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9 new stories for 2012/04/26

Outer Space – Mind Blowing Video from Jupiter and Saturn

Video Caption: This mesmerizing video unveils incredibly amazing sequences around Jupiter and Saturn from NASA’s Cassini and Voyager missions set to stirring music by “The Cinematic Orchestra -That Home (Instrumental)”. Credit: Sander van den Berg

Don’t hesitate 1 moment ! Look and listen to this mind blowing video of the Jupiter and Saturnian systems.

If you love the wonders of the hitherto unknown Universe unveiled before your eyes – and long to explore – feast your eyes on this short new video right now titled simply; “Outer Space”. (...)
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© Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | One comment |
Post tags: Cassini, Cassini mission, Enceledus, Jupiter, NASA, ring systems, Saturn, saturn's rings, voyager mission

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Meteorite Hunters Find Fragments from the Recent ‘Daytime Fireball’ in California

Meteorite expert and researcher Peter Jenniskens with a fragment of the bolide seen over California on April 22, 2012. Image via Franck Marchis' Cosmic Diary blog.

Meteorite hunters have been successful in locating fragments from the huge meteor visible in the daytime skies over California last weekend. One of the successful hunters was Peter Jenniskens, an expert in meteors and meteorites, perhaps best known for retrieving the fragments of asteroid 2008 TC3 which fell in Sudan in 2008. Astronomer Franck Marchis wrote in his Cosmic Diary blog that Jenniskens realized the size of the California meteor was very similar to 2008 TC3, and so fragments should have reached the surface, just like they did in 2008.

Jenniskens went out searching and found a four-gram fragment of the meteor in a parking lot in Lotus, California.

Update: NASA and the SETI Institute are asking the public to submit any amateur photos or video footage of the meteor that illuminated the sky over the Sierra Nevada mountains and created sonic booms that were heard over a wide area at 7:51 a.m. PDT Sunday, April 22, 2012.

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© nancy for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | One comment |
Post tags: Meteorites, meteors

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Recent Fireball Seen in Brazil Was Actually Re-Entering Centaur Rocket

We recently posted a video of a huge meteor streaking over the skies of Brazil. It turns out this wasn’t your average, ordinary, everyday meteor. It was actually a Centaur rocket body re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, according to fellow NASA Solar System Ambassador Eddie Irizarry. “An amazing video that shows a fireball lasting more than 30 seconds captured the reentry of a Centaur rocket body that was launched on 1985,” said Irizarry in an email, reporting for the Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe, the Puerto Rican Astronomy Society. “The object was seen from southeast Brazil by hundreds of people on April 20, 2012 and on the same date, Intelsat 5A12′s rocket body was about to reenter Earth’s atmosphere, passing exactly over the ground track from which some people were able to capture amazing images,” reported Irizarry.

There’s a second video below, as well as a map of the area the fireball was seen.
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Read the rest of Recent Fireball Seen in Brazil Was Actually Re-Entering Centaur Rocket (15 words)


© nancy for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | 2 comments |
Post tags: Centaur Rocket, meteors

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Antarctica’s Ice Being Eaten Away From Below


Data collected from a NASA ice-watching satellite reveal that the vast ice shelves extending from the shores of  western Antarctica are being eaten away from underneath by ocean currents, which have been growing warmer even faster than the air above.

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© Jason Major for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | One comment |
Post tags: antarctica, atmosphere, Climate Change, global warming, ice, ICESat, melting, shelf

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Dawn Reveals More of Vesta’s Secrets

These composite images from the framing camera aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft show three views of a terrain with ridges and grooves near Aquilia crater in the southern hemisphere of the giant asteroid Vesta. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Vesta is finally giving up its secrets, thanks to the Dawn spacecraft! The latest images sent back from Dawn are revealing new details about the giant asteroid, including its varied surface composition, sharp temperature changes and clues to its internal structure. Scientists say all the information garnered by Dawn will help us to better understand the early solar system and processes that dominated its formation.

“Dawn now enables us to study the variety of rock mixtures making up Vesta’s surface in great detail,” said Harald Hiesinger, a Dawn participating scientist at Münster University in Germany. “The images suggest an amazing variety of processes that paint Vesta’s surface.”
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© nancy for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |
Post tags: Dawn mission, vesta

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Behind the Scenes of SOFIA – The World’s Most Unique Observatory

The side of the SOFIA aircraft shows it's joint roots, a collaboration between NASA and German Scientists. Credit: Nick Howes

One of the most remarkable observatories in the world does its work not on a mountaintop, not in space, but 45,000 feet high on a Boeing 747. Nick Howes took a look around this unique airliner as it made its first landing in Europe.
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© Nick Howes for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | One comment |
Post tags: Infrared Astronomy, Observatories, SOFIA

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Magnify the Universe


Copyright 2012. Magnifying the Universe by Number Sleuth.

Looking for a fun way to investigate the Universe? This interactive infographic from Number Sleuth accurately illustrates the scale of over 100 items in the observable Universe ranging from galaxies to insects, nebulae and stars to molecules and atoms. The feature includes some wonderful images, using real photographs and 3-D renderings. This allows you to fully witness the awesome and vastly different sizes of between the Pillars of Creation, Andromeda, and the Sun, to things like elephants and viruses here on Earth. If you look close enough, you’ll see that the Cat’s Eye Nebula is surprising similar to coated vesicles, showing that even though the nebula is more than 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times larger, many things are similar in our universe.

Take Magnify the Universe for a test drive.

How does it work?
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© nancy for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | 3 comments |
Post tags: Interactive features, Science, universe

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Ancient Asteroids Kept Pelting Earth in a ‘Late-Late’ Heavy Bombardment

This image shows an artist’s depiction of a 10-kilometer (6-mile) diameter asteroid striking the Earth. Approximately 70 of these dinosaur killer-sized or larger impacts hit the Earth over a span that lasted between 3.8 and 1.8 billion years ago. Credit: Don Davis/Southwest Research Institute.

Even though the Late Heavy Bombardment is somewhat of a controversial idea, new research has revealed this period of impacts to the Earth-Moon system may have lasted much longer than originally estimated and well into the time when early life was forming on Earth. Additionally, this “late-late” period of impacts — 3.8 billion to 2.5 billion years ago — was not for the faint of heart. Various blasts may have rivaled those that produced some of the largest craters on the Moon, and could been larger than the dinosaur-killing impact that created the Chicxulub crater 65 million years ago.

“Our work provides a rationale that the last big impacts hit over an extended time,” said William Bottke principal investigator of the impact study team at the NASA Lunar Science Institute’s Center of Lunar Origin and Evolution (CLOE), based at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado.
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© nancy for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |
Post tags: Earth, Late Heavy Bombardment, Moon

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Newly Discovered Satellite Galaxies: Another Blow Against Dark Matter?

Arp 302 consists of a pair of very gas-rich spiral galaxies in their early stages of interaction. Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

A group of astronomers have discovered a vast structure of satellite galaxies and clusters of stars surrounding our Milky Way galaxy, stretching out across a million light years. The team says their findings may signal a “catastrophic failure of the standard cosmological model,” challenging the existence of dark matter. This joins another study released last week, where scientists said they found no evidence for dark matter.
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© nancy for Universe Today, 2012. | Permalink | 17 comments |
Post tags: Dark Matter, galaxies, milky way, Satellite Galaxies

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