Space Calendar December 1 – December 7 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for December 1 – December 7 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.

Hubble Spills Star’s Secret: They’re Triplets

Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have figured out a massive star that’s helping to erode a giant glob of gas in the Carina Nebula is actually a set of triplets.

Hubble Spills Star's Secret: They're Triplets

The star, known as Tr16-244, resides in a cluster in the Carina Nebula, a region rich with gas and dust located about 7,500 light-years from Earth. The nebula is home to some of the youngest, hottest stars in the universe, including Eta Carinae, a massive blue star that is one of the brightest and most luminous stars ever discovered.

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

Hubble Resolves Puzzle about Loner Starburst Galaxy

Astronomers have long puzzled over why a small, nearby, isolated galaxy is pumping out new stars faster than any galaxy in our local neighborhood.

Hubble Resolves Puzzle about Loner Starburst Galaxy

Now NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers solve the mystery of the loner starburst galaxy, called NGC 1569, by showing that it is one and a half times farther away than astronomers thought.

The extra distance places the galaxy in the middle of a group of about 10 galaxies centered on the spiral galaxy IC 342. Gravitational interactions among the group’s galaxies may be compressing gas in NGC 1569 and igniting the star-birthing frenzy.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar November 24 – November 30 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for November 24 – November 30 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.

Hubble Directly Observes Planet Orbiting Fomalhaut

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken the first visible-light snapshot of a planet circling another star.

Hubble Directly Observes Planet Orbiting Fomalhaut

Estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter’s mass, the planet, called Fomalhaut b, orbits the bright southern star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Australis (the Southern Fish).

Fomalhaut has been a candidate for planet hunting ever since an excess of dust was discovered around the star in the early 1980s by NASA’s Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS).

In 2004, the coronagraph in the High Resolution Camera on Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys produced the first-ever resolved visible-light image of a large dust belt surrounding Fomalhaut. It clearly showed that this structure is in fact a ring of protoplanetary debris approximately 21.5 billion miles across with a sharp inner edge.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar November 17 – November 23 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for November 17 – November 23 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.

Telescopes Capture First Images of Alien Planets

Earth seems to have its first fuzzy photos of alien planets outside our solar system.

Telescopes Capture First Images of Alien Planets

The images show four likely planets that appear as specks of white that are nearly indecipherable except to the most eagle-eyed astronomers. But it is evidence of the existence of something far more cosmic than a blurry dot.

“It is a step on that road to understand if there are other planets like Earth and potentially life out there,” said astronomer Bruce Macintosh of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, one of two teams of out-of-this-solar system photographers.

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

NASA Looking for Next-Gen Hubble

Black holes or extrasolar planets? A look for dark energy or back to the beginning of time? These are the types of questions occupying teams of scientists hired by NASA to propose capstone space science missions for the 2020s.

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

Space Calendar November 10 – November 16 2008

Space related activities and anniversaries for November 10 – November 16 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.