Popular Science articles about Astronomy & Space

The galaxy EGS-zs8-1 sets a new distance record. It was discovered in images from the Hubble Space Telescope's CANDELS survey.

U of T astrophysicists offer proof that famous image shows forming planets

This image sparked scientific debate when it was released last year, with researchers arguing over whether newly forming planets were responsible for gaps in the dust and gas swirling around the young star.A recent and famous image from deep space marks the first time we've seen a forming planetary system, according to a study by U of T astrophysicists.

Pulsar with widest orbit ever detected

This is an artist's impression of pulsar PSR J1930-1852 shown in orbit around a companion neutron star. Discovered by a team of high school students, this pulsar has the widest orbit ever observed around another neutron star.A team of highly determined high school students discovered a never-before-seen pulsar by painstakingly analyzing data from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). Further...

UH-led team successfully observes the solar eclipse over the Arctic

The international Solar Wind Sherpas team, led by Dr. Shadia Habbal of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Institute for Astronomy, braved Arctic weather to successfully observe the total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 from Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago east of northern Greenland. Their preliminary results are being presented at the Triennial Earth-Sun Summit in Indianapolis, IN. More: <a target="_blank"href="http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/press-releases/2015solar_eclipse/">http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/press-releases/2015solar_eclipse/</a>.The international Solar Wind Sherpas team, led by Dr. Shadia Habbal of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Institute for Astronomy, braved Arctic weather to successfully observe the total solar...

Robotically discovering Earth's nearest neighbors

This is an artist's impression of a view from the HD 7924 planetary system looking back toward our sun, which would be easily visible to the naked eye. Since HD 7924 is in our northern sky, an observer looking back at the sun would see objects like the Southern Cross and the Magellanic Clouds close to our sun in their sky.A team of astronomers using ground-based telescopes in Hawaiʻi, California and Arizona recently discovered a planetary system orbiting a nearby star that is only 54 light-years away. All three planets...

NJIT's new solar telescope peers deep into the sun to track the origins of space weather

Fine details of a magnetic flux rope captured by the New Solar Telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory  for Solar Active Region 11817 on 2013 August 11. The structure is further demonstrated by the 3-D magnetic modeling based the observations of Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board Solar Dynamic Observatory.Scientists at NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) have captured the first high-resolution images of the flaring magnetic structures known as solar flux ropes at their point of origin in...

Astronomers probe inner region of young star and its planets

The planetary system of HR 8799. Most of the light of the star has been erased by the processing of the images and the four planets, identified from b to e in the order of their discovery, are easily detected.Astronomers have probed deeper than before into a planetary system 130 light-years from Earth. The observations mark the first results of a new exoplanet survey called LEECH (LBT Exozodi Exoplanet...

A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines...

Spitzer, OGLE spot planet deep within our galaxy

This artist's conception shows a planet half as massive as Jupiter located 13,000 light-years from Earth. It was detected by the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope using microlensing. Spitzer provided parallax measurements that allowed scientists to determine how far away the planet is.NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has teamed up with a telescope on the ground to find a remote gas planet about 13,000 light-years away, making it one of the most distant...

Meteorites key to the story of Earth's layers: ANU media release

A new analysis of the chemical make-up of meteorites has helped scientists work out when the Earth formed its layers.

An exoplanet with an infernal atmosphere

As part of the PlanetS National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR), astronomers from the Universities of Geneva (UNIGE) and Bern, Switzerland, have come to measure the temperature of the...

Space debris from satellite explosion increases collision risk for space craft

The spreading of the fragmentation cloud to form a band of debris (exaggerated size).Debris from the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F13 satellite, which recently exploded in orbit, could pose a threat to other spacecraft and missions according to new research from...

Long-term galactic cosmic ray exposure leads to dementia-like cognitive impairments

'This is not positive news for astronauts deployed on a two- to three-year round trip to Mars,' said Charles Limoli, a professor of radiation oncology in UCI's School of Medicine.What happens to an astronaut's brain during a mission to Mars? Nothing good. It's besieged by destructive particles that can forever impair cognition, according to a UC Irvine radiation oncology...

Dull forest glow yields orbital tracking of photosynthesis

Chlorophyll fluorescence, dull glow produced by plant leaves as a byproduct of photosynthesis, could provide a means of monitoring photosynthetic activity from orbiting satellites. Research conducted by Brown University scientists in the Harvard Forest helps to confirm that fluorescence is a good proxy for photosynthesis in a forest canopy.A research team led by geoscientists from Brown University and the Marine Biological Laboratory has provided some crucial ground-truth for a method of measuring plant photosynthesis on a global scale...

The Pillars of Creation revealed in 3-D

This visualization of the three-dimensional structure of the Pillars of Creation within the star formation region Messier 16 (also called the Eagle Nebula) is based on new observations of the object using the MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. The pillars actually consist of several distinct pieces on either side of the star cluster NGC 6611. In this illustration, the relative distance between the pillars along the line of sight is not to scale.Using the MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have produced the first complete three-dimensional view of the famous Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, Messier 16....

Strong evidence for coronal heating theory presented at 2015 TESS meeting

NASA's EUNIS sounding rocket examined light from the sun in the area shown by the white line (imposed over an image of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory) then separated the light into various wavelengths (as shown in the lined images - spectra - on the right and left) to identify the temperature of material observed on the sun. The spectra provided evidence to explain why the sun's atmosphere is so much hotter than its surface.The sun's surface is blisteringly hot at 10,340 degrees Fahrenheit -- but its atmosphere is another 300 times hotter. This has led to an enduring mystery for those who study...

Tau Ceti: The next Earth? Probably not

How would an alien world like this look? That's the question that ASU undergraduate art major Joshua Gonzalez attempted to answer. He worked with Professor Patrick Young's group to learn how to analyze stellar spectra to find chemical abundances, and inspired by the scientific results, he created two digital paintings of possible unusual extrasolar planets, one being Tau Ceti for his Barrett Honors Thesis.As the search continues for Earth-size planets orbiting at just the right distance from their star, a region termed the habitable zone, the number of potentially life-supporting planets grows. In...

Pulsing light may indicate supermassive black hole merger

As two galaxies enter the final stages of merging, scientists have theorized that the galaxies' supermassive black holes will form a "binary," or two black holes in such close orbit...

Search for advanced civilizations beyond Earth finds nothing obvious in 100,000 galaxies

This is a false-color image of the mid-infrared emission from the Great Galaxy in Andromeda, as seen by Nasa's&nbsp;WISE&nbsp;space telescope.  The orange color represents emission from the heat of stars forming in the galaxy's spiral arms. The G-HAT team used images such as these to search 100,000 nearby galaxies for unusually large amounts of this mid-infrared emission that might arise from alien civilizations.After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced extraterrestrial life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's WISE orbiting observatory has found no evidence of advanced civilizations in...

Dark Energy Survey creates detailed guide to spotting dark matter

This is the first Dark Energy Survey map to trace the detailed distribution of dark matter across a large area of sky. The color scale represents projected mass density: red and yellow represent regions with more dense matter. The dark matter maps reflect the current picture of mass distribution in the universe where large filaments of matter align with galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Clusters of galaxies are represented by gray dots on the map -- bigger dots represent larger clusters. This map covers three percent of the area of sky that DES will eventually document over its five-year mission.Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world's most powerful...

Violent methane storms on Titan may solve dune direction mystery

This image is a view of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, with its ringed host in the background. New research from the University of Washington may solve a riddle of the direction of sand dunes on the moon's surface.With its thick, hazy atmosphere and surface rivers, mountains, lakes and dunes, Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is one of the most Earthlike places in the solar system.

Accelerating universe? Not so fast

This is an optical image of galaxy M101 obtained by Adam Block with the UA's Mt. Lemmon Sky Center.Certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought, a University of Arizona-led team of astronomers has discovered. The results, reported in two papers published in...

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