We’ve got about 4 billion years before the Milky Way galaxy is no more. We’re on a collision course with our nearest neighbor, Andromeda, and now—thanks to researchers with the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research—we have an updated idea what that galatic crash might look like.
From clouds dancing across the Milky Way to a stunning solar eclipse over Kenya, the annual competition showcasing the mysterious depths of our universe has revealed some incredible images. West Midlands-based photographer James Woodend beat over a thousand amateur and professional photographers from around the world to win the title of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014.
Earth is about to have a close encounter with a house-sized asteroid on Sunday (Sept. 7), when a space rock discovered just days ago will zoom by our planet at a range closer than some satellites.
In case you need a reminder that the solar system was a harsh place to grow up, the early Earth looks like it was in the middle of a shooting gallery. Asteroids and comets that repeatedly smashed into the early Earth covered the planet’s surface with molten rock during its earliest days.
Betelgeuse will explode someday. It lies some 430 light-years from Earth. Yet it’s already one of the brightest stars in Earth’s sky. The reason is that Betelgeuse is a supergiant star. It is intrinsically very brilliant.
You may have noticed the moon looked bigger and brighter than usual this weekend. When the moon is full while its orbit is closest to Earth it’s known as a “supermoon,” creating an illusion of a dramatically large luminous sphere when viewed close to the horizon. This is what occurred over the weekend when the moon was at its fullest and still appeared brighter than normal.
This summer we can see unusual comet which was of little interest until early this year. Now, The astronomers are watching it because, initially, this comet was an asteroid!