Astronomy: October 2012 Archives

Are Gen Xers Lost In Space?

How many Gen Xers know their cosmic address?

"Less than half of Generation X adults can identify our home in the universe, a spiral galaxy, according to a University of Michigan report. "Knowing your cosmic address is not a necessary job skill, but it is an important part of human knowledge about our universe and--to some extent--about ourselves," said Jon D. Miller, author of "The Generation X Report" and director of the Longitudinal Study of American Youth at the U-M Institute for Social Research."

Earth-Mass Planet Found Orbiting Alpha Centauri B

"European astronomers have discovered a planet with about the mass of the Earth orbiting a star in the Alpha Centauri system -- the nearest to Earth. It is also the lightest exoplanet ever discovered around a star like the Sun. The planet was detected using the HARPS instrument on the 3.6-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The results will appear online in the journal Nature on 17 October 2012."

NASA Statement On Alpha Centauri Planet Discovery

"The following is a statement about the European Southern Observatory's latest exoplanet discovery from NASA's Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator, Dr. John Grunsfeld. "We congratulate the European Southern Observatory team for making this exciting new exoplanet discovery. For astronomers, the search for exoplanets helps us understand our place in the universe and determine whether Earth is unique in supporting life or if it is just one member of a large community of habitable worlds. NASA has several current and future missions that will continue in this search."

The telescopes that came in from the cold, Nature

"Some astronomers, however, are questioning whether the value of the free hardware-- each NRO telescope is worth at least US$250 million-- can compensate for the extra costs entailed in going from a 1.3-metre mission to a 2.4-metre mission, which will require a larger rocket and a larger camera. Although the WFIRST mission was expected to cost $1.5billion, one NASA estimate puts the NRO option at $1.75billion."

- NRO Gives NASA Two Hubble-Class Telescopes (Shh!), earier post
- Are NASA's New Telescopes NRO Future Imagery Architecture Leftovers?, earier post



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

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