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Awesomeness Round-up – 5/23/11

Earlier this month, we posted about Dr. Amber Straughn and Dr. Jane Rigby being finalists for a TED talk. TED talks are very high profile, and usually of geek-tech interest. Because they were finalists, they get to give a 5 minute audition talk which will be webcast on Tuesday May, 24th from 7-9 PM EDT. We don’t have a link yet for the webcast, but we’ll update here and tweet when we have it. Here is this link – it won’t work til later on Tuesday: Dr. Straughn can’t actually be there for the talk due to a travel conflict, so Dr. Rigby will be presenting. However, Dr. Straughn (@astraughnomer) will be on tweeting and answer questions during the presentation. Look for the hash tag #TEDastro.

In other JWST related news, the flight ISIM structure (which will hold all the instruments) is currently sitting on our giant centrifuge. It’ll be spinning this week. I just took these pics an hour or so ago:

Credit: Maggie Masetti

Credit: Maggie Masetti

Watch Nobel Laureate John Mather talk about Hubble, Webb, and his favorite scientific results at a recent conference in Venice. We did our own interview with Dr. Mather about what makes data beautiful in 2009.

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If the video doesn’t work, here is a direct link.

There are lots of photos of Explore @ NASA from May 14th on NASA Goddard’s Flickr. Check them out and see what a great time we had!

Explore@NASA Goddard
Credit: NASA Goddard

Check out the Photopic Sky Survey, which is a 5000 megapixel photograph of the entire night sky stitched together from 37,440 exposures. It’s interactive – you can zoom and rotate to explore the Milky Way.

There’s a recent release from JPL about a new class of Jupiter-sized planets floating alone in the dark of space, away from the light of a star. It’s believed that these lone worlds were probably ejected from developing planetary systems. There’s another article on that has a little moving which shows the technique used to find the orphan planets.

Free-Floating Planets May be More Common Than Stars
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Radio telescopes located throughout the Southern Hemisphere have produced the most detailed image of particle jets erupting from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy! Read more at the release and view more graphics.

Centaurus A's Inner Jets
Credit: (left) Capella Observatory (optical), with radio data from Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell, and Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF), R. Morganti (ASTRON), and N. Junkes (MPIfR). (right) Credit: NASA/TANAMI/Müller et al.

You can watch a video about this discovery too:

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