Astronomy

The sky this week for August 3 to 12

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 04:00
Planets and meteors abound in the sky this week.
Categories: Astronomy

The sky this week for August 3 to 12

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 04:00
Planets and meteors abound in the sky this week.
Categories: Astronomy

Astronomers discover a free-range planet with incredible magnetism

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 04:00
It’s massive, it’s magnetic, and it even produces its own light show.
Categories: Astronomy

Why did it take us so long to send a mission to Pluto?

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 04:00
There’s a surprising and interconnected history between the Voyager program and New Horizons.
Categories: Astronomy

The mystery of crater rays may finally be coming to a close

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 08/02/2018 - 04:00
What do these sprawling patterns following a meteorite impact reveal?
Categories: Astronomy

Young star caught devouring its own planet for the very first time

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 08/02/2018 - 04:00
Betcha can't eat just one.
Categories: Astronomy

Fact checking the Galaxy Song – Monty Python’s astronomy lesson

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 04:00
Any nerd worth her NaCl knows all about English comedy group Monty Python, and their version of the King Arthur legend, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” But lesser known are the troupe’s other feature-length films, including 1983’s “The Meaning of Life.” Amidst a dinner party with Death and a machine that goes “ping!”, audiences are treated to one of the weirdest, most catchy astronomy tunes out there: The Galaxy Song (sung here by Stephen Hawkin
Categories: Astronomy

No seriously, Elon. You can't just nuke Mars (we asked)

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 04:00
On Monday, a study published in Nature Astronomy took an exhaustive look at what it would take to terraform the Red Planet and fulfill generations of sci-fi dreams. In it, leading Mars experts tallied the planet’s stores of carbon dioxide, a powerful greenhouse gas, and gauged the likelihood of releasing all that CO2 to create a stable atmosphere — one thick enough to have liquid water on the surface. Their disappointing conclusion: You can’t terraform the place with any pres
Categories: Astronomy

UV light could be key to kick-starting life in the cosmos

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 04:00
Want to know if a planet has what it takes to develop life? Look at its light. Research published August 1 in the journal Science Advances suggests that the amount of ultraviolet (UV) light a planet soaks up from its host star could make or break its chances of habitability. The study found that sufficient UV light ignites the chemical reactions needed to form RNA — a component thought to have kick-started life on Earth. Based on this idea, two groups of researchers from the Medical Rese
Categories: Astronomy

X-ray light reveals the geometry of a black hole

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 04:00
By measuring scattered light from Cygnus X-1, astronomers have traced how matter acts around a black hole.
Categories: Astronomy

There’s Not Enough CO2 To Terraform Mars

Astronomy Magazine - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 04:00
Sorry to ruin your plans, Elon.
Categories: Astronomy

Meteorite Crystals Older than Earth Reveal Early Sun Secrets

Astronomy Magazine - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 04:00
Tiny crystals in meteorites were witness to the Sun’s unruly behavior in its earliest years. The Sun sends a lot more than Sunshine and rainbows our way. High-energy particles capable of messing with the nuclei of atoms stream off our star constantly. Earth’s magnetic fields shield us from many of the harmful effects of this energetic particles shower but not every solar system object is as protected. The Sun was even more active, researchers found, in the earliest years of the sol
Categories: Astronomy

The venusian facelift

Astronomy Magazine - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 04:00
New evidence overthrows scientists' current Venus surface formation theory.
Categories: Astronomy

The sky this week for July 27 to August 5

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 07/27/2018 - 04:00
All eyes are on Mars this week. The Red Planet has finally reached its long-awaited opposition, and will remain a spectacular sight for naked-eye and telescopic observers alike.
Categories: Astronomy

From discovery to data: How astronomers track near-Earth asteroids

Astronomy Magazine - Fri, 07/27/2018 - 04:00
Once an asteroid has been identified, how do we know if it's a threat?
Categories: Astronomy

Secrets Of The Strange Stars That Circle Our Supermassive Black Hole

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 07/26/2018 - 20:30
High winds are the norm at the center of the Milky Way. Astronomers have now clocked suns orbiting the galactic core at a staggering 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) per second. At this rate, Earth would complete its orbit around the sun in a mere three days. What lurks at the galaxy’s core that can accelerate stars to such speeds? Astronomers have considered various possibilities. Does the center of the galaxy harbor a tight cluster of superdense stellar remnants (neutron stars)? Or perhap
Categories: Astronomy

Supermassive Black Hole Caught Sucking Energy From Nearby Starlight

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 07/26/2018 - 04:00
Astronomers have long had their eye on a group of stars that precariously circles just outside the supermassive black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. And, in a discovery announced by the European Southern Observatory on Thursday, scientists say they’ve finally spotted one of these stars as it travels through the black hole’s gravitational field. It’s the first test of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity near a supermassive black hole. The event, rec
Categories: Astronomy

How We Discovered the Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy

Astronomy Magazine - Thu, 07/26/2018 - 04:00
On Thursday, astronomers announced the first observations of the effect of a black hole’s gravitational redshift — light coming from a star in the gravitational field near a black hole looked redder than it would’ve outside the black hole’s influence. The black hole responsible was Sagittarius A* (pronounced “Sagittarius A-star”), the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers think that most large galaxies like the Milky Way s
Categories: Astronomy

NASA’s Interplanetary Internet, Coming Soon To A Planet Near You

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 04:00
NASA is about to make it a little easier to check your Instagram in zero gravity. Two teams, Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations, are working together to finally make interplanetary internet a thing. Previous efforts to bring WiFi throughout the solar system haven’t always been successful, but this time, it could become reality. It will work using something called Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking, which is pretty similar to the internet you’re famili
Categories: Astronomy

Dust on Mars Likely Comes From Massive Volcanic Deposit

Astronomy Magazine - Wed, 07/25/2018 - 04:00
As luck would have it, Mars will remain engulfed in a colossal dust storm as it reaches opposition on July 27. The viewing conditions might be abysmal, but astronomers can at least take solace in a long-awaited Martian mystery being solved — where all of this dust is coming from. New research published in the journal Nature Communications revealed that the massive amounts of dust are tied to Mars’ Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF), the largest explosive volcanic ash deposit in the sola
Categories: Astronomy

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