Astronomy has come a long way in the past 50 years, especially for women.
On Wednesday, amateur astronomer Ethan Chappel was on the lookout for Perseid meteors, reports ScienceAlert.Later, after feeding the data into a software program designed to detect impact flashes, Chappel was alerted to the event.Looking at the footage, Chappel saw a brief but discernible flash along the western portion of Jupiter’s Southern Equatorial Belt, or SEB.Later that day, Chappel announced his discovery in a tweet: “Imaged Jupiter tonight.Looks awfully like an impact flash in the SEB.” Chappel released a sharper version of the impact on Thursday, along with a colourised view of the apparent impact.The impact still needs to be confirmed by other astronomers, but it certainly bears the hallmarks of a meteor strike, and not something that might be produced by Jupiter’s lightning flashes or auroras.
An amateur astronomer caught something spectacular with a backyard telescope Wednesday when he recorded a bright flash on the surface of Jupiter.The biggest planet in the solar system routinely delivers stunning pictures, like those snapped by NASA's Juno spacecraft, but the unexpected flash has astronomers excited at the possibility of a meteor impact.Ethan Chappel pointed his telescope at the gas giant planet at just the right time, capturing the white spot seen on the lower left side of the planet in the above images on Aug. 7.While it has yet to be confirmed by a second observer, it looks like a large asteroid crashing into the gas giant planet.The flash is brief and quickly fades away, boosting the idea that it was likely caused by an impact."Another impact on Jupiter today!"
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the most ambitious and complex space observatory ever built, will use its unparalleled infrared capabilities to study Jupiter's Great Red Spot, shedding new light on the enigmatic storm and building upon data returned from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories.Jupiter's iconic storm is on the Webb telescope's list of targets chosen by guaranteed time observers, scientists who helped develop the incredibly complex telescope and among the first to use it to observe the universe.One of the telescope's science goals is to study planets, including the mysteries still held by the planets in our own solar system from Mars and beyond.Leigh Fletcher, a senior research fellow in planetary science at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, is the lead scientist on the Webb telescope's observations of Jupiter's storm.His team is part of a larger effort to study several targets in our solar system with Webb, spearheaded by astronomer Heidi Hammel, the executive vice president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).NASA selected Hammel as an interdisciplinary scientist for Webb in 2002.
The planet Mars has fascinated scientists for over a century.Today, it is a frigid desert world with a carbon dioxide atmosphere 100 times thinner than Earth's.Mars will be targeted as part of a Guaranteed Time Observation (GTO) project led by Heidi Hammel, a planetary astronomer and executive vice president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) in Washington, D.C.Mars will be visible to Webb from May to September 2020 during its first year of operations, known as Cycle 1."Webb will return extremely interesting measurements of chemistry in the Martian atmosphere," noted Hammel."And most importantly, these Mars data will be immediately available to the planetary community to enable them to plan even more detailed Mars observations with Webb in future cycles."
The soon-to-launch James Webb Space Telescope will turn its powerful eye on two of the solar system's top candidates for hosting alien life: the icy moons Enceladus and Europa, the agency confirmed in a statement this month.Both Europa (a moon of Jupiter) and Enceladus (a moon of Saturn) are thought to possess subsurface oceans of liquid water beneath thick outer layers of ice.Both moons have also shown evidence of enormous plumes of liquid shooting up through cracks in the surface ice; these plumes could be caused by subsurface geysers, which could provide a source of heat and nutrients to life-forms there, scientists have said."We chose these two moons because of their potential to exhibit chemical signatures of astrobiological interest," said Heidi Hammel, executive vice president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), who is leading an effort to use the telescope to study objects in Earth's solar system.[Icy Water Worlds That Might Host Life]The James Webb Space Telescope, nicknamed "Webb," will capture infrared light, which can be used to identify objects that generate heat but are not hot enough to radiate light (including humans, which is why many night-vision systems utilize infrared light).
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