The GeekDad Space Report for January 11, 2010

Geek Culture

A Portion of the WISE First Light Image (Image: Berkeley SSL)A Portion of the WISE First Light Image (Image: Berkeley SSL)

A Portion of the WISE First Light Image (Image: Berkeley SSL)

Greetings all and welcome to another edition of the GeekDad Space Report. No launches this week and none from last week to report on, so lets dive right into news in the world of space.

AAS Meeting

This past week, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) held a meeting in Washington, DC and the mission results reported have been very interesting! Here are a couple of the results that have been reported:


More results are being reported from the new Hubble Deep Field, discussed previously on GeekDad. Some of the galaxies discovered in these results are only 600 to 800 million years after the Big Bang itself. More information can be found in an article on the discoveries on


As reported by Wired Science writer Alexis Madrigal, Kepler has already made several discoveries in the short time that it has been operating. If you are not familiar with the Kepler mission, check out the Wired Science article by Clara Moskowitz about Kepler’s mission.

Interesting Hubble Observations

Before starting the usual list of observations for the week for Hubble, I want to congratulate Astronaut John Grunsfeld. Space News is reporting that Grunsfeld is leaving NASA to assume the role of Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute. I have had the opportunity of meeting John personally back in my Hubble days and can say he is a great pick and will prove to be extremely valuable to STScI.

Back to the listing of Hubble Observations. Here is a list of some of the standouts in the coming week. A more complete list can be found at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) This Week On HST Website.

Probing the early universe with GRBs

Resolving the Smallest Galaxies with ACS

The population of compact planetary nebulae in the Galactic Disk

This is a small list of the overall observations. You may also see some of these observations popping up in other weeks as many observation programs consist of several observations over time.

Elsewhere In The Solar System


The BBC is reporting that a group of researchers from the Imperial and University Colleges London have found geographic features on Mars which look like drainage channels from large lake beds. The team utilized data fro the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for their study.

The Sun

The Solar-Heliospherical Observatory (SOHO) captured images of a comet being consumed by the sun, as reported by the Daily Mail.

WISE Mission

A fantastic view of space has been captured by the WISE mission as one of its first light observations Wired Science reporter Lisa Grossman is reporting. Additionally, Space News is reporting that the image was captured just after the cover to the telescope was ejected and was part of an effort to calibrate the instruments aboard the observatory.

Manned Spaceflight

As reported by the Associated Press, this past week the Space Shuttle Endeavour moved to Launch Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center. Endeavour is being prepared for a February 7 launch to the International Space Station (ISS).

Have a great week everyone!

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