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Galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223 taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. The inset image is the very distant galaxy MACS1149-JD1. ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, W. Zheng (JHU), M. Postman (STScI), the CLASH Team, Hashimoto et al.

When did the lights first come on in the universe? A galaxy close to the dawn of time gives a clue

Astronomers have indirectly spotted some of the first stars in the universe by making their most distant detection of oxygen in a galaxy that existed just 500m years after the Big Bang.
Imagined view from Kepler-10b, a planet that orbits one of the 150,000 stars that the Kepler spacecraft is monitoring. NASA/Kepler Mission/Dana Berry

Goodbye Kepler, hello TESS: Passing the baton in the search for distant planets

When NASA first started planning the Kepler mission, no one knew if the universe held any planets outside our solar system. Thousands of exoplanets later, the search enters a new phase.
The Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy here seen in infrared light, but it looks different when viewed at other wavelengths. ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI

Looking at the universe through very different ‘eyes’

The galaxies, stars and planets in our universe can look very different when you view them through equipment that sees beyond the visible light our eyes can see.
This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s south pole and its swirling atmosphere was created by citizen scientist Roman Tkachenko using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Roman Tkachenko

Juno mission unveils Jupiter’s complex interior, weather and magnetism

We may need to re-think our models of Jupiter’s formation thanks to the first results from Juno probe orbiting the planet, and new observations from Earth.
Part of CSIRO’s ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia. Australian SKA Office/WA Department of Commerce

A machine astronomer could help us find the unknowns in the universe

It's almost impossible for any human to spot something unknown or unusual in the massive amount of data collected by our telescopes. So we're teaching an intelligent machine to search the data for us.
Artist’s concept of the supermassive black hole and the gas clouds surrounding it. NRAO/AUI/NSF; Dana Berry / SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

How we caught a glimpse of a supermassive black hole having a meal

Astronomers have detected clumpy gas clouds on the verge of being swallowed by a supermassive black hole, rushing towards it at over 537,000 miles an hour.
20 tons of Ohara E6 borosilicate glass being loaded onto the mold of one of the GMT’s mirrors. Ray Bertram, Steward Observatory

How do you build a mirror for one of the world’s biggest telescopes?

The laws of physics dictate that to pick out ever fainter objects from space and see them more sharply, we're going to need a bigger telescope. And that means we need massive mirrors.

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