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Astronomy News

Black holes acting as stopcocks shutting off new star formation

Baltimore - Massive black holes at the centre of older galaxies operate as a brake on the formation of new stars, a study has found.

Two families of comets found orbiting nearby star

Paris - Such has been the huge advances in the field of space telescopes in recent years that astronomers are now turning their attention to comets in orbit around stars other than our Sun.

Saturn’s weird wobbly moon, Mimas

Ithaca - Saturn’s moon Mimas is already an oddity, being the most cratered object in the Solar System and likened to the Death Star of Star Wars fame. But new research this week points to Mimas being even weirder than previously thought.

Tectonics on Jupiter’s moon Europa — another similarity to Earth

Moscow - Planetary geologists report evidence that Jupiter’s moon Europa shows signs of plate tectonics, shaping and moulding the moon’s surface similar to geological activity on Earth.

Europe sees five possible sites for first-ever comet landing

Paris - The European Space Agency (ESA) on Monday said it had drawn up a shortlist of five possible sites for carrying out the first-ever landing on a comet.

Astronomy: Radio waves key to tracking down elusive exomoons

Arlington - Hardly a week passes these days without scientists and astronomers reporting on the discovery of a new exoplanet — a planet outwith our solar system.

Op-Ed: First extra solar particles discovered

Sydney - A NASA spacecraft called Stardust brought back particles from space which are now believed to be the first particles to be identified as originating from outside the solar system.

South Korea's only astronaut quits and ends their space program

Yi So-yeon quit her job as an astronaut to focus on interactions between science and business. As South Korea's first and only astronaut this ends the program for the country at this time.

NASA's Mars 2020 rover to unlock more Martian secrets

Washington - NASA’s successor to the Mars Curiosity rover will head to the red planet in 2020 carrying a payload of scientific instruments that will explore Mars as never before.

Scientific discovery changes how we view the moon

Most of our readers probably think of the moon as a circle, or perhaps as a "big pizza pie" as one song puts it. Researchers have now found that it is actually shaped like a lemon.

NASA tests robotics and laser-powered drills for Europa mission

Anchorage - Jupiter's icy moon Europa is the next target for some NASA scientists. Scientists are testing a robot equipped with a drill powered by laser energy carried through a fiber-optic wire.

Astronomy: Most precise measurement of exoplanet to date

Pasadena - Aided by two NASA telescopes, astronomers have made the most precise calculation yet of the size of an exoplanet — a planet outwith our solar system.

Oceans crucial as search for alien life gathers pace

Norwich - New research published Monday on the role of oceans could help determine whether other planets outwith our solar system are capable of developing and sustaining life.

Scientist wants to use LED light to grow plants on other planets

Ontario - Researcher Mike Dixon with the University of Guelph in Canada has some big plans to amplify Light-Emitting Diode (LED) energy. If these work they could provide an energy source for plants to grow on Mars and other planets throughout the solar system.

Nearby planet has atmosphere very similar to Earth

A new planet may be our best evidence yet that habitable worlds exist near Earth. New findings show that a "super-Earth" may be our ticket to the colonization of this galaxy.

Remarkable discovery of 'Earth-sized diamond' white dwarf star

Charlottesville - A team of US-based astronomers has identified an ancient stellar remnant, a white dwarf star so cool that it’s caused carbon to crystallize effectively producing an Earth-sized diamond in space.

Molecule essential for water found in dying stars

New evidence suggests that some dying stars contain OH+ which can be used as a building block for water. This lends more credibility to the argument for additional life in the universe.

Scientists may have found first TZO

Polish Astrophysicist Anna Zytkow believes she may have found the first evidence of a theoretical star type, the Thorne-Zytkow object (TZO).

Scientists discover massive earth-like planet

A recent news release from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center announced the discovery of a planet similar to but massively larger than the earth. This amazing find is shaking up the scientific world.

New radar images reveal what lies beneath Moon's surface

Charlottesville - A joint effort using the resources of two of the world’s largest radio telescopes has revealed previously unseen features deep below the surface of the Moon.

Astronomy: Sun's ‘long-lost brother' found, more siblings sought

Austin - Researchers have identified what they say is a close relative of our Sun — the first “sibling” of our own star — born out of the same cloud of gas and dust.

Fireball meteor explodes above Ontario and New York State

Peterborough - From Ontario to New York State, last Sunday, many people reported seeing a possible meteor streaking across the sky before exploding in a blinding fireball near Toronto.

Astronomers discover freezing cold star in Earth’s backyard

Pasadena - The recent discovery of a brown dwarf star by astronomers using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescope is remarkable in two respects.

First Earth-sized planet found in 'habitable zone': NASA

Washington - The hunt for potential life in outer space has taken a step forward -- an international team of researchers has discovered the first Earth-sized planet within the "habitable zone" of another star.

Early risers can catch spectacular 'Blood Moon' lunar eclipse

Sky watchers across much of North America will get the chance to witness a total lunar eclipse for several hours on Tuesday, April 15 — but only if they rise early.

Former 'Star Trek' actress to voice film promoting geocentrism

Kate Mulgrew, who portrayed Captain Kathryn Janeway on 'Star Trek: Voyager,' is narrating a film that promotes the long disproven notion that the sun revolves around the earth.

Norwegian skydiver narrowly dodges meteorite

Oslo - A Norwegian skydiver narrowly escaped a meteorite that passed only metres away from him while jumping over Norway, according to a video aired by public broadcaster NRK.

Astronomers solve decades old celestial archaeology mystery

Leicester - New research from an international team of astronomers from the UK's University of Leicester and the University of Arizona sheds light on how stars reaching the end of their useful life and collapsing in on themselves become polluted.

Astronomers ring in startling asteroid find

Paris - Astonished astronomers said Wednesday they had found rings around an asteroid, the smallest object known to have this feature and only the fifth after Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.The twin rings around a rock called Chariklo were spotted in June...

Comet-probing robot to wake from hibernation

Paris - A fridge-sized robot lab hurtling through the Solar System aboard a European probe is about to wake from hibernation and prepare for the first-ever landing by a spacecraft on a comet.
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Astronomy


Astronomy Image

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
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Michael C. Hall entertains the guests in between speakers
Michael C. Hall entertains the guests in between speakers
Joe Crimmings Photography
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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.
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Bridging Cities of Galaxies: Planck has discovered a bridge of hot gas connecting galaxy clusters Ab...
Bridging Cities of Galaxies: Planck has discovered a bridge of hot gas connecting galaxy clusters Abell 399 (lower center) & Abell 401 (top left). The galaxy pair is located about a billion light-years from Earth. The gas bridge extends approximately 10 million light-years between them. The image shows the two galaxy clusters as seen at optical wavelengths with ground-based telescopes & through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (in orange) with the Planck satellite.
NASA/JPL
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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
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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
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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)
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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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Untitled
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Artist s impression of possible wandering exoplanet designated CFBDSIR2149
Artist's impression of possible wandering exoplanet designated CFBDSIR2149
European Southern Observatory
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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
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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
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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
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Aligning his camera on the same star for nine successive exposures  Sky & Telescope contributing pho...
Aligning his camera on the same star for nine successive exposures, Sky & Telescope contributing photographer Akira Fujii captured this record of the Moon’s progress dead center through the Earth’s shadow in July 2000. Credit: Sky & Telescope / Akira Fujii
Sky & Telescope / Akira Fujii
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Diagramatic showing location of Horsehead Nebula in relation to surrounding objects
Diagramatic showing location of Horsehead Nebula in relation to surrounding objects
ESA / Herschel
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