astronomy

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DeGrasse Tyson Accused of Sexual Assault, Rape

Fox, National Geographic are investigating

(Newser) - Next up, Neil deGrasse Tyson? The world-famous astrophysicist is under investigation after two women claimed he behaved inappropriately with them—and an old rape claim re-emerged online, Deadline reports. Fox and National Geographic, the networks behind his show Cosmos, have joined the show's producers in investigating the two more... More »

Get Ready, Night Owls: Leonids Return This Weekend

Peak viewing time is before dawn on Sunday

(Newser) - It's time again for the Leonids, the meteor shower repeated annually in mid-November. It comes as Earth passes through a trail of debris left by the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 33 years. Earth will pass through the thickest part of debris at 7pm EST Saturday,... More »

Astronomers Discover 'Super-Earth' 6 Light Years Away

Barnard's Star b is bigger than Earth and very cold

(Newser) - Barnard’s Star, a red dwarf star located in a solar system about six light-years away from Earth, may have some company. Researchers of the “exoplanet-hunting” group Red Dots have detected a planet—some 3.2 times the Earth’s mass and very cold—orbiting the star, Smithsonian reports.... More »

Potential Moon Discovery Has Astronomers Electrified

Scientists may have found the first planetary satellite outside our solar system

(Newser) - Astronomers may have found the first moon outside our solar system. Per the AP , two Columbia University researchers presented their tantalizing evidence Wednesday. Plenty of planets exist beyond our solar system, but a moon around one of those worlds has yet to be confirmed. The potential moon would be considerably... More »

Galileo Got Sneaky in Bid to Fend Off Inquisition

Scholars say he edited his own letter to soften his views

(Newser) - Galileo: groundbreaking astronomer and early master of spin. UK researchers say they have found a long-lost letter written by Galileo that shows he engaged in a little deception to fend off the Inquisition. It's all laid out in Nature , and it takes a little unpacking. The saga began when... More »

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 »

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