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, 31 Oct 2014 07:40:29 EDT

Planet discovered that won't stick to a schedule
For their latest discovery, astronomers have found a low-mass, low-density planet with a punctuality problem. The new planet, called PH3c, is located 2,300 light years from Earth and has an atmosphere loaded with hydrogen and helium. Its inconsistency kept it from being picked up by automated computer algorithms that search stellar light curves and identify regular dips caused by objects passing in front of stars.
Publ.Date : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:33:56 EDT

Hubble sees 'ghost light' from dead galaxies
The universe is an infinite sea of galaxies, which are majestic star-cities. When galaxies group together in massive clusters, some of them can be ripped apart by the gravitational tug of other galaxies. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to probe the massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744 — nicknamed Pandora's Cluster — have found forensic evidence of galaxies torn apart long ago. It's in the form of a phantom-like faint glow filling the space between the galaxies. This glow comes from stars scattered into intergalactic space as a result of a galaxy's disintegration.
Publ.Date : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:29:49 EDT

When did galaxies settle down?
Astronomers have long sought to understand exactly how the universe evolved from its earliest history to the cosmos we see around us in the present day. In particular, the way that galaxies form and develop is still a matter for debate. Now a group of researchers have used the collective efforts of the hundreds of thousands of people that volunteer for the Galaxy Zoo project to shed some light on this problem. They find that galaxies may have settled into their current form some two billion years earlier than previously thought.
Publ.Date : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:12:41 EDT

Planet-forming lifeline discovered in a binary star system
Scientists have detected a streamer of dust and gas flowing from a massive outer disk toward the inner reaches of a binary star system. This never-before-seen feature may be responsible for sustaining a second, smaller disk of planet-forming material that otherwise would have disappeared long ago.
Publ.Date : Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:12:21 EDT

Planck 2013 results: Special feature describes data gathered over 15 months of observations
Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature of 31 articles describing the data gathered by Planck over 15 months of observations and released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration in March 2013. This series of papers presents the initial scientific results extracted from this first Planck dataset.
Publ.Date : Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:54:03 EDT

NASA statement regarding Oct. 28 Orbital Sciences Corp. Launch mishap
The following statement is from William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, regarding the mishap that occurred at Pad 0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia during the attempted launch of Orbital Sciences Corp's Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft at 6:22 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28.
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Oct 2014 23:05:52 EDT

Moon mission: Images of LADEE's impact crater captured
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft has spied a new crater on the lunar surface; one made from the impact of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer mission.
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:41:39 EDT

Laser experiments mimic cosmic explosions and planetary cores
Researchers are finding ways to understand some of the mysteries of space without leaving earth. Using high-intensity lasers focused on targets smaller than a pencil's eraser, they conducted experiments to create colliding jets of plasma knotted by plasma filaments and self-generated magnetic fields, reaching pressures a billion times higher than seen on earth.
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:26:10 EDT

Tremendously bright pulsar may be one of many
A newly found pulsar, the brightest ever seen, raises questions about a mysterious category of cosmic objects called ultraluminous X-ray sources. A member of the team that announced the discovery now discusses the likelihood of additional ultra-bright pulsars and considers how astrophysicists will align this new find with their understanding of how pulsars work.
Publ.Date : Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:04:55 EDT

Astronomers image the exploding fireball stage of a nova
Astronomers have observed the expanding thermonuclear fireball from a nova that erupted last year in the constellation Delphinus with unprecedented clarity.
Publ.Date : Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:50:49 EDT

Hinode satellite captures X-ray footage of solar eclipse
The moon passed between the Earth and the sun on Thursday, Oct. 23. While avid stargazers in North America looked up to watch the spectacle, the best vantage point was several hundred miles above the North Pole. The Hinode spacecraft was in the right place at the right time to catch the solar eclipse. What's more, because of its vantage point Hinode witnessed a 'ring of fire' or annular eclipse.
Publ.Date : Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:27:21 EDT

NASA identifies ice cloud above cruising altitude on Titan
NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles.
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:05:54 EDT

Illusions in the cosmic clouds: New image of spinning neutron star
Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data. There are many examples of this phenomenon on Earth and in space.
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:59:37 EDT

MAVEN ultraviolet image of comet Siding Spring's hydrogen coma
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft obtained this ultraviolet image of hydrogen surrounding comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring on Oct. 17, 2014, two days before the comet's closest approach to Mars. The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument imaged the comet at a distance of 5.3 million miles (8.5 million kilometers).
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:57:10 EDT

Mars Orbiter's spectrometer shows Oort comet's coma
The Compact Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) observed comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as the comet sped close to Mars on Oct. 19. CRISM recorded imaging data in 107 different wavelengths, showing the inner part of the cloud of dust, called the coma, surrounding the comet's nucleus.
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:54:11 EDT

Galactic wheel of life shines in infrared
It might look like a spoked wheel or even a "Chakram" weapon wielded by warriors like "Xena," from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 1291. Though the galaxy is quite old, roughly 12 billion years, it is marked by an unusual ring where newborn stars are igniting.
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:51:58 EDT

NASA ultra-black nano-coating to be applied to 3-D new solar coronagraph
An emerging super-black nanotechnology that is to be tested for the first time this fall on the International Space Station will be applied to a complex, 3-D component critical for suppressing stray light in a new, smaller, less-expensive solar coronagraph designed to ultimately fly on the orbiting outpost or as a hosted payload on a commercial satellite.
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:34:37 EDT

Mass gaging system will measure fuel transfer in zero gravity
Transfer of super-cooled or cryogenic fuel from one tank to another in the zero gravity of space may one day be a reality. But the challenges of measuring fuels and fuel levels in the weightlessness of space must be solved first. A newly developed sensor technology that will be tested on the early suborbital flights of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo in 2015.
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:27:10 EDT

NASA creating a virtual telescope with two small spacecraft
Although scientists have flown two spacecraft in formation, no one ever has aligned the spacecraft with a specific astronomical target and then held that configuration to make a scientific observation -- creating, in effect, a single or "virtual" telescope with two distinctly different satellites.
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:25:07 EDT

3-D map of the adolescent universe
Using extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8-billion light years away, scientists have created one of the most complete, three-dimensional maps of a slice of the adolescent universe. The map shows a web of hydrogen gas that varies from low to high density at a time when the universe was made of a fraction of the dark matter we see.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:41:11 EDT