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Astronomy News

Pakistan turns to science, infuriating moonsighting mullahs

Islamabad - Imran Khan's government has drawn the ire of conservative mullahs with calls for a science-based lunar calendar to calculate the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Pakistan, which faces an annual controversy over the date.

The real deal: astronomers deliver first photo of black hole

Paris - Astronomers on Wednesday unveiled the first photo of a black hole, one of the star-devouring monsters scattered throughout the Universe and obscured by impenetrable shields of gravity.

Scientists set to reveal first true image of black hole

Paris - The world is finally about to see a black hole -- not an artist's impression or a computer-generated likeness, but the real thing.

Japan satellite blasts into space to deliver artificial meteors

Apo - A rocket carrying a satellite on a mission to deliver the world's first artificial meteor shower blasted into space on Friday, Japanese scientists said.

The 'Mother Of Hubble space telescope' dies aged 93

Dr Nancy Grace Roman, the first woman to hold an executive position at the U.S. space agency NASA, has passed away aged 93. She was affectionately known as "Mother of the Hubble" in recognition of her work on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Essential Science: Most-distant solar system object ever observed

An astronomical story to close out the year. The most-distant solar system object ever observed has been detected by astronomers. The outer solar system objects is described as a 'far out there' dwarf planet.

Over 100 new exoplanets discovered

Using a combination of space-based and ground-based telescopes, scientists have revealed more than 100 new exoplanets. The discovery may prove useful for the search for life elsewhere in the universe.

NASA's Dawn asteroid mission ends as fuel runs out

Washington - Dawn, a NASA spacecraft that launched 11 years ago and studied two of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, has ended its mission after running out of fuel, officials said Thursday.

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.
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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
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
Artist s conception of the development of W75N(B)-VLA-2.. At left  a hot wind from the young star ex...
Artist's conception of the development of W75N(B)-VLA-2.. At left, a hot wind from the young star expands nearly spherically, as seen in 1996. At right, as seen in 2014, the hot wind has been shaped by encountering a dusty, donut-shaped torus around the star and appears elongated.
Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF
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
Untitled
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/NOAJ
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
Artists impression of Kepler Space Telescope
Artists impression of Kepler Space Telescope
NASA/JPL
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
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
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
Elliptical galaxy NGC 1132  as seen by NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory; the blue/purple in the im...
Elliptical galaxy NGC 1132, as seen by NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory; the blue/purple in the image is the X-ray glow from hot, diffuse gas that is not forming into stars.
NASA, ESA, M. West (ESO, Chile), and CXC/Penn State University/G. Garmire, et al.
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
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
Diagramatic showing location of Horsehead Nebula in relation to surrounding objects
Diagramatic showing location of Horsehead Nebula in relation to surrounding objects
ESA / Herschel
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
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)
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)
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
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)
Using NASA s Chandra X-ray Observatory  astronomers have found that the growth of galaxies containin...
Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have found that the growth of galaxies containing supermassive black holes can be slowed down by a phenomenon referred to as cosmic precipitation.
Chandra X-ray: NASA/CXC/Michigan State Univ/M.Voit et al

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