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Un trou dans l’espace. 11 mai 2010 La petite tache sombre en bordure de la zone verte visible en haut de cette image vient de donner du fil à retordre aux astronomes…Pensant qu’ils avaient affaire à un dense nuage de gaz et de poussière, ils ont braqué dans sa direction Herschel, certains que la vision infrarouge du télescope européen révèlerait sans peine ce qui se trouvait à l’intérieur du nuage.

Un trou dans l’espace

Quelle ne fut pas leur surprise lorsque Herschel livra cette image, où la tache est tout aussi noire ! Restait une seule explication : ce « nuage » est en réalité un trou ouvrant sur le vide de l’espace ! Ce sont probablement les jets émis par une jeune étoile qui ont creusé cette cavité d’une taille inattendue, certainement agrandie par les vents stellaires d’une étoile un peu plus âgée. Pour en savoir plus : CNES. 1ere lumière pour PILOT. New-found Earth-size Exoplanet Doomed. Artist’s impression of the planet Kepler-78b and its host star.

New-found Earth-size Exoplanet Doomed

Art by Karen Teramura (UHIfA) Astronomers announced this week that they have spotted a rocky Earth-size planet beyond our solar system, the smallest alien world accurately sized by observers to date. However, the super-hot planet is no second Earth, and according to theories, the distant world some 700 light-years away from Earth shouldn’t exist. The planet, Kepler-78b, was first discovered by its namesake NASA space telescope. The planet is about 20 percent larger than the Earth, with a diameter of 9,200 miles, and it weighs almost twice as much. Using the world’s largest ground-based telescopes, two independent research teams have now confirmed the planet’s mass and density by measuring “wobbles” of its sun-like host star, seen as the exoplanet orbits around it. 6 Sky Events This Week: Taurids, Lagoon, and Neptune.

The moon and Venus help guide sky-watchers this week to the Lagoon nebula.

6 Sky Events This Week: Taurids, Lagoon, and Neptune

Credit: N. A. Sharp, REU Program/NOAO/AURA/NSF Sky-watchers will see a sprinkling of shooting stars, bask under autumn’s brightest star pattern, and take a dip in a cosmic lagoon. Taurid meteors. A moonless night means darker skies, which promise to bring more of the five to ten shooting stars per hour into view this year. Cosmic queen. As the Big Dipper swoops low in the late autumn sky, Cassiopeia’s five stars in a zigzag-shape ride high overhead, on the other side of the North Star, Polaris. Locating this constellation is as simple as connecting the dots. The constellation Cassiopeia is easy to find for sky-watchers in the northern hemisphere in autumn, as it sits high in the northern evening sky and the Big Dipper can be used as a convenient guidepost.

Venus and moon. Lagoon nebula. Altair-Fomalhaut sandwich. Moon and Neptune. Tell us—what amazing sky phenomena have you seen lately? Best New Space Pictures: Jellyfish Wave, Moons Dance, and Sun Winks. 6 Sky Events This Week: Leonids, Green Giant and a Stellar Snow Globe. The brightest and nearest globular star cluster, to Earth, Messier 22, will be easy to track down thanks to Venus pointing the way this week.

6 Sky Events This Week: Leonids, Green Giant and a Stellar Snow Globe

Credit: N.A.Sharp, REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF A treasure-trove of celestial sights are on display this week, ranging from a double-dose of meteor showers, a green-giant planet and one of the most beautiful deep-space sights seen in the heavens. North Taurids Peak. Late night on Monday, November 11, and during the following morning, the North Taurid meteor shower peaks.

Individual meteors will appear to radiate out from the shower’s namesake constellation Taurus, the Bull, which will be riding high in the south for mid-northern latitude regions. Moon and Uranus. The green giant will appear less than 3 degrees from the moon—equal to six full moons side-by-side. With the glare from the nearby moon, binoculars will be your best bet for spotting Uranus. Venus and M22. Comet ISON Update. ISON now shines between magnitude 8 to 9 in the constellation Virgo. CNES - Photos du journal. CNES - Photos du journal. Chasseur de débris spatiaux - JDE Juillet 2010.