Friday December 19th 2014
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Staff

Publisher and Editor - Judith Martin-Straw

Yo Jethro - Shelly Blaisdel

LOCALmotion - Jozelle Smith

Looking Up - Bob Eklund

Ruth's Truths - Ruth Morris

Looking Up by Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

DIAMONDS IN THE SCORPION’S TAIL. A new image from the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla telescope in Chile shows the bright star cluster Messier 7. Easily spotted with the naked eye close to the tail of the constellation of Scorpius, it is one of the most prominent open clusters of stars in the sky—making it an important astronomical research target. Messier 7, also known as NGC [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Europe’s billion-star surveyor Gaia is slowly being brought into focus. Once this space telescope starts making routine measurements, it will generate truly enormous amounts of data. To maximize the key science of the mission, only small ‘cut-outs’ centered on each of the stars it detects will be sent back to Earth for analysis. Professor Gerry Gilmore, from the University of Cambridge [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Researchers have determined the now-infamous Martian rock resembling a jelly doughnut, dubbed Pinnacle Island, is a piece of a larger rock broken and moved by the wheel of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in early January. Only about 1.5 inches wide, the white-rimmed, red-centered rock caused a stir last month when it appeared in an image the rover took Jan. 8 at a location where it [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Peanuts, anyone? It turns out there’s a big one in the sky—a strange peanut-shaped asteroid named 25143 Itokawa, about one-third of a mile long and roughly half that wide. By making exquisitely precise measurements using the European Southern Observatory’s New Technology Telescope (NTT) in Chile, astronomers have found that different parts of this asteroid have different densities. This [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

An infrared camera, which will form the heart of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), has joined three other instruments at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to be mounted in the nascent telescope structure. The Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) will function as the central imaging component of JWST, which will replace the Hubble Space Telescope toward the end of this decade. Designated one [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Famed French Impressionist Claude Monet created a striking scene of the Normandy coast in his 1883 painting, “Étretat: Sunset.” Now, a team of Texas State University researchers, led by astronomer and physics professor Donald Olson, has applied its distinctive brand of forensic astronomy to Monet’s masterpiece, uncovering previously unknown details about the painting's origins. Olson, [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

January 20, 2014: It was a fairy-tale ending to a tense chapter in the story of the Rosetta space mission, as the European Space Agency (ESA) heard from its distant spacecraft for the first time in 31 months. Launched in 2004, Rosetta is chasing down Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it will become the first space mission to rendezvous with a comet, the first to attempt a landing on a [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

This image of Abell 2744 is the first to come from Hubble’s Frontier Fields observing program, which is using the magnifying power of enormous galaxy clusters to peer deep into the distant Universe.  Abell 2744, nicknamed Pandora’s Cluster, is thought to have a very violent history, having formed from a cosmic pile-up of multiple galaxy clusters.   Astronomers previously observed [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Inhabitants of Minneapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis may be thinking that the American Midwest is the coldest place in the Universe. Well, almost, but not quite. At a cosmologically crisp one degree Kelvin (minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit), the Boomerang Nebula in the constellation Centaurus is actually the coldest known object in the Universe—colder, in fact, than the faint afterglow of the Big [...]

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Looking Up – Bob Eklund

Legendary Beatles singer and songwriter John Lennon was among those honored when names were recently assigned to 10 impact craters on Planet Mercury. The International Astronomical Union (IAU)—the arbiter of planetary and satellite naming since its inception in 1919—assigned the names in keeping with the established naming theme for Mercury craters, which calls for all newly designated [...]

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