Space

Scientists Model Origin of Strange Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua’

In 2017, the first interstellar object from beyond our solar system was discovered via the Pan-STARRS astronomical observatory in Hawaii. It was named ‘Oumuamua, meaning “scout” or “messenger” in Hawaiian. The object was like a comet, but with features that were just odd enough to defy classification. Two Arizona State University astrophysicists, Steven Desch and Alan Jackson of the School […]

Serendipitous Juno Detections Shatter Ideas About the Origin of Zodiacal Light

Data from NASA spacecraft Juno‘s journey to Jupiter suggests that Mars may be shedding dust into interplanetary space. Look up to the night sky just before dawn, or after dusk, and you might see a faint column of light extending up from the horizon. That luminous glow is the zodiacal light, or sunlight reflected toward […]

Rare Meteorite Recovered in UK After Spectacular Fireball

In a major event for UK science, the meteorite that fell from the fireball that lit up the sky over the UK and Northern Europe on Sunday, February 28, has been found. Almost 300 g of a very rare meteorite, known as a carbonaceous chondrite, survived its fiery passage through the Earth’s atmosphere and landed […]

The GRANTECAN Discovers the Largest Cluster of Galaxies Known in the Early Universe

A study, led by researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and carried out with OSIRIS, an instrument on the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC, or Grantecan), has found the most densely populated galaxy cluster formation in the primitive universe. The researchers predict that this structure, which is at a distance of 12.5 billion light-years […]

How Were Trojan Asteroids Discovered and Named?

On Feb. 22, 1906, German astrophotographer Max Wolf helped reshape our understanding of the solar system. Again. Born in 1863, Wolf had a habit of dramatically altering the astronomy landscape. Something of a prodigy, he discovered his first comet at only 21 years old. Then, in 1890, he boldly declared that he planned to use […]

Successful Engine Test Brings Australian Space Launch Capability a Step Closer

An Australian research consortium has successfully tested a next-generation propulsion system that could enable high-speed flight and space launch services. The team’s rotating detonation engine, or RDE, is a major technical achievement and an Australian first. It was designed by RMIT University engineers and is being developed by a consortium led by DefendTex, with researchers […]

New Study Suggests Supermassive Black Holes Could Form From Dark Matter

A new theoretical study has proposed a novel mechanism for the creation of supermassive black holes from dark matter. The international team finds that rather than the conventional formation scenarios involving “normal” matter, supermassive black holes could instead form directly from dark matter in high-density regions in the centers of galaxies. The result has key […]

Comet Makes a Pit Stop Near Jupiter’s Asteroids

After traveling several billion miles toward the Sun, a wayward young comet-like object orbiting among the giant planets has found a temporary parking place along the way. The object has settled near a family of captured ancient asteroids, called Trojans, that are orbiting the Sun alongside Jupiter. This is the first time a comet-like object […]

Astronomers Publish Map Showing 25,000 Supermassive Black Holes

An international team of astronomers has published a map of the sky showing over 25,000 supermassive black holes. The map, to be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, is the most detailed celestial map in the field of so-called low radio frequencies. The astronomers, including Leiden astronomers, used 52 stations with LOFAR antennas spread […]

First Black Hole Ever Detected Is More Massive Than Thought

New observations of the first black hole ever detected have led astronomers to question what they know about the Universe’s most mysterious objects. Published in the journal Science, the research shows the system known as Cygnus X-1 contains the most massive stellar-mass black hole ever detected without the use of gravitational waves. Cygnus X-1 is […]

Astronomers Uncover Mysterious Origins of ‘Super-Earths’

Mini-Neptunes and super-Earths up to four times the size of our own are the most common exoplanets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. Until now, super-Earths were thought to be the rocky cores of mini-Neptunes whose gassy atmospheres were blown away. In a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, astronomers from McGill University show that […]

Is SpaceX Retrofitting Oil Rigs as Launchpads?

SpaceX has hosted many land-based prototype launches from their site in Boca Chica, Texas. For example, in December 2020, the first launch of the Starship prototype, which the company hopes will eventually lead to commercial space flights to Mars, took place. But now, is SpaceX retrofitting oil rigs to conduct launches from platforms located off […]

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