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Latest Observational astronomy Stories

4d6969e4faf27318423258a8dc3c0f541
2010-04-21 17:25:00

A NASA Boeing 747 carrying a German-made infrared telescope is ready to scan the skies for the first time. Project officials in a NASA hangar in Southern California's high desert showed off the 40,000-pound telescope on Tuesday. The telescope assembly is mounted in the rear of the former Pan Am jetliner.  A huge hatch opens during flight to allow the 98-inch-diameter telescope to view the sky. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is expected to capture its...

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2010-04-14 15:47:17

Light bounced off reflectors on the moon is fainter than expected and mysteriously dims even more whenever the moon is full. Astronomers think dust is a likely culprit, they report in a forthcoming issue of the journal Icarus. "Near full moon, the strength of the returning light decreases by a factor of ten," said first author Tom Murphy, associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego who leads an effort to precisely measure the distance from earth to moon by timing...

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2010-04-14 08:28:59

Radio astronomers at the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory have discovered a strange new object in a nearby galaxy. The object, which appeared very suddenly in radio wavelengths and shows no signs of going away, does not appear to be like anything that has been seen in the Milky Way.  Dr Tom Muxlow will present the discovery at the National Astronomy Meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday April 14th. The galaxy, known as M82, is 10 million light years away and is a stellar...

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2010-04-13 06:35:00

Mission engineers and scientists with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, a space telescope that has been beaming back pictures of galaxies for three times its design lifespan, are no longer planning science observations around one of its two ultraviolet detectors. "The remaining, near-ultraviolet detector is still busy probing galaxies both nearby and distant," said Kerry Erickson, the mission's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. "We've got lots of science data...

a30f932028898297ddc17e96522f2a331
2010-04-09 09:14:50

The Optical Dynamic Detection (ODD) solution provides a new and better way to detect explosives For anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in an urban setting, the scene of a bomb squad responding to a report of a suspicious package might be all too familiar. But just how is it determined that the lunchbox left under the park bench is just leftovers "“ or a lethal weapon? The most common way is spectroscopy. "Spectroscopy is good, but it only gets you so far," says Eric...

519d7e5ee817fa0a06610d7b9da255df
2010-04-01 15:40:00

If our eyes could see radio waves, the nearby galaxy Centaurus A (Cen A) would be one of the biggest and brightest objects in the sky, nearly 20 times the apparent size of a full moon. What we can't see when looking at the galaxy in visible light is that it lies nestled between a pair of giant radio-emitting gas plumes ejected by its supersized black hole. Each plume is nearly a million light-years long. NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope maps gamma rays, radiation that typically packs...

907a597338b96a0ad0d22b0bbecf80d61
2010-03-31 09:20:43

Two new infrared catalogues, containing more than 1.3 million celestial sources, are made public today. The AKARI All-Sky Catalogues, based on the first all-sky infrared survey in more than a quarter of a century, will provide important new data for a wide range of studies that cover topics ranging from the properties of nearby stars, to the formation of planetary systems, and the star formation history of the distant Universe. All-sky surveys are an essential tool for astronomers. The large...

d7b636a460f8b302ae29f43a0c182f7b1
2010-03-24 08:00:00

Our world is full of integrated semiconductor circuits, commonly known as microchips. Today you find them in computers, cars, mobile phones and in almost every electrical device. Technology from ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope will make these chips much smaller, faster and cheaper. The circuits are etched into today's microchips by ultraviolet light. The demand for faster and more powerful chips requires the use of extreme ultraviolet (EUV). Much smaller semiconductor circuits can be...

bbb21cf570efb5af0c886510b91a7fcf1
2010-03-20 16:00:00

When the sun sets on Saturday, March 20th, a special kind of night will fall across the Earth. It's an equal night. Or as an astronomer would say, "it's an equinox." It's the date when the sun crosses the celestial equator heading north. Spring begins in one hemisphere, autumn in the other. The day and night are of approximately equal length. To celebrate the occasion, Nature is providing a sky show. It begins as soon as the sky grows dark. The Moon materializes first, a fat crescent hanging...

186c36d82386c2617bc846363db12d41
2010-03-04 09:28:51

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has revealed the chemical fingerprints of potential life-enabling organic molecules in the Orion Nebula, a nearby stellar nursery in our Milky Way galaxy. This detailed spectrum, obtained with the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) - one of Herschel's three innovative instruments - demonstrates the gold mine of information that Herschel-HIFI will provide on how organic molecules form in space. The spectrum, one of the first to be obtained with...


Latest Observational astronomy Reference Libraries

Astrophysics
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: NGC 4414, a typical spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, is about 56,000 light-years in diameter and approximately 60 million light-years distant. Credit: NASA/ESA/Wikipedia What is Astrophysics? For much of the modern age the term Astrophysics has been used synonymously with Astronomy. This interchange is so common that many textbooks even offer the two as having the same meaning. However, from a strictly historical perspective there are differences...

45_894c6a813094d5c55029fadb762d4d57
2010-10-08 17:45:24

Radio telescopes, used in tracking and collecting data from satellites and space probes, are a form of directional radio antenna used in radio astronomy. They operate on the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum where they detect radio sources. Radio telescopes are large parabolic antennas used singly or in an array and are located far from major centers of population in order to avoid electromagnetic interference. Karl Guthe Jansky built the first radio antenna used to...

0_035f33139a46eac03f7b1ef5a5cd27be
2010-09-24 17:50:57

A telescope, designed to aid the observation of remote objects, collects some form of electromagnetic radiation (such as visible light). The Netherlands developed the first known practical telescope in the 17th century. The term "telescope" was termed in order to describe Galileo's instruments in 1611. However, Galileo was not the inventor of the telescope. It was Hans Lippershey, Zacharias Janssen, and Jacob Metius who are credited with the creation of the telescope. In 1668, Isaac Newton...

45_b90d45a4e7d89d873d39705549e516ce
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Sample Entry: Astronomy is the scientific study of stars, planets, comets, galaxies, and other phenomena that occur outside Earth's atmosphere (e.g. cosmic radiation). Astronomy deals with the evolution, physics, chemical makeup, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, and also the formation of the universe. The word Astronomy comes from the Greek words astron (meaning "star") and nomos (meaning "law"). Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Since the dawn of man, people always...

0_140be4f8b9e91033cecf670093b7e642
2009-04-28 11:47:36

The Reverend Thomas William Webb (December 14, 1807 "“ May 19, 1885) was a British astronomer and faithful clergyman. The lone son of a clergyman, the Rev. John Webb was raised and educated by his father in absence of his mother who died in Webb's early childhood. He travelled to Oxford to attend Magdalen College. Soon after, he was ordained a minister by the Anglican Church in 1829. In 1843, he married Henrietta Montague. Mrs. Webb died on September 7, 1884. Webb followed shortly...

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Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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