Tuesday, September 27

Astronomy

Planetary-scale ‘heat wave’ discovered in Jupiter’s atmosphere
Astronomy

Planetary-scale ‘heat wave’ discovered in Jupiter’s atmosphere

Europlanet Media Centre A panning-view of Jupiter’s upper atmospheric temperatures, 1000 kilometers above the cloud tops. Jupiter is shown on top of a visible image for context. In this snapshot, the auroral region (near the northern pole, in yellow/white) appears to have shed a massive, planetary-scale wave of heating towards the equator. The feature is over 130,000 kilometers long, or 10-Earth diameters, and is hundreds of degrees warmer than the background. For video see: https://youtu.be/gWT0QwSoVls. Credit: Hubble / NASA / ESA / A. Simon (NASA GSFC) / J. Schmidt. Credit: James O’Donoghue An unexpected "heat wave" of 700 degrees Celsius, extending 130,000 kilometers (10 Earth diameters) in...
Satellites can now Measure the Thickness of Ice Sheets all Year Long
Astronomy

Satellites can now Measure the Thickness of Ice Sheets all Year Long

Artificial intelligence can do more than paint planets as bowls of soup. It’s now helping researchers acquire better climate change data by teaching Earth observation satellites how to measure ice thickness in the Arctic year-round. Satellites have been monitoring the Earth’s icy north pole for decades now, but the quality of these observations have long been seasonally dependent. In winter, when the ice is solid, cold, and dry, measurement techniques are simple and effective. But things get a lot more challenging in the summer, when melted ponds of water form on the icy surface. From space, these meltwater pools are highly reflective, blinding the satellites’ instruments, or making the pools appear to be the open ocean. In these conditions, satellites are unable to distinguish between s...
ARMAGH OBSERVATORY ANNOUNCES RECORD FOOTFALL – Astronotes
Astronomy

ARMAGH OBSERVATORY ANNOUNCES RECORD FOOTFALL – Astronotes

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) has announced record footfall as it marks its first anniversary since unveiling its newly redeveloped visitor experience. The globally recognised astronomical research facility saw footfall reach a decade high of 17,000 in July 2022. The organisation, which reopened in June 2021, reported a total footfall of 34,000 between April and July 2022 and confirmed that visitor numbers in July of this year dwarfed those recorded in 2019 by more than 7,000. Armagh Observatory and Planetarium implemented a series of upgrades and innovative new attractions throughout a temporary closure due to Covid 19.  These included an upgrade to its digital theatre, which was enhanced with the latest Digistar technology. The new technology immerses visitors in a 360-degree...
Frank Drake, SETI pioneer, 1930–2022 – Astronomy Now
Astronomy

Frank Drake, SETI pioneer, 1930–2022 – Astronomy Now

Frank Drake and his eponymous equation for estimating the number of technological civilisations in the Milky Way Galaxy. Image: SETI Institute. Frank Drake, the radio astronomer who pioneered the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), died yesterday (2 September) at the age of 92. Born on 28 May 1930 in Chicago, Drake was working at the Green Bank Radio Telescope during the early days of radio astronomy, in the late 1950s, when he was inspired by Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison’s famous 1959 paper in Nature about using radio transmissions at 21cm wavelength to communicate across interstellar distances. Encouraged by the director of Green Bank, Otto Struve, Drake conducted the first ever radio SETI search in April 1960. Called Project Ozma, the search utilised the 26-metre d...
Astronomy

‘Historic’ James Webb images show exoplanet in unprecedented detail | James Webb space telescope

A blazing gas giant shrouded in dusty red clouds has been revealed in unprecedented observations of a planet beyond our solar system.The observations, which astronomers said marked a “historic moment for astronomy”, are the first direct images of a planet beyond our solar system by Nasa’s $10bn (£8.65bn) James Webb space telescope. They are also the first images of an exoplanet using infrared light, which gives a far more precise indication of a planet’s mass and temperature and will allow astronomers to detect the movement of clouds drifting across the planet’s sky.“This is really a historic moment for astronomy,” said Prof Sasha Hinkley, an astronomer based at the University of Exeter, who co-led the observations. “James Webb is going to open the door to a whole new class of planets that...