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Latest Astronomy Stories

Lenticulae terrain on the surface of Europa
2014-03-15 06:04:04

[ Watch the Video: Crater Identification Variability Using Citizen Scientists ] April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers believe that Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, has a huge ocean beneath its icy surface. They have theorized that water, salts and gasses that have dissolved into that ocean rise to the surface, generating the enigmatic geological formations associated with the red-tinged formations seen on the moon's surface. A group of researchers from the...

Mid-Level Solar Flare Seen By NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory
2014-03-13 12:05:22

Karen C. Fox, NASA The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 6:34 p.m. EDT on March 12, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, captured an image of it. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. To see how this event may...

2014-03-12 23:23:39

Viewing Parties at Chabot Space & Science Center’s Observatory Oakland, California (PRWEB) March 12, 2014 On the evening of April 14, a 3.5 hour lunar eclipse is the feature at a special viewing party at Chabot Space & Science Center. Beginning a little before 11pm (PDT) on Monday April 14th, the eclipse will end around 2:33am (PDT), Tuesday, April 15th. Chabot is hosting special open viewing hours on the deck for this astronomical black-out. Staff astronomers and observatory...

Arecibo Observatory Repairs
2014-03-12 12:34:41

Ongoing Science Research Back to Full Capacity MENLO PARK, Calif., March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On January 13, 2014, the William E. Gordon radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico sustained damage following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that was centered 37 miles northwest of Arecibo. Following the earthquake, Arecibo Observatory staff conducted a structural survey that revealed serious damage to a main suspension cable section, with apparent breach of several cable strands within that...

Astronomers Discover Hypergiant Star 1300 Times The Size Of Our Sun
2014-03-12 12:34:41

[ Watch the Video: Artist's Impression of Yellow Hypergiant Star HR 5171 ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope have discovered the largest yellow star so far. The team discovered yellow hypergiant star HR 5171 in a double star system about 12,000 light-years away from Earth. The star is so huge that it can just about be seen with the naked eye, despite its distance from Earth. “The...

Mars Craters for Cash
2014-03-12 04:14:57

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Bad news for those who spent $5 to have a Mars crater named after themselves, a significant other or a beloved pet: the International Astronomical Union (IAU) confirmed on Tuesday that those purchased names will not be allowed to appear on official maps and globes. The naming program, announced last month by science advocacy start-up Uwingu, allowed users to go online and pay $5 for the right to place a moniker on one of the...

What Lies Beyond: Astronomer Maps Galaxies Near Our Own
2014-03-11 13:13:33

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society has broadened the view of what lies just past our galaxy. The Milky Way and Andromeda are dominant members of a small group of galaxies. However, not a lot has been known about the smaller galaxies that reside within our neighborhood in the universe. York University Physics & Astronomy Professor Marshall McCall was able to map out the bright galaxies...

Protostars In Orion Nebula Doomed By Larger Stars
2014-03-11 06:11:18

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) found that some protostars in the Orion Nebula are doomed from the beginning. The Orion Nebula has hundreds of young stars, or protostars, and even some “proplyds,” which are stars that are even younger than protostars. Astronomers have discovered that some of these young stars will have their planet-forming dust and gas blasted away from another star when...

NASA's WISE Spacecraft Has Yet To Uncover Planet 'X' Beyond Pluto
2014-03-10 08:36:02

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has uncovered thousands of new stars during its multi-year mission, it has been unable to collect any evidence supporting the supposed existence of a large but unseen celestial body believed to be located somewhere beyond Pluto’s orbit. This supposed celestial body is commonly referred to as “Planet X” -- alternatively “Nemesis” or “Tyche." However, despite the...

Van Allen Probes Helping To Refine Space Weather Computer Models
2014-03-10 07:45:30

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Data from the Van Allen Probes has been combined with a high-powered computer model to help researchers test and improve the forecast model to determine how the two giant near-Earth radiation belts they orbit can affect technology in space, NASA officials reported on Friday. The Van Allen radiation belts, which are teeming with rapidly-moving particles and a space weather system that varies in response to incoming solar particles...


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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