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Topic: Astronomy

NASA’s Alice instrument aboard Rosetta spacecraft makes discovery on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Data collected by NASA’s Alice instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft reveal that electrons close to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko — not photons from the sun, as had been believed — cause the rapid breakup of water and carbon dioxide molecules spewing from the comet’s surface.

“The discovery we’re reporting is quite unexpected,” said Alan Stern, principal investigator for the Alice instrument at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado. “It shows us the value of going to comets to observe them up close, since this discovery simply could not have been made from Earth or Earth orbit with any existing or planned observatory. And, it is fundamentally transforming our knowledge of comets.”

This composite is a mosaic comprising four individual NAVCAM images taken from 19 miles (31 kilometers) from the center of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Nov. 20, 2014. (ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM)

This composite is a mosaic comprising four individual NAVCAM images taken from 19 miles (31 kilometers) from the center of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Nov. 20, 2014. (ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM)

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NASA says Space Telescopes may use Glitter Clouds to find new Worlds in the future

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – What does glitter have to do with finding stars and planets outside our solar system? Space telescopes may one day make use of glitter-like materials to help take images of new worlds, according to researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Standard telescopes use solid mirrors to image far-away objects. But the large, complex mirrors needed for astronomy can be quite expensive and difficult to construct. Their size and weight also add to the challenges of launching a space telescope in the first place.

This image shows white light reflected off of a glitter mirror onto a camera sensor. Researchers tested this in a laboratory as part of the concept of "Orbiting Rainbows," a low-cost solution for space telescope mirrors. (G. Swartzlander/Rochester Institute of Technology)

This image shows white light reflected off of a glitter mirror onto a camera sensor. Researchers tested this in a laboratory as part of the concept of “Orbiting Rainbows,” a low-cost solution for space telescope mirrors. (G. Swartzlander/Rochester Institute of Technology)

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NASA reports Planck and Herschel Space Telescopes used to find Galaxy Clusters

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – One telescope finds the treasure chest, and the other narrows in on the gold coins. Data from two European Space Telescope missions, Planck and Herschel, have together identified some of the oldest and rarest clusters of galaxies in the distant cosmos.

Planck’s all-sky images revealed the clumps of bright galaxies, while Herschel data allowed researchers to inspect the galactic gems more closely and confirm the discovery.

This map of the entire sky was captured by the European Space Agency's Planck mission. The band running through the middle corresponds to dust in our Milky Way galaxy. The black dots indicate the location of galaxy cluster candidates identified by Planck and subsequently observed by the European Space Agency's Herschel mission. (ESA and the Planck Collaboration/ H. Dole, D. Guéry & G. Hurier, IAS/University Paris-Sud/CNRS/CNES)

This map of the entire sky was captured by the European Space Agency’s Planck mission. The band running through the middle corresponds to dust in our Milky Way galaxy. The black dots indicate the location of galaxy cluster candidates identified by Planck and subsequently observed by the European Space Agency’s Herschel mission. (ESA and the Planck Collaboration/ H. Dole, D. Guéry & G. Hurier, IAS/University Paris-Sud/CNRS/CNES)

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Recharge with Nature, History and the Universe at Land Between The Lakes

 

Land Between the Lakes - LBLGolden Pond, KY – At Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, Woodlands Nature Station (NS), The Homeplace (HP), and Golden Pond Planetarium (PL) offer a variety of daily programs about nature, history, and the universe.

Special Events focus on a specific educational topic like preserving old-time music at the Homeplace’ s Pickin’ Party, unique wildlife at the Nature Station’s Cool and Crawly Critters Day, and the Planetarium’s FREE Astronomy Day.

LBL Aerial of North End Canal. (Land Between the Lakes)

LBL Aerial of North End Canal. (Land Between the Lakes)

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National Astronomy Day at LBL’s Golden Pond Planetarium

 

Land Between the Lakes - LBLGolden Pond, KY – Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area and the West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers (WKAA) will host National Astronomy Day on Saturday, May 10th, at the Golden Pond Planetarium, located at the Golden Pond Visitor Center, from 12:00pm-4:00pm.

Enjoy FREE, full-dome, digital, surround sound planetarium shows at 10:00am and 11:00am, and 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, and 4:00pm. A Star Party will take place at the Observatory after dark, weather permitting. «Read the rest of this article»

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope discovers Asteroid with six tails similar to a Comet

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Astronomers viewing our solar system’s asteroid belt with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have seen for the first time an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust. Designated P/2013 P5, the asteroid resembles a rotating lawn sprinkler.

“We were literally dumbfounded when we saw it,” said lead investigator David Jewitt of the University of California at Los Angeles. “Even more amazing, its tail structures change dramatically in just 13 days as it belches out dust. That also caught us by surprise. It’s hard to believe we’re looking at an asteroid.”

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope set of images reveals a never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt, designated P/2013 P5.

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope set of images reveals a never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt, designated P/2013 P5.

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Tennessee State Park Events starting June 11th, 2013

 

Tennessee State ParksTennessee – As you make plans for the coming weekend, consider the recreational quality and outstanding value of Tennessee State Parks. From hiking to swimming to golfing to canoeing – most activities are free and there’s something for every age and ability.

Some upcoming Tennessee State Parks events are: Looking Back: The Civil War in TN, Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals and Astronomy Weekends.

Finding a state park in your own backyard is easy to do and you don’t have to spend a lot of gas money to get there!

Here are just a few state park events in your area. «Read the rest of this article»

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Tennessee State Park Events starting June 7th, 2013

 

Tennessee State ParksTennessee – As you make plans for the coming weekend, consider the recreational quality and outstanding value of Tennessee State Parks. From hiking to swimming to golfing to canoeing – most activities are free and there’s something for every age and ability.

Some upcoming Tennessee State Parks events are: Astronomy Weekends, Youth Fishing Rodeo, Appalachian Heritage Fair and more.

Finding a state park in your own backyard is easy to do and you don’t have to spend a lot of gas money to get there!

Here are just a few state park events in your area. «Read the rest of this article»

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Austin Peay State University Student Heading to Famous CERN Lab this Summer

 

Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TNThe tunnel, which is more than 16 miles long, is buried some 300 feet underground in the suburbs of Geneva, Switzerland. Back in 2008, a few nervous individuals worried the long, circular corridor might end up destroying the planet.

That’s because scientists planned to smash subatomic particles together in that hidden laboratory to recreate the “big bang” that spawned the universe. A handful of doomsdayers worried the researchers might instead create a miniature black hole.

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NASA releases Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday

 

NASA is so sure the world won’t come to an end on December 21st, 2012, they have already released this news item for the day after.

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – If you’re reading this story, it means one thing:  The World Didn’t End Yesterday.

According to media reports of an ancient Maya prophecy, the world was supposed to be destroyed on December 21st, 2012.

Apparently not.

“The whole thing was a misconception from the very beginning,” says Dr. John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy. “The Maya calendar did not end on December 21st, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date.”

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