Keeping warm? 21/12 marked the start of astronomical winter for the northern hemisphere, meaning long nights and (hopefully) clear, cold skies. But we’ve also got another reason to brave the cold this week, as Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is set to put on a show for northern hemisphere observers.
Since it was launched in 2009, the Kepler space telescope has found nearly 1,000 planets in distant solar systems. However, in May 2013, the spacecraft was temporarily shut down due to a hardware malfunction. In May 2014, NASA scientists devised a solution and turned it back on — and Thursday, they announced the telescope has found yet another exoplanet.
A NASA spacecraft that recently arrived in orbit around Mars is already helping to solve a Martian mystery. Scientists are using the space agency’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft to gather more data about how Mars’ atmosphere bled molecules out into space over time.
Extra-solar planets come in all sizes — from dinky rocky worlds that measure up to Mercury to massive gas giants that would dwarf Jupiter. Exoplanet hunters have developed a sophisticated array of telescopes and techniques to detect this multitude of exoplanetary girths, but we are now on the verge of potentially detecting exoplanets of different shapes.
Twins can be close, and that goes for stars as well as people. In some cases, stars get so close that they merge. In an unusual celestial event, astronomers have captured the image of two monster stars that may merge eventually and give us a chance to understand the theory on how supermassive stars are born.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has the protoplanet Ceres in its sight, and soon will have a close encounter with this unusual alien world. Still, before Dawn get’s there, it may help to answer some questions such as “what exactly is Ceres?”
Take a virtual trip around the Solar System and you’ll come to one conclusion pretty quickly: Earth is odd. One of the most significant oddities about our pale blue dot is the vast quantity of liquid water. Astronomers and other scientists have proposed various arguments for how Earth ended up with huge, stable liquid oceans — and now, thanks to research from the Rosetta probe, we’ve got evidence that one prominent theory may not be correct.
A team of astronomers has found an important new example of a very rare type of galaxy that may yield valuable insight on how galaxies developed in the early Universe. The new discovery technique promises to give astronomers many more examples of this important and mysterious type of galaxy.
When New Horizons left Earth nine years ago, its destination was still being taught to schoolchildren as one of the 9 planets in our solar system. The spacecraft’s final destination of Pluto has since lost its planet status, but that doesn’t make its upcoming arrival at the mysterious dwarf planet any less exciting.
The universe is vast, making it extremely difficult to measure distances between heavenly bodies. Currently, the most common method can measure relative distances, but researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, the University of Southampton, and the Kyoto Sangyo University have found another way thanks to “Eye of Sauron.”
In the recent past, a lot of unusual features are rportedly being noticed in Mars. The latest to join the numerous other things that have been allegedly found is an alien skull that looked like it was buried in Martian sand.
2005 cassini captures an astonishing sight, a hundred geysers shooting ice particles miles into space from cracks in the south pole. Enceladus is hurdling its guts into space at a colossal rate. As enceladus orbits saturn, these icy plumes feed a vast shimmering halo around the planet the mysterious e ring.