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 : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:10:26 EDT

Hubble shows farthest lensing galaxy yields clues to early universe
Astronomers have unexpectedly discovered the most distant galaxy that acts as a cosmic magnifying glass. Seen in a new image as it looked 9.6 billion years ago, this monster elliptical galaxy breaks the previous record holder by 200 million years.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:09:44 EDT

Fossils could be discovered on the moon: Signs of ancient life may be littered across the moon
Physicists have tested what would happen if a piece of rock containing microscopic fossils from Earth was launched into space and hit the surface of the moon. The team turned fossil-filled rock into powder which was mixed with water and frozen to replicate a meteoroid.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:10:36 EDT

Numerous unknown jets from young stars and planetary nebulae discovered
Preliminary research findings have identified hundreds of so far unknown jets from young stars, as well as numerous new planetary nebulae in the Galactic Plane.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:51:42 EDT

Double star with weird and wild planet-forming discs
Astronomers have found wildly misaligned planet-forming gas discs around the two young stars in the binary system HK Tauri. These new observations provide the clearest picture ever of protoplanetary discs in a double star. The new result also helps to explain why so many exoplanets — unlike the planets in the Solar System — came to have strange, eccentric or inclined orbits.
Publ.Date : Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:29:42 EDT

Mercury's bizzare magnetic field tells scientists how its interior is different from Earth's
Mercury's interior is different from the Earth's interior in a way that explains Mercury's bizarre magnetic field, planetary physicists report. Measurements from NASA's Messenger spacecraft have revealed that Mercury's magnetic field is approximately three times stronger at its northern hemisphere than its southern one.
Publ.Date : Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:43:10 EDT

Revolutionary microshutter technology hurdles significant challenges
NASA technologists have hurdled a number of significant technological challenges in their quest to improve an already revolutionary observing technology originally created for the James Webb Space Telescope.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:56:12 EDT

NASA-funded X-ray instrument settles interstellar debate
New findings from a NASA-funded instrument have resolved a decades-old puzzle about a fog of low-energy X-rays observed over the entire sky. Thanks to refurbished detectors first flown on a NASA sounding rocket in the 1970s, astronomers have now confirmed the long-held suspicion that much of this glow stems from a region of million-degree interstellar plasma known as the local hot bubble, or LHB.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:56:10 EDT

Weighing the Milky Way: Researchers devise precise method for calculating the mass of galaxies
Does the Milky Way look fat in this picture? Has Andromeda been taking skinny selfies? Using a new, more accurate method for measuring the mass of galaxies, and international group of researchers has shown that the Milky Way has half the Mass of the Andromeda Galaxy.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:49:59 EDT

NASA long-lived Mars Opportunity rover passes 25 miles of driving
NASA's Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover.
Publ.Date : Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:22:30 EDT

Cassini spacecraft reveals 101 geysers and more on icy Saturn moon
Scientists using mission data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moon's underground sea all the way to its surface.
Publ.Date : Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:15:30 EDT

Glow in space is evidence of a hot bubble in our galaxy
A recent study shows that the emission is dominated by the local hot bubble of gas -- 1 million degrees -- with, at most, 40 percent of emission originating within the solar system. The findings should put to rest the disagreement about the origin of the X-ray emission and confirm the existence of the local hot bubble.
Publ.Date : Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:44:47 EDT

New mass map of distant galaxy cluster is most precise yet
Astronomers have mapped the mass within a galaxy cluster more precisely than ever before. Created using observations from Hubble's Frontier Fields observing program, the map shows the amount and distribution of mass within MCS J0416.1-2403, a massive galaxy cluster found to be 160 trillion times the mass of the Sun.
Publ.Date : Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:42:20 EDT

Hubble finds three surprisingly dry exoplanets: 'Hot Jupiters' had only one-tenth to one one-thousandth the amount of water predicted
Astronomers have gone looking for water vapor in the atmospheres of three planets orbiting stars similar to the Sun -- and have come up nearly dry. The three planets, known as HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b, are between 60 and 900 light-years away from Earth and were thought to be ideal candidates for detecting water vapor in their atmospheres because of their high temperatures where water turns into a measurable vapor.
Publ.Date : Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:28:20 EDT

Voyager spacecraft might not have reached interstellar space
In 2012, the Voyager mission team announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft had passed into interstellar space, traveling further from Earth than any other humanmade object. But, in the nearly two years since that historic announcement, and despite subsequent observations backing it up, uncertainty about whether Voyager 1 really crossed the threshold continues.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:41:42 EDT

New approach in search for extraterrestrial intelligence: Target alien polluters
Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life. But those gases come from simple life forms like microbes. What about advanced civilizations? Would they leave any detectable signs? They might, if they spew industrial pollution into the atmosphere.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:12:20 EDT

Atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon
An astronomer has published the results of the comparison of his model of Titan's atmosphere with the latest data.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:10:30 EDT

Lives and deaths of sibling stars
In a new image from ESO, young stars huddle together against clouds of glowing gas and lanes of dust. The star cluster, NGC 3293, would have been just a cloud of gas and dust itself about ten million years ago, but as stars began to form it became the bright group of stars we see here. Clusters like this are laboratories that allow astronomers to learn about how stars evolve.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:09:24 EDT

Satellite galaxies put astronomers in a spin
Astronomers have studied 380 galaxies and shown that their small satellite galaxies almost always move in rotating discs. However, such satellite galaxy discs are not predicted by current models of the formation of structures in the Universe. This discovery could cause modelers serious headaches in the years ahead.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:08:35 EDT

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory celebrates 15th anniversary
Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:48:50 EDT

NASA's Fermi finds a 'transformer' pulsar
In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at the same time the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, according to measurements by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:04:52 EDT