The Kepler space observatory has been a source of great wonder since it first launched in 2009. It has turned its eyes out into the great vastness of space and seen new planetary systems and potentially life-supporting planets. The telescope's original 3.5-year mission was extended into 2016, but that may now come to a halt as serious technical issues take a toll.
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Electrosensitive community moving to a secluded town in Green Bank, Va.
- Facebook fixes comment threads for Pages and public figure.
- A promising 'Home' for the Facebook obsessed.
- Five ways to get more out of Facebook Home.
- Prepare a digital will for your Google accounts.
When conversing with people from all around the globe, it is useful to know if it's day or night in their city. A simple glance at Sunlit Earth for Mac can help you with that.
Sunlit Earth for Mac offers a simple widget that displays the current position of sun and the sunlit portion of the globe. Knowing where the sun is currently can be useful when communicating with people worldwide, whether for business or simply when staying in contact with family or friends located in another time zone. This widget seems to be an easier solution in comparison … Read more
Black holes are created when a supernova explosion destroys a massive star. Scientists have discovered dozens of black holes, but all of them are already formed. So, when scientists recently saw different distorted remains of a supernova, they knew it something special.
What the scientists believe they observed was the infant phases of a black hole, or the youngest black hole ever recorded in the Milky Way galaxy.
PALOMAR MOUNTAIN, Calif.--If you want to talk big scientific breakthroughs, how about quasars and supernovae?
Those are just two of the most important discoveries in the long, very storied history of the Palomar Observatory, a set of telescopes and other astronomical instruments located at the top of this mountain northeast of San Diego. And while the facility no longer holds quite the place in the astronomy community that it once had, for most of the second half of the 20th century, it was the undisputed champion of the world.
No, it's not something out of a Monty Python sketch. The "European Extremely Large Telescope" is, in fact, a real project. And it is, in fact, extremely large.
Or it will be, once it's built -- it'll be the world's largest optical/infrared telescope, actually. And with the recent vote to move the project beyond planning stages, the E-ELT may well be operational by sometime early in the next decade.… Read more
SUNSPOT, N.M.--Back in 1950, an order was placed for a grain bin from the Sears Catalog. That bin was delivered up to the far reaches of the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico, and after some modifications, it became the first solar telescope in Sunspot.
Sunspot may be the geekiest town in America. It's an unincorporated community full of scientists and support staff for the National Solar Observatory. The road leading into town is State Highway 6563, named for a hydrogen emission line wavelength used in stellar astronomy. … Read more
Talk about a DIY project. Astronomers and others at several U.S. universities have just about completed work on a seven-year, $14 million project to build a spectrometer that will enable them to study the earliest galaxies in the universe.
The 5-ton Mosfire (Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration) gathers infrared light and can thus see through cosmic dust to distant objects whose light has been stretched into the infrared spectrum by the expansion of the universe.… Read more
NASA this past weekend offered up tours of its recently souped up airborne telescope, built inside a modified Boeing 747 aircraft. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is the world's largest airborne observatory.
SOFIA carries a telescope with a 100-inch reflecting mirror that conducts astronomy research not possible with ground-based telescopes, NASA said. It's normally housed at NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., but CNET got to see it Friday at a press event at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.
Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden said SOFIA is … Read more