Monthly Archives: August 2010

Close encounters

I am now sitting in the control room of the Very Large Telescope. The night is quiet. The Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) is currently in use, and our unit telescope (UT2, Kueyen, the Moon) is busy. This gives me ...

Discovery of 7 exoplanets around a Sun-like star

Today, a team of astronomers from Europe led by group of the Observatoire de Geneve announced the discovery of SEVEN exoplanets around a southern hemisphere star called HD 10180.  Even if the name of the star is far from being memorable, ...

Blogging from Chile

Mmm, after a veeeery loooong trip, I'm back to Chile. I am now in Santiago, but tomorrow I will fly up to Antofagasta, and then up to Paranal. Looking at my blog I have just noticed the last 3 posts ...

Another flash on Jupiter

Masayuki Tachikawa, amateur astronomer from Kumamoto city, Japan, reported the detection of an optical flash on Jupiter atmosphere recorded on August 20 2010 at 18:22:12 UT. You can find the video on the following link and below a captured screen. Details about the observations ...

WMAP: It’s a Wrap!

The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has finished all of its observations, including 9 years of CMB data, ending with 10 days of calibration tests at larger angles between the spin axis and the Sun.

Looking to Lani in Hawaii

Hello Cosmic Diary readers! I have recently started writing (here's hoping for more consistency...) for NASA Goddard's 'Blueshift' blog, particularly about travel and astronomy....both of which I love. Just the past few months, I've been on work-related trips ...

A picture of our home taken from Mercury's orbit

Just a short post today. I am still recovering from the SETIcon. I will tell you more about it soon. An image is worth a thousand words so just look at this picture taken by Messenger Spacecraft. The Messenger spacecraft is ...

Decadal Survey

Every 10 years the US astronomy community ranks proposed projects for the next decade. The 2010 report was released today, 13 Aug 2010, at 08:00 PDT. The top recommendations were the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), formerly ...

FIRST@LICK: First fringes! Finally…

Already three nights on the telescope and we still have no fringes... It looks worrisome but in fact we anticipated difficulties in installing FIRST prototype which is essentially a lab testbench on the Shane telescope. The good news is that ...

FIRST@LICK: Two nights hunting for the fringes

As I mentioned before, the Grail of our experiment called FIRST, is to record patterns of interference fringes. Using these "images" we should be able to reconstruct an image with a high dynamic at proximity of the star, allowing us ...