These high cliffs occur on the surface of a comet. They were discovered to be part of the dark nucleus of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko (CG) by Rosetta, a robotic spacecraft launched by ESAwhich began orbiting the comet in early August. The ragged cliffs, as featured here, were imaged by Rosetta about two weeks ago. Although towering about one kilometer high, the low surface gravity of Comet CG would likely make a jump from the cliffs, by a human, survivable. At the foot of the cliffs is relatively smooth terrain dotted with boulders as large as 20 meters across. Data from Rosetta indicates that the ice in Comet CG has a significantly different deuterium fraction -- and hence likely a different origin -- than the water in Earth's oceans. The Rosetta spacecraft is scheduled to continue to accompany the comet as it makes its closest approach to the Sun in 2015 August.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array will track high-energy photons to probe black holes, dark matter and relativity (Giant #Gamma Ray Detector Searches for Two Home Sites - @CTA_Telescope - http://t.co/OHd1vpyWOE)...
Explanation: What would it be like to see a sunset on Mars? To help find out, the robotic rover Spirit was deployed in 2005 to park and watch the Sun dip serenely below the distant lip of Gusev crater. Colors in theabove image have been slightly exaggerated but would likely be apparent to a human explorer's eye. Fine martian dust particles suspended in the thin atmosphere lend the sky a reddish color, but the dust also scatters blue light in the forward direction, creating a bluish sky glow near the setting Sun. Because Mars is farther away, the Sun is less bright and only about two thirds the diameter it appears from Earth. Images like this help atmospheric scientists understand not only the atmosphere of Mars, but atmospheres across the Solar System, including our home Earth.
Science Recorder Apocalypse postponed: how Earth survived Halley's comet in 1910 The Guardian (blog) Comet Halley against the Milky Way In 1910, the Earth was due to pass through the tail of Halley's Comet, sparking a public panic that apocalypse...
Astronomy: Stars Reveal the Secret of Aging Well Science Daily (press release) But while the stars are old and the clusters formed in the distant past, astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the...
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an amazing new viewof the Andromeda Galaxy. The new mosaic image represents the sharpest and largest mosaic image of the Milky Way's galactic neighbor ever taken, Hubble officials said.
Patrice AFRIAT's insight:
Absolutely stunning zoomable view of a third of the Andromeda galaxy. I realized that the pale colored veils that make the 'body' of a galaxy are in fact a dense fabric of red, yellow and blue stars. A hundred million of stars...
Explanation: Globular star cluster Omega Centauri, also known as NGC 5139, is some 15,000 light-years away. The cluster is packed with about 10 million stars much older than the Sun within a volume about 150 light-years in diameter, the largest and brightest of 200 or so known globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy. Though most star clusters consist of stars with the same age and composition, the enigmatic Omega Cen exhibits the presence of different stellar populations with a spread of ages and chemical abundances. In fact, Omega Cen may be the remnant core of a small galaxy merging with the Milky Way.This astronomically sharp color image of the classic globular cluster was recorded in March under Chilean skies from Hacienda Los Andes.
This video starts with a broad view of the entire sky and closes in on the southern constellation of Vela (The Sails). In the final sequence, among huge numbers of faint stars, a very faint double object appears. This is WISE J104915.57-531906.1AB, which is informally known as Luhman 16AB. It is a recently discovered pair of brown dwarfs only six light-years from the Sun.
Slate Magazine (blog) Another Earth? Astronomers Find Earth-Size Planet in Its Star's Habitable Zone Slate Magazine (blog) I have some cautiously exciting exoplanets news: Astronomers have announced the discovery of a planet that is very nearly the...
In this class, we will be studying, quite literally, everything in the universe. We will start with "classical" astronomy, describing the night sky and organizing what we see as was done in ancient times. We will then embark on a journey, starting here on Earth and progressing outward, to study the Solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and the wonderful and strange objects we observe in deep space, such as black holes, quasars, and supernovae. We will end with some discussion of what scientists know today about the universe as a whole. Along the way we will introduce some of the methods, theoretical and experimental, that have been used to understand all of this, from Newton's laws, through our understanding of light and matter, to Einstein's theory of relativity, and from Galileo's telescope to WMAP.
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