Astronomy News

Astronomy News 2016-10-12T10:34:36+00:00

Sky and Telescope Astronomy News

  • NEAF 2017 Astronomy Equipment Videos
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    A panorama of the exhibition hall at NEAF 2017. Sean Walker (S&T) Several thousands of amateur astronomers flocked to the 2017 Northeast Astronomy Forum, held every year in Suffern, New York, to see some of the hottest new telescopes, mounts, cameras, eyepieces, and other astronomy equipment at one of the world's... Read more »
  • NASA Closes Out Its Asteroid Redirect Mission
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    Following the release of the 2018 budget, the space agency has ordered an “orderly closeout” for the Asteroid Redirect program. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission would have retrieved a boulder from the surface of an asteroid. NASA After years of study, NASA announced recently that its plan to retrieve an asteroid and place... Read more »
  • A Partly Cloudy Exoplanet
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    Artist’s illustration of a cloudy exoplanet. A new study suggests that the Jupiter-like exoplanet 51 Eri b may have partly cloudy skies. Mark Garlick/University of Warwick Direct imaging of exoplanets was once only possible for the brightest of planets orbiting the dimmest of stars — but improving technology is turning this... Read more »
  • New Wrinkles in the Search for “Planet X”
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    Are astronomers being misled by the quirky alignment of orbits that they’re finding in the distant Kuiper Belt? Even as the count of known planets around other stars continues to climb, a small group of observational astronomers and dynamicists are fixated on something much closer to home: tantalizing clues that a... Read more »
  • Eclipse 2017: T–2 Months and Counting
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    With two months to go until the total solar eclipse on August 21, it's time to get planning — if you haven't already! Don't miss this opportunity! It’s officially two months until this summer’s total solar eclipse, the first to sweep across the contiguous United States in 99 years. Totality will... Read more »
  • Citizens Uncover a Cold World 100 Light-years Away
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    Citizen scientists have discovered a brown dwarf 100 light-years from the Sun, and more finds are sure to come from the Backyard Worlds citizen-science project. The "flipbook" in which citizen scientists identified the new brown dwarf, seen as a faint speck inside the red circle. NASA Believe it or not, there are... Read more »
  • Does the Milky Way Live in a Void?
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    A sparse galactic neighborhood could clear up certain problems with our understanding of the universe. Cosmology has a minor problem on its hands. The universe is getting bigger over time, that much we know for sure. But measurements of how fast the universe is currently expanding depend on what you measure. This... Read more »
  • Kepler Team Releases Final Exoplanet Catalog
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    The most comprehensive and detailed catalog released yet marks the end of an era for the planet-hunting scope. That’s a wrap for the Kepler Space Telescope — at least its primary mission. On June 19th, astronomers released the eighth and final mission catalog with data gathered from Kepler’s first... Read more »
  • China Launches Its First X-ray Observatory
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    China's Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), the country's first X-ray observatory — not to mention its first astronomical satellite — headed to orbit last week. An artist's conception of the HXMT in space. Xinhua/China Academy of Sciences/SASTIND China entered the orbital X-ray astronomy game last week as a Long March 4B rocket... Read more »
  • Brown Dwarfs vs. Stars: What Makes a Star a Star?
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    At what point does a clump of gas ignite, turning into a star? Astronomers now have an answer to what makes a star — and what makes a brown dwarf. Illustration of a brown dwarf. Douglas Pierce-Price, Joint Astronomy Centre, Hawai'i When you go outside at night and look up at the... Read more »