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The picture of the day

2015 TB145 From the Fabra Observatory
Aging Stars Weight Loss Secret Revealed
poster la ciencia de la llum web.jpg
The Science of the Light. Scientific Video Exhibition
Roundtable (catalan)
The light which talks about the stars (catalan)
LISA Pathfinder ready for launch
Odysseus II, European Youth Space Contest



mxim LISA Pathfinder ready for launch, the ESA mission with an important contribution of ICE (IEEC-CSIC), 20 November 2015
The launch is scheduled for 5:30 a.m. the 2nd of December.
The ICE (IEEC-CSIC) will broadcast the event with deferred transmission and will organize activities throughout the day visits to laboratories and to the control room.
LISA Pathfinder will test in flight the concept of low-frequency gravitational wave detection: it will put two test masses in a near-perfect gravitational free-fall, and control and measure their motion with unprecedented accuracy

mxim A supermassive Black Hole in action, 16 November 2015
Scientists often use the combined power of multiple telescopes to reveal the secrets of the Universe and this image is a prime example of when this technique is strikingly effective.

mxim 631 418 votes for the 20 planetary systems
In a few weeks we will have the final results


mxim News on the ESA,
Observed from the Montsec.

mxim Final Kiss of Two Stars Heading for Catastrophe, 21 October
An international team of astronomers have found the hottest and most massive double star with components so close that they touch each other. The two stars in the extreme system VFTS 352 could be heading for a dramatic end, during which the two stars either coalesce to create a single giant star, or form a binary black hole.

mxim Troben la relaci entre les pluges de cometes i asteroides i les extincions en massa, 21 October
Mass extinctions occurring over the past 260 million years were likely caused by comet and asteroid showers, scientists conclude in a new study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Saturn and Dione, 20 October
Saturn has many, varied moons over 60 have been discovered so far. One of the larger ones, Dione, is shown here in this image from the Cassini orbiter, pictured as it moved across the face of its parent planet.


Common Accretion across Young Stellar Objects, White Dwarfs, Black Holes and Supermassive Black Holes, 16 October
An international team of astronomers have discovered a previously unknown link between the way young stars, white dwarfs and black holes grow feeding from their surroundings.


A Cosmic Sackful of Black Coal, 14 October
The inky areas are small parts of a huge dark nebula known as the Coalsack, one of the most prominent objects of its kind visible to the unaided eye. Millions of years from now, chunks of the Coalsack will ignite, rather like its fossil fuel namesake, with the glow of many young stars.


Outbursts from a newborn star, 13 October
The object lies in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter) in a dense molecular star-forming region, not far from the famous Horsehead Nebula. In regions like this, clouds of dust and gas collapse under the force of gravity, spinning faster and faster and becoming hotter and hotter until a young star ignites at the clouds centre. Any leftover material swirling around the newborn protostar comes together to form an accretion disc that will, under the right circumstances, eventually evolve to form the base material for the creation of planets, asteroids and comets.


Cassini begins series of flybys with close-up of Saturn moon Enceladus, 13 October
Cassini spacecraft will wrap up its time in the region of Saturn's large, icy moons with a series of three close encounters with Enceladus starting Wednesday, Oct. 14. Images are expected to begin arriving one to two days after the flyby, which will provide the first opportunity for a close-up look at the north polar region of Enceladus.


Aiming a light across millions of kilometres, 13 October
laser communications would return results to scientists several times faster than standard radio signals.

mxim Laying the first stone of the prototype of the LST (Large Size Telescope) , 8 October 2015,
On the October 9th at five oclock in the afternoon, the ceremony of the stone laying for the biggest Cherenkov telescope in the northern hemisphere, the prototype of the LST (Large Size Telescope) with a diameter of 23 metres, will take place at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM) on the island of La Palma.

mxim Mysterious Ripples Found Racing Through Planet-forming Disc, 8 October 2015,
Using VLT and the Hubble astronomers have discovered never-before-seen structures within a dusty disc surrounding a nearby star. The fast-moving wave-like features in the disc of the star AU Microscopii are unlike anything ever observed, or even predicted, before now.

mxim ESO Astronomy Camp
Check the grants




CHEOPS contest

Send your picture to the space!


NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars, 29 September
New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.


Total Lunar Eclipse, 28 September
Check the information and the images of the event.


Cosmic optical illusions un Ursa Major, 21 September
Some of the stunning views we have of the cosmos owe their beauty to a trick of perspective, as captured in this Hubble Space Telescope image.


A Shy Galactic Neighbour, 16 September
The Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy, pictured in this new image from the Wide Field Imager camera, installed on the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, is a close neighbour of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Despite their close proximity, both galaxies have very distinct histories and characters. This galaxy is much smaller and older than the Milky Way, making it a valuable subject for studying both star and galaxy formation in the early Universe. However, due to its faintness, studying this object is no easy task.


mxim Gaia’s first year of scientific observations 26 August 2015

mxim Castellterol Star Party, 12 August 2015
By DAM astronomers.
28/08/2015 at 21:30 departure from Plaa Nova (Castellterol), observing from la Creueta.. Free activity

mxim Perseids 2015, 12 august 2015
How to observe?Send your images and we will post them on ServiAstro

mxim Charting the Slow Death of the Universe, 10 August,
An international team of astronomers studying more than 200 000 galaxies has measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever before. This represents the most comprehensive assessment of the energy output of the nearby Universe. They confirm that the energy produced in a section of the Universe today is only about half what it was two billion years ago and find that this fading is occurring across all wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the far infrared. The Universe is slowly dying.

July 2015


Last June was held the II confernece PRO-AM, July 2015
From 12 to 14 June was held the II conference PRO-AM, the collaboration within the professional and the amateurs astronomers


El satllit Gaia ha descobert un sistema binari nic en el que una estrella " s'est menjant" a l'altra, july 2015
The Gaia satellite has discovered a unique binary system where one star is 'eating' the other


NASA’s Kepler Mission Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth, 23 July 2015
NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another “Earth.”


The island of La Palma chosen for final negotiations to host the Northern CTA site, 16 july


Interviw with Josep Manel Carrasco in the "Notcies de les 10 de BTV" about Pluto and New Horizons, 16 July 2015
New Horizons reached Pluto after a nine- year journey through the Solar System. Josep Manel Carrasco, astronomer of the Department of Astronomy and Meteorology of the UB talk about Pluto


From Mountains to Moons: Multiple Discoveries from NASA’s New Horizons Pluto Mission, 16 July 2015
Icy mountains on Pluto and a new, crisp view of its largest moon, Charon, are among the several discoveries announced Wednesday by NASA's New Horizons team, just one day after the spacecraft’s first ever Pluto flyby.


Jupiter Twin Discovered Around Solar Twin, 15 July 2015
An international group of astronomers has used the ESO 3.6-metre telescope to identify a planet just like Jupiter orbiting at the same distance from a Sun-like star, HIP 11915. According to current theories, the formation of Jupiter-mass planets plays an important role in shaping the architecture of planetary systems. The existence of a Jupiter-mass planet in a Jupiter-like orbit around a Sun-like star opens the possibility that the system of planets around this star may be similar to our own Solar System. HIP 11915 is about the same age as the Sun and, furthermore, its Sun-like composition suggests that there may also be rocky planets orbiting closer to the star.


Pluto and Charon: New Horizons’ Dynamic Duo, 9 July 2015
They’re a fascinating pair: Two icy worlds, spinning around their common center of gravity like a pair of figure skaters clasping hands. Scientists believe they were shaped by a cosmic collision billions of years ago, and yet, in many ways, they seem more like strangers than siblings.


Biggest Explosions in the Universe Powered by Strongest Magnets, 8 de July 2015
Observations from ESO’s La Silla and Paranal Observatories in Chile have for the first time demonstrated a link between a very long-lasting burst of gamma rays and an unusually bright supernova explosion. The results show that the supernova was not driven by radioactive decay, as expected, but was instead powered by the decaying super-strong magnetic fields around an exotic object called a magnetar.


Venus and Jpiter together all June, June 2015
Image: Rafael Balaguer and Jssica Lleonart. Venus and Jupiter conjunction from Llagostera. 30 de June.


4th July geomagnetic storm, 4 July 2015
During the late hours of July 4th, a solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field, sparking a moderately-strong (G2-class) geomagnetic storm. Fireworks were exploding across much of North America when the storm reach its peak. In Cape Cod, Massachusetts, auroras appeared alongside the pyrotechnics


Counting stars with Gaia, 3 July 2015
This image, based on housekeeping data from ESA’s Gaia satellite, is no ordinary depiction of the heavens. While the image portrays the outline of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, and of its neighbouring Magellanic Clouds, it was obtained in a rather unusual way.


Comet sinkholes generate jets, 3 July 2015
A number of the dust jets emerging from Rosetta’s comet can be traced back to active pits that were likely formed by a sudden collapse of the surface. These ‘sinkholes’ are providing a glimpse at the chaotic and diverse interior of the comet..


New Horizons Update: Methane Detected; New Images of Pluto and Charon; Sunrise/Sunset Observations, 1 July 2015
Yes, there is methane on Pluto, and, no, it doesn’t come from cows. The infrared spectrometer on NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has detected frozen methane on Pluto’s surface; Earth-based astronomers first observed the chemical compound on Pluto in 1976.

2015 June


One second more in 2015,
On June 30th will be added 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.

International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS)
Monography about the Time mesurement


Monster black hole wakes up after 26 years, 26 June 2015
Over the past week, ESA's Integral satellite has been observing an exceptional outburst of high-energy light produced by a black hole that is devouring material from its stellar companion.


30 June
Venus and Jupiter very close to each other this night!


Interview with Carme Jordi "Gaya has already covered the entire sky". EWASS 2015, 23 June 2015


Venus and Jupiter together all June

mxim Hot lava flows discovered on Venus, 18 june
ESA’s Venus Express has found the best evidence yet for active volcanism on Earth’s neighbour planet. Seeing the planet’s surface is extremely difficult due to its thick atmosphere, but radar observations by previous missions to Venus have revealed it as a world covered in volcanoes and ancient lava flows.

mxim Hubble Telescope Detects ‘Sunscreen’ Layer on Distant Planet ,12 June
Hubble Space Telescope has detected a stratosphere, one of the primary layers of Earth’s atmosphere, on a massive and blazing-hot exoplanet known as WASP-33b.
The presence of a stratosphere can provide clues about the composition of a planet and how it formed. This atmospheric layer includes molecules that absorb ultraviolet and visible light, acting as a kind of “sunscreen” for the planet it surrounds. Until now, scientists were uncertain whether these molecules would be found in the atmospheres of large, extremely hot planets in other star systems.

mxim A Celestial Butterfly Emerges from its Dusty Cocoon,10 June
Some of the sharpest images ever made with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have, for the first time, revealed what appears to be an ageing star giving birth to a butterfly-like planetary nebula. These observations of the red giant star L2 Puppis, from the ZIMPOL mode of the newly installed SPHERE instrument, also clearly showed a close companion. The dying stages of stars continue to pose astronomers with many riddles, and the origin of such bipolar nebulae, with their complex and alluring hourglass figures, doubly so. This new imaging mode means that the VLT is currently the sharpest astronomical direct imaging instrument in existence.

mxim Meteor Shower in Broad Daylight ,5 June
Earth is entering a stream of debris from an unknown comet, and this is causing one of the most intense meteor showers of the year. Ironically, most sky watchers won't notice because the shower peaks in broad daylight. We only know it's happening because a radar in Canada is picking up echoes from meteoroids streaking through the blue sky overhead. Astronomers call these meteors "Arietids" because they emerge from the constellation Aries not far from the June sun.

mxim NASA’s Hubble Finds Pluto’s Moons Tumbling in Absolute Chaos , 4 June
If you lived on one of Pluto’s moons, you might have a hard time determining when, or from which direction, the sun will rise each day. Comprehensive analysis of data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows that two of Pluto’s moons, Nix and Hydra, wobble unpredictably.

mxim Ultraviolet study reveals surprises in comet coma , 2 June
Rosetta’s continued close study of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has revealed an unexpected process at work, causing the rapid breakup of water and carbon dioxide molecules spewing from the comet’s surface.


mxim Call to Action: Cosmic Light Edu kit Workshops, 29 May
The Cosmic Light EDU kit, which comprises a virtual kit with many activities, tools and other resources on the topic of the science of light. This kit will feature continued support for teaching communities around the world, and a special component designed for children with visual impairments will also be incorporated.

mxim UB Science Festival, On 22 May 2015, the University of Barcelona opens its door to citizens to celebrate the UB Science Festival. The main objective of the activity is to bring people closer to the research activity developed at the University in an amusing and innovative way.
Throughout the day, UB campuses organise different science dissemination activities.

mxim The Dreadful Beauty of Medusa, 21 May
Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its transition into retirement, it shed its outer layers into space, forming this colourful cloud. The image foreshadows the final fate of the Sun, which will eventually also become an object of this kind

mxim The Dark Side of Star Clusters, 13 May
Observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a new class of “dark” globular star clusters around the giant galaxy Centaurus A. These mysterious objects look similar to normal clusters, but contain much more mass and may either harbour unexpected amounts of dark matter, or contain massive black holes — neither of which was expected nor is understood.

mxim Outreach talk: "Quiet Blak Holes hidden in Binary Systems" ,
Speaker: Marc Rib
Date/Time: wednesday 13 May / 20:00
Place: Seu de l'Agrupaci Astronmica Sabadell, C/ Prat de la Riba, s/n (Parc Catalunya), Sabadell

mxim Fresh Evidence for How Water Reached Earth Found in Asteroid Debris, 8 May
Water delivery via asteroids or comets is likely taking place in many other planetary systems, just as it happened on Earth, according to new research. The findings add further support to the possibility that water can be delivered to Earth-like planets via such bodies to create a suitable environment for the formation of life.

mxim Saturn Moon's Activity Could Be 'Curtain Eruptions', 7 May
New research using data from NASA's Cassini mission suggests most of the eruptions from Saturn's moon Enceladus might be diffuse curtains rather than discrete jets. Many features that appear to be individual jets of material erupting along the length of prominent fractures in the moon's south polar region might be phantoms created by an optical illusion, according to the new study.


mxim NASA’s New Horizons Detects Surface Features, Possible Polar Cap on Pluto, 30 April
For the first time, images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft are revealing bright and dark regions on the surface of faraway Pluto – the primary target of the New Horizons close flyby in mid-July.

mxim Saturn's sponge-like moon Hiperion, 29 April
The subject of this image bears a remarkable resemblance to a porous sea sponge, floating in the inky black surroundings of the deep sea.
Indeed, the cold, hostile and lonely environment of deep water is not too far removed from deep space, the actual setting for this image in which one of Saturn’s outer moons, Hyperion, can be seen in incredible detail. This image was taken by Cassini when the spacecraft performed a flyby of the small moon on 26 September 2005.

mxim 20 Exoworlds available for naming proposals, 27 April
The NameExoWorlds contest, organised by the IAU and Zooniverse, is now entering its next stage. The 20 most popular ExoWorlds have been made available for naming proposals from registered clubs and non-profit organisations.

mxim The Treasures of Hubble, 24 April
Today is the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, yesterday wished long life to Hubble and explained that more than half of current discoveries with the telescope are based on observations stored in the astronomical library of the ESAC.

mxim 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.

mxim 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.

mxim 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.

mxim 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.

mxim 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.

mxim 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.

mxim 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.

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

mxim 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.