sep 042012
After 35 Years, Voyager 1 is Heading for the Stars

  Thirty-five years after leaving Earth, Voyager 1 is reaching for the stars. Sooner or later, the workhorse spacecraft will bid adieu to the Solar System and enter a new realm of space — the first time a manmade object will have escaped to the other side. This image illustrates Voyager’s position as the twin space probes [continue reading]

aug 112012
Hidden Galactic Nuclei

  At the core of most galaxies including our own Milky Way is a supermassive black hole. Material falling into the environment of the black hole heats up, and can radiate dramatically, sometimes also powering the ejection of bipolar jets of rapidly moving charged particles. These so-called active galactic nuclei (AGN) are observed to have [continue reading]

aug 042012
Signs Changing Fast for Voyager at Solar System Edge

  Two of three key signs of changes expected to occur at the boundary of interstellar space have changed faster than at any other time in the last seven years, according to new data from NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft. This artist’s concept shows NASA’s two Voyager spacecraft exploring a turbulent region of space known as [continue reading]

jul 282012
Largest Ever Cherenkov Telescope Sees First Light

  On 26 July 2012, the H.E.S.S. II telescope started operation in Namibia. Dedicated to observing the most violent and extreme phenomena of the Universe in very high energy gamma-rays, H.E.S.S. II is the largest Cherenkov telescope ever built, with its 28-meter-sized mirror. Together with the four smaller (12 meter) telescopes already in operation since [continue reading]

jul 192012
NASA will Study Plasma in Earth's Atmosphere

  Our day-to-day lives exist in what physicists would call an electrically neutral environment. Desks, books, chairs and bodies don’t generally carry electricity and they don’t stick to magnets. But life on Earth is substantially different from, well, almost everywhere else. Beyond Earth’s protective atmosphere and extending all the way through interplanetary space, electrified particles [continue reading]

jun 162012
Voyager 1 is about to enter Interstellar Space

  Data from NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft indicate that the venerable deep-space explorer has encountered a region in space where the intensity of charged particles from beyond our solar system has markedly increased. Voyager scientists looking at this rapid rise draw closer to an inevitable but historic conclusion – that humanity’s first emissary to interstellar [continue reading]