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National radio astronomy Observatory.


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radio astronomy.
National radio astronomy Observatory analyzed clouds containing carbon monoxide molecules.

Gas Clouds in the Whirlpool Galaxy.

Astronomers studying the famous Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) have discovered important clues which support theories of how spiral arms can last so long in a Galaxy without winding themselves too tightly. M51 is seen face on, so Astronomers can see the galaxy's entire structure. A group from the National radio astronomy Observatory analyzed clouds containing carbon monoxide molecules and found that they regularly pass through a region of higher density and temperature. This stirs up the gas and prevents it from collapsing into regions of active star formation, and allows the spiral formation of the Galaxy to last longer.

Cassini's Orbital Entry Spot.

The "X" on this image of Saturn indicates the spot where Cassini will cross the ring plane when it goes into orbit around the Ringed Planet. This image of Saturn's rings was taken on May 11, 2003, when Cassini was 26.3 million km (16.3 million miles) from the planet. There are also two moons visible in this image: Janus and Pandora. Cassini will arrive on June 30, 2004.

Transit of Venus Starts Soon.

We're just hours away from the first transit of Venus across the surface of the Sun since 1882. Sky watchers across Europe, Africa and Asia will be perfectly situated to watch the transit as it happens during the day. Venus' first contact begins on June 8 at 0513 UTC (1:13 am EDT) and completes approximately six hours later. You can watch the transit if you've got the right equipment (a properly set up telescope with a solar filter), but it can be extremely dangerous to watch with the unprotected eye. The Americas won't have a good view this time around, but don't worry, there's another coming in 8 years.

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