Astronomy & Space News

  • Cassini catches Saturn's moon Titan naked in the solar wind
    29 January 2015, 12:53 am
    Researchers studying data from NASA's Cassini mission have observed that Saturn's largest moon, Titan, behaves much like Venus, Mars or a comet when exposed to the raw power of the solar wind. The observations suggest that unmagnetized bodies like Titan might interact with the solar wind in the same basic ways, regardless of their nature or distance from the sun.
  • Some potentially habitable planets began as gaseous, Neptune-like worlds
    28 January 2015, 10:05 pm
    Two phenomena known to inhibit the potential habitability of planets -- tidal forces and vigorous stellar activity -- might instead help chances for life on certain planets orbiting low-mass stars, astronomers have found.
  • Engineer advances new daytime star tracker
    28 January 2015, 10:05 pm
    NASA is developing a precision attitude sensor or star tracker that would be able to locate points of reference, or in other words, stars, during daylight hours.
  • New instrument to study the extreme universe -- the X-Ray polarimeter X-Calibur
    28 January 2015, 4:06 pm
    X-ray polarimetry promises to give qualitatively new information about high-energy astrophysical sources, such as black hole systems, the bright and active centers of galaxies, compact neutron stars, and gamma-ray bursts. The instrument will measure the polarization of 20-80keV X-rays. The detector is completed, tested, and fully calibrated and ready to be flown on a high-altitude balloon.
  • The mouth of the beast: VLT images cometary globule CG4
    28 January 2015, 2:22 pm
    Like the gaping mouth of a gigantic celestial creature, the cometary globule CG4 glows menacingly in this new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope. Although it appears to be big and bright in this picture, this is actually a faint nebula, which makes it very hard for amateur astronomers to spot. The exact nature of CG4 remains a mystery.
  • NASA's Dawn spacecraft captures best-ever view of dwarf planet Ceres
    27 January 2015, 8:11 pm
    NASA's Dawn spacecraft has returned the sharpest images ever seen of the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken 147,000 miles (237,000 kilometers) from Ceres on Jan. 25, and represent a new milestone for a spacecraft that soon will become the first human-made probe to visit a dwarf planet.
  • Asteroid that flew past Earth has moon
    27 January 2015, 8:06 pm
    Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, have released the first radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86. The images show the asteroid, which made its closest approach on Jan. 26, 2015 at 8:19 a.m. PST (11:19 a.m. EST) at a distance of about 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers, or 3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon), has its own small moon.
  • 'Yellowballs' are part of the development of massive star
    27 January 2015, 7:11 pm
    Citizen scientists wanted to know: What are the yellow objects on these infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope? Astronomers now report that the "yellowballs" are part of the development of massive stars.
  • Bubbles from the galactic center: A key to understanding dark matter and our galaxy's past?
    27 January 2015, 5:14 pm
    The astrophysicists who discovered two enormous radiation bubbles in the center of our galaxy discuss what they may tell us about the Milky Way and how they could help in the search for dark matter.
  • Ancient star system reveals Earth-sized planets forming near start of universe
    27 January 2015, 5:14 pm
    A Sun-like star with orbiting planets, dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy, has been discovered by an international team of astronomers. At 11.2 billion years old, it is the oldest star with Earth-sized planets ever found and proves that such planets have formed throughout the history of the Universe.

 

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Copyright © 2014 Alfonso Fernandez-Barandiaran