Astronomy Now Online
Home Magazine Sky Chart Resources Store

News by month (2005): Recent : Jan
News by month (2004): Dec : Nov : Oct : Sep : Aug : Jul :
Jun : May : Apr : Mar : Feb

Nearest, youngest star with planet nursery found
February 28:  Astronomers have discovered the nearest and youngest star with a visible disk of dust that may be a nursery for planets. The dim red dwarf star is a mere 33 light years away, close enough that the Hubble Space Telescope or ground-based telescopes with adaptive optics to sharpen the image should be able to see whether the dust disk contains clumps of matter that might turn into planets.
Cassini captures stunning view of Saturn
February 27:  Four months before its scheduled arrival at Saturn, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft sent its best colour postcard back to Earth of the ringed world. The spacecraft is expected to send weekly postcards, as it gets closer to the ringed giant.
Large planetoid found beyond Pluto
February 20:  A new object located by the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) survey on February 17 and found in images by Mike Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory) and David Rabinowitz (Yale), may be the largest object discovered in the solar system since Pluto in 1930.
Mars Express images Kasei Vallis on Mars
February 18:  The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft has imaged Kasei Vallis, one of the largest outflow channels on Mars. The feature is believed to have been created by glaciers or the bursting of subterranean lakes dammed by the glaciers.
Largest mirror in space under development
February 18:  The European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory, designed to make observations in the infrared and sub-milimetre band, is due to be launched in February 2007. Engineers have recently completed a crucial phase of the project by manufacturing its 3.5-metre main mirror from silicon carbide. Use of this revolutionary material will result in a primary with a mass one fifth of a conventional mirror. Further machining is required before it can be given its reflective coating.
Giant black hole rips star apart
February 18:  A super-massive black hole has ripped apart a star and consumed a portion of it, according to data from ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Chandra and X-ray observatories. These results are the best evidence yet that such a phenomenon, long predicted by theory, does actually happen.

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.

Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.

3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!


© 2014 Pole Star Publications Ltd.