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Astronomy News

Harvard astronomer argues that alien vessel paid us a visit

Washington - Discovering there's intelligent life beyond our planet could be the most transformative event in human history -- but what if scientists decided to collectively ignore evidence suggesting it already happened?

China to open giant telescope to international scientists

Pingtang - Nestled among the mountains in southwest China, the world's largest radio telescope signals Beijing's ambitions as a global centre for scientific research.

Essential Science: Solar System’s first superhighway mapped out

One day we’ll be able to traverse the solar system in spacecraft, and there is till plenty to explore with probes. To optimize the journey time through the Solar System, scientists have proposed a ‘superhighway’.

Moon richer in water than once thought

Paris - There may be far more water on the Moon than previously thought, according to two studies published Monday raising the tantalising prospect that astronauts on future space missions could find refreshment -- and maybe even fuel -- on the lunar surface.

Scientists find gas on Venus linked to life on Earth

Paris - The atmosphere of Venus contains a gas that on Earth can be attributed to living organisms, scientists said Monday, a discovery the head of NASA called "the most significant development yet" in the hunt for extraterrestrial life.

Scientists detect mysterious 'intermediate mass' black hole

Paris - Scientists announced Wednesday the discovery of a black hole -- the oldest ever detected -- that shouldn't even exist according to the current understanding of cosmic monsters so dense not even light can escape their gravitational pull.

Blue planet: Study proposes new origin theory for Earth's water

Washington - Water covers 70 percent of the Earth's surface and is crucial to life as we know it, but how it got here has been a longstanding scientific debate.

Dimming of one of galaxy's brightest stars 'caused by dust cloud'

Paris - The sudden dimming of one of the Milky Way's brightest stars, Betelgeuse, could be due to a dust cloud spewing up from its surface, astronomers said on Thursday.

Glaciers could have sculpted Mars valleys: study

Paris - The question of whether ancient life could have existed on Mars centres on the water that once flowed there, but new research published Monday suggests that many of the Red Planet's valleys were gouged by icy glaciers not rivers.

Essential Science: New quest to find Planet Nine

Astrophysicists have proposed a novel method designed to find black holes in the outer reaches of the Solar System as well as to track down whether the hypothesized Planet Nine really exists.

Astrophysicists unveil biggest-ever 3D map of Universe

Geneva - Astrophysicists on Monday published the largest-ever 3D map of the Universe, the result of an analysis of more than four million galaxies and ultra-bright, energy-packed quasars.

The quest to find signs of ancient life on Mars

Paris - Mars may now be considered a barren, icy desert but did Earth's nearest neighbour once harbour life? It is a question that has preoccupied scientists for centuries and fired up sci-fi imaginings.

A trio of Mars missions in the starting blocks

Paris - "We have lift-off, we have lift-off!"The summer race to land a space probe on Mars is off to a hot start.

'Ring of fire' solar eclipse thrills skywatchers on longest day

Fpo - Skywatchers along a narrow band from west Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, India and the Far East witnessed a dramatic "ring of fire" solar eclipse Sunday.

'Ring of fire' solar eclipse thrills skywatchers in Africa, Asia

Nairobi - Skywatchers along a narrow band from west Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, India and the Far East witnessed Sunday a dramatic "ring of fire" solar eclipse.

Rare 'ring of fire' solar eclipse to dim Africa, Asia

Paris - Skywatchers along a narrow band from west Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, India and southern China will witness on Sunday the most dramatic "ring of fire" solar eclipse to shadow the Earth in years.

Pandemic shuts Earth's eyes on the skies

Santiago - It's as if the Earth has closed its eyes, some scientists say: the coronavirus pandemic has forced astronomers in northern Chile to shut down the world's most powerful telescopes, running the risk of missing out on supernovas and other spectacles in sp...

Earth captures new 'mini moon'

Washington - Earth has acquired a second "mini-moon" about the size of a car, according to astronomers who spotted the object circling our planet.The mass -- roughly 1.9-3.

Mars formed over a longer time than previous estimates suggest

How old is Mars? Certainly older than previous estimates according to scientists who have conducted simulations of the impacts that produced the mixed Mars mantle during the early years of the formation of our Solar System.

New strategies for searching for extraterrestrial life

A series of new technologies are coming into play to help with the search for life on other worlds. These technologies augment the conventional detection of radio signals by attempting to spot other signs of technology.

7 bn years: Scientists say oldest solid material found

Washington - Researchers said Monday that new techniques have allowed them to identify the oldest solid material ever found on earth.

Essential Science: Earth-size habitable-zone world detected

NASA has reported it has detected an Earth-like planet that has all the indications of being habitable. This forms part of the space agency’s attempt to seek out new planets of interest in the cosmos.

Is Betelgeuse about to go supernova?

Astronomers have noted that the star Betelgeuse is becoming less bright, appearing especially faint in the night sky. The dimming represents the biggest dip in brightness of a star yet recorded. Is this the beginning of the end?

Ultrashort x-ray technology to probe the heart of planets

Space scientists have developed a sophisticated combination of super-powerful lasers together with very bright x-rays, enabling new experiments to be conducted that can gaze into the inner heart of other planets.

Inner Milky Way reveals a cosmic 'candy cane'

NASA's new mapping process of the inner Milky Way, has revealed what appears to be a cosmic 'candy cane'. This takes the form of a colorful composite image of the Milky Way galaxy's central zone.

Galaxies formed one billion years earlier than previously thought

The detection of a distant galaxy, far more massive than the Milky Way reveals that the 'cores' of massive galaxies had already formed 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, this is some 1 billion years earlier than calculations suggested.

Emerging from obscurity: 2019's unforeseen history-makers

Paris - Of the many people who made history in 2019, some surprised themselves and the world by emerging from obscurity to make their mark, though one remains anonymous for the time being -- "The Whistleblower" behind the impeachment probe into US President Do...

'Ring of fire' eclipse wows across Asia

Fpo - Skywatchers from Saudi Arabia and Oman to India and Singapore were treated to a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse Thursday.

'Ring of fire' eclipse wows across Asia

Fpo - Skywatchers from Saudi Arabia and Oman to India and Singapore were treated to a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse Thursday.

Emerging from obscurity: 2019's unforeseen history-makers

Paris - Of the many people who made history in 2019, some surprised themselves and the world by emerging from obscurity to make their mark, though one remains anonymous for the time being -- "The Whistleblower" behind the impeachment probe into US President Do...
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Astronomy


Astronomy Image

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
A large projected image of Mars  as shown at the Design Museum.
A large projected image of Mars, as shown at the Design Museum.
Artist s Impression of Debris around a White Dwarf Star - what our solar system might look like bill...
Artist's Impression of Debris around a White Dwarf Star - what our solar system might look like billions of years hence after the Sun has exhausted its store of hydrogen and become a white dwarf.
NASA, ESA, STScI, and G. Bacon (STScI)
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
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 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.
This Hubble image features dark knots of gas and dust known as  Bok globules   dense pockets in larg...
This Hubble image features dark knots of gas and dust known as "Bok globules," dense pockets in larger molecular clouds. Similar islands of material in the early universe could have held as much water vapor as we find in our galaxy today, despite containing a thousand times less oxygen.
NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team
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
The Pluto system as we know it today. Four small moons--Styx  Nix  Kerberos and Hydra  orbit the cen...
The Pluto system as we know it today. Four small moons--Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra, orbit the central "binary planet" comprising Pluto and its large, nearby moon Charon.
NASA/STScI/Showalter
Picture of the oldest known star.
Picture of the oldest known star.
Space Telescope Science Institute
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
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
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
The ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) during observations. A reddish laser beam is launched to create a...
The ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) during observations. A reddish laser beam is launched to create an artificial star at an altitude of 90 km in the Earth´s mesosphere. This Laser Guide Star (LGS) allows astronomers to remove the effects of atmospheric turbulence, producing images almost as sharp as if the telescope were in space.
ESO - Serge Brunier.
File illustration: Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is the remnant of a massive star that exploded about 300 yea...
File illustration: Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is the remnant of a massive star that exploded about 300 years ago. The X-ray image shows an expanding shell of hot gas produced by the explosion.
NASA/CXC/MIT/UMass Amherst/M.D. Stage et al.
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
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)
Untitled
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/NOAJ
This rendering shows the size of GJ 1214b and another  larger exoplanet compared to Earth and Neptun...
This rendering shows the size of GJ 1214b and another, larger exoplanet compared to Earth and Neptune. Researchers used the Hubble Space Telescope to reveal cloudy weather on the alien world of GJ 1214b.
NASA & ESA
Artist s impression of Luhman 16B recreated from VLT observations. Luhman 16B is one of a pair of br...
Artist's impression of Luhman 16B recreated from VLT observations. Luhman 16B is one of a pair of brown dwarf objects just 6 light years from the Sun. Astronomers have produced the first maps of Luhman 16B's atmosphere.
ESO / I. Crossfield/N. Risinger

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