All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Astronomy’

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 solar system. This week, NASA revealed that Saturn has now been added to the short list of places in the …

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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 Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts. The comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke up and collided with Jupiter in July of 1994. The week-long event, …

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NASA Video Shows Sun’s Rise in Activity

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 into the sun for years now. The agency launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in 2010 to capture images of …

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Giant Planet Formation May Have Been Spotted

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 appears to be a gas giant. If the findings, published this week in Astrophysical Journal Letters, are confirmed, they could …

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NASA Measures Fast-Spinning, Supermassive Black Hole

NASA today revealed that it has teamed up with the European Space Agency (ESA) to, for the first time, measure the spin rate of a supermassive black hole. Using NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the ESA’s XMM-Newton, astronomers were able to observe the black hole that lies at the center of the galaxy NGC 1365. The object was …

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NASA’s Kepler Finds Extra-Solar Planets Smaller Than Earth

Over the past year, NASA’s Kepler mission has found hundreds of possible planets outside of our solar system, and even a few candidates for Earth-like planets. This week, astronomers revealed that a new system has been found that contains planets smaller than Earth. The new data has been presented in a paper published recently in the journal Nature. The planets …

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NASA’s Cassini Probe Finds Accelerated Particles Around Saturn

NASA this week revealed that a “chance encounter” with solar wind around Saturn has allowed the Cassini probe to detect particles being accelerated to high energy states. The phenomenon is similar to the acceleration of high-energy cosmic rays found coming from supernova remnants just last week. The findings, published this week in the journal Nature Physics, show how certain kinds …

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Nicolaus Copernicus Google Doodle Celebrates Heliocentrism

Today, I’d say that we’re at least fairly certain that the Earth (and all the other planets) revolve around the sun, and not the other way around. I don’t want to rule out some crazies out there, I mean, the world does have 7 billion people in it. But let’s just go with it. We know that the heliocentric model …

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NASA: Asteroid 2012 Da14 Will Not be Hitting the Earth Today

Today at around 2:20 pm EST an asteroid named 2012 da14 will come within 17,200 miles of the surface of Earth. Almost one year ago NASA was able to determine that the asteroid definitely does not pose a danger to the planet, at least not on this approach. With the asteroid’s approach so near and the public’s growing awareness of …

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Asteroid Flyby to be Live-Streamed by NASA

On February 15, tomorrow, an asteroid named 2012 DA14 will fly within several thousand miles of the surface of the Earth. At its closest approach the asteroid will come within 17,200 miles of the Earth’s surface – a harrowingly close miss that comes well within the ring of man-made geosynchronous satellites that orbit the Earth. The flyby will set a …

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Young Black Hole May Have Been Formed in Rare Supernova

Astronomers have found evidence that suggests the youngest black hole in the Milky Way galaxy may reside in the remnants of a rare supernova. The remnant, named W49B, is only around 1,000 years old and only 26,000 light-years from Earth. Astronomers have called the object “rare” because of the way the supernova took place. Instead of explosively ejecting matter in …

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“Strobe Light” Star Spotted by NASA Telescopes

NASA this week revealed that astronomers have discovered a mysterious object that acts like a strobe light. The object, named LRLL 54361, releases a flash of light every 25.34 days. Though other objects in the universe have been observed with similar patterns, this one is the most powerful yet seen. In a new paper published recently in the journal Nature, …

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