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Keyword: astronomy

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  • Huge magnetic tail discovered behind Mars

    10/22/2017 10:43:53 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    Discovered by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft, the unusual phenomenon is thought to have been caused by the effects of the solar winds and could help to shine more light on how the Martian atmosphere escaped in to space. "We found that Mars' magnetic tail, or magnetotail, is unique in the Solar System," said NASA scientist Gina DiBraccio. "It's not like the magnetotail found at Venus, a planet with no magnetic field of its own, nor is it like Earth's, which is surrounded by its own internally generated magnetic field." "Instead, it is a hybrid between...
  • How to Watch a Near-Earth Asteroid Zoom Closer to Earth than the Moon

    11/09/2018 6:56:14 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    Live Science ^ | November 9, 2018 06:14pm ET | Laura Geggel
    Three chunky asteroids will zoom by Earth this weekend, and one of them is getting closer to our planet than the moon itself. On Saturday (Nov. 10), the near-Earth asteroid 2018 VX1 will zip within about 236,100 miles (380,000 kilometers) of Earth. That's closer than the moon, which hangs out about 238,900 miles (384,400 km) away as it orbits Earth. Gianluca Masi, founder and director of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, which is live-streaming the celestial show online here starting at 1 p.m. EST (18:00 UTC) on Saturday. … People here on Earth will be able to see the...
  • Hubble Spots Beautiful Dwarf Galaxy

    11/05/2018 8:13:00 AM PST · by ETL · 35 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Nov 5, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    ESO 338-4, also known as LEDA 63240 and IRAS 19245-4140, is classified as a blue compact dwarf galaxy. It resides in the constellation Corona Australis, some 100 million light-years from Earth.Blue compact dwarf galaxies take their name from the intensely blue star-forming regions that are often found within their cores.One such region can be seen embedded in ESO 338-4, which is populated with bright young stars voraciously consuming hydrogen.These massive stars are doomed to a short existence, as despite their vast supplies of hydrogen fuel.The nuclear reactions in the cores of these stars will burn through these supplies in only...
  • One of Milky Way’s Oldest Stars Discovered

    11/06/2018 11:51:00 AM PST · by ETL · 26 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Nov 6, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    The Universe’s first stars after the Big Bang would have consisted entirely of elements like hydrogen, helium, and small amounts of lithium.Those stars then produced elements heavier than helium in their cores and seeded the Universe with them when they exploded as supernovae.The next generation of stars formed from clouds of material laced with those metals, incorporating them into their makeup.The metal content, or metallicity, of stars in the Universe increased as the cycle of star birth and death continued.2MASS J18082002-5104378 B, also known as Gaia DR2 6702907209758894848 B, is unusual because unlike other stars with very low metal content,...
  • SpaceX's 'Starman' and Its Tesla Roadster Are Now Beyond Mars

    11/05/2018 3:35:41 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    Space.com ^ | November 3, 2018 08:00am ET | Mike Wall,
    SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk is a big "Hitchhiker's Guide" fan, as Starman's Roadster shows. The car's entertainment display was programmed to read "Don't Panic!" — the phrase that adorns the cover of the eponymous electronic guidebook in Adams' beloved series. Musk has said that he launched the Roadster and Starman because the duo is a lot more fun than the typical inert-mass dummy payload... Launching a satellite or other valuable spacecraft wasn't an option, given the risks inherent in maiden flights. The Roadster and Starman will come within a few hundred thousand kilometers of our planet in 2091,...
  • Mysterious interstellar object could be 'lightsail' sent from another civilization

    11/05/2018 12:53:27 PM PST · by ETL · 78 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | Nov 5, 2018 | Chris Ciaccia | Fox News
    NASA may have ruled that Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever spotted in our system is a "metallic or rocky object" approximately 400 meters (1,312 feet) in length and 40 meters (131 feet) wide, but a new study from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics says it could be something much more exciting – it could be "a lightsail of artificial origin" sent from another civilization. The study, which was posted online earlier this month, suggests that Oumuamua's strange "excess acceleration" could be artificial in nature, as it has been implied that it is not an active comet.
  • Astronomers Observe Interstellar Material Orbiting Close to Milky Way’s Central Black Hole

    11/04/2018 9:33:21 AM PST · by ETL · 26 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Oct 31, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    Astronomers using the GRAVITY instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) have detected flares of infrared radiation coming from the accretion disk around Sagittarius A*, the 4-million-solar-mass black hole at the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy. The flares the GRAVITY instrument detected provide long-awaited confirmation that the object in the center of our Galaxy is a supermassive black hole.The flares originate from material orbiting very close to the black hole’s event horizon — making these the most detailed observations yet of material orbiting this close to a black hole.While some matter in the accretion disk — the belt...
  • Why DARPA Is Betting a Million Bucks on an "Impossible" Space Drive

    11/02/2018 2:06:22 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 44 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | 11/2/18 | David Hambling
    <p>Agency responsible with filling the government's coffers with cutting-edge tech is funding a controversial drive that's based on unproven science.</p> <p>The law of conservation of momentum says that a rocket (or anything else) can't accelerate forward without some form of exhaust ejected backward. But in 1998, a British engineer named Roger Shawyer announced the seemingly impossible—he had built a closed system that could generate thrust.</p>
  • Astronomers Find Proto-Supercluster of Galaxies in Early Universe

    10/19/2018 7:20:53 AM PDT · by ETL · 19 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Oct 18, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    “This is the first time that such a large structure has been identified at such a high redshift, just over 2 billion years after the Big Bang [~13.7 billion],” said lead author Dr. Olga Cucciati, an astronomer at the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy.“Normally these kinds of structures are known at lower redshifts, which means when the Universe has had much more time to evolve and construct such huge things. It was a surprise to see something this evolved when the Universe was relatively young!”Located in the COSMOS field in the constellation of Sextans, Hyperion was identified by analyzing the...
  • Bringing Dark Energy Out into the Light

    10/28/2018 1:28:32 PM PDT · by ETL · 32 replies
    Space.com ^ | Oct 18, 2018 | Paul Sutter, Astrophysicist
    Let's talk about dark energy. We've known for about 20 years that the expansion of our universe is accelerating; every day, our cosmos grows bigger and bigger, doing so faster and faster. It's a subtle effect, and it takes extensive and deep cosmological surveys and studies for scientists to notice it. But multiple independent lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion: accelerating expansion. Astronomers quickly cooked up a cool name for that accelerated expansion: dark energy. But now we’re left with the much harder job of finding a culprit — what's causing it? A universal mistake We use...
  • HUBBLE JUST SPOTTED SOMETHING MASSIVE COMING OUT OF URANUS

    10/14/2017 4:17:21 PM PDT · by Lazamataz · 94 replies
    Bursts of solar winds caused a huge sparkling region on Uranus, scientists observed this by using Hubble space telescope. Electrons that come from various origins such as solar winds, the planetary ionosphere and moon volcanism, when charged in the form of streams caused this, researchers from the Paris Observatory used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to observe this on Uranus. They were able to catch it in powerful magnetic fields and, controlled it into the upper atmosphere, where set off spectacular bursts of light when made interactions with gas particles, such as oxygen or nitrogen.
  • Uranus will be visible to everyone in the UK tonight

    10/26/2018 1:13:30 PM PDT · by EdnaMode · 101 replies
    Metro ^ | October 26, 2018 | Jeff Parsons
    If you’ve ever wanted to get a really good look at Uranus, then tonight is your best opportunity. Not only is the distant planet at the closest point to Earth in its orbit at the moment, but it’s also particularly easy to locate. The seventh planet from the sun can be found just to the left of the moon in the night sky all this week. The moon is starting to wane after last night’s full moon, but it will still be shining brightly in the sky. Helpful for locating the distant planet. Uranus lies south-west in the constellation of...
  • The Purported Plumes of Jupiter's Moon Europa Are Missing 'Hotspot' Engines

    10/24/2018 8:49:46 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    Space.com ^ | October 24, 2018 07:00am ET | Nola Taylor Redd,
    Plumes are common throughout the solar system. Jupiter's moon Io is constantly shooting volcanic material into the air. Saturn's icy moon Enceladus famously blasts water vapor and other material from its subsurface ocean into space via a set of geysers near the south pole. And Earth is rich in geysers, from Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful to Iceland's Great Geysir. Firing off the gas that makes up these plumes requires an energy source, which usually heats up the ground around the plume source. Enceladus, Io and Earth all have hotspots around their geysers and volcanoes. But not Europa, as far...
  • NASA fixes Hubble gyroscope by turning it off and on again

    10/24/2018 10:01:09 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 47 replies
    engadget ^ | 10/24/18 | Mariella Moon
    NASA Hubble's designers prepared for gyroscope failure by equipping the observatory with a backup. Unfortunately, when one of Hubble's gyroscopes conked out in early October, the backup didn't work as expected -- it was rotating too fast and hence won't be able to hold the telescope in place when it needs to stay still and lock in on a target. NASA has since been able to reduce its rotation rates and fix its issues by implementing an age-old fix for malfunctioning electronics: turning it off and on again. Back to science! @NASAHubble is well on its way to normal...
  • Rare blue asteroid responsible for Geminid meteor shower reveals itself during fly-by

    10/24/2018 10:41:54 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    phys.org/ ^ | 10/24/2018
    Blue asteroids are rare, and blue comets are almost unheard of. An international team led by Teddy Kareta, a graduate student at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, investigated (3200) Phaethon, a bizarre asteroid that sometimes behaves like a comet, and found it even more enigmatic than previously thought. Phaethon sets itself apart for two reasons: it appears to be one of the "bluest" of similarly colored asteroids or comets in the solar system; and its orbit takes it so close to the Sun that its surface heats up to about 800 degrees Celsius (1,500 degrees Fahrenheit), hot...
  • Stunning Nasa image reveals the youngest pulsar ever found: X-ray scans of the supernova [tr]

    10/22/2018 6:30:18 AM PDT · by C19fan · 7 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | October 22, 2018 | Harry Pettit
    An amazing new Nasa image captures the youngest pulsar ever found by scientists. The pulsar - an ultra-dense chunk of a star leftover from its explosive death into a supernova - sits just 19,000 light years from Earth. It provides our best look yet at the early stages of star death, a mysterious and violent process that scientists still don't fully understand. The image was taken using Nasa's Chandra X-ray Observatory, an orbiting telescope that has been out of action for nearly two weeks following a catastrophic gyroscope failure.
  • Hyperion is an ancient cosmic beast formed 2.3B years after Big Bang

    10/18/2018 5:59:30 PM PDT · by ameribbean expat · 41 replies
    Astronomers have discovered a massive proto-supercluster of galaxies -- bigger than even one million billion Suns. Scientists have called the ancient colossal structure Hyperion, the European Southern Observatory announced Wednesday. It is reported to have appeared just 2.3 billion years after the Big Bang, which took place about 13.7 billion years ago. The cluster's namesake is one of 12 titans born to the gods Gaia and Uranus in Greek mythology.
  • Sex robots ‘will colonize Mars’ says love-bot tester

    10/17/2018 8:10:25 AM PDT · by ETL · 56 replies
    The Sun ^ | Oct 10, 2018 | Sean Keach, Digital Technology and Science Editor
    SEX-BOTS will help humans colonise Mars, according to a love-doll enthusiast who helps "test drive" randy robots.YouTuber, love-doll collector and sex-bot consultant Brick Dollbanger told The Sun that we'll soon by relying on droids for space travel – and said we'll eventually become bots ourselves. A divorced property developer in his 60s, Brick (not his real name) has been buying sex dolls for over a decade, and regularly advises California sex robot firm Realbotix on their upcoming Harmony love droid.And he's convinced they're going to help advance the human race: "I think we have to remember [sex robots] are here to help us...
  • NASA eyes stunning 'cloud city' airship concept to explore Venus

    10/16/2018 11:25:35 AM PDT · by DFG · 30 replies
    Fox News ^ | 10/16/2018 | James Rogers
    NASA is considering a spectacular airship concept for Venus exploration. The space agency’s Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate (SACD) has posted potential designs of the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) on its website. The airships have even been compared to a “cloud city” by Space.com. A similar size to Earth, Venus is our closest planetary neighbor. However, exploring Venus poses a unique set of challenges, according to NASA. “Though its internal geology is similar to Earth’s, its surface is hot enough to melt lead and is covered with craters, volcanoes, mountains, and lava plains,” it explains.
  • Hubble Finds Strong-Lensing Galaxy Cluster

    10/15/2018 9:07:07 AM PDT · by ETL · 26 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Oct 15, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    Galaxy clusters contain thousands of galaxies of all ages, shapes and sizes. Typically, they have a mass of about one million billion times the mass of the Sun and form over billions of years as smaller groups of galaxies slowly come together.The large mass of the galaxy cluster SDSS J0952+3434 creates the fascinating phenomenon of strong gravitational lensing.The cluster’s gravity bends light coming from behind it in a similar way to how the base of a wine glass bends light.The effects of this lensing can be clearly seen as an arc of light in the lower part of the new...