Astronomy News

Hubble Spots Possible Water Plumes on Europa

September 27, 2016

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Possible Water Plumes Erupting on Jupiter's Moon Europa

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. This finding bolsters other Hubble observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high altitude water vapor plumes. The observation increases the possibility that missions to Europa may be able to sample Europa’s ocean […]

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NASA Research Reveals That Mercury is Active

September 26, 2016

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Astronomers Reveal Mercury is Active

New research suggests that Mercury is contracting even today, joining Earth as a tectonically active planet. Images obtained by NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft reveal previously undetected small fault scarps— cliff-like landforms that resemble stair steps. These scarps are small enough that scientists believe they must be geologically young, which […]

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Hubble Image of the Week – The Hidden Dark Side of NGC 24

September 26, 2016

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New Hubble Image of NGC 24

This newly released Hubble images shows spiral galaxy NGC 24, which is located 25 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Sculptor. NGC 24 was discovered by British astronomer William Herschel in 1785, and measures some 40,000 light-years across. This picture was taken using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, […]

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NASA DXL Sounding Rocket Solves One Cosmic Mystery, Reveals Another

September 23, 2016

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NASA-Funded Sounding Rocket Solves One Cosmic Mystery, Reveals Another

New research confirms some of our ideas about where cosmic X-rays come from and reveals an entire group of X-rays that don’t come from any known source. In the last century, humans realized that space is filled with types of light we can’t see – from infrared signals released by hot stars and galaxies, to […]

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Astronomers Explore the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

September 23, 2016

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New Images of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, international teams of astronomers explore the distant corner of the Universe first revealed in the iconic images of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). New ALMA observations are significantly deeper and sharper than previous surveys at millimeter wavelengths. They clearly show how the rate of star formation in young […]

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Hubble Finds a Planet Orbiting Pair of Stars in System OGLE-2007-BLG-349

September 22, 2016

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Hubble Reveals Planet Orbiting Pair of Stars

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has confirmed the existence of a planet orbiting two stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8,000 light-years away towards the center of our galaxy. The planet orbits roughly 300 million miles from the stellar duo, about the distance from the asteroid belt to our sun. It […]

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Evidence of Surprising Activity on Europa

September 21, 2016

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NASA to Discuss Evidence of Surprising Activity on Europa

NASA will host a teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, September 26, to present new findings from images captured by the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa. Astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of […]

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Astronomers Examine Dicyanoacetylene Ice in Titan’s Stratosphere

September 21, 2016

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Scientists Find ‘Impossible’ Cloud on Titan

New research examines the appearance of a cloud of dicyanoacetylene ice in Titan’s stratosphere. The puzzling appearance of an ice cloud seemingly out of thin air has prompted NASA scientists to suggest that a different process than previously thought — possibly similar to one seen over Earth’s poles — could be forming clouds on Saturn’s […]

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CfA Astronomers Confirm and Characterize Exoplanet K2-33b

September 20, 2016

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Astronomers Confirm and Characterize Exoplanet K2-33b

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics take a closer look at migrating exoplanets. Many known exoplanets orbit close to their host star, within one-tenth of an astronomical unit (one AU is the average distance of the Earth from the Sun). Since their orbital periods are therefore very short and their gravitational influences on the […]

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Researchers Measure Magnetic Fields in the Vicinity of a Black Hole

September 20, 2016

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Astronomers Measure Magnetic Fields in the Vicinity of the Central Black Hole

A team of researchers has measured the magnetic fields in the vicinity of the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 1052. Two particle jets shoot out from the heart of active galaxy NGC 1052 at the speed of light, apparently originating in the vicinity of a massive black hole. A team of researchers […]

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Astronomers Study Stellar Evolution in Real Time

September 19, 2016

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Astronomers View Stingray Nebula

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers has been able to study stellar evolution in real time. Over a period of 30 years dramatic increases in the temperature of the star SAO 244567 have been observed. Now the star is cooling again, having been reborn into an earlier phase of stellar evolution. […]

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Hubble Views Cosmic Fragments of Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

September 19, 2016

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Hubble Views Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

This newly released Hubble image shows comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami. This intriguing new image captured with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a dust-bathed cluster of fragments from a disintegrated comet. The comet in question, named 332P/Ikeya-Murakami, split into this shower of fragments in the closing months of 2015. Fragmenting comets such as 332P/Ikeya-Murakami have long been […]

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Astronomers Solve the Mystery of a Rare Change in the Behavior of a Supermassive Black Hole

September 16, 2016

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ESO Views Active Galaxy Markarian 1018

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, a team of astronomers has solved the mystery of a rare change in the behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy. It seems that the black hole is no longer being fed enough fuel […]

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Begins Final Year of Its Voyage

September 16, 2016

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Cassini Begins Final Year at Saturn

After more than 12 years of exploring Saturn, NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft has entered the final year of its voyage. The conclusion of the historic scientific odyssey is planned for September 2017, but not before the spacecraft completes a daring two-part endgame. Beginning on November 30, Cassini’s orbit will send the spacecraft just past the outer […]

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Chandra Detects X-Rays from Pluto

September 15, 2016

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Astronomers Shed New Light on Pluto

Using Chandra, a team of astronomers has detected X-rays from Pluto for the first time. This X-ray emission comes from the interaction between Pluto’s atmosphere and solar wind. New Chandra observations offer new insight into the space environment surrounding Pluto, the largest and best-known object in the solar system’s outermost regions. While NASA’s New Horizons […]

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Charon’s Polar Coloring the Result of Seasonally Cold-Trapped Volatiles

September 14, 2016

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Charon’s Polar Coloring Comes from Pluto

New research reveals that Charon’s reddish polar coloring comes from Pluto itself. In June 2015, when the cameras on NASA’s approaching New Horizons spacecraft first spotted the large reddish polar region on Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, mission scientists knew two things: they’d never seen anything like it elsewhere in our solar system, and they couldn’t […]

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Speckle Imaging Helps Provide the Highest-Resolution Images Available of TRAPPIST-1

September 14, 2016

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The TRAPPIST-1 System

Using the Gemini-South telescope and a speckle imaging camera, a team of astronomers have obtained the highest-resolution images available of TRAPPIST-1. When it comes to exoplanets, astronomers have realized that they only know the properties of the planets they discover as well as they know the properties of the stars being orbited. For a planet’s […]

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Views Layered Rock Formations

September 13, 2016

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Mars Rover Views Layered Rock Formations

The layered geologic past of Mars is revealed in stunning detail in new color images from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover, which is currently exploring the “Murray Buttes” region of lower Mount Sharp. Curiosity took the images with its Mast Camera (Mastcam) on September 8. The rover team plans to assemble several large, color mosaics from […]

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