Latest Astronomy Stories

april 24 solar flare
2014-04-25 09:50:52

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 8:27 p.m. EDT on April 24, 2014. Images of the flare were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel....

Gravitational Lensing Confirmed As Source Of Super-Luminous Supernova
2014-04-25 08:51:29

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Four years ago a team of scientists observed a supernova – PS1-10afx – shining brighter than any other in its class. Reporting the observation last year in the Astrophysics Journal Letters, University of Tokyo researchers said they had discovered the first Type Ia Supernova (SNIa) that exploded more than nine billion years ago. Now, the same team of researchers, led by Robert Quimby, of the University of Tokyo’s Kavli...

Professional And Amateur Astronomers Join Together
2014-04-24 03:21:06

NASA Long before the term "citizen science" was coined, the field of astronomy has benefited from countless men and women who study the sky in their spare time. These amateur astronomers devote hours exploring the cosmos through a variety of telescopes that they acquire, maintain, and improve on their own. Some of these amateur astronomers specialize in capturing what is seen through their telescopes in images and are astrophotographers. What happens when the work of amateur...

crab nebula
2014-04-24 04:00:41

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two instruments that played critical roles in discoveries made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope now are on display in an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington. "Repairing Hubble" recognizes the 24th anniversary of Hubble's launch into space aboard space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. The exhibit features Hubble's Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) instrument and the Wide...

Sentinel Telescope May Help Save Us From Earth-Killing Asteroids
2014-04-23 08:04:10

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Asteroid impacts on Earth – those on the scale of the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago – have been big hits in Hollywood. But in the modern world, are the impacts portrayed in movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon only the stuff of science fiction? The answer is likely no. Scientists continue to warn us of the dangers that lurk in the skies above us and in the past dozen or so years, no less than 26...

Pair Of Supermassive Black Holes Discovered By XMM-Newton
2014-04-22 14:09:30

ESA A pair of supermassive black holes in orbit around one another have been spotted by XMM-Newton. This is the first time such a pair have been seen in an ordinary galaxy. They were discovered because they ripped apart a star when the space observatory happened to be looking in their direction. Most massive galaxies in the Universe are thought to harbor at least one supermassive black hole at their center. Two supermassive black holes are the smoking gun that the galaxy has merged with...

Mysteries Of Nearby Planetary System's Dynamics Are Now Solved
2014-04-22 12:33:58

Penn State Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its early online edition on 22 April 2014. The study, which presents the first viable model for the planetary system orbiting one the first stars discovered to have planets -- the star named 55 Cancri -- was led by Penn State University graduate student Benjamin Nelson in...

Brightening Star Offers Astronomers New Way To Study Binary Systems
2014-04-22 10:48:49

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers searching for planets orbiting around a distant star look for a signature dimming of that star’s light, but what if the distant star suddenly gets a bit brighter? Astronomers from the University of Washington observed just such a phenomenon, but instead of concluding they had found an ‘upside-down’ planet, the scientists realized they had found a new way to study binary star systems, according to their report...

Fireball Flying Over Northern Russian City Caught On Vehicle Dash Cam
2014-04-22 06:59:42

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A suspected meteorite explosion has been recorded by citizens of the northern Russian city of Murmansk over the weekend. The fireball left a noticeable bright blue trail as it sped across the night sky at about 2:14 am (local time) on Saturday, before ending in explosion, according to multiple witnesses. There were no reports of damage during this weekend’s encounter, yet the fireball did raise some eyebrows due to its eerily...

2014-04-21 23:08:01

The Glamster Dancers help raise money with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for the cause against cancer. Irvine, CA (PRWEB) April 21, 2014 Jim Stepanian and Jamie Stepanian are turning against cancer to raise much needed funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis TN. Jamie Stepanian and her duet partner, Pierce Johnson have created a Youtube channel called The Glamster Dancers (http://www.theglamsterdancers.com). It is a showcase of events taking place in...

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
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.