Astronomy News

Courtesy of Science Daily

Welcome to Sea and Sky's Astronomy News. Here you can find links to the latest space news headlines on the topic of astronomy. Click on any yellow title below to view the full news article. The news article will open in a new browser window. Simply close the browser window when you are finished reading the article to return to the news article listing. You can use the "Click for More" link to go to a page with more news headlines.


Astronomy News -- ScienceDaily
Updated : Fri, 28 Nov 2014 20:10:46 EST

Invisible shield found thousands of miles above Earth blocks 'killer electrons'
An invisible shield has been discovered some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-called 'killer electrons,' which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and degrade space systems during intense solar storms.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:38:29 EST

'Eye of Sauron' provides new way of measuring distances to galaxies
Scientists have developed a new way of measuring precise distances to galaxies tens of millions of light years away, using the W. M. Keck Observatory near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The method is similar to what land surveyors use on Earth, by measuring the physical and angular, or ‘apparent’, size of a standard ruler in the galaxy, to calibrate the distance from this information.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:27:02 EST

Cognitive test battery developed to assess impact of long duration spaceflights on astronauts' brain function
A cognitive test battery, known as Cognition, has been developed for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) to measure the impact of typical spaceflight stressors (like microgravity, radiation, confinement and isolation, exposure to elevated levels of CO2, and sleep loss) on cognitive performance. This computer-based test has already been tested by astronauts on Earth. It will be performed for the first time in a pilot study on the International Space Station (ISS) on November 28.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:39:26 EST

A colorful gathering of middle-aged stars
The MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured a richly colorful view of the bright star cluster NGC 3532. Some of the stars still shine with a hot bluish color, but many of the more massive ones have become red giants and glow with a rich orange hue.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:50:54 EST

Converting human-generated waste into fuel in space
Who would've known human waste could be used to propel spacecraft from the moon back to Earth? Researchers responded to the call from NASA and came up with a process to convert waste to methane and propel spacecraft to Earth.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:46:22 EST

How to estimate the magnetic field of an exoplanet
Scientists developed a new method which allows to estimate the magnetic field of a distant exoplanet, i.e., a planet, which is located outside the Solar system and orbits a different star. Moreover, they managed to estimate the value of the magnetic moment of the planet HD 209458b.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:18:00 EST

It's filamentary: How galaxies evolve in the cosmic web
How do galaxies like our Milky Way form, and just how do they evolve? Are galaxies affected by their surrounding environment? Astronomers now propose some answers. The researchers highlight the role of the 'cosmic web' -- a large-scale web-like structure comprised of galaxies -- on the evolution of galaxies that took place in the distant universe, a few billion years after the Big Bang.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:34:28 EST

Riddle of the missing stars: Hubble observations cast further doubt on how globular clusters formed
Thanks to the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, some of the most mysterious cosmic residents have just become even more puzzling. New observations of globular clusters in a small galaxy show they are very similar to those found in the Milky Way, and so must have formed in a similar way.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:32:31 EST

Unravelling the mystery of gamma-ray bursts with kilometer-scale microphones
A team of scientists hopes to trace the origins of gamma-ray bursts with the aid of giant space ‘microphones’. It's hoped the kilometer-scale microphones will detect gravitational waves created by black holes, and shed light on the origins of the Universe.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:19:41 EST

Sun's rotating 'magnet' pulls lightning towards UK
The sun may be playing a part in the generation of lightning strikes on Earth by temporarily 'bending' the Earth's magnetic field and allowing a shower of energetic particles to enter the upper atmosphere.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:48:49 EST

NASA's Swift mission probes an exotic object: 'Kicked' black hole or mega star?
Astronomers have discovered an unusual source of light in a galaxy some 90 million light-years away. The dwarf galaxy Markarian 177 (center) and its unusual source SDSS1133 (blue) lie 90 million light-years away. The galaxies are located in the bowl of the Big Dipper, a well-known star pattern in the constellation Ursa Major.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Nov 2014 17:50:43 EST

Rosetta continues into its full science phase
With the Philae lander's mission complete, Rosetta will now continue its own extraordinary exploration, orbiting Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko during the coming year as the enigmatic body arcs ever closer to our Sun.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:18:12 EST

Spooky alignment of quasars across billions of light-years
New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the Universe. A European research team has found that the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars are parallel to each other over distances of billions of light-years. The team has also found that the rotation axes of these quasars tend to be aligned with the vast structures in the cosmic web in which they reside.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Nov 2014 08:45:06 EST

Geologic maps of Vesta asteroid from NASA's Dawn mission
Images from NASA's Dawn Mission have been used to create a series of high-resolution geological maps of the large asteroid Vesta, revealing the variety of surface features in unprecedented detail.
Publ.Date : Tue, 18 Nov 2014 14:45:38 EST

Physicists suggest new way to detect dark matter
For years physicists have been looking for the universe's elusive dark matter, but so far no one has seen any trace of it. Maybe we are looking in the wrong place? Now physicists propose a new technique to detect dark matter.
Publ.Date : Tue, 18 Nov 2014 10:56:26 EST

Hiding in plain sight: Elusive dark matter may be detected with GPS satellites
The everyday use of a GPS device might be to find your way around town or even navigate a hiking trail, but for two physicists, the Global Positioning System might be a tool in directly detecting and measuring dark matter, so far an elusive but ubiquitous form of matter responsible for the formation of galaxies.
Publ.Date : Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:47:22 EST

Rosetta's OSIRIS camera spots Philae lander drifting across the comet
Incredible new images show the breathtaking journey of Rosetta's Philae lander as it approached and then rebounded from its first touchdown on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014.
Publ.Date : Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:12:21 EST

Rosetta's comet lander: Pioneering Philae completes main mission before hibernation
Rosetta's lander has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Publ.Date : Sat, 15 Nov 2014 07:49:51 EST

Proposed 'wide view' Hubble Space Telescope
Scientists are working on a proposed NASA space telescope that will provide images as sharp as the Hubble Space Telescope, but over a hundred times larger area. The space observatory, called the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope-Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST-AFTA), is being studied for launch in the mid-2020s, pending program approval by NASA.
Publ.Date : Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:44:44 EST

Three touchdowns for Rosetta’s lander
After achieving touchdown on a comet for the first time in history, scientists and engineers are busy analyzing this new world and the nature of the landing. They discovered that the lander did not just touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko once, but three times.
Publ.Date : Fri, 14 Nov 2014 08:56:35 EST