astronomy

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2 Massive Asteroids Enter the Neighborhood

No risk to Earth, but a great chance to learn

(Newser) - An asteroid large enough to destroy a city will make a rare pass by Earth this weekend, coming close enough to spot with a telescope, "or perhaps even with some good binoculars," per the New York Times . Thankfully, there's a 0% chance that 2024 MK, discovered less...

This Is Racing Through Our Galaxy at Top Speed
This Is Racing
Through Our
Galaxy at
Top Speed
in case you missed it

This Is Racing Through Our Galaxy at Top Speed

J1249+36 is flying 1,500 times faster than sound

(Newser) - When you fly by at a million miles an hour, it can turn some heads—which is just what happened with this runaway star. Snappily named J1249+36, it's going fast enough to break free of our galaxy's gravitational pull and launch into intergalactic space, Newsweek reports. The question...

In a First, Astronomers Watch a Black Hole Wake Up
In a First, Astronomers
Watch a Black Hole Wake Up
NEW STUDY

In a First, Astronomers Watch a Black Hole Wake Up

Black hole at center of galaxy SDSS1335+0728 recorded activating 'in real time'

(Newser) - A bright light erupting from a distant galaxy nearly five years ago was, in the view of researchers, way cooler than it sounds. Indeed, it was the first ever observation of the awakening of a black hole, according to a study accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics . Most galaxies...

NASA: 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Cosmos'

Space agency releases new image of 'Christmas Tree Cluster'

(Newser) - "It's beginning to look a lot like cosmos," NASA joked in a post on X with a new image of the "Christmas Tree Cluster." NASA also released an animation of NGC 2264, a cluster of young stars between 1 million and 5 million years old....

Prospects of Life on This Moon 'Are Getting Better and Better'

Scientists find evidence of hydrogen cyanide, needed to form amino acids, on Enceladus

(Newser) - Scientists previously discovered the six essential ingredients of life spewing from Enceladus , one of Saturn's 146 moons, which is considered to have one of the best chances of hosting life of any known planetary body in the solar system besides Earth. Now, they've discovered evidence of a poisonous...

One of the Sky's Brightest Stars Will Briefly Vanish Monday

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgone?

(Newser) - One of the biggest and brightest stars in the night sky will momentarily vanish as an asteroid passes in front of it to produce a one-of-a-kind eclipse. The rare and fleeting spectacle, late Monday into early Tuesday, should be visible to millions of people along a narrow path stretching from...

Coming in June, a Comet That Will Delight 'Star Wars' Fans

The unique shape of Comet 12/P Pons-Brooks resembles the Millennium Falcon

(Newser) - A comet uniquely shaped like Han Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon, is due to swerve near Earth this spring, and if the weather cooperates, Star Wars fans won't have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to catch a glimpse of it. Per NBC News , Comet 12/P...

Physics Says They Shouldn't Exist. Yet Here They Are
Webb Telescope Makes
'Baffling' Discovery
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Webb Telescope Makes 'Baffling' Discovery

Scientists announce discovery of planet-sized objects unexplained by existing theories

(Newser) - The James Webb Space Telescope has shown us the most distant black holes known to exist , new exoplanets , possible planets in the making —and now, planet-sized objects previously unknown and unaccounted for by existing theories. Nearly 150 planet-like "Jupiter Mass Binary Objects," or JuMBOs—far too small...

Not Quite a Star, Not Quite a Planet, but Hotter Than the Sun

Scientists discover brown dwarf that's up to 90 times the size of Jupiter, nearly 14K degrees

(Newser) - Israeli researchers have stumbled on a celestial object that "is seriously confronting our notions of what's possible in the universe." That's per Science Alert , which reports on the discovery of a sweltering brown dwarf —an object that falls somewhere between planet and star, but which...

It's Blinked in Space Every 22 Minutes for 30 Years

Astronomers never spotted unusual magnetar because they didn't expect it to be there

(Newser) - Writer Aldous Huxley said "consistency is contrary to nature." He'd maybe never heard of neutron stars or fast radio bursts. A study noted by Gizmodo and published in Nature found that a rotating neutron star with a powerful magnetic field, or a magnetar, has puzzled astronomers since...

SpaceX Satellites Forced to Swerve Every 10 Minutes

That's an average, based on 25K avoidance maneuvers reported in 6 months

(Newser) - Space is unimaginably vast, so you'd think there would be more than enough room for whatever you want to put into orbit. SpaceX and Starlink engineers would likely tell you it's not that simple. An FCC report filed by the Elon Musk-led satellite internet provider on June 30...

4B-Year-Old Punch Formed Man in the Moon's Right Eye
'Man in the Moon' Is More
Ancient Than We Thought
NEW STUDY

'Man in the Moon' Is More Ancient Than We Thought

New dating indicates parts of lunar crust are 200M years older than previously thought

(Newser) - Scientists believe the moon formed 4.5 billion years ago based on studies of lunar rocks. But dating the lunar surface is less cut and dried. As only so many lunar samples are returned to Earth, scientists have traditionally counted craters as a way of dating sections of the lunar...

You Might Want to Start Planning Now for 2024 Eclipse

Total solar eclipse next April cuts across 13 US states

(Newser) - What Smithsonian calls "one of nature's grandest spectacles"—a total solar eclipse—is slated to sweep across North America on April 8, 2024, from Mexico to Eastern Canada. According to CNN and Smithsonian, it's a not-to-be-missed phenomenon for sky watchers as the moon slides in front...

One of Saturn's Moons Is Spraying Epic Water Plumes

Tiny, bright satellite of Enceladus dazzles astronomers with its geysers

(Newser) - Enceladus, Saturn's sixth-largest moon—and the solar system's most reflective object—has been putting on a show, spraying massive volumes of water into space. Aided by the James Webb Space Telescope, Mashable reports that collaborating NASA, European, and Canadian space agency researchers have been thrilled by the moon'...

Largest Explosion Ever Seen Is an 8B-Year-Old Mystery

Outrageously bright light from distant space suggests black hole ate a big, gassy meal

(Newser) - In 2020, a bright light appeared in the night sky. That light, still visible with advanced telescopes today, represents the largest explosion ever seen. You're forgiven for not noticing as this is all happening some 8 billion light years away, though that wasn't clear initially. The light was...

Astronomers Get a Preview of Earth's Fate

'If it’s any consolation, this will happen in about 5 billion years'

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have caught a star in the act of swallowing a planet—not just a nibble or bite, but one big gulp. Astronomers on Wednesday reported their observations of what appeared to be a gas giant around the size of Jupiter or bigger being eaten by...

Scientists Do 180 Away From 'Weird' Theories on 'Oumuamua

They're going back to positing that interstellar visitor was a comet, albeit with gas, dust trapped

(Newser) - Was it an asteroid , a comet , a chunk of a distant planet , or an alien artifact ? All of these possibilities have been floated since the mysterious 'Oumuamua, our first known interstellar visitor, sped through our solar system in 2017. A 2021 study suggested what was previously thought to...

It'll Be Years Before You See Another Comet Like This One

Green comet C/2022 E3 will be best spotted as it passes by Earth this week

(Newser) - A green comet is passing by Earth for the first time since Neanderthals walked the planet and could be spotted by the naked eye. Believed to have been born in the farthest reaches of the solar system in an icy world dubbed the Oort cloud, C/2022 E3 is thought to...

All the Planets Will Be Visible in Tonight's Sky

'Grand tour of solar system' will last until end of the year

(Newser) - Every planet in the solar system apart from the one that's under your feet will be visible in the night sky at the same tonight, closing the year with what the Virtual Telescope Project calls a "grand tour of the solar system." The project is hosting a...

Renowned Puerto Rico Telescope Won't Be Rebuilt

Scientists mourn Arecibo Observatory telescope

(Newser) - The National Science Foundation will not rebuild a renowned radio telescope in Puerto Rico, which was one of the world’s largest until it collapsed nearly two years ago. Instead, the agency issued a solicitation for the creation of a $5 million education center at the site that would promote...

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