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exoplanet Artist concept
2014-07-12 04:15:39

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The holy grail of planetary astronomy is to find a solar system that mirrors our own. While a lot of effort has been placed on finding a planet with Earth-like properties – the right size, an atmosphere, the right temperature – are of equal importance in the search for a Sun-like star. Such a glowing orb would need to have a similar mass, temperature, and spectral type. These parameters are somewhat easy to measure, but...

Supernova Explosions Release Building Blocks Of Planet Formation
2014-07-10 10:13:49

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The formation of planets of stars is still somewhat of a mystery to astronomers. While much progress has been made, particularly in the last few decades, there are still unanswered questions as to how the planetary building blocks form. But now, new research may be closing that knowledge gap. Early in the life of the Universe, the cosmos was dominated by the basic elements of hydrogen and helium, with only trace amounts of...

far side solar flare
2014-07-10 07:19:47

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online In order to better understand what powers solar flares, NASA officials announced on Thursday that they were turning to the MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury in order to get a closer look at these intense bursts of radiation resulting from sunspot-related magnetic energy release. As the US space agency explained, it can be difficult understanding some of the processes on the sun when you are forced to rely solely upon the...

summer flare
2014-07-09 04:00:48

Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 12:20 p.m. EDT on July 8, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. 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...

Lincancabur Volcano Chile
2014-07-09 04:00:46

SETI Institute A team of researchers in the U.S. and Germany has measured the highest level of ultraviolet radiation ever recorded on the Earth's surface. The extraordinary UV fluxes, observed in the Bolivian Andes only 1,500 miles from the equator, are far above those normally considered to be harmful to both terrestrial and aquatic life. The results are being published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Environmental Science. "These record-setting levels were not measured in...

Voyager 1 Entering Interstellar Space
2014-07-08 03:45:14

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A new “tsunami wave” generated by the sun has helped NASA scientists confirm that Voyager 1 is currently traveling through interstellar space, or the area between the stars that is filled with charged particles known as plasma, the US space agency reported on Monday. Waves like these are what initially led astronomers to conclude that the spacecraft had escaped the magnetic bubble surrounding the sun and planets known as the...

Iron 'Fingerprints' Point Astronomers To Supernova Remnants
2014-07-03 03:27:00

NASA An international team of astronomers using data from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray observatory has developed a powerful technique for analyzing supernova remnants, the expanding clouds of debris left behind when stars explode. The method provides scientists with a way to quickly identify the type of explosion and offers insights into the environment surrounding the star before its destruction. "Supernovae imprint their remnants with X-ray evidence that reveals the nature of the...

Early Sun's Violent Beginnings May Have Unlocked The Mystery Of Milky Way Meteorites
2014-07-01 14:36:46

Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Observations of a Sun-like star through the Herschel Space Observatory may have unlocked the mystery of meteorites in our own galaxy, according to European Space Agency (ESA) astronomers. Astronomers are studying young stars in faraway areas of the galaxy, discovering they have a violent beginning, much as our own sun did 4.5 billion years ago. Herschel is surveying the chemical composition of stars being born and a team of...

IRIS Solar Observatory After 1 Year In Space
2014-06-27 03:09:48

[ Watch The Video: A First For IRIS: Observing A Gigantic Solar Eruption ] Karen C. Fox, NASA On June 27, 2013, NASA's newest solar observatory was launched into orbit around Earth. The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, observes the low level of the sun's atmosphere -- a constantly moving area called the interface region -- in better detail than has ever been done before. During its first year in space, IRIS provided detailed images of this area, finding even more...

captured asteroid
2014-06-27 04:02:00

Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online [ Watch the Video: Plasma Simulation Of The Solar Wind And A Near-Earth Asteroid ] Space appears to be an endless vacuum void of sound, but it’s not. Electric activity not visible to the naked eye emerges from asteroids drifting through space, and NASA is now in the process of sending astronauts to an asteroid to explore its electrical environment. Solar winds from the sun travel through space about a million miles per hour and...


Latest light sources 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...

4_a9775d2328a386c7976f6f9895c6d2ac2
2004-10-19 04:45:40

The Sun -- intensely hot, self-luminous body of gases at the center of the solar system. Its gravitational attraction maintains the planets, comets, and other bodies of the solar system in their orbits. The sun is actually a star of about medium size; it appears larger than the other stars because of its relative nearness to the earth. The earth's distance from the sun varies from 91,377,000 mi (147,053,000 km) at perihelion to 94,537,000 mi (152,138,000 km) at aphelion (see apsis). The...

3_5b8f828cdf6b44752884e721c0a2e6bd2
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Crab Nebula -- The Crab Nebula (Messier 1, NGC 1952) is the object the which started Charles Messier logging non-cometary objects on his Messier Catalog. It is the expanding cloud of gas thrown off in the explosion that gave rise to the 1054 supernova recorded by Chinese astronomers, now more than 6 light years across (the nebula is currently expanding at 1000 km/sec and the total mass of ejected material is about 0.1 solar masses). The supernova which produced it was bright enough to...

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Word of the Day
omphalos
  • 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.
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