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Updated: 3 hours 57 min ago

There’s a frozen super-Earth orbiting Barnard’s star, the second-closest star system

13 hours 42 min ago
Just six light-years from Earth, the second-closest star system to our Sun hosts a frozen super-Earth, according to new findings by an international team of researchers. Barnard’s star is a small, ancient kind of sun called a red dwarf. And while it’s not easily visible without a telescope, Barnard’s star has long attracted astronomers' gaze as the fastest-moving star in the night sky. Astronomers now say it’s also home to a frozen exoplanet at least three times as massi
Categories: Astronomy

Maybe next time: Barnard’s star b is likely uninhabitable

13 hours 42 min ago
The newest exoplanet in our neighborhood may be nearby, but it's not fit for life as we know it.
Categories: Astronomy

The birds and the bees reacted to the 2017 Great American Eclipse

13 hours 42 min ago
The 2017 total solar eclipse provided researchers with a rare chance to study how a hidden Sun can influence the behavior of animals.
Categories: Astronomy

Seek out Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels tonight

13 hours 42 min ago
Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels is particularly easy to spot this evening, as it sits less than 1° north of the bright star Mirach.
Categories: Astronomy

'Ghost' dwarf galaxy found hiding at the edge of the Milky Way

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 05:00
An international team of astronomers can’t fully explain the “ghost” galaxy that they discovered about 130,000 light-years from the edge of the Milky Way. Finding a ghost This galaxy, named Antlia 2 (or Ant 2), is described as a “ghost” because of how strangely dim it is. Ant 2 is rather large for a dwarf galaxy – it’s about the same size as the 7,000 light-year-wide Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which is the Milky Way’s largest satellite galaxy.
Categories: Astronomy

The Small Magellanic Cloud is running out of gas — fast

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 05:00
A snapshot of the dwarf galaxy in unprecedented detail is clueing astronomers in to how small galaxies lose mass, and what it means for their future.
Categories: Astronomy

Experience the sound of a martian sunrise

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 05:00
Scientists have turned the Opportunity rover's 5,000th sunrise on Mars into a unique two-minute track of music.
Categories: Astronomy

A tale of two asteroids: The Phaethon-Pallas connection

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 05:00
3200 Phaethon, the bizarre rock responsible for the Geminid meteor shower, may have split from a much greater asteroid millions of years ago.
Categories: Astronomy

A ‘dark matter hurricane’ is storming past Earth

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 05:00
And it could help scientist detect the strange substance.
Categories: Astronomy

Some of Earth’s water came from a stream of hydrogen long ago

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 05:00
Scientists say that at least a portion of our planet's oceans came from hydrogen gas in our solar nebula.
Categories: Astronomy

Are the laws of the universe fine-tuned for life?

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 05:00
Humans have often looked at the night sky and wondered if there’s anyone else out there. But stare into that darkness long enough, and many wonder instead: how did we get here? What were the odds, in a universe so enormous and chaotic, that humans should have come to exist at all? Is life, let alone intelligent life, such a wildly improbable occurrence that we’re the only ones here? Or are we an inevitable consequence of the laws physics? Life exists on Earth (assuming we’re n
Categories: Astronomy

The sky this week for November 9 to November 18

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 05:00

The Leonid meteor shower peaks while Mars and Venus dominate among the planets.

Categories: Astronomy

Comet tails can be shaped by the Sun's magnetic field

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 05:00
It turns out that the sun’s magnetic field can shape and push the dust of a comet’s tail, according to a revelation made possible by one young scientist’s innovative new image-processing technique. Comet Dust In 2007, scientists were elated when NASA’s STEREO spacecraft laid its “eyes” on Comet C/2006 P1, also known as Comet McNaught — named after astronomer Robert McNaught, who discovered the comet a year prior. Comet McNaught, which is part of a grou
Categories: Astronomy

What do we know about 'Oumuamua?

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 05:00

If our solar system's first confirmed alien visitor is a comet, it’s a seriously weird one.

Categories: Astronomy

Dust grains in microgravity show a surprising amount of order

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 05:00
Experiments carried out 250 miles above Earth show electrically charged dust particles in a microgravity environment don’t arrange themselves as haphazardly as expected.
Categories: Astronomy

Ultra-hot metals swirl around this highly magnetic white dwarf

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 05:00
Some 1,200 light-years from Earth, an international team of astronomers has discovered an ultra-hot magnetosphere, or magnetic field, surrounding a sun-like star. The star, dubbed GALEXJ014636.8+323615, is a white dwarf, the dense core of a dead star. “White dwarfs are the remnants of about 95 percent of all stars, so pretty much every star in our universe will end up as a white dwarf at the end of its life,” study leader Nicole Reindl, a researcher at the University of Leicester,
Categories: Astronomy

Astronomers spot one of the oldest stars in the entire universe

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 05:00
And the 13.5-billion-year-old red dwarf just so happens to reside right here in the Milky Way.
Categories: Astronomy

Tonight's New Moon makes way for M34

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 05:00
With the New Moon out of the sky, tonight is the perfect night to hunt down some of autumn's best deep-sky gems.
Categories: Astronomy

Interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua is probably not an alien solar sail

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 05:00
‘Oumuamua — a curious, cigar-shaped rock — was the first interstellar space rock ever discovered in our solar system, though scientists debate whether it should be classified as an asteroid or comet. Now, a new study suggests that the strange object could actually be an alien light sail, or solar-powered spacecraft. Abraham Loeb and Shmuel Bialy from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) conducted the study, titled “Could Solar Radiation Pressure Explain
Categories: Astronomy

Infrared laser technology could attract aliens, but probably won’t

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 05:00
We could technically send a signal out into space alerting others to our presence ... but how feasible is the idea, really?
Categories: Astronomy

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