Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in northern Chile have today announced the discovery of an unexpected clump of carbon monoxide gas in the dusty disc around the star Beta Pictoris. This is a surprise, as such gas is expected to be rapidly destroyed by starlight. Something — probably frequent collisions between small, icy objects such as comets — must be causing the gas to be continuously replenished. The new results are published today in the journal Science.
Read more at: http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1408/
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the never-before-seen break-up of an asteroid, which has fragmented into as many as ten smaller pieces. Although fragile comet nuclei have been seen to fall apart as they approach the Sun, nothing like the breakup of this asteroid, P/2013 R3, has ever been observed before in the asteroid belt.
Read more at: http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1405/
A new innovative instrument called MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) has been successfully installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MUSE has observed distant galaxies, bright stars and other test targets during the first period of very successful observations.
Read more at: http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1407/
February 18, 2014: Using the sharp-eyed NASA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have for the first time precisely measured the rotation rate of a galaxy based on the clock-like movement of its stars.
For Your Information:
From 17–20 March 2014 the Accademia dei Lincei (http://www.lincei.it/) in Rome, Italy, will host the fourth Hubble Space Telescope conference: “Science with the Hubble Space Telescope IV — Looking to the Future” (http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/hst4/). This conference will kick off the 25th anniversary of Hubble’s launch in 2015, celebrating the tremendous impact the telescope has had on science and society.
“Science with the Hubble Space Telescope IV” aims to highlight the almost quarter century of ground-breaking science and spectacular images that have come from the telescope, as well as pushing forward with discussions about Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/). The conference will also explore the key questions that will shape the field of astrophysics in the coming decades. The full and final conference programme is available here (http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/hst4/scientific-program). It includes a wide variety of scientific talks and social events.
Bona fide media representatives are invited to attend the conference, and may apply to participate by contacting email@example.com before 1 March 2014. Successful applicants will have their registration fee waived, but travel costs and other expenses will not be covered. Interviews with participants at the conference will also be possible.
Media attendance at the conference will unfortunately be limited as space is tight, and we encourage journalists to register as early as possible. For scientists the general registration must be completed by 1 March 2014 — details can be found here (http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/hst4/pre-registration).
More information and how to participate:
ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Hi, I’m Carolyn Collins Petersen, your stargazing guide. February skies bring some interesting constellations to explore, plus the planets and Moon. No matter where you do your stargazing from, be sure and dress for the weather. And, bring along a pair of binoculars or a small telescope to enhance your view.
The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile has captured this richly detailed new image of the Lagoon Nebula. This giant cloud of gas and dust is creating intensely bright young stars, and is home to young stellar clusters. This image is a tiny part of just one of eleven public surveys of the sky now in progress using ESO telescopes. Together these are providing a vast legacy of publicly available data for the global astronomical community.
MAUNA KEA, HAWAII – A team of researchers led by Justin R. Crepp, the Freimann Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame, has directly imaged a very rare type of brown dwarf… Read more »
MAUNA KEA, HAWAII – Astronomers have discovered a distant quasar illuminating a vast nebula of diffuse gas, revealing for the first time part of the network of filaments thought to connect galaxies… Read more »