Space Calendar July 30 – August 6 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for July 30 – August 6 2008. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

Space Calendar July 23 – July 29 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for July 23 – July 29 2008. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

Space Calendar July 16 – July 22 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for July 16 – July 22 2008. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

Telescope Launches to Scout for High-Energy Action

NASA launched a telescope today that will scour the skies for the most intense and violent phenomena in the universe.

The next-generation gamma ray telescope will track high energy radiation. These photons of light are so jacked with power they register not by bouncing off a mirror but by blasting into bits of matter and antimatter.

It is the job of GLAST — the Gamma Ray Large Area Telescope — to sort through the particles and figure out where they came from. The observatory, which weighs nearly 5 tons, launched aboard an unmanned Delta rocket at 12:05 a.m. ET today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

Hubble’s Sweeping View of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captures the magnificent starry population of the Coma
Cluster of galaxies, one of the densest known galaxy collections in the universe.
The Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys viewed a large portion of the cluster,
spanning several million light-years across. The entire cluster contains thousands of
galaxies in a spherical shape more than 20 million light-years in diameter.

Hubble's Sweeping View of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

GLAST Telescope to Watch for High-Energy Action

It has been eight years since NASA’s Compton Gamma Ray Observatory fell from space after a productive and eye-opening mission to study the most intense and violent phenomena in the universe.

GLAST Telescope to Watch for High-Energy Action

This week, the U.S. space agency plans to launch a next-generation gamma ray telescope that can track even higher energy radiation. These photons of light are so jacked with power they register not by bouncing off a mirror but by blasting into bits of matter and antimatter.

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

Proposed Lunar Telescope Made From Moon Dust

A NASA scientist has a practical idea for building a telescope on the moon. Rather than flying one there, use the lunar soil to make one on site.

“We believe we have found a way to turn moon dust into a telescope,” said Peter Chen, with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Chen, an inventor who has been working with carbon-fiber materials to produce high-quality telescope mirrors, began experimenting with tiny tubes of carbon, called nanotubes, glue-like epoxies and crushed rock that resembles lunar dust.

“First we had something very gooey and smelly,” Chen told reporters at the American Astronomical Society meeting in St. Louis, Mo., last week. “Then we had this very hard, very stable material like concrete.”

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

Biggest Eyes on the Universe Get Makeover

In astronomy, size matters. And for decades radio astronomers have been able to boast that they had the largest telescopes on the planet.

Biggest Eyes on the Universe Get Makeover

They still do, with some now virtually the size of continents. But until recently the technology used to run them was getting pretty clunky and outdated.

An international effort is now underway to upgrade the world’s giant radio telescopes with 21st century technology. The improvements will increase their sensitivity up to 10 times, opening up whole new heavenly realms. At the same time, new and more specialized radio telescope arrays are being built to peer into the universe’s earliest star-forming era.

21st Century Radio

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

White Dwarf Lost in Planetary Nebula

Call it the case of the missing dwarf.

White Dwarf Lost in Planetary Nebula

A team of stellar astronomers is engaged in an interstellar CSI (crime scene investigation). They have two suspects, traces of assault and battery, but no corpse.

The southern planetary nebula SuWt 2 is the scene of the crime, some 6,500 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Centaurus.

SuWt 2 consists of a bright, nearly edge-on glowing ring of gas. Faint lobes extend perpendicularly to the ring, giving the faintest parts of the nebula an hourglass shape.

These glowing ejecta are suspected to have been energized by a star that has now burned out and collapsed to a white dwarf. But the white dwarf is nowhere to be found.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar July 9 – July 15 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for July 9 – July 15 2008. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.