Helium Detected In Exoplanet For First Time

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have detected helium in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-107b. This is the first time this element has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside the Solar System. The discovery demonstrates the ability to use infrared spectra to study exoplanet extended atmospheres. This is the first detection of its kind.

Helium is the second-most common element in the Universe after hydrogen. It is also one of the main constituents of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in our Solar System. However, up until now helium had not been detected on exoplanets – despite searches for it.

My How Times Change

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing

Interesting to see this is a computerized world..

Amazing Jupiter Imaging


This impressive image of the giant planet Jupiter was made by’ the master’ Anthony Wesley, and listed on his Facebook page.  In Anthony’s own word he said: “Hi all, some quite good seeing for a short while this morning just before dawn, allowing quite a lot of detail to be captured.

The NEB is full of repeating patterns of dark and light spots, and there is an interesting red barge in the SEB. The GRS is over the limb at lower left, it would rise about 30 minutes after this image was captured.” Used with permission: Anthony Wesley

Huge Antarctic Clouds

NASA’s AIM spacecraft is monitoring a vast ring of electric-blue clouds circling high above Antarctica.  These are noctilucent clouds (NLCs), made of ice crystals frosting specks of “meteor smoke” in the mesosphere 83 km above the frozen continent. Here is an animation from the past week:

his is the season for southern noctilucent clouds. Every year around this time, summertime water vapor billows up into the high atmosphere over Antarctica, providing moisture needed to form icy clouds at the edge of space.  Sunlight shining through the high clouds produces an electric-blue glow, which AIM can observe from Earth orbit.

Supermoon Over Antarctica

Around the world this week, sky watchers enjoyed the luminous glow of a perigee supermoon–as much as 8% wider and 16% brighter than average full Moons. It was even seen in Antarctica. B. Sudarsan Patro sends this picture from the Bharati Indian Research Base Station on the coast of the frozen continent:

Jupiter’s Clouds In Profile

Jupiter, the enormous gas giant is known to have breathtaking patterns across its surface, with images proving its beauty true. Now, new photographs courtesy of NASA’s Juno spacecraft. No, your eyes are not fooling you that is in fact an image of the gas giant’s surface, not an abstract painting created by the hand of an artist. This image was processed by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstadt, and Sean Doran who enhanced the image’s best aspects and despite all of this, the swirls remain fully original.

In A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Time to pull the Millennium Falcon out of the hangar, because the space objects in this week’s photos are far, far away. First up is a stunning photo featuring thousands of galaxies, and strange arcs of white streaks. These white stripes are actually 20 different asteroids that snuck into this photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The asteroids captured in this photo orbit only around 160 million miles from Earth, while those orange and blue swirling galaxies are unfathomably far away. Warp drive initiated!

Next on this deep space journey is a trip to the famous galaxy cluster MACS J1149, roughly 5 billion light years from Earth. This dense clump of matter contains thousands of galaxies, which are surrounded by massive amounts of dark matter. These clusters are hotbeds of gas and shock waves so large scientists can study them all the way from our humble planet.

 A Galaxy on the Edge

This colourful image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope shows NGC 1055 in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster).  This large galaxy is thought to be up to 15 percent larger in diameter than the Milky Way. NGC 1055 appears to lack the whirling arms characteristic of a spiral, as it is seen edge-on. However, it displays odd twists in its structure that were probably caused by an interaction with a large neighbouring galaxy.

NGC 1055 in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster).

This colourful stripe of stars, gas, and dust is actually a spiral galaxy named NGC 1055. Captured here by ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), this big galaxy is thought to be up to 15 percent larger in diameter than the Milky Way. NGC 1055 appears to lack the whirling arms characteristic of a spiral, as it is seen edge-on. However, it displays odd twists in its structure that were probably caused by an interaction with a large neighbouring galaxy.

Stunning new image of Jupiter megastorm


Jupiter as seen from the Juno spacecraft NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Roman Tkachenko

Jupiter’s ‘Great Red Spot’ has been pictured in a dramatic new image. The megastorm has been going for several centuries and is much larger than the Earth. Also visible in the photo are the ‘String of Pearls’, a series of three smaller storms in the southern hemisphere of the planet.

Saturn moon looks like ‘Star Wars’ Death Star

PHOTOS: Saturn and her moons up-close"Mimas," one of Saturn's moons which resembles the Death Star.Click through to see NASA's latest images that show how astonishingly large Saturn's rings are.

The Star Wars obsessed internet took no time to point out the resemblance between one of Saturn’s moons and the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the “Death Star.” The image was recently snapped by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which has been providing scientists with images of Saturn since 2004.

 A Full Sky Aurora Over Norway

See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Image Credit & Copyright: Sebastian Voltmer
Higher than the highest building, higher than the highest mountain, higher than the highest airplane, lies the realm of the aurora. Auroras rarely reach below 60 kilometers, and can range up to 1000 kilometers. Aurora light results from energetic electrons and protons strikingmolecules in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Frequently, when viewed from space, a complete aurora will appear as a circle around one of the Earth’s magnetic poles. The featured wide-angle image, horizontally compressed, captured an unexpected auroral display that stretched across the sky five years ago over eastern Norway. Source: APOD

 Earth in all its glory

Nasa has published a stunning image captured by Osiris-Rex during its travels, showing our planet in breathtaking detail. Visible in this image are the Pacific Ocean and several familiar landmasses, including Australia in the lower left, and Baja California and the southwestern United States in the upper right

 Last week, Nasa‘s asteroid-chasing spacecraft, Osiris-Rex, swung past Earth on its way to a space rock. The spacecraft, which is on a path towards the asteroid, Bennu, passed within about 11,000 miles (17,700 kilometers) of Earth.  Now, Nasa has published a stunning image captured by Osiris-Rex during its travels, showing our planet in breathtaking detail.

Aurora Borealis


Reflection by Beate Behnke (Germany), shows the Aurora Borealis being reflected off the water in Skagsanden

The Dumbbell Nebula

VST Captures Three-In-One


Two of the sky’s more famous residents share the stage with a lesser-known neighbour in this enormous new three gigapixel image from ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST). On the right lies the faint, glowing cloud of gas called Sharpless 2-54, the iconic Eagle Nebula is in the centre, and the Omega Nebula to the left. This cosmic trio makes up just a portion of a vast complex of gas and dust within which new stars are springing to life and illuminating their surroundings.

Moon and Sun Alignment Rarity

A German photograher had fixed 16 cameras to get this shot for which he had to wait for 62 days. See the moon and sun together. This can be only seen again in 2035.

Giant Sun Spot Sunset

Sunspots AR2644 and AR2645 have grown so large that some sky watchers are noticing them as blemishes on the setting sun. Yesterday evening in Girona, Spain, photographer Mohamad Soltanolkotabi went outside to look at the crescent Moon and, when he faced west, captured the sunspots instead:

“The sun was dimmed by low-hanging clouds, which made it possible to photograph these two large sunspots,” he explains. “I was located on the grounds of the University of Girona.”

These sunspots are large, but not very active.  Their magnetic fields are simple and stable, and thus pose little threat for explosive flares. Nevertheless they are photogenic. Warning: Even when the sun is dimmed by low-hanging clouds or smoke, it can still hurt your eyes. If you chose to photograph the low sun, as Soltanolkotabi did, use the camera’s LCD screen for safe viewfinding. Never look into the eyepiece of an unfiltered camera or telescope when the sun is in the field of view.  Source: Spaceweather


Read previous post:
Contact Dave

News Editor - Media Liaison    Astro Space News Writer &...

Astronomy Nights at Your Place 

Astronomy Nights at Your Place  Ask Yourself Have You Ever…...

Dave In USA

 Dave Reneke On Assignment In The USA New York -...