astronomy

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Milky Way's Black Hole Is Unveiled
Milky Way's
Black Hole
Is Unveiled

Milky Way's Black Hole Is Unveiled

Astronomers offer first look at 'gentle giant' Sagittarius A*

(Newser) - The world got a look Thursday at the first wild but fuzzy image of the supermassive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, per the AP . Astronomers believe nearly all galaxies, including our own, have these giant black holes at their center, where light and matter...

Venus, Jupiter to Converge This Weekend

Planets' conjunction best viewed early Saturday

(Newser) - Despite being millions of miles apart, Venus and Jupiter appear to meet in the night sky about once a year in what's known as a conjunction. But skywatchers who take in the sight this year are in for a real treat, as the planets will appear much closer than...

Scientists Baffled by Neptune's Temperature Swings
Scientists Baffled by
Neptune's Temperature Swings
NEW STUDY

Scientists Baffled by Neptune's Temperature Swings

Temps should be 'slowly growing warmer, not colder' amid southern summer

(Newser) - Neptune's southern hemisphere has spent the last 17 years in its summer season, yet global temperatures have plummeted. It's a head-scratching finding that leaves astronomers with more questions than answers. "Since we have been observing Neptune during its early southern summer, we would expect temperatures to be...

'Earendel' Is Most Distant Star Ever Seen

Light from long-dead star took 12.8 billion years to reach us

(Newser) - Scientists are expecting great things from the new James Webb Space Telescope, but its predecessor is still helping them spot cosmic wonders including what is believed to be the most distant star ever seen. Light from Earendel, which got its nickname from the Old English word for morning star,"...

He Discovered an Asteroid—Then Its Earth-Bound Path
He Discovered an
Asteroid—Then Its
Earth-Bound Path
in case you missed it

He Discovered an Asteroid—Then Its Earth-Bound Path

It soon after struck Earth's atmosphere over Norwegian sea, as NASA system predicted

(Newser) - An asteroid was spotted for the first time Friday only about two hours before it entered into Earth's atmosphere. NASA's early warning system that detects near-Earth objects was put to the test after astronomer Krisztián Sarneczky at the Piszkésteto Observatory in northern Hungary notified the Minor...

$10B Space Telescope Is Beating Expectations

'We are excited about what this means for science'

(Newser) - "All of the sleepless nights I've had and the worries I've had, they're all behind us now," NASA associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said after tests confirmed that the James Webb Space Telescope is performing even better than expected. Engineers say the "fine phasing" process,...

Our 'Nearest Black Hole' Isn't a Black Hole at All
Our 'Nearest Black Hole'
Isn't a Black Hole at All
NEW STUDY

Our 'Nearest Black Hole' Isn't a Black Hole at All

New research indicates 'vampire' star is feeding on its neighbor

(Newser) - European astronomers have put out something of a retraction: that black hole said to be the closest to Earth ever found —well, it doesn't exist. They're not too bothered, however. European Southern Observatory emeritus astronomer Dietrich Baade, co-author of the new research, says their error led to...

In Our 'Galactic Backyard,' Signals Never Seen Before
'Spooky' Find Could
Be New Kind of Star
NEW STUDY

'Spooky' Find Could Be New Kind of Star

Signals never observed before may point to ultra-long period magnetar

(Newser) - Something in our galaxy was emitting radio wave beams every 20 minutes, unlike anything observed before, and astronomers think they know what it is. "It's definitely not aliens," says Natasha Hurley-Walker, radio astronomer and lead author of a study on the mysterious object, published in the journal...

Astronomers Puzzled by 'Radically Different' Solar System

Planets around HD 3167 have perpendicular orbits

(Newser) - In some solar systems, including our own, planets orbit around the star's equator. In others, they orbit around the star's poles—and in one that has puzzled astronomers, both kinds of orbit have been observed. Researchers say that in the HD 3167 system around 150 light years away,...

Summer Skies Are About to Put On a Big Show

Look for the Perseid meteor showers, the Buck moon, and an appearance by the Milky Way

(Newser) - It’s summer in the US—time to find a park, a yard, a dark, quiet place, and look at the stars. The star of the show is always the Perseid meteor shower, which starts soon (usually July 14) and lasts about a month, peaking in mid to early August....

Millions of Years After Big Bang, a 'Cosmic Dawn'

Astronomers say they've figured out when first stars began shining

(Newser) - For his entire working life, Richard Ellis has been obsessed with finding out when the universe's first stars began shining. Now, in a new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal, Ellis and his team at University College London say they've pinpointed the...

String of Lights Across the Sky Prompts Calls

Low-flying SpaceX satellites obscure the view for professionals and amateurs

(Newser) - A string of lights that lobbed across the night sky in parts of the US on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday had some people wondering if a fleet of UFOs was coming, but it had others—mostly amateur stargazers and professional astronomers—lamenting the industrialization of space. The train of lights...

Our Sister Planet Just Got Undressed
Our Sister Planet
Just Got Undressed
NEW STUDY

Our Sister Planet Just Got Undressed

Venus' fundamental properties revealed through radar speckle tracking

(Newser) - Scientists have parted the clouds on Venus, our shrouded neighbor, revealing the length of its day, the rough size of its core, and the tilt of its axis. All this took almost 15 years to figure out. Between 2006 and 2020, Jean-Luc Margot and colleagues at the University of California,...

Study: Interstellar Visitor Is Chunk of Distant Planet

Oumuamua is a cookie-shaped sliver of nitrogen ice, researchers say

(Newser) - Our solar system’s first known interstellar visitor is neither a comet nor asteroid as first suspected and looks nothing like a cigar. A new study says the mystery object is likely a remnant of a Pluto-like world and is shaped like a cookie. Arizona State University astronomers say the...

Somewhere Here Lies an Ancient Space Relic
Somewhere Here Lies
an Ancient Space Relic
in case you missed it

Somewhere Here Lies an Ancient Space Relic

It just dropped from space, and the search is on

(Newser) - The search is on for an apricot-sized meteorite somewhere near Aiguillon, France. Cameras at an astronomy facility in Mauraux spotted the small space rock falling to Earth over southwest France last weekend, per the Guardian . The meteorite landed at 10:43pm Saturday near Aiguillon, some 60 miles southeast of Bordeaux,...

Once-in-a-Lifetime Event to Occur Monday After Sunset

A Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter last happened in 1623

(Newser) - Jupiter and Saturn will merge in the night sky Monday, appearing closer to one another than they have since Galileo’s time in the 17th century, the AP reports. Astronomers say so-called conjunctions between the two largest planets in our solar system aren't particularly rare. Jupiter passes its neighbor...

Astronomers: There's a Space 'Superhighway'
Astronomers Find
Cosmic 'Superhighways'
new paper

Astronomers Find Cosmic 'Superhighways'

Researchers call it a 'true celestial autobahn'

(Newser) - Think space travel is just too slow? Well, good news: Astronomers say they've uncovered an "autobahn" of invisible interactions that moves objects along—and might just speed up space exploration, Science Alert reports. The new research hinges on "manifolds," or gravitational regions that exist between orbital...

They Know the Risks. They Want to Save Telescope Anyway

Petition, letter to Congress part of efforts to keep Arecibo landmark from being demolished

(Newser) - News last week that an iconic radio telescope that has gazed upon the cosmos for nearly six decades would be decommissioned and demolished has hit the scientific community hard, and now it's fighting to keep the astronomy landmark alive. The telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico sustained...

Astronomers Find Source of Mysterious Radio Burst

It was tracked to a 'magnetar' in our own galaxy

(Newser) - A flash of luck helped astronomers solve a cosmic mystery: What causes powerful but fleeting radio bursts that zip and zigzag through the universe? Scientists have known about these energetic pulses—called fast radio bursts—for about 13 years and have seen them coming from outside our galaxy, which makes...

This Is the Week to Look Up at Mars
This Is
the Week
to Look Up
at Mars

This Is the Week to Look Up at Mars

Red planet will be very visible in the night sky

(Newser) - If you're looking for a little break from earthly concerns, Mars might provide an option this week. The red planet is particularly visible to the naked eye in the night sky thanks to a confluence of events, reports NPR . In fact, this will be the best week to see...

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