Perhaps not surprisingly, how and where stars form in a galaxy changes very much from galaxy to galaxy. Go here to read an article on recent Hubble results on where stars form in dwarf galaxies, galaxies with much less material than the Milky Way often found in the outskirts of Milky Way type galaxies.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
As NASA works on constructing the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are thinking of what science questions it can possibly answer. Go here to read an article on what it can do to the field of extra-solar planet research.
Friday, January 29, 2010
I definitely plan on discussing this in more detail on a future show, but the IBEXspacecraft recently detected that high-energy neutrons accelerated where the solar wind meets the rest of the Milky Way come from a large ribbon on the sky, not the point in the direction of the Sun's motion as expected. Now, there might be an answer. Go here to read more.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
You can decide! Or at least, offer a suggestion. Go here to suggest a spot on the Martian surface for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to observe. You can use a new online tool to see where images have been taken, check which targets already have been suggested and make new suggestions on what part of Mars should be observed. In addition to identifying the location on a map, anyone nominating a target will be asked to give the observation a title, explain the
potential scientific benefit of photographing the site and put the suggestion into one of the camera team's 18 science themes - including themes include categories such as impact processes, seasonal processes and volcanic processes. Enjoy!
Monday, January 25, 2010
The movie BLAST! will be screening tonight! in NYC at the Explorer's Club on Monday, January 25th starting at 6:00pm. Director Paul Devlin will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening. Go here for more information.
I'm embarrassed to say that I have absolutely no idea what a "tweetup" is, but NASA will be hosting one on Wednesday, Feb. 17 during Endeavour's STS-130 mission to
the International Space Station. The way it works, I guess, is that NASA will randomly select 100 individuals on Twitter from a pool of registrants who sign up on the Web. An additional 50 registrants will be added to a waitlist. Registration opens at noon EST on Tuesday, Jan. 26, and closes at noon EST Wednesday, Jan. 27. For more
information about the Tweetup and to sign up, go here. Good luck, enjoy, and if you don't mind, could you leave a comment below to explain what a tweetup is? I feel so old....
Sunday, January 24, 2010
NASA is inviting student teams nationwide to design and build an experiment or technology demonstration to be sent to the near space environment of the stratosphere, an altitude of 100,000 feet as part of the Balloonsat High Altitude Flight competition scheduled May 25-27 in Cleveland. To participate, student teams in grades nine through 12 must submit a research or flight demonstration proposal to NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland by Friday, Feb. 19. Teams of four or more may pursue a wide variety of topics in this competition, including science and weather observations, remote sensing and image processing. The top four teams will be awarded travel expenses and up to $1,000 to develop their flight experiment or technology demonstration, and will both participate in three flight days to release, track and recover their experiments as well as tour Glenn facilities and present their findings at Glenn's Balloonsat Symposium. NASA will be host an informational webcast about the competition Jan. 27 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST. A link to the webcast and additional information about Balloonsat High Altitude Flight is available here. Good luck!
Friday, January 8, 2010
... just got a little bit bigger. Astronomers at the American Museum of Natural History have just discovered using a new observational technique that one of the stars in the Big Dipper - Alcor - is in fact a binary system (meaning that it is orbiting another star and vice versa). Very, very neat indeed.
Posted by You'd Prefer an Astronaut at 9:00 AM
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The largest X-ray telescope ever launched to space, ESA's XMM-Newton has just celebrated 10 years in orbit. Go here to read more about this telescope, the highlights of the previous decade, and its plan for the future. Here's hoping for (at least) one more decade of operations!
PS. Listen to this with Dr. Ann Hornschemeier of Goddard Space Flight Center about the next big X-ray satellite, current dubbed Constellation-X.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
One of the most famous pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope (and deservedly so) is the Hubble Deep Field, when Hubble spend about a million seconds (10 days) staring at an "empty" patch of sky, discovering instead that it was full of faint stars and distant galaxies. Recently, Hubble reproduced this observation at near-infrared wavelengths, obtaining the most sensitive image EVER at these energies and possibly discovering different types of objects than seen in the optical deep field. Go here to read more and see some very pretty pictures. Enjoy!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
... maybe your brightness variations will tell me what you are?
Go here to read about some interesting, year-long brightness variations observed from stars believed to be similar to what the Sun will turn into once it exhausts all of the Hydrogen in its core. So far, no models seems to explain this data - making it a very interesting problem indeed.
Monday, January 4, 2010
By far one of the best Astronomy project on the Internet, Galaxy Zoo determines the morphology of galaxies observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey using your input. In fact, studies have found that this method is, far and away, the fastest and most accurate to determine galaxy types. They have recently added new, deeper images to their databases which you can now check out and classify yourself. Enjoy!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I hope the comic strip below explains why I am so late:
I really hope you and your family and a good holiday season, and I promise to update this podcast (yes, I hope to actually post new shows soon) and Astronomy blog more regularly than the past few months.