Sunday, May 20, 2018

Astronomers Release Most Complete Ultraviolet-Light Survey of Nearby Galaxies

Compass Image for LEGUS Galaxies. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the LEGUS team

Capitalizing on the unparalleled sharpness and spectral range of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers is releasing the most comprehensive, high-resolution ultraviolet-light survey of nearby star-forming galaxies.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

China’s First Private Rocket Reaches 127,000 Feet on Maiden Flight

OS-X rocket launch on May 17, 2018. Photo Credit: Wan Nan/Chongqing Daily/China Daily

OneSpace Technology Co., a Beijing-based aerospace company has successfully launched its suborbital rocket, marking the first flight for China’s commercial launch sector.

HARPS Sees Sunshine for the First Time

This picture shows the HELIOS solar telescope attached to the catwalk of the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla.  Credit: ESO/T. Wildi

In April 2018, a team composed of scientists and engineers from the Geneva Observatory and ESO were at the La Silla Observatory to commission HELIOS (HARPS Experiment for Light Integrated Over the Sun). This novel device was built under an agreement between ESO, the University of Geneva and the Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto.

A New Map for a Birthplace of Stars

Gas in the Orion A cloud star-forming region. Each of the three colors (red, green and blue) represents a different velocity range. Credit: NSF/S. Kong, J. Feddersen, H. Arce & CARMA-NRO Orion Survey team

A Yale-led research group has created the most detailed maps yet of a vast seedbed of stars similar to Earth’s Sun. The maps provide unprecedented detail of the structure of the Orion A molecular cloud, the closest star-forming region of high-mass stars. Orion A hosts a variety of star-forming environments, including dense star clusters similar to the one where Earth’s Sun is believed to have formed.

A Bolt of Insight: Researchers Make Breakthrough in Understanding Rare Lightning-Triggered Gamma-Rays

A Telescope Array Surface Detector and its neighbors, deployed in Utah's west desert. The 507 detectors are arranged on a grid covering 700 square kilometers, about the same as the land area of New York City. Credit: Telescope Array collaboration

In the western Utah desert, the Telescope Array sprawls across an area the size of New York City, waiting for cosmic rays. The facility detects the high-energy particles that collide with Earth’s atmosphere constantly; the cosmic rays trigger the 500-plus sensors once every few minutes.

ALMA Finds Most-Distant Oxygen in the Universe

This image shows the galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223 taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the inset image is the galaxy MACS1149-JD1 located 13.28 billion light-years away observed with ALMA. Here, the oxygen distribution detected with ALMA is depicted in green. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, W. Zheng (JHU), M. Postman (STScI), the CLASH Team, Hashimoto et al.

Not long after the Big Bang, the first generations of stars began altering the chemical make-up of primitive galaxies, slowly enriching the interstellar medium with basic elements such as oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. Finding the earliest traces of these common elements would shed important light on the chemical evolution of galaxies, including our own.

Astronomers Find Vast Ionized Hydrogen Cloud in ‘Whirlpool Galaxy’

Case Western Reserve’ s telescope at the Warner & Swasey Observatory in Arizona.  (Time-lapse photo by Steven Janowiecki)

Astronomers have been keenly peering into M51, or the Whirlpool Galaxy, since the 1800s, its signature spiral structure informing the earliest debates over the nature of galaxies and the Cosmos at large.