astronomy

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Scientist Passed Over for Nobel Wins $3M, Donates It

The prize money will go to foster diversity in physics

(Newser) - Jocelyn Bell Burnell was a PhD student at Cambridge University some five decades ago when she made an astronomical discovery while reviewing data from a radio telescope: faint, repeating pulses of radio waves. These signals came to be known as pulsars, a type of neutron star described by Scientific American... More »

Good News for Future Lunar Colonists

Astronomers find 'definitive evidence' of ice on moon's surface

(Newser) - Future lunar colonists shouldn't have too much trouble finding water: In a first, astronomers have discovered ice—specifically patches of frost—on the moon's north and south poles, in areas permanently shaded from the sun. Found by observing how molecules absorb infrared light, the ice is particularly concentrated... More »

'Incredible Hulk' Comet Will Soon Whiz Past Earth

Stargazers' best chance to see the cosmic behemoth on Tuesday and Wednesday

(Newser) - A green comet is set to whiz past Earth this week, but blink and you might miss it. Lucky stargazers who look up Tuesday or Wednesday nights will have the best chance to glimpse the celestial object, dubbed the "Incredible Hulk" for its color and considerable size, notes Sputnik... More »

'Blood Moon' Visible From Just One Place in North America

Lucky Canadians...

(Newser) - The punchline is a letdown: Yes, the longest "blood moon" eclipse of the 21st century will occur Friday night, but no, North America won't have a view of it, unless you happen to be in a specific part of Newfoundland, Canada, Vox reports. National Geographic explains it just... More »

World's 'Most Widely Accepted Boundary' May Be Wrong

Astrophysicist says Karman Line is 50 miles above Earth, not 62

(Newser) - Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell calls the Karman Line the world's "most widely accepted boundary." It's otherwise known as the point where space meets Earth's atmosphere, and since before the launch of Sputnik, it's thought to have hovered 62 miles above our heads. Until now. In... More »

Paper: Advanced Civilizations May Be Stealing Starlight

Chicago professor Dan Hooper says it makes perfect sense

(Newser) - Watch out for stars moving across galaxies or losing power—it could be aliens gathering energy before the lights go out. Dan Hooper, an astronomy and astrophysics professor at the University of Chicago, posted a paper in the preprint journal arXiv.org arguing that aliens in far-off galaxies may be... More »

Diamond From the Sky May Have Formed in 'Lost Planet'

Meteorite has traces of proto-planet, researchers say

(Newser) - Fragments of a meteorite that fell to Earth a decade ago provide compelling evidence of a lost planet that once roamed our solar system, researchers say. A team from Switzerland, France, and Germany examined diamonds found inside the Almahata Sitta meteorite and concluded they were most likely formed by a... More »

Milky Way's Center Is a Black Hole 'Farm'

Researchers believe there are thousands

(Newser) - The center of our galaxy is teeming with black holes, sort of like a Times Square for strange super-gravity objects, astronomers have discovered. For decades, scientists theorized that circling in the center of galaxies, including ours, were lots of stellar black holes, collapsed giant stars where the gravity is so... More »

Galaxy With No Dark Matter Baffles Astronomers

NGC1052–DF2 is 'weird'

(Newser) - It's a double cosmic conundrum: Lots of stuff that was already invisible has gone missing. Astronomers have found a distant galaxy where there is no dark matter. Dark matter is called "dark" because it can't be seen. It is the mysterious and invisible skeleton of the universe... More »

Astronomers Detect Signal From 13.4B Years Ago

Signal shows dawn of the universe, possible evidence of dark matter

(Newser) - After the Big Bang, it was cold and black. And then there was light. Now, for the first time, astronomers have glimpsed that dawn of the universe 13.6 billion years ago when the earliest stars were turning on the light in the cosmic darkness, the AP reports. And if... More »

Asteroid Makes a Close Pass on Friday

2018 CB will be much closer to us than the moon, but there's no danger

(Newser) - Celebrate the end of the work week and continued survival of our planet Friday with a glance up at the sky. There, you could get a glimpse of an asteroid whipping past Earth at a distance of 39,000 miles—roughly five times closer to us than the moon—around... More »

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a ... Giant Disco Ball in the Sky?

Rocket Lab says its 'Humanity Star' will shine in the sky for next 9 months

(Newser) - What's being described as a "giant disco ball" was launched into space last week from a New Zealand sheep and cattle farm, and astronomers are miffed, the Guardian reports. Rocket Lab, the space exploration startup responsible for hurling the "Humanity Star" skyward, says the 3-foot-wide carbon-fiber orb... More »

No One Has Set Eyes on This in 150 Years. You Can

'Super blue blood moon' eclipse coming Jan. 31

(Newser) - Look up at the sky on Jan. 31 and you may witness a sight unseen for 150 years. For the first time since 1866, a total lunar eclipse will occur with the blue moon, or second full moon of the month, which—like the one visible on New Year's... More »

Earth Will Get a Spooky Visitor in 2018

Skull-shaped asteroid expected to zip by in November

(Newser) - Earth will get its own Halloween decoration next year, though a little late. In mid-November, a skull-shaped asteroid will make its second flyby past Earth since it was discovered just beyond the moon in October 2015. It went on to pass by Earth on Oct. 31, 2015, prompting it to... More »

Scientists to Check if This 'Messenger' Comes From Aliens

Green Bank telescope will scan 'Oumuamua for signs of alien technology

(Newser) - It's unlikely that the first object found to have visited our solar system from interstellar space is carrying a message from aliens, but scientists will listen for one anyway. Beginning Wednesday, the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia will observe the mysterious cigar-shaped 'Oumuamua across four radio transmission... More »

Meet 'Oumuamua, Our First Guest From Another Solar System

And scientists think there could be thousands more just like it passing through

(Newser) - Houston, we have a visitor—and astronomers think there could be 10,000 more just like it "lurking" in wait, as the Guardian puts it. Meet 1I/2017 U1, or 'Oumuamua (Hawaiian for "messenger" or "scout"), which scientists say is an asteroid from another solar system—... More »

'We Are Dealing With Our 1st Truly Identified Alien Visitor'

Astronomers believe they've confirmed object arrived in our solar system from another

(Newser) - There's something strange in the solar neighborhood. "We've never seen anything like this before," Rob Weryk tells the New York Times . Earlier this month, the astronomer at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy discovered a mysterious object zipping through our solar system. Calculations show it... More »

It Seems Likely Solar System Is Hiding Huge Planet

NASA unveils new evidence for mysterious 'Planet Nine'

(Newser) - Astronomically inclined conspiracy theorists have long been predicting the Earth's demise in a collision with a rogue planet called "Niburu" or "Planet X" biding its time out of sight somewhere in the solar system, CNET reports. In fact, Niburu was "supposed" to crash into Earth just... More »

This Saturday May Be the End of the World, 'Researcher' Says

A mix of astronomy and biblical prophecy

(Newser) - If you had big plans this weekend, David Meade regrets to inform you that the world will be ending Saturday. Meade, a Christian numerologist and self-described "researcher," says Sept. 23 is foretold in the Bible's Book of Revelation as the day a series of catastrophic events will... More »

Repeating Signal From Deep Space Heard Again

FRB 121102 likely a natural occurrence

(Newser) - Astronomers have detected a rare radio signal that originated about 3 billion years ago in a galaxy far, far away. And as one expert puts it, the source is "kind of perplexing." Fast radio bursts, millisecond-long pulses of radio emission from beyond our galaxy, were first discovered a... More »

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