Science News
 

Evening Sky Spectacle in the Beginning of Ramadan

25 June 2014
On the evening of 29 June 2014, the skies of Egypt will show a beautiful spectacle: a thin waxing crescent Moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter, the largest planet and the third brightest object in the night sky (sometimes Mars, the Red Planet, becomes brighter than Jupiter). When two celestial objects are aligned near the line of sight, they are said to be in conjunction. Conjunctions are among the most beautiful heavenly sights, particularly when the Moon meets a bright planet, such as Venus or Jupiter.


Chilean Peak Blasted for Constructing World’s Largest Telescope

24 June 2014
In a special ceremony, held to mark a new major milestone for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), a gigantic optical telescope being built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), part of the 3000-meter peak of Cerro Armazones in Chile was blown up, to level the summit in preparation for the construction of the telescope. E-ELT’s main mirror will be 39 meters in diameter, and capable of detecting infrared emission.


A Dusty Cosmic Island

23 June 2014
NGC 1316 is a giant elliptical galaxy, characterized by large dark clouds of cosmic dust that resemble dust bunnies. Fig. 1 is an exquisite image of NGC 136, acquired by NASA‘s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), a sophisticated astronomical observatory in low Earth orbit. It reveals in impressive detail the “dust bunnies” and clusters of old reddish stars.


Novel Techniques for Discovering Extrasolar Planets

19 June 2014
Extrasolar planets or exoplanets are planets orbiting outside the solar system. Astronomers have discovered around 1,800 exoplanets so far. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has deployed a new sophisticated instrument, termed SPHERE, to allow discovering and imaging exoplanets.


Novel Techniques for Discovering Extrasolar Planets

19 June 2014
Extrasolar planets or exoplanets are planets orbiting outside the solar system. Astronomers have discovered around 1,800 exoplanets so far. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has deployed a new sophisticated instrument, termed SPHERE, to allow discovering and imaging exoplanets.


Space Medical Research

17 June 2014
In the end of a fruitful workweek, the crew of Expedition 40 of the International Space Station (ISS) conducted medical and physics research, maintained station systems and readied for the upcoming spacewalk.


Secrets of Pluto’s Largest Moon

16 June 2014
Pluto (2,300 km across) is a mysterious distant icy world. It never comes closer to the Sun than 4.4 billion km, nearly 30 times the average Earth-Sun distance. It has a family of five moons, which is a big number of satellites for a dwarf planet. Intriguingly, a new, NASA-sponsored study has revealed that Pluto’s largest moon, Charon (1,200 km across), may have had an ocean of liquid water beneath its crust.


Phoebe: Saturn’s Odd Fascinating Moon

15 June 2014
Phoebe is a bizarre and intriguing moon of Saturn. It is termed an irregular satellite, as it orbits Saturn in a markedly elliptical, highly inclined orbit, in a clockwise direction, oppositely to the planet’s rotation and the motion of the “regular” moons


Watching World Cup Matches from Space

12 June 2014
As football fans all over the world eagerly await World Cup 2014, American astronauts Reid Wiseman (NASA) and Steve Swanson (NASA) and German astronaut Alexander Gerst (ESA), will be watching the competitions, too, aboard the International Space Station (ISS), orbiting 400 km above Earth’s surface.


Young Distant Stars

10 June 2014
Open star clusters are groups of stars loosely bound by the force of gravity. An open cluster may contain up to a few thousand stars. The stars of an open cluster form inside the same nebula, around the same period of time. Most open clusters are located within the disc of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, and, therefore, they are also known as galactic clusters. They generally consist of young stars, some of which are massive, hot and very luminous.


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