The Keck Observatory will be LIVE streaming Saturn’s aurora an actual observing run from the mighty Keck II.
On Sunday 3am to 5am Hawaiian Standard Time (GMT -10) there will be an actual observation run with astronomers: Kevin Baines (JPL), Tom Stallard (University of Leicester) and Steve Miller (University College London). They will be looking at Saturn’s aurora using the NIRSPEC instrument on Keck II, in a attempt to lead to a deeper understanding of the coupling between Saturn’s magnetosphere and upper atmosphere.
Click here to watch the stream.
To celebrate its 23rd year in orbit, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has released a stunning new image of one of the most distinctive objects in our skies: the Horsehead Nebula. This image shows the nebula in a whole new light, capturing plumes of gas in the infrared and revealing a beautiful, delicate structure that is normally obscured by dust.
Read more: http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1307/
NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the “habitable zone,” the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.
The Kepler-62 system has five planets; 62b, 62c, 62d, 62e and 62f. The Kepler-69 system has two planets; 69b and 69c. Kepler-62e, 62f and 69c are the super-Earth-sized planets.
Two of the newly discovered planets orbit a star smaller and cooler than the sun. Kepler-62f is only 40 percent larger than Earth, making it the exoplanet closest to the size of our planet known in the habitable zone of another star. Kepler-62f is likely to have a rocky composition. Kepler-62e, orbits on the inner edge of the habitable zone and is roughly 60 percent larger than Earth.
The third planet, Kepler-69c, is 70 percent larger than the size of Earth, and orbits in the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. Astronomers are uncertain about the composition of Kepler-69c, but its orbit of 242 days around a sun-like star resembles that of our neighboring planet Venus.
Scientists do not know whether life could exist on the newfound planets, but their discovery signals we are another step closer to finding a world similar to Earth around a star like our sun.
credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech.
After nearly a decade of careful observations an international team of astronomers has measured the distance to our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, more accurately than ever before. This new measurement also improves our knowledge of the rate of expansion of the Universe — the Hubble Constant — and is a crucial step towards understanding the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is causing the expansion to accelerate. The team used telescopes at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile as well as others around the globe. These results appear in the 7 March 2013 issue of the journal Nature.
Read more at: http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1311/
KAMUELA, Hawaii—With data collected from the mighty W. M. Keck Observatory, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) astronomer Mike Brown — known as the Pluto killer for discovering a Kuiper-belt object that led to the demotion of Pluto from planetary status — and Kevin Hand from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have found the strongest evidence yet that salty water from the vast liquid ocean beneath Europa’s frozen exterior actually makes its way to the surface.
The data suggests there is a chemical exchange between the ocean and surface, making the ocean a richer chemical environment, and implies that learning more about the ocean could be as simple as analyzing the moon’s surface. The work is described in a paper that has been accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal.
The findings were derived from spectroscopy delivered from the Keck Observatory, which operates the largest and most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth.
“We now have the best spectrum of this thing in the world,” Brown says. “Nobody knew there was this little dip in the spectrum because no one had the resolution to zoom in on it before.”
Ten-meter Keck II, fitted with Adaptive Optics (AO) to adjust for the blurring effect of Earth’s atmosphere
Read more at:
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most powerful available to astronomers, but sometimes it too needs a helping hand. This comes in the form of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which makes galaxy clusters act as natural lenses, amplifying the light coming from very distant galaxies.
Read more at: http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1304/
Kamuela, Hawaii – The W. M. Keck Observatory has successfully completed a $4 million campaign that will give astronomers the most detailed Adaptive Optics images of the cosmos ever created by mankind. Furthermore, the campaign was funded entirely by private philanthropy.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the W. M. Keck Foundation and The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation awarded three grants …
Read more: http://keckobservatory.org/news/w._m._keck_observatory_completes_4_million_adaptive_optics_fund_for_keck_ii?utm_source=Keck+Nation&utm_campaign=4f99675431-keck_II_Laser_Fund3_4_2013&utm_medium=email
HOUSTON — The Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft was berthed to the International Space Station at 8:56 a.m. EST Sunday. The delivery flight was the second contracted resupply mission by the company under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.
Space station Expedition 34 crew members Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn of NASA used the station’s robotic arm to successfully capture Dragon at 5:31 a.m. The capture came one day, 19 hours and 22 minutes after the mission’s launch. The station was 253 miles above northern Ukraine. Following its capture, the spacecraft was installed onto the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module through ground commands issued by mission control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.