11
Mar 14

Concerns and Considerations with the Naming of Mars Craters

Source: IAU-iau1402-News Release

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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22
Dec 13

J075141 and J174140: Doubling Down With Rare White Dwarf Systems

Source: Chandra

The shortened names of a system that will evolve into a rare class of binary stars in the future.

In the middle of the twentieth century, an unusual star was spotted in the constellation of Canes Venatici (Latin for "hunting dogs"). Years later, astronomers determined that this object, dubbed AM Canum Venaticorum (or, AM CVn, for short), was, in fact, two stars. These stars revolve around each other every 18 minutes, and are predicted to generate gravitational waves - ripples in space-time predicted by Einstein. (learn more)

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22
Dec 13

RS Puppis puts on a spectacular light show

Credits: ESA/Hubble heic1323

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The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has observed the variable star RS Puppis over a period of five weeks, showing the star growing brighter and dimmer as it pulsates. These pulsations have created a stunning example of a phenomenon known as a light echo, where light appears to reverberate through the murky environment around the star.(read more)

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20
Dec 13

Radio Galaxy Zoo

Zooniverse has launched a new tool.

Earlier this year, Galaxy Zoo expanded to include the infrared. Now Radio Galaxy Zoo involves looking at galaxies in (yet) another light. This time we are asking you to match huge jets – seen in radio emission – to the supermassive black holes at the centre of the galaxy that produced them. This requires looking at the galaxies in infrared and radio wavelengths. These galaxies are not like our own, and your classifications will allow scientists to understand the causes of these erupting black holes and how they affect the galaxy surrounding them.

Zooniverse-radio

Get involved now at http://radio.galaxyzoo.org - and have fun discovering black holes in our Universe.

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17
Dec 13

General Assembly Announcement

According to the EAAE Statute it will be held the General Assembly at Enontekiö, Finland on Monday 30th December at 15:00.

 

Agenda for the General Assembly of the EAAE

Approval of the Minutes of the General Assembly held in Madrid on the 1st December 2009.

1)     Report of the President for the period 2010 to 2012 inclusive.

2)     Report of the Treasurer for the period 2010 to 2012 inclusive.

3)     Report of the Secretary for the period 2010 to 2012 inclusive.

4)     Report of the Web Master for the period 2010 to 2012 inclusive.

5)     Report on Summer and Winter Schools for the period 2010 to 2012 inclusive.

6)     Election of Officers and General Committee Members.

7)     Open discussion.

8)     Close of the General Assembly.

Each member can contribute to the discussion sending by e-mail the proposals :

to the national representatives or

to the President Rosa M. Ros (ros@ma4.upc.edu ) or

to the secretary Cristina Palici di Suni (palici@quadricom.org )

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15
Nov 13

Two Comets to Fly By Mercury on Nov. 18-19

Credits: NASA SCience News

On Nov. 18-19, two comets (ISON and Encke) are going to fly by the planet Mercury in quick succession. NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft will have a front-row seat for the rare double encounter.

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14
Nov 13

Hubble views an old and mysterious cluster

Source: ESA/Hubble

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New Hubble image of star cluster Messier 15.
Image credits:ESA and NASA

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the best ever image of the globular cluster Messier 15, a gathering of very old stars that orbits the centre of the Milky Way. This glittering cluster contains over 100 000 stars, and could also hide a rare type of black hole at its centre.(read more)

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