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Updated: 4 hours 27 min ago

Table for One?

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 04:00
How the Fermi Paradox attempts to settle the issue of our apparent aloneness in the universe.
Categories: Astronomy

Snapshot: Second Gaia release results so far

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 04:00
A speeding interstellar invader, the fastest-growing black hole, and more than 10,000 nearby white dwarfs. These are just a few of the early results from the newly released Gaia data.
Categories: Astronomy

The most detailed map of the Orion A molecular cloud to date

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 04:00

By mapping the cloud’s dense star clusters, astronomers reveal clues concerning the formation of stars in distant galaxies, as well as our own Sun.

Categories: Astronomy

The first stars formed when the universe was less than 2% its current age

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 04:00
Astronomers have detected a 13.3-billion-year-old oxygen signal, which suggests the first stars began forming just 250 million years after the Big Bang.
Categories: Astronomy

Snapshot: A ‘lost’ asteroid will zip between the Earth and the Moon tonight

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 04:00
First off, remember the simple yet immortal words of Douglas Adams from his book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — “Don’t panic.” But with that being said, there is an asteroid roughly the size of the Statue of Liberty that will pass uncomfortably close to the Earth tonight at around 6:05 p.m. EDT. The asteroid will pass at about half the Moon’s distance while travelling at nearly 13 kilometers per second (about 30,000 miles per hour). Although there i
Categories: Astronomy

Old Data Reveal New Evidence of Europa Plumes

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 04:00
Scientists re-examining data from an old mission bring new insights to the tantalizing question of whether Jupiter’s moon Europa has the ingredients to support life. The data provide independent evidence that the moon’s subsurface liquid water reservoir may be venting plumes of water vapor above its icy shell. Data collected by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in 1997 were put through new and advanced computer models to untangle a mystery -- a brief, localized bend in the magnetic
Categories: Astronomy

The sky this week for May 11 to May 20

Fri, 05/11/2018 - 04:00
A slew of brilliant planets, a wafer-thin crescent Moon, and a high-riding Big Dipper all stand out in the sky this week.
Categories: Astronomy

Mars helicopter to fly on the Red Planet

Fri, 05/11/2018 - 04:00
NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars. The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet. “NASA has a proud history of firsts,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The idea of a helicopter flying the skies of another planet is thrilling. The Mars Helicopter holds much promise
Categories: Astronomy

Why Apollo Flew in a Figure 8

Fri, 05/11/2018 - 04:00
If you’ve ever looked at a schematic for an Apollo flight like the one on the left, you’ll notice right away that it traces out a figure 8, which leads many to wonder why? Surely it’s easier to go in a straight line, right? Turns out, it was the safest way to travel. There are a few things at play here that come together to make it a figure 8, so let’s start with a quick video explainer that has some visuals that will help. And then we can jump into the mission in more d
Categories: Astronomy

'New views of Jupiter' showcases swirling clouds on giant planet

Thu, 05/10/2018 - 04:00
Members of NASA’s Juno mission team, some of the world’s leading observers of Jupiter, and citizen scientists from across the globe will attend a workshop ‘New Views of Jupiter: Pro-Am Collaborations during and beyond the NASA Juno Mission’ at the Royal Astronomical Society in London on 10-11 May. JunoCam images presented at the meeting by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran include an animation showing the evolution of swirling features in the
Categories: Astronomy

The first carbon-rich asteroid found in the Kuiper Belt

Thu, 05/10/2018 - 04:00

The inner solar system asteroid was likely ejected to the Kuiper Belt during our gas giants’ outward migration.

Categories: Astronomy

When Is A Planet A Planet?

Wed, 05/09/2018 - 04:00
On a basic level, it seems that most of the universe can be divided into two kinds of big objects: stars and planets. A star is a massive ball of burning gas whose main function is fusing hydrogen into helium. They are formed by huge clouds of gas that eventually come together in sufficient quantities to kick off nuclear reactions. Planets, in turn, come from the material left around the star after its formation. They form from small bits that clump together into protoplanets which in turn sma
Categories: Astronomy

WASP-96b: the cloudless exoplanet

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 04:00

Sodium, which is typically hidden by hazy atmospheres, shines brightly in this exoplanet’s spectrum.

Categories: Astronomy

NASA Satellite Images Show Fissures from Hawaii Volcano

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 04:00
This image from NASA's Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft show recent eruptions of Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii (the Big Island). Following days of increased seismic activity, Kilauea erupted May 3, 2008, and triggered a number of additional fissure eruptions along the East Rift Zone. The eruptions and high level of sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) prompted evacuations in the area, including the Leilani Estates subdivis
Categories: Astronomy

The case against dark matter

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 04:00
Erik Verlinde’s theory of emergent gravity is proof that not all physicists believe dark matter is necessary to explain the cosmos.
Categories: Astronomy

The first detection of helium in an exoplanet’s atmosphere

Thu, 05/03/2018 - 04:00
Astronomers have finally detected helium in the air of an alien world — and there’s apparently plenty of it.
Categories: Astronomy

NASA satellite duo will track Earth’s distribution of water and ice

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 04:00

GRACE-FO isn’t letting the hunt for extraterrestrial water overshadow its research here at home.

Categories: Astronomy

From idea to reality

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 04:00
John Glenn Astronomy Park opens this June, a project more than a decade in the making.
Categories: Astronomy

5 Questions Podcast: Episode 17 - Alan Stern and David Grinspoon

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 04:00
David J. Eicher speaks with Alan Stern, the Principal Investigator of the New Horizons mission, and David Grinspoon, an astrobiologist and award-winning science communicator, about their fantastic new book, Chasing New Horizons.
Categories: Astronomy

InSight spacecraft will soon peer deep into the interior of Mars

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 04:00
After a two-year delay, NASA’s latest Mars lander is now set to launch from the West Coast on Saturday, May 5th.
Categories: Astronomy

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