The Guardian 13 Jan 2020, 20:00 UTC Stardust that formed more than 5bn years ago, long before the birth of the Earth and the sun, has been discovered in a meteorite that crashed down in Australia, making it the oldest known solid material on the planet.
Astrobiology Magazine 13 Jan 2020, 17:20 UTC Researchers unveil the possible origins of our cosmic neighborhood’s “Great Divide.” This well-known schism may have separated the solar system just after the sun first formed.
New Scientist 13 Jan 2020, 16:00 UTC We now know when our galaxy had its last meal. The Milky Way devoured another galaxy, called Gaia-Enceladus, in what may have been the biggest galactic merger in its history, and now astronomers have used a single star to get a better idea of when it happened.
Centauri Dreams 10 Jan 2020, 18:38 UTC With NEID, we continue the movement in radial velocity studies down to measurements well below 1 meter per second. Long-time Centauri Dreams readers will know that for a long time, the HARPS spectrograph (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher) at the ESO La Silla 3.6m telescope, has been considered the gold standard, taking us down to 1 meter per second, meaning that scientists could discern via Doppler methods the tiny pull of a planet on the star first towards us, and then away from Earth. The ESPRESSO instrument (Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky OxoPlanet and Stable Spectroscopic Observations) installed at the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, takes us into centimeters per second range, which means detecting habitable zone planets around Sun-like stars.
Bad Astronomy 10 Jan 2020, 14:00 UTC When you think of asteroids, you probably think of them occupying the vast area of the solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. There's a reason we call it the Main Belt, after all.
Discover 9 Jan 2020, 21:50 UTC The Hubble Space Telescope is like a time machine. That's according to astronomer Garth Illingworth, who recently spoke at the 235th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Even those unfamiliar with the world of astronomy have a general idea of how vital the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope is. Since its launch in 1990, astronomers have used Hubble to help explore the early universe, discover how planets are formed, capture some of the most impressive images of the cosmos and much, much more.
Centauri Dreams 9 Jan 2020, 15:00 UTC Among the discoveries announced at the recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Hawaii was TOI 700 d, a planet potentially in the habitable zone of its star. TOI stands for TESS Object of Interest, reminding us that this is the first Earth-size planet the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has uncovered in its data whose orbit would allow the presence of liquid water on the surface. The Spitzer instrument has confirmed the find, highlighting the fact that Spitzer itself, a doughty space observatory working at infrared wavelengths, is nearing the end of its operations.
Bad Astronomy 9 Jan 2020, 14:00 UTC We live in the Milky Way galaxy, considered to be a pretty beefy example of its kind. It's a spiral galaxy, with over 200 billion stars, stretching about 150,000 (and perhaps up to 200,000) light years across its diameter. But there are bigger galaxies out there. Malin 1, for example, looks a lot like the Milky Way, but it's 500,000 light years across (at least). UGC 1382 is another, likely also a half million light years wide. But Malin 1 is well over a billion light years away, and UGC 1382, though much closer at about 270 million light years, is actually a lightweight with far fewer stars in it than the Milky Way, despite its enormous size.