Sunday , August 18 2019


The Saturnian Sisters – Cassini Views Tethys and Rhea

This newly released image from the Cassini Spacecraft shows Saturn’s moons Tethys and Rhea. Similar in many ways, Saturn’s moons Tethys and Rhea (left and right, respectively) even share a discoverer: Giovanni Cassini, namesake of the NASA spacecraft that captured this view. The moons are named for sisters — two Titans of Greek mythology. Although somewhat different in size, Rhea ... Read More »

Dying Star Kohoutek 4-55 Offers a Glimpse of Our Sun’s Future

This Hubble image reveals the final act of celestial beauty before the long fade into cosmic history. Invisibly buried in the center of this colorful swirl of gas is a dying star, roughly the same mass as the Sun. As a star ages, the nuclear reactions that keep it shining begin to falter. This uncertain energy generation causes the stars ... Read More »

Hubble Image of the Week – Swimming in Sculptor

This newly released Hubble image shows thousands of colorful galaxies. Peering deep into the early Universe, this picturesque parallel field observation from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals thousands of colorful galaxies swimming in the inky blackness of space. A few foreground stars from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, are also visible. In October 2013 Hubble’s Wide Field Camera ... Read More »

ScienceCasts Video: Close Encounters with Jupiter

This new four minute ScienceCasts video details the coming close encounter between Earth and Jupiter. On March 8th, 2016 Earth and Jupiter will have a close encounter. The giant planet will be “up all night,” soaring almost overhead at midnight and not setting until the sky brightens with the twilight hues of sunrise on March 9th. In July, the Juno ... Read More »

The Realm of Buried Giants – Star Formation Region RCW 106

This new ESO VLT Survey Telescope image shows the vast nebula where giant stars were born, known as RCW 106. The brightest part appears just above the center of the image. In this huge new image clouds of crimson gas are illuminated by rare, massive stars that have only recently ignited and are still buried deep in thick dust clouds. ... Read More »

Astronomers Measure the Farthest Galaxy Ever Seen in the Universe

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have shattered the cosmic distance record by measuring the farthest galaxy ever seen in the universe. This surprisingly bright infant galaxy, named GN-z11, is seen as it was 13.4 billion years in the past, just 400 million years after the Big Bang. GN-z11 is located in the direction of the constellation of Ursa Major. ... Read More »

Astronomers Detect Repeat ‘Fast Radio Bursts’ for the First Time

The 305-m Arecibo telescope and its suspended support platform of radio receivers is shown amid a starry night. From space, a sequence of millisecond-duration radio flashes are racing towards the dish, where they will be reflected and detected by the radio receivers. Such radio signals are called fast radio bursts, and Arecibo is the first telescope to see repeat bursts ... Read More »

How Extraterrestrial Astronomers May Have a Chance of Discovering Earth

Solar eclipse: when the Earth passes in front of the Sun, it blocks a small part of the Sun’s light. Potential observers outside our solar system might be able to detect the resulting dimming of the Sun and study the Earth’s atmosphere. This transit method helped to find most of the 2000 exoplanets known to us today. New research suggests ... Read More »

Hubble Image of the Week – A Stellar Fingerprint

Showcased at the center of this newly released NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is an emission-line star known as IRAS 12196-6300. Located just under 2300 light-years from Earth, this star displays prominent emission lines, meaning that the star’s light, dispersed into a spectrum, shows up as a rainbow of colors marked with a characteristic pattern of dark and bright lines. ... Read More »

NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Observes Mars Moon Phobos

Phobos as observed by MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph. Orange shows mid-ultraviolet (MUV) sunlight reflected from the surface of Phobos, exposing the moon’s irregular shape and many craters. Blue shows far ultraviolet light detected at 121.6 nm, which is scattered off of hydrogen gas in the extended upper atmosphere of Mars. Phobos, observed here at a range of 300km, blocks this ... Read More »