Snippets

compiled by Arlene & David Kaplan

-LSST TEAM/SLAC/VRO

 Super telescope’s giant camera spies broccoli                               How do you test the new sensor for the world’s largest digital camera? You take a picture of broccoli, of course. This might sound bizarre but the intricate shapes found in the Romanesco version of this plant are a good check that you’re capturing lots of detail. And for the camera that’s to be fitted to the Vera Rubin Observatory in Chile – performance is everything…more

-BBC

‘Super bacteria’ survive for 3 years outside space station Scientists who attached a strain of bacteria to the outside of the International Space Station have been stunned to find it survived for three years, in open space. The experiment, led by a team of Japanese researchers, involved the bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans, also known as Conan the Bacterium due to its extreme hardinessmore

-NASA / JPL / Northwestern University

The Moon Is Rusting, and Researchers Want to Know Why    While our Moon is airless, research indicates the presence of hematite, a form of rust that normally requires oxygen and water. That has scientists puzzled. Mars has long been known for its rust. Iron on its surface, combined with water and oxygen from the ancient past, give the Red Planet its hue. But scientists were recently surprised to find evidence that our airless Moon has rust on it as well…more

-BBC

Time-lapse NASA footage shows the Sun over five years                In a landmark study, scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have mapped the immense envelope of gas, called a halo, surrounding the Andromeda galaxy, our nearest large galactic neighbor…more

-BBC

Is there life floating in the clouds of Venus?                                    It’s an extraordinary possibility – the idea that living organisms are floating in the clouds of Planet Venus. But this is what astronomers are now considering after detecting a gas in the atmosphere they can’t explain. That gas is phosphine – a molecule made up of one phosphorus atom and three hydrogen atoms…more

-NYT

These Black Holes Shouldn’t Exist, but There They Are               On the far side of the universe, a collision of dark giants sheds light on an invisible process of cosmic growth. Well, that was some clash of the heavyweights. Astronomers reported on Wednesday that they had detected the loudest, most massive and most violent collision yet between a pair of black holes…more

-ALMA ( ESO / NAOJ / NRAO ), Rizzo et al.

A distant Milky Way look-alike                                                 Astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), have revealed an extremely distant and therefore very young galaxy that looks surprisingly like our Milky Way. The galaxy is so far away its light has taken more than 12 billion years to reach us: we see it as it was when the Universe was just 1.4 billion years old…more

-BBC

Astronomy photographer of the year 2020 shortlist
A competition to find the best pictures of space, has shared a shortlist of the top 35 images entered into the competition. Around 5,200 entries were sent in to The Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020, from 70 countries around the world! This one was taken by Andy Casely who lives in Australia, using a special telescope and a camera….more

-BBC

M87*: History-making supermassive black hole seen to do a shimmy Well, now they’ve reassessed some of the image data that was acquired in the years running up to that historic snapshot. And it gives us some fresh perspectives on the object known as M87*, which has the monster mass of 6.5 billion Suns….more

-NYT

A Solar Forecast With Good News for Civilization as We Know It      The sun is beginning to perk up again. An international panel of scientists announced on Tuesday that the sun had emerged from the quietest part of its 11-year sunspot cycle and had now entered the 25th numbered cycle. (The numbering of sunspot cycles goes back to 1755.) The researchers predicted that the forthcoming cycle…more

-BBC

Black holes: Cosmic signal rattles Earth after 7 billion years Imagine the energy of eight Suns released in an instant. This is the gravitational “shockwave” that spread out from the biggest merger yet observed between two black holes. The signal from this event travelled for some seven billion years to reach Earth but was still sufficiently strong to rattle laser detectors in the US and Italy in May last year….more

This entry was posted in October 2020, Sidereal Times and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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