Student’s Prediction Points the Way to Hot, Dense Super-Earth

Student's Prediction Points the Way to Hot, Dense Super-Earth

A planet that we thought we knew turns out to be rather different than first suspected. Our revised view comes from new data released today by an international team of astronomers. They made their observations of the planet “55 Cancri e” based on calculations by Harvard graduate student Rebekah Dawson (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), who worked with Daniel Fabrycky (now at the University of California, Santa Cruz) to
predict when the planet crosses in front of its star as seen from Earth. Such transits give crucial information about a planet’s size and orbit.

[SOURCE: www.cfa.harward.edu]

NASA’s SWIFT and Hubble Probe Asteroid Collision Debris

NASA's SWIFT and Hubble Probe Asteroid Collision Debris

Late last year, astronomers noticed an asteroid named Scheila had unexpectedly brightened, and it was sporting short-lived plumes. Data from NASA’s Swift satellite and Hubble Space Telescope showed these changes likely occurred after Scheila was struck by a much smaller asteroid.

“Collisions between asteroids create rock fragments, from fine dust to huge boulders, that impact planets and their moons,” said Dennis Bodewits, an astronomer at the University of Maryland in College Park and lead author of the Swift study. “Yet this is the first time we’ve been able to catch one just weeks after the smash-up, long before the evidence fades away.”

Asteroids are rocky fragments thought to be debris from the formation and evolution of the solar system approximately 4.6 billion years ago. Millions of them orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter in the main asteroid belt. Scheila is approximately 70 miles across and orbits the Sun every five years.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar May 2 – May 8 2011

Space related activities and anniversaries for May 2 – May 8 2011. 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.

Cut Off by Shadows

Cut Off by Shadows

[SOURCE: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]

Space Calendar April 25 – May 1 2011

Space related activities and anniversaries for April 25 – May 1 2011. 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.

NASA’s Hubble Celebrates 21st Anniversary with “Rose” of Galaxies

NASA's Hubble Celebrates 21st Anniversary with

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s deployment into space, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., pointed Hubble’s eye at an especially photogenic pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.

“For 21 years, Hubble has profoundly changed our view of the universe, allowing us to see deep into the past while opening our eyes to the majesty and wonders around us,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “I was privileged to pilot space shuttle Discovery as it deployed Hubble. After all this time, new Hubble images still inspire awe and are a testament to the extraordinary work of the many people behind the world’s most famous observatory.”

Hubble was launched April 24, 1990, aboard Discovery’s STS-31 mission. Hubble discoveries revolutionized nearly all areas of current astronomical research from planetary science to cosmology.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar April 18 – April 24 2011

Space related activities and anniversaries for April 18 – April 24 2011. 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.

Far-Future Astronomers Could Still Deduce the Big Bang

Far-Future Astronomers Could Still Deduce the Big Bang

One trillion years from now, an alien astronomer in our galaxy will have a difficult time figuring out how the universe began. They won’t have the evidence that we enjoy today.

Edwin Hubble made the first observations in support of the Big Bang model. He showed that galaxies are rushing away from each other due to the universe’s expansion. More recently, astronomers discovered a pervasive afterglow from the Big Bang, known as the cosmic microwave background, left over from the universe’s white-hot beginning.

[SOURCE: www.cfa.harward.edu]

NASA Telescopes Help Discover Surprisingly Young Galaxy

NASA Telescopes Help Discover Surprisingly Young Galaxy

PASADENA, Calif. — Astronomers have uncovered one of the youngest galaxies in the distant universe, with stars that formed 13.5 billion years ago, a mere 200 million years after the Big Bang. The finding addresses questions about when the first galaxies arose, and how the early universe evolved.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope was the first to spot the newfound galaxy. Detailed observations from the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii revealed the observed light dates to when the universe was only 950 million years old; the universe formed about 13.7 billion years ago.

Infrared data from both Hubble and the post-coolant, or “warm,” phase of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope mission revealed the galaxy’s stars are quite mature, which means they must have formed when the universe was just a toddler.

“This challenges theories of how soon galaxies formed in the first years of the universe,” said Johan Richard of the Centre de Recherche Astronomique de Lyon, Universit

NASA Telescopes Help Discover Surprisingly Young Galaxy

NASA Telescopes Help Discover Surprisingly Young Galaxy

Astronomers have uncovered one of the youngest galaxies in the distant universe, with stars that formed 13.5 billion years ago, a mere 200 million years after the Big Bang. The finding addresses questions about when the first galaxies arose, and how the early universe evolved.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope was the first to spot the newfound galaxy. Detailed observations from the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii revealed the observed light dates to when the universe was only 950 million years old; the universe formed about 13.7 billion years ago.

Infrared data from both Hubble and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope revealed the galaxy’s stars are quite mature, having formed when the universe was just a toddler at 200 million years old.

“This challenges theories of how soon galaxies formed in the first years of the universe,” said Johan Richard of the Center for Astronomical Research, Observatory of Lyon, France, lead author of a new study accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. “It could even help solve the mystery of how the hydrogen fog that filled the early universe was cleared.”

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]