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Astronomy Articles

Spitzer Telescope Now a Decade Old Spitzer Telescope Now a Decade Old

Sunday marks the ten-year anniversary of the launch of NASA‘s Spitzer Space Telescope. NASA today commemorated the milestone by taking a look back at all the discoveries Spitzer has been integral in this past decade. “I always knew Spitzer would …

Kepler Space Telescope Broken, NASA Gives Up on Restoration Kepler Space Telescope Broken, NASA Gives Up on Restoration

Sometimes the best physicists, engineers, and mathematicians in the world can’t save a failing satellite. NASA announced today that it has given up attempts to restore the malfunctioning Kepler Space Telescope. One of the Kepler’s four reaction wheels failed back …

Super-Strong Magnetic Field Found Around Magnetar Super-Strong Magnetic Field Found Around Magnetar

Astronomers this week revealed that one of the strongest magnetic fields ever observed has been spotted around a neutron star. The object, dubbed SGR 0418, is also a magnetar – a subset of neutron stars that have strong magnetic fields. …

Smallest Planet Yet Spotted Around Sun-Like Star Smallest Planet Yet Spotted Around Sun-Like Star
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Astronomers this week announced they have directly imaged the smallest planet yet found around a sun-like star. The planet, GJ 504b, is about four times the mass of Jupiter. It orbits its star at around 43 times the distance from …

Maria Mitchell Google Doodle Honors First Female Professional Astronomer Maria Mitchell Google Doodle Honors First Female Professional Astronomer

Today, Google is honoring Maria Mitchell with a really cool Doodle that shows the first American professional female astronomer using a telescope to look to the sky – presumably in hunt for “Miss Mitchell’s Comet,” which she would discover in …

Most “Centaurs” Are Comets, Say Astronomers Most “Centaurs” Are Comets, Say Astronomers

For years, the small objects orbiting the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune have remained a mystery to astronomers. Dubbed “centaurs,” researchers were unsure what exactly the objects were. Now, new observations using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have determined …

‘Snow Line’ Spotted in Young Solar System ‘Snow Line’ Spotted in Young Solar System

Astronomers this week revealed that the first-ever “snow line” of a solar system has been spotted. Scientists believe that the snow line – similar to ones seen on the tops of mountains on Earth – could provide information about how …

New Neptune Moon Found by Hubble Space Telescope New Neptune Moon Found by Hubble Space Telescope
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NASA this week revealed that a new moon has been spotted orbiting the furthest planet from the sun, Neptune. The moon, the 14th known to be orbiting Neptune, has been labeled S/2004 N 1. The small rock is the smallest …

Astronomers Spot Massive Star In-Utero Astronomers Spot Massive Star In-Utero

Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory‘s Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) this week revealed that they have spotted a massive star in the process of being born. Researchers hope the new information can help uncover just how massive (stars with …

Hubble Telescope Spots a Blue Planet Hubble Telescope Spots a Blue Planet

Astronomers have been finding and cataloging exoplanets for years now, but NASA this week announced that the Hubble Space Telescope has helped determined the color of a planet orbiting a star 63 light-years from our solar system. The planet, HD …

Astronomers Find Extra-Galactic Radio Bursts Astronomers Find Extra-Galactic Radio Bursts

Astronomers this week announced that the first confirmed radio bursts from outside our Milky Way galaxy have been detected. A team of astronomers using the Parkes Observatory in Australia have detected four bursts, each originating from billions of light-years from …

Distant Galaxy Caught ‘Feeding’ on Gas Clouds Distant Galaxy Caught ‘Feeding’ on Gas Clouds

Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory‘s Very Large Telescope have found a distant galaxy that is “feeding” on nearby gas clouds. The flow of gas into the galaxy, astronomers say, is generating star formation and driving the rotation of the …

NASA Shuts Down Galaxy Explorer Telescope NASA Shuts Down Galaxy Explorer Telescope

Just over ten years after its launch, NASA this afternoon decommissioned its Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft. The satellite will no longer be used for science missions, but will remain in orbit for 65 years before burning up in Earth’s atmosphere. …

NASA Launches IRIS to Study Sun’s Atmosphere NASA Launches IRIS to Study Sun’s Atmosphere

After being delayed for one day over a power outage at Vandenberg Air Force Base, NASA‘s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft was successfully launched on Thursday evening. The satellite will help researchers on Earth study the sun‘s lower atmosphere. …

Three Planets Found in the Habitable Zone of Nearby Star Three Planets Found in the Habitable Zone of Nearby Star

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) this week announced it has found six planets in the Gliese 667C system, and that three of those planets are located within the system’s habitable zone. The habitable zone of a system is the area …

Herschel Telescope Given its Final Command Herschel Telescope Given its Final Command

Over one month ago, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the Herschel space observatory had run out of liquid helium coolant. The coolant was necessary to cool the telescope’s instruments to near absolute zero. As planned, the powerful infrared …

Herschel Telescope Runs Out of Coolant, Ends Mission Herschel Telescope Runs Out of Coolant, Ends Mission

The European Space Agency (ESA) today announced that the Herschel space observatory has run out of liquid helium coolant. The coolant is necessary to cool the telescope’s instruments to near absolute zero. Herschel’s ground station in Western Australia this afternoon …

Meteors Spotted Hitting Saturn’s Rings Meteors Spotted Hitting Saturn’s Rings

Watching stellar impacts as they occur is a rare treat for astronomers. The famous Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter (which left water in the planet’s atmosphere), which happened only 20 years ago, was the first directly-seen extraterrestrial collision in the …

Water on Jupiter Linked to Shoemaker-Levy Impact Water on Jupiter Linked to Shoemaker-Levy Impact

It appears that the mystery of how water got into the atmosphere of Jupiter has finally been solved. The European Space Agency (ESA) today announced that the water in the Jovian planet’s upper atmosphere has been linked to the 1994 …

NASA Video Shows Sun’s Rise in Activity NASA Video Shows Sun’s Rise in Activity
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The sun. We see it nearly every day, and yet most of us spend a considerable amount of time trying to keep it out of our eyes or off our skin. NASA, on the other hand, has been staring straight …

Giant Planet Formation May Have Been Spotted Giant Planet Formation May Have Been Spotted
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Astronomers have found what could be the first-ever sighting of a planet forming while still in the midst of a dust cloud surrounding a star. The object, which orbits the star HD 100546, is only 335 light-years from Earth and …