Phys .org: University students develop AI to detect fast radio bursts. “West Virginia University’s Duncan Lorimer might be the godfather of the fast radio burst, but a pair of international students has taken exploring these mysterious cosmic flashes to a new level. In 2007, Lorimer was credited for helping discover fast radio bursts—intense, unexplained pulses of energy, light years away, that pop for mere milliseconds. Ever since, only around 100 have been spotted.”
CNET: 7 best stargazing apps for spotting constellations in the night sky. “My husband and I are far enough out in the country to see stars, but we haven’t completely escaped the city’s light pollution. Every so often before we turn in for the night, we’ll step out onto the back porch if the sky is clear, and look up. We’ve seen a shockingly bright Venus, the ISS streak by and a few shooting stars — thanks in part to the help of some apps.”
Michigan Live: How to ‘look up together’ while social distancing during International Dark Sky Week. “During International Dark Sky Week, recognized this year from April 19-26, the International Dark-Sky Association is encouraging everyone who’s homebound to ‘look up together’ and learn more about astronomy, cultural connections to the stars, and the importance of limiting light pollution — an increasing threat which has impacted everything from firefly populations and bird migration to human circadian rhythms.”
Science Alert: What Did Hubble Capture on Your Birthday? New NASA Tool Lets You Find Out. “Every hour, seven days a week, 365 days a year, Hubble is busy doing something. Which means the telescope’s back catalogue would have something cool for every day of the year. For Hubble’s 30th anniversary, NASA has created a fun feature. On the space telescope’s website, there’s now a function that allows you to type in the day and month of your birth, and see what Hubble captured on one of your past birthdays.”
Universe Today: Five Space and Astronomy Activities to do at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak. “If you’re looking for ways to keep occupied, keep your kids in learning-mode while school is canceled, and expand your horizons — all at the same time — luckily there are lots of space and astronomy-related activities you can do at home and online.”
TechCrunch: NASA finds real uses for VR and AR in astronomy and engineering. “Studying the astronomical number of stars in our galaxy is generally done using legacy tools, scattered databases, perhaps even paper and pencil. And as such it can be hard to use that great multi-purpose pattern recognition engine, the human brain, to full effect on the information. Tom Grubb, an engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has felt for years that VR and AR are valuable tools for exploring and working with this type of data, and his team has just presented its first paper directly resulting from using those technologies.”
Ars Technica: China’s lander releases data, high-resolution images of the Moon. “A little more than one year ago, China’s Chang’e 4 spacecraft landed on the far side of the Moon. In doing so, it became the first-ever vehicle to make a soft landing on the side of the Moon facing away from Earth. To mark the one-year anniversary, China released a batch of scientific data and images captured by five scientific payloads aboard the 1.2-ton spacecraft and its small Yutu 2 rover.”
Hubble Space Telescope: Announcing the Hubble Space Telescope Hidden Gems. “In April 2020, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope will celebrate 30 years since its launch. ESA/Hubble has produced a commemorative calendar of the telescope’s Hidden Gems that is now available for everyone to use and enjoy.”
Ars Technica: Finding stars that vanished—by scouring old photos. “Before the advent of digital imaging, astronomy was done using photographic plates. The results look a bit like biology experiments gone bad (of which I’ve perpetrated more than a few), with a sea of dark speckles of different intensities scattered randomly about. To separate the real stars from any noise, astronomers would take multiple images, often at different colors, and analyze the results by eye before labeling anything an actual star. Sounds tough, but by 50 years ago, astronomers had already managed to catalog hundreds of millions of stars in all areas of the sky.”
CNET: Watch a ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid fly by Earth live on Friday. “Asteroids are zipping past Earth all the time, but we’ve got a special one coming up. Asteroid 1998 HL1 will be visible to some amateur telescopes, but you can look to the Virtual Telescope Project to bring it right to your eyeballs with a livestream on Friday starting at 10 a.m. PT.”
University of Arkansas: Textbooks by University of Arkansas Faculty Added to Open Textbook Library. “Three openly licensed textbooks written by University of Arkansas faculty are now available in the Open Textbook Library.” The new textbooks cover physics, astronomy, and technical writing.
Air & Space Magazine: Girl Scouts, Now You Can Earn a Badge in Space Science. “The Girl Scouts was just a year old when, in 1913, it began awarding badges to young women for electronics and aviation. More than a century later, it is challenging members to aim even higher, with the release this summer of three new space science badges encouraging girls to learn about astronomy and the exploration of other worlds.”
State of the Planet / Columbia University: Rescuing 50 Years of Apollo Sample Data . “Over the next five years, the Astromaterials Data System will collect, organize, and digitize study results not only from the samples collected by the Apollo missions, but also studies based on meteorites, cosmic dust samples, and samples from asteroids and comets gathered from outer space.”
Salisbury Journal: Stonehenge experience with English Heritage website Skyscape. “AROUND 100,000 people from around the world have signed up to watch the sky above Stonehenge, following the launch of a virtual viewing platform. Skyscape invites visitors to enjoy the changing Stonehenge sky merely through a website, including the sunrise and sunset, and experience the virtual journey of the stars and the moon from within the stone circle.” The link in the article did not work for me, but https://www.stonehengeskyscape.co.uk/ did.
Space Daily: One Comet, 70,000 Images on the Internet. “Between 2014 and 2016, the scientific camera system OSIRIS onboard ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft captured almost 70,000 images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. They not only document the most extensive and demanding comet mission to date, but also show the duck-shaped body in all its facets.”