NASA has been boldly ignoring that age-old advice not to look directly at the sun. For years now, it's been staring down our star and recording it in a rainbow of colors that reveal the parts we'd otherwise never see.… Read more
If you've ever tried to take photos of the moon, celestial bodies, or even auroras, you know it can be a very tricky job. But trying and failing can give a better appreciation for outstanding space photos such as the winners of the Royal Observatory's annual contest.
The venerable British institution straddling the prime meridian recently announced honorees in its Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013, and the results are spectacular.
From a shot of people silhouetted against the moon to a view of the sun's delicate corona to images of distant stars and nebulae, winning selections were made from more than 1,200 shots taken around the world. … Read more
Now this is what it's like when galaxies collide.
Or at the very least, this is what it looks like. The visual effects of the collision -- which generated an immense shock wave that produced a spiral plume of 6 million-degree hot gas -- were captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, visible here in purple. The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope contributed to the image's impressive palate with optical observations revealing the galaxy in blue and white.
Such a shock wave, likened to a sonic boom, won't be felt anywhere near Earth, which is 60 million light-years away from the large spiral galaxy NGC 1232 that was rammed by a smaller, dwarf one. … Read more
Astronomers have captured a sensational high-resolution image of the Andromeda galaxy located 2.5 million light years (14,696,563,432,959,020,000 miles) from Earth. No illustration, no mock-up -- it's the real deal, and it's breathtaking.
The stunning mosaic comes from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan's Subaru Telescope located atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano. Attached to the facility's 26-foot telescope is a 3-ton 870-megapixel still camera called the Hyper-Suprime Cam (HSC), which features an extremely wide 1.5-degree field of view. … Read more
A team of scientists has discovered three potentially habitable planets in an area just beyond our solar system's back yard.
According to a press release by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) today, the astronomers found a group of six planets in the vicinity of a star known as Gliese 667C, at least three of which were termed "super-Earths" because conditions could support liquid water. … Read more
Last month, NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft suffered a potentially mission-ending malfunction, prompting the eyes of many astronomers and space geeks to grow a little misty. The crippling blow came just as data from Kepler had begun to identify more distant Earth-like planets within the habitable zone.
What's not as widely known, however, is that Kepler data isn't used just to hunt for planets that could potentially support life, it's also been tapped by some intrepid explorers to search for stellar and planetary megastructures created by far-flung advanced societies. Since we've yet to send anything into … Read more
The Kepler space observatory has been a source of great wonder since it first launched in 2009. It has turned its eyes out into the great vastness of space and seen new planetary systems and potentially life-supporting planets. The telescope's original 3.5-year mission was extended into 2016, but that may now come to a halt as serious technical issues take a toll.
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Electrosensitive community moving to a secluded town in Green Bank, Va.
- Facebook fixes comment threads for Pages and public figure.
- A promising 'Home' for the Facebook obsessed.
- Five ways to get more out of Facebook Home.
- Prepare a digital will for your Google accounts.
When conversing with people from all around the globe, it is useful to know if it's day or night in their city. A simple glance at Sunlit Earth for Mac can help you with that.
Sunlit Earth for Mac offers a simple widget that displays the current position of sun and the sunlit portion of the globe. Knowing where the sun is currently can be useful when communicating with people worldwide, whether for business or simply when staying in contact with family or friends located in another time zone. This widget seems to be an easier solution in comparison … Read more
Black holes are created when a supernova explosion destroys a massive star. Scientists have discovered dozens of black holes, but all of them are already formed. So, when scientists recently saw different distorted remains of a supernova, they knew it something special.
What the scientists believe they observed was the infant phases of a black hole, or the youngest black hole ever recorded in the Milky Way galaxy.