Tag Archives | Telescopes

“an unforgettable journey across the Red Planet.”

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Curiosity may have been on the surface of Mars for over a year, but ESA’s Mars Express has been in orbit around the Red Planet for almost a decade.  It’s one of a number of ways Mars is being observed, up close and personal.  And, like the Hi-RISE camera on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Express has some specialised instruments more…

“There’s no place like home…”

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I didn’t ‘Wave at Saturn’ on 19 July when the Cassini probe, orbiting the gas giant, was taking a high-definition image of the view back home.  I don’t think it encouraged a proper sense of perspective…  But the resultant image is stunning. [Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute] It’s not the first time Cassini has looked home.  Nor more…

Solar Dynamics Observatory: Three years in three minutes

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What it says on the tin.  Three years after First Light, Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has released three stunning minutes of images compiled during its virtually unbroken coverage of the sun’s rise toward solar maximum.  Enjoy!  [Video from NasaExplorer on YouTube. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO] As they note in the associated text During more…

The ALMA Inauguration

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As the BBC reported on Wednesday, having opened its eyes in 2011, and with 57 of its 66 antennas now ready to receive data on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Atacama desert, Chile, the Atacama Large Millimetre/Sub-millimetre Array (ALMA) was officially inaugurated on March 13.  Here’s the associated ESOcast 55: The ALMA Inauguration. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO). Editing: Martin more…

Titan’s Nile River Valley

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Fascinating image from Nasa’s Cassini probe at Saturn, where we’ve previously watched the weather on Titan.  [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI.]  North is to the right in this view. From the JPLnews press release “Titan is the only place we’ve found besides Earth that has a liquid in continuous movement on its surface,” said Steve Wall, the more…

“damn, what a sky…” – redux

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[Image credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky]  Another stunning time-lapse video of the wondrous night sky above the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope [VLT] array on top of Cerro Paranal in Chile’s Atacama Desert.  This time presented as ESO Cast 50: Chile Chill 1.  [Marvel at the solar system in motion... - Ed]  Or, indeed, the galaxy.  Stay with it past more…

“We stared at this patch of sky for about 22 days…”

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As the BBC’s spaceman, Jonathan Amos, notes, the Hubble Space Telescope team have released an updated version of their stunning Ultra Deep Field image – the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) – and they have seen further than ever.  [Image credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the more…

Dwarf Planet Gains Fifth Moon…

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Not that it didn’t already have five moons.  At least.  ANYhoo…  As I was saying this time last year, when Hubble spotted a fourth moon orbiting Pluto.  The Hubble Space Telescope has been looking at the twin dwarf planet system of Pluto and Charon ahead of Nasa’s New Horizons mission expected arrival in the neighbourhood more…

Transit of Venus 2012: The Movie

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Were your skies not favourable for viewing?  Did you miss the live online coverage of the last transit of Venus until 2117?  Well, there’s a Flickr group.  Or you could take in the stunning views from Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.  Video from NasaExplorer.  [Credit: Data courtesy of NASA/SDO, HMI, and AIA science teams].  Enjoy! On more…

Transit of Venus 2012: “marvel at the solar system in motion”

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As I mentioned back in March, tonight one of the rarest predictable astronomical events will occur – a transit of Venus.  [I'm washing my hair! - Ed]  What hair?  ANYhoo… Since the invention of the greatest human innovation, the telescope, at the beginning of the 17th century, not by Galileo, there have been only 7 such more…

“A billion stars revealed”

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A stunning image was unveiled last week at the UK-Germany National Astronomy Meeting NAM2012 in Manchester. [All images courtesy of Mike Read (WFAU), UKIDSS/GPS and VVV] The BBC’s Spaceman, Jonathan Amos, helpfully provides this combination image, with a partial zoom-in on the Galactic center. But to really appreciate the scale and detail of the image you more…

“…and marvel at the solar system in motion”

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Here’s a date to mark in your diary [really? - Ed].  On the 5/6 June this year one of the rarest predictable astronomical events will occur – a transit of Venus.  [Can't wait... - Ed]  Since the invention of the greatest human innovation, the telescope, at the beginning of the 17th century, not by Galileo, more…

The Universe at a glance…

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Well, several glances actually…  As spotted by the Guardian blog’s Tom McCarthy, NASA has released a new atlas and catalog of the entire infrared sky “showing more than a half billion stars, galaxies and other objects captured by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.”  And an impressive view it is. [Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA]   more…

Stargazing, and [exo]planet hunting…

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The last three nights saw the return to BBC2 of popular astronomy show Stargazing Live – presented by Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain.  Hopefully it will become, at least, an annual fixture. [Image credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky] The three hour-long programmes are still available, for now, on the iPlayer.  The entertaining ‘after-show’ shows, Back to Earth, appears to more…

Sleigh Ride over the Red Planet

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A short seasonal diversion from JPLnews, using images of the real landscapes of Mars taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.  

Kepler-22b: “This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth’s twin”

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By the time its last catalogue of exoplanet candidates was released in February,  Nasa’s Kepler space observatory, launched in March 2009, first light in April 2009, had identified 1,235 planetary candidates – and 54 candidates within the habitable zone. The Kepler team have now identified 2,326 planet candidates – of those, 207 are approximately Earth-size, 680 are super Earth-size, more…

ALMA opens its eyes

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As the BBC report, and see here also, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have released the first image obtained by their new telescope, the Atacama Large Millimetre/Sub-millimetre Array (ALMA) – even though the array isn’t expected to be completed until 2013.  It’s the focus of the latest ESOcast 36 – ALMA opens its eyes. And here’s that more…