Sunday, September 25, 2016

World's Largest Radio Telescope Begins Operations

Photo taken on Sept. 24, 2016 shows the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in Pingtang County, southwest China's Guizhou Province. The FAST, world's largest radio telescope, measuring 500 meters in diameter, was completed and put into use on Sunday. (Xinhua/Ou Dongqu)

The world's largest radio telescope was put into use on Sunday in a mountainous region of southwest China's Guizhou Province. Shortly after noon, in a karst valley in Pingtang County, hundreds of astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts witnessed the official launch of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope's (FAST) mission to explore space and hunt for extraterrestrial life.

Cosmology Safe as Universe Has No Sense of Direction

Illustration of the possible patterns an anisotropic universe would leave in the cosmic microwave background, including (clockwise from bottom left) the contribution from quantum fluctuations, and from three different aspects of the anisotropic expansion (credit: Saadeh et al.)

The universe is expanding uniformly according to research led by the University College London (UCL) which reports that space isn’t stretching in a preferred direction or spinning. The new study, published in Physical Review Letters, studied the cosmic microwave background (CMB) which is the remnant radiation from the Big Bang. It shows the universe expands the same way in all directions, supporting the assumptions made in cosmologists’ standard model of the universe.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Summer Fireworks on Rosetta's Comet

Locations of the summer outbursts observed by Rosetta’s OSIRIS (blue dots) and NavCam (red dots) between July and September 2015, superimposed on a regional map of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Insets highlight the topography and terrain for a selection of outbursts (note that some locations can be seen in multiple insets from different angles). Credit: OSIRIS: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Brief but powerful outbursts seen from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko during its most active period last year have been traced back to their origins on the surface. In the three months centered around the comet’s closest approach to the Sun, on 13 August 2015, Rosetta’s cameras captured 34 outbursts.

NASA-Funded Sounding Rocket Solves One Cosmic Mystery, Reveals Another

The Diffuse X-ray emission from the Local galaxy, or DXL, sounding rocket launched from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on Dec. 13, 2012, to study the source of certain X-rays observed near Earth. Credits: White Sands Missile Range, Visual Information Branch

In the last century, humans realized that space is filled with types of light we can’t see – from infrared signals released by hot stars and galaxies, to the cosmic microwave background that comes from every corner of the universe. Some of this invisible light that fills space takes the form of X-rays, the source of which has been hotly contended over the past few decades.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Basic Astronomy Dissertation Writing Tips from Experts


Writing about astronomy for your dissertation may seem like a universal endeavor. In fact, your thoughts may feel as if they are being sucked into a black hole rather than pouring out on the page. However, preparing your astronomy dissertation doesn’t have to be as challenging as you think it is. If you will employ these writing tips from experts, you will find this astronomical assignment considerably easier.

PSLV Rocket to Send Eight Satellites into Orbit on Its Longest Flight

Panoromic view of PSLV-C35 at First Launch Pad. Photo Credit: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will conduct on Monday, Sept. 26, the longest mission of its PLSV booster that is slated to deliver eight satellites into orbit. The rocket will thunder off from First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, at 9:12 a.m. local time (3:42 GMT, 11:42 p.m. EDT on Sept. 25).

Thursday, September 22, 2016

China’s Tiangong-1 Space Laboratory Will Crash to Earth Next Year

Artist's impression of the Tiangong-1 space laboratory in orbit. Image Credit: CMSA

China’s first space laboratory called Tiangong-1 (“Heavenly Palace” in Chinese) is expected to re-enter atmosphere in the second half of 2017, according to Chinese officials. While most parts of the spacecraft will burn up during falling, there are worries that some pieces may hit the ground.