This marvelous image from the European Southern Observatory shows a small section of the Milky Way going about its business making new stars. Here you see in this dusty region the reflected light of a new main sequence star, HD 97300, as it settles down into its billion-year life span [Read more…] about The Dusty Birth of a New StarShare This:
Science of Astronomy
Articles about the science of astronomy and objects that are visible in the night sky.
It’s been 170 years since the eighth (and so far last) major planet, Neptune, was discovered in our solar system. Pluto, of course, was discovered in 1930, heralded as the ninth planet, but then demoted by consensus of the astronomical community, largely at the behest of the Caltech astronomer Mike Brown who reasoned that Pluto was not large enough to gravitationally clear its path of other bodies, one of the three criteria for a major planet. In the ten years since Pluto’s demotion, Brown has been asked if there are any other planets in our solar system. His answer: “Nope, that’s it.” [Read more…] about A Ninth Planet Discovered?Share This:
“O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.”
It may be the most famous star in history. But was it real? Mentioned just once in the gospel of Matthew, the “Star of Bethlehem”, or the “Christmas Star”, may have guided three wise men from the East in search of a newborn king. A few words written on a scroll two thousand years ago isn’t much to go on, but astronomers have a few ideas that may explain the apparition of a star near the time of the birth of Jesus.
[Read more…] about The Science of the Christmas Star
Here’s a little Christmas present from the imaging team in charge of the OSIRIS camera on the Rosetta spacecraft, the little European probe that has been orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Though they were criticized for keeping the images to themselves for many months, the team has finally released a treasure chest of images online for the first time since Rosetta encountered the comet in August 2014. More images of the comet will be released into the albums in time. You can explore the images and albums of the Rosetta encounter with Comet 67/P at the link above [Read more…] about Fly Along With a CometShare This:
Using the Allen Telescope Array, astronomers at the SETI institute have examined the star KIC 8462852 for signs of extraterrestrial communications. So far they have come up empty. But astronomers around the world continue to examine this curious star which appears to decrease in apparent brightness by up to 20% for a period of 5 days to 80 days. Some have suggested– seriously– that the timing and magnitude of the brightness drop might be caused by a massive alien megastructure that surrounds the star [Read more…] about No Signal from “Alien Megastructure” Around StarShare This: