Astronomy: August 2012 Archives

NASA's WISE Survey Uncovers Millions Of Black Holes

"Images from the telescope have revealed millions of dusty black hole candidates across the universe and about 1,000 even dustier objects thought to be among the brightest galaxies ever found. These powerful galaxies that burn brightly with infrared light are nicknamed hot DOGs. "WISE has exposed a menagerie of hidden objects," said Hashima Hasan, WISE program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington."

NASA's Kepler Discovers Multiple Planets Orbiting a Pair of Stars

"NASA's Kepler mission has discovered multiple transiting planets orbiting two suns for the first time. The system, known as a circumbinary planetary system, is 4,900 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. Coming less than a year after the announcement of the first circumbinary planet, Kepler-16b, this discovery proves that more than one planet can form and persist in the stressful realm of a binary star."

Building Blocks of Life Found Around Young Sun-like Star

"The astronomers found molecules of glycolaldehyde -- a simple form of sugar -- in the gas surrounding a young binary star, with similar mass to the Sun, called IRAS 16293-2422. Glycolaldehyde has been seen in interstellar space before, but this is the first time it has been found so near to a Sun-like star, at distances comparable to the distance of Uranus from the Sun in the Solar System. This discovery shows that some of the chemical compounds needed for life existed in this system at the time of planet formation."

NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences Portfolio Review Committee Submits Report, NSF

"In 2011 NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST) commenced a Portfolio Review process in order to review the entire portfolio of AST-supported facilities, programs and other activities. The goal of the review was to recommend to AST how support for existing facilities, programs, and activities should be prioritized and interleaved with new initiatives recommended by the National Academy of Sciences decadal surveys, within the limitations of realistic future budgets."

Report: Advancing Astronomy in the Coming Decade: Opportunities and Challenges

Initial Public Statement From AUI and NRAO on the Report of the NSF's Astronomy Portfolio Review Committee, NRAO

"AUI and NRAO have made a preliminary examination of the report released today from the NSF Astronomy Portfolio Review Committee (PRC). Among the recommendations of that report are that the NSF's Green Bank Telescope and Very Long Baseline Array be fully divested from the NSF Astronomy Division's portfolio of research facilities in the next five years, with no further funding from the Astronomy Division. AUI and NRAO recognize and acknowledge the need to retire obsolete facilities to make way for the state-of-the-art. However, both the GBT and the VLBA are the state-of-the-art, and have crucial capabilities that cannot be provided by other facilities. Separately the two telescopes provide unparalleled scientific access to the universe. When their information is combined, the instruments provide the highest sensitivity and resolution available for any astronomical instrument in the world."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Astronomy category from August 2012.

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