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Best 3D View of Deep Universe Reveals Astonishing Details (Video)

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Astronomers have just released a brand-new, best-ever 3D view of the deep universe, and it’s a doozy.

The amazing new photo, released by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) today (Feb. 26) reveals never-before-seen cosmic objects in a relatively small patch of sky. The MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile spent 27 hours staring at the Hubble Space Telescope’s Deep Field South region, helping scientists learn more about far-flung galaxies. You can learn more about the photo in a video about the amazing 3D view of the universe as well.

Scientists are using the new image to gather new information about the distance, speed, composition and other details about the galaxies spotted by MUSE. Astronomers have measured the distances to 189 galaxies with the 3D data, ESO officials said in a statement about the photo released today. [Hubble Space Telescope’s Latest Cosmic Views (Photos)]

MUSE Surpasses Hubble

This new image from the MUSE instrument shows never-before-seen galaxies in stunning 3D. The Hubble Space Telescope also imaged this patch of sky in the 1990s. Image released on Feb. 26, 2015.
Credit: ESO/MUSE Consortium/R. Bacon

“After just a few hours of observations at the telescope, we had a quick look at the data and found many galaxies — it was very encouraging,” Roland Bacon, principal investigator of the MUSE instrument, said in the same statement. “And when we got back to Europe we started exploring the data in more detail. It was like fishing in deep water and each new catch generated a lot of excitement and discussion of the species we were finding.”

Hubble took its first deep-field image in 1995, and since then, it has taken other images of the distant universe, revealing more newfound galaxies along the way.

The Hubble Deep Field South image was captured over the course of 10 days in 1998, giving scientists and the public a new view of galaxies in the deep universe. MUSE has now revealed more than 20 extremely faint objects not seen in the deep-field image, ESO officials said.

“The greatest excitement came when we found very distant galaxies that were not even visible in the deepest Hubble image,” Bacon said. “After so many years of hard work on the instrument, it was a powerful experience for me to see our dreams becoming reality.”

MUSE Stares at Hubble Deep Field South

In this annotated image, triangles represent objects newly discovered by MUSE. White stars represent faint Milky Way stars, and circles are objects seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Blue objects are relatively nearby, with green and yellow ones more distant. Pink and purple objects represent galaxies seen when the universe was less than 1 billion years old, according to ESO.
Credit: ESO/MUSE consortium/R. Bacon

The galaxy distances measured by MUSE were varied, according to ESO. Some formed relatively recently, while others “were seen when the universe was less than one billion years old,” ESO officials said.

Astronomers are now planning on training the instrument’s gaze on other parts of the sky, originally images captured by Hubble.

“Now that we have demonstrated MUSE’s unique capabilities for exploring the deep universe, we are going to look at other deep fields, such as the Hubble Ultra Deep field,” Bacon said. “We will be able to study thousands of galaxies and to discover new extremely faint and distant galaxies. These small infant galaxies, seen as they were more than 10 billion years in the past, gradually grew up to become galaxies like the Milky Way that we see today.”

Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

muse-beyond-hubble-deep-field

Astronomers have just released a brand-new, best-ever 3D view of the deep universe, and it’s a doozy. The amazing new photo, released by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) today (Feb. 26) reveals never-before-seen cosmic objects in a relatively small patch of sky. The MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile spent 27 hours […]

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NASA Offers Space Tech Grants to Early Career University Faculty

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NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking proposals from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of outstanding early-career faculty members who are beginning independent research careers. The grants will sponsor research in specific high-priority areas of interest to America’s space program.

Aligned with NASA’s Space Technology Roadmaps and priorities identified by the National Research Council, the agency has identified topic areas that lend themselves to the early stage innovative approaches U.S. universities can offer for solving tough space technology challenges.

“These research grants will help NASA in the development of new space technologies needed for future science and exploration while also fueling the intellectual innovation engine of our nation, powering new discoveries for years to come,” said James Reuther, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. “Technology drives exploration and these research efforts will help us reach new heights while benefiting Earth right now.”

NASA expects to award approximately six to eight grants this fall. Grants will be funded up to $200,000 each per year, for as many as three years, based on the merit of proposals and availability of funds. Funded research will investigate unique, disruptive or transformational space technologies in areas such as dynamic tensegrity technologies for space science and exploration, high-temperature solar cells, fundamental aerothermodynamic model development and synthetic biology technologies for space exploration.

Dynamic tensegrity-based technologies have the potential to enable more capable and affordable space missions through large, reconfigurable space structures and lightweight, volume efficient landers. Tensegrity, or “tensional integrity,” uses tension and compression in skeleton structures for efficient and economic machine design. The first solicitation topic seeks dynamic tensegrity technologies for in-space, landing and surface operations applications.

Generation of power in a space environment is a challenge for all space missions. Research focused on high-temperature solar cells lead to smaller, more efficient and lower-cost solar cell size. The second topic seeks novel solar cell material combinations, cell laydown concepts, and heat rejection methods that allow solar arrays to function at reasonable levels of efficiency at higher operational temperatures.

NASA missions rely on computational simulations to predict conditions a spacecraft may experience during atmospheric entry on other planets — calculations that help experts decide the type and thickness of materials used to make thermal protection systems for spacecraft. Investment in basic aerothermal physical models and numerical methods is needed to generate revolutionary improvements to the current state of the art and enable NASA’s journey to Mars. This topic seeks innovative physical models for high speed non-equilibrium flows, novel approaches to obtain experimental validation data and improved numerical methods for the simulation of such flows.

NASA also is interested in innovative biological approaches to provide functions that traditional technologies cannot perform for future long-duration missions. Specifically, the fourth topic seeks novel synthetic biology-based approaches that can substantially improve  functionality, reliability, and efficiency in food production, biomedical applications, and in situ resource utilization.

Notices of intent to submit proposals to the Early Career Faculty Appendix of NASA’s Research Announcement “Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion 2015 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2015)” are due March 20. The deadline for submitting final proposals is April 17.

For information on the solicitation, including specific technology areas of interest and how to submit notices of intent and proposals, visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/1vwtqZz

This solicitation is issued by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is responsible for innovating, developing, testing, and flying hardware for use in future missions. For more information about the directorate and Space Technology Research Grants Program, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

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Prototype tensegrity robot crawling forward

Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion.

Image Credit: 

NASA/Brian Tietz

Image Token: 

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[image-36] NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking proposals from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of outstanding early-career faculty members who are beginning independent research careers. The grants will sponsor research in specific high-priority areas of interest to America’s space program. Aligned with NASA’s Space Technology Roadmaps and priorities identified by the National Research Council, […]

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Chicago in Winter

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Chicago in Winter

From the International Space Station (ISS), European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took this photograph of Chicago and posted it to social media on Feb. 19, 2015. She wrote, “How do you like #Chicago dressed for winter?”

Crewmembers on the space station photograph the Earth from their unique point of view located 200 miles above the surface as part of the Crew Earth Observations program. Photographs record how the planet is changing over time, from human-caused changes like urban growth and reservoir construction, to natural dynamic events such as hurricanes, floods and volcanic eruptions. Astronauts have used hand-held cameras to photograph the Earth for more than 40 years, beginning with the Mercury missions in the early 1960s. The ISS maintains an altitude between 220 – 286 miles (354 – 460 km) above the Earth, and an orbital inclination of 51.6˚, providing an excellent stage for observing most populated areas of the world.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Samantha Cristoforetti

Page Last Updated: February 25th, 2015
Page Editor: Sarah Loff

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Chicago in Winter From the International Space Station (ISS), European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took this photograph of Chicago and posted it to social media on Feb. 19, 2015. She wrote, “How do you like #Chicago dressed for winter?” Crewmembers on the space station photograph the Earth from their unique point of view located […]

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Hubblecast 82: New view of the Pillars of Creation

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The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revisited one of its most iconic and popular images: the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation.

This time Hubble has not just one image for us, but two: as well as the new visible-light image the telescope used infrared light to produce a second breathtaking picture of the region. Between them these images show the pillars in more detail than ever before.

In this Hubblecast we explore the different ways in which Hubble, and other telescopes, have captured this iconic object.

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The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revisited one of its most iconic and popular images: the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation. This time Hubble has not just one image for us, but two: as well as the new visible-light image the telescope used infrared light to produce a second breathtaking picture of the region. Between […]

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Flexible ‘Tentacle Robots’ Could Aid Planetary Exploration

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Researchers are developing new types of robotic systems inspired by elephant trunks, octopus arms and giraffe tongues. These flexible, maneuverable “tentacle robots” could have a variety of space applications, scientists say.

Researchers are developing new types of robotic systems inspired by elephant trunks, octopus arms and giraffe tongues. These flexible, maneuverable “tentacle robots” could have a variety of space applications, scientists say.

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Lick Observatory: Searching for Exoplanets & Funds

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By Elizabeth Howell, Space.com Contributor   |   August 23, 2014 12:24am ET

lick observatory, music of the spheres, james lick, mount hamilton
In this webcam view of Lick Observatory, the dome of the Shane telescope is in the center. To its left is the Crocker dome, which houses a specialized telescope for finding exoplanets. Just to the right of the Shane dome is the Automated Planet Finder. Above the APF dome is the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope, which searches for supernovae.
Credit: Lick Observatory


Lick Observatory is an astronomical research facility in California that has been in operation since 1888. Astronomers at Lick are searching for planets outside the solar system, trying to understand how stars and galaxies came to be, and doing a survey of supernovae to learn about the universe’s history. The University of California owns and operates the observatory; however, Lick will soon lose funding.

“Citing budget stringency, the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) has announced its intention to terminate funding for Lick in 2018,” the observatory’s website states. “Lick operations currently cost $1.5 million per year. Unless these funds are replaced, the telescopes will close. Also closing will be the public programs, including access to the 36-inch refractor and the main building.”

The office is spending the next three years in search of new partners to take on a share of the cost, the website said in mid-2014, and is also examining how much it would cost to close down the telescope and deconstruct it, leaving the site close to its original condition.

History

The facility sits at 4,200 feet (1,280 meters) atop Mount Hamilton, which is east of San Jose, California. Funding came from James Lick, who bought 37 tracts of land in San Francisco in 1848, just weeks before the gold rush, according to the observatory’s website. Lick bequeathed funds before he died in 1876, desiring a telescope that was “superior to and more powerful” than others that came before it, states the observatory’s website.

“Lick’s deed of trust did not spell out the details of the new observatory, leaving the board of trust great latitude and a great burden of responsibility in carrying out his wishes,” the website added.

The board debated whether to use a refracting telescope (which focuses light with lenses) or a reflecting telescope (which uses mirrors instead), but at the time, reflectors were just coming on the scene. Officials elected to use a refractor at first (only adding a reflector in later years).

Most telescopes of the era were built in cities, but astronomers were rapidly meeting with disadvantages as light pollution became more prevalent. This led astronomers to choose a mountaintop site instead for the new observatory. Lick bills itself as the “first permanently occupied mountaintop observatory in the world,” and currently houses several telescopes.

Current research

Lick’s extrasolar planet search involves monitoring about 1,000 stars that are close to the sun’s age, temperature and luminosity (intrinsic brightness), Lick states. This is done using the Shane reflector telescope and the Hamilton spectrograph, as well as a newly built Automated Planet Finder.

“Many Jupiter-size and Saturn-size planets have been discovered. As technology improves, smaller planets will be discovered more frequently. The ultimate goal of extrasolar planet search is to discover a solar system similar to our own, with Earth-like planets that may support life,” the Lick site states.

Additionally, Lick astronomers are looking at stars to see how elements are created — particularly, how stars evolve to create metals and other elements. The scientists examine older stars that are at different phases in their evolution, looking for similarities and differences. Astronomers also look at high redshift galaxies, which are quite far away from Earth and are early in their evolution.

Another research direction is examining supernovae to see why stars explode and what types are more prone to exploding. 

“The Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT) is programmed to search robotically for distant supernovae on every clear night of the year,” Lick states. “If KAIT ‘sees’ differences in luminosity within a galaxy, indicating a possible supernova, it notifies astronomers, who investigate further using the Kast spectrograph.”

Public outreach

Lick’s outreach program includes a summer observation program in which visitors are allowed to look through the 36-inch (91 centimeters) Great Lick Refractor and the 40-inch (101 cm) Nickel Reflecting Telescope. Additional telescopes from amateurs are available outside. Astronomers also give lectures on their research.

The observatory also holds a Music of the Spheres Concert series every summer, which includes tours, lectures and viewings through the telescopes. Music can range from jazz to fusion to Celtic, according to the 2014 program.

The Friends of Lick Observatory is a group that encourages the community to contribute to the telescopes. Some ongoing projects in 2014 include raising money for refurbishing the 36-inch refractor and constructing a Shane Adaptive Optics System to improve what the telescopes can see through the turbulent atmosphere. But the primary consideration is keeping the observatory open, the Friends’ Web page says.

“Lick’s future is now being challenged by the impending withdrawal in 2018 of funding from the University of California, ending a 126-year partnership,” the site states. “Now more than ever, Lick’s future depends on the excellence of its science and its dedicated community of friends.”

Additional resources

By Elizabeth Howell, Space.com Contributor   |   August 23, 2014 12:24am ET In this webcam view of Lick Observatory, the dome of the Shane telescope is in the center. To its left is the Crocker dome, which houses a specialized telescope for finding exoplanets. Just to the right of the Shane dome is the Automated Planet […]

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Mars One – Human Settlement on Mars

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Thanks Steve Ciarico

Human Settlement on Mars

Mars One designed a mission using only existing technology. In the coming years, a demonstration mission, communication satellites, two rovers and several cargo missions will be sent to Mars. A reliable living environment will be waiting for the astronauts when they leave Earth.

Astronaut Selection and Preparation

The global search has begun for the first humans to set foot on Mars and make it their home. In an extensive training period, candidates will learn the skills they will need on Mars and on their journey there. The combined skill set of each astronaut team member will cover a very wide range of disciplines.

In 1000 years, everyone on Earth will still remember who the first humans on Mars were. More than 200,000 men and women from around the world responded to the first call for astronauts.

You Make It Happen

The whole world will watch and experience this journey. We are all explorers. Everyone, including you, can participate in space exploration. This can be your mission to Mars!

Join our global effort by sharing our vision with your friends, supporting us and perhaps becoming a Mars astronaut yourself.

via Mars One.

Thanks Steve Ciarico Human Settlement on Mars Mars One designed a mission using only existing technology. In the coming years, a demonstration mission, communication satellites, two rovers and several cargo missions will be sent to Mars. A reliable living environment will be waiting for the astronauts when they leave Earth. Astronaut Selection and Preparation The global […]

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13 Facts About Space That Will Make Your Head Explode | Cracked.com

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Thanks to AprilMarie Rogue Quinn 13 Facts About Space That Will Make Your Head Explode — powered by Cracked.com

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Three Atmospheric ‘Dragons': Low Pressure Areas Around the U.S.

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There are three low pressure systems around the U.S. and they resemble dragons on satellite imagery. NOAA’s GOES-13 and GOES-15 satellite image from March 31, 2014 shows the low pressure systems in the eastern Pacific Ocean, over the nation’s Heartland, and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. All three lows have the signature comma shape that make them appear to be curled up dragons.

According to the National Weather Service, the low pressure area approaching the northwestern U.S. is expected to bring rainfall to the coast and areas of snow that stretch from western Washington state south toward the four corners region. The low in the middle of the country is located over Nebraska and dropping snow to the north and west of it. That same low is bringing rain from southern Minnesota south to eastern Texas. Meanwhile, the third low pressure system is bringing rain and snow to parts of New England.

NOAA’s GOES-East satellite sits in a fixed orbit in space capturing visible and infrared imagery of all weather over the eastern U.S. and Atlantic Ocean.

The data to create this image was taken on March 31, 2014 at 17:45 UTC/1:45 p.m. EDT by NOAA’s GOES-East or GOES-13 satellite and made into an image by NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
> More information.
Image Credit: NASA/Caption: Rob Gutro

There are three low pressure systems around the U.S. and they resemble dragons on satellite imagery. NOAA’s GOES-13 and GOES-15 satellite image from March 31, 2014 shows the low pressure systems in the eastern Pacific Ocean, over the nation’s Heartland, and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. All three lows have the signature comma shape that […]

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