Telescopes

Field of view of the Parkes radio telescope. On the right two zoom-ins and at the bottom an image from the Subaru telescope (Image courtesy D. Kaplan (UWM), E. F. Keane (SKAO))

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes research that has uncovered the place of origin of a Fast Radio Burst (FRB). These radio signals that last only a few milliseconds are picked up with no phenomenon that might warn about its arrival. An international team of astronomers used observations made by optical and radio telescopes to trace the origin of this phenomenon.

Artist’s impression of the exoplanet 55 Cancri e in front of its parent star (Image ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser)

An article published in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a research on the planet 55 Cancri e focused in particular on its atmosphere. This is the first study of its kind involving a super-Earth and was carried out in an innovative way using the Hubble Space Telescope. 55 Cancri e has already been the subject of several studies and about four years ago was the first super-Earth directly observed.

Artistic representation of the WFIRST Space Telescope (Image NASA/GSFC/Conceptual Image Lab)

NASA announced the approval of a new astrophysics mission based on a space telescope called WFIRST (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope). It’s a next-generation Instrument for a long-term project since it will be probably launched around the middle of next decade. It will have a mirror as large as Hubble’s but a field of view a hundred times wider to investigate even better on the secrets of the universe.

The Astro-H space telescope blasting off atop an H-IIA rocket (Image courtesy JAXA)

A little while ago the Japanese Astro-H space telescope was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on a H-IIA rocket. After about fifteen minutes it regularly separated from the rocket’s last stage. It will reach the low-Earth orbit, where it will be positioned at an altitude of about 575 kilometers (about 357 miles).