Latest Astronomy Stories

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...

3 x-class flares
2014-06-11 08:40:19

UPDATE - June 11, 2014 On June 11, 2014, the sun erupted with its third X-class flare in two days. The flare was classified as an X1.0 and it peaked at 5:06 a.m. EDT.  Images of the flare were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. All three flares originated from an active region on the sun that recently rotated into view over the left limb of the sun. ----- UPDATE - June 10: The sun released a second X-class flare, peaking at 8:52 a.m. EDT on June 10, 2014.  This is...

lunar farside mystery
2014-06-10 04:20:52

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Despite being the nearest astronomical object to Earth, and the only extraterrestrial site of human visitors, the Moon still contains mysteries that have puzzled scientists for the better part of a century. Perhaps the greatest question surrounding lunar history is its two-faced nature. Due to the mutual gravitational interaction of the Earth-Moon system, the giant satellite is tidally locked with our planet, so we always see...

2014-06-09 16:25:34

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD) today announced that it has appointed Mr. Peter Farrell to the position of Executive Vice President of International Commercial Operations. Philippe Jacon is transitioning to the role of President of HBDC, replacing Paul Steuperaert who will now focus on our business in sub-Saharan Africa, ahead of his retirement in 2015. These changes are effective today. "By the end of 2014, Cepheid expects to have 20 Xpert®...

Mobile App Kiwaka Brings The Universe Closer With ESO Images And Videos
2014-06-09 03:57:49

ESO A new iPhone and iPad app named Kiwaka has been released today. Developed by the mobile app company LANDKA, in partnership with ESO and other leading scientific organizations, it is an “edutaining” app — combining education and entertainment — fusing gaming and learning about astronomy. Kiwaka is aimed at a broad audience and displays ESO imagery to delve deeper into interesting astronomical objects. Users will be provided with links to ESO content where they can explore the...

moon formation collision theory
2014-06-06 04:18:44

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The Moon was most likely formed by a collision between the Earth and a planet-sized object that took place roughly 4.5 billion years ago, a team of German scientists report in research published Friday by the journal Science. According to the Associated Press (AP), the study authors took an in-depth look at moon rocks that had been gathered during the Apollo 11, 12 and 16 missions. They discovered that moon rocks have a different...

Astronomers Discover Bizarre Type Of Hybrid Star
2014-06-05 03:57:41

CU-Boulder In a discovery decades in the making, scientists have detected the first of a “theoretical” class of stars first proposed in 1975 by physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Żytkow. Thorne-Żytkow objects (TŻOs) are hybrids of red supergiant and neutron stars that superficially resemble normal red supergiants, such as Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion. They differ, however, in their distinct chemical signatures that result from unique activity in their stellar...

Magnetic Fields Counteract The Forces Of Supermassive Black Holes
2014-06-05 11:37:47

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A supermassive black hole sits at the center of most galaxies and a new study published in the journal Nature has found that super-powerful magnetic fields can have influence near and even counteract the forces of these black holes. "This paper for the first time systematically measures the strength of magnetic fields near black holes," said study author Alexander Tchekhovskoy, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley....

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 vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.