Latest Astronomy Stories

Orion Molecular Cloud Complex
2014-08-28 07:00:10

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Current theories suggest that rocky planets like Earth start their lives as microscopic bits of dust tinier than a grain of sand. Filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula might be full of pebble-sized particles, according to a new study released by astronomers using the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT). These pebbles are planetary building blocks 100 to 1,000 times larger than the dust...

light in the real cosmos
2014-08-27 12:04:57

Rebecca Caygill, University College London New research from UCL shows we will soon uncover the origin of the ultraviolet light that bathes the cosmos, helping scientists understand how galaxies were built. The study published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters by UCL cosmologists Dr Andrew Pontzen and Dr Hiranya Peiris (both UCL Physics & Astronomy), together with collaborators at Princeton and Barcelona Universities, shows how forthcoming astronomical surveys will reveal...

local bubble
2014-08-27 08:50:47

Dr. Tony Phillips, Science@NASA Once every 50 years, more or less, a massive star explodes somewhere in the Milky Way. The resulting blast is terrifyingly powerful, pumping out more energy in a split second than the sun emits in a million years. At its peak, a supernova can outshine the entire Milky Way. It seems obvious that you wouldn't want a supernova exploding near Earth. Yet there is growing evidence that one did — actually, more than one. About 10 million years ago, a nearby...

galaxy collision
2014-08-27 06:29:04

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using a battery of observatories that included the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Hubble Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers has obtained the best view to date of a collision between two galaxies that took place when the universe was just a fraction of its current age. According to ESA, the team also utilized a gravitational lens to magnify galaxy HATLAS J142935.3-002836, revealing...

Eta Carinae
2014-08-27 05:41:19

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center The Eta Carinae star system does not lack for superlatives. Not only does it contain one of the biggest and brightest stars in our galaxy, weighing at least 90 times the mass of the sun, it is also extremely volatile and is expected to have at least one supernova explosion in the future. [ Watch the Video: Eta Carinae: Our Neighboring Superstars ] As one of the first objects observed by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory after its launch some 15...

2014-08-26 12:23:01

Purchase Combines Global Leader in Automatic Tank Gauging with Industry's Premier Fuel Logistics SaaS Provider SIMSBURY, Conn., Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Veeder-Root Company has acquired FuelQuest, Inc. Located in Houston, Texas, FuelQuest is the recognized Software as a Service (SaaS) provider for retail and commercial fueling logistics applications. With over 15 years of experience in logistics software development and analytics, FuelQuest will combine with Veeder-Root's...

solar flare
2014-08-25 10:43:47

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center On Aug. 24, 2014, the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 8:16 a.m. EDT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the flare, which erupted on the left side of the sun. 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...

Galaxy M82 supernova
2014-08-25 05:54:02

University of Manchester New research by a team of UK and European-based astronomers is helping to solve the mystery of what caused a spectacular supernova in a galaxy 11 million light years away, seen earlier this year. The supernova, a giant explosion of a star and the closest one to the Earth in decades, was discovered earlier this year by chance at the University of London Observatory. These phenomena are extremely important to study because they provide key information about our...

toothpaste fluorine from space
2014-08-23 04:55:25

John Hopton for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online From ancient, dying stars to our toothbrushes, the chemical element fluorine which is used in toothpaste was formed in stars of the same type as our sun billions of years ago, scientists from Lund University in Sweden believe. The formation happens towards the end of a star’s life, a point at which they have expanded, are heavier and are referred to as a red giant. Various chemical elements are created within the high pressure and...

aurora dances in the atmosphere
2014-08-21 10:07:12

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center On the evening of Aug. 20, 2014, the International Space Station was flying past North America when it flew over the dazzling, green blue lights of an aurora. On board, astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of the aurora, seen from above. This auroral display was due to a giant cloud of gas from the sun – a coronal mass ejection or CME – that collided with Earth's magnetic fields on Aug. 19, 2014, at 1:57 a.m. EDT. This event set...

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 punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information.
  • A little rod; a twig.
This word comes from the Late Latin 'virgula,' accentual mark, a diminutive of 'virga,' rod.