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Astronomy News

Forearming for Armageddon: Asteroid Day 2015

London - Asteroid Day 2015 is scheduled for June 30 and, with less than a week to go, organizers are putting the final touches on more than 50 events planned worldwide with the aim of raising public awareness about asteroids and their detection.

Rosetta comet-chasing mission extended to September 2016

Paris - The European Space Agency announced Tuesday that its historic comet-chasing mission Rosetta had been extended until the end of September 2016."The adventure continues," the ESA declared.

Pluto: Observing chaos at solar system's outer limits

Munich - Gathering all available telescope data on the minor planet Pluto and its satellites from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), two astronomers have carried out the most in depth analysis yet of one of the solar systems great mysteries.

Water was abundant in universe’s early years

Tel Aviv - Researchers attached to the Harvard Astronomy Program at Tel Aviv University in Israel discovered that water was plentiful in the early universe, finding evidence that water vapor formed much earlier than previously believed.

Water on white dwarf raises prospects of H2O-rich planets

Paris - Large amounts of water may exist on numerous deep space bodies, said a study Thursday that raises the theoretical odds of another planet like Earth sporting the life-giving resource.

Learning about stars and planets at Bayfordbury Observatory Special

Hertford - On a Saturday night in May Bayfordbury Observatory, (Hertfordshire, U.K.) opened its doors for some fun science, a planetarium experience, and a chance to see some sophisticated telescopes.

Dark Energy Detectives' cosmic map sheds light on dark matter

Baltimore - An international team of scientists participating in the Dark Energy Survey have published the first of a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos.

Infant star's molecules suggest life's chemistry universal

Munich - Using the Chile-based European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have detected the presence of the building blocks of life in an infant star system for the first time.

Astronomy: Unfolding formation of a massive star in action

Socorro - Images of a young star system taken 18 years apart have revealed astonishing changes, giving astronomers a unique perspective on stars at the earliest stage of their formation.

Life on Mars? Curiosity Rover finds biologically useful nitrogen

Pasadena - NASA scientists using instrumentation on board NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover have discovered nitrogen on the Martian surface for the first time.

Magical views from top of the world for solar eclipse

Longyearbyen - All eyes were turned to the heavens early Friday for a solar eclipse offering spectacular views from selected airplane seats, European countries with clear skies and a remote Arctic archipelago.

Radar 'unclothes' planet Venus

Green Bank - As a planet, Venus, shrouded in thick clouds of carbon dioxide, doesn’t lend itself to visual observation. To lift the veil on Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor, spacecraft such as NASA’s Magellan probe use radar to penetrate Venus' clouds.

When Mars had an ocean

Garching Bei M - Mars once hosted an ocean containing more water than the Arctic ocean. Not only that but this primitive Martian Sea covered a greater proportion of Mars’ surface than the Atlantic Ocean does on Earth.

And now the galaxy's weather forecast: Showers in central parts

Cambridge - With the aid of NASA's orbital Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have discovered that the speed of expansion of galaxies containing supermassive black holes can be retarded by a phenomenon they’ve dubbed cosmic precipitation.

When an iron rain fell on Earth

Not much is known about Earth’s “inner space” —its core — although scientists agree on one thing, much of the core consists of iron. But just how much iron is there remains the subject of debate.

Bright lights on dwarf planet perplex NASA as probe nears

Washington - The discovery of another bright light on the dwarf planet Ceres has NASA scientists perplexed as the US Dawn probe prepares to enter the orbit of the largest object in the asteroid belt and possibly resolve the mystery.

Monster ancient black hole discovered at dawn of time

Tucson - An international team of astronomers recently found an ultraluminous quasar, the brightest in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet discovered.

Why is the Universe full of ‘stuff’ and not nothingness?

Los Angeles - Physicists at UCLA have a new slant on the origin of matter in the universe. That stars and planets are made of stuff we call matter is self-evident, but where did that stuff come from?

UK's Twinkle space mission will wonder at distant star systems

London - A team of UK scientists and engineers announced Friday a new mission to examine exoplanets — planets that orbit stars other than our Sun.

Clues to supernovae found — right here on Earth

Canberra - Think of supernovae and cosmological events millions of light-years away spring to mind. But a team of scientists contends clues to gaining a better understanding of supernovae lie right beneath our feet, or more precisely, beneath Earth’s oceans.

Hubble telescope's high def images of iconic Pillars of Creation

Greenbelt - After a stuttering start before repairs to an out-of-focus lens enabled astronomers to realise the Hubble Space Telescope’s full potential, Hubble has returned a multitude of spectacular images, allowing us to see the Universe as never before seen.

Nearby dwarf galaxy throws wrench in understanding of galaxies

A minuscule dwarf galaxy, named KKs3, has been found in the Milky Way's backyard, about 7 million light years away from us.

Comet probe 'sniffed' organic molecules: early data

Paris - Mankind's first-ever probe of a comet found traces of organic molecules and a surface much harder than imagined, scientists said Tuesday of initial sample data from robot lab Philae.

Images show Philae's historic comet bounce

Paris - The European Space Agency (ESA)on Sunday unveiled images of the probe Philae after it bounced while making its historic landing on a comet last Wednesday.

Comet probe sends back science treasure in final hours

Paris - Europe's science probe Philae sent home a treasure trove of data from a comet heading towards the Sun before falling silent as its power ran out, mission control said Saturday.

Low-battery probe uploading data from comet: ESA

Paris - Europe's comet probe Philae uploaded a slew of science data to Earth Friday, ending a nailbiting wait by mission controllers who feared it would run out of power before making final contact.

Comet probe in race against time to crown stellar feat

Paris - Europe's deep-space robot lab Philae worked against the clock Friday, attempting to drill into a comet 510 million kilometres (320 million miles) from Earth to crown a historic exploration before its battery runs out.

Despite landing fumble, comet probe working well

Paris - Europe's comet probe Philae was "working well" despite a rough-and-tumble touchdown that left it partly shadowed from battery-boosting sunlight, ground controllers said Thursday.

Scientists hope for data after historic but dodgy comet landing

Darmstadt - European scientists were hoping for a stream of data Thursday after a robot lab made the first-ever landing on a comet, a key step in a marathon mission to probe the mysteries of space.

Probe lands on comet in space first: ESA

Darmstadt - The European probe Philae has made the first-ever landing on a comet, a crowning phase in a quest to explore the origins of the Solar System, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Wednesday.
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Astronomy Image

Artist s impression of an exoplanet
Artist's impression of an exoplanet
IAU
Valles Marineris on Mars
Valles Marineris on Mars
ESA DLR Mars Express
Artist s depiction of Jupiter-like exoplanet in a solar system far far away.
Artist's depiction of Jupiter-like exoplanet in a solar system far far away.
By Latitude0116 at en.wikipedia from Wikimedia Commons.
Artist’s conception of HIP 13044 and its exoplanet. A previously discovered metal-poor planetary s...
Artist’s conception of HIP 13044 and its exoplanet. A previously discovered metal-poor planetary system, it was formed in another galaxy that our own galaxy engulfed.
ESO/L. Calçada
Untitled
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/NOAJ
Artist s impression of a rocky and water-rich asteroid being torn apart by the strong gravity of the...
Artist's impression of a rocky and water-rich asteroid being torn apart by the strong gravity of the white dwarf star GD 61. Similar objects in the Solar System likely delivered the bulk of water on Earth
Mark A. Garlick
An artist’s impression showing how Mars may have looked about 4 billion years ago. The young plane...
An artist’s impression showing how Mars may have looked about 4 billion years ago. The young planet would have had enough water to cover its entire surface in a liquid layer about 140 metres deep. More likely, however, the liquid would have pooled forming an ocean spanning almost half of Mars' northern hemisphere, in some regions reaching depths greater than 1.6 kilometers.
ESO/M. Kornmesser
A false-color image from NASA s Cassini mission highlights the storms at Saturn s north pole. The ey...
A false-color image from NASA's Cassini mission highlights the storms at Saturn's north pole. The eye of a hurricane-like storm appears dark red while the fast-moving hexagonal jet stream framing it is a yellowish green.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
A variety of factors  including orbit  dictate whether a planet can be colonized.
A variety of factors, including orbit, dictate whether a planet can be colonized.
GabrielVelasquez
The faces of Iowa s next generation of leaders shine with hope on the Silicon Prairie
The faces of Iowa's next generation of leaders shine with hope on the Silicon Prairie
Joe Crimmings Photography
This artist s conception shows a newly formed star surrounded by a swirling protoplanetary disk of d...
This artist's conception shows a newly formed star surrounded by a swirling protoplanetary disk of dust and gas. Debris coalesces to create rocky 'planetesimals' that collide and grow to eventually form planets.
NASA/University of Copenhagen/Lars Buchhave
This artist’s impression shows exocomets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris. Astronomers analysing ob...
This artist’s impression shows exocomets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris. Astronomers analysing observations of nearly 500 individual comets made with the HARPS instrument at ESO’s La Silla Observatory have discovered two families of exocomets around this nearby young star. The first consists of old exocomets that have made multiple passages near the star. The second family, shown in this illustration, consists of younger exocomets on the same orbit, which probably came from the recent break
ESO/L. Calçada
Artist s impression of a white dwarf star in orbit with pulsar PSR J2222-0137. It may be the coolest...
Artist's impression of a white dwarf star in orbit with pulsar PSR J2222-0137. It may be the coolest and dimmest white dwarf ever identified.
B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
Artists impression of Kepler Space Telescope
Artists impression of Kepler Space Telescope
NASA/JPL
A comparison of features of the so-called Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula between 1995 and 2...
A comparison of features of the so-called Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula between 1995 and 2014
Hubblesite
These images by NASA s Hubble Space Telescope reveal how different the iconic Pillars of Creation ap...
These images by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveal how different the iconic Pillars of Creation appear in visible and in near-infrared light. In the visible-light image at left, astronomers combined several exposures to show a wider view of the pillars and the surrounding region. The towering pillars are about 5 light-years tall. The tenuous-looking base of the columns is shown. The near-infrared image at right transforms the pillars into eerie, wispy silhouettes, which are seen against a back
NASA/ESA
Aerial photo of CTIO at cerro Tololo  Chile  a 4 meter telecope participating in the Dark Energy Sur...
Aerial photo of CTIO at cerro Tololo, Chile, a 4 meter telecope participating in the Dark Energy Survey. The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory hosts the DES's Dark Energy Camera, one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras
Dark Energy Survey
An artist’s impression of a stretched rocky planet in orbit around a red dwarf star. So close to t...
An artist’s impression of a stretched rocky planet in orbit around a red dwarf star. So close to the star, there is a difference in the strength of the gravitational field on each side of the planet, stretching it significantly.
Royal Astronomical Society - Shivam Sikroria.
The faces of Iowa s next generation of leaders shine with hope on the Silicon Prairie
The faces of Iowa's next generation of leaders shine with hope on the Silicon Prairie
Joe Crimmings Photography
A slice through a computer simulation of the cosmic web  showing a region almost a billion light yea...
A slice through a computer simulation of the cosmic web, showing a region almost a billion light years across. The brighter and redder regions are the densest, and are where galaxy clusters tend to form.
Image courtesy of Klaus Dolag, Universitäts-Sternwarte München, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität M