Taken merely 5 days after it arrived in orbit (28 June 2015), Sentinel-2A took this false-colour image of Sudan’s capital and second largest city, Khartoum. Khartoum sits between the Blue Nile River which can be seen on the upper left …
Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, published 100 years ago this month, predicted the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. And that's what gives these distant galaxies such a whimsical appearance, seen through the looking glass of X-ray and optical image data from the Chandra and Hubble space telescopes. Nicknamed the Cheshire Cat galaxy group, the group's two large elliptical galaxies are suggestively framed by arcs. The arcs are optical images of distant background galaxies lensed [...]
Planet Earth's horizon stretches across this recent Solar System group portrait, seen from the southern hemisphere's Las Campanas Observatory. Taken before dawn it traces the ecliptic with a line-up familiar to November's early morning risers. Toward the east are bright planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter as well as Regulus, alpha star of the constellation Leo. Of course the planets are immersed in the faint glow of zodiacal light, visible from the dark site rising at an angle from the horizon.
NASA has successfully installed the first of 18 flight mirrors onto the James Webb Space Telescope, beginning a critical piece of the observatory’s construction.
In the clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland this week, the engineering team used a robot arm to lift and lower the hexagonal-shaped segment that measures just over 4.2 feet (1.3 meters) across and weighs approximately 88 pounds (40 kilograms). After being pieced together, the 18 primary mirror s [...]
A team of astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has captured the most detailed images ever of the hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris. These observations show how the unexpectedly large size of the particles of dust surrounding the star enable it to lose an enormous amount of mass as it begins to die. This process, understood now for the first time, is necessary to prepare such gigantic stars to meet explosive demises as supernovae.
VY Canis Majoris is a stellar goliath, a red hyp [...]
A star called KIC 8462852 has been in the news recently for unexplained and bizarre behavior. NASA's Kepler mission had monitored the star for four years, observing two unusual incidents, in 2011 and 2013, when the star's light dimmed in dramatic, never-before-seen ways. Something had passed in front of the star and blocked its light, but what?
Scientists first reported the findings in September, suggesting a family of comets as the most likely explanation. Other cited causes included fragmen [...]
The H-IIA F29 with Telstar 12 VANTAGE onboard lifted off at 3:50:00 p.m. on Nov. 24, (Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 4 hours and 27 minutes after liftoff, the separation of the Telstar 12 VANTAGE was confirmed.
H-IIA F29 incorporates the outcome of the H-IIA UPGRADE. Following a long coast, the 3rd burn of the upgraded 2nd stage was conducted successfully. Then, Telstar 12 VANTAGE was injected closer to geostationary orb [...]
Why are there unusual pits on Pluto? The indentations were discovered during the New Horizons spacecraft's flyby of the dwarf planet in July. The largest pits span a kilometer across and dip tens of meters into a lake of frozen nitrogen, a lake that sprawls across Sputnik Planum, part of the famous light-colored heart-shaped region named Tombaugh Regio.
Although most pits in the Solar System are created by impact craters, these depressions look different -- many are similarly sized, densely [...]