astronomy

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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 »

What to Expect From This Weekend's Perseid Meteor Shower

NASA debunks a rumor

(Newser) - Last year's Perseid meteor shower was an extravaganza . Don't expect the same this year. While astronomers are expecting a decent 150 meteors per hour during peak hours between midnight and dawn on Aug. 12 and 13—a little less than the 200 per hour visible in 2016—NASA'... More »

Einstein Said It Would Never Be Seen. It Just Was

Astronomers observe gravitational microlensing between distant stars

(Newser) - Astronomers just proved the great Albert Einstein wrong—by proving him right. Einstein's 1915 theory of relativity says gravity can distort light and alter its path. National Geographic reports Einstein posited that would create a phenomenon called gravitational microlensing between two stars appearing to pass in front of each... More »

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Has Some Company

Astronomers have discovered a 'Great Cold Spot' on Jupiter

(Newser) - It looks like Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot has some company. Astronomers recently discovered a second spot located high in Jupiter's atmosphere, according to a study published Tuesday in Geophysical Research Letters . According to a press release , astronomers are calling this new spot the "Great Cold Spot.... More »

Observatory Gives Real-Time View of Doomed Comet

The newly discovered comet is headed straight for the sun

(Newser) - Scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory discovered a brand-new comet Thursday morning—just in time for it to smash into the sun, CNET reports. It's unclear if the comet will survive long enough to even get a name. The "sungrazing comet"—a poetic name for a... More »

In Friday's Sky, a Triple Feature

Snow moon, eclipse, and a comet will be visible

(Newser) - Consider it a triple feature: Lucky observers who look to the sky Friday night into early Saturday will be treated to a February "snow" moon as well as a lunar eclipse and the flyby of a comet, reports USA Today . As the February full moon crosses through the outer... More »

The Moon Is Older Than We Previously Thought

It's 4.51B years old, according to a new study

(Newser) - It turns out the moon is older than many scientists suspected: a ripe 4.51 billion years old. That's the newest estimate, thanks to rocks and soil collected by the Apollo 14 moonwalkers in 1971, the AP reports. A research team reported Wednesday that the moon formed within 60... More »

Mystery Cosmic Waves Traced to Distant Galaxy

Source is a 'faint and puny galaxy'

(Newser) - Astronomers searching for the origins of a mysterious blast of radio waves have solved the puzzle: a tiny galaxy billions of light years from Earth, Space reports. So-called FRBs (fast radio bursts) twinkle in the sky for only a millisecond, yet they radiate more energy than the sun ever could... More »

Comet to Pass by Earth on New Year's Eve

Comet 45P comes around every five years

(Newser) - While the rest of us are ringing in the New Year with a chambong (that's a beer bong for champagne), the night sky will be welcoming 2017 with a comet. CBS News reports Comet 45P, aka Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, will appear near the crescent moon on Saturday night. The... More »

Pioneering Astronomer Vera Rubin Dies

She overcame sexist barriers to discover dark matter

(Newser) - Vera Rubin, a pioneering astronomer who helped find powerful evidence of dark matter, has died, her son said Monday. She was 88. Rubin's scientific achievements earned her numerous awards and honors, including a National Medal of Science presented by President Bill Clinton in 1993 "for her pioneering research... More »

Star of Bethlehem May Have Been Something Much Rarer

We might not be able to expect Jesus back for another 500K years at least

(Newser) - Christmas cards and carols have been lying to us for years. The Bible says the Star of Bethlehem—or "Christmas Star"—was followed by Magi bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the birthplace of Jesus. But one Notre Dame professor says the famous star wasn't... More »

People Are Freaking Out About 2017 Solar Eclipse

It's predicted to be a once-in-a-lifetime event

(Newser) - It's still 10 months away, but sky gazers are already bursting with excitement—and booking vacations—over what is predicted to be "one of the most spectacular and widely accessible solar shows of our lifetime," per Mother Nature Network . On Aug. 21, 2017, the US will be... More »

9th Planet May Solve 'Mystery' of Our Solar System

It could explain why orbits are tilted 6 degrees

(Newser) - New research may have solved a "deep-rooted mystery" about our solar system and lent credence to the theory that there's a ninth planet chilling beyond Pluto. (Sorry, buddy.) Researchers at Caltech, including Konstantin Batygin and Mike "Pluto Killer" Brown (who first floated the "Planet Nine"... More »

Moon Will Make a Star Vanish on Tuesday Night

Don't fear: It's just an 'occultation'

(Newser) - Sky watchers will get a bit of a show Tuesday night: People across the Eastern US and much of the Southwest will be able to see the moon move in front of Aldebaran, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, a phenomenon known as a lunar occultation, reports... More »

90 Rocks in Australia Could Rank Up There With Stonehenge

Wurdi Youang formation could hold clues to Aboriginal life, origins of agriculture

(Newser) - An ancient Aboriginal site in Australia could be the world's oldest astronomical observatory, and it's a finding that has the potential to adjust our understanding of the dawn of agriculture, the Guardian reports. Researchers trying to determine the age of the Wurdi Youang arrangement say it could date... More »

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