- Press Release
- August 12, 2022
Space Science News from NASA HQ
From: Craig Tupper (email@example.com)
As expected, a ton of results were released at last week’s American
Astronomical Society meeting. Of course, not all of them involved data our
spacecraft… but many of them did, and there was a lot of exciting stuff!
Here’s some of the best, plus a few more things that aren’t AAS related:
In what has been hailed as a major discovery, our Chandra X-ray Observatory
has resolved most of the X-ray background, a pervasive glow of X-rays
throughout the Universe, which was first discovered in the early days of
space exploration. Before now, scientists have not been able to discern the
origin of the hard, or high-energy, X-ray background, because until Chandra
no telescope has had the technology to resolve it. At the same time,
Chandra may have revealed the most distant objects ever seen in the
Universe, and discovered two puzzling new types of cosmic objects.
The planetary dust disk around the star Beta Pictoris is dynamically
“ringing like a bell,” according to astronomers investigating NASA Hubble
Space Telescope images. They think that the disk may have been “rung” by
the passing of a nearby star around 100,000 years ago.
A team of astronomers conducting a systematic search for supermassive black
holes has discovered three more of the mysterious objects lurking in the
centers of nearby elliptical galaxies, and suggest that black holes formed
early and influenced galactic evolution.
Astronomers using a new technique to measure cosmic distances (based on
Hipparcos data) are finding that the universe may be expanding faster than
previously thought. http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/cfa/ep/kstanek0100.html
Astronomers using data from COBE and 2MASS have announced the discovery of
a new cosmic signal that should lead to a better understanding about the
creation of stars in the early universe.
A primordial soup of complex organic chemicals that could be the precursors
of life is cooked up very quickly after the birth of stars, new research
based on ISO data suggests.
Peering deep into a distant galaxy, astronomers have obtained a glimpse of
what may be the youngest massive star clusters ever observed.
Astronomers using Hubble have found that the ages of three globular
clusters in a nearby galaxy are very different, with one of the clusters
being only about 100 million years old. The findings have implications for
theories of galaxy evolution.
Two international teams of astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope and
ground-based telescopes in Australia and Chile have discovered the first
examples of isolated stellar-mass black holes adrift among the stars in our
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the Bubble Nebula, an
expanding shell of gas from a dying star, with unprecedented clarity. For
the first time, they are able to understand the geometry and dynamics of
this very complicated system. More info and beautiful pics at
NASA scientists taking a census of large asteroids in our solar system
neighborhood have cut their estimate in half.
We currently have two large scientific balloons flying simultaneously over
Antarctica. One is studying the Sun, the other is looking at Earth’s
aurora. You can keep track of the flights through the NSBF web site by
going to http://18.104.22.168/default.html and clicking on “Operations,”
then “Antarctica Operations,” then whichever flight track you wish to view
The extended halo of half-million-degree gas that surrounds the Milky Way
was generated by thousands of exploding stars, or supernovae, as our galaxy
evolved, according to new observations by our Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic
Explorer (FUSE) spacecraft.
ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/2000/00-005.txt More FUSE results
announced at the AAS are available at the FUSE page, http://fuse.pha.jhu.edu/
A sequence of colorful images detailing a stellar explosion in another
galaxy show a supernova’s massive, morphing shock wave, providing
scientists with a case study in the structure and evolution of the events.
Story at http://explorezone.com/archives/00_01/07_supernova_evolution.htm
The Mars Polar Lander flight team has ended all attempts to regain
communications with the spacecraft. JPL press release at
Astronomers from around the world will gather in Japan later this month to
present the most detailed images of quasars ever seen, produced with data
from the Very Long Base Interferometry Space Observatory Program. JPL
press release at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/2000/spacevlbi.html
Finally, don’t miss the total lunar eclipse this Thursday night, January
20. A good page for details is at
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