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Astronomy News -- ScienceDaily
Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
Saturn hasn't always had rings
Donnerstag, 17.01.2019, 20:21:59 Uhr
In its last days, the Cassini spacecraft looped between Saturn and its rings so that Earth-based radio telescopes could track the gravitational tug of each. Scientists have now used these measurements to determine the mass of the rings and estimate its age, which is young: 10-100 million years. This supports the hypothesis that the rings are rubble from a comet or Kuiper Belt object captured late in Saturn's history.
Scientists find increase in asteroid impacts on ancient Earth by studying the Moon
Donnerstag, 17.01.2019, 20:20:42 Uhr
A team of scientists has determined the number of asteroid impacts on the Moon and Earth increased by two to three times starting around 290 million years ago. Previous theories held that there were fewer craters on both objects dating back to before that time because they had disappeared due to erosion. The new findings claim that there were simply fewer asteroid impacts during that earlier period.
High-speed supernova reveals earliest moments of a dying star
Mittwoch, 16.01.2019, 20:06:43 Uhr
An international team of researchers found evidence for the much theorized 'hot cocoon'.
Evidence of changing seasons, rain on Saturn's moon Titan's north pole
Mittwoch, 16.01.2019, 17:55:37 Uhr
An image from the international Cassini spacecraft provides evidence of rainfall on the north pole of Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons. The rainfall would be the first indication of the start of a summer season in the moon's northern hemisphere.
New way supermassive black holes are 'fed'
Montag, 14.01.2019, 19:09:17 Uhr
A new study finds that some supermassive black holes are 'triggered' to grow, suddenly devouring a large amount of gas in their surroundings.
Double star system flips planet-forming disk into pole position
Montag, 14.01.2019, 17:42:31 Uhr
Astronomers have found the first confirmed example of a double star system that has flipped its surrounding disc to a position that leaps over the orbital plane of those stars.
Birth of a black hole or neutron star captured for first time
Freitag, 11.01.2019, 00:47:40 Uhr
After combining several imaging sources, including hard X-rays and radiowaves, a team now speculates that the telescopes captured the exact moment a star collapsed to form a compact object, such as a black hole or neutron star. The stellar debris, approaching and swirling around the object's event horizon, caused The Cow's remarkably bright glow.
Astronomers find signatures of a 'messy' star that made its companion go supernova
Donnerstag, 10.01.2019, 22:09:35 Uhr
Astronomers announced that they have identified the type of companion star that made its partner in a binary system, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf star, explode. Through repeated observations of SN 2015cp, a supernova 545 million light years away, the team detected hydrogen-rich debris that the companion star had shed prior to the explosion.
Cosmic telescope zooms in on the beginning of time
Donnerstag, 10.01.2019, 14:27:07 Uhr
Observations from Gemini Observatory identify a key fingerprint of an extremely distant quasar, allowing astronomers to sample light emitted from the dawn of time. Astronomers happened upon this deep glimpse into space and time thanks to a foreground galaxy acting as a gravitational lens, which magnified the ancient light. The Gemini observations provide critical pieces of the puzzle in confirming this object as the brightest appearing quasar so early in the history of the universe.
X-ray pulse detected near event horizon as black hole devours star
Donnerstag, 10.01.2019, 00:47:31 Uhr
New findings are the first demonstration of a tidal disruption flare being used to estimate a black hole's spin.
Long-duration space missions have lasting effects on spinal muscles
Mittwoch, 09.01.2019, 23:06:47 Uhr
Astronauts who spend several months on the International Space Station have significant reductions in the size and density of paraspinal muscles of the trunk after returning to Earth, reports a new study.
The lonely giant: Milky Way-sized galaxy lacking galactic neighbors
Mittwoch, 09.01.2019, 23:06:41 Uhr
Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, fewer galaxies were born than expected -- and that could create new questions for galaxy physics, according to a new study.
Canada's CHIME telescope detects second repeating fast radio burst
Mittwoch, 09.01.2019, 20:27:07 Uhr
Scientists have found the second repeating fast radio burst (FRB) ever recorded. The discovery of the extragalactic signal is among the first, eagerly awaited results from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME). The repeating FRB was one of a total of 13 bursts detected over a period of just three weeks during the summer of 2018, while CHIME was in its pre-commissioning phase.
Astronomers observe evolution of a black hole as it wolfs down stellar material
Mittwoch, 09.01.2019, 20:26:59 Uhr
On March 11, an instrument aboard the International Space Station detected an enormous explosion of X-ray light that grew to be six times as bright as the Crab Nebula, nearly 10,000 light years away from Earth. Scientists determined the source was a black hole caught in the midst of an outburst -- an extreme phase in which a black hole can spew brilliant bursts of X-ray energy as it devours an avalanche of gas and dust from a nearby star.
First evidence of gigantic remains from star explosions
Mittwoch, 09.01.2019, 20:26:53 Uhr
Astrophysicists have found the first ever evidence of gigantic remains being formed from repeated explosions on the surface of a dead star in the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light years from Earth. The remains or 'super-remnant' measures almost 400 light years across. The super-remnant -- larger than almost all known remnants of supernova explosions -- is consistent with being built up by frequent nova eruptions over millions of years.
Astronomers map 'light echoes' of newly discovered black hole
Mittwoch, 09.01.2019, 20:26:34 Uhr
A team of astronomers has charted the environment surrounding a relatively small, 'stellar mass' black hole that is 10 times the mass of the sun. The observations provide the clearest picture to date of how these small black holes consume matter and emit energy.
A survey machine and a data trove: Dark Energy Survey's rich legacy
Dienstag, 08.01.2019, 20:13:42 Uhr
On the night of Jan. 9, 2019, the V. M. Blanco 4-meter telescope at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), high in the mountains of Chile, will close the camera's shutter on the final image from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) -- a survey that has mapped 5,000 square degrees of the heavens, almost one-quarter of the southern sky.
Nature's magnifying glass reveals unexpected intermediate mass exoplanets
Dienstag, 08.01.2019, 20:13:39 Uhr
Astronomers have found a new exoplanet that could alter the standing theory of planet formation. With a mass that's between that of Neptune and Saturn, and its location beyond the 'snow line' of its host star, an alien world of this scale was supposed to be rare.
TESS discovers its third new planet, with longest orbit yet
Dienstag, 08.01.2019, 00:57:52 Uhr
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, has discovered a third small planet outside our solar system, scientists report.
Hubble takes gigantic image of the Triangulum Galaxy
Montag, 07.01.2019, 19:12:39 Uhr
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the most detailed image yet of a close neighbor of the Milky Way -- the Triangulum Galaxy, a spiral galaxy located at a distance of only three million light-years. This panoramic survey of the third-largest galaxy in our Local Group of galaxies provides a mesmerizing view of the 40 billion stars that make up one of the most distant objects visible to the naked eye.
Tiny satellites could be 'guide stars' for huge next-generation telescopes
Freitag, 04.01.2019, 20:16:31 Uhr
Researchers design CubeSats with lasers to provide steady reference light for telescopes investigating distant planets.
Dark matter on the move
Donnerstag, 03.01.2019, 17:06:39 Uhr
Scientists have found evidence that dark matter can be heated up and moved around, as a result of star formation in galaxies. The findings provide the first observational evidence for the effect known as 'dark matter heating', and give new clues as to what makes up dark matter.
NASA's New Horizons mission reveals entirely new kind of world
Mittwoch, 02.01.2019, 22:43:07 Uhr
Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission released the first detailed images of the most distant object ever explored -- the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Its remarkable appearance, unlike anything we've seen before, illuminates the processes that built the planets four and a half billion years ago.
Juno mission captures images of volcanic plumes on Jupiter's moon Io
Mittwoch, 02.01.2019, 17:28:52 Uhr
The Juno spacecraft captured new images of a volcanic plume on Jupiter's moon Io during a December 21 flyby. JunoCam, the Stellar Reference Unit (SRU), the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM), and the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVS) observed Io for over an hour, providing a glimpse of the moon's polar regions as well as evidence of an active eruption.
New Horizons successfully explores Ultima Thule
Dienstag, 01.01.2019, 19:05:47 Uhr
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past Ultima Thule in the early hours of New Year's Day, ushering in the era of exploration from the enigmatic Kuiper Belt, a region of primordial objects that holds keys to understanding the origins of the solar system.
New Horizons spacecraft homing in on Kuiper Belt target
Montag, 31.12.2018, 17:11:11 Uhr
Only hours from completing a historic flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is on course and ready to gather scientific data on the small object's geology, composition, atmosphere and more. Closest approach takes place in the early morning hours of New Year's Day -- 12:33 a.m. EST -- marking the event as the most distant exploration of worlds ever completed by humankind.
All about Ultima: New Horizons flyby target is unlike anything explored in space
Donnerstag, 27.12.2018, 21:27:45 Uhr
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is set to fly by a target nicknamed 'Ultima Thule,' 4 billion miles from the Sun, on New Year's Day 2019. No spacecraft has ever explored such a distant world.
Holiday asteroid imaged with NASA radar
Freitag, 21.12.2018, 22:22:21 Uhr
The December 2018 close approach by the large, near-Earth asteroid 2003 SD220 has provided astronomers an outstanding opportunity to obtain detailed radar images of the surface and shape of the object and to improve the understanding of its orbit.
The coolest experiment in the universe
Freitag, 21.12.2018, 22:18:44 Uhr
NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory on the International Space Station is the first facility in orbit to produce clouds of "ultracold" atoms, which can reach a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. Nothing in nature is known to hit the temperatures achieved in laboratories like CAL, which means the orbiting facility is regularly the coldest known spot in the universe.
NASA's InSight places first instrument on Mars
Freitag, 21.12.2018, 22:16:01 Uhr
NASA's InSight lander has deployed its first instrument onto the surface of Mars, completing a major mission milestone. New images from the lander show the seismometer on the ground, its copper-colored covering faintly illuminated in the Martian dusk.
Baby star's fiery tantrum could create the building blocks of planets
Freitag, 21.12.2018, 18:37:29 Uhr
A massive stellar flare on a baby star has been spotted by astronomers, shedding light on the origins of potentially habitable exoplanets.
NASA telescopes take a close look at the brightest comet of 2018
Donnerstag, 20.12.2018, 22:32:13 Uhr
As the brilliant comet 46P/Wirtanen streaked across the sky, NASA telescopes caught it on camera from multiple angles.
Faint starlight in Hubble images reveals distribution of dark matter
Donnerstag, 20.12.2018, 17:18:13 Uhr
Astronomers have employed a revolutionary method to detect dark matter in galaxy clusters. The method allows astronomers to 'see' the distribution of dark matter more accurately than any other method used to date and it could possibly be used to explore the ultimate nature of dark matter.
Beyond the black hole singularity
Donnerstag, 20.12.2018, 17:18:04 Uhr
Our first glimpses into the physics that exist near the center of a black hole are being made possible using 'loop quantum gravity'-- a theory that uses quantum mechanics to extend gravitational physics beyond Einstein's theory of general relativity.
Planetary astronomers identify cycle of spectacular disturbances at Jupiter's equator
Mittwoch, 19.12.2018, 17:55:30 Uhr
New research finds a pattern of unique events at Jupiter's equator.
Newly discovered adolescent star seen undergoing 'growth spurt'
Mittwoch, 19.12.2018, 17:55:27 Uhr
Astronomers have discovered a young star undergoing a rare growth spurt -- giving a fascinating glimpse into the development of these distant stellar objects.
Getting a glimpse inside the moon
Mittwoch, 19.12.2018, 15:39:19 Uhr
New research provides the first-ever model of our Moon's rotational dynamics, taking into consideration its solid inner core. Their model helps to explain why, as seen from Earth, the Moon appears to wobble on its axis.
Space telescope detects water in a number of asteroids
Dienstag, 18.12.2018, 16:04:07 Uhr
Using the infrared satellite AKARI, a research team has detected the existence of water in the form of hydrated minerals in a number of asteroids for the first time. This discovery will contribute to our understanding of the distribution of water in our solar system, the evolution of asteroids, and the origin of water on Earth.
Fossil from the Big Bang discovered with W. M. Keck Observatory
Dienstag, 18.12.2018, 15:30:17 Uhr
A relic cloud of gas, orphaned after the Big Bang, has been discovered in the distant universe by astronomers using the world's most powerful optical telescope, the W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii.
Most-distant solar system object ever observed
Montag, 17.12.2018, 18:00:54 Uhr
A team of astronomers has discovered the most-distant body ever observed in our solar system. It is the first known solar system object that has been detected at a distance that is more than 100 times farther than Earth is from the sun.
Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate
Montag, 17.12.2018, 18:00:32 Uhr
New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 and 2 observations made decades ago. The rings are being pulled into Saturn by gravity as a dusty rain of ice particles under the influence of Saturn's magnetic field.
Alien imposters: Planets with oxygen don't necessarily have life
Montag, 17.12.2018, 16:58:48 Uhr
Lab simulations nix the common wisdom that atmospheric oxygen and organic compounds are good evidence that a planet harbors life.
Narrowing the universe in the search for life
Montag, 17.12.2018, 16:18:09 Uhr
In the search for life on other planets, scientists traditionally have looked for a world with water. But a geophysicist now wonders if we should look to rocks instead.
A young star caught forming like a planet
Freitag, 14.12.2018, 15:38:27 Uhr
Astronomers have captured one of the most detailed views of a young star taken to date, and revealed an unexpected companion in orbit around it.
Mars InSight lander seen in first images from space
Freitag, 14.12.2018, 02:43:47 Uhr
On Nov. 26, NASA's InSight mission knew the spacecraft touched down within an 81-mile-long (130-kilometer-long) landing ellipse on Mars. Now, the team has pinpointed InSight's exact location using images from HiRISE, a powerful camera onboard another NASA spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators
Donnerstag, 13.12.2018, 19:12:42 Uhr
Magnetic field lines tangled like spaghetti in a bowl might be behind the most powerful particle accelerators in the universe. That's the result of a new computational study that simulated particle emissions from distant active galaxies.
Where did the hot Neptunes go? A shrinking planet holds the answer
Donnerstag, 13.12.2018, 16:13:25 Uhr
'Where did the hot Neptunes go?' This is the question astronomers have been asking for a long time, faced with the mysterious absence of planets the size of Neptune. Researchers have just discovered that one of these planets is losing its atmosphere at a frantic pace. This observation strengthens the theory that hot Neptunes have lost much of their atmosphere and turned into smaller planets called super-Earths.
Large population of potential young planets found in distant planetary systems
Mittwoch, 12.12.2018, 20:46:31 Uhr
Astronomers used the powerful ALMA telescope to discover that in other parts of the Milky Way Galaxy (seen here) there is potentially a large population of young planets -- similar in mass to Neptune or Jupiter -- at wide-orbit that are not detectable by other current planet searching techniques.
NASA's Juno mission halfway to Jupiter science
Mittwoch, 12.12.2018, 20:42:01 Uhr
On Dec. 21, NASA's Juno spacecraft will be 3,140 miles (5,053 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops and hurtling by at a healthy clip of 128,802 mph (207,287 kilometers per hour). This will mark the solar-powered spacecraft's halfway point in data collection during its prime mission.
NASA's InSight takes its first selfie
Mittwoch, 12.12.2018, 20:39:31 Uhr
NASA's InSight lander used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie -- a mosaic made up of 11 images. This is the same imaging process used by NASA's Curiosity rover mission, in which many overlapping pictures are taken and later stitched together.
Did supernovae kill off large ocean animals at dawn of Pleistocene?
Dienstag, 11.12.2018, 17:29:41 Uhr
The effects of a supernova -- and possibly more than one -- on large ocean life like school-bus-sized Megalodon 2.6 million years ago are detailed in a new article.
Calibrating cosmic mile markers
Dienstag, 11.12.2018, 16:31:16 Uhr
New work provides the best-yet calibrations for using type Ia supernovae to measure cosmic distances, which has implications for our understanding of how fast the universe is expanding and the role dark energy may play in driving this process.
Solar activity research provides insight into sun's past, future
Montag, 10.12.2018, 17:58:24 Uhr
Scientists have developed a new technique for looking at historic solar data to distinguish trustworthy observations from those that should be used with care. This work is critical to understanding the sun's past and future as well as whether solar activity plays a role in climate change.
Evidence for carbon-rich surface on Ceres
Montag, 10.12.2018, 17:58:21 Uhr
Astronomers have concluded that the surface of dwarf planet Ceres is rich in organic matter. Data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft indicate that Ceres's surface may contain several times the concentration of carbon than is present in the most carbon-rich, primitive meteorites found on Earth.
NASA's Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space
Montag, 10.12.2018, 17:38:20 Uhr
For the second time in history, a human-made object has reached the space between the stars. NASA's Voyager 2 probe now has exited the heliosphere -- the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun.
NASA InSight lander 'hears' Martian winds
Freitag, 07.12.2018, 22:49:27 Uhr
NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport InSight lander, which touched down on Mars just 10 days ago, has provided the first ever "sounds" of Martian winds on the Red Planet.
NASA's Mars InSight flexes its arm
Freitag, 07.12.2018, 22:47:28 Uhr
New images from NASA's Mars InSight lander show its robotic arm is ready to do some lifting. With a reach of nearly 6 feet (2 meters), the arm will be used to pick up science instruments from the lander's deck, gently setting them on the Martian surface at Elysium Planitia, the lava plain where InSight touched down on Nov. 26.
Planetary defense: The Bennu experiment
Freitag, 07.12.2018, 22:45:35 Uhr
On Dec. 3, after traveling billions of kilometers from Earth, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its target, Bennu, and kicked off a nearly two-year, up-close investigation of the asteroid. It will inspect nearly every square inch of this ancient clump of rubble left over from the formation of our solar system. Ultimately, the spacecraft will pick up a sample of pebbles and dust from Bennu's surface and deliver it to Earth in 2023.
Unknown treasure trove of planets found hiding in dust
Freitag, 07.12.2018, 17:27:17 Uhr
The first unbiased survey of protoplanetary disks surrounding young stars in the Taurus star-forming region turned up a higher-than-expected number of disks with features suggesting nascent planets, according to a new study.
An exoplanet inflated like a balloon
Donnerstag, 06.12.2018, 20:12:04 Uhr
Although helium is a rare element on Earth, it is ubiquitous in the universe. It is, after hydrogen, the main component of stars and gaseous giant planets. Despite its abundance, helium was only detected recently in the atmosphere of a gaseous giant by an international team. The team has observed for the first time how this gas escapes from the overheated atmosphere of an exoplanet, literally inflated with helium.