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Latest Astronomy Stories

Sun Has Bad Weather Just Like On Earth
2014-06-26 03:31:08

Royal Astronomical Society Just like on Earth, the Sun has spells of bad weather, with high winds and showers of rain. But unlike the all-too-frequent storms of the UK and Ireland, rain on the Sun is made of electrically charged gas (plasma) and falls at around 200,000 kilometers an hour from the outer solar atmosphere, the corona, to the Sun's surface. And the thousands of droplets that make up a 'coronal rain' shower are themselves each as big as Ireland. Now a team of solar...

Astronomers Use AKARI Orbiting Observatory To Map Space’s Icy Wastes
2014-06-26 03:40:16

Royal Astronomical Society Using the AKARI orbiting observatory, astronomers from the Open University have made the first large-scale maps of icy material where stars are forming. In a challenge to conventional ideas about the formation of water in space, they find ice in regions with little dust or gas. Dr Helen Fraser, who led the new work, presented the results in her talk at the National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth this week. Launched by the Japanese space agency JAXA in 2006,...

Dark Energy Survey Discovers Exotic Supernova
2014-06-26 03:28:35

Royal Astronomical Society The first images taken by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) after the survey began in August 2013 have revealed a rare, ‘superluminous’ supernova that erupted in a galaxy 7.8 billion light years away. The stellar explosion, called DES13S2cmm, easily outshines most galaxies in the Universe and could still be seen in the data six months later, at the end of the first of what will be five years of observing by DES. The event was discovered by Andreas Papadopoulos, a...

Using A Telescope To Dig For Ice On Pluto
2014-06-26 03:59:09

Royal Astronomical Society In just over a year, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto, giving us our first detailed look at the dwarf planet. Anticipating this encounter, St Andrews undergraduate student Ailsa Whitelaw and her supervisor Dr Jane Greaves have used forgotten data to map the sub-surface of Pluto, peering beneath its icy coating to uncover hidden chemicals that give a hint of the future of this distant world. Dr Greaves will present the new work in her talk on...

Trio Of Supermassive Black Holes Discovered In Distant Galaxy
2014-06-26 08:58:10

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online While many galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their core, a new study published in the journal Nature has revealed a truly exotic phenomenon – a galaxy more than four billion light years away with three orbiting supermassive black holes at its center. The study authors said their work indicates that there could be numerous other galaxies with two or more black holes at their center. “What remains extraordinary to me is...

cassini at titan
2014-06-30 08:00:43

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online [ Watch the Video: Cassini Saturn Arrival ] Monday, June 30 marks the 10th anniversary of the Cassini spacecraft’s arrival in the Saturn system, beginning a four-year primary mission that was extended on three occasions and ultimately led to the collection of more than 500 GB of data and the publication of well over 3,000 scientific papers. Cassini reached its destination on June 30, 2004, carrying with it the European Space...

2014-06-25 12:22:32

General Dynamics-built radio telescope antennas give scientists a microscopic view of the universe that is thousands of light years away. NEWTON, N.C., June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies, a part of General Dynamics C4 Systems, will build and install a 100-ton, 12-meter (40-foot), submillimeter-wavelength radio telescope antenna for the new Large Latin American Millimeter Array (LLAMA) observatory. The LLAMA project is a joint venture between...

Citizen Scientists Can Now Help Discover NEAs Using Asteroid Zoo
2014-06-25 09:09:37

Gerard LeBlond for redorbit.com - Your Universe Online Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) are space rocks that will pass close by our planet with a potential risk of impact. NASA, astronomers and scientists search the sky continually for these types of asteroids. Now, with the launch of Asteroid Zoo, the general public can assist in the search for undiscovered NEAs. Asteroid Zoo was launched on June 24, 2014 by Planetary Resources and Zooniverse allowing the general public, citizen scientists...

building blocks of comets
2014-06-24 08:52:55

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A joint research effort between NASA and the European Space Agency has found proof that nitrogen within the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan came from conditions very similar to those that formed most of the ancient comets in the Oort cloud, according to a new report in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The Oort cloud is a spherical cloud of predominantly icy space rocks believed to surround the Sun at a radius far outside the Solar...

2014-06-24 08:39:14

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Whirlpool Corporation (WHR), the world's leading global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, today introduced integration with Nest devices through the Nest Developer Program. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20040202/DETU004LOGO As a participant in the "Works with Nest" Program, Whirlpool Corporation will leverage Nest application programming interfaces (APIs) to create a connected home experience that is...


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
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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