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Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter A close-up look at the Sun on the last day of 2011, showing impressive multiple prominences with sunspots AR1389 at the eastern limb. Credit: Efrain Morales Rivera, Jaicoa Observatory
Let’s turn our attention today to our nearest neighbor, Mars. We talk about objects in the universe, so distant, as if they were within our reach. While Mars is within our reach, sort of, it’s also still distant and mysterious. NASA image, from my files.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter Hazy Titan and the smaller, cloudless Dione seen on December 10, 2011 by the Cassini spacecraft. (NASA/JPL/SSI/J. Major)
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) with minor satellite galaxy M32 Beginning around 2005, astronomers began discovering the presence of very large galaxies at a distance of around 10 billion lightyears. But while these galaxies were large, they didn’t appear to have a similarly large number of formed stars. Given that astronomers expect galaxies to grow through mergers and mergers tend to trigger star formation, the presence of such large, undeveloped galaxies seemed odd.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter Cassini View Of Saturn - Credit: Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Discovered by the Cassini mission, Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR) has been something of an enigma to astronomers. According to the radio and plasma wave instruments, variations occur in sync with the planet’s rotation. However, there are periodic “bursts” of radiation which are in line with Saturn’s magnetosphere .
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter If you like math, music and space (separately or in any combination) you’re gonna love this.
Titan is one of the solar system’s coldest places, but that hasn’t stopped Saturn’s largest moon from being incredibly dynamic. A collection of 13 new studies about Titan show previously undetected craters and river deltas, and provide improved maps of its surface and interior. They also reveal new details about the moon’s mysterious 29.5-Earth-year-long seasonal cycle (the equivalent of one year on Saturn, which orbits the sun at a distance of 890 million miles). “We’re really starting to see quite a lot of profound changes on Titan,” said planetary scientist Ralph Lorenz at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter Three people enjoy the summer sky over the Delaware river, NJ, USA in August 2006. Image Credit: Wikimedia.org It’s a great time to be an amateur astronomer! Nowadays, “backyard” astronomers armed with affordable CCD imagers, high-quality tracking mounts, inexpensive PC’s and the internet at their fingertips are making real contributions to Astronomy science.
Ten years ago on March 1, the European Space Agency launched an 8-ton satellite called Envisat that would deliver back to Earth some of the most beautiful images of our planet taken from space. Since then, Envisat has orbited Earth more than 50,000 times and has lived twice as long as planned. The satellite has more than seven instruments on board that can use radar to see through clouds, capture ocean color and land cover, monitor the ozone layer and atmospheric pollutants, measure thermal-infrared radiation, and register surface topography.
The view of Earth from space has transformed our understanding of, as well as our admiration for, the planet. The data and images collected by Earth-observing satellites have been used in thousands of scientific papers, helped us better respond to natural disasters, improved weather and climate forecasts, enlightened us about our impact on Earth and captivated us with beauty. One of the stars of NASA's fleet of satellites is Aqua. The satellite is named for its ability to measure water vapor in the atmosphere, water in the oceans, as well as ice and snow. When it was launched on May 4, 2002 , scientists expected it to work for three to five years. But its six instruments have been functioning perfectly for 10 years, gathering 29 million gigabytes of data in that time.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter San Souci lighthouse and the perigee Moon, in the Dominican Republic.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter 22 years ago today, the Hubble Space Telescope launched into orbit. After overcoming initial problems, Hubble has gone on to become legendary, helping scientists to rewrite astronomy textbooks. To celebrate Hubble’s 22nd anniversary, here’s a slideshow from ESA’s Hubblecast that shows some of the best images from over two decades in orbit, set to specially commissioned music. Here’s a list of the images shown and their descriptions: 1990: Saturn Among the first images to be sent back from Hubble after its launch in April 1990, this image of Saturn is good by the standards of ground-based telescopes, but slightly blurry.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter A first look from GRAIL, showing the lunar far side! A camera aboard ‘Ebb’ — one of NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar spacecraft has returned its first unique view of the far side of the Moon. The camera is the MoonKAM, which is part of a special program for students to study the Moon. “The quality of the video is excellent and should energize our MoonKAM students as they prepare to explore the Moon,” said Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator.
NASA's Fermi Telescope Finds Giant Structure in our Galaxy View briefing materials related to this feature here . WASHINGTON -- NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way. The feature spans 50,000 light-years and may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our galaxy.
A stunning new time-lapse video shows off the movements of both the stars and our home planet as seen from the International Space Station. While other videos have mostly focused on the nighttime Earth rolling by , photographer Alex Rivest wanted to highlight something new. He enhanced publicly available data from NASA’s Johnson Space Center to focus each shot on the background moving stars.