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News

Your online destination for news articles on planets, cosmology, NASA, space missions, and more. You’ll also find information on how to observe upcoming visible sky events such as meteor showers, solar and lunar eclipses, key planetary appearances, comets, and asteroids.

Friday, June 23, 2017

New Hubble find challenges our ideas about galaxies

Objects in the distant universe appear small and difficult to see – unless they’re sitting behind a cosmic magnifying glass. That’s exactly the case for MACS 2129-1, a galaxy lensed by a massive foreground galaxy cluster. Using the ...

NASA is reviewing the WFIRST mission

After establishing an independent review committee earlier this year, NASA announced on June 22 that the committee is looking into costs and scheduling issues with the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission. WFIRST was designed with t...
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Is there another Planet Nine altogether?

Planet Nine, meet … also Planet Nine. Maybe. An Earth or Mars-sized world — or even two — may exist on the outskirts of the Kuiper Belt at an eight degree inclined orbit, shifting a number of Kuiper Belt orbits up to a similar in...

This brown dwarf used to be inside its white dwarf companion.

About 2,700 light years away from Earth, an incredibly rare event is occurring: a white dwarf and brown dwarf are closely orbiting each other in less than an hour and a half. The white dwarf, which scientists are calling WD 1202-024, was discovered...
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Can you find the Curiosity rover in this photo?

While monitoring Mars on June 5, 2017, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped a picture that included the Curiosity rover. The 10-foot long, 9-foot wide (3 meters long, 2.8 meters wide) rover was between Mount Sharp and “Vera Rubin R...
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The fate of NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is still undecided

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is low on hydrazine fuel and missing some wheels, but its fate after its current mission ends June 30 is still being decided. The solar-powered spacecraft was launched back in September 2007 to study protoplanets in th...

A bright protostar lit up its sibling to life

A young star bursting with activity may have lit the torch that kicked another protostar on its path to a full-fledged stellar machine. HOPS 370, a protostar 1,400 light years away in Orion, sent an outflow event toward HOPS 108. HOPS 370 has a fe...
Monday, June 19, 2017

Wildfires in Arizona are threatening important observatories

As the Frye Fire ranged in Arizona, it crept up too close for comfort to several important observatories, including the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), and the Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope ...

Kepler yields a handful of promising planetary candidates

The newest Kepler catalog draws out 219 new planetary candidates and infers that 10 of them may be habitable — doubling the number of planetary candidates in the habitable zone of their star. The Kepler catalog now stands at 2,335 confirmed pla...
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Researchers simulate a black hole in the bath

Have you ever wondered what things are like near a black hole? To find out, consider getting in the bath. Researchers at the University of Nottingham have recently done essentially just that, studying the effects of waves in an experimental water bat...

Stars may all be born in pairs and lose their siblings later

A cloud of gas and young stars in the Perseus molecular cloud may be revealing a strange truth to the universe: most, if not all, stars are born in pairs. This means that somewhere out there, the Sun has a lost companion — and it may be one of ...
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Total eclipse of a planet

August 21 is the Great American Eclipse — the first total solar eclipse in American history exclusive to the US. Elsewhere on Earth, though, a total solar eclipse occurs roughly every 18 months. But what about other planets? Can they happen the...

Life on TRAPPIST-1 could hitch a ride on meteors between worlds

The TRAPPIST-1 planetary system could be one of the most promising places to find life … if its star isn’t too volatile. A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that if the system is habitabl...

Jupiter has two new moons

As if the gas giant wasn’t impressive enough, Jupiter’s already long list of moons has just grown by two. While on the hunt for Planet X, DTM staff scientist Scott Sheppard, along with David Tholen from the University of Hawaii and Chad...
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Galaxies are locked in place by their surroundings

Galaxies can be used as tracers for numerous characteristics of the universe, including the “cosmic web” of hydrogen gas that connects galaxies and follows the distribution of dark matter filaments throughout the cosmos. Looking at where ...

Get a sneak peek of August’s total solar eclipse

This helpful new tool may give you a better idea of where to go to watch the total solar eclipse. The University of California, Berkeley teamed up with Google to create the Eclipse Megamovie Project, a new simulator that can show what the eclipse w...
Monday, June 12, 2017

Hubble spies on nearby brown dwarfs

Sometimes, it’s our closest neighbors that are the most difficult to spy on. Case in point: The Luhman 16 AB system, which is the third-closest stellar system to our Sun, yet was not discovered until 2013. After three years of subsequent monito...
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