Archive

Archive for June 6, 2012

New Report: Hazardous Near Eearth Objects – Communicating The Risk


To deal with potentially hazardous Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that could strike the Earth, there is need to establish an effective international communications strategy – but doing so is a daunting task, one that demands effective use of mass communication tools.

The report and its findings are being presented this week to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and its Action Team-14 on NEOs during the 55th session of the UN COPUOS being held in Vienna, Austria.

Full Story: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/589977/?sc=dwtr&xy=5028369

Blowing Bubbles In The Carina Nebula


Giant bubbles, towering pillars and cascading clouds of dust and gas fill the star-forming nursery of the Carina Nebula seen here in a stunning new view from Herschel to launch ESA Space Science’s image of the week feature.

The Carina Nebula is some 7500 lightyears from Earth and hosts some of the most massive and luminous stars in our Galaxy, including double-star system eta Carinae, which boasts over 100 times the mass of our Sun.

Full Story: http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM0DE2XN2H_index_0.html

Giant Black Hole Kicked Out Of Home Galaxy


Astronomers have found strong evidence that a massive black hole is being ejected from its host galaxy at a speed of several million miles per hour. New observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory suggest that the black hole collided and merged with another black hole and received a powerful recoil kick from gravitational wave radiation.

“It’s hard to believe that a supermassive black hole weighing millions of times the mass of the sun could be moved at all, let alone kicked out of a galaxy at enormous speed,” said Francesca Civano of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), who led the new study. “But these new data support the idea that gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space first predicted by Albert Einstein but never detected directly — can exert an extremely powerful force.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/news/H-12-182.html

UI’s Scudder Makes First Observations Of Process Linked To Northern Lights


A University of Iowa researcher wants you to visualize a plate of spaghetti when you think of the northern lights.

That’s because Jack Scudder, UI professor of physics and astronomy, and his colleagues have reached a milestone in describing how the northern lights work by way of a process called “magnetic reconnection.”

Diffuse gas—called plasma—flows outward from the sun as the “solar wind” and carries with it magnetic field lines (“spaghetti”) from the sun.

The entanglement between magnetic field lines (spaghetti) from the sun and other field lines (spaghetti) anchored in the Earth’s core occurs when these field lines are brought together by gusts of solar wind.

Full Story: http://now.uiowa.edu/2012/05/astronomical-illumination

NASA Invites Social Media Fans To Mars Landing Event


NASA will host a 3-day NASA Social for 25 of its social media followers Aug. 3-5 at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. The NASA Social is scheduled to culminate in the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover at Mars’ Gale crater. The landing is anticipated at approximately 1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6.

During the 2-year prime mission, Curiosity will investigate whether the selected area of Mars offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life or if evidence of it existed.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jun/HQ_M12-105_MSL_Social_Media.html