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Astronomy News

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...

Water discovered for first time in atmosphere of habitable exoplanet

Paris - Water has been discovered for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet with Earth-like temperatures that could support life as we know it, scientists revealed Wednesday.

Scientists detect eight mysterious repeating deep space signals

An unprecedented eight repeating radio signals, or fast radio bursts, have been detected emanating from deep space. Astronomers are edging closer to unraveling the mystery.

Astronomers decode Milky Way's violent birth

Paris - The Milky Way gobbled up a galaxy one quarter of its mass 10 billion years ago in a "violent collision" that didn't fully settle for eons, astronomers said in new research published Monday.
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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.
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
Bridging Cities of Galaxies: Planck has discovered a bridge of hot gas that connects galaxy clusters...
Bridging Cities of Galaxies: Planck has discovered a bridge of hot gas that connects 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 2 galaxy clusters as seen at optical wavelengths with ground-based telescopes & through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (in orange) with the Planck satellite.
NSA/JPL Sunyaev–Zel’dovich effect: ESA Planck Collaboration; optical image: STScI Digitized Sky
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
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 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 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 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
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.
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 conception of HIP-11952 and its two orbiting exoplanets.
Artist's conception of HIP-11952 and its two orbiting exoplanets.
Timotheos Samartzidis
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
The Sandia Z Machine was used to develop a new shock-wave technique to measure an important material...
The Sandia Z Machine was used to develop a new shock-wave technique to measure an important material property
Randy Montoya
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. Calcada / Handout
Valles Marineris on Mars
Valles Marineris on Mars
ESA DLR Mars Express
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
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
An artist s impression of a quasar with a supermassive black hole in the distant universe.
An artist's impression of a quasar with a supermassive black hole in the distant universe.
Zhaoyu Li/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Misti Mountain Observatory
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)

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