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This Rosetta image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko shows spectacular jets erupting from the small body on Sept. 10, 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

This Rosetta image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko shows spectacular jets erupting from the small body on Sept. 10, 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Jet! The comet that the Rosetta spacecraft is visiting is shedding more dust as machine and Solar System body get closer to the Sun.

While activity was first seen at the “neck” of the rubber-duckie shaped comet a few weeks ago, now scientists are seeing jets spring from across the comet.

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Astronomy Cast Ep. 354: Mars vs Comet Siding Spring

Visit the Astronomy Cast Page to subscribe to the audio podcast!

We record Astronomy Cast as a live Google+ Hangout on Air every Monday at 12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern. You can watch here on Universe Today or from the Astronomy Cast Google+ page.

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Why Can’t We See the Big Bang?

Since telescopes let us look back in time, shouldn’t we be able to see all the way back to the very beginning of time itself? To the moment of the Big Bang?
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Comet Siding Spring near Mars in a composite image by the Hubble Space Telescope, capturing their positions between Oct. 18 8:06 a.m. EDT (12:06 p.m. UTC) and Oct. 19 11:17 p.m. EDT (Oct. 20, 3:17 a.m. UTC). Credit: NASA, ESA, PSI, JHU/APL, STScI/AURA

Comet Siding Spring near Mars in a composite image by the Hubble Space Telescope, capturing their positions between Oct. 18 8:06 a.m. EDT (12:06 p.m. UTC) and Oct. 19 11:17 p.m. EDT (Oct. 20, 3:17 a.m. UTC). Credit: NASA, ESA, PSI, JHU/APL, STScI/AURA

We’ve seen spectacular images of Comet Siding Spring from Mars spacecraft, showing just how close the small body was to the Red Planet when it whizzed by Sunday (Oct. 19). But how close were the two objects actually, in the sky? This Hubble Space Telescope composite image shows just how astoundingly near they were.

Above are two separate exposures taken Oct. 18-19 EDT (Oct. 18-20 UTC) against the same starry field image from another survey. It was a complicated shot to get, NASA explains, but it does serve as a powerful illustration of the celestial close encounter.

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The ALMA array, as it looks now completed and standing on a  Chilean high plateau at 5000 meters (16,400 ft) altitude. The first observations with ALMA of Titan have added to the Saturn moon's list of mysteries. {Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) / L. Calçada (ESO)}

The ALMA array, as it looks completed and standing on a Chilean high plateau at 5000 meters (16,400 ft) altitude. The first observations with ALMA of Titan have added to the Saturn moon’s list of mysteries. {Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) / L. Calçada (ESO)}

A new mystery of Titan has been uncovered by astronomers using their latest asset in the high altitude desert of Chile. Using the now fully deployed Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile, astronomers moved from observing comets to Titan. A single 3 minute observation revealed organic molecules that are askew in the atmosphere of Titan. The molecules in question should be smoothly distributed across the atmosphere, but they are not.
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