Spacecraft Juno’s close-up photos of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot


This video says about itself:

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot seen by Juno

12 July 2017

During its 10 July flyby, NASA’s Juno spacecraft took images of Jupiter‘s Great Red Spot. Measuring 16,350 kilometers (10,159 miles) in width, Jupiter‘s Great Red Spot is 1.3 times as wide as Earth. The storm has possibly existed for more than 350 years, but recently the Great Red Spot appears to be shrinking.

From Science News:

Here are Juno’s first close-ups of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

by Lisa Grossman

1:22pm, July 12, 2017

The Juno spacecraft’s first closeup views of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot are here. The spacecraft flew just 9,000 kilometers above the famous storm on July 10.

Scientists had expected the images to take until at least the night of July 13 to download because the spacecraft’s antenna was pointed away from Earth. But the first images arrived early, hitting the internet at about 11:30 a.m. EDT on July 12.

The 16,000-kilometer-wide storm appears as an angry red eye full of whorls and swirls. But there’s more to come: In addition to capturing pictures with its camera, Juno measured the spot with eight scientific instruments. Stay tuned.

Teeny-weeny star vies for title of smallest known, by Emily Conover. 7:00am, July 12, 2017.

The most distant star ever spotted is 9 billion light-years away, by Lisa Grossman, 4:51pm, July 11, 2017.

Trump’s Vice President Pence snubs NASA


Mike Pence and NASA rules, Reuters photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Mike Pence violates NASA rules

Today, 11:14

US Vice President Mike Pence has apologized to the NASA spacecraft organization. During a guided tour of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, he touched a spacecraft part, on which a big letters sign said “Do not touch”.

Pence says on Twitter that he had to touch the item. In his opinion, he was challenged by former candidate for the US presidential election and Republican senator Marco Rubio.

NASA has accepted Trump‘s vice president’s apology. What would have happened to a non-elite visitor, a cleaner or doorman who would have broken NASA rules this way? Being sacked, fined or jailed? Maybe Pence is ‘too big to jail‘?

Astronomy recent news update


This January 2017 video is called Top 10 Recently Discovered Earth Like Planets.

Kepler shows small exoplanets are either super-Earths or mini-Neptunes. Tally from the prolific space telescope adds 10 more potentially habitable rocky planets to count. By Lisa Grossman, 6:39pm, June 19, 2017: here.

Life might have a shot on planets orbiting dim red stars. If exoplanets around M dwarfs host life, it’s probably very different from that on Earth. By Christopher Crockett, 10:00am, June 14, 2017.

Eclipse watchers catch part of the sun’s surface fleeing to space. Spectrometer designed to measure speed, temperature and more to be deployed during U.S. eclipse in August. By Lisa Grossman, 2:57pm, June 16, 2017.

See the latest stunning views of Jupiter. The Juno spacecraft whizzes by once every 53 days. By Emily DeMarco, 9:00am, June 16, 2017.

Astronomy news


This video from the USA says about itself:

First Science From Juno at Jupiter (NASA News Audio with Visuals)

Scientists from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter discussed their first in-depth science results in a media teleconference on May 25, 2017, at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT, 1800 UTC), when multiple papers with early findings were published online by the journal Science and Geophysical Research Letters.

The teleconference participants were:

Diane Brown, program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington
Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio
Jack Connerney, deputy principal investigator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
Heidi Becker, Juno radiation monitoring investigation lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California
Candy Hansen, Juno co-investigator at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona

Juno launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016. In its current exploration mission, Juno soars low over the planet’s cloud tops, as close as about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers). During these flybys, Juno probes beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and studies its auroras to learn more about the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

For more information about the Juno mission, visit here.

Jupiter’s precocious birth happened in the solar system’s first million years. Early formation date may explain our oddball planetary lineup. By Lisa Grossman, 3:01pm, June 12, 2017.

Water circling a drain provides insight into black holes. Energy boost from rotational superradiance detected for the first time. By Emily Conover, 11:00am, June 12, 2017.

Swift kick from a supernova could knock a black hole askew. Gravitational wave detection hints at unexpected power from star explosion. By Emily Conover, 2:37pm, June 9, 2017.

Astronomical research news


This video says about itself:

7 June 2017

Albert Einstein reshaped our understanding of the fabric of space. In his general theory of relativity in 1915, he proposed the revolutionary idea that massive objects warp space, due to the effects of gravity. Until that time, Isaac Newton‘s theory of gravity from two centuries earlier held sway: that space was unchanging.

Einstein’s theory was experimentally verified four years later when a team led by British astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington measured how much the sun’s gravity deflected the image of a background star as its light grazed the sun during a solar eclipse.

Astronomers had to wait a century, however, to build telescopes powerful enough to detect this gravitational warping phenomenon caused by a star outside our solar system. The amount of deflection is so small only the sharpness of the Hubble Space Telescope could measure it. Hubble observed the nearby white dwarf star Stein 2051 B as it passed in front of a background star. During the close alignment, the white dwarf’s gravity bent the light from the distant star, making it appear offset by about 2 milliarcseconds from its actual position. This deviation is so small that it is equivalent to observing an ant crawl across the surface of a quarter from 1,500 miles away.

Einstein’s light-bending by single far-off star detected. Famous effect of general relativity provides accurate mass of distant white dwarf. By
Lisa Grossman, 11:15am, June 7, 2017: here.

See also here.

Milky Way’s loner status is upheld. Galaxy’s location in a vast cosmic void could help explain dueling universe expansion rates. By
Lisa Grossman, 5:47pm, June 7, 2017: here.

Very hot planet discovered


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KELT-9b – the hottest giant exoplanet

5 June 2017

650 light years away from Earth, in the constellation Cygnus, astronomers discovered a Jupiter-mass gas giant: KELT-9b. The exoplanet has a dayside temperature estimated around 4300 degrees Celsius. KELT-9b is hotter than most stars and only about 1000 degrees cooler than the Sun.

From Science News:

Scalding hot gas giant breaks heat records

KELT 9b’s temps soar higher than many stars

By Maria Temming

11:00am, June 5, 2017

The planet KELT 9b is so hot — hotter than many stars — that it shatters gas giant temperature records, researchers report online June 5 in Nature.

This Jupiter-like exoplanet revolves around a star just 650 light-years away, locked in an orbit that keeps one side always facing its star. With blistering temps hovering at about 4,300o Celsius, the atmosphere on KELT 9b’s dayside is over 700 degrees hotter than the previous record-holder — and hot enough that atoms cannot bind together to form molecules.

“It’s like a star-planet hybrid,” says Drake Deming, a planetary scientist at the University of Maryland in College Park who was not involved in the research. “A kind of object we’ve never seen before.”

KELT 9b also boasts an unusual orbit, travelling around the poles of its star, rather than the equator, once every 36 hours. And radiation from KELT 9b’s host star is so intense that it blows the planet’s atmosphere out like a comet tail — and may eventually strip it away completely.

The planet is so bizarre that it took scientists nearly three years to convince themselves it was real, says Scott Gaudi of Ohio State University. Deming suspects KELT 9b is “the tip of the iceberg” for an undiscovered population of scalding-hot gas giants.

Astronomy update


This video says about itself:

Backyard Worlds: The Search For Planet 9

15 February 2017

Citizen scientists join the search for Planet 9. Backyard Worlds enlists amateurs to look for celestial objects. By Ashley Yeager, 7:00am, May 29, 2017: here.

Why you can hear and see meteors at the same time. Radio waves may explain the mysterious phenomenon. By Thomas Sumner, 7:00am, May 30, 2017: here.