NASA scientists analyzing the dust of meteorites say they have discovered new clues to a long-standing mystery about how life works on its most basic, molecular level.
Over the last four years, the team carefully analyzed samples of meteorites with an abundance of carbon, called carbonaceous chondrites. The researchers looked for the amino acid isovaline and discovered that three types of carbonaceous meteorites had more of the left-handed version than the right-handed variety – as much as a record 18 percent more in the often-studied Murchison meteorite.
The Hubble Space Telescope recently captured a photo sequence of four moons of Saturn passing in front of their parent planet. The moons, from far left to far right, are icy white Enceladus and Dione, the large orange moon Titan, and icy Mimas. Due to the angle of the Sun, they are each preceded by their own shadow.
Maybe ESA’s Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) is destined to launch on the exact same date as Vanguard 1, the third artificial satellite to ever orbit our planet after Sputnik and Explorer 1. On March 17th 1958 Vanguard 1 was successfully launched and as a matter of fact the satellite is still orbiting our planet as today's longest 'living' satellite ever.
Want to see a collision between the cores of two merging galaxies, each powered by a black hole with a millions of times the mass of the sun?
You're in luck. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope recently caught that very thing. The galactic cores are in a single, tangled galaxy called NGC 6240, located 400-million light years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. Millions of years ago, each core was the dense center of its own galaxy before the two galaxies collided and ripped each other apart. Now, these cores are approaching each other at tremendous speeds and preparing for the final cataclysmic collision. They will crash into each other in a few million years, a relatively short period on a galactic timescale.
Sometimes different is good. You may not want a strange cup of coffee when you go to Starbucks and you would like for your car to work the way cars should, but in science the peculiar can teach us a lot.
This was the idea behind Halton Arp’s catalogue of Peculiar Galaxies
that appeared in the 1960s. One of the oddballs listed there is Arp 261, which has now been imaged in more detail than ever before using the FORS2 instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope.
Our website got hacked. Astronomy sites are a popular target. It's safer to hack NASA than, say, the NSA. All the bragging but little of the risks.
Hacking NASA to get at 'inside stuff' is generally pointless. The whole purpose of NASA is to publically deliver what we do. All the good data and the best software gets openly released. Trying to hack NASA is like stealing twenty copies of the free local newspaper off the delivery truck. It's not only illegal, it's stupid, doesn't gain you anything, and takes more work then getting it the legit way.
Researchers have found evidence suggesting that stars rich in carbon complex molecules may form at the center of our Milky Way galaxy - and it helps solve a mystery. Namely, why have telescopes never detected carbon-rich stars at the center of our galaxy even though they have found these stars in other places?
This discovery is also significant because it adds to our knowledge of how stars form heavy elements like oxygen, carbon and iron and and then blow them out across the universe, making it possible for life to develop.
A new map combining nearly three months of data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is giving astronomers an unprecedented look at the high-energy cosmos. To Fermi's "eyes", the universe is ablaze with gamma rays from sources within the solar system to galaxies billions of light-years away.
A paper describing the 205 brightest sources the LAT sees has been submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Supplement. "This is the mission's first major science product, and it's a big step toward producing our first source catalog later this year," said David Thompson, a Fermi deputy project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
The Wii game 'Super Mario Galaxy' is a triumph of inventive game play and a favorite in our family. But oh, the muddled science message is like a bad version of the old "Who's on First" routine.
In the game, you collect star bits and bigger stars to open up planets that are called Galaxies. You can also feed stars, which turn into galaxies when they get fat. Each Galaxy is eminently walkable and about the size of a football field... or smaller. As a game player, it's great fun. As an astronomer, it's painful.
Astronomers have obtained exceptional 3D views of distant galaxies, seen when the Universe was half its current age, by combining the the Hubble Space Telescope’s acute eye and the ESO’s Very Large Telescope to probe the motions of gas in tiny objects. By looking at this unique “history book” of our Universe, at an epoch when the Sun and the Earth did not yet exist, scientists hope to solve the puzzle of how galaxies formed in the remote past.