Universe Today 6 Sep 2019, 08:11 UTC About 10,000 light years away, in the constellation Centaurus, is a planetary nebula called NGC 5307. A planetary nebula is the remnant of a star like our Sun, when it has reached what can be described as the end of its life. This Hubble image of NGC 5307 not only makes you wonder about the star’s past, it makes you ponder the future of our very own Sun.
Sky and Telescope 6 Sep 2019, 07:50 UTC Astronomers have identified thousands of stellar groups within 3,000 light-years of the Sun. But the 3D map they created resembles a tangle of yarn more than it does a field of stars. That’s because hundreds of the groups they discovered appear to be filamentary, thread-like structures. These threads of stars may trace the evolution of the Milky Ways’ spiral arms, Marina Kounkel (Western Washington University) and colleagues explain in the August 23rd Astronomical Journal.
Universe Today 5 Sep 2019, 19:12 UTC Next week, asteroid researchers and spacecraft engineers from all around the world will gather in Rome to discuss the latest in asteroid defense. The three-day International AIDA Workshop, which will run from Sept. 11th to 13th, will focus on the development of the joint NASA-ESA Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission.
Astronomy Now 5 Sep 2019, 15:28 UTC NGC 3147, as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope, is a beautiful face-on spiral galaxy 130 million light years away in the constellation Draco that features a multitude of young blue stars, vast nebulas and silhouetted dust lanes with sweeping, well-defined spiral arms. It’s also home to a supermassive black hole some 250 million times more massive than the Sun that is surrounded by a compact disc made up of stars and dust trapped in the hole’s gravitational grip.
Bad Astronomy 5 Sep 2019, 13:00 UTC Sometimes, descriptions can be too simplistic. For example: Meteorites are bits of asteroids that fall to Earth. While true, that's not the whole story. There are many kinds of asteroids; some are metallic, consisting of mostly iron and nickel, while others are "stony," being more like rock.
Scientific American 5 Sep 2019, 11:00 UTC A biocentric “theory of everything” could take life’s origins all the way back to the beginning of the universe
Drew Ex Machina 5 Sep 2019, 06:36 UTC Launched on March 7, 2009, the objective of NASA’s Kepler mission was to observe the brightness of 150,000 stars in a 115 square degree patch of sky in the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra looking for periodic dips indicative of transiting exoplanets. The goal was to create a large database of exoplanets allowing scientists to explore the structure and diversity of planetary systems. Kepler’s design and observing strategy was tailored to allow the detection of Earth-size planets in Earth-like orbits around Sun-like stars with an apparent magnitude as dim as 12.
It Hasn’t Rained on Mars for a Long Time, but These Sand Dunes Look Like Raindrops, and They’re Filled with Chemicals Made in Water4 Sep 2019, 20:33 UTC Mars is well-known for being a dry and arid place, where dusty red sand dunes are prevalent and water exists almost entirely in the form of ice and permafrost. An upside to this, however, is the fact that these conditions are the reason why Mars’ many surface features are so well preserved. And as missions like the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have shown, this allows for some pretty interesting finds.
Centauri Dreams 4 Sep 2019, 17:26 UTC The most recently discovered group of rocky bodies nearby Earth are termed co-orbital objects. These may have been an attractive location for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) to locate a probe to observe Earth throughout our deep past. Co-orbital objects approach Earth very closely every year at distances much shorter than anything except the moon. They have the same orbital period as Earth. These near-Earth objects provide an ideal way to watch our world from a secure natural object. Co-orbitals provide resources an ETI might need: materials, constant solar energy, a firm anchor, concealment.