Tag Archives | Universe

Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Image - Westerlund 2

Raise a glass to Hubble! – Redux

The Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its 25th Anniversary in space today, 24th April, with the release of this wondrous image of the giant star-cluster, Westerlund 2, in the stellar nursery, Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina.  [Image credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund more…

Hubble 2012 eXtreme Deep Field

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

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…

WISE mosaic of entire infrared sky

The Universe at a glance…

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…

Panoramic photograph of night sky above ESO's VLT during lunar eclipse

Stargazing, and [exo]planet hunting…

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…

Artist's impression of distant quasar, ULAS J1120+0641

Most distant “angry monster” brightest in early Universe

[Image credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser] The BBC reports on the discovery of the most distant quasar yet seen, ULAS J1120+0641.  An “angry monster” 12.9 billion light-years away – a mere 770 million years after the Big Bang.  Before the process of re-ionization was completed.  As the BBC report notes The light from ULAS J1120+0641 displays the characteristic signature of more…

Dr Neil Tyson’s “disturbing” thought for the day

The Guardian’s tame particle physicist, Jon Butterworth, is “playing truant” from the LHC at Cern to attend the Boost 2011 meeting at Princeton.  But he’s left a link-tastic post on the results so far.  Meanwhile, the Big G’s GrrlScientist points to director of the Hayden Planetarium, New York, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, explaining one of his more…

“you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s…”

With Cassini exploring Saturn’s moons, and Messenger finally at Mercury, the BBC’s Spaceman, Jonathan Amos, takes an interesting look at the future prospects for interstellar travel.  And he starts with this observation of Voyager’s 33-year-long journey. I’ve been troubled of late by the scale of things, by the vastness of space. It’s been brought into focus more…

Infrared Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2009

Clearing the cosmic fog

As the BBC noted, astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope [VLT] have confirmed that galaxy UDFy-38135539, one of several candidates identified in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF) image of the Fornax Constellation acquired with the telescope’s new Wide Field Camera 3 last year, is the most distant galaxy ever detected. [Image credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth (UCO/Lick more…

Planck_galactic_regions

“it’s a thing of beauty”

Launched in May 2009 ESA’s super-cool Planck observatory achieved first light in September.  Now, as the BBC’s Jonathan Amos notes, ESA have released Planck’s first all-sky image. “This is the moment that Planck was conceived for,” says ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, David Southwood. “We’re not giving the answer. We are opening the door more…