What's new in the World of Science

"All the news that's fit to link."
Posted: January 18, 1996 / Updated: February, 2 1996
After Long Delay Galileo Data to be Made Public
Following a long delay due to the government shutdown, the long-awaited first results from the Galileo Probe will be made public early next week.

The news briefing is scheduled for 1 p.m. (EST) on Monday, January 22, at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

Related Sites

Project Galileo (JPL)

What's new in Science: December Edition

SF States Marcy and Butler:Two new Extrasolar Planets Found
Last month in "What's New," we ran an audio interview with San Francisco State astronomer Geoff Marcy, who helped confirm the existence of a planet outside our solar system. This month Marcy and colleague Paul Butler are again in the news, this time for detecting two more extrasolar planets.

The two planets recently discovered were named 47 Ursa Major b and 70 Virginis b. 70 Virginis b is the first known extrasolar planet whose temperature is close to that of Earth's. The temperature is estimated to be 80 degree celsius, meaning that water (if present) would be liquid.

Related Sites
Sky and Telescope's Weekly News Bulletin January 19, 1996

What's new in Science: December Edition

Hubble Telescope's 'ten day' picture' finds 1,500 Galaxies

Deepfield image
A portion of the "Deep Field" image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope

Using optical instruments four billion times more sensitive than the human eye, scientists pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at an area of space that, from earth-based telescopes appears be nearly devoid of any objects. The size of the area they had pinpointed was according to officials at the Space Telescope Science Institute, "a speck of the sky only about the width of a dime located 75 feet away."

After aiming the telescope at the region, from December 18 to December 28, scientists retrieved an image in which they found nearly 1,500 galaxies. Most of the galaxies are billions of light-years away and have a variety of unusual shapes and colors. "The variety of galaxies we see is amazing. In time, these Hubble data could turn out to be the double helix of galaxy formation. We are clearly seeing some of the galaxies as they were more than ten billion years ago, in the process of formation," said Robert Williams, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

The "Deep Field" image was revealed earlier this week at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. This image provides the deepest look yet into the universe.

Related Sites:
The Hubble Deep Field

Sky and Telescope's Weekly News Bulletin January 19, 1996

The San Francisco Chronicle: "Hubble Scopes Out 1,500 Galaxies They're invisible to telescopes on Earth"

CNN Interactive: Hubble eyes galaxies never seen before

HST's Greatest Hits 1990-1995

A Promise to our Readers
For four months, we have been posting "What's New in Science" and every month (the last three, anyway) it seems we wind up focusing on astronomy. Astronomy is not our only interest, and it's certainly not the only area in science that is newsworthy.

We won't promise that we won't have an astronomy story next month. But we will promise this: there will be at least one story that doesn't have to do with astronomy in the next issue. See you next month.

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© 1996 The Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon Street. San Francisco, California 94123