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The Picture of the day

The official video trailer for Cosmic Light IYL2015, in english.

mÓxim

Also available with catalan, spanish and many other subtitleshere

Astronomy exhibitions

The Astronomy and Meteorology Department of the University of Barcelona offers with no cost the exhibitions (in Catalan and Spanish) listed bellow:


News

2015

abril

mÓxim First Near Earth Asteroids Discovered from La Palma, 15 April
In 2014 the Isaac Newton Telescope became the first telescope in La Palma to discover and secure five Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) as part of the EURONEAR project and as a result of the allocation of several override programmes awarded by the time allocation committees.

mÓxim Dark Energy Survey: mapping the dark matter of the Universe, 15 April
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, are the largest contiguous maps created at this level of detail and will improve our understanding of dark matter's role in the formation of galaxies. Analysis of the clumpiness of the dark matter in the maps will also allow scientists to probe the nature of the mysterious dark energy, believed to be causing the expansion of the universe to speed up.

mÓxim First Signs of Self-interacting Dark Matter?, 15 april
For the first time dark matter may have been observed interacting with other dark matter in a way other than through the force of gravity. Observations of colliding galaxies made with ESO’s Very Large Telescope and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have picked up the first intriguing hints about the nature of this mysterious component of the Universe.

mÓxim Calling all Photographers,
For the launch of Sentinel-2A, ESA is inviting you to take part in a photo contest focusing on the theme of ‘colour vision’. Enter for a chance to win a trip to ESA’s operations centre for the satellite’s launch event.

mÓxim NASA host briefings on historic mission to Pluto,
NASA Television will air media briefings at 1 p.m. EDT and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, to discuss plans and related upcoming activities about the agency’s historic New Horizons spacecraft flyby of Pluto this summer.
Briefers will describe the mission’s goals, scientific objectives and encounter plans, including the types of images and other data that can be expected and when.

mÓxim Complex Organic Molecules Discovered in Infant Star System,
For the first time, astronomers have detected the presence of complex organic molecules, the building blocks of life, in a protoplanetary disc surrounding a young star. The discovery, made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), reaffirms that the conditions that spawned the Earth and Sun are not unique in the Universe.

mÓxim NASA Extends Campaign for Public to Name Features on Pluto The public has until Friday, April 24 to help name new features on Pluto and its orbiting satellites as they are discovered by NASA’s New Horizons mission.

mÓxim Total Lunar Eclipse 4 April,
At 12:00 TU occurred a Total Lunar Eclipse visible from Asia, Australia, Pacific, America.

mÓxim Hershel and Planck find missing clue to galaxy cluster formation 1 April,
By combining observations of the distant Universe made with ESA’s Herschel and Planck space observatories, cosmologists have discovered what could be the precursors of the vast clusters of galaxies that we see today.

March

mÓxim Watch Galileo launch 27 March,
onstruction of Europe’s navigation satellite constellation resumes on Friday, 27 March with the launch of the seventh and eighth Galileo satellites. Launch is scheduled for 21:46:18 GMT (22:46:18 CET, 18:46:18 local time) atop a Soyuz ST-B rocket from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. Streaming starts at 21:26 GMT (22:26 CET).

mÓxim Black Hole winds pull the plug on star formation 26 March,
Astronomers using ESA’s Herschel space observatory have found that the winds blowing from a huge black hole are sweeping away its host galaxy’s reservoir of raw star-building material.

mÓxim Colliding Stars Explain Enigmatic Seventeenth Century Explosion 23 March,
New observations made with APEX and other telescopes reveal that the star that European astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful analysis using submillimetre telescopes was needed before the mystery could finally be unravelled more than 340 years later. The results appear online in the journal Nature on 23 March 2015.

mÓxim ESA's minisatellites to follow Europe's solar eclipse 6 March,
On Friday morning, 20 March, Europe will experience a partial solar eclipse. Only a partial solar eclipse will be visible from continental Europe, but the Agency’s Sun-watching Proba-2 minisatellite, up in its 820 km-altitude orbit, will see two periods of near-total eclipse for a few dozen seconds.

mÓxim Hot water activity on icy moon's seafloor 12 march,
Tiny grains of rock detected by international Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn point to hydrothermal activity on the seafloor of its icy moon Enceladus

mÓxim Mars: The Planet that Lost an Ocean’s Worth of Water 5 March,
A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean, and covered a greater portion of the planet’s surface than the Atlantic Ocean does on Earth, according to new results published today. An international team of scientists used ESO’s Very Large Telescope, along with instruments at the W. M. Keck Observatory and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, to monitor the atmosphere of the planet and map out the properties of the water in different parts of Mars’s atmosphere over a six-year period. These new maps are the first of their kind.

mÓxim NASA’s Chandra Observatory Finds Cosmic Showers Halt Galaxy Growth 4 March,
Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have found that the growth of galaxies containing supermassive black holes can be slowed down by a phenomenon referred to as cosmic precipitation.

Total Solar Eclipse 20/03/15, from Svalbard Islands

Observation from Barcelona

Site Images BCN

Information about the eclipse.

February

mÓxim Looking Deeply into the Universe in 3D26 February,
The MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep Universe. After staring at the Hubble Deep Field South region for only 27 hours, the new observations reveal the distances, motions and other properties of far more galaxies than ever before in this tiny piece of the sky. They also go beyond Hubble and reveal previously invisible objects.

mÓxim Exploring the colours of the Small Magellanic Cloud, 24 February,
The scene is actually a collaboration between two cosmic artists — ESA’s Herschel space observatory and NASA’s Spitzer space telescope. The image is reminiscent of an artistic stipple or pointillist painting, with lots of small, distinct dots coming together to create a striking larger-scale view.

mÓxim Aster organizes an observation of the eclipse of March 20th in Barcelona, 23 February,
Aster, Astronomical Association from Barcelona organizes an observation of the eclipse on the Passeig MarÝtim of Barcelona, in front of the Parc de la Barceloneta, at the south of the Hospital del Mar.
People who want to participate will be invited to observe the eclipse, giving them goggles. And there will be an observation reserved for groups of students from schools in that area.
Students will be invited to draw the appearance of the Sun at that time. At the end of the phenomenon, every school should be able to make a poster or mural with the complete sequence of the eclipse drawings made by students at different stages of the eclipse.

mÓxim Unusual comet dive-bombs the Sun, 20 February,
Astronomers are puzzling over a comet that passed "insanely close" to the sun on Feb. 19th. At first glance it appeared to be a small object, not much bigger than a comet-boulder, doomed to disintegrate in the fierce heat. Instead, it has emerged apparently intact and is actually brightening as it recedes from the sun. Unofficially, the icy visitor is being called "SOHO-2875," because it is SOHO's 2,875th comet discovery.

mÓxim Spooky Alignment of Quasars Across Billions of Light-years, 19 February,
New observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the Universe. A European research team has found that the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars are parallel to each other over distances of billions of light-years. The team has also found that the rotation axes of these quasars tend to be aligned with the vast structures in the cosmic web in which they reside.

mÓxim Mystery Mars plume baffles scientists, 17 February,
Plumes seen reaching high above the surface of Mars are causing a stir among scientists studying the atmosphere on the Red Planet.

mÓxim Hubble captures rare triple-moon conjunction, 05 February,
Firing off a string of snapshots like a sports photographer at a NASCAR race, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a rare look at three of Jupiter's largest moons zipping across the banded face of the gas-giant planet: Europa, Callisto, and Io. Jupiter's four largest moons can commonly be seen transiting the face of the giant planet and casting shadows onto its cloud tops.

mÓxim

Talk: Latent Questions. Black Holes

  • By Josep M. Paredes Poy (Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia de la UB)
  • Place: Biblioteca Jaume Fuster (Barcelona)
  • Date: 07/02/2015
  • Time: 12:00
  • Free

mÓxim Planck reveals first stars were born late, 05 February,
New maps from ESA’s Planck satellite uncover the ‘polarised’ light from the early Universe across the entire sky, revealing that the first stars formed much later than previously thought.

mÓxim Rosetta swoops in for a close encounter, 04 February,
ESA’s Rosetta probe is preparing to make a close encounter with its comet on 14 February, passing just 6 km from the surface.
Rosetta's page on Serviastro

mÓxim XMM-Newton and Hubble view of Jupiter's Ghost, 28 January,
ESA’s Rosetta mission is providing unique insight into the life cycle of a comet’s dusty surface, watching 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as it sheds the dusty coat it has accumulated over the past four years.

January

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Video: Cometa C2014 Q2 Lovejoycaptured from Ibiza on 2015, 8- 25 January by theAgrupaciˇ Astron˛mica d'Eivissa (AAE) using the Telescopio de Cala d'Hort (TCH).

Lovejoy comet

Time-lapses of comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) observed on 2015 January 13-14-15 from Teide Observatory.

mÓxim Hubble's High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy, 30 January,
The largest Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled, this sweeping view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic neighbor. Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, the Hubble telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long section of the galaxy's pancake-shaped disk. It's like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand.

mÓxim The mouth of the beast, 28 January,
Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this new image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Although it appears to be big and bright in this picture, this is actually a faint nebula, which makes it very hard for amateur astronomers to spot. The exact nature of CG4 remains a mystery.

mÓxim Rosetta watches comet shed its dusty coat, 03 February,
Names of astronomical objects are often ambiguous, especially when the historical designation of a certain class of celestial body preceded their physical understanding and was based on their appearance in the sky.
A notoriously abstruse case of nomenclature is that of planetary nebulas, the picturesque remains of low- and intermediate-mass stars.

mÓxim Asteroid that flew past Earth today has Moon, 27 January,
The first radar images show the asteroid 2004 BL86 , which made its closest approach on Jan. 26, 2015 at 8:19 a.m. PST (11:19 a.m. EST) at a distance of about 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers, or 3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon), has its own small moon.

mÓxim One second more in 2015, 21 January,
The International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS), announced that on June 30th will add a second to our clock time (UTC) to adjust it with the Solar Time (UT). This Time difference corresponds to the variability of the terrestrial rotation.
Monography about the Time mesurement

mÓxim Getting to know Rosetta's comet, 22 January,
Rosetta is revealing its host comet as having a remarkable array of surface features and with many processes contributing to its activity, painting a complex picture of its evolution.
Web about Rosetta on serviastro

mÓxim Asteroid to fly by Earth safely on January 26, 15 January,
An asteroid, designated 2004 BL86, will safely pass about three times the distance of Earth to the moon on January 26. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about a third of a mile (0.5 kilometers) in size. The flyby of 2004 BL86 will be the closest by any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027.

mÓxim Where did all the stars go?, 7 January,
Some of the stars appear to be missing in this intriguing new ESO image. But the black gap in this glitteringly beautiful starfield is not really a gap, but rather a region of space clogged with gas and dust. This dark cloud is called LDN 483 — for Lynds Dark Nebula 483. Such clouds are the birthplaces of future stars.

mÓxim Chasms and cliffs on Mars, 7 January,
Although Mars is a very alien planet, some aspects of its geology are surprisingly familiar. This Mars Express image shows a snippet of a region of Mars filled with cliffs, trenches, faults, giant plateaus and volcanoes.

mÓxim NASA’s Kepler Marks 1,000th Exoplanet Discovery, Uncovers More Small Worlds in Habitable Zones, 6 January,
Of the more than 1,000 verified planets found by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, eight are less than twice Earth-size and in their stars' habitable zone. All eight orbit stars cooler and smaller than our sun. The search continues for Earth-size habitable zone worlds around sun-like stars.

mÓxim NASA’s Kepler Marks 1,000th Exoplanet Discovery, Uncovers More Small Worlds in Habitable Zones, 5 January,
Astronomers have observed the largest X-ray flare ever detected from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This event, detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, raises questions about the behavior of this giant black hole and its surrounding environment.

2014

December

mÓxim


mÓxim

Comet Lovejoy brightens, 28 December,
Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) has been a naked-eye object for the observers from the Southern Hemisphere. In recent days has been seen from southerly latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. And soon, it’ll be high in Northern Hemisphere skies!

The path of the comet can be seen in the map

mÓxim
mÓxim

Physics Photo Contest źInternational Year of light╗

The "Catalan Society of Physics", has announced the list of the 6 awarded images

mÓxim New Horizons wakes up on Pluto's doorstep, 7 December,
After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles —the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came out of hibernation on Dec. 6th for its long-awaited 2015 encounter with the Pluto system.

mÓxim

International Conference outreach Activities
Gaia Team from UB have organized outreach activities to secundary school students, and general public.

  • Guided visit to the exhibition" Mil milions d'ulls per a mil milions d'estrelles".On the ground floor of the Sciences courtyard of the Historical Building
  • Talk: "Gaia i l'odissea galÓctica". Paranimf of the Historical Building.
  • Date:2 December 2014
  • Hour: 18:00-19:30
The activities are part of the International Conference "The Milky Way unravelled by Gaia" that is going to be held in the UB Historic Building.
More deails: here
Reserves:divulgacio@am.ub.es

mÓxim Geminid Meteor Shower, 1 December,
Earth is entering a stream of gravelly debris from "rock comet" 3200 Phaethon, source of the annual Geminid meteor shower. On the night of Nov. 30-Dec. 1, NASA's network of all-sky cameras detected three Geminid fireballs over the USA (see the image). This specimen from the desert southwest was clearly visible despite the glare from the waxing gibbous Moon. Meteor sightings will increase in the nights ahead as Earth plunges deeper into the debris stream. Forecasters expect peak rates to occur on Dec. 13-14, when dark-sky observers in both hemispheres could see as many as 120 meteors per hour.