Astronomy News

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

Sky and Telescope Astronomy News

  • Seventh TRAPPIST-1 Planet Confirmed
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    Astronomers have confirmed the existence of the seventh planet around the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Artist’s concept of what the sky might look like from one of the seven known terrestrial planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. ESO / M. Kornmesser The modest M8 red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 became famous after astronomers discovered... Read more »
  • How Hard Did It Rain on Ancient Mars?
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    Mars was once far wetter than it is now — but just how wet? This image of the Martian landscape shows valley networks just north of the planet's equator. The deep-cutting, branching pattern, paired with signs of water ponding in craters, indicates the valleys likely formed from rainfall and not snowmelt.... Read more »
  • Finally! The Galaxy’s Most Mysterious Star Is Dimming
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    Tabby's star, otherwise known as KIC 8462852, is dimming drastically in brightness, giving astronomers an opportunity to figure out what has been causing this star's weird behavior. UPDATE (May 22, 2017): Updated brightness measurements show that the dimming event has ended — the star appears to be back at its normal... Read more »
  • Water Flow Gives Insights on Mars and Titan
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    Maps of topography for Mars, Earth, and Titan overlain with the fluvial features used in the study. B.A. Black et al./ Science (2017) It might seem intuitive that water always flows downhill. But that axiom provides important clues to the tectonic histories of Mars, Titan, and Earth. A team of researchers led... Read more »
  • Astronomers Discover Magnetic Bridge Between Magellanic Clouds
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    A magnetic field appears to span the space between the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the two dwarf galaxies being consumed by our Milky Way Galaxy. For stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s easy to forget that the Milky Way is actively consuming two dwarf galaxies. Those in the Southern Hemisphere... Read more »
  • Fred Espenak Webinar: Advanced Eclipse Imaging
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    Want to take your eclipse-photography experience to the next level? Get tips on advanced techniques from Fred Espenak, a.k.a. "Mr. Eclipse," during S&T's live webinar on Tuesday, May 23rd. Fred Espenak, who recently retired from NASA, has made a long career of chasing — and recording — total solar eclipses. There... Read more »
  • Meet Valkyrie, NASA’s Space Robot
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    In just a month, teams will guide this 300-pound, 6-foot-tall humanoid robot in a series of simulated trials as part of NASA’s Space Robotics Challenge. Valkyrie, NASA's humanoid space robot. She stands on her own, the yellow harness is only to catch her if she falls. For this demo, her hands... Read more »
  • Bright Supernova Discovered in “Fireworks Galaxy” NGC 6946
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    A brand new supernova in NGC 6946 is bright enough to see in modest-sized telescopes. Here's how to find it. Live webinar today! If you're unable to view the supernova through your own telescope, Gianluca Masi will show the exploding star live online on his Virtual Telescope Project website on Friday May... Read more »
  • Watery Skies of “Warm Neptune” Hint at Planet’s Formation
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    Astronomers have detected water in the skies of "warm Neptune" HAT-P-26b — a clue to the larger mystery of how these planets formed. An artist's conception of HAT-P-26b, a warm Neptune 425 light-years away, recently observed by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. NASA / GSFC Among the first planets discovered outside... Read more »
  • Amazing New Views of Near-Earth Asteroid
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    When large asteroid 2014 JO25 cruised past Earth on April 19th, Goldstone and Arecibo radars were at the ready. A series of 30 radar images showing the rotation of asteroid 2014 JO25. NASA / JPL-Caltech / GSSR NASA gave us a new view of a small chunk of solar system real estate,... Read more »