Splitting the world’s largest radio telescope across half the Earth could resolve an international quarrel that is brewing between two continents, researchers say. Australia and South Africa are vying to host the Square Kilometer Array, which will peer back to the early universe, and now it’s getting political.
Anyone who has ever owned a telescope understands the feeling of anticipation that comes with a cloudless, moonless night. Whether it's humid and mosquito-y or freezing cold, when the stars show themselves, you do what it takes to prepare for a night outside. What should I look for tonight? Maybe a nice globular cluster; maybe Jupiter at opposition, looking graceful through new color filters.
Now imagine answering these questions from home while commanding a 14-inch robotic telescope at Tenerife, in the remote Canary Islands. Where would you look? Francisco Sanchez, director of a new worldwide networked telescope project based in Spain, would like to hear your ideas.
It would be adorable if it weren’t so massive, hot and violent: the ESO has just released this brilliant new image of the Cat’s Paw Nebula, one of the most active star nurseries in our galaxy. Through beautiful swirls of gas and dust, the image captures a 50-light-years-wide swath of space that could be home to several tens of thousands of stars, including brand new blue stars just a few million years old, youngsters by cosmic standards.
A 100-ton antenna has arrived at a plateau in the Chilean Andes as the first piece of the world's largest astronomical observatory. The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) is designed to observe light with millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths -- between infrared light and radio waves – and help astronomers see light from some of the coldest and most distant objects at the edge of the observable universe.