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Archive for February 29, 2012

Exosphere Confirmed at Saturn’s Moon Dione

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

The Cassini spacecraft flew by Dione, one of Saturn’s icy moons, on 7 April 2010. During that flyby, instruments detected molecular oxygen ions around the moon. Tokar et al. used those measurements to estimate the density of the molecular oxygen ions to be in the range of 0.01 to 0.09 ions per cubic centimeter (or ions per 0.06 cubic inches). These molecular oxygen ions are produced when neutral molecules are ionized; the measurements confirm that a neutral exosphere surrounds Dione.

Full Story: http://www.agu.org/news/press/jhighlight_archives/2012/2012-02-29.shtml#six

Young Stars Flicker Amidst Clouds of Gas and Dust

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Image credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/IRAM

Image credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/IRAM

Astronomers have spotted young stars in the Orion nebula changing right before their eyes, thanks to the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The colorful specks — developing stars strung across the image — are rapidly heating up and cooling down, speaking to the turbulent, rough-and-tumble process of reaching full stellar adulthood.

The image can be viewed at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/herschel/multimedia/pia13959.html

The rainbow of colors represents different wavelengths of infrared light captured by both Spitzer and Herschel. Spitzer is designed to see shorter infrared wavelengths than Herschel. By combining their observations, astronomers get a more complete picture of star formation. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Spitzer mission for NASA, and also plays an important role in the European Space Agency-led Herschel mission.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-052

Live Feeds of Mars Opposition from 2 Observatories

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Slooh Space Camera will broadcast a free, real-time feed of the Mars Opposition on Saturday 3/3 starting at 04:00 UT / 8:00 PM PST / 11:00 PM EST. Slooh will provide multiple observatory feeds, including from Arizona and the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. The broadcast can be accessed at Slooh’s homepage or by visiting Slooh’s G+ page, where you will be able to see the panel interact live via G+ Hangouts On Air.

Media websites can embed Slooh’s live syndicated image feed directly into their own coverage of the event by visiting Slooh’s media page.

Slooh Space Camera will broadcast a free, real-time feed of the Mars Opposition on Saturday 3/3 starting at 04:00 UT / 8:00 PM PST / 11:00 PM EST. Slooh will provide multiple observatory feeds, including from Arizona and the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa.

Slooh’s own Patrick Paolucci will join Astronomy Magazine columnist Bob Berman along with other guests and Slooh members to discuss the event live and in true color.

Full Story: http://www.slooh.com/pr/slooh-live-feed-mars-opposition-march-2012.php

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