16 Nov 2017, 16:38 UTC Twice as big as Earth, the super-Earth 55 Cancri e was thought to have lava flows on its surface. The planet is so close to its star, the same side of the planet always faces the star, such that the planet has permanent day and night sides. Based on a 2016 study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists speculated that lava would flow freely in lakes on the starlit side and become hardened on the face of perpetual darkness. The lava on the dayside would reflect radiation from the star, contributing to the overall observed temperature of the planet. Next Previous
16 Nov 2017, 16:00 UTC This artist’s impression shows a cutaway view of the parts of the Universe that SDSS-V will study. SDSS-V will study millions of stars to create a map of the entire Milky Way. Farther out, the survey will get the most detailed view yet of the largest nearby galaxies like Andromeda in the Northern Hemisphere and the Large Magellanic Cloud in the Southern hemisphere. Even farther out, the survey will measure quasars, bright points of light powered by matter falling into giant black holes. Image Credit: Artist’s Conception of SDSS-V: Image by Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science/SDSS The next generation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-V), directed by Juna Kollmeier of the Carnegie Institution for Science, will move forward with mapping the entire sky following a $16 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The grant will kickstart a groundbreaking all-sky spectroscopic survey for a next wave of discovery, anticipated to start in 2020. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has been one of the most-successful and influential surveys in the history of astronomy, creating the most-detailed three-dimensional maps of the universe ever made, with deep multi-color images of one third of the sky, and spectra for more than three ... Next Previous
15 Nov 2017, 11:00 UTC This artist’s impression shows the temperate planet Ross 128 b, with its red dwarf parent star in the background. This planet, which lies only 11 light-years from Earth, was found by a team using ESO’s unique planet-hunting HARPS instrument. The new world is now the second-closest temperate planet to be detected after Proxima b. It is also the closest planet to be discovered orbiting an inactive red dwarf star, which may increase the likelihood that this planet could potentially sustain life. Ross 128 b will be a prime target for ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope, which will be able to search for biomarkers in the planet's atmosphere. Next Previous
6 Nov 2017, 18:10 UTC Next Previous
2 Nov 2017, 17:00 UTC Next Previous
ASI Agenzia Spaziale Italiana 22 Nov 2017, 13:57 UTC
ASI Agenzia Spaziale Italiana 22 Nov 2017, 11:35 UTC In a fitting farewell to the planet that had been its home for over 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft took one last, lingering look at Saturn and its splendid rings during the final leg of its journey and snapped a series of images that has been assembled into a new mosaic.
NASA Breaking News 21 Nov 2017, 22:05 UTC
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 21 Nov 2017, 18:36 UTC In a fitting farewell to the planet that had been its home for over 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft took one last, lingering look at Saturn and its splendid rings during the final leg of its journey and snapped a series of images that has been assembled into a new mosaic.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 21 Nov 2017, 17:00 UTC When comet 45P zipped past Earth early in 2017, researchers observing from NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility, or IRTF, in Hawai’i gave the long-time trekker a thorough astronomical checkup. The results help fill in crucial details about ices in Jupiter-family comets and reveal that quirky 45P doesn’t quite match any comet studied so far.
NAOJ Top News 21 Nov 2017, 04:00 UTC Using the Subaru Telescope atop Maunakea, researchers have identified 11 dwarf galaxies and two star-containing halos in the outer region of a large spiral galaxy 25 million light-years away from Earth. The findings, published in The Astrophysical Journal, provide new insight into how these 'tidal stellar streams' form around galaxies.
Most Recent NewsMore
Starts With a Bang! 23 Nov 2017, 15:01 UTC Although we now believe we understand how the Sun and our solar system formed, there are alternative scenarios out there that are impossible to rule out completely, as is the case in all of science. Image credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI).As wonderful as the evidence that supports or invalidates a theory is, it can never truly kill the ones that don’t work out.When it comes to science, we like to think that we formulate hypotheses, test them, throw away the ones that fail to match, and continue testing the successful one until only the best ideas are left. But the truth is a lot muddier than that. The actual process of science involves tweaking your initial hypothesis over and over, trying to pull it in line with what we already know. It involves a leap-of-faith that when you formulate your theory correctly, the predictions it makes will be even more successful, across-the-board, than any other alternatives. And when things don’t work out, it doesn’t always necessitate abandoning your original hypothesis. In fact, most scientists don’t. In a very real way, scientific theories can never truly be killed. The only way they ever go away is ...
Space Fellowship 23 Nov 2017, 06:15 UTC Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, are the bright bluish stars from east to west (lower right to upper left) along the diagonal in this cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion, these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. They lie from 800 to 1,500 light-years away, born of Orion’s well-studied interstellar clouds.
Planetaria 23 Nov 2017, 03:05 UTC Artist’s conception of the interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser A few weeks ago, something surprising happened when astronomers noticed an odd object moving quickly through the Solar System. Being on a large looping trajectory, it was first thought to be a previously unknown comet, but then calculations showed that it couldn’t have originated from within the Solar System, it must have come from somewhere else. Follow-up observations also showed that it was more like an asteroid, rather than a comet. Now, astronomers have published their most detailed findings yet, and this object, named ‘Oumuamua (Hawaiian, meaning scout or messenger coming from the past), is “like nothing seen before.” The object was first seen on Oct. 19, 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii, operated by the European Space Agency (ESO) and was then observed by multiple telescopes around the world. It had already passed closest to the Sun in its orbit and was now heading out of the Solar System again, so astronomers had to act fast to see it. “We had to act quickly,” said team member Olivier Hainaut from ESO in Garching, Germany. “‘Oumuamua had already passed its closest point to the Sun and was ...
Starts With a Bang! 23 Nov 2017, 02:37 UTC When NASA’s New Horizons flew by Pluto in 2015, it didn’t just give us our greatest views of our Solar System’s largest world beyond Neptune, but discovered a scientific surprise: Pluto was much cooler than we had expected. While its temperature instruments recorded a mean temperature of 70 K (-333 °F), Pluto’s distance from the Sun, reflectivity, and atmospheric contents indicated that it should have been about 30 °C (54 °F) warmer than that. While many ideas have abounded as to the cause of this discrepancy, a team of researchers believe they’ve solved the mystery, and the culprit is Pluto’s atmospheric hazes. If this turns out to be correct, the cooling effect on Pluto might have applications here on Earth, with the potential to someday become a secret weapon in the fight against global warming.
Astro Bob 23 Nov 2017, 00:04 UTC The sense of smell is rarely involved in amateur astronomy except for the occasional run-in with a skunk during late night sky sweeping. The simple fact is we can’t smell the irony-dusty air on Mars, the pungent ammonia clouds that swaddle Jupiter or the reeking sulfur plumes of Io’s many active volcanoes. We’re stuck on the ground millions of miles away. Our noses are helpless.