27
Aug 15

The wings of the butterfly

Source: ESA/Hubble Photo Release heic1518

heic1518aThe Twin Jet Nebula.
image credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

The shimmering colours visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula. The new image highlights the nebula’s shells and its knots of expanding gas in striking detail. Two iridescent lobes of material stretch outwards from a central star system. Within these lobes two huge jets of gas are streaming from the star system at speeds in excess of one million kilometres per hour. (read more)

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19
Aug 15

Sibling Stars

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1534

eso1534aThe rich star cluster IC 4651
Image credits: ESO

Open star clusters like the one seen here are not just perfect subjects for pretty pictures. Most stars form within clusters and these clusters can be used by astronomers as laboratories to study how stars evolve and die. The cluster captured here by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) at ESO’s La Silla Observatory is known as IC 4651, and the stars born within it now display a wide variety of characteristics. (read more)

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16
Aug 15

Eratosthenes measurements of September 2015 coming up

Presentation_Img0 Presentation_Img2 Presentation_Img3

logo_afa EratostenesBrasil

As in 2014, the EAAE has associated to the Physics Department José Juan Gambiagi, of Buenos Aires, IAU, the Asociación Física Argentina and the Projeto Eratostenes Brasil to perform a worldwide Eratostenes Experiment using data from schools all around the world.

To allow the simultaneous participation of schools from northern and southern hemispheres that have different school calendars, the experiment shall be reproduced on the autumn equinox that will occur on September 23rd , 2015.

On a window of dates between September 14th and September 25th, 2015 the schools must measure the shadow of the Sun as it passes the local meridian, as explained on the links on the left side of the webpage.

EAAE has performed this Experiment in the past with students all around Europe in 1997 and in 2010, and this year's event marks the beginning of the annual basis of the project in EAAE's strategy. The Physics Department José Juan Gambiagi, of Buenos Aires, that has been performing this experiment in South America in the last years (learn more at http://df.uba.ar/eratostenes) and will be responsible for the database of all measurements.

To make your registration plese visit http://www.eaae-astronomy.org/eratosthenes/ and use the links on the left side for registration in English, Spanish or Portuguese. Registrations will be available until September 1st 2015.

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11
Aug 15

Perseid Meteor Shower

Source: NASA Science News

This week, Earth passes through a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Forecasters say the show could be especially good because the Moon is nearly new when the shower peaks on Aug. 12-13.

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10
Aug 15

Charting the Slow Death of the Universe

Source: ESO Organisation Release eso1533

This composite picture shows how a typical galaxy appears at different wavelengths in the GAMA survey. This huge project has measured the energy output of more than 200 000 galaxies and represents the most comprehensive assessment of the energy output of the nearby Universe. The results confirm that the energy produced in a section of the Universe today is only about half what it was two billion years ago and find that this fading is occurring across all wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the far infrared.

                This composite picture shows how a typical galaxy appears at different wavelengths in the GAMA survey.             Image credits: ICRAR/GAMA and ESO

An international team of astronomers studying more than 200 000 galaxies has measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever before. This represents the most comprehensive assessment of the energy output of the nearby Universe. They confirm that the energy produced in a section of the Universe today is only about half what it was two billion years ago and find that this fading is occurring across all wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the far infrared. The Universe is slowly dying. (learn more)

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6
Aug 15

The Ghost of a Dying Star

Source: Photo Release eso1532

eso1532aThe planetary nebula ESO 378-1.Image credits: ESO.

This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying star. This is the best view of the little-known object ESO 378-1 yet obtained and was captured by ESO's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile. (learn more).

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2
Aug 15

Stormy seas in Sagittarius

Source: ESA/Hubble heic1517

heic1517aNew Hubble view of the Lagoon Nebula.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, J. Trauger (Jet Propulson Laboratory).

Some of the most breathtaking views in the Universe are created by nebulae — hot, glowing clouds of gas. This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the centre of the Lagoon Nebula, an object with a deceptively tranquil name. The region is filled with intense winds from hot stars, churning funnels of gas, and energetic star formation, all embedded within an intricate haze of gas and pitch-dark dust. (learn more)

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26
Jul 15

EAAE Summer School held in London

Held at Burlington House the home of the Royal Astronomical Society, EAAE's 2oth Summer School was moment for sharing didactic material and personal experiences for all teachers present.

IMG_4694Josep Colomines presented two  workshops about planetary atmospheres with more than 10 simple demonstrations.

Visit to Greenwich Observatory was high moment as was the lecture given by the Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees.

Sir Martin ReesSir Martin Rees talked about the importance of Astronomy in the deveolpment of Science
along History and future perspectives in Astronomy and Space Exploration.

The teachers that attended the meeting said the what they appreciated more was:

  • The learning atmosphere
  • The enthusiasm of instructors
  • Visit to astronomical institutions

Bellow are presented some moments of the Summers School:

 IMG_4650IMG_4667
Building a simple paper spectrometer in the workshop about light and light technology in Astronomy.
IMG_4800Parallel Earth demonstration.
IMG_4892Seasons and sunlight demonstrator.
IMG_5237Workshop about Astronomical Imaging in the Classroom.
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24
Jul 15

Assembly of Galaxies in the Early Universe viewed for the First Time

Source: ESO Science Release eso1530

eso1530aALMA witnesses assembly of galaxy in early Universe.
Image credits: ESO/R. Maiolino.

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has been used to detect the most distant clouds of star-forming gas yet found in normal galaxies in the early Universe. The new observations allow astronomers to start to see how the first galaxies were built up and how they cleared the cosmic fog during the era of reionisation. This is the first time that such galaxies are seen as more than just faint blobs.(learn more)

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18
Jul 15

Huge New Survey to Shine Light on Dark Matter

Source: ESO Organisation Release eso1528

eso1528aImage credits: Kilo-Degree Survey Collaboration/A. Tudorica & C. Heymans/ESO.

The first results have been released from a major new dark matter survey of the southern skies using ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The VST KiDS survey will allow astronomers to make precise measurements of dark matter, the structure of galaxy halos, and the evolution of galaxies and clusters. The first KiDS results show how the characteristics of the observed galaxies are determined by the invisible vast clumps of dark matter surrounding them.(learn more)

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16
Jul 15

Jupiter Twin Discovered Around Solar Twin

Source: ESO Science Release eso1529

eso1529aArtist’s Impression of a Jupiter twin orbiting HIP 11915.
Image credits: ESO/L. Benassi.

An international group of astronomers has used the ESO 3.6-metre telescope to identify a planet just like Jupiter orbiting at the same distance from a Sun-like star, HIP 11915. According to current theories, the formation of Jupiter-mass planets plays an important role in shaping the architecture of planetary systems. The existence of a Jupiter-mass planet in a Jupiter-like orbit around a Sun-like star opens the possibility that the system of planets around this star may be similar to our own Solar System. HIP 11915 is about the same age as the Sun and, furthermore, its Sun-like composition suggests that there may also be rocky planets orbiting closer to the star. (learn more)

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15
Jul 15

Catch a Star Winners announced

The EAAE has announced the winners of Catch a Star.

The juri of the contest considered that "the level of the works presented by the students was very high" and this was an opportunity to see how well some schools are working all around Europe.

The list of the winners and their works can be found here.

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16
Jun 15

EAAE 20th Summer School - Last days at reduced fee

If you are an educator interested in didactical materials about astronomy the EAAE Summer School is the place to be between the 20th and the 24th Jul 2015.

Don't miss the last days at a reduced fee until July 1st 2015.

People wishing to mek short presentations should send their abstract to ros@ma4.upc.edu.

Waiting to see you there.

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9
Jun 15

Sharpest View Ever of Star Formation in the Distant Universe

Source: ESO Science Release eso1522

eso1522aMontage of the SDP.81 Einstein Ring and the lensed galaxy.
Image credits: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ)/Y. Tamura (The University
of Tokyo)/Mark Swinbank (Durham University)

ALMA’s Long Baseline Campaign has produced a spectacular image of a distant galaxy being gravitationally lensed. The image shows a magnified view of the galaxy’s star-forming regions, the likes of which have never been seen before at this level of detail in a galaxy so remote. The new observations are far sharper than those made using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and reveal star-forming clumps in the galaxy equivalent to giant versions of the Orion Nebula in the Milky Way. (read more)

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6
Jun 15

Hubble observes chaotic dance of Pluto’s moons

Source: ESA/Hubble

heic1512aThe chaotic spin of Pluto’s moon Nix.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, M. Showalter (SETI Inst.), G. Bacon (STScI).

In a new study, scientists have gathered all available NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope data on the four outer moons of Pluto to analyse the system in more depth than ever before. The observations show that at least two of Pluto’s moons are not neatly rotating on their axes but are in chaotic rotation while orbiting around Pluto and its companion Charon. The study also hints that one of the moons has a mysterious jet-black colouring. These surprising results appear in the 4 June issue of the journal Nature.(read more)

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2
Jun 15

Merging galaxies break radio silence

Source: ESA/Hubble

heic1511a

In the most extensive survey of its kind ever conducted, a team of scientists have found an unambiguous link between the presence of supermassive black holes that power high-speed, radio-signal-emitting jets and the merger history of their host galaxies. Almost all of the galaxies hosting these jets were found to be merging with another galaxy, or to have done so recently. The results lend significant weight to the case for jets being the result of merging black holes and will be presented in the Astrophysical Journal.(read more)

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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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