SJAA Ephemeris July 2009 | SJAA Home | Contents | Previous | Next

The Last Month in Astronomy


JUN-03-2009 NASA Announces Winners • NASA has announced the winners of its Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums. The two California winners are the Castle Challenger Learning Center Foundation based in Merced and the Hiller Aviation Institute in San Carlos. For more information, follow the link below and click on the link below “Selections”.{F6425211-4E48-A735-A46E-75FB5774AAC6}&path=past

MAY-28-2009 • New Exoplanet Technique Works • Most exoplanets have been detected using the “wobble” method used by Marcy, Butler et. al. but there are other techniques such as detecting planetary transits (the method used by the Kepler spacecraft). One method has been proposed for a long time but it’s success rate had been exactly zero. No more. Planet VB 10b, a Jupiter class planet circling a star 1/12 the mass of the sun, has been detected using astrometry - measuring the changes in the position of a star as it is moved by the planet. The star and planet are about the same size but the star has more mass.

MAY-15-2009 • Spitzer loses its cool • The Spitzer Space Telescope has been gazing at the infrared universe for more than 5 years. This has required a significant amount of coolant onboard the spacecraft and that coolant has just run out. Fear not, Spitzer will now enter a warm phase where a couple of its instruments will continue to work after recalibration is completed.

MAY-14-2009 • Herschel and Planck successfully launched •


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