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Latest Astronomy Stories

Chiron saturn-like rings
2015-03-16 11:44:16

There are only five bodies in our solar system that are known to bear rings. The most obvious is the planet Saturn; to a lesser extent, rings of gas and dust also encircle Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. The fifth member of this haloed group is Chariklo, one of a class of minor planets called centaurs: small, rocky bodies that possess qualities of both asteroids and comets.

NASA MMS
2015-03-13 15:23:49

Following a successful launch at 10:44 p.m. EDT Thursday, NASA's four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft are positioned in Earth's orbit to begin the first space mission dedicated to the study of a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection. This process is thought to be the catalyst for some of the most powerful explosions in our solar system.

15-033i1
2015-03-13 11:34:45

The biggest moon in our solar system has some big news to share: it has a huge, saltwater ocean underneath its crust!

magclouds_telescopes_des_sats_small
2015-03-12 14:11:23

Hi neighbors! Astronomers have discovered a 'treasure trove' of 9 previously undetected dwarf satellites (including 3 small galaxies) orbiting around the Milky Way.

2015-03-12 12:22:43

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon.

Hydrothermal_activity_on_Enceladus_large
2015-03-12 12:28:23

Add Enceladus to the growing list of candidates that may be capable of supporting life, as an international team of researchers has discovered evidence of an active hydrothermal system on the icy Saturn moon that could be capable of supporting microbial life.

Star Cluster NGC 6193 and Nebula NGC 6188
2015-03-11 16:21:56

At the center of the image is the open star cluster NGC 6193, containing around thirty bright stars and forming the heart of the Ara OB1 association. The two brightest stars are very hot giant stars. Together, they provide the main source of illumination for the nearby emission nebula, the Rim Nebula, or NGC 6188, which is visible to the right of the cluster.

PIA18307_modest
2015-03-11 12:29:10

Is Saturn's moon Iapetus a jedi or a sith? NASA would claim it's both.

Venus NRAO
2015-03-11 08:48:34

The clouds obscuring the surface of Venus can be easily penetrated by spacecraft radar, but now scientists from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) have used powerful ground-based radar technology located here on Earth to create surface maps of the planet.

2015-03-10 16:21:36

GREENBELT, Md., March 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has awarded the Mark IV and the Next Generation Very Long Baseline Interferometry Systems contract to the Massachusetts Institute


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...

Cosmology
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...

Astrophysics
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
chickabiddy
  • A young chicken: also used as a pet name for children.
The word 'chickabiddy' may come from 'chick' plus 'biddy', a name used in calling a hen or chicken.
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