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Astronomy News

New research: Pluto should be reclassified as a planet

A new review by astronomers calls for Pluto to be re-classified as a planet, stating that the reasons given for downgrading the celestial body were invalid. If successful, Pluto would be reinstated as the ninth planet in the solar system.

AI tracks down strange cosmic radio bursts

San Fransisco - A machine learning algorithm has located some mysterious cosmic radio bursts and the application has additionally been used to search for different types of signals which might suggest extraterrestrial intelligence.

Essential Science: How our Sun went through the 'terrible twos'

Astrophysicists, looking into the early phase of our Sun, have been studying, in conjunction, blue crystals in meteorites. These crystals show that our Sun went through the astronomical equivalent of the 'terrible twos'.

X-ray technology shows new matter around a black hole

X-ray technology, called X-ray polarimetry, has revealed never-before-seen matter around a black hole. The black hole is Cygnus X-1, in the constellation Cygnus, and the first such source widely accepted to be a black hole.

'Blood moon' eclipse delights young Kenyans

"Mars, Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus -- Mercury, that's the one I really wanted to see," said Chu Owen as he used an app on his mobile phone to locate planets above."It's the planets I'm really excited to see.

Red planet and 'blood moon' pair up to dazzle skygazers

Paris - The longest "blood moon" eclipse this century will coincide with Mars' closest approach in 15 years on Friday to offer skygazers a thrilling astronomical double bill.

Red planet and 'blood moon' pair up to dazzle skygazers

Paris - The longest "blood moon" eclipse this century will coincide with Mars' closest approach in 15 years to offer skygazers a thrilling astronomical double bill on Friday, astronomers say.

NASA backed project to find alien life

Is there life on other planets? This perennial question still fascinates. An international team of scientists, supported by NASA, have laid the groundwork for scanning the skies for life.

Saudi Arabia announces Thursday start for Ramadan

Apo - The Islamic holy month of Ramadan will begin Thursday in Saudi Arabia, the land of the religion's two holiest sites, authorities said.

Essential Science: 'Face recognition' for galaxies

Artificial intelligence is bringing new tools to astronomy, in terms of machine intelligence being deployed to detect and recognizes interstellar objects. The most sophisticated form is a 'face recognition' for galaxies.

New 3-D map of Milky Way will 'revolutionise astronomy'

Paris - Europe's Gaia satellite has produced a 3-D map, hailed as revolutionary, of more than a billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy -- complete with their distance from Earth, colour, and motion through space.

SpaceX blasts off NASA's new planet-hunter, TESS

Tampa - NASA on Wednesday blasted off its newest planet-hunting spacecraft, TESS, a $337 million satellite that aims to scan 85 percent of the skies for cosmic bodies where life may exist."Three, two, one and liftoff!

SpaceX postpones launch of NASA's planet-hunter spacecraft

Tampa - SpaceX postponed the launch of NASA's new planet-hunting mission Monday in order to verify the Falcon 9 rocket's navigation systems, the California-based company said.

James Webb space telescope launch date pushed to 2020

NASA has announced a further delay to the James Webb Space Telescope’s launch. The agency had been targeting March-June 2019 for the much-heralded telescope’s liftoff, but technical problems and "avoidable errors" have pushed the launch date to 2020.

Astronomers detect signal of Universe's first stars

Paris - A signal from the Universe's first stars, born a cosmic heartbeat after the Big Bang, has been detected for the first time, astronomers said Wednesday, setting the science world aflutter.

Weekend stargazer wins supernova 'cosmic lottery'

Paris - To say that Victor Buso was in the right place at the right time may be the biggest understatement in the history of stargazing.

Gasps and awe as supermoon rises over erupting Philippine volcano

Ligao - Filipinos sheltering from the erupting Mayon volcano gasped in delight as an orange full-moon eclipse shone above the mountain's smouldering crater Wednesday in what was both a once-in-a-lifetime double spectacle and a rare moment of relief.

There's a 'super blue blood Moon' on the rise

Los Angeles - Stargazers in North America, Hawaii, the Middle East, Russia, India, and Australia had the chance to witness a rare "super blue blood Moon" Wednesday, when Earth's shadow bathed our satellite in a coppery hue.

Rare 'super blood blue moon' visible on Jan 31

Miami - A cosmic event not seen in 36 years -- a rare "super blood blue moon" -- may be glimpsed January 31 in parts of western North America, Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Australia.

Thirsty rocks may contain the missing water of Mars

Paris - What happened to all the water that once sloshed in lakes and oceans on Mars? Much of it, researchers proposed Wednesday, may be locked up in stone.

Visitor from alien star system wears insulating coat: astronomers

Paris - A cigar-shaped rock zooming through our Solar System -- the first object from a foreign star system ever spotted in our midst -- is cloaked in a coat of organic material, astronomers said Monday.

No alien 'signals' from cigar-shaped asteroid: researchers

Paris - No alien signals have been detected from an interstellar, cigar-shaped space rock discovered travelling through our Solar System in October, researchers listening for evidence of extraterrestrial technology said Thursday.

Oh my stars! Stage set for 'spectacular' meteor show

Paris - A thin, waning moon should allow for uninterrupted views Wednesday night of the annual Geminid shooting star show, set to be "spectacular" this year, astronomers say.

Sunday's full moon kicks off 'Supermoon Trilogy'

Starting Sunday night and continuing through the end of January, the night sky is going to give stargazers and astronomers a triple-treat. The world is in for a "Supermoon Trilogy," says NASA.

Scientists mine 'star scar' to unlock space secrets

Rochechouart - Since early September, the denizens of this normally hushed burg in central France have been serenaded by an industrial drill poking holes around town and pulling up cylinders of rock.

Monster planet found orbiting dwarf star: 'surprised' astronomers

Paris - A "monster" planet, which should in theory not exist, has been discovered orbiting a faint dwarf star far, far away, surprised astronomers said Tuesday.

Neutron star smashup 'transforms' our understanding of Universe

Paris - For the first time, scientists have witnessed the cataclysmic crash of two ultra-dense neutron stars in a galaxy far away, and concluded that such impacts forged at least half the gold in the Universe.

Neutron star crash: 'The gift that will keep on giving'

Paris - The astrophysics world is abuzz after the first-ever observation of two neutron stars merging in a cataclysmic crash that left a rich trail of debris for scientists to comb through.

Neutron star smash-up the 'discovery of a lifetime'

Paris - "Truly a eureka moment", "Everything I ever hoped for", "A dream come true" -- Normally restrained scientists reached for the stars Monday to describe the feelings that accompany a "once-in-a-lifetime" event.

Asteroid grazes past Earth in 'critical' rehearsal

Paris - A house-sized asteroid grazed past Earth Thursday, passing harmlessly inside the Moon's orbit, as predicted, to give experts a rare opportunity to rehearse for a real strike threat in future.
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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
Surface map of Luhman 16B recreated from VLT observations. ESO s Very Large Telescope has been used ...
Surface map of Luhman 16B recreated from VLT observations. ESO's Very Large Telescope has been used to create the first ever map of the weather on the surface of the nearest brown dwarf to Earth. The figure shows the object at six equally spaced times as it rotates once on its axis
ESO / I. Crossfield
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
Herschel’s view of the Horsehead Nebula in the context of its surroundings. The image is a composi...
Herschel’s view of the Horsehead Nebula in the context of its surroundings. The image is a composite of the wavelengths of 70 microns (blue), 160 microns (green) and 250 microns (red), and covers 4.5x1.5 degrees. The image is oriented with northeast towards the left of the image and southwest towards the right.
ESA/Herschel/PACS, SPIRE/N. Schneider, Ph. André, V. Könyves (CEA Saclay, France) for the “Gould
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.
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
Many Aboriginal groups interpret the Great Rift in the Milky Way as a river in the sky. Other groups...
Many Aboriginal groups interpret the Great Rift in the Milky Way as a river in the sky. Other groups identfy it as the Rainbow Serpent.
Brocken Inaglory
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
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
NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy 747SP checks out operation of its telescop...
NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy 747SP checks out operation of its telescope cavity doors while a NASA F/A-18 mission support aircraft keeps pace alongside during a test flight in preparation for Early Science missions.
NASA - Jim Ross
An artist’s impression shows how Mars may have looked about four billion years ago. The young plan...
An artist’s impression shows how Mars may have looked about four billion years ago. The young planet Mars would have had enough water to cover its entire surface in a liquid layer about 140 metres deep, but it is more likely that the liquid would have pooled to form an ocean occupying almost half of Mars’s northern hemisphere, and in some regions reaching depths greater than 1.6 kilometers.
ESO/M. Kornmesser/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)
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
An artist s impression of exoplanet GJ 1214b. Researchers used the Hubble Space Telescope to reveal ...
An artist's impression of exoplanet GJ 1214b. Researchers used the Hubble Space Telescope to reveal cloudy weather on alien world.
NASA, ESA, & G. Bacon/STScI, STScI-PRC14-06
The Hubble Space Telescope has revisited the famous Pillars of Creation  revealing a sharper and wid...
The Hubble Space Telescope has revisited the famous Pillars of Creation, revealing a sharper and wider view of the structures in this visible-light image. Astronomers combined several Hubble exposures to assemble the wider view. The towering pillars are about 5 light-years tall. The dark, finger-like feature at bottom right may be a smaller version of the giant pillars. The pillars are bathed in the blistering ultraviolet light from a grouping of young, massive stars located off the top of the i
NASA/ESA
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
Bill Nye and Robert Picardo introduce the first edition of The Planetary Society s new regular updat...
Bill Nye and Robert Picardo introduce the first edition of The Planetary Society's new regular update The Planetary Post
The Planetary Society via YouTube (Screen Grab)
Artists impression of Kepler Space Telescope
Artists impression of Kepler Space Telescope
NASA/JPL
Picture of the oldest known star.
Picture of the oldest known star.
Space Telescope Science Institute
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.
Latitude0116 / Wikimedia Commons
The newly discovered quasar SDSS J0100+2802 is the one with the most massive black hole and the high...
The newly discovered quasar SDSS J0100+2802 is the one with the most massive black hole and the highest luminosity among all known distant quasars.
Zhaoyu Li/Shanghai Observatory