Latest Astronomy Stories

Lunar Eclipse Tetrad Expected To Begin In April
2014-04-14 11:07:26

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Skywatchers across North America will want to mark their calendars for April 15 – the next lunar eclipse. Expected to be visible across the entire United States, weather permitting, the upcoming eclipse is the first of four total eclipses expected to occur over the next year-and-a-half at two-month intervals – a phenomenon known as a tetrad. There are three types of lunar eclipses: penumbral, partial and total. A penumbral...

Astronomers Given A Better Ruler In The Search For Extrasolar Planets
2014-03-31 08:04:47

NIST Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have rejuvenated a technique for finding planets near distant stars. New measurements of light from special lamps could help astronomers find planets hidden in data from more than a decade's worth of extrasolar planet searches, as well as improve telescopes' current capabilities. Finding extrasolar planets is tricky. Seen through a telescope, planets in the "habitable zone"—a region close to a star, where...

predicting space weather
2014-03-28 11:37:56

University of Cambridge Video of magnetic field lines 'slipping reconnection' bring scientists a step closer to predicting when and where large flares will occur Scientists have for the first time witnessed the mechanism behind explosive energy releases in the Sun's atmosphere, confirming new theories about how solar flares are created. New footage put together by an international team led by University of Cambridge researchers shows how entangled magnetic field lines looping from...

Don’t Forget F-type Stars In The Search For Life
2014-03-27 13:19:34

University of Texas at Arlington Scientists searching for habitable planets beyond Earth shouldn’t overlook F-type stars in favor of their more abundant, smaller and cooler cousins, according to new research from University of Texas at Arlington physicists. Stars fall into seven lettered categories according to their surface temperature, but they also differ in other factors such as mass, luminosity and abundance in the universe. Scientists looking for habitable planets typically...

2014-03-27 12:20:33

When all 64 MeerKAT antennas are operational, the instrument radio telescope will be sensitive enough to pick up a cell phone signal from Saturn. NEWTON, N.C., March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies and Stratosat Datacom (Pty) Ltd., a South African company, have completed the installation of the first of 64 MeerKAT radio telescope antennas that will form the MeerKAT telescope array. The array is located in South Africa's Karoo region and will be a technologically...

Lick's Automated Planet Finder Has Found Two New Planetary Systems
2014-03-27 12:31:13

By Tim Stephens, UC Santa Cruz In its first months of operation, the APF has found two new planetary systems, giving astronomers a taste of planetary riches to come Lick Observatory's newest telescope, the Automated Planet Finder (APF), has been operating robotically night after night on Mt. Hamilton since January, searching nearby stars for Earth-sized planets. Every night the fully autonomous system checks the weather, decides which stars to observe, and moves the telescope from star...

The Hubble Space Telescope IV Conference Celebrates With Unveiling Of New Artwork
2014-03-27 08:47:33

HUBBLE Last week researchers from around the world gathered at the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome for the Science with the Hubble Space Telescope IV conference. The event celebrated the history of Hubble’s extraordinary achievements, and looked to the future at what might yet be achieved and how the James Webb Space Telescope will build on our knowledge of the Universe. As part of this celebration artist Tim Otto Roth revealed a new artwork, Heaven’s Carousel, inspired by Hubble’s work...

artist impression of debris around a white dwarf star
2014-03-27 08:16:01

University of Leicester and The Royal Astronomical Society New theory advanced for how collapsed stars become polluted -- pointing to ominous fate that awaits planet Earth A decades old space mystery has been solved by an international team of astronomers led by Professor Martin Barstow of the University of Leicester and President-elect of the Royal Astronomical Society. Scientists from the University of Leicester and University of Arizona investigated hot, young, white dwarfs —...

dwarf galaxy NGC 4395
2014-03-27 04:42:05

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While experts might not know exactly how supermassive black holes grow to sizes up to a billion times that of our sun, astronomers using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) believe they have discovered the so-called cosmic seeds that will ultimately become gravity-rich regions from which light cannot escape. Black holes come in various sizes, with the smallest ones only a few times greater in mass than our sun and...

orbit diagram for the outer solar system
2014-03-27 03:59:31

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists have redefined the edge of the Solar System with the discovery of a new distant dwarf planet. The scientists reported in the journal Nature this week that they found 2012 VP113 sitting beyond the known edge of the Solar System. The new dwarf planet is one of thousands of distant objects believed to have formed in the inner Oort cloud. Not only does this new discovery bring into question the currently defined edge of the...

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
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).