Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics, physics, and chemistry in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and comets; the phenomena also includes supernova explosions, gamma ray bursts, quasars, blazars, pulsars, and cosmic microwave background radiation.
News and discussion about stars, planets, and other celestial objects.
  • Scientists record the most energetic photons EVER
    Daily Mail

    Scientists record the most energetic photons EVER

    Physicists have detected the highest-energy light ever recorded, coming from the Crab Nebula, the remains of a supernova, around 6,500 light years from the Earth. Researchers in Tibet used enormous detectors to pick out the particle showers created by these gamma rays as they hit particles in the Earth's atmosphere. With energies of 100–450 trillion electron volts, the photons are around 69 times more energetic than the highest-powered particles in the Large Hadron Collider. Scroll down for video The high-energy gamma ray photons from the Crab Nebula were detected using the Tibet AS-gamma experiment, a so-called air shower observation array based in Yangbajain, in western China. The experiment

  • American, Canadian, Russian back on Earth from space station
    Orlando Sentinel

    American, Canadian, Russian back on Earth from space station

    The Soyuz capsule with astronauts from Canada, Russia and the United States landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 8:47 a.m. (0247GMT), less than a minute ahead of the scheduled time, on Tuesday after a 3 ½ hour flight from the orbiting lab.

  • Fox News

    Raikoke volcano seen erupting in incredible image from space

    The powerful eruption of the Raikoke volcano was captured by astronauts on the International Space Station on Saturday. The amazing image, which shows a huge plume of smoke rising up and surrounded by white clouds, was released by NASA Earth Observatory. Several satellites, along with astronauts on the ISS, saw the thick plume rise and eventually stream east as it was pulled into a storm's circulation. The volcano sits on an uninhabited island in the Kuril Islands chain in the northwest Pacific Ocean. The ring of clouds at the base of the plume appears to be water vapor, according to the space agency. Scientists said the ash could have reached an altitude of 8 to 10 miles. “What a spectacular

  • The project dedicated to finding extraterrestrial life has only scratched the surface

    The project dedicated to finding extraterrestrial life has only scratched the surface

    The most comprehensive search for signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe has come up short so far, despite generating more than 1 petabyte of data. But such efforts are just getting started. The big picture: The project — known as Breakthrough Listen — observed more than 1,300 relatively nearby stars over the course of 3 years, listening for any signs of radio waves that would signal the presence of technologically advanced aliens.

  • SpaceX launches hefty rocket with 24 satellites, experiments
    Concord Monitor

    SpaceX launches hefty rocket with 24 satellites, experiments

    SpaceX launched its heftiest rocket with 24 research satellites Tuesday, a middle-of-the-night rideshare featuring a deep space atomic clock, solar sail, a clean and green rocket fuel testbed, and even human ashes. It was the third flight of a Falcon Heavy rocket, but the first ordered by the military. The Defense Department mission is expected to provide data to certify the Falcon Heavy – and reused boosters – for future national security launches. It marked the military's first ride on a recycled rocket. Both side boosters landed back at Cape Canaveral several minutes after liftoff, just as they did after launching in April. But the new core booster missed an ocean platform, not unexpected

  • Science Daily

    Astronomy bot speeds up search for Jupiter's twins

    These giant planets' faraway twins may protect life in other solar systems, but they aren't bright enough to be viewed directly. Scientists find them based on properties they can observe in the stars they orbit. The challenge for planet hunters is that in our galaxy alone, there are roughly 200 billion stars. "Searching for planets can be a long and tedious process given the sheer volume of stars we could search," said Stephen Kane, UCR associate professor of planetary astrophysics. "Eliminating stars unlikely to have planets and pre-selecting those that might will save a ton of time," he said. The astronomy bot is a machine learning algorithm designed by Natalie Hinkel, a researcher formerly

  • New project will try to get an up-close look of a comet in deep space

    New project will try to get an up-close look of a comet in deep space

    A newly selected European Space Agency mission expected to launch in 2028 is designed to get up close and personal with a comet. Why it matters: If all goes according to plan, the new mission — named the Comet Interceptor — will give us an unprecedented look at a pristine comet that has never visited the inner solar system before and hasn't been altered by the heat of the Sun.

  • LeoLabs and New Zealand Space Agency Unveil Regulatory Platform for Low Earth Orbit
    PR Newswire

    LeoLabs and New Zealand Space Agency Unveil Regulatory Platform for Low Earth Orbit

    MENLO PARK, Calif., June 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- LeoLabs, Inc., the leading commercial provider of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) mapping and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services today announced the world's first dedicated regulatory platform for LEO: the Space Regulatory and Sustainability Platform, developed as a joint initiative between LeoLabs and the New Zealand Space Agency (NZSA). The NZSA is a leader in best practices and industry standards for promoting, regulating, and guiding the global new space community.

  • Help NASA name its Mars 2020 rover

    Help NASA name its Mars 2020 rover

    NASA's Mars 2020 rover is beginning to take shape. Earlier this month, crews installed some of its legs and six of its wheels. Now, the vehicle needs a name, and for that, NASA is turning to students. Beginning in fall 2019, NASA will run a nationwide "Name the Rover" contest open to K-12 students in the US. The spacecraft will need a name by July 2020, when it's expected to launch.

  • Newswise

    Keeping Earth safe from impact: Astronomer worked with international team to conduct global planetary defense exercise

    Newswise — Scientists have discovered nearly all “extinction-scale” near-Earth objects, or NEOs (asteroids larger than one kilometer in diameter) and determined they pose no risk of impact in the near future. But there are still thousands of smaller NEOs that pose a potential danger. NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) coordinates the detection of potentially hazardous objects, characterization of those objects and response planning in the event of an actual impact threat. Michael Kelley, program scientist with PDCO, and Vishnu Reddy of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory led an international team of astronomers in 2017 to successfully complete the first

  • Space Age Politics: Decades after Apollo, Congress asks NASA to better justify spending requests

    Space Age Politics: Decades after Apollo, Congress asks NASA to better justify spending requests

    In last year's heavyweight 7th Congressional District race between Democrat Lizzie Fletcher and Republican John Culberson, the candidates sparred over health care , immigration, Metro and even flood control. Near the end, Fletcher brought another issue into the fold: NASA funding. Culberson, then the chair of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees NASA, had used that position to secure funding for a mission that aims to send a spacecraft to orbit, and later land on, the Jupiter moon of Europa, where scientists believe life may reside. Near the end of a feisty debate in late October , Fletcher tied the issue to her persistent criticism of Culberson's alleged inaction on flood control —

  • Hubble finds tiny 'electric soccer balls' in space, helps solve interstellar mystery

    Hubble finds tiny 'electric soccer balls' in space, helps solve interstellar mystery

    NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the presence of electrically-charged molecules in space shaped like soccer balls, shedding light on the mysterious contents of the interstellar medium (ISM) - the gas and dust that fills interstellar space. Since stars and planets form from collapsing clouds of gas and dust in space, "The diffuse ISM can be considered as the starting point for the chemical processes that ultimately give rise to planets and life," said Martin Cordiner of the Catholic University of America, Washington. "So fully identifying its contents provides information on the ingredients available to create stars and planets." Cordiner,


    Upcoming Kids' Programs at Snow Library

    Jungle Jim's A Ballooniverse of Stories Tuesday July 2nd at 4:00 The Snow Library presents Jungle Jim's A Ballooniverse of Stories show at 4:00 on Tuesday July 2nd.  Jungle Jim's Space-themed balloon magic show features rocket propulsion science, celebrates the moon landing, Star Wars Jedi Training and a 6-foot galaxy explosion!  Best suited for ages 3-10. No registration is required for this free show. It is sponsored by The Friends of Snow Library and by a grant from the Orleans Cultural Council. Escape From the Rogue Planet Tues. July 16th Are you good at solving puzzles, unlocking hidden clues and unraveling mysteries? Then sign up for a chance to work with a group and “Escape from the Rogue

  • Vox

    A solar eclipse is coming for Chile and Argentina

    Once every 18 months or so, the moon aligns completely with the surface of the sun, casting a narrow shadow along the surface of the Earth. This is a total solar eclipse, and the very next one is soon: Tuesday, July 2. On that day, a shadow will fall over the southern Pacific Ocean and parts of Chile and Argentina. It's the first total solar eclipse since the August 2017 “Great American Eclipse,” which bisected the continental United States. People lucky enough to be in the path of the totality will see a sublime sight (if it's not cloudy): the entire face of the sun turned black by the moon, all surrounded by a glowing white light. That glowing white light is the solar corona, or atmosphere.

  • Red dwarf stars 'too young' to host ET planets

    Red dwarf stars 'too young' to host ET planets

    The development of life on any planet, including Earth, is a function of the age of the relationship between the planet itself and its host star, a prominent astrobiologist suggests. In a paper soon to be published in the journal Astrobiology and currently available on the pre-print site arxiv, Jacob Haqq-Misra of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, Washington, US, builds on previous research to explore the idea that the advent of life depends on the availability of “free energy”. In other words, he writes, “the mean time required for the evolution of complex life is a function of stellar mass”. EET attempts to overcome the primary problem faced by astrobiologists – the fact