Latest Astronomy Stories

Perseid meteor from space
2014-08-14 05:14:49

Melissa Gaskill, International Space Station Program Office, NASA Johnson Space Center Those who enjoy the spectacle of the Perseids, Geminids or other annual meteor showers likely aren’t thinking about where these shooting stars originated or whether they might pose a danger. Scientists, however, think about such things and will use the vantage point of a special window on the International Space Station to learn more about the composition and behavior of meteors and their parent...

2014-08-13 08:28:42

Rigel Reiterates Clinical Focus on Fostamatinib for ITP and IgA Nephropathy SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RIGL) today announced that R348, its ophthalmic JAK/SYK inhibitor, did not meet the primary or secondary endpoints in a recently completed Phase 2 clinical study in patients with dry eye disease. The endpoints were measured by changes in corneal fluorescein staining, conjunctival staining, tear production and dry...

MAVEN spacecraft
2014-08-13 03:30:35

Dr. Tony Phillips, Science@NASA On October 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring will pass by Mars only 132,000 km away - which would be like a comet passing about 1/3 of the distance between Earth and the Moon. The nucleus of the comet won't hit Mars, but there could be a different kind of collision. "We hope to witness two atmospheres colliding," explains David Brain of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). "This is a once in a lifetime event!"...

supermassive black hole
2014-08-13 04:34:03

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An extreme and rare event in the region of space immediately surrounding a supermassive black hole has been captured by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. The corona of the black hole, a compact source of X-rays that is situated nearby, has moved closer to the black hole over a period of just days. "The corona recently collapsed in toward the black hole, with the result that the black hole's intense gravity...

hunting for exomoons
2014-08-12 08:51:02

University of Texas at Arlington Scientists hunting for life beyond Earth have discovered more than 1,800 planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, in recent years, but so far, no one has been able to confirm an exomoon. Now, physicists from The University of Texas at Arlington believe following a trail of radio wave emissions may lead them to that discovery. Their recent findings, published in the Aug. 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal, describe radio wave emissions that...

comet ison
2014-08-12 07:30:05

Elizabeth Zubritsky and Nancy Neal-Jones, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center A NASA-led team of scientists has created detailed 3-D maps of the atmospheres surrounding comets, identifying several gases and mapping their spread at the highest resolution ever achieved. [ Watch: HCN – Inner Coma Of C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) ] “We achieved truly first-of-a-kind mapping of important molecules that help us understand the nature of comets,” said Martin Cordiner, a researcher working in the...

black hole growth
2014-08-12 07:56:18

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Several processes typically limit how quickly black holes can grow, so how did those located at the ends of the universe come to have masses equal to several billion suns? Researchers from the Wiezmann Institute of Science and Yale University have proposed a potential solution in the latest edition of the journal Science. These enormous black holes, the study authors noted in a statement, consume large quantities of interstellar...

2014-08-11 20:23:36

Expanding its mobile television production business in North America PITTSBURGH, Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- NEP announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all assets from Portland-based remote production facilities company, MIRA Mobile Television (MIRA). This transaction, which is expected to be final on or near August 28, 2014, will integrate MIRA into NEP's US Mobile Units operations. MIRA's nine HD mobile production units will join NEP's fleet...

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
2014-08-10 02:05:44

National Science Foundation Construction of the highly anticipated Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) can begin now that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has finalized funding. To be located in Chile, LSST is a proposed 8-meter wide-field survey telescope that will image the entire visible sky approximately twice per week, providing an unprecedented amount of information while transforming the emerging discipline of data-enabled science. LSST was the highest-ranked ground-based...

Spitzer Space Telescope
2014-08-10 02:00:38

Whitney Clavin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has received the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award for its ongoing infrared studies of the hidden cosmos. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, or AIAA, a society for the field of aerospace engineering, established the award in 1961 for "individuals demonstrating leadership of innovative scientific investigation associated with space science missions." Michael Werner, the project scientist for Spitzer...

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
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.