Jun 11

NASA flights seek to improve view of air pollution from Space

Source: NASA/Discover-AQ

Image credit: NASA.

Two NASA research airplanes will fly over the Baltimore-Washington region and northeast Maryland this summer as part of a mission to enhance the capability of satellites to measure ground-level air quality from space.

The campaign is called DISCOVER-AQ, which stands for Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality. It is one of the five Earth Venture class of investigations selected last year as part of NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder program. These targeted science investigations complement NASA's larger research missions.

A fundamental challenge for spaceborne instruments monitoring air quality is to distinguish between pollution high in the atmosphere and pollution near the surface where people live. The new NASA field campaign will make measurements from aircraft in combination with ground-based observation sites to help scientists better understand how to observe ground-level pollution from space in the future.(read more)

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Jun 11

The Flames of Betelgeuse — New image reveals vast nebula around famous supergiant star

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1121

The dramatic nebula around the bright red supergiant star Betelgeuse.
Image credit: ESO/P. Kervella

Using the VISIR instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have imaged a complex and bright nebula around the supergiant star Betelgeuse in greater detail than ever before. This structure, which resembles flames emanating from the star, is formed as the behemoth sheds its material into space.(read more)

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Jun 11

Pandora’s Cluster — A Galactic Crash Investigation

Source: ESO and ESA/Hubble

A team of scientists has studied the galaxy cluster Abell 2744, nicknamed Pandora’s Cluster.

They have pieced together the cluster’s complex and violent history using telescopes in space and on the ground, including ESO’s Very Large Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Abell 2744 seems to be the result of a simultaneous pile-up of at least four separate galaxy clusters and this complex collision has produced strange effects that have never been seen together before. (read more)

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Jun 11

Galileian School of Higher Education of Padua: Applications are open.

Submitted by Laura Abati

The  Galileian School of Higher Education is  the possibility  for some excellent students, selected by admission tests, to live in a very stimulating contest. Tutors, seminars, special internal courses, cultural exchanges, computer facilities should promote their personal and cultural better formation.

The goal is to allow, following the example of Galileo, an integrated learning method  in order to form a highly qualified international  group.

The School, is inspired by Galileo who was not only great Astronomer and mathematician, but also a fine  philosopher and a man of  literature, has beside a scientific group and a humanist.

The location is in  an old noble building  in the town of Padua. Students can live  there  (single rooms) and all the facilities are FREE.

The conditions and results are very good in the university and inners courses ( media Marks >- 27/30 , single examination>-24/30)

Each year 24 students are admitted. Up to now there are only Italian students but the new actual director , prof. Cesare Barbieri, will be glad to receive also some European students.

The GS has been active for 6 years but isn't spreadly known. Teachers should tell their students about this unique opportunity.

The main points that have to be fulfilled by the applicant is the he/she must be/have :

  • Excellent student
  • European
  • Age < 22
  • Enrolled at Padua university for the first time in scientific ( not only Astronomy) or humanistic  courses
  • Entrance examinations in English for not Italian students

TheGalilean School offers

  • FREE  accommodation ( single rooms) and
  • FREE facilities ( tutors, seminars, internal courses , computer)

Attention: The  APPLICATION DEADLINE  is  September 2nd, 2011.


Galileian School of Higher Education

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Jun 11

Cassini observes icy spray of Enceladus' water plumes

Source: NASA/Cassini

Plumes spray water ice out of the surface of Enceladus.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI.

Cassini spacecraft has discovered the best evidence yet for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn's moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft's direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon.

Data from Cassini's cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and usually low in salt far away from the moon. But closer to the moon's surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an "ocean-like" composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt-water. The findings appear in this week's issue of the journal Nature.(read more)

Related link: ESA

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Jun 11

Galileo network contracts signed at Le Bourget

Source: ESA

Two Galileo satellites.Image credits: © ESA - P. Carril

As Europe prepares for October’s launch of the first Galileo satellites, a worldwide ground network is being put in place. Contracts signed today at the Paris Air & Space Show cover satellite control and the systems needed to generate Galileo services.(read more)
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