SJAA Ephemeris August 2010 | SJAA Home | Contents | Previous | Next

The Last Month in Astronomy

6-JUL-2010•Planck’s View of the Whole Sky• The image shown here is from the Planck spacecraft using microwave radiation from 30 to 857 gigahertz. In this picture, the tiny temperature fluctuations from the Big Bang are visible in the top and bottom sections. The stronger radiation through the center is from the Milky Way. This image of the microwave sky was synthesized using data spanning the range of light frequencies detected by Planck. These low frequencies cannot be seen with the human eye. The image is the result of 12 months of observations – the result of the first all-sky survey by Planck. Image credit: ESA, HFI & LFI consortia (2010)


13-JUL-2010 •V’ger still there• The Voyager 2 spacecraft has hit the 12,000 day milestone as it travels through the last of the solar system. It is now 12.8 light hours away, 14 billion miles.

12-JUL-2010 •Rosetta meets Lutetia• The ESA Rosetta spacecraft has successfully sent closeup images of the asteroid Lutetia. The pictures show a heavily crated surface and suggests that this asteroid is a leftover from the original formation of our solar system. The closest approach was about 3162 km.

6-JUL-2010 •Cassini takes a dive• The Cassini spacecraft dove into the Titan atmosphere. This allowed for detailed radar sensing of a dark area that has not been studied this closely before. The closest approach was about 1000 km, not the closest apporach for Cassini at Titan but still the lowest until May 2012.

17-JUN-2010 •IC 3418 Tails• The tail of IC 3418 has been studied using the Galaxy Evolution Explorer. According to Janice Hester of Caltech, “The gas in this galaxy is being blown back into a turbulent wake...The new observations are teaching us that this heavier, star-forming gas can form in the wake, possibly in swirling eddies of gas.” This galaxy is not only interacting with another galaxy but with the entire Virgo cluster of galaxies. The Virgo cluster consists of 1500 galaxies and is located 54 million light years away.

17-JUN-2010 •7th graders find Martian cave• Students at Evergreen Middle School in Cottonwood, CA were examining lava tubes as part of their activity in the Mars Student Imaging Program - a program offered by NASA and Arizona State University. In the process of doing so they spotted what might be a hole into a Martian cave.


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