Latest Astronomy Stories

gas giant planet HD 209458b
2014-07-24 07:35:40

J.D. Harrington, NASA Headquarters, Washington Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the sun -- and have come up nearly dry. The three planets, known as HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b, are between 60 and 900 light-years away from Earth and were thought to be ideal candidates for detecting water vapor in their atmospheres because of their high temperatures where water turns...

super earth Kepler-93b
2014-07-24 03:00:38

Whitney Clavin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Thanks to NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system. The size of the exoplanet, dubbed Kepler-93b, is now known to an uncertainty of just 74 miles (119 kilometers) on either side of the planetary body. [ Watch: ScienceCasts: Sizing Up An Exoplanet ] The findings confirm Kepler-93b as a "super-Earth" that is about one-and-a-half times...

voyager 1
2014-07-24 03:48:02

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Nearly two years ago, NASA scientists first announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft had departed the heliosphere and passed into interstellar space – but new research suggests the historic proclamation might have been somewhat premature. Even though there have been multiple observations supporting the Voyager mission team’s claims, including data collected from a new “tsunami wave” generated by the sun earlier this month,...

star cluster NGC 3293
2014-07-23 10:22:45

Richard Hook, European Southern Observatory (ESO) In this striking new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile young stars huddle together against a backdrop of clouds of glowing gas and lanes of dust. The star cluster, known as NGC 3293, would have been just a cloud of gas and dust itself about ten million years ago, but as stars began to form it became the bright group of stars we see here. Clusters like this are celestial laboratories that allow astronomers to learn more about...

july 23 2012 solar storm
2014-07-23 09:50:28

Dr. Tony Phillips, Science@NASA If an asteroid big enough to knock modern civilization back to the 18th century appeared out of deep space and buzzed the Earth-Moon system, the near-miss would be instant worldwide headline news. Two years ago, Earth experienced a close shave just as perilous, but most newspapers didn't mention it. The "impactor" was an extreme solar storm, the most powerful in as much as 150+ years. [ Watch: ScienceCasts: Carrington-Class CME Narrowly Misses Earth ]...

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope Sees A 'Transformer' Pulsar
2014-07-23 03:29:42

[ Watch The Video: Fermi Catches A ‘Transformer’ Pulsar ] NASA In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at the same time the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, according to measurements by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. "It's almost as if someone flipped a switch, morphing the...

2014-07-23 08:34:16

LONDON, July 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 2,000 energy and environment professionals attended the launch of UBM Live's Energy & Environment Expo at London ExCeL, Jun 17-19. An impressive 10% of attendees were from overseas, with a strong turnout from Europe and the Far East. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130723/629764-a ) (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/697882-a ) (Photo:...

elliptical galaxy Centaurus A
2014-07-23 05:23:04

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) that launched in 1990. Since then, it has returned thousands of images from its orbital position above the atmosphere, helping scientists to shed light on some of the mysteries of the cosmos. Hubble images prove that there is more to a galaxy than what first meets the eye. The telescope is able to look beyond the bright glow of a galaxy's...

chandra 15th anniversary
2014-07-23 04:08:50

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia carried the Chandra X-ray Observatory into space 15 years ago, deploying it on July 23, 1999. Chandra, along with the other "Great Observatories" like Hubble and Spitzer, has helped to revolutionize the way we view the Universe using an unprecedented X-ray vision. "Chandra changed the way we do astronomy. It showed that precision observation of the X-rays from cosmic sources is critical to understanding...

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...

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 large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'