The first image of a black hole, previously thought nigh impossible to capture, was named the top scientific breakthrough of 2019 by the journal Science. Although researchers had spent years theorizing about black holes, few imagined they would ever get a chance to actually see one. Since black holes reflect no light, they are perfectly camouflaged against the darkness of space.
Comet 2I/Borisov has become something of a cosmic celebrity in recent months, and researchers have been collecting snapshots with paparazzi passion. These new pics are the most revealing yet, taken as the interstellar visitor makes its closest approach to Earth.
We already knew that the solar wind, a flood of energetic particles constantly flowing away from the sun, speeds up as it leaves the sun’s outermost layer. New measurements from the probe showed that the wind is even faster than expected, and strange features spotted in the sun’s magnetic field might help explain why.
A catastrophic asteroid impact big enough to wipe out humanity is only a matter of time, according to one top scientist. Humanity has next-to no defense against such an impact, Professor Alan Fitzsimmons said, which threatens to end life on Earth. Speaking to the BBC, the astrophysicist warned that the planet is at risk of a deadly disaster if protective measures aren't put in place.
Astrophysicist Dr. Natasha Hurley-Walker, from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), created the images using the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth. "This new view captures low-frequency radio emission from our galaxy, looking both in fine detail and at larger structures," she said. "Our images are looking directly at the middle of the Milky Way, towards a region astronomers call the galactic center."
Put a big red circle on your calendar for Thursday night (Nov. 21), for skywatchers will be out in force, anxiously waiting for and hoping to get a view of a meteor shower that almost nobody has heard of. But the Alpha Monocerotids are this autumn's skywatching wild card.
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.
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.
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.
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.