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Astronomy News

NASA Dawn mission reveals dwarf planet Ceres with crystal clarity

Pasadena - The latest images of Ceres, taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, show sections of this mysterious dwarf planet in breathtaking detail.

Giant comets may threaten Earth: Astronomers

Paris - Planet Earth could be at higher risk of a space rock impact than widely thought, according to astronomers who suggested Tuesday keeping a closer eye on distant giant comets.

Dead comet with skull face to hurtle by Earth on Halloween

Miami - A massive space rock that will shave by Earth on Halloween looks like a dead comet with a skull face, NASA said after gaining a closer look at the spooky space object.

White House welcomes Muslim teen falsely accused of making a bomb

Washington - The Muslim teenager who was detained when his teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb visited the White House Monday, after a receiving a very public invite from President Barack Obama.

Layman help sought in solving dwarf planet mysteries

Paris - Throwing open the doors to the hallowed halls of science, stumped researchers welcomed help from the public Wednesday in solving a number of nagging mysteries about dwarf planet Ceres.

Liquid water found on Mars: NASA

Washington - Liquid water has been observed on the planet Mars which makes it far more likely that life could be found there, the US space agency NASA said Monday.

Skygazers treated to rare combined 'super blood moon' and eclipse

Washington - Skygazers were treated to a rare astronomical event Monday when a "supermoon" and lunar eclipse combined for the first time in decades, showing Earth's satellite bathed in blood-red light.

New Horizons: Solar wind stripping away Pluto's atmosphere

Baltimore - The latest data from NASA’s Pluto probe, New Horizons, suggests the dwarf planet’s atmosphere is being stripped away by the solar wind and lost to space.

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.
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Astronomy Image

Artist’s illustration shows a planetary scale impact on the Moon
Artist’s illustration shows a planetary scale impact on the Moon
W.K. Hartmann via LLNL
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 impression of the ESA s Euclid space telescope scheduled for a 2020 launch
Artist's impression of the ESA's Euclid space telescope scheduled for a 2020 launch
European Space Agency - ESA Press
Composite image representing the close environment of Beta Pictoris as seen in near infrared light. ...
Composite image representing the close environment of Beta Pictoris as seen in near infrared light. This very faint environment is revealed after a very careful subtraction of the much brighter stellar halo. The outer part of the image shows the reflected light on the dust disc,the inner part is the innermost part of the system.
ESO/A.-M. Lagrange et al.
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
Diagram illustrating the closest star systems to the Sun with dates discovered. 

NASA s Wide-field ...
Diagram illustrating the closest star systems to the Sun with dates discovered. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, found two of the four closest systems: the binary brown dwarf WISE 1049-5319 and the brown dwarf WISE J085510.83-071442.5.
NASA/Penn State University
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
Europa has a unique composition of ice that intrigues scientists.
Europa has a unique composition of ice that intrigues scientists.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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
Diagramatic showing location of Horsehead Nebula in relation to surrounding objects
Diagramatic showing location of Horsehead Nebula in relation to surrounding objects
ESA / Herschel
Our sun s sibling HD 162826 is not visible to the unaided eye  but can be seen with low-power binocu...
Our sun's sibling HD 162826 is not visible to the unaided eye, but can be seen with low-power binoculars near the bright star Vega in the night sky.
Ivan Ramirez/Tim Jones/McDonald Observatory
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.
A schematic of a plasma torus around an exoplanet  which is created by the ions injected from an exo...
A schematic of a plasma torus around an exoplanet, which is created by the ions injected from an exomoon's ionosphere into the planet's magnetosphere.
University of Texas at Arlington
Artist s conception of HIP-11952 and its two orbiting exoplanets.
Artist's conception of HIP-11952 and its two orbiting exoplanets.
Timotheos Samartzidis
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
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
Cassiopeia A (Cas A for short)  the youngest known supernova remnant in the Milky Way.
Cassiopeia A (Cas A for short), the youngest known supernova remnant in the Milky Way.
NASA/CXC/MIT/UMass Amherst/M.D. Stage et al.
Valles Marineris on Mars
Valles Marineris on Mars
ESA DLR Mars Express
Michael C. Hall entertains the guests in between speakers
Michael C. Hall entertains the guests in between speakers
Joe Crimmings Photography
There were several breaks throughout the day  giving attendees time to network meaningfully.
There were several breaks throughout the day, giving attendees time to network meaningfully.
Joe Crimmings Photography