The Mysteries Of Pluto Beating Heart

The Mysteries Of Pluto Beating Heart

The Mysteries Of Pluto Beating Heart. Scientists are offering several new scenarios to explain the formation of Pluto’s frozen heart-shaped feature, first spotted by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. Researchers have focused on the heart’s western lobe, informally named Sputnik Planitia, a deep basin containing three kinds of ices—frozen[…]

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21 August Total Solar Eclipse In The USA

21 August Total Solar Eclipse In The USA

21 August Total Solar Eclipse In The USA. On Aug. 21, 2017, people across the United States will see the sun disappear behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight, causing the temperature drop rapidly and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the moon. On that day,[…]

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Water Found Deep Inside The Moon

Water Found Deep Inside The Moon

Water Found Deep Inside The Moon. Laboratory analyses of lunar samples provide a direct means to identify indigenous volatiles and have been used to argue for the presence of Earth-like water content in the lunar interior. Some volatile elements, however, have been interpreted as evidence for a bulk lunar mantle[…]

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The Battle For The Moon Begins

The Battle For The Moon Begins

The Battle For The Moon Begins. The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, better known as the Moon Treaty or Moon Agreement, is an international treaty that turns jurisdiction of all celestial bodies (including the orbits around such bodies) over to the international community. Thus, all activities must conform to[…]

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One Of The Largest Structures In The Universe

One Of The Largest Structures In The Universe

One Of The Largest Structures In The Universe. The Saraswati Supercluster is an extremely massive galaxy supercluster discovered in the Stripe 82 region of SDSS that falls in the direction of the Pisces constellation. Named after both, a Hindu goddess and an ancient river. The  Saraswati supercluster is a major concentration of galaxies and galaxy clusters, forming a galaxy wall like structure, and[…]

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Juno Spots Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Juno Spots Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Juno Spots Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. The Juno spacecraft launched aboard an Atlas V-551 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Aug. 5, 2011, and reached Jupiter in July 2016. The spacecraft will orbit Jupiter 32 times, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometres) above the planet’s cloud tops, for approximately[…]

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5 Largest Known Impact Craters On Earth

5 Largest Known Impact Craters On Earth

5 Largest Known Impact Craters On Earth. A leading astrophysicist from Queen’s University Belfast has warned that an asteroid strike is just a matter of time. Professor Alan Fitzsimmons from the University’s Astrophysics Research Centre has said it is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than[…]

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The Next Generation Planet Hunter.

The Next Generation Planet Hunter

The Next Generation Planet Hunter. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a planned space telescope for NASA’s Explorers programme, designed to search for exoplanets using the transit method. It is planned for launch in March 2018. The primary mission objective for TESS is to survey the brightest stars near the Earth for transiting exoplanets over a two-year period.[…]

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Water-Rich History On Mars

Water-Rich History On Mars

Water-Rich History On Mars. Ever since Galileo began looking at astronomical objects through telescopes, people have been able to observe the seasonal growth and decay of the Martian polar caps. Until recently, scientists assumed they were analogous to the ones on Earth. In 1877, Italian Giovanni Schiaparelli observed lined features[…]

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The Milky Way Black Hole’s Last Big Meal

The Milky Way Black Hole’s Last Big Meal

The Milky Way Black Hole’s Last Big Meal. Astronomers have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to take a major step in understanding why material around Sgr A* is extraordinarily faint in X-rays. Sgr A* is the centre of the Milky Way galaxy, the supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*. The large image below contains X-rays from Chandra in blue and[…]

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Astronomers Say Milky Way Resides In A Great Cosmic Void

Astronomers Say Milky Way Resides In A Great Cosmic Void

Astronomers Say Milky Way Resides In A Great Cosmic Void. The Laniakea Supercluster, also called Local Supercluster or Local SCl or sometimes Lenakaeia, is the galaxy supercluster that is home to the Milky Way and approximately 100,000 other nearby galaxies. It was defined in September 2014, when a group of astronomers including R. Brent Tully of the University of Hawaii and Hélène Courtois of the University of[…]

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NGC 3918

NGC 3918

NGC 3918. NGC 3918 is the brightest planetary nebula in the southern constellation of Centaurus, nicknamed the “Blue Planetary” or “The Southerner”. It was discovered by Sir John Herschel in March 1834, and around 4900 light-years from Earth. The slightly oval diameter is telescopically between 8 and 10 arcsec, though deep images extends this to about[…]

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The Mysterious Cold Spot In The Universe

The Mysterious Cold Spot In The Universe

The Mysterious Cold Spot In The Universe. A recent astronomical observation of a “cold spot” in the universe is stirring the interest of scientists who are intrigued with an exciting and highly speculative theory that there may be more than one universe. Now before you get incredibly excited about that[…]

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Who Is In Charge Of Outer Space?

Who Is In Charge Of Outer Space?

Who Is In Charge Of Outer Space? The Outer Space Treaty, as it is known, was the second of the so-called “non-armament” treaties; its concepts and some of its provisions were modelled on its predecessor, the Antarctic Treaty. Like that Treaty it sought to prevent “a new form of colonial[…]

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The Most Mysterious Star In The Galaxy.

The Most Mysterious Star In The Galaxy

The Most Mysterious Star In The Galaxy. Kepler-Input Catalogue (KIC) 8462852, also Tabby’s Star or Boyajian’s Star, is an F-type main-sequence star located in the constellation Cygnus approximately 1,276.6 light-years from Earth. Unusual light fluctuations of the star were discovered by citizen scientists as part of the Planet Hunters project, and in September 2015 astronomers and citizen scientists associated with the project posted a preprint of[…]

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IC 1396

IC 1396

IC 1396. IC 1396 is one of the largest emission nebulae north of the celestial equator in the Constellation Cepheus (The King). It is a vast shell-shaped star forming region nearly 3,000 light-years away in southern Cephei, just 1.5 degree south-southwest of the 4th magnitude orange gem Mu Cephei, also[…]

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The Cat’s Paw Nebula

The Cat’s Paw Nebula

The Cat’s Paw Nebula. NGC 6334, also known as the Cat’s Paw Nebula, Bear Claw Nebula and Gum 64, is one definition of weird: a bubbling mix of nebulous porridge about 50 light-years across, that just may be one of the most productive star-forming regions in the Milky Way. It was discovered by astronomer John Herschel in[…]

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NGC 6820

NGC 6820. NGC 6820, an expansive emission and reflection nebula that surrounds the 7th-magnitude open cluster NGC 6823, is about 6,000 light-years away from Earth in the faint 5th-magnitude northern Vulpeculae Constellation (the Little Fox) , near M27, the Dumbbell Nebula. It is also called Sharpless catalogue Sh 2-86. The most striking feature is the trunk-like pillar of dust[…]

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The Spiderweb Galaxy.

The Spiderweb Galaxy

The Spiderweb Galaxy. The Spiderweb Galaxy or PGC 2826829 (also known as MRC 1138-262) is an irregular galaxy with a redshift of 2.156, which is 10.6 billion light years away from Earth. It is located in the southern constellation of Hydra (the water snake) and is one of the most massive galaxies known. It has been recently imaged by[…]

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Lynds Bright Nebula 159.

Lynds Bright Nebula 159

Lynds Bright Nebula 159. Over 150 light-years across, this cosmic maelstrom of gas and dust is not too far away, with massive stars forming within. The bright, compact, butterfly-shaped nebula (see Featured Image Above) above and left of center likely contains massive stars in a very early stage of formation. This spectacular region[…]

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Mercury Is Shrinking

Mercury Is Shrinking

Mercury Is Shrinking. Astronomers have discovered a large valley on Mercury that provides further evidence for the planet’s shrinkage — an odd phenomenon that has been the topic of debate for decades. NASA created a video overview of Mercury’s Great Valley. This newfound feature is about 620 miles long, 250 miles[…]

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Spectacular Star Explosion in 2022.

Spectacular Star Explosion in 2022

Spectacular Star Explosion in 2022.   Astronomers have detected two stars that are on course to collide and create a spectacular explosion in Earth’s sky sometime between 2021 and 2023. This binary star system is known as KIC 9832227 and consists of two stars that orbit each other once every 11[…]

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Spare Tire Nebula

Spare Tire Nebula

Spare Tire Nebula. IC 5148, nicknamed the Spare Tyre Nebula, is a planetary nebula located around 1 degree west of Lambda Gruis (λ) in the southern constellation of Grus or the Crane (See top right of Grus map). It was independently discovered in 1894 by Walter Gale and in 1899 by Lewis Swift. It is 3,000 light[…]

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Colliding Galaxy Clusters.

Colliding Galaxy Clusters

Colliding Galaxy Clusters. Galaxy clusters contain a few to thousands of galaxies and are the largest bound structures in the universe. Most galaxies are members of a cluster. Our Milky Way, for example, is a member of the “Local Group,” a set of about fifty galaxies whose other large member[…]

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IAU Formally Approves 227 Star Names.

IAU Formally Approves 227 Star Names

IAU Formally Approves 227 Star Names. You would have thought that some of the stars’ names, like those that form the Ursa Major constellation, which we all are so familiar with had already been formalised. Well, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) just accomplished that for 227 such well known stars[…]

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Cosmic Rays

Cosmic Rays

Cosmic Rays. A 29 year-old physicist named Victor Hess discovered cosmic rays, and his research won him the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on cosmic radiation in 1936. He immigrated to the United States after he received threats from the Nazis (his wife was Jewish), where he became[…]

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Spectacular new observations of vast pillar-like structures within the Carina Nebula have been made using the MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope. The different pillars analysed by an international team seem to be pillars of destruction

Pillars Of Cosmic Destruction

Pillars Of Cosmic Destruction. Spectacular new observations of vast pillar-like structures within the Carina Nebula have been made using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The different pillars analysed by an international team seem to be pillars of destruction – in contrast to the name of the iconic[…]

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Magnetar SGR 1806-20.

Magnetar SGR 1806-20

Magnetar SGR 1806-20. SGR 1806-20 is a magnetar about 50,000 light-years from Earth. It is a rare type of neutron star, a stellar remnant of a dying star with a particularly powerful magnetic field strong enough to destroy your old floppy disk collection from millions of miles away. When smaller[…]

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Titan

Titan

Titan. Titan, the largest moon of the ringed gas giant planet of Saturn, is also the second largest moon in the Solar System, being slightly more voluminous than the planet Mercury. What makes it most unique, however, is that it is the only moon in the Solar System to sport[…]

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Mission to Mars

Mission to Mars

Mission to Mars. President Barack Obama announced Tuesday 11th October that NASA will send astronauts to Mars before the end of the 2030s, reaffirming a directive he gave the space agency back in 2010. But there’s no guarantee that NASA will get there first; several other organizations also have the Red Planet in their sights, and[…]

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Universe Expanding Faster Than Expected.

Universe Expanding Faster Than Expected

Universe Expanding Faster Than Expected. Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have discovered that the universe is expanding 5 percent to 9 percent faster than expected. “This surprising finding may be an important clue to understanding those mysterious parts of the universe that make up 95 percent of everything and[…]

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Star Cluster Terzan 5

Star Cluster Terzan 5

Star Cluster Terzan 5. Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck Telescope, have revealed the unusual mix of stars in the star cluster known as Terzan 5. This object resembles a globular cluster, but is like no other cluster known, and is in[…]

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SETI Investigating Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

SETI Investigating Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

SETI Investigating Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space. An international team of scientists from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is investigating mysterious signal spikes emitting from a 6.3-billion-year-old star in the constellation Hercules—95 light years away from Earth. The implications are extraordinary and point to the possibility of a civilization[…]

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Closest Potentially Habitable Planet

Closest Potentially Habitable Planet

Closest Potentially Habitable Planet. Proxima Centauri b, also called Proxima b, is an exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Sun. It is located about 4.2 light-years or 40 trillion km (25 trillion miles) from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus, making it the closest known exoplanet to the Solar System. Upon[…]

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Astronomical Milestones Since 2010.

Astronomical Milestones Since 2010

Astronomical Milestones Since 2010. 2011: The MESSENGER spacecraft enter orbit around Mercury, the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory – including the Curiosity rover – towards the Red Planet, and the Dawn spacecraft enter orbit around asteroid 4 Vesta. Scientists launched the Juno mission that has just arrived at Jupiter,[…]

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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (GRS) is apparently also red hot, where the highest temperatures ever observed on the planet were recently detected in the region above the ginormous storm. It is a massive storm about twice the diameter of Earth that lies in lowest layer of[…]

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Black Holes

Black Holes

Black Holes A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying. Because no light can get out,[…]

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Juno Reaches Jupiter

Juno Reaches Jupiter

Juno Reaches Jupiter The Juno mission, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA was launched on Aug. 5, 2011 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Juno is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, directed from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency’s[…]

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Swift J1834.9-0846

Astronomers Find First Wind Nebula

Astronomers Find First Wind Nebula Astronomers have discovered a vast cloud of high-energy particles called a wind nebula around a rare ultra-magnetic neutron star, or magnetar, for the first time. The find offers a unique window into the properties, environment and outburst history of magnetars, which are the strongest magnets[…]

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The Size of the Universe

The Size of the Universe Exactly how large is the universe? Today’s scientists inform us that the observable universe is about 93 billion light years across. A light year is a unit of astronomical distance equivalent to the distance that light travels in one year, which is about 6 million[…]

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The Lobster Nebula

The Lobster Nebula NGC 6357 is a diffuse nebula near NGC 6334, about 8,000 light years away, located in the constellation Scorpius. The nebula contains many proto-stars shielded by dark disks of gas, and young stars wrapped in expanding “cocoons” or expanding gases surrounding these small stars. Also known as the Lobster Nebula, it is one of the[…]

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The 9th Planet

The 9th Planet In January 2016, astronomers at Caltech in the U.S. stunned the world by announcing the discovery of a very distant outer planet in the Solar System. Now, a team at the University of Bern in Switzerland has worked out what they say are upper and lower limits[…]

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Lunar Landings To Date

Lunar Landings To Date On June 2, 1966, NASA landed Surveyor 1 on the Ocean of Storms, touching down just months after Russia’s Luna 9 became the first spacecraft to softly land on an extraterrestrial world. But America scored a hole in one: previous U.S. attempts to hard land or[…]

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Andromeda Galaxy’s Gamma Rays Detected

Andromeda Galaxy’s Gamma Rays Detected More than 2.5 million light-years from Earth, the Andromeda galaxy is our Milky Way’s de facto twin. The two galaxies carry similar masses and swirl through space with graceful spiral arms. And if three Russian astronomers are right, Andromeda also shares a surprising skill with the Milky[…]

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ALMA Spots Monstrous Infant Galaxies

ALMA Spots Monstrous Infant Galaxies We are living in a relatively quiet period in the history of the Universe where there aren’t any monstrous galaxies left in the modern Universe. Astronomers, however, believe that the original young galaxies matured into giant elliptical galaxies which are seen today. Current galaxy formation theories[…]

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The Magnetic Universe

The Magnetic Universe There is a tangled web of magnetism running across the Milky Way. Although you cannot see it, this fundamental force winds through the spiral arms and influences everything from the formation of stars to the galaxy’s structure. Where does it come from? How does it affect us?[…]

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Europa

Europa Europa was discovered on 8 January 1610 by Galileo Galilei. The discovery, along with three other Jovian moons, was the first time a moon was discovered orbiting a planet other than Earth. The discovery of the four Galilean satellites strengthened the view that planets in our solar system orbit[…]

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