Just this past Sunday, the local amateur astronomy club, the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club (NOVAC) held its monthly meeting at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The guest speaker was Steve Noneman, NASA Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation, and he spoke about the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Mission and its confirmation of water on the Moon. Noneman talked about NASA scientists working with the journal Science to release the scientific details soon. Just today NASA posted more information about the water on the Moon. Learn more about the discovery of water on the Moon from NASA online here.
The European Space Agency launched the Planck telescope back in May of 2009. The Planck telescope is a microwave-sensitive telescope. It is being used to study many aspects of our universe, but most recently ESA announced results from Planck’s study of a giant gas cloud in our galaxy, about 500 light years distant. Learn about the cold dust in interstellar space, out of which stars are made, online now here.
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced yesterday that utilizing its HARPS instrument in concert with data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) CoRoT spacecraft, it has discovered an extrasolar planet about the size of Jupiter, at the distance of Mercury, from a star which is similar in spectral class to our Sun, in the constellation Serpens. The star is about 1500 light years distant from our solar system. Learn more about COROT-9b online now here.