astronomy

November 12, 2019

For the last time in this decade, Mercury has passed in front of the Sun in what's known as a transit - a rare chance to see a planet cross the face of our home star. And the images are truly something to behold.

November 11, 2019

When the company launched its first set of Starlink internet satellites in May, those with their eyes attuned to the night sky immediately realized that the objects were incredibly bright. Professional astronomers worried the satellites would interfere with scientific observations and amateur appreciation of the stars.

November 05, 2019

The pace of finding threatening near-Earth objects is slowing, so the planetary defense community is looking forward to a new space telescope to help in its quest to locate 90% of all city-threatening asteroids.

October 30, 2019

The world’s largest optical, land-based telescope is entering its design and construction phase. Slated for Las Campanas Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert at 8,500 ft./2,550m, the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will have an 80ft./24.5m diameter mirror (actually seven giant mirrors) that will help astronomers to investigate black holes, dark matter and dark energy.

October 15, 2019

Fancy a trip down a wormhole? We have never been quite sure whether these portals through space-time could exist long enough for anything to travel through. Now calculations suggest they could stick around for a while - perhaps as long as the universe itself.

October 10, 2019

Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the solar system's satellite king. Astronomers just discovered 20 previously unknown Saturn moons, boosting the ringed planet's tally of known satellites to 82 — three more than Jupiter. And there's more exciting news: You can help name these newfound objects.

October 09, 2019

A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into deep space.

October 07, 2019

Since the availability of material is key to star formation in a galaxy, knowing the rate at which it is added and lost is important to understanding how galaxies evolve over time. And as Michael Foley of Astrobites summarized, characterizing the rates at which material is added to galaxies is crucial to understanding the details of this "galactic fountain" model.

October 02, 2019

It was just this year that we got our first real look at a black hole, and it matched many of the theoretical predictions that came before the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project made history. An impressive new NASA simulation shows us what that black hole might look like if we were closer.

October 02, 2019

GJ 3512 b is a gas giant orbiting a tiny red dwarf, GJ 3512. The planet itself is in an eccentric, 204-day orbit around its star, but spends most of its time closer to its parent than Mercury is to Sol. GJ 3512, however, can only manage ~0.2 percent of our Sun’s solar output. But a planet the size of GJ 3512 b isn’t supposed to exist.

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