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Astronomy News

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.

NASA Dawn mission reveals dwarf planet Ceres with crystal clarity

Pasadena - The latest images of Ceres, taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, show sections of this mysterious dwarf planet in breathtaking detail.

Giant comets may threaten Earth: Astronomers

Paris - Planet Earth could be at higher risk of a space rock impact than widely thought, according to astronomers who suggested Tuesday keeping a closer eye on distant giant comets.

Dead comet with skull face to hurtle by Earth on Halloween

Miami - A massive space rock that will shave by Earth on Halloween looks like a dead comet with a skull face, NASA said after gaining a closer look at the spooky space object.

White House welcomes Muslim teen falsely accused of making a bomb

Washington - The Muslim teenager who was detained when his teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb visited the White House Monday, after a receiving a very public invite from President Barack Obama.

Layman help sought in solving dwarf planet mysteries

Paris - Throwing open the doors to the hallowed halls of science, stumped researchers welcomed help from the public Wednesday in solving a number of nagging mysteries about dwarf planet Ceres.

Liquid water found on Mars: NASA

Washington - Liquid water has been observed on the planet Mars which makes it far more likely that life could be found there, the US space agency NASA said Monday.

Skygazers treated to rare combined 'super blood moon' and eclipse

Washington - Skygazers were treated to a rare astronomical event Monday when a "supermoon" and lunar eclipse combined for the first time in decades, showing Earth's satellite bathed in blood-red light.

New Horizons: Solar wind stripping away Pluto's atmosphere

Baltimore - The latest data from NASA’s Pluto probe, New Horizons, suggests the dwarf planet’s atmosphere is being stripped away by the solar wind and lost to space.
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Astronomy Image

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
Valles Marineris on Mars
Valles Marineris on Mars
ESA DLR Mars Express
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
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
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
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)
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope  formerly GLAST  detects a NOVA as it develops on the constellat...
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, formerly GLAST, detects a NOVA as it develops on the constellation Cygnus, V407 Cyg.
NASA
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
These images by NASA s Hubble Space Telescope reveal how different the iconic Pillars of Creation ap...
These images by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveal how different the iconic Pillars of Creation appear in visible and in near-infrared light. In the visible-light image at left, astronomers combined several exposures to show a wider view of the pillars and the surrounding region. The towering pillars are about 5 light-years tall. The tenuous-looking base of the columns is shown. The near-infrared image at right transforms the pillars into eerie, wispy silhouettes, which are seen against a back
NASA/ESA
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
Artist s impression of the newly discovered star WISE J085510.83-071442.5  the coldest known brown d...
Artist's impression of the newly discovered star WISE J085510.83-071442.5, the coldest known brown dwarf star. Brown dwarfs are dim star-like bodies that lack the mass to burn nuclear fuel as other stars do.The new star is the fourth closest to our Sun, at 7.2 light-years from Earth.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Penn State University
NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy has completed the second segment of flight...
NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy has completed the second segment of flight tests with its telescope door open to prepare the observatory for first mission.
Carla Thomas- NASA
Diagramatic showing location of Horsehead Nebula in relation to surrounding objects
Diagramatic showing location of Horsehead Nebula in relation to surrounding objects
ESA / Herschel
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
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
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
Artist s conception of HIP-11952 and its two orbiting exoplanets.
Artist's conception of HIP-11952 and its two orbiting exoplanets.
Timotheos Samartzidis
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
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
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