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Astronomy News

Meet synestia, a new type of planetary object

Astrophysicists are proposing a new type of planetary object which they’ve named a 'synestia'. By this they are referring to a large, rotating, donut-shaped mass of hot, vaporized rock.

Is frost present on the Moon?

Houston - Although it has been studied with regularity and visited several times, the Moon continues to present surprises. It appears that bright areas in craters near the moon's south pole are cold enough to have frost present.

New lease of life for Ukraine's war-torn mountain observatory

Ukraine - Perched spectacularly 2,000 metres up on a snowcapped peak in Ukraine's Carpathian Mountains, the Bilyi Slon observatory has stood empty and battered by the elements for some seven decades.

New lease of life for Ukraine's war-torn mountain observatory

Ukraine - Perched spectacularly 2,000 metres up on a snowcapped peak in Ukraine's Carpathian Mountains, the Bilyi Slon observatory has stood empty and battered by the elements for some seven decades.

Large asteroid to hurtle past Earth on April 19

Paris - An asteroid as big as the Rock of Gibraltar will streak past Earth on April 19 at a safe but uncomfortably close distance, according to astronomers.

The Sun had no sunspots for two weeks

Reading - Astronomers working for NASA regularly monitor the Sun and note down any unusual patterns. Last month the Solar Dynamics Observatory flagged up something unusual: there were no sunspots for a 15 day period.

Chile desert combed for clues to life on Mars

Antofagasta - Chile's Atacama desert may seem to contain little besides red-grey rocks and sand -- but scientists are busy searching here for clues to life in a place it much resembles: Mars.

Seven Earth-like planets discovered around single star

Paris - Researchers announced Wednesday the stunning discovery of seven Earth-like planets orbiting a small star in our galaxy, opening up the most promising hunting ground so far for life beyond the Solar System.

Milky Way: glimpses of a 'star factory' at work

Paris - The European Space Agency on Wednesday released stunning images of baby stars taking shape inside the Milky Way's Orion nebula.

Strange radio waves emanating from space

Astrophysicists have detected gamma rays that are associated with one of mysterious intergalactic fast radio bursts. Such mysterious flashes of radio waves from deep space continue to be detected.

'Thank the aliens': Thousands displaced for China's huge telescope

Ronghua - Humanity’s best bet at detecting aliens is a giant silver Chinese dish the size of 30 football fields -- one that simultaneously showcases Beijing's abilities to deploy cutting-edge technologies and ignore objectors' rights as it seeks global promine...

World looks up to gaze at extra bright 'supermoon'

Paris - Skygazers took to high-rise buildings, tourist landmarks and beaches worldwide on Monday to catch a glimpse of the closest "supermoon" to Earth in almost seven decades.

Clouds spotted swirling around Pluto

Despite the downgrading of Pluto from a planet (and the ninth in the solar system) to a dwarf planet, much about the far-flung celestial object remains a mystery. A new puzzle involves the presence of clouds.

Milky Way Gaia probe 'maps more than a billion stars'

Paris - The Gaia space probe, launched in 2013, has mapped more than a billion stars in the Milky Way, vastly expanding the inventory of known stars in our galaxy, the European Space Agency said Wednesday.

NASA unveils photos of Jupiter's poles

Washington - NASA published the first-ever images of Jupiter's north pole and its southern aurora, taken during the Juno spacecraft's first orbital flyby of the gaseous giant.

Habitable planet found in solar system next door

Paris - Scientists Wednesday announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet orbiting the star nearest our Sun, opening up the glittering prospect of a habitable world that may one day be explored by robots.

How to watch tonight's spectacular meteor shower

The meteor shower runs from July 17 until August 24 this year and will reach its peak in the evening hours of August 11.

Thousands of tiny robots will look 11 billion years back in time

An army of 5,000 tiny robots has been given a giant mission. Under the command of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), the robot soldiers will peer 11 billion years back in time (just 400,000 years after the Big Bang).

Scientists are peering millions of years back in time

Thirty years ago, an exploding star 168,000 light years away appeared as a small pinpoint of light in the night sky. The supernova, known as SN 1987A, occurred in a neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Mega-tsunamis 'sculpted' Mars surface

Paris - Monster tsunamis caused by meteor impacts swept across the northern plains of Mars more than three billion years ago, radically resculpting the edges of the Red Planet's ancient seas, according to a study published Thursday.

Mercury rising: Astronomers gear up for planetary alignment

Paris - Astronomers are preparing for one of the highlights of the skywatchers' year, when the Sun, Mercury and Earth all line up -- a phenomenon that happens just a dozen or so times per century.

Scientists discover three 'potentially habitable' planets

Paris - An international team of scientists said Monday they had discovered a trio of Earth-like planets that are the best bet so far for finding life outside our solar system.

James Webb telescope set to replace Hubble

Houston - NASA has revealed details of the main mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope. The telescope is set to be launched in 2018 and it will be bigger and more powerful than Hubble.

Total solar eclipse sweeps across Indonesia

Ternate - A total solar eclipse swept across the vast Indonesian archipelago on Wednesday, marked by ecstatic sky gazers cheering the spectacle, devout Muslims kneeling in prayer and tribespeople performing rituals.

Total solar eclipse sweeps across Indonesia

Ternate - A total solar eclipse swept across the vast Indonesian archipelago on Wednesday, marked by ecstatic sky gazers cheering the spectacle, devout Muslims kneeling in prayer and tribespeople performing rituals.

Total solar eclipse sweeps across Indonesia

Ternate - A total solar eclipse swept across the vast Indonesian archipelago on Wednesday, marked by ecstatic sky gazers cheering the spectacle, devout Muslims kneeling in prayer and tribespeople performing rituals.

Indonesia to mark eclipse with tribal rituals, prayers

Jakarta - A total solar eclipse will sweep across the vast Indonesian archipelago this week, witnessed by hordes of sky gazers and marked by parties, colourful tribal rituals and Muslim prayers.

New Planetary Post newsletter a 'must watch' for space devotees

Pasadena - California-based non-profit, The Planetary Society, this week launched a new digital monthly newsletter, the Planetary Post, that promises to bring astronomy to the masses.

Einstein was right: U.S. researchers detect gravitational waves

Washington - After decades of effort, scientists in the United States have opened a new era of discovery by detecting gravitational waves 100 years after famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein first predicted their existence in his general theory of relativity.

Scientists glimpse Einstein's gravitational waves

Washington - In a landmark discovery for physics and astronomy, scientists said Thursday they have glimpsed the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time that Albert Einstein predicted a century ago.
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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
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
Artist s conception of HIP-11952 and its two orbiting exoplanets.
Artist's conception of HIP-11952 and its two orbiting exoplanets.
Timotheos Samartzidis
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)
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
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
Picture of the oldest known star.
Picture of the oldest known star.
Space Telescope Science Institute
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
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
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
Artists impression of Kepler Space Telescope
Artists impression of Kepler Space Telescope
NASA/JPL
Valles Marineris on Mars
Valles Marineris on Mars
ESA DLR Mars Express
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)
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
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
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 impression of an exoplanet
Artist's impression of an exoplanet
IAU
A slice through a computer simulation of the cosmic web  showing a region almost a billion light yea...
A slice through a computer simulation of the cosmic web, showing a region almost a billion light years across. The brighter and redder regions are the densest, and are where galaxy clusters tend to form.
Image courtesy of Klaus Dolag, Universitäts-Sternwarte München, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität M
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