Latest Astronomy Stories

2015-02-12 12:33:54

Because the debris fields of exploded stars, known as supernova remnants, are very hot, energetic, and glow brightly in X-ray light, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has proven to be a valuable tool in studying them. The supernova remnant called G299.2-2.9 (or G299 for short) is located within our Milky Way galaxy, but Chandra’s new image of it is reminiscent of a beautiful flower here on Earth.

smiling galaxies
2015-02-12 11:29:10

At the center of this image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, two faint galaxies look like they realize they are being photographed and give a cheesy smile--like celebs on the red carpet.

'Lopsided' supernova
2015-02-10 11:20:52

Hypervelocity stars have been observed traversing the Galaxy at extreme velocities (700 km/s), but the mechanisms that give rise to such phenomena are still debated. Astronomer Thomas M. Tauris argues that lopsided supernova explosions can eject lower-mass Solar stars from the Galaxy at speeds up to 1280 km/s. “[This mechanism] can account for the majority (if not all) of the detected G/K-dwarf hypervelocity candidates,” he said.

nebula henize 2-428
2015-02-09 12:19:46

Astronomers using ESO facilities in combination with telescopes in the Canary Islands have identified two surprisingly massive stars at the heart of the planetary nebula Henize 2-428. As they orbit each other, the two stars are expected to slowly get closer and closer, and when they merge, about 700 million years from now, they will contain enough material to ignite a vast supernova explosion.

Little Sombrero
2015-02-09 09:23:42

According to NASA, galaxies can come in many different shapes and sizes, and their orientation relative to us can sometimes make them look even more bizarre than usual. The new photo of the so-called “Little Sombrero” got us thinking: What are some of the most unusual galaxies ever discovered by astronomers? Here are a few of our favorites.

milky way
2015-02-07 09:47:03

A cluster of young, pulsating stars discovered in the far side of the Milky Way may mark the location of a previously unseen dark-matter-dominated dwarf galaxy hidden behind clouds of dust.

2015-02-06 13:24:38

The European Space Agency utilized polarized light from the earliest days of the universe to reveal that the first stars were formed 100 million years later than previously believed.

jupiter triple moon conjunction
2015-02-06 09:09:11

New images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope depict a rare event known as a tri-moon conjunction, in which three of Jupiter’s largest moons are passing across the banded face of the gas-giant at the same time, NASA officials announced on Thursday.

2015-02-05 16:34:28

Tomorrow night (February 6, 2015), Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, will make its closest encounter to Earth until the year 2019 due to its opposition to the Sun, making it visible in the night’s sky. The planet will be located in front of the constellation Cancer, nearby the star Regulus, the brightest star in constellation Leo.

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
  • Small missiles, especially grape, canister, fragments of iron, and the like, when fired, as upon an enemy at close quarters.
  • To fire mitraille at.
The word 'mitraille' comes from the Old French 'mitaille', meaning 'small coins', sometimes used to mean 'scrap iron'.