Latest Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Stories
Two new efforts have taken a famous supernova remnant from the static to the dynamic.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the first time, astronomers have clearly seen the effects of "dark energy" on the most massive collapsed objects in the universe using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
For the first time, astronomers have clearly seen the effects of "dark energy" on the most massive collapsed objects in the universe using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
A tiny asteroid discovered just hours ago at an Arizona observatory will enter Earth's atmosphere harmlessly at approximately 10:46 p.m. Eastern time tonight (2:46 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time). There is no danger to people or property since the asteroid will not reach the ground.
A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells a tale of life and death, and reveals a rich family history. The striking infrared picture shows a colorful cosmic cloud, called W5, studded with multiple generations of blazing stars.
The Sun is minimally active right now, but this quiet state of affairs won't last for long. Over the next few years, the number of solar flares and eruptions known as coronal mass ejections will increase until reaching solar maximum in 2011 or 2012.
Even though the sun is the closest star to Earth and has been studied for hundreds of years, it still holds surprises. The recently launched Hinode spacecraft is one of the latest observatories to probe the sun from afar.
Astronomers have proposed an improved method of searching for intelligent extraterrestrial life using instruments like the one now under construction in Australia. This instrument could detect Earth-like civilizations around any of the 1,000 nearest stars.
Just in time for Halloween, astronomers have taken a haunting new portrait of the sun. In this color-coded image from the Hinode spacecraft, the sun glows eerily orange as though celebrating with earthly spooks.
The 200 known planets that orbit other stars exhibit incredible variety. Among them are a handful of worlds that weigh between 5 and 15 times Earth. Astronomers believe these "super-Earths" are rocky iceballs rather than gas giants like Jupiter.
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