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Is it time for a new astronomical yardstick?

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 04:00
One physicist is proposing we do away with units such as light-years, astronomical units, and arcseconds.
Categories: Astronomy

The majestic Earth as seen through the eyes of astronauts

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 04:00
We've gotten so accustomed to seeing photos of Earth from space that sometimes it's easy to forget just how beautiful our planet truly is. Many astronauts have reportedly experienced profound spiritual transformations when viewing the Earth from space, a phenomenon that has come to be called the "overview effect." Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard recalled, "When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried. "Looking out the window of his Apollo spacecraft, astronaut Edgar
Categories: Astronomy

To Seek Out New Life: How the TESS Mission Will Accelerate the Hunt for Livable Alien Worlds

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 04:00
The just-launched Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) could soon provide the breakthrough identification of dozens of potentially habitable exoplanets right in our cosmic backyard
Categories: Astronomy

The hunt for the Sun’s ancient siblings

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 04/19/2018 - 04:00

Thousands of stars were born in the same cluster as the Sun, but where are they now? To help solve this mystery, astronomers have analyzed the DNA of 340,000 stars.

Categories: Astronomy

Martian moons likely formed after impact with Ceres-sized object

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 04:00
Based on new research, scientists think that the martian moons Phobos and Deimos likely formed after a catastrophic collision between Mars and a dwarf-planet-sized object. SwRItv According to a new study published today in Science Advances, Mars’ two moons — Phobos and Deimos — likely formed following an impact between proto-Mars and a minor planet roughly the size of Ceres, which is 587 miles wide (950 kilometers). To carry out the study, the researchers created a new mode
Categories: Astronomy

Researchers recreate the ice giants’ interiors

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 04:00
Uranus and Neptune are believed to contain superionic ice at pressure and temperatures not found on Earth.
Categories: Astronomy

Meteoric Diamonds Are Evidence of Long Lost Planets

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 04:00
Diamonds found in meteorites on Earth may have come from an ancient long-dead planet the size of Mercury or Mars, the first potential known relics from these lost worlds, a new study finds. Scientists examined a ureilite, a kind of meteorite that is rich in carbon and sometimes even possesses diamonds. More than 480 ureilites have been discovered so far, says study lead author Farhang Nabiei, a materials scientist and electron microscopist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausann
Categories: Astronomy

The world’s most advanced camera aims to image habitable exoplanets

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 04:00
With its high contrast ratio, DARKNESS could reveal planets hidden in the light of their host stars.
Categories: Astronomy

NASA’s new exoplanet-hunting telescope set to launch today

Astronomy Magazine - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 04:00
Scheduled for takeoff at 6:32:07 p.m. EDT, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has only a 30-second launch window.
Categories: Astronomy

Losing the Nobel Prize

Astronomy Magazine - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 04:00
Brian Keating explores the pitfalls of pursuing science's highest honor, in the context of uncovering the universe's earliest moments.
Categories: Astronomy

Hearing the cosmic hum of 100,000 black-hole mergers

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 04:00
Every few minutes, a pair of black holes slams together, producing a faint but steady drumbeat of gravitational waves. And thanks to a new technique, astronomers may soon be able to hear that harmony.
Categories: Astronomy

Suppressing starlight reveals zoo of disks around young stars

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 04:00

By blocking the overshadowing light from young stars, astronomers are finally giving protoplanetary disks their time to shine.

Categories: Astronomy

NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Planet-Hunting Mission

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 04:00
On a mission to detect planets outside of our solar system, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to launch no earlier than 6:32 p.m. EDT Monday, April 16. Prelaunch mission coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website Sunday, April 15, with three live briefings. TESS is NASA’s next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets, including those that could support life. The mission is expected to ca
Categories: Astronomy

The sky this week for April 13 to 22

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 04:00
Venus and Jupiter take center stage, a New Moon hides from the Sun, and the Lyrid meteor shower reaches its peak, all in the sky this week.
Categories: Astronomy

Features on Mercury, Charon receive official names

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 04:00
The IAU adds to the maps of a hot and a cold world.
Categories: Astronomy

NASA's Juno Mission Provides Infrared Tour of Jupiter's North Pole

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 04:00
Scientists working on NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter shared a 3-D infrared movie depicting densely packed cyclones and anticyclones that permeate the planet's polar regions, and the first detailed view of a dynamo, or engine, powering the magnetic field for any planet beyond Earth. Those are among the items unveiled during the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, April 11. In this animation the viewer is taken low over Jupiter's north pole to illustrate
Categories: Astronomy

The Columbia space shuttle first launched 37 years ago

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 04:00
The craft carried out 28 missions and forever shaped our approach to space travel.
Categories: Astronomy

Could alien life be hiding in the clouds of Venus?

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 04:00
Though the surface of Venus is a hellish landscape, a new study suggests that microbial life may be able to survive in — and change — the venusian atmosphere.
Categories: Astronomy

Tune in to the Breakthrough Discuss conference

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 04/11/2018 - 04:00
Breakthrough Initiatives is livestreaming its third annual academic conference on life in the universe.
Categories: Astronomy

X-rays may sterilize otherwise habitable exoplanets

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 04:00
Red dwarfs are far and away the most common type of star. These slow and steady burners are thought to account for roughly 75 percent of the stars in the Milky Way, and for the most part, astronomers agree that red dwarfs are prevalent throughout the entire universe. Furthermore, many exoplanets — including the seven Earth-size planets found in the TRAPPIST-1 system — have been detected around red dwarfs. Because these stable stars are relatively cool (around 7,000 degree Fahrenhei
Categories: Astronomy

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