New research using a decade of data from ESA's Mars Express has found clear signs of the complex martian atmosphere acting as a single, interconnected system, with processes occurring at low and mid levels significantly affecting those seen higher up.
For nearly a century, astronomers have puzzled over the curious variability of young stars residing in the Taurus-Auriga constellation some 450 light years from Earth. One star in particular has drawn astronomers' attention. Every few decades, the star's light has faded briefly before brightening again.
In 1610, Galileo redesigned the telescope and discovered Jupiter's four largest moons. Nearly 400 years later, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope used its powerful optics to look deep into space—enabling scientists to pin down the age of the universe.
Astronomers keep coming up short when they survey "normal" matter, the material that makes up galaxies, stars and planets. A new NASA-sponsored CubeSat mission called HaloSat, deployed from the International Space Station on July 13, will help scientists search for the universe's missing matter by studying X-rays from hot gas surrounding our Milky Way galaxy.
It was 21 March 2013. The world's scientific press had either gathered in ESA's Paris headquarters or logged in online, along with a multitude of scientists around the globe, to witness the moment when ESA's Planck mission revealed its 'image' of the cosmos. This image was taken not with visible light but with microwaves.
A collaborative research team in Japan has taken the first steps to understanding how the sun's rotational cycle influences lightning activity. They found answers in an unusual source—diaries dating back to the 1700s.
ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has achieved first light with a new adaptive optics mode called laser tomography—and has captured remarkably sharp test images of the planet Neptune and other objects. The MUSE instrument working with the GALACSI adaptive optics module, can now use this new technique to correct for turbulence at different altitudes in the atmosphere. It is now possible to capture images from the ground at visible wavelengths that are sharper than those from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Canadian astronomers have identified mode changing and giant pulses in the millisecond pulsar known as PSR B1957+20. It is the first time when mode changing mechanism has been observed in a millisecond pulsar. The finding is detailed in a paper published July 4 on the arXiv pre-print server.
To discover and confirm the presence of a planet around stars other than the sun, astronomers wait until it has completed three orbits. However, this very effective technique has its drawbacks since it cannot confirm the presence of planets at relatively long periods (it is ideally suited for periods of a few days to a few months). To overcome this obstacle, a team of astronomers under the direction of the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have developed a method that makes it possible to ensure the presence of a planet in a few months, even if it takes 10 years to circle its star: This new method is described for the first time in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.