Dating an Impressionist's Sunset.
"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
The Sculpture on the Moon.
"Scandals and conflicts obscured one of the most extraordinary achievements
of the Space Age."
Planck telescope reveals ancient cosmic light.
is the first full-sky image
from Europe's Planck telescope
which was sent into space last year to survey the oldest light in the cosmos. It took the 600m-euro observatory just over six months to assemble
. It shows what is visible beyond the Earth to instruments that are sensitive to light at very long wavelengths - much longer than what we can sense with our eyes." [more inside]
8 Wonders of the Solar System, Made Interactive.
"What might future explorers of the solar system see? Find out by taking an interactive tour through the eyes of Hugo Award-winning artist Ron Miller. Text and narration by Ed Bell." [Via]
Reprocess of Bubble Nebula Data. NGC 7635
, also called the Bubble Nebula, is an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It's created by stellar winds from a superhot star 40 times the size of our sun which whip the cloud of gas around the star
into a bubble
New burst vaporizes cosmic distance record.
"NASA's Swift satellite
and an international team of astronomers have found a gamma-ray burst
from a star that died when the universe was only 630 million years old, or less than five percent of its present age. The event, dubbed GRB 090423, is the most distant cosmic explosion
Time to turn off the lights.
"Cities needlessly shine billions of dollars directly into the sky each year and, as a result, a fifth of the world's population cannot see the Milky Way. Malcolm Smith explains why a dark sky has much to offer everyone
Where did Venus’s water go?
Water may have once been as abundant on Venus
as it is on Earth. New data from the Venus Express
suggests that the planet's lack of a magnetic field has allowed water in the atmosphere to be stripped apart
and carried into space by the solar wind
At dawn on the winter solstice,
the passage and chamber of the megalithic passage tomb
for 17 minutes by a shaft of sunlight entering through the roofbox
above the entrance. The builders of Newgrange achieved this precise alignment over 5,000 years ago
, 1,000 years before Stonehenge. You can watch the sunrise illumination on a live webcast
between 08:30 and 09:30 UTC
on Sunday, December 21st.
Mysterious New 'Dark Flow' Discovered in Space.
"As if the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy weren't vexing enough, another baffling cosmic puzzle has been discovered. Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can't be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon 'dark flow.'
The stuff that's pulling this matter must be outside the observable universe, researchers conclude." [more inside]
The Thirteen Towers of Chankillo
in Peru may be the Western Hemisphere's oldest known full-service
solar observatory, showing evidence of early, sophisticated Sun cults
, according to archaeoastronomy
professor Clive Ruggles
. The 2,300-year-old complex featured 13 towers running north to south along a ridge and spread across 980 feet to form a toothed horizon that spans the solar arc
. Last year, another ancient observatory was discovered in Peru by Robert Benfer
. The Temple of the Fox
is 4,200 years old, making it 1,900 years older
than the Chankillo site, but wasn't a complete calendar.
will be a full-scale working adaptation of Stonehenge
, New Zealand, intended to inspire interest in ancient technologies and basic astronomy
The first images
from the Spitzer Space Telescope
, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility and renamed after astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, Jr.
, were released on Thursday. Launched on August 25, it obtains images by detecting the infrared energy
radiated by objects in space, and it will drift behind the Earth
as the planet orbits the sun.
Public Survey for Input to the Planetary Decadal Survey.
The Planetary Society is seeking input from the public for NASA's planetary research priorities for the next 10 years. The deadline for taking the survey is January 31st.