Latest Astronomy Stories

Astronomers Discover Nearly 200 Previously Unknown 'Red' Galaxies
2014-06-13 11:46:53

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One of the greatest aspects of NASA’s astronomical research program is that the data accumulated from virtually all of the instruments – X-ray satellites, Infrared detectors, gamma-ray satellites – is available to the public. This means professional and amateur astronomers alike have the ability to make breakthrough discoveries. For instance, in 2007 Dutch school teacher Hanny van Arkel discovered a peculiar blob in an...

Asteroid 2014 HQ124
2014-06-13 11:15:52

Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An asteroid, designated “2014 HQ124” at least 1,200 feet wide on its long axis, passed by Earth on June 8, 2014. It came within 776,000 miles, or approximately three times the distance to the moon. Images captured of the asteroid are some of the most detailed in NASA’s history. The asteroid was first spotted on April 23, 2014 by NASA’s NEOWISE mission. NEOWISE was adapted for capturing infrared light emitted from comets and...

Cosmic Ring
2014-06-13 05:47:06

Whitney Clavin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory The Herschel Space Observatory has uncovered a weird ring of dusty material while obtaining one of the sharpest scans to date of a huge cloud of gas and dust, called NGC 7538. The observations have revealed numerous clumps of material, a baker's dozen of which may evolve into the most powerful kinds of stars in the universe. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions. "We have looked at NGC 7538 with Herschel...

2014-06-12 23:02:11

Arecibo and NASA Scientists using Earth-based radar have produced sharp views of a recently-discovered asteroid as it slid safely past our planet. Taken on June 8, 2014, the new views of asteroid 2014 HQ124 are some of the most detailed images of a near-Earth asteroid ever obtained with Arecibo Observatory and Goldstone Solar System Radar. Arecibo, Puerto Rico (PRWEB) June 12, 2014 On Sunday, June 8, 2014, asteroid 2014 HQ124 safely passed Earth a little over three times the distance from...

Gamma ray burst buried in dust
2014-06-12 04:59:01

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online For the first time ever, scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered molecular gas in galaxies that had once been rocked by gamma ray bursts, according to new research published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The new observations reveal that the molecular gas, which serves as the fuel for the star formation process, was concentrated towards the center of the galaxies, the study...

earth moon formation
2014-06-12 04:44:38

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Dating the formation of the Earth is a difficult process, because usually geological dating methods do not work as well. Early in its existence the Earth was more fluid, with materials all mixing together in a super-heated mix. It took millions of years for differentiation and cooling to achieve the layered Earth we live on today. So traditional geological dating gives us more of a lower bound for the age of the Earth, while...

Earth's Magnetosphere Doesn't Stop All Solar Wind From Breaking Through
2014-06-11 14:41:29

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using data from four European Space Agency satellites that fly in formation in the Earth's magnetic field, researchers have uncovered new information on how the solar wind can break through the Earth’s magnetosphere and disrupt modern life. According to a new report in the journal Physical Review Letters, when the solar wind meets the environment around the Earth – an electromagnetic phenomenon called an asymmetric magnetic...

solar mini-max
2014-06-11 11:02:39

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Our Sun is constantly cycling between periods of low activity and high activity – known as solar minimum and solar maximum, or Solar Max, respectively. In 2008 and 2009, NASA’s solar experts reported they were surprised to see the Sun descend into one of its deepest solar minimums in recorded history. But now, NASA observers are saying that the solar minimum is almost over. [ Watch the Video: ScienceCasts: Solar Mini-Max ]...

mars sees mercury transit
2014-06-11 09:14:23

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Observers on Earth have tracked Venus and Mercury crossing the face of the Sun countless times, but the phenomenon has never been observed from another planet – until now. On Tuesday, NASA announced that its Curiosity Rover had captured the first-ever observations of Mercury moving across the face of the Sun – also called a planetary transit – using its two-eyed Mast Camera (MastCam). "This is a nod to the relevance of...

Neighboring Satellite Dwarf Galaxies Do Not Fit The Standard Model
2014-06-11 07:37:40

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international team of scientists have found that dwarf satellite galaxies that orbit the Milky Way and neighboring Andromeda galaxy defy the standard model of galaxy formation. As well, recent attempts to fit them into the model have been flawed, raising questions about the accuracy of the standard model of cosmology, which has been the long accepted concept for the origin and evolution of the universe. In a paper to be...

Latest Astronomy Reference Libraries

Stellar Astrophysics
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The prominent feature that allows for the existence of life on Earth is the Sun. Radiation from our closest star provides heat and energy to our planet, driving biological processes and providing the necessary conditions for liquid water to naturally exist. But our Sun is only but one star in this vast Universe. And as it turns out, most stars are quite different than the one that illuminates our day. For this reason, scientists have, for hundreds of years, attempted to study the other...

Planetary Astronomy
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: Artistic concept of a planetary system. Credit: Wikipedia/NASA/JPL-Caltech The term Astronomy encompasses a broad range of topics, including the study of stars, galaxies, and planets. In order to focus on the different areas of study, many subfields of astronomy emerge. One such area is the study of planets known, appropriately, as Planetary Astronomy. Observational Planetary Astronomy Even within the field of Planetary Astronomy, there are several divisions to...

2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: The Hubble Extreme Deep Field (XDF) was completed in September 2012 and shows the farthest galaxies ever photographed by humans. Each speck of light in the photo is an individual galaxy, some of them as old as 13.2 billion years; the observable universe is estimated to contain more than 200 billion galaxies. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia What is Cosmology? I once commented to an acquaintance that I was fascinated by the field of Cosmology, and mused that if I had more time, I...

2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: NGC 4414, a typical spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, is about 56,000 light-years in diameter and approximately 60 million light-years distant. Credit: NASA/ESA/Wikipedia What is Astrophysics? For much of the modern age the term Astrophysics has been used synonymously with Astronomy. This interchange is so common that many textbooks even offer the two as having the same meaning. However, from a strictly historical perspective there are differences...

Tropic of Capricorn
2013-02-21 13:31:57

The Tropic of Capricorn, alternately called the Southern Tropic, is a marker of the most southerly latitude on the Earth at which the Sun can be directly overhead. This occurs at the December solstice, when the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun at its maximum degree. It is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. It presently lies 23 degrees 26’ 16’’ south of the Equator. Currently, the Tropic of Capricorn is drifting towards the north at...

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Word of the Day
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'