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News: June 2009

Controllers bid farewell to long-lived Ulysses probe

The sun will set Tuesday on Ulysses, a robotic sentry that spent more than 18 years exploring unseen reaches of the sun for NASA and the European Space Agency.

FULL STORY

 

Royal Society Exhibition has strong astro presence

The Summer Science Exhibition at the Royal Society in London kicks off today with a healthy dose of astronomy amongst the 26 exhibits that the public will be able to view.

FULL STORY

 

Shuttle launch and noctilucent clouds point to Tunguska comet

The exhaust plume of a shuttle launch that created noctilucent clouds similar to those seen after the Tunguska event supports the theory that a comet, and not a meteoroid, exploded over Siberia one hundred years ago.

FULL STORY

 

Stuck rover exposes fresh clues on Martian environment

NASA's plucky Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, which is still stuck in a patch of soil, has been taking advantage of the situation to learn more about the planet's environmental history.

FULL STORY

 

Cosmic rays efficiently accelerated by
exploded stars

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have shown that cosmic rays from the Milky Way are very efficiently accelerated in the remnants of exploded stars.

FULL STORY

 

Galaxies come of age in cosmic blobs

Growing supermassive black holes and bursts of star formation have been discovered in cosmic blobs - immense reservoirs of hydrogen gas located in the early Universe - representing the coming of age of galaxies.

FULL STORY

 

Possible salty ocean hidden in depths of Saturn moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided strong evidence that Saturn's moon Enceladus harbours a salty ocean below its icy shell, a discovery that offers exciting possibilities in the search for extraterrestrial life.

FULL STORY

 

Odyssey's new view of the Red Planet

NASA’s long lived Mars Odyssey spacecraft has finally reached a new orbit that will offer a more sensitive view of minerals on the planet’s surface.

FULL STORY

 

NASA's lunar mapper goes into orbit around the Moon

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter reached the Moon and successfully performed its orbit insertion maneuver today. Full coverage can be found at Spaceflight Now

 

First direct evidence of lightning on Mars

University of Michigan researchers say they have found direct evidence for lightning on Mars caused by a large dust storm.

FULL STORY

 

New images kick off Cassini celebrations at Greenwich

The Cassini imaging team have released a set of never-before-seen images and movies of the Saturn system to coincide with the opening of a week-long celebration of the mission at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

FULL STORY

 

Herschel opens its eyes

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory opened its eyes for the first time last week, soaking in the sights of M51, the Whirlpool galaxy.

FULL STORY

 

New map shines light on Moon's shadowed craters

A new high resolution map of the Moon's rugged south pole region provides new and unprecedented detail of permanently shadowed craters that could be hiding water ice deposits.

FULL STORY

 

Sunspot detail revealed by supercomputers

A comprehensive computer model of sunspots unveiled by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany will advance research into the inner workings of our Sun and its impact on the Earth.

FULL STORY

 

IBEX basks in fast hydrogen atoms from the Moon

Very fast hydrogen atoms emanating from the Moon have been detected for the first time by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft following decades of speculation regarding their existence.

FULL STORY

 

The mystery of the missing sunspots explained

An unusually slow-moving solar jet stream buried deep inside the Sun is causing the lack of sunspots and low solar activity, say scientists from the National Solar Observatory (NSO).

FULL STORY

 

Lights in the sky - observers' reports needed

Coastguard stations received hundreds of reports of 'lights in the sky' over
the English Channel on Monday evening. Was this an unexpected meteor shower? The BAA needs your reports.

FULL STORY

 

Giant eruption reveals

dead star

X-rays from an enormous stellar eruption which arrived at the Earth in August last year originated from a rare group of dead star known as a magnetar.

FULL STORY

 

Meteorite holds clues to Earth's cosmic roots

The interstellar stuff that became incorporated into the planets and life on Earth has younger cosmic roots than theories predict, according to new analysis of a meteorite that fell in 1969.

FULL STORY

 

Noctilucent clouds are back

As previewed in our Weekly Guide to the Night Sky, noctilucent cloud (NLC) season is here again following a splendid display on Tuesday evening.

FULL STORY

 

Unique sky survey brings new objects into focus

The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) has begun returning images that will be used to detect unprecedented numbers of supernovae in distant galaxies, variable stars in our own Galaxy and possible new near-Earth asteroids.

FULL STORY

 

Planetary pile-up possible in next five billion years

According to new simulations, the evolution of the Solar System's inner planets' orbits could lead to a planetary pile-up within the lifetime of our Sun.

FULL STORY

 

Saturn's approach to equinox reveals new

detail in rings

Towering vertical structures in Saturn's rings have been discerned for the first time by Cassini as the giant planet approaches equinox.

FULL STORY

 

NASA's return to the Moon

Paving the way for the future of lunar exploration, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) missions will launch later this week.

FULL STORY

 

Wising up in the infrared

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is undergoing final preparations ahead of a planned 1 November launch.

FULL STORY

 

Planetary atmospheres

key in search for extraterrestrial life

Astronomers using the William Herschel Telescope and Nordic Optical Telescope have confirmed an effective way to search the atmospheres of planets for signs of life.

FULL STORY

 

Lasers help astronomers probe distant galaxies

A discrepancy between the types of galaxies in today's Universe and those that existed shortly after the big bang is becoming clearer following new observations of galaxies that existed 2.7 billion years after the big bang.

FULL STORY

 

Galaxy Zoo puts new spin on galaxy rotation

During the International Year of Astronomy's 100 Hours of Astronomy event in April, Galaxy Zoo volunteers provided more than 2.5 million classifications, smashing the one million target the team had set.

FULL STORY

 

A smashing end for Japan's lunar orbiter mission

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)'s Moon explorer Kaguya concluded its twenty month mission with a controlled crash into the lunar surface last night.

FULL STORY

 

Planet-forming disc found orbiting twin suns

Images collected with the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA) radio telescope system reveal the presence of a molecular disc orbiting a young binary star system.

FULL STORY

 

Stars born in

galactic centre

Stars have been seen being born in the inner sanctum of our Milky Way Galaxy, answering the question of whether stars can form there or instead have to migrate there.

FULL STORY

 

The black cloud set to blossom into a giant star

A freezing cold, dark cloud of molecular hydrogen is beginning to stir up the materials for building a giant star, or even several massive stars, in a forbidding region of the Milky Way known as the Aquila Rift.

FULL STORY

 

Supernova remnant is an unusual suspect

An unusually shaped supernova remnant observed in the Small Magellanic Cloud is likely the remains of an exploded white dwarf.

FULL STORY

 

Red giant star Betelgeuse

is shrinking

Orion's red supergiant Betelgeuse has been steadily shrinking over the last 15 years, say UC Berkeley astronomers.

FULL STORY

 

Astronomical whirling dervishes hide their

age well

Estimates of the age of some millisecond pulsars are out by a factor of ten, according to new research presented at the 214th American Astronomical Society meeting in Pasadena, California, this week.

FULL STORY

 

Galaxy "skid marks" reveal collision history

The discovery of new tidal debris stripped away from merging galaxies contains the full collision history, equivalent to being able to trace the skid marks on the road after a car crash, say astronomers.

FULL STORY

 

Supermassive black holes put on weight

New computer modelling has found that the black hole at the heart of M87 is as much as three times more massive than previously thought, which could up the masses of other supermassive black holes, too.

FULL STORY

 

A new way to measure cosmic distances

A rare and often overlooked type of star - cepheid variables - could allow astronomers to measure cosmic distances three times further than previously possible, to 300 million light years and beyond.

FULL STORY

 

Dark GRBs illuminate early star formation

Mysterious gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) that leave no optical afterglow are exploding in very dusty patches hiding plentiful star formation in galaxies whose light has taken 12.9 billion years to reach us.

FULL STORY

 

Galactic milestone to measure expansion

of the Universe

A new milestone in the effort to measure accurate distances to galaxies will be of huge assistance in the battle to understand the nature of dark energy.

FULL STORY

 

Central Milky Way cluster surprisingly normal

Despite the extreme forces in operation near the Galaxy's central black hole, the resident Arches Cluster displays curiously normal conditions.

FULL STORY

 

Titan's lingering clouds

A three-and-a-half year study of over 200 clouds in Titan's dense atmosphere reveals their formation and movement to be somewhat out of synch with the moon's seasons.

FULL STORY

 

Mysterious supernova may have had carbon origins

A weird explosion in space that confounded astronomers in 2006 may have been the destruction of a rare star with an unusual amount of carbon dust surrounding it, according to research carried out by scientists at the University of Warwick.

FULL STORY

 

Back to latest news

2010 Yearbook
Our latest 132-page Astronomy Now special edition is an extravaganza of astronomy for the year ahead, with a complete 30-page guide to observing the planets, moon, meteor showers, two solar eclipses, and the deep sky in 2010.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE
 

Take the tour!
A 100-page special edition from the creators of Astronomy Now magazine, The Grand Tour of the Universe takes readers from one end of the Universe to the other and, in doing so, asks the question "just how big is the Universe?"
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE


Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Guide to the Constellations
Astronomy Now presents this 100-page, full-colour guide to the 68 constellations visible from the British Isles by Neil Bone, the respected amateur astronomer and writer.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE


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