Astronomy News

NASA MAVEN Spacecraft Prepares for Mars Orbit-Insertion Maneuver

September 18, 2014

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MAVEN Ready for Mars Orbit Insertion

Launched last November, the MAVEN spacecraft is now preparing for an orbit-insertion maneuver that will allow the spacecraft to be pulled into an elliptical orbit of Mars with a period of 35 hours. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is nearing its scheduled September 21 insertion into Martian orbit after completing a 10-month […]

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New ScienceCast Video: A Colorful Lunar Eclipse

September 18, 2014

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ScienceCasts Video A Colorful Lunar Eclipse

This new four minute ScienceCast video details what you can expect to see during the total lunar eclipse that is set to occur on October 8, 2014. ScienceCasts: A Colorful Lunar Eclipse Mark your calendar: On October 8th, the Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth for a total lunar eclipse. Sky watchers in […]

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Hubble Reveals Smallest Known Galaxy with Supermassive Black Hole

September 17, 2014

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Black Hole Discovered in M60-UCD1

A team of researchers has discovered a supermassive black hole at the center of ultra-compact galaxy M60-UCD1, making this galaxy the smallest ever found to host a supermassive black hole. Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have found a monster lurking in a very unlikely place. New observations of the ultra-compact dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1 […]

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International Team Explains the Mystery Behind a Rare 5-Hour Space Explosion

September 17, 2014

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Mystery of Gamma Ray Burst GRB 130925 Explained

New international research reveals that rare gamma-ray bursts, which can last for hours, can be explained as standard explosions occurring in a region with a low density of matter that is located behind a cloud of dust when viewed from Earth. University Park, Pennsylvania – Next week in St. Petersburg, Russia, scientists on an international […]

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WASP-18b: A ‘Hot Jupiter’ That is Changing the Internal Structure of the Star it Orbits

September 17, 2014

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Chandra Discovers Planet That Makes Star Act Deceptively Old

A new study from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that a giant exoplanet, WASP-18b, is making the star that it orbits act much older than it actually is. WASP-18b is over ten times Jupiter’s mass and is so close to its star that it completes an orbit in less than a day, causing extreme tidal […]

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NuSTAR Discovers Pulsar Powering Intense Gamma Rays

September 17, 2014

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NuSTAR Reveals Source of Powerful Gamma Rays

Using NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, astronomers have discovered a pulsar spinning five times per second and the ultimate power source of both the high-energy X-rays and gamma rays. Our Milky Way galaxy is littered with the still-sizzling remains of exploded stars. When the most massive stars explode as supernovas, they don’t fade into the […]

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A New Catalog of the Visible Milky Way

September 16, 2014

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New Detailed Catalog of the Visible Milky Way

Astronomers used IPHAS data to create a new catalog of the visible part of the Milky Way, revealing no fewer than 219 million stars. A new catalog of the visible part of the northern part of our home Galaxy, the Milky Way, includes no fewer than 219 million stars. Geert Barentsen of the University of […]

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Astronomers Choose Primary Landing Site for Rosetta’s Lander

September 16, 2014

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Astronomers Choose Rosetta Landing Site on Comet 67P

Astronomers have decided on the primary landing site where Rosetta’s Philae lander will perform in-depth measurements to characterize the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta’s lander, Philae, will target Site J, an intriguing region on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum risk to the […]

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Martian Meteorite Reveals the Possibility of Life on Mars

September 15, 2014

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Meteorite Reveals the Possibility of Life on Mars

An unusual feature embedded deep within a fragment of a Martian meteorite is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars. The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are […]

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Astronomers Search for Trigger of Nearby Supernova

September 15, 2014

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Astronomers Search for Trigger of Nearby Supernova SN 2014J

New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is helping astronomers determine what caused SN 2014J to explode, revealing information about the environment around the star before it exploded. Cambridge, Massachusetts – New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory offer a glimpse into the environment of a star before it exploded earlier this year, and insight […]

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Crescent Mimas – Cassini Views Saturn’s Moon Mimas

September 15, 2014

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Cassini Image of Saturns Moon Mimas

This Cassini spacecraft image shows a thin sliver of Saturn’s moon Mimas. A thin sliver of Mimas is illuminated, the long shadows showing off its many craters, indicators of the moon’s violent history. The most famous evidence of a collision on Mimas (246 miles, or 396 kilometers across) is the crater Herschel that gives Mimas […]

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Hubble Views Two Interacting Galaxies

September 15, 2014

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Hubble Views Two Interacting Galaxies

This newly released Hubble image shows two interacting galaxies – NGC 6872 and IC 4970. This picture, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), shows a galaxy known as NGC 6872 in the constellation of Pavo (The Peacock). Its unusual shape is caused by its interactions with the smaller […]

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