SPACE.com 10 Dec 2017, 13:24 UTC
Astrobiology Magazine 9 Dec 2017, 17:00 UTC Researchers find exciting potential for little-known exoplanet – and discover another planet in the process.
Universe Today 8 Dec 2017, 20:10 UTC It is a well known fact among astronomers and cosmologists that the farther into the Universe you look, the further back in time you are seeing. And the closer astronomers are able to see to the Big Bang, which took place 13.8 billion years ago, the more interesting the discoveries tend to become. It is these finds that teach us the most about the earliest periods of the Universe and its subsequent evolution. For instance, scientists using the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the Magellan Telescopes recently observed the earliest Supermassive Black Hole (SMBH) to date. According to the discovery team’s study, this black hole is roughly 800 million times the mass of our Sun and is located more than 13 billion light years from Earth. This makes it the most distant, and youngest, SMBH observed to date.
The Planetary Society Blog 8 Dec 2017, 16:54 UTC This month, NASA will narrow down a list of 12 proposals for a future planetary exploration mission. There are six possible destinations: Venus, the Moon, a comet, Saturn, Enceladus, and Titan. All are compelling, but which will make the cut? The potentially life-harboring plumes of Enceladus? A sample return from a comet? What about Venus?
Starts With a Bang! 8 Dec 2017, 15:01 UTC The iconic “blue marble” photo taken by the crew of Apollo 17 in 1972. Image credit: NASA.It isn’t flat, and these simple observations that you can make from the ground can demonstrate it to anyone.From any one location on the surface of the Earth, it’s impossible to tell what our planet’s shape is. Having a single vantage point, even with a clear horizon, allows you to see a handful of miles (or kilometers) in any direction, but that can only allow you to place constraints. The Earth could be flat, or spherical, or in hydrostatic equilibrium, or egg-shaped, or irregular, and you wouldn’t know. All that you can know, from a single location on our surface, is that the Earth is indistinguishable from flat beyond a certain degree. If the Earth is round, it must be quite large: more than a few hundred miles (or kilometers) in diameter.A panorama of many images stitched together from V2 rockets from flights in 1948. The first images to see the curvature of the Earth were taken from the same rockets and the same missile base in 1946; this mosaic is even more illustrative. Image credit: Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, U.S. Navy.Of ...