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Planck Space Telescope Given Shutdown Command

ESA October 23, 2013 ESA’s Planck space telescope has been turned off after nearly 4.5 years soaking up the relic radiation from the Big Bang and studying the evolution of stars and galaxies throughout the Universe’s history. Project scientist Jan Tauber sent the final command to the Planck satellite this afternoon at 12:10:27 UT, marking the end of operations for ... Read More »

The Stars Above La Silla

The night sky at La Silla, in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, is the best in the world. Here are some out-of-this-world views to prove it. Read More »

Why Are Planets in this Star System Misaligned?

NASA October 18, 2013 A long-standing puzzle in the study of exoplanets is the formation of hot Jupiters, gas giant planets that snuggly orbit their host star. To explain their short orbital periods, theory suggests that hot Jupiters form in long orbits and then quiescently migrate through the protoplanetary disc, the flat ring of dust and debris that circles a newly ... Read More »

Most Distant Gravitational Lens Discovered

Hubble/ESA October 17, 2013 An international team of astronomers has found the most distant gravitational lens yet — a galaxy that, as predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, deflects and intensifies the light of an even more distant object. The discovery provides a rare opportunity to directly measure the mass of a distant galaxy. But it also poses ... Read More »

Hubble Telescope Sees Comet ISON Intact

NASA October 17, 2013 NASA’s Hubble Sees Comet ISON Intact A new image of the sunward plunging comet ISON suggests that the comet is intact despite some predictions that the fragile icy nucleus might disintegrate as the sun warms it. The comet will pass closest to the sun on Nov. 28. In this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image taken on ... Read More »

Beyond Hubble: The James Webb Space Telescope

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Patchy Clouds Found on Exotic World

NASA JPL PASADENA, Calif. — Astronomers using data from NASA’s Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have created the first cloud map of a planet beyond our solar system, a sizzling, Jupiter-like world known as Kepler-7b. The planet is marked by high clouds in the west and clear skies in the east. Previous studies from Spitzer have resulted in temperature maps ... Read More »

Cat’s Paw Nebula Seen In a Whole New Light

  A brand new instrument called ArTeMiS has been successfully installed on the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX). APEX is a 12-meter diameter telescope located high in Chile’s Atacama Desert, which operates at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. This is between infrared light and radio waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. ArTeMiS was used here to deliver a spectacular new view of the ... Read More »

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