Monday, May 23

Astronomy

Webb optics alignment achieves near perfect focus – Astronomy Now
Astronomy

Webb optics alignment achieves near perfect focus – Astronomy Now

A sharply-focused image of a nondescript star 100 times fainter than the human eye can detect served as a suitable target to demonstrate the near-perfect alignment of the James Webb Space Telescope’s optical system. Image: NASA/STSci Engineers have achieved nanometre precision aligning the 18 hexagonal segments of the James Webb Space Telescope’s 6.5-metre (21.3-foot) primary mirror, unveiling a razor-sharp image of a star using the observatory’s Near Infrared Camera, or NIRCam. Along with the sharply focused star, the infrared image shows a multitude of faint galaxies strewn across the field of view, highlighting the sensitivity of the $10 billion space observatory. The nondescript star in question, 2MASS J17554042+6551277, is about 100 times fainter than the human eye could see. “I’m ...
Astronomy in the News joins Armagh Observatory and Planetarium – Astronotes
Astronomy

Astronomy in the News joins Armagh Observatory and Planetarium – Astronotes

Astronomy, and I’m sure you’d agree, is the most wonderous science of all. You are dealing with, literally, the biggest questions in the Universe from “how was the Universe formed?” to “Is there other life out there?”, but it is also, arguably, the easiest science to do yourself. If you go outside on a clear night, all you need to do is look up and you’ll maybe see the moon, some planets, stars, or even the Milky Way if you are in a very dark location. It is this ease and wonder that makes the Armagh Planetarium such a popular place to visit, or why schools love astronomers visiting. I visit schools giving presentations, such as on my area of research, star formation, on the Solar System, or on how to become an astronomer, and I am always struck by how much pupils, of all ages, love the ...
Researchers discover a mysterious type of wave in the sun with unexplained speed
Astronomy

Researchers discover a mysterious type of wave in the sun with unexplained speed

An artistic impression of the high-frequency retrograde (HFR) vorticity waves. These waves appear as swirling motions near the equator of the Sun. The rotation in the north is always anti-symmetric to the rotation in the southern hemisphere. These mysterious waves move in the opposite direction to the sun's rotation, which is to the right, three times faster then what is allowed by hydrodynamics alone. Credit: NYU Abu Dhabi Researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi's (NYUAD) Center for Space Science have discovered a new set of waves in the sun that, unexpectedly, appear to travel much faster than predicted by theory. ...
Advances in street lighting are reducing the efficacy of coastal species’ camouflage — ScienceDaily
Astronomy

Advances in street lighting are reducing the efficacy of coastal species’ camouflage — ScienceDaily

Species that rely on darkness to forage and feed are losing the gift of camouflage thanks to advances in the lighting used to illuminate the world's cities and coastlines, a study has shown. The worldwide proliferation of energy efficient broad spectrum lighting has the potential to disrupt an array of visually guided ecological processes. New research has demonstrated that these new lighting technologies can significantly improve a predator's ability to discriminate prey species against a natural background. The magnitude of this effect varies depending on an organism's colour, meaning certain colour variations may be at greater risk. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, was conducted by researchers at the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML). I...
Astronomy

Starwatch: the Garnet Star, Cepheus’s red gem, is a thing of beauty | Astronomy

Star chart showing a view of Cepheus at 8pm Monday 14 March 2022 from LondonThis week, we’re going to concentrate on an often overlooked northern constellation. Cepheus is named after the king of ancient Aethiopia in Greek mythology. Part of the Perseus myth, Cepheus is married to Cassiopeia and is the father of Andromeda, the princess whom Perseus saved from the sea monster Cetus.Cepheus is one of the 48 constellations listed by the astronomer Ptolemy in the second century. The constellation is easy to miss as it contains only moderately bright to faint stars, but its shape is distinctive once located.The brightest star is Alderamin, derived from the Arabic phrase meaning “right arm”, which means that the king is upside down on the sky, or facing away from us.The most significant star i...