Spacebuzz

Blog posts tagged with astronomy

Posts in the past four weeks

Saturday
Sep 13 2014
01:31 UTC

How to Take Great Pictures of the Northern Lights

Everybody loves pictures of the northern lights? If you've never tried to shoot the aurora yourself but always wanted to,┬here are a few tips to┬get you started.(...)Read the rest of How to Take Great Pictures of the Northern Lights (884 words) ┬ Bob King for Universe Today, 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Post […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Sep 12 2014
20:17 UTC

Saturn: King of the Rings and Moons

This Planet Endlessly Fascinates Viewers When I was a little kid, I found a book in the Time-Life series about planets. I could barely understand most of the words, but the pictures spoke loudly. In particular, one image of a strange-looking planet with a ring around it caught my imagination. It seemed like the most […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Friday
Sep 12 2014
19:36 UTC

Will Aurora Strike Tonight? Here's What to Expect

Auroras showed up┬as forecast last night beginning around nightfall and lasting until about 1 a. m. CDT this morning.┬Then the action stopped. At peak, the Kp index┬dinged the bell at┬“5” (minor geogmagnetic storm) for about 6┬hours as the incoming shock from the arrival of the solar blast rattled Earth's magnetosphere. It wasn't a particularly bright aurora […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Sep 12 2014
18:01 UTC

An Incredible Journey, Mars Curiosity Rover Reaches the Base of Mount Sharp

Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have announced that the Mars Science Lab (MSL), Curiosity Rover, has reached the base of the central peak inside Gale Crater, Aeolis Mons also known as Mount Sharp. Mount Sharp is a┬prime objective of NASA's┬Curiosity journey. The mountain is like a layer cake, holding a chronology of past events, […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Sep 12 2014
17:29 UTC

Northern Lights Alert 12/13 September 2014

Stargazers in the northern UK should look out for northern lights tonight and tomorrow, Friday 12 and Saturday 13 September 2014. Two large solar eruptions blasted material off the Sun on 9 and 10 September, and that material has been hurtling through space for the last couple of days. The first batch of it hit […]

Posted by Dark Sky Diary

Friday
Sep 12 2014
17:15 UTC

Calling All Volunteers to Help Digitize Astronomical History

An old brick building on Harvard's Observatory Hill is overflowing with rows of dark green cabinets each one filled to the brim with hundreds of astronomical glass plates in paper sleeves: old-fashioned photographic negatives of the night sky. All in all there are more than 500,000 plates preserving roughly a century of information about […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Sep 12 2014
13:55 UTC

Wow! Water Ice Clouds Suspected In Brown Dwarf Beyond The Solar System

What are planetary atmospheres made of? Figuring out the answer to that question is a big step on the road to learning about habitability, assuming that life tends to flourish in atmospheres like our own. While there is a debate about how indicative the presence of, say, oxygen or water is of life on Earth-like […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Sep 12 2014
12:51 UTC

Lunar Love: Stunning Shots Abound In Phases Around The SuperMoon

While the SuperMoon of earlier this week got a lot of attention — and rightly so, given the Moon was closest in its orbit to Earth when it was full — the waning and waxing phases around our celestial neighbor are also beautiful. Haunting, in fact. (...)Read the rest of Lunar Love: Stunning Shots Abound […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Sep 12 2014
04:08 UTC

Clear Skies Tonight? Go Out and See the Aurora

Talk of aurora is in the air. ┬Our earlier story today by Elizabeth Howell alerted you to the possibility of northern lights. Well, it's showtime! ┬As of 9:30 p. m. Central┬Daylight Time, the aurora has been active low in the northern sky. (...)Read the rest of Clear Skies Tonight? Go Out and See the Aurora (371 […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Sep 11 2014
20:49 UTC

Space Weather Headed Our Way

Watch the Skies ┬if You Can! In case you haven't heard, the Sun emitted an extremely strong flare and a huge coronal mass ejection our way a couple of days ago. ┬Here's what it looked like (left). Currently space weather experts — the folks who track and try to understand solar storms — expect that […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Thursday
Sep 11 2014
13:11 UTC

A Lurking Companion Star Explains Enigmatic Supernova

Massive stars end their lives dramatically. Once the nuclear fuel deep within their cores is spent, there's no longer any outward pressure to push against gravity, and the star collapses. But while the inner layers fall in to form a black hole or a neutron star, the outer layers fall faster, hitting the inner layers, […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Sep 10 2014
18:25 UTC

Elemental Mystery: Lithium Is Also Rare Outside Of The Milky Way

This new picture of M54 — a part of a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way called the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy — is part of a “test case” astronomers have to figure out a mystery of missing lithium. For decades, astronomers have been aware of a dearth of lithium in our own galaxy, the Milky […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Sep 09 2014
22:19 UTC

Bumper Car Moonlets Crash and Crumble in Saturn's F Ring

Nothing stands still. Everything evolves. So why shouldn't Saturn's kookie, clumpy F ring put on a new face from time to time?┬(...)Read the rest of Bumper Car Moonlets Crash and Crumble in Saturn's F Ring (612 words) ┬ Bob King for Universe Today, 2014. | Permalink | No comment | Post tags: Cassini, clumps, F-Ring, […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Sep 09 2014
20:28 UTC

Tales (Tails?) Of Three Comets

As the Chinese proverb says, May you live in interesting times, and while the promise of Comet ISON dazzling observers didn't exactly pan out as hoped for in early┬2014, we now have a bevy of binocular comets set to grace evening skies for northern hemisphere observers.(...)Read the rest of Tales (Tails?) Of Three Comets (1,252 […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Sep 09 2014
15:23 UTC

How Dark Matter Could Reduce The Fleet Of Galaxies Following The Milky Way

Funny how small particle interactions can have such a big effect on the neighbors of the Milky Way. For a while, scientists have been puzzled about the dearth of small satellite galaxies surrounding our home galaxy. They thought that cold dark matter in our galaxy should encourage small galaxies to form, which created a puzzle. […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Sep 09 2014
13:30 UTC

Gliese 15Ab: The Closest Known Super-Earth?

Our solar neighborhood is rich with planetary systems. Within 20 light-years we've detected sizzling gas giants and rocky planets orbiting closer to their host star than Mercury orbits the Sun. Astronomers have now added one more to the list, and this one a super-Earth dubbed Gliese 15Ab ranks as one of the closest […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Sep 08 2014
18:52 UTC

The Nicaragua Crater: The Result of a Meteorite Impact or Not?

By now, you've seen the pictures. As astronomers tracked the close pass of Near Earth Asteroid 2014 RC this weekend, reports came out of Nicaragua that a possible meteorite struck near the capital of Managua. Details are still sketchy, but government sources cite reports of a loud bang and ground tremor late Saturday night on […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Sep 08 2014
18:29 UTC

Rosetta Reveals Tip of the Comet 67P Knowledge Iceberg

Mapping Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko If you've ever wondered about the surface of a comet ┬and why not? ┬wonder no more. The Rosetta mission has figuratively ripped the fuzzy veil away from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (Comet 67P for short) mapped its surface, and done preliminary analysis of what that surface is like. That's just for starters! It turns […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Monday
Sep 08 2014
14:15 UTC

Rosetta's Cloudy Comet Shroud Spotted From The Ground, While Spacecraft Picks Up Dust Grains

This picture shows it is possible to look at Rosetta's comet from Earth, but what a lot of work it requires! The picture you see above is a composite of 40 separate images taken by the Very Large Telescope (removing the background stars). Despite the fact that Rosetta is right next to Comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko, ground-based […]

Posted by Universe Today

Saturday
Sep 06 2014
16:10 UTC

Watch Final Summer Supermoon This Weekend

... supermoon is on the rise.

Posted by Breaking Orbit

Saturday
Sep 06 2014
02:43 UTC

MAVEN Mars Orbiter Ideally Poised to Uniquely Map Comet Siding Spring Composition — Exclusive Interview with Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky

NASA's MAVEN Mars Orbiter is ideally instrumented to uniquely map the composition of Comet Siding Spring in great detail when it streaks past the Red Planet during an extremely close flyby on Oct. 19, 2014 – thereby providing a totally unexpected science opportunity and a before and after look at Mars atmosphere, Prof. Bruce […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Sep 05 2014
16:08 UTC

Second Possible Proto-Planet Found In System Pretty Close To Earth

Astronomers have found what they believe is a second protoplanet around HD100546, a youngster star that may also host a planet under formation that is the size of Jupiter. This new find is at least times the size of Jupiter and about the equivalent distance of Saturn to our own Sun, which means the planet […]

Posted by Universe Today

Friday
Sep 05 2014
14:30 UTC

Humanity's Fascination with Mars

The Red Planet Beckons I've written a lot about Mars in recent years, and so have lots of other people, so I'm going to muse about a new book by one of those folks, and then talk of my own history of writing and teaching about the Red Planet. Without a doubt, the planet remains […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Friday
Sep 05 2014
13:30 UTC

A New Marker Might Better Track the Solar Cycle

Approximately every 11 years the Sun becomes violently active, putting on a show of magnetic activity for aurora watchers and sungazers alike. But the timing of the solar cycle is far from precise, making it hard to determine the exact underlying physics. Typically astronomers use sunspots to map the course of the solar cycle, but […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Sep 04 2014
20:39 UTC

Watch Newfound “Pitbull” Asteroid Barnstorm Earth on Saturday

Good news, folks: The world won't end┬on Sunday, when an asteroid nicknamed “Pitbull” will zip past Earth. But asteroid 2014 RC┬will provide some virtual sky-watching drama for fans of celestial flybys.┬(Related:┬“Asteroids and Comets.”) Discovered independently by two different observatory teams on August 31, the 60-foot-wide (20 meters) space rock will come closest to Earth at…

Posted by Breaking Orbit

Thursday
Sep 04 2014
13:30 UTC

One Planet, Two Stars: A System More Common Than Previously Thought

There are few environments more hostile than a planet circling two stars. Powerful tidal forces from the stars can easily destroy the rocky building blocks of planets or grind a newly formed planet to dust. But astronomers have spotted a handful of these hostile worlds. A new study is even suggesting that these extreme systems […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Sep 04 2014
13:16 UTC

Get Ready for Sunday's Close Flyby of Asteroid 2014 RC

Guess who's dropping by for a quick visit this weekend? On Sunday, a 60-foot-wide (20-meters) asteroid named 2014 RC will skim just 25,000 miles (40,000 km) from Earth. That's within spitting distance┬of all those geosynchronous communication and weather satellites┬orbiting at 22,300 miles.┬(...)Read the rest of Get Ready for Sunday's Close Flyby of Asteroid 2014 RC […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Sep 04 2014
12:00 UTC

Astronomers Identify an Exoplanet in the Process of Formation

Here at Lights In The Dark I typically keep the articles and information to exploration occurring within our Solar System. But there have been amazing advances in the discovery of worlds far beyond our own family of planets and this recent news is quite fascinating: astronomers have spotted what appears to be a large gaseous […]

Posted by Lights in the Dark

Wednesday
Sep 03 2014
20:55 UTC

Meet Laniakea, Our Home Supercluster

Our cosmic address extends well beyond Earth, past the Milky Way and toward the farthest reaches of the universe. But now astronomers are adding another line: the Laniakea Supercluster, which takes its name from the Hawaiin term lani meaning heaven and akea meaning spacious or immeasurable. And the name is true to its meaning. The […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Sep 03 2014
13:38 UTC

Get Set for the Super (or Do You Say Harvest?) Full Moon 3 of 3 for 2014

... times as have many astronomy writers about the meme that just won't die. The supermoon really brings em out, just […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Sep 02 2014
17:47 UTC

Amazing Video Timelapse Of Big Telescopes At Work In Chile

What's it like to spend a night at a huge telescope observatory? Jordi Busque recorded a brilliant timelapse of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). What makes this video unique is not only the exotic location in Chile, but the use of sound in the area rather than music. […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Sep 02 2014
16:51 UTC

Hunting for Minimoons Orbiting Earth

It's an engaging thought experiment. What if Earth had multiple moons? ┬Our world has one large natural satellite, just over a quarter the diameter, 1/50th the volume, and less than 1/80th the mass of our fair world. In fact, the Earth-Moon system has sometimes been referred to as a binary planet, and our Moon stands […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Sep 02 2014
15:05 UTC

5 Sky Events This Week: Milky Way Gems Sparkle While Venus Snuggles With Leo

... bright moon steers skywatchers to Milky Way wonders this week.

Posted by Breaking Orbit

Sunday
Aug 31 2014
18:29 UTC

Tonight's Moon-Mars-Saturn Trio Recalls Time of Terror

Check it out. Look southwest at dusk tonight and you'll see three of the solar system's coolest personalities gathering for a late dinner. Saturn, Mars and the waxing crescent moon will sup in Libra ahead of the fiery red star Antares in Scorpius. All together, a wonderful display of out-of-this-world worlds.┬(...)Read the rest of Tonight's […]

Posted by Universe Today

Saturday
Aug 30 2014
16:19 UTC

Caterpillar Comet Poses for Pictures En Route to Mars

Now that's pure gorgeous. As Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring sidles┬towards┬its October 19th encounter┬with Mars,┬it's passing a trio of sumptuous deep sky objects near the south celestial pole this week. Astrophotographers weren't going to let the comet's picturesque alignments pass without notice. Rolando Ligustri captured this remarkable view using a remote, computer-controlled telescope on August […]

Posted by Universe Today

Saturday
Aug 30 2014
12:12 UTC

1833 Meteor Storm Started Citizen Science

Crowdsourcing astronomy discoveries goes back a ways, to 1833, and a truly remarkable meteor shower.

Posted by Breaking Orbit

Friday
Aug 29 2014
17:15 UTC

Radio Telescopes Resolve Pleiades Distance Debate

Fall will soon be at our doorstep. But before the leaves change colors and the smell of pumpkin fills our coffee shops, the Pleiades star cluster will mark the new season with its earlier presence in the night sky. The delicate grouping of blue stars has been a prominent sight since antiquity. But in recent […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Aug 28 2014
21:36 UTC

Observing Neptune: A Guide to the 2014 Opposition Season

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant world lies opposite to the Sun as seen from our Earthly perspective and rises to the east […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Aug 28 2014
16:00 UTC

Astronomers Spot Pebble-Size Dust Grains in the Orion Nebula

Stars and planets form out of vast clouds of dust and gas. Small pockets in these clouds collapse under the pull of gravity. But as the pocket shrinks, it spins rapidly, with the outer region flattening into a disk. Eventually the central pocket collapses enough that its high temperature and density allows it to ignite […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Aug 28 2014
14:00 UTC

First Glimpse of a Young Galactic Core Forming in the Early Universe

Astronomers have spotted, for the first time, a dense galactic core blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars in the early universe. The finding sheds light on how elliptical galaxies, the large, gas-poor gatherings of older stars, may have first formed in the early universe. It's a question that has eluded astronomers for […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Aug 28 2014
13:00 UTC

What Lit up the Universe? Astronomers May be on the Brink of an Answer

Most scientists can see, hear, smell, touch or even taste their research. But astronomers can only study light photons traveling billions of light-years across the cosmos before getting scooped up by an array of radio dishes or a single parabolic mirror orbiting the Earth. Luckily the universe is overflowing with photons across a spectrum […]

Posted by Universe Today

Thursday
Aug 28 2014
06:00 UTC

Seven Sisters Star Cluster Controversy Solved

Good news for fans of that stargazer's favorite, the Pleiades. Such star clusters are closer than astronomers supposed, most particularly when it comes to the iconic one known to many sky-watchers as the┬Seven Sisters. ┬ Not only does a new study, published in Science magazine by a team led by Carl Melis of the University…

Posted by Breaking Orbit

Wednesday
Aug 27 2014
17:23 UTC

Orion's Pebbled Pathway to Stars and Planets

... Just when you think astronomy can't get any cooler, something like this comes out: radio astronomers using the Green Bank Telescope (a radio telescope in West Virginia) have found filaments of star-forming gas near the […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Wednesday
Aug 27 2014
15:00 UTC

A Cosmic Collision: Our Best View Yet of Two Distant Galaxies Merging

An international team of astronomers has obtained the best view yet of two galaxies colliding when the universe was only half its current age. (...)Read the rest of A Cosmic Collision: Our Best View Yet of Two Distant Galaxies Merging (526 words) ┬ Shannon Hall for Universe Today, 2014. | Permalink | No comment | […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Aug 27 2014
14:06 UTC

Weird X-Rays: What Happens When Eta Carinae's Massive Stars Get Close?

While the stars appear unchanging when you take a quick look at the night sky, there is so much variability out there that astronomers will be busy forever. One prominent example is Eta Carinae, a star system that erupted in the 19th century for about 20 years, becoming one of the brightest stars you could […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Aug 26 2014
14:55 UTC

Australian Astronomy Envy: This Video Is Like A Telescope Brochure

Performing observations in Australia is on many astronomers' bucket lists, and this video timelapse shows you precisely why. Famous, world-class observatories, dark sky and the beautiful desolation of the desert combine in this award-winning sequence shot by Alex Cherney and posted on Vimeo. (...)Read the rest of Australian Astronomy Envy: This Video Is Like A […]

Posted by Universe Today

Tuesday
Aug 26 2014
14:00 UTC

Extreme Weather is Linked to Global Warming, a New Study Suggests

Extreme weather is becoming much more common. Heat waves and heavy rains are escalating, food crops are being damaged, human beings are being displaced due to flooding and animals are migrating toward the poles or going extinct. Although it has been postulated that these extreme weather events may be due to climate change, a new […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Aug 25 2014
18:08 UTC

Astronomy History and Future Come Together at the South Carolina State Museum

Seeking out science and astronomy in South Carolina? You're in luck, as we're pleased to report the South Carolina State Museum's brand-spanking new planetarium and astronomical observatory opened to the public earlier this month. (...)Read the rest of Astronomy History and Future Come Together at the South Carolina State Museum (958 words) ┬ David Dickinson […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Aug 25 2014
17:14 UTC

5 Sky Events This Week: Cosmic Teapot Steams While Neptune Hits Prime Time

Moonless nights offer starry delights to stargazers this week.

Posted by Breaking Orbit

Monday
Aug 25 2014
14:00 UTC

ESO's Latest Dramatic Landscape

The universe is stunning. Images from even the most modest telescopes can unveil its brilliant beauty. But couple that with a profound reason ┬our ability to question and understand the physical laws that dominate that brilliant beauty and the image transforms into something much more spectacular. Take ESO's latest image of two dramatic star […]

Posted by Universe Today

Saturday
Aug 23 2014
07:00 UTC

Stellar Snow Globe Mystery Solved With Hubble’s Help

Star clusters offer thrilling sights for stargazers.

Posted by Breaking Orbit

Thursday
Aug 21 2014
20:10 UTC

OMG!!! Mars Will Be as Big as the Moon!!!! (NOT)

The Mars/Moon Hoax Rears its Ugly Head Well, the hysterical claims are starting up yet again. Yes, it's the annual Mars/Moon madness again. Only this time, the folks claiming that the Moon and Mars will be the SAME SIZE OMG!!! NEVER AGAIN IN THIS CENTURY!!!! are claiming that on August 27th, 2014, we'll be treated […]

Posted by TheSpacewriter's Ramblings

Wednesday
Aug 20 2014
18:29 UTC

How Watching 13 Billion Years Of Cosmic Growth Links To Storytelling

How do you show off 13 billion years of cosmic growth? One way that astronomers can figure that out is through visualizations — such as this one from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, called Illustris. Billed as the most detailed computer simulation ever of the universe (done on a fast supercomputer), you can slowly see […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Aug 20 2014
13:47 UTC

Remembering the World War I Eclipse

The paths of total solar eclipses care not for political borders or conflicts, often crossing over war-torn lands. Such was the case a century ago this week on August 21st, 1914 when a total solar eclipse crossed over Eastern Europe shortly after the outbreak of World War I.(...)Read the rest of Remembering the “World War […]

Posted by Universe Today

Wednesday
Aug 20 2014
10:01 UTC

Stunning Snapshot Reveals Dazzling Star Factories

... pair of glowing star factories beckon stargazers.

Posted by Breaking Orbit

Tuesday
Aug 19 2014
20:48 UTC

Australian Amateur Terry Lovejoy Discovers New Comet

It's confirmed!┬Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy┬just discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). He found it┬August 17th using a Celestron C8 fitted with a CCD camera┬at his┬roll-off roof observatory in Brisbane, Australia.┬(...)Read the rest of Australian Amateur Terry Lovejoy Discovers New Comet (398 words) ┬ Bob King for Universe Today, 2014. | Permalink | No […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Aug 18 2014
19:16 UTC

6 Sky Events This Week: Chance of Sky Lights and Shooting Stars

  Lunar and planetary spectacles fill the┬starry skies this week, alongside the┬chance of auroras and shooting stars. Perseids trickle. Late night on Monday, look for stragglers from the Perseids meteor shower. While it peaked a week ago, the shooting stars will continue to fly until August 24. According to the international observing reports, the Perseids…

Posted by Breaking Orbit

Monday
Aug 18 2014
19:10 UTC

One That Fell to Earth: Researchers Reveal 2012 Novato Meteorite Took a Beating

What's the chance of that thump you just heard in your house was a meteorite hitting your roof? That was the case for one family in Novato, California during a fireball event that took place in the north bay area near San Francisco on October 17, 2012. Researchers have now released new results from analysis […]

Posted by Universe Today

Monday
Aug 18 2014
02:03 UTC

172 — Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith — The SKA

In today's episode, I speak to Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith from the CSIRO, about the Square Kilometre Array project. - What is the the Square Kilometre Array Project? - The results of the decision on where to host the project - What are the different parts of he SKA project - The Murchison Widefield Array Download […]

Posted by Brains Matter

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