Archive

Archive for April 19, 2013

Grains Of Sand From Ancient Supernova Found In Meteorites


Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ O. Krause (Steward Observatory

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ O. Krause (Steward Observatory

It’s a bit like learning the secrets of the family that lived in your house in the 1800s by examining dust particles they left behind in cracks in the floorboards.

By looking at specks of dust carried to earth in meteorites, scientists are able to study stars that winked out of existence long before our solar system formed. This technique for studying the stars – sometimes called astronomy in the lab — gives scientists information that cannot be obtained by the traditional techniques of astronomy, such as telescope observations or computer modeling.

Now scientists working at Washington University in St. Louis with support from the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, have discovered two tiny grains of silica (SiO2; the most common constituent of sand) in primitive meteorites. This discovery is surprising because silica is not one of the minerals expected to condense in stellar atmospheres — in fact, it has been called ‘a mythical condensate.’

Because the grains, which were found in meteorites from two different bodies of origin, have spookily similar isotopic compositions, the scientists speculate in the May 1 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters, that they may have come from a single supernova, perhaps even the one whose explosion is thought to have triggered the formation of the solar system.

Full Story: https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25306.aspx

Herschel And Hubble See The Horsehead In New Light

April 19, 2013 1 comment

Hubble’s view of the Horsehead Nebula. Credit: NASA, ESA & Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

Hubble’s view of the Horsehead Nebula. Credit: NASA, ESA & Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

New views of the Horsehead Nebula and its turbulent environment have been unveiled by ESA’s Herschel space observatory and the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope.

The Horsehead Nebula lies in the constellation Orion, about 1300 light-years away, and is a popular target for amateur and professional astronomers alike. It sits just to the south of star Alnitak, the easternmost of Orion’s famous three-star belt, and is part of the vast Orion Molecular Cloud complex.

The new far-infrared Herschel view shows in spectacular detail the scene playing out around the Horsehead Nebula at the right-hand side of the image, where it seems to surf like a ‘white horse’ in the waves of turbulent star-forming clouds.

The new Hubble view, taken at near-infrared wavelengths with its Wide Field Camera 3 to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the launch of the observatory, zooms in on the Horsehead to reveal fine details of its structure.

Full Story, Images, Video and Links:

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Herschel/Herschel_and_Hubble_see_the_Horsehead_in_new_light
And: http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1307/

2nd Update


I now have limited use of my e-mail and will soon start some posting. I hope this will help. I should be up to full steam sometime next week. Thank you again for your patience.

Categories: Site News