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Latest Astronomy Stories

Comet Pan-STARRS Sweeps Across the Sky
2014-07-04 03:42:26

Whitney Clavin, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA's NEOWISE mission captured a series of pictures of comet C/2012 K1 -- also known as comet Pan-STARRS -- as it swept across our skies in May 2014. The comet is named after the astronomical survey project called the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii, which discovered the icy visitor in May 2012. Comet Pan-STARRS hails from the outer fringes of our solar system, from a vast and distant reservoir of...

NASA's STEREO Mission Being Prepped For Upcoming Orbital Phase
2014-07-04 10:27:41

[ Watch the Video: STEREO Solar Conjunction ] Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA’s STEREO mission began in 2006 and has been providing scientists with images from the far side of the sun since February 2011. The spacecraft duo that were placed in orbit around the sun are now about to embark on the next phase of their mission. The two STEREO (Solar Transfer Relations Observatory) probes orbit the sun at different speeds and different locations. “Both...

Scientists Reformulate Their Knowledge Of Dark Matter
2014-07-04 09:21:15

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online For decades, the mystery of Dark Matter has been at the forefront of physics research. Since the 1930s, scientists have been aware that all of the mass that we can see – the stars, the dust, the planets, and black holes – makes up only 20% of the Universe. The rest, it seems, is made of some other form of matter; something different than the protons, neutrons, and electrons that we are most familiar with. There were many...

Planetary System Gliese 581
2014-07-04 06:31:29

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Gliese 581g, described as one of the most Earth-like planets when it was originally discovered four years ago, probably does not exist, researchers from Penn State University and the University of Texas at Austin report in the latest edition of the journal Science. Officially, lead author Paul Robertson of Penn State’s Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds and his colleagues write that the existence of Gliese 581g is...

newly discovered planet in binary system
2014-07-04 04:31:19

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Astronomers have located a new terrestrial planet in a binary star system located roughly 3,000 light-years from Earth, according to new research appearing in the July 4 edition of the journal Science. Ohio State University professor Andrew Gould and four international teams of scientists used the technique of gravitational microlensing to discover the new planet, which is roughly twice the mass of Earth and orbits one of its...

Iron 'Fingerprints' Point Astronomers To Supernova Remnants
2014-07-03 03:27:00

NASA An international team of astronomers using data from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray observatory has developed a powerful technique for analyzing supernova remnants, the expanding clouds of debris left behind when stars explode. The method provides scientists with a way to quickly identify the type of explosion and offers insights into the environment surrounding the star before its destruction. "Supernovae imprint their remnants with X-ray evidence that reveals the nature of the...

Stampede Supercomputer Simulations Used To Shed Light On Distant Explosions
2014-07-03 03:08:46

Aaron Dubrow, National Science Foundation Using the National Science Foundation-supported Stampede supercomputer, Philipp Moesta and Christian D. Ott from the California Institute of Technology succeeded in performing the first 3-D simulations of a collapsing star that takes into account the influence of general relativity and magnetohydrodynamics--the interplay of electrically conducting fluids like plasmas and powerful magnetic fields. The death of these collapsing stars leads to...

Galactic Pyrotechnics on Display
2014-07-03 10:58:10

NASA/JPL Celebrants this Fourth of July will enjoy the dazzling lights and booming shock waves from the explosions of fireworks. A similarly styled event is taking place in the galaxy Messier 106, as seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Herschel Space Observatory. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions. [ Watch the Video: Zooming In On Messier 106 ] Energetic jets, which blast from Messier 106's central black...

Ocean On Saturnian Moon Titan May Be As Salty As The Dead Sea
2014-07-03 10:00:08

Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The inner ocean of Saturn’s largest moon Titan may be as salty as the Dead Sea, according to scientists with NASA’s Cassini mission, which has been collecting gravity and topographic data from the distant Saturnian satellite over the last ten years. After studying the data, researchers built a model structure of Titan, resulting in a better understanding of the moon’s outer ice shell. The study was published this week in the...

Umbrella Galaxy
2014-07-03 04:44:09

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers are hoping to gain a new understanding of how galaxies grow from watching a distant “twin” of the Milky Way as it is swallowing another galaxy. Dr. Caroline Foster of the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) led the team that has been studying NCG 4651, called the Umbrella galaxy for the “parasol” of stars that are all that remain of the galaxy being consumed. Umbrella can be found approximately 62 million...


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...

Cosmology
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...

Astrophysics
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
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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