GMT, weather permitting.

The following video is a simulation of the chain of events that leaded to the impact.

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13
Jan 14

Unravelling the web of a cosmic creeply-crawly

Source: Photo Release heic1402

heic1402a
New Hubble infrared view of the Tarantula Nebula.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, E. Sabbi (STScI)

his new Hubble image is the best-ever view of a cosmic creepy-crawly known as the Tarantula Nebula, a region full of star clusters, glowing gas, and dark dust. Astronomers are exploring and mapping this nebula as part of the Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project, in a bid to try to understand its starry anatomy.(read more)

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10
Jan 14

Pandora's magnifying glass — First image from Hubble's Frontier Fields

Source: ESA/Hubble Photo Release heic1401

heic1401a
Hubble Frontier Fields view of Abell 2744.Image credits:NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, and the HFF Team (STScI).

This image of Abell 2744 is the first to come from Hubble's Frontier Fields observing programme, which is using the magnifying power of enormous galaxy clusters to peer deep into the distant Universe. Abell 2744, nicknamed Pandora's Cluster, is thought to have a very violent history, having formed from a cosmic pile-up of multiple galaxy clusters. (read more)

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6
Jan 14

ALMA Spots Supernova Dust Factory

Source: ESO eso1401eso1401aComposite image of Supernova 1987A.
Image credits: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/A. Angelich. Visible light image: the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. X-Ray image: The NASA Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Striking new observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope capture, for the first time, the remains of a recent supernova brimming with freshly formed dust. If enough of this dust makes the perilous transition into interstellar space, it could explain how many galaxies acquired their dusty, dusky appearance. (read more)

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31
Dec 13

EAAE elected Executive Council and Working Group Chairpersons at General Assembly

At the end of the EAAE Winter School held in Enontekio, Finland, the EAAE General Assembly has elected, on December 30th, the members  of the Executive Council

The new Executive Council da EAAE has the following composition:

Alexandre Costa (Portugal) - President
Veselka Radeva (Bulgaria) - Vice-President
Alan Pickwick (UK) - Treasurer
Cristina Pallici di Suni (Italy) - Secretary
Miguel Neta (Portugal) - Editor/Webmaster
Ederlinda Viñuales (Spain) - Member of the board
Irma Hannula (Finland) - Member of the board
Janet Hilton (UK) - Member of the board
Sakari Ekko (Finland) - Member of the board

By proposal of the new EAAE President the former President Rosa Maria Ros was nominated Honorary President, an honour only given to Richard West (former Director of ESO) and Ferdinand Wagner (President of the EAAE between 2002 and 2009) in the past.

The EAAE General Assembly also decided which would be the active Working Groups for the next  three years and selected their Chairpersons from people that have an historical relation in the work with these working groups.
The Working Groups Coordination was established as follows:
Ederlinda Viñuales (Spain) - Chairperson of WG1 - School Projects
Luana Fogli (Italy) - Chairperson of WG2 - Teacher's Network
Rosa Maria Ros (Spain) - Chairperson of WG3 - Teacher Summer Schools

The General Assembly wished the best of luck to all the new members in promoting the education of Astronomy in Europe.

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29
Dec 13

Dwarf Planet Ceres - 'A Game Changer in the Solar System'

Credits: Space Daily

ceres-dawn

In March of 2015, NASA's Dawn mission will arrive at the dwarf planet Ceres, the first of the smaller class of planets to be discovered and the closest to Earth. Ceres, which orbits the Sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is a unique body in the Solar System, bearing many similarities to Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus, both considered to bepotential sources for harboring life. (read more)

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27
Dec 13

Birth of black hole kills the radio star

Source: Space Daily

art-dark-gamma-ray-burst-lg

Perth, Australia (SPX) Dec 27, 2013 - Astronomers led by a Curtin University researcher have discovered a new population of exploding stars that "switch off" their radio transmissions before collapsing into a Black Hole. These exploding stars use all of their energy to emit one last strong beam of highly energetic radiation - known as a gamma-ray burst - before they die.(learn more)

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