The Star Spot
Episode 144: A Rough Upbringing: The Discovery of Stars in the Galaxy’s Core, with Farhad Yusef-Zadeh2 Apr 2018, 01:00 UTC The gravity, radiation and tidal forces at the very core of the Milky Way is kind of intense. That’s why astronomers have long doubted the possibility of star formation in such a hostile environment. And then everything changed with the discovery last fall of 11 sun-like stars living closer to the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy then the distance between our sun and its closest neighbour. What does this breakthrough mean for our understanding of star formation and the possibility of life in what we once imagined were impossibly extreme environments? Today we’re joined here at The Star Spot by the discovery team’s leader Farhad Yusef-zadeh.
StarDate Online 1 Apr 2018, 05:00 UTC Two planets are staging a beautiful conjunction in the dawn sky. Mars and Saturn are in the south at first light, separated by just a couple of degrees — the width of a finger held at arm’s length. Saturn is to the upper left of slightly brighter Mars. They’ll be at their closest tomorrow, but will stay close together for several days as Mars begins to pull away from Saturn. Saturn and Mars look much alike right now, but that’s an illusion. The two worlds could hardly be more different.
SpaceTime with Stuart Gary
25: Alien asteroid likely came from a binary star system - SpaceTime with Stuart Gary Series 21 Episode 2530 Mar 2018, 06:21 UTC New research suggests that Oumuamua, the rocky object identified as the first confirmed interstellar asteroid, very likely came from a binary star system.
Sky & Telescope 30 Mar 2018, 02:10 UTC This month's astronomy podcast guides you around the nighttime sky during April, giving you easy-to-follow help for finding bright planets and key stars after the Sun goes down. April is one of the better months for stargazing. Spring evenings are generally pleasant, and the bugs haven’t taken control — yet! Even with daylight time in effect, evening twilight comes fairly early. You’ll find that the Sun sets between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. during most of this month, and by 9 p.m. it’s good and dark.
StarDate Online 29 Mar 2018, 05:00 UTC To see objects that are ever fainter and farther away, astronomers are building bigger telescopes. To see interesting objects that are bright or close by, though, small can work just fine. Last year, for example, European astronomers completed a second station designed to hunt for planets orbiting bright, nearby stars. The two stations are known as MASCARA. Each one consists of five commercially available digital cameras, each with its own 24-millimeter lens. One is in the Canary Islands, and the other is in Chile.
SpaceTime with Stuart Gary 28 Mar 2018, 11:09 UTC A new study has discovered that all galaxies rotate around their galactic centre once every billion years, no matter how big they are -- regardless of their mass or density.
StarDate Online 28 Mar 2018, 05:00 UTC The Milky Way belongs to a small cluster of galaxies known as the Local Group. It contains two giants — the Milky Way and Andromeda — and a whole bunch of little galaxies. But over the next few billion years, conditions in the Local Group will change, because Andromeda and the Milky Way will merge.
StarDate Online 27 Mar 2018, 05:00 UTC Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is a giant — far bigger, brighter, and heavier than most other galaxies. Because of that, it dominates the space around it — dozens of smaller galaxies orbit it like moons orbiting a giant planet, held by the Milky Way’s gravity.
StarDate Online 26 Mar 2018, 05:00 UTC The stars Procyon and Sirius arc to the lower right of the Moon as night falls this evening, and wheel down the western sky later on. Sirius, which is quite a ways from the Moon, is the brightest star in the night sky. And Procyon, which is much closer to the Moon, is in the top 10 as well. Both stars anchor constellations that point to a curious imbalance in the heavens: There are four domestic dogs up there, but no cats. Sirius leads Canis Major, the big dog. Sirius, the Dog Star, looks so bright in part because it’s quite close — a mere 8.6 light-years away. Procyon is the only bright star in Canis Minor, the little dog. It’s also a near neighbor, just 11.4 light-years from Earth.