Latest Astronomy Stories

2014-07-22 16:20:41

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO Chandra, one of NASA's current "Great Observatories," along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, is...

dwarf galaxy
2014-07-22 03:30:23

Verity Leatherdale, University of Sydney The discovery that many small galaxies throughout the universe do not 'swarm' around larger ones like bees do but 'dance' in orderly disc-shaped orbits is a challenge to our understanding of how the universe formed and evolved. The finding, by an international team of astronomers, including Professor Geraint Lewis from the University of Sydney's School of Physics, was announced July 18 in Nature. "Early in 2013 we announced our startling...

2014-07-22 05:09:31

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The time that it takes for a planet, or planetary satellite, to orbit its star is considered the planet's year. For example, Earth's year is approximately 365 days, while Mercury's is 88 days and Mar's year is 687 days long. A group of astronomers working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has discovered a transiting exoplanet, named Kepler 421b, with the longest known year of any of the 1,800 exoplanets...

exoplanets need oceans to be habitable
2014-07-22 04:02:47

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online While many previous studies on habitable planetary conditions have focused on the atmosphere, a new study from UK researchers at the University of East Anglia has found that the dynamics of a planet’s ocean is crucial to supporting life. Published in the journal Astrobiology, the new study shows oceans help to moderate climate on a global scale. “The number of planets being discovered outside our solar system is rapidly...

universe bubble
2014-07-20 03:30:49

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Perimeter Associate Faculty member Matthew Johnson and his colleagues are working to bring the multiverse hypothesis, which to some sounds like a fanciful tale, firmly into the realm of testable science. Never mind the big bang; in the beginning was the vacuum. The vacuum simmered with energy (variously called dark energy, vacuum energy, the inflation field, or the Higgs field). Like water in a pot, this high energy began to evaporate –...

NIF Livermore July 2008
2014-07-18 09:15:21

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Using the largest laser in the world, scientists working at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) successfully compressed diamond to core pressures comparable to those found on Jupiter and Saturn, according to research appearing in the journal Nature. Researchers from LLNL, the University of California, Berkeley and Princeton University used lasers housed at the laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) to...

asteroid Vesta
2014-07-18 05:31:53

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An investigation of Vesta, a massive asteroid that orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, has revealed that the planet-like body has a thicker crust than previously thought, which calls into question the internal structures of other planets in the Solar System. The investigation, which is published in the journal Nature, is based on data from the Dawn spacecraft that NASA sent into Vesta's orbit between July 2011 and July 2012. Using...

2014-07-17 23:01:42

Lawrence Livermore scientists for the first time have experimentally re-created the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets by crushing diamond samples using the world's most powerful laser system, the National Ignition Facility. The research appears in the June 17 edition of the journal, Nature. Livermore, California (PRWEB) July 17, 2014 Lawrence Livermore scientists for the first time have experimentally re-created the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets, such...

Van Allen Probes
2014-07-16 10:35:28

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center One of the great, unanswered questions for space weather scientists is just what creates two gigantic donuts of radiation surrounding Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts. Recent data from the Van Allen Probes -- two nearly identical spacecraft that launched in 2012 -- address this question. The inner Van Allen radiation belt is fairly stable, but the outer one changes shape, size and composition in ways that scientists don't yet...

2014-07-16 08:32:49

IO Customer Grows Data Center Capacity to Deliver High Availability, Secure Services PHOENIX, July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IO, a worldwide leader in software-defined data center technology, services, and solutions, today announced CCNET has expanded its data center capacity at IO's New Jersey data center. CCNET works with IO to deliver managed hosting services to automotive, financial services and healthcare companies, industries where compliance issues are paramount. "IO has...

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 gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.