Articles about telescope

Astronomers find bizarre 'zombie supernova' that just won't die

Astrophysicists have discovered one of the weirdest stars yet in the universe: one that refuses to die, exploding as a supernova multiple times over fifty years. Normally when large stars reach the end of their lives they terminally explode as a supernova with a burst of bright light and matter and that is that. But the …
FAST

China can't find anyone smart enough to run its whizzbang $180m 1,640ft radio telescope

There aren't many astronomy jobs that pay very well – but the Chinese authorities are offering just that for the director of scientific operation for its new Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope. At 500m (1,640ft) across, FAST became the world's largest filled-aperture radio telescope when construction finished last …
Iain Thomson, 8 Aug 2017
Galaxies stretching back into time across billions of light-years of space. The image covers a portion of a large galaxy census called the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS).

New Brit Hubble analysis finds 2,000 billion galaxies, 10x previous count

Douglas Adams was right. Space is really big. New analysis of data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories suggests there are ten times more galaxies out there than previously thought. The theory is advanced in a paper (PDF) titled “The Evolution of Galaxy Number Density at Z < 8 and its implications” that …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2016
Giant Magellan Telescope

Top interview: Dr Patrick McCarthy – boss of the world's future largest optical telescope

Pics + vids Construction has now started on the Giant Magellan Telescope – which will be the world's largest optical viewing device mankind has ever built – using record-breaking mirrors and advanced electronics. Youtube Video The telescope, located high in the Chilean mountains, will be able to show us images with up to ten times the …
Iain Thomson, 30 Sep 2016
Sun

NASA puts lenses through a different drill to stare at the Sun

NASA Goddard boffins and engineers have taken inspiration from the Fresnel lens to craft a “photon sieve” they hope will help them observe the processes that heat the sun's corona. The diffraction that gives a Fresnel lamp its soft edges is also handy for gathering light. NASA's post here explains that after passing through …
Scotty

Revealed: How NASA saved the Kepler space telescope from suicide

Waking up to a phone call in the wee small hours of the morning is almost never good. It’s usually a wrong number, a drunk ex wanting to talk, or the news that someone has died. When NASA's Kepler space telescope mission manager Charlie Sobeck was woken by ringing at 0125 on April 8, it was close to the latter. The Kepler …
Iain Thomson, 4 May 2016
Hitomi

Japan's Hitomi space 'scope bricked, declared lost after software bug

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has declared the ASTRO-H space telescope, renamed Hitomi after its launch, has been lost in space after a series of errors. JAXA lost contact with the $286m x-ray 'scope last month. On Thursday the agency admitted the instrument is dead, saying that it appears the solar panels had …
Iain Thomson, 29 Apr 2016
IT Crowd's Roy: "Have you turned it off and on again?"

NASA saves Kepler space 'scope by turning it off and on again

The Kepler space telescope is back in action after a tense couple of weeks for NASA engineers. On April 8 the space agency reported that Kepler was stuck in emergency mode, which not only made stellar observations impossible but also burns through the telescope's limited fuel reserves at a prodigious rate. In a couple of days …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2016
Kepler

NASA gives blacked-out Kepler space 'scope the kiss of life

The Kepler space telescope is back in action after mysteriously shifting into emergency mode last week. "Mission operations engineers have successfully recovered the Kepler spacecraft from Emergency Mode (EM)," said Charlie Sobeck, Kepler's mission manager at NASA's Ames Research Center. "On Sunday morning, the spacecraft …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2016

3,000 kids' sketches to fly with exoplanet hunter

No less than 3,000 sketches by European kids will accompany the CHEOPS space telecope when it thunders aloft in early 2018 on its mission to accurately measure the radii of transitioning exoplanets. Back in 2015, youngsters between the ages of eight and 14 were invited to submit black-and-white artwork for possible engraving …
Lester Haines, 5 Apr 2016
Canada's CHIME Telescope

Canada's CHIME telescope taps AMD for GPU-based super

Canada's under-construction CHIME telescope has taken a big step towards completion, announcing a contract that will put in place the high performance computing it needs. And AMD is over the moon about it: in line with the Canadian telescope's hope to use consumer-derived technology wherever possible, the project has anointed …
Hitomi

Hope for Hitomi after tumbling space 'scope phones home

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has received two brief transmission bursts from its tumbling space telescope Hitomi that show the telescope isn't a total write-off. The X-ray telescope, dubbed Hitomi after its successful launch on February 27, was due to have started operations this week, but JAXA lost contact …
Iain Thomson, 30 Mar 2016
Hitomi

Japan loses contact with new space 'scope just weeks after launch

Update: signals received Japan's newest space telescope has mysteriously gone quiet barely a month after launch, and engineers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are desperately trying to reestablish contact. On February 17, the x-ray telescope ASTRO-H blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center and successfully made it into orbit, at …
Iain Thomson, 28 Mar 2016

China 'evacuates' 9,000 around monster radio 'scope

China will "evacuate" 9,110 residents living within a five-kilometre radius of its new "Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope" (FAST), in order to create "a sound electromagnetic wave environment". The monster radio 'scope - located in the south-western province of Guizhou - is due for completion in September. The …
Lester Haines, 17 Feb 2016
protoplanet

Astronomers catch first sighting of a planet's birth pangs

Scientists have long postulated that planets are formed by accretion of matter in giant discs of matter around stars, and now an inventive researcher has found a way to spot a far-away world being born. "This is the first incontrovertible detection of a planet still in the process of forming – a so-called 'protoplanet'," said …
Iain Thomson, 19 Nov 2015
Astrosat

India follows up Mars orbiter with successful space observatory launch

India's space agency has successfully launched the country's first space observatory, the long-awaited ASTROSAT. The satellite was the main payload for a mission by the country's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-30, along with four US satellites, one from Canada, and one from Indonesia. The multi-wavelength observatory …
LSST camera

All pixels go: World's biggest sky-gazing camera gets final sign-off

Having won its final funding approval during 2014, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope has now been granted government approval to start construction. The 3.2 gigapixel camera will be built at the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Lab. Its boffins have been celebrating “Critical Decision 3”, the last major …
Night sky over Hawaii

Eco-loons hack Thirty Meter Telescope website to help the 'natives'

A cyber attack downed the Hawaiian Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)'s official website for two hours in protest against the construction on Mauna Kea. A group called Operation Green Rights, claiming to be affiliated to Anonymous, launched a primitive DDoS attack on the TMT and Hawaiian government sites, posting trophy screen grabs …
Simon Rockman, 27 Apr 2015

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