Posts tagged space
When you think of a celestial ring system, the beautiful ringed planet Saturn will likely jump to mind. But for the first time astronomers have discovered that ring systems aren’t exclusive to planetary bodies — asteroids can have them too. Read more
It’s a big breaking news day for space!
A gargantuan star, measuring 1,300 times the size of our sun, has been uncovered 12,000 light-years from Earth — it is one of the ten biggest stars known to exist in our galaxy. The yellow hypergiant even dwarfs the famous stellar heavyweight Betelgeuse by 50 percent. While its hulking mass may be impressive, astronomers have also realized that HR 5171 is a double star with a smaller stellar sibling physically touching the surface of the larger star as they orbit one another. Read more
Before today, there were 1,000 confirmed exoplanets. Kepler just added 715 more! Read the details about this historic announcement.
By tracing radioactive material in the remains of a nearby exploded star, scientists have a new understanding of what happened in the star’s final moments and how similar explosions create the calcium, gold, iron and other elements spread throughout the cosmos. Read more
Black holes are vexing objects. Not only do they defy our everyday understanding about how the Universe should work, they confound even the most complex mathematical models. Science writers describe them as “gravitational behemoths” that warp spacetime so much that even light cannot escape the surrounding boundary, known as the “event horizon.” But what lies inside? Well, that doesn’t matter, we argue, everyday physics does not apply once you cross the event horizon.
The horribly unsatisfactory explanation has been battered in recent months when a serious physics confrontation entered the public arena. What goes on inside a black hole’s event horizon has actually caused a theoretical conflagration and now, two theoretical physicists have proposed a new idea that may marry quantum mechanics with gravity, extinguishing the tricky “firewall” and finding a solution to the “information paradox.”
Astronomers analyzing data from the now defunct Herschel infrared space observatory have made a huge discovery deep inside the asteroid belt. Dwarf planet Ceres, the largest body in the region, is generating plumes of water vapor. Read more
The VLT Survey Telescope (VST), located at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) high in the Atacama Desert in Chile, has captured a jaw-dropping view of the Lagoon Nebula — a star-forming interstellar cloud incubating baby stars enshrouded in knots of gas and dust. Read more