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Institute of Astronomy


How huge black holes sprouted just after the Big Bang

2 hours 32 min ago

Nature, Published online: 19 June 2024; doi:10.1038/d41586-024-01703-3

Hubble observations of faint galaxies suggest that such objects could have been the seeds of very early supermassive black holes.

Saturn's moon Titan is experiencing coastal erosion from methane seas

2 hours 33 min ago

Saturn’s moon Titan has coastlines matching ones on Earth that have been carved by waves, hinting that Titan’s hydrocarbon seas and lakes also has them

NASA Releases Hubble Image Taken in New Pointing Mode

Wed, 19/06/2024 - 09:46

2 min read

NASA Releases Hubble Image Taken in New Pointing Mode This NASA Hubble Space Telescope features the galaxy NGC 1546. NASA, ESA, STScI, David Thilker (JHU)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken its first new images since changing to an alternate operating mode that uses one gyro.

The spacecraft returned to science operations June 14 after being offline for several weeks due to an issue with one of its gyroscopes (gyros), which help control and orient the telescope.

This new image features NGC 1546, a nearby galaxy in the constellation Dorado. The galaxy’s orientation gives us a good view of dust lanes from slightly above and backlit by the galaxy’s core. This dust absorbs light from the core, reddening it and making the dust appear rusty-brown. The core itself glows brightly in a yellowish light indicating an older population of stars. Brilliant-blue regions of active star formation sparkle through the dust. Several background galaxies also are visible, including an edge-on spiral just to the left of NGC 1546.

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 captured the image as part of a joint observing program between Hubble and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The program also uses data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, allowing scientists to obtain a highly detailed, multiwavelength view of how stars form and evolve.

The image represents one of the first observations taken with Hubble since transitioning to the new pointing mode, enabling more consistent science operations. The NASA team expects that Hubble can do most of its science observations in this new mode, continuing its groundbreaking observations of the cosmos.

“Hubble’s new image of a spectacular galaxy demonstrates the full success of our new, more stable pointing mode for the telescope,” said Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, senior project scientist for Hubble at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “We’re poised now for many years of discovery ahead, and we’ll be looking at everything from our solar system to exoplanets to distant galaxies. Hubble plays a powerful role in NASA’s astronomical toolkit.”

Launched in 1990, Hubble has been observing the universe for more than three decades, recently celebrating its 34th anniversary. Read more about some of Hubble’s greatest scientific discoveries.

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NASA’s Hubble Restarts Science in New Pointing Mode

Operating Hubble with Only One Gyroscope

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Media Contact:

Claire Andreoli
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbelt, MD

Share Details Last Updated Jun 18, 2024 Editor Andrea Gianopoulos Location NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Related Terms Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA’s Hubble Hubble Space Telescope

Since its 1990 launch, the Hubble Space Telescope has changed our fundamental understanding of the universe.

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Pluto and the largest moon of Neptune might be siblings

Wed, 19/06/2024 - 09:44

The chemical composition of Pluto and Triton suggests they originated in the same region of the outer solar system before the latter was pulled into Neptune’s orbit

Investigating the Origins of the Crab Nebula With NASA’s Webb

Tue, 18/06/2024 - 09:41
6 Min Read Investigating the Origins of the Crab Nebula With NASA’s Webb This image by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) shows different structural details of the Crab Nebula.

New data revises our view of this unusual supernova explosion.

A team of scientists used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to parse the composition of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant located 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. With the telescope’s MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) and NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera), the team gathered data that is helping to clarify the Crab Nebula’s history.

The Crab Nebula is the result of a core-collapse supernova from the death of a massive star. The supernova explosion itself was seen on Earth in 1054 CE and was bright enough to view during the daytime. The much fainter remnant observed today is an expanding shell of gas and dust, and outflowing wind powered by a pulsar, a rapidly spinning and highly magnetized neutron star.

The Crab Nebula is also highly unusual. Its atypical composition and very low explosion energy previously have been explained by an electron-capture supernova — a rare type of explosion that arises from a star with a less-evolved core made of oxygen, neon, and magnesium, rather than a more typical iron core.

“Now the Webb data widen the possible interpretations,” said Tea Temim, lead author of the study at Princeton University in New Jersey. “The composition of the gas no longer requires an electron-capture explosion, but could also be explained by a weak iron core-collapse supernova.”

Image A: Crab Nebula (NIRCam and MIRI) This image by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) and MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) shows different structural details of the Crab Nebula. The supernova remnant is comprised of several different components, including doubly ionized sulfur (represented in green), warm dust (magenta), and synchrotron emission (blue). Yellow-white mottled filaments within the Crab’s interior represent areas where dust and doubly ionized sulfur coincide. The observations were taken as part of General Observer program 1714. Studying the Present to Understand the Past

Past research efforts have calculated the total kinetic energy of the explosion based on the quantity and velocities of the present-day ejecta. Astronomers deduced that the nature of the explosion was one of relatively low energy (less than one-tenth that of a normal supernova), and the progenitor star’s mass was in the range of eight to 10 solar masses — teetering on the thin line between stars that experience a violent supernova death and those that do not.

However, inconsistencies exist between the electron-capture supernova theory and observations of the Crab, particularly the observed rapid motion of the pulsar. In recent years, astronomers have also improved their understanding of iron core-collapse supernovae and now think that this type can also produce low-energy explosions, providing that the stellar mass is adequately low.

Webb Measurements Reconcile Historic Results

To lower the level of uncertainty surrounding the Crab’s progenitor star and nature of the explosion, the team led by Temim used Webb’s spectroscopic capabilities to hone in on two areas located within the Crab’s inner filaments.

Theories predict that because of the different chemical composition of the core in an electron-capture supernova, the nickel to iron (Ni/Fe) abundance ratio should be much higher than the ratio measured in our Sun (which contains these elements from previous generations of stars). Studies in the late 1980s and early 1990s measured the Ni/Fe ratio within the Crab using optical and near-infrared data and noted a high Ni/Fe abundance ratio that seemed to favor the electron-capture supernova scenario.

The Webb telescope, with its sensitive infrared capabilities, is now advancing Crab Nebula research. The team used MIRI’s spectroscopic abilities to measure the nickel and iron emission lines, resulting in a more reliable estimate of the Ni/Fe abundance ratio. They found that the ratio was still elevated compared to the Sun, but only modestly and much lower in comparison to prior estimates.

The revised values are consistent with electron-capture, but do not rule out an iron core-collapse explosion from a similarly low-mass star. (Higher-energy explosions from higher-mass stars are expected to produce ratios closer to solar abundances.) Further observational and theoretical work will be needed to distinguish between these two possibilities.

“At present, the spectral data from Webb covers two small regions of the Crab, so it’s important to study much more of the remnant and identify any spatial variations,” said Martin Laming of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington and a co-author of the paper. “It would be interesting to see if we could identify emission lines from other elements, like cobalt or germanium.”

Video: Crab Nebula Deconstructed

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This video shows the different major components that compose the Crab Nebula as observed by the James Webb Space Telescope. Despite decades of study, this supernova remnant continues to puzzle astronomers as they seek to understand what kind of progenitor star and explosion produced this dynamic environment. Image- NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Tea Temim (Princeton University) Video- Joseph DePasquale (STScI) Mapping the Crab’s Current State

Besides pulling spectral data from two small regions of the Crab Nebula’s interior to measure the abundance ratio, the telescope also observed the remnant’s broader environment to understand details of the synchrotron emission and the dust distribution.

The images and data collected by MIRI enabled the team to isolate the dust emission within the Crab and map it in high resolution for the first time. By mapping the warm dust emission with Webb, and even combining it with the Herschel Space Observatory’s data on cooler dust grains, the team created a well-rounded picture of the dust distribution: The outermost filaments contain relatively warmer dust, while cooler grains are prevalent near the center.

“Where dust is seen in the Crab is interesting because it differs from other supernova remnants, like Cassiopeia A and Supernova 1987A,” said Nathan Smith of the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona and a co-author of the paper. “In those objects, the dust is in the very center. In the Crab, the dust is found in the dense filaments of the outer shell. The Crab Nebula lives up to a tradition in astronomy: The nearest, brightest, and best-studied objects tend to be bizarre.”

These findings have been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The observations were taken as part of General Observer program 1714.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).


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View/Download all image products at all resolutions for this article from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

These findings have been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Media Contacts

Laura, Rob
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Abigail / Christine
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.

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Share Details Last Updated Jun 17, 2024 Editor Stephen Sabia Contact Laura Betz Related Terms

President of Chile visits ESO Headquarters

Mon, 17/06/2024 - 10:20

Yesterday, Chilean President Gabriel Boric visited the ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany. President Boric was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Aisén Etcheverry, Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation; Nicolás Grau, Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism; Luis Cordero, Minister of Justice and Human Rights; and Juan Carlos Muñoz, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications. In total, the visiting delegation numbered over 60 people. 

The visitors were hosted by ESO Director General, Xavier Barcons, and ESO’s top-level management. The visit provided an opportunity for ESO and Chile to review the close relationship developed over 60 years of collaboration and discuss ways of strengthening it. ESO develops its telescopes and instruments in Europe, in strong collaboration with industry and R&D institutions, and operates them at unique observing sites in the Chilean Atacama Desert, which has generated unique opportunities for Chilean academia, companies and society. 

Following a welcome by the ESO Director General, the delegation toured several stations of the ESO Technical Building, including the Large Integration Hall. This is where the development of telescope and instrument components, including some for the upcoming ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope, is best seen. Later, the delegation visited the ESO Supernova Planetarium and Visitor Centre, and met with Chilean staff working at ESO Headquarters. The visit also included a live connection to ESO’s Paranal Observatory.

ESO Director General Xavier Barcons said: It’s an absolute honour to host President Gabriel Boric and his delegation at our headquarters in Germany. ESO has a very special relationship with Chile and we hope the visit will contribute to further strengthen our mutually beneficial cooperation.

President Boric said: “It's exciting to visit the headquarters of the European Southern Observatory, ESO, which uses impressive telescopes to carry out cutting-edge research from the Chilean territory in the north of our country, thanks to the privileged conditions we have. It's a source of immense pride to listen to Director Xavier Barcons, learn what is being done for science, and know that from Chile, a corner of the world, we are contributing to understanding the Universe.”

An object in space is emitting microwaves — and baffling scientists

Mon, 17/06/2024 - 10:19

Nature, Published online: 14 June 2024; doi:10.1038/d41586-024-01702-4

Data recorded at an observatory in Chile do not fit with a black hole, a supernova, a pair of merging stars or anything else.

JWST spotted an incredible number of supernovae in the early universe

Mon, 17/06/2024 - 10:19

Using the James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers have increased the number of known supernovae in the early universe by a factor of 10 and found the most distant one ever confirmed

Einstein's theory was wrong about black holes made out of light

Mon, 17/06/2024 - 10:18

The theory of relativity predicts black holes should be able to form from light alone, but incorporating quantum effects makes it impossible

Voyager 1 Returning Science Data From All Four Instruments

Fri, 14/06/2024 - 10:34

2 min read

Voyager 1 Returning Science Data From All Four Instruments An artist’s concept of the Voyager spacecraft. NASA/JPL-Caltech

The spacecraft has resumed gathering information about interstellar space.

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is conducting normal science operations for the first time following a technical issue that arose in November 2023.

The team partially resolved the issue in April when they prompted the spacecraft to begin returning engineering data, which includes information about the health and status of the spacecraft. On May 19, the mission team executed the second step of that repair process and beamed a command to the spacecraft to begin returning science data. Two of the four science instruments returned to their normal operating modes immediately. Two other instruments required some additional work, but now, all four are returning usable science data.  

The four instruments study plasma waves, magnetic fields, and particles. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are the only spacecraft to directly sample interstellar space, which is the region outside the heliosphere — the protective bubble of magnetic fields and solar wind created by the Sun.

While Voyager 1 is back to conducting science, additional minor work is needed to clean up the effects of the issue. Among other tasks, engineers will resynchronize timekeeping software in the spacecraft’s three onboard computers so they can execute commands at the right time. The team will also perform maintenance on the digital tape recorder, which records some data for the plasma wave instrument that is sent to Earth twice per year. (Most of the Voyagers’ science data is sent directly to Earth and not recorded.)

Voyager 1 is more than 15 billion miles (24 billion kilometers) from Earth, and Voyager 2 is more than 12 billion miles (20 billion kilometers) from the planet. The probes will mark 47 years of operations later this year. They are NASA’s longest-running and most-distant spacecraft. Both spacecraft flew past Jupiter and Saturn, while Voyager 2 also flew past Uranus and Neptune.

News Media Contact

Calla Cofield
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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Hubble telescope down to last gyroscopes, limiting science

Fri, 14/06/2024 - 10:33
Science, Volume 384, Issue 6701, Page 1162-1162, June 2024.

Odd black holes smaller than protons may have once littered the cosmos

Fri, 14/06/2024 - 10:27

Minuscule black holes that formed right after the big bang could have had a strange property called colour charge, and spotting them could help unravel the mystery of dark matter

Coming in Hot — NASA’s Chandra Checks Habitability of Exoplanets

Thu, 13/06/2024 - 10:33

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Movie: Cal Poly Pomona/B. Binder; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

This graphic shows a three-dimensional map of stars near the Sun. These stars are close enough that they could be prime targets for direct imaging searches for planets using future telescopes. The blue haloes represent stars that have been observed with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton. The yellow star at the center of this diagram represents the position of the Sun. The concentric rings show distances of 5, 10, and 15 parsecs (one parsec is equivalent to roughly 3.2 light-years).

Astronomers are using these X-ray data to determine how habitable exoplanets may be based on whether they receive lethal radiation from the stars they orbit, as described in our latest press release. This type of research will help guide observations with the next generation of telescopes aiming to make the first images of planets like Earth.

Researchers examined stars that are close enough to Earth that telescopes set to begin operating in the next decade or two — including the Habitable Worlds Observatory in space and Extremely Large Telescopes on the ground — could take images of planets in the stars’ so-called habitable zones. This term defines orbits where the planets could have liquid water on their surfaces.

There are several factors influencing what could make a planet suitable for life as we know it. One of those factors is the amount of harmful X-rays and ultraviolet light they receive, which can damage or even strip away the planet’s atmosphere.

Based on X-ray observations of some of these stars using data from Chandra and XMM-Newton, the research team examined which stars could have hospitable conditions on orbiting planets for life to form and prosper. They studied how bright the stars are in X-rays, how energetic the X-rays are, and how much and how quickly they change in X-ray output, for example, due to flares. Brighter and more energetic X-rays can cause more damage to the atmospheres of orbiting planets.

The researchers used almost 10 days of Chandra observations and about 26 days of XMM observations, available in archives, to examine the X-ray behavior of 57 nearby stars, some of them with known planets. Most of these are giant planets like Jupiter, Saturn or Neptune, while only a handful of planets or planet candidates could be less than about twice as massive as Earth.

These results were presented at the 244th meeting of the American Astronomical Society meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, by Breanna Binder (California State Polytechnic University in Pomona).

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Center controls science from Cambridge, Massachusetts and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.

Read more from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

For more Chandra images, multimedia and related materials, visit:

Visual Description:

This video shows a three-dimensional map of stars near the Sun on the left side of our screen and a dramatic illustration of a star with a planet orbiting around it on the right side.

The star map on the left shows many circular dots of different colors floating within an illustrated three-sided box. Each wall of the box is constructed in a grid pattern, with straight lines running horizontally and vertically like chicken wire. Dots that are colored blue represent stars that have been observed with NASA’s Chandra and ESA’s XMM-Newton.

Suspended in the box, at about the halfway point, is a series of three concentric circles surrounding a central dot that indicates the placement of our Sun. The circles represent distances of 5, 10, and 15 parsecs. One parsec is equivalent to roughly 3.2 light-years.

In the animation, the dot filled, chicken wire box spins around slowly, first on its X axis and then on its Y axis, providing a three-dimensional exploration of the plotted stars.

News Media Contact

Megan Watzke
Chandra X-ray Center
Cambridge, Mass.

Jonathan Deal
Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Ala.

We could detect a malfunctioning warp drive on an alien starship

Thu, 13/06/2024 - 10:32

Faster-than-light warp drives are theoretically possible to build, and if aliens are using them, we should be able to detect the gravitational waves produced when one goes wrong

What would a wormhole look like if we ever found one?

Thu, 13/06/2024 - 10:31

How could we tell the difference between an ordinary black hole and one connected to a tunnel through space-time?

Martin Rees: Why challenge prizes can solve our most pressing issues

Thu, 13/06/2024 - 10:31

As the winner of the Longitude Prize on Antimicrobial Resistance is announced, chair of the prize committee Martin Rees, the UK's Astronomer Royal, explains why it pays to reward ideas

The first stars in the universe could have formed surprisingly early

Wed, 12/06/2024 - 10:18

Huge stars might have formed in the first million years of the universe if there was enough matter clumped together, according to a computer model

How many moons and moonmoons could we cram into Earth's orbit?

Wed, 12/06/2024 - 10:18

Earth is lagging behind other worlds with its single moon, so on this episode of Dead Planets Society we are giving it more – and giving those moons moonmoons to orbit them

Hubble Finds Surprises Around a Star That Erupted 40 Years Ago

Tue, 11/06/2024 - 11:22

4 min read

Hubble Finds Surprises Around a Star That Erupted 40 Years Ago This artist’s concept shows the nova system HM Sagittae (HM Sge), where a white dwarf star is pulling material from its red giant companion. This forms a blazing hot disk around the dwarf, which can unpredictably undergo a spontaneous thermonuclear explosion as the infall of hydrogen from the red giant grows denser and reaches a tipping point. These fireworks between companion stars are fascinating to astronomers by yielding insights into the physics and dynamics of stellar evolution in binary systems. NASA, ESA, Leah Hustak (STScI)
Download this image

Astronomers have used new data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the retired SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) as well as archival data from other missions to revisit one of the strangest binary star systems in our galaxy – 40 years after it burst onto the scene as a bright and long-lived nova. A nova is a star that suddenly increases its brightness tremendously and then fades away to its former obscurity, usually in a few months or years.

Between April and September 1975, the binary system HM Sagittae (HM Sge) grew 250 times brighter. Even more unusual, it did not rapidly fade away as novae commonly do, but has maintained its luminosity for decades. Recently, observations show that the system has gotten hotter, but paradoxically faded a little.

HM Sge is a particular kind of symbiotic star where a white dwarf and a bloated, dust-producing giant companion star are in an eccentric orbit around each other, and the white dwarf ingests gas flowing from the giant star. That gas forms a blazing hot disk around the white dwarf, which can unpredictably undergo a spontaneous thermonuclear explosion as the infall of hydrogen from the giant grows denser on the surface until it reaches a tipping point. These fireworks between companion stars fascinate astronomers by yielding insights into the physics and dynamics of stellar evolution in binary systems.

When I first saw the new data, I went – ‘wow this is what Hubble UV spectroscopy can do!’ – I mean it’s spectacular, really spectacular.

Ravi Sankrit


“In 1975 HM Sge went from being a nondescript star to something all astronomers in the field were looking at, and at some point that flurry of activity slowed down,” said Ravi Sankrit of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore. In 2021, Steven Goldman of STScI, Sankrit and collaborators used instruments on Hubble and SOFIA to see what had changed with HM Sge in the last 30 years at wavelengths of light from the infrared to the ultraviolet (UV).

The 2021 ultraviolet data from Hubble showed a strong emission line of highly ionized magnesium that was not present in earlier published spectra from 1990. Its presence shows that the estimated temperature of the white dwarf and accretion disk increased from less than 400,000 degrees Fahrenheit in 1989 to greater than 450,000 degrees Fahrenheit now. The highly ionized magnesium line is one of many seen in the UV spectrum, which analyzed together will reveal the energetics of the system, and how it has changed in the last three decades.

“When I first saw the new data,” Sankrit said, “I went – ‘wow this is what Hubble UV spectroscopy can do!’ – I mean it’s spectacular, really spectacular.”

A Hubble Space Telescope image of the symbiotic star Mira HM Sge. Located 3,400 light-years away in the constellation Sagitta, it consists of a red giant and a white dwarf companion. The stars are too close together to be resolved by Hubble. Material bleeds off the red giant and falls onto the dwarf, making it extremely bright. This system first flared up as a nova in 1975. The red nebulosity is evidence of the stellar wind. The nebula is about one-quarter light-year across. NASA, ESA, Ravi Sankrit (STScI), Steven Goldman (STScI); Image Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)
Download this image

With data from NASA’s flying telescope SOFIA, which retired in 2022, the team was able to detect the water, gas, and dust flowing in and around the system. Infrared spectral data shows that the giant star, which produces copious amounts of dust, returned to its normal behavior within only a couple years of the explosion, but also that it has dimmed in recent years, which is another puzzle to be explained.

With SOFIA astronomers were able to see water moving at around 18 miles per second, which they suspect is the speed of the sizzling accretion disk around the white dwarf. The bridge of gas connecting the giant star to the white dwarf must presently span about 2 billion miles.

The team has also been working with the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers), to collaborate with amateur astronomers from around the world who help keep telescopic eyes on HM Sge; their continued monitoring reveals changes that haven’t been seen since its outburst 40 years ago.

“Symbiotic stars like HM Sge are rare in our galaxy, and witnessing a nova-like explosion is even rarer. This unique event is a treasure for astrophysicists spanning decades,” said Goldman.

The initial results from the team’s research were published in the Astrophysical Journal, and Sankrit is presenting research focused on the UV spectroscopy at the 244th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Hubble Space Telescope has been operating for over three decades and continues to make ground-breaking discoveries that shape our fundamental understanding of the universe. Hubble is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope and mission operations. Lockheed Martin Space, based in Denver, Colorado, also supports mission operations at Goddard. The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, conducts Hubble science operations for NASA.

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Media Contacts:

Claire Andreoli
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbelt, MD

Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD

Science Contacts:

Ravi Sankrit
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD

Steven Goldman
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD

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Joint Committee ESO-Government of Chile opens its national call for proposals for 2024

Tue, 11/06/2024 - 11:21

The Joint Committee ESO-Government of Chile has opened applications for its national financing fund for the period 2024, which will award over 550 million Chilean pesos.  

The skies in the northern part of the country offer some of the best conditions in the world for astronomical observation.  This is why, for over 60 years, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has designed, built, and operated observatories in the north of Chile.  La Silla, Paranal, ALMA and the future Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) are part of ESO’s infrastructure, making it the foremost organisation for ground-based astronomical observation.

To enhance scientific and technological development through astronomy, since 1995 ESO and the Government of Chile have funded projects that foster astronomical research, training of highly skilled personnel, the development of technologies, and science education and outreach.

ESO provides and manages this annual fund as part of the scientific cooperation programme with its host country, Chile, where all its observatories are located.  The Joint Committee ESO-Government of Chile, which provides the funding guidelines and the assessment of proposals, is composed by representatives of both ESO and the Government of Chile. Chile is represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Division for Science, Energy, Education, Innovation and Astronomy (DECYTI), with the participation of the Ministry for Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, and the Chilean Astronomical Society (SOCHIAS).

Proposals must be submitted no later than 8 August, 2024 at 23:59 hrs., CLT, in English or Spanish, using this form.  The regulations for this competition can be found in this link.  

For further information, please contact María Adriana Arrau, Office of the ESO Representative in Chile.