Astronomy News

Courtesy of Science Daily

Welcome to Sea and Sky's Astronomy News. Here you can find links to the latest space news headlines on the topic of astronomy. Click on any yellow title below to view the full news article. The news article will open in a new browser window. Simply close the browser window when you are finished reading the article to return to the news article listing. You can use the "Click for More" link to go to a page with more news headlines.


Astronomy News -- ScienceDaily
Updated : Fri, 28 Oct 2016 01:41:34 EDT

Further clues to fate of Mars lander, seen from orbit
The most powerful telescope orbiting Mars is providing new details of the scene near the Martian equator where Europe's Schiaparelli test lander hit the surface last week.
Publ.Date : Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:56:23 EDT

Insights into giant impacts on moon, Earth and Mars
New results from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission are providing insights into the huge impacts that dominated the early history of Earth's moon and other solid worlds, like Earth, Mars, and the satellites of the outer solar system.
Publ.Date : Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:10:00 EDT

A death star's ghostly glow
The eerie glow of a dead star, which exploded long ago as a supernova, reveals itself in this Hubble Space Telescope image of the Crab Nebula. But, the ghoulish-looking object still has a pulse. Buried at its center is the star's tell-tale heart, which beats with rhythmic precision. The green hue has been added to give the image a Halloween theme.
Publ.Date : Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:58:20 EDT

Cosmic horseshoe is not the lucky beacon
Although the universe started out with a bang it quickly evolved to a relatively cool, dark place. After a few hundred thousand years the lights came back on and scientists are still trying to figure out why.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:46:54 EDT

Unexpected giant glowing halos discovered around distant quasars
Astronomers have discovered glowing gas clouds surrounding distant quasars. This new survey indicates that halos around quasars are far more common than expected. The properties of the halos in this surprising find are also in striking disagreement with currently accepted theories of galaxy formation in the early Universe.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Oct 2016 08:11:38 EDT

'Heartbeat stars' unlocked in new study
Matters of the heart can be puzzling and mysterious -- so too with unusual astronomical objects called heartbeat stars.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Oct 2016 17:40:50 EDT

Uranus may have two undiscovered moons
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Uranus 30 years ago, but researchers are still making discoveries from the data it gathered then. A new study led by University of Idaho researchers suggests there could be two tiny, previously undiscovered moonlets orbiting near two of the planet's rings.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:51:58 EDT

Preferentially Earth-sized planets with lots of water
Computer simulations by astrophysicists of the formation of planets orbiting in the habitable zone of low mass stars such as Proxima Centauri show that these planets are most likely to be roughly the size of the Earth and to contain large amounts of water.
Publ.Date : Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:41:11 EDT

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter views Schiaparelli landing site
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified new markings on the surface of the Red Planet that are believed to be related to ESA's ExoMars Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing technology demonstrator module.
Publ.Date : Fri, 21 Oct 2016 16:54:00 EDT

Oldest known planet-forming disk discovered
A group of citizen scientists and professional astronomers joined forces to discover an unusual hunting ground for exoplanets. They found a star surrounded by the oldest known circumstellar disk -- a primordial ring of gas and dust that orbits around a young star and from which planets can form as the material collides and aggregates.
Publ.Date : Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:58:43 EDT

ExoMars lander descent data: Decoding underway
Essential data from the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander sent to its mothership Trace Gas Orbiter during the module's descent to the Red Planet's surface yesterday has been downlinked to Earth and is currently being analysed by experts.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:33:12 EDT

Tracking waves from sunspots gives new solar insight
The sun is constantly changing. Material courses through not only the star itself, but throughout its expansive atmosphere. Understanding the dance of this charged gas is a key part of better understanding our sun. Now, for the first time, researchers have tracked a particular kind of solar wave as it swept upward from the sun's surface through its atmosphere, adding to our understanding of how solar material travels throughout the sun.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:46:13 EDT

Unexplainable activity in distant stars: New class of explosive events?
Researcher pored through more than 10 years of existing Chandra X-ray Observatory data and found stars that repeatedly survive quick, massive surges in space energy. There are no such instances in our galaxy, as stars are destroyed by similar conditions.
Publ.Date : Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:25:05 EDT

Astrophysicists map the Milky Way
Hydrogen. Atomic number 1. It is the simplest and lightest element on the periodic table, but don't be fooled by its humble appearance. With just a single proton and a single electron, it is the most abundant element in the universe and has fueled star formation for the past 13 billion years. Now scientists have mapped the key ingredient's distribution across the Milky Way, revealing details about our galaxy that have never been seen before.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 18:50:09 EDT

More evidence for ninth planet roming Solar System's outer fringes
As the search for a hypothetical, unseen planet far, far beyond Neptune's orbit continues, new research provides additional support for the possible existence of such a world and narrows the range of its parameters and location.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:42:18 EDT

Curious tilt of the Sun traced to undiscovered planet
Planet Nine the undiscovered planet at the edge of the solar system appears to be responsible for the unusual tilt of the Sun, according to a new study.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:30:23 EDT

First Pluto, now this: Discovery of first binary-binary calls solar system formation into question
Everything we know about the formation of solar systems might be wrong, says two astronomers. They've discovered the first "binary--binary" -- two massive companions around one star in a close binary system, one so-called giant planet and one brown dwarf, or "failed star" The first, called MARVELS-7a, is 12 times the mass of Jupiter, while the second, MARVELS-7b, has 57 times the mass of Jupiter.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:25:07 EDT

Ups and downs of water escape from Mars
After investigating the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet for a full Martian year, NASA's MAVEN mission has determined that the escaping water does not always go gently into space. Hydrogen in Mars' upper atmosphere comes from water vapor in the lower atmosphere. An atmospheric water molecule can be broken apart by sunlight, releasing the two hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atom that they had been bound to. Several processes at work in Mars' upper atmosphere may then act on the hydrogen, leading to its escape.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:22:18 EDT

ExoMars orbiter reaches Mars orbit while lander situation under assessment
The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of ESA's ExoMars 2016 has successfully performed the long 139-minute burn required to be captured by Mars and entered an elliptical orbit around the Red Planet, while contact has not yet been confirmed with the mission's test lander from the surface.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:11:11 EDT

Possible clouds on Pluto, next target is reddish
Stern said that Pluto's complex, layered atmosphere is hazy and appears to be mostly free of clouds, but the team has spied a handful of potential clouds in images taken with New Horizons' cameras. "If there are clouds, it would mean the weather on Pluto is even more complex than we imagined," Stern said.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:17:27 EDT