2. Astronomer's Tools

2009 October 28. Gallery: Images of space transformed by chips. NewScientist. Excerpt: This year's Nobel prize for physics was partly awarded to Willard Boyle and George Smith for inventing the charge-coupled device (CCD), the sensor that acts as the retina of digital cameras. But long before it reached consumers, the technology was used in astronomy. Explore these images to see how CCDs showed us space as never before....

2009 October 7. NASA Telescope Discovers Giant Ring Around Saturn. NY Times. Excerpt: PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- The Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered the biggest but never-before-seen ring around the planet Saturn, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced late Tuesday.
The thin array of ice and dust particles lies at the far reaches of the Saturnian system and its orbit is tilted 27 degrees from the planet's main ring plane, the laboratory said.
JPL spokeswoman Whitney Clavin said the ring is very diffuse and doesn't reflect much visible light but the infrared Spitzer telescope was able to detect it.
Although the ring dust is very cold -- minus 316 degrees Fahrenheit -- it shines with thermal radiation.
No one had looked at its location with an infrared instrument until now, Clavin said....

  Articles from 2009–present