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 Jul 2015 00:40:21 EDT

An exceptional planetary system discovered in Cassiopeia
Astronomers have teased out a secret planetary system hiding in the arms of Cassiopea, just 21 light years away from us. The remarkable system, named HD219134, hosts one outer giant planet and three inner super-Earths, one of which transits in front of the star. The transiting super-Earth has a density similar to the Earth. It is by far the closest transiting planet known today. It provides the ideal candidate for follow-up studies and a deeper understanding of planetary formation, internal composition, and atmospheres. The system is so close that astronomers already dream about taking pictures of the new "Stars."
Publ.Date : Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:29:46 EDT

Comets: Soft shell, hard core?
Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko poses new riddles: Surface material measurements performed by the Philae landing module indicate that the near surface material might have changed since its formation. Up to now, many researchers had assumed that it has remained in virtually the same state since its formation about 4.5 billion years ago.
Publ.Date : Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:29:44 EDT

Stars in Milky Way have moved
Researchers are part of a team of scientists with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) that created a new map of the Milky Way that shows nearly a third of the stars have dramatically changed their obits.
Publ.Date : Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:11:25 EDT

Distant Uranus-sized planet discovered through microlensing
Astronomers have confirmed the existence of a Uranus-sized exoplanet orbiting far from its central star, discovered through a technique called gravitational microlensing.
Publ.Date : Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:11:16 EDT

Stormy seas in Sagittarius
Some of the most breathtaking views in the Universe are created by nebulae -- hot, glowing clouds of gas. This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the center of the Lagoon Nebula, an object with a deceptively tranquil name. The region is filled with intense winds from hot stars, churning funnels of gas, and energetic star formation, all embedded within an intricate haze of gas and pitch-dark dust.
Publ.Date : Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:46:02 EDT

'Failed stars' host powerful auroral displays
By observing a brown dwarf 20 light-years away using both radio and optical telescopes, astronomers have found that such so-called failed stars host powerful auroras near their magnetic poles -- additional evidence that brown dwarfs are more like giant planets than small stars.
Publ.Date : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:21:42 EDT

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories
The merger of two black holes is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. The first observatories capable of directly detecting gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of spacetime predicted by Albert Einstein -- will begin observing the universe later this year. When these waves rolling in from space are detected on Earth for the first time, astrophysicists predict astronomers will 'hear,' through these waves, five times more colliding black holes than previously expected.
Publ.Date : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:20:32 EDT

Secrets of stars unlocked through aluminium
Physicists have revealed a new understanding of nucleosynthesis in stars, providing insight into the role massive stars play in the evolution of the Milky Way and the origins of the Solar System.
Publ.Date : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:21:49 EDT

First detection of lithium from an exploding star
The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made using telescopes at ESO's La Silla Observatory, and near Santiago in Chile, help to explain the mystery of why many young stars seem to have more of this chemical element than expected.
Publ.Date : Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:59:20 EDT

Lobster-eye imager detects soft X-ray emissions
A group of scientists have described developing and launching their imager, which centers on "Lobster-Eye optics," as well as its capabilities and future applications in space exploration.
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:07:36 EDT

Dust pillars of destruction reveal impact of cosmic wind on galaxy evolution
Astronomers have long known that powerful cosmic winds can sometimes blow through galaxies, sweeping out interstellar material and stopping future star formation. Now they have a clearer snapshot of how it happens.
Publ.Date : Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:03:30 EDT

Brown dwarfs, stars share formation process, new study indicates
The discovery of jets of material ejected from still-forming brown dwarfs provides the first direct evidence that these enigmatic objects form in the same way as their more-massive siblings, stars, rather than like planets.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Jul 2015 12:54:00 EDT

Bigger, older cousin to Earth discovered
NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the "habitable zone" around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another "Earth."
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:57:03 EDT

Treasure hunting in archive data reveals clues about black holes’ diet
Using archival data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray telescopes, astronomers have discovered a gigantic black hole, which is probably destroying and devouring a big star in its vicinity. With a mass of 100 million times more than our Sun, this is the largest black hole caught in this act so far.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Jul 2015 08:38:57 EDT

Space-eye-view could help stop global wildlife decline
Conservation scientists need to collaborate with space agencies, such as NASA and the European Space Agency, to identify measures which help track biodiversity declines around the world. Scientists are calling for urgent cooperation.
Publ.Date : Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:14:20 EDT

Déjà-vu: New theory says dark matter acts like well-known particle
A new theory says dark matter acts remarkably similar to subatomic particles known to science since the 1930s.
Publ.Date : Wed, 22 Jul 2015 08:11:19 EDT

Seeing triple: New 3-D model could solve supernova mystery
Scientists have developed a 3-D model of a giant star's last moments, work that could shed light on how these stars explode.
Publ.Date : Tue, 21 Jul 2015 12:46:36 EDT

Technique may reveal the age of moon rocks during spaceflight
Researchers are developing instruments and methods for measuring the ages of rocks encountered during space missions to the Moon or other planets. Many of the techniques used to date rocks on Earth are not practical in spaceflight, but a technique called laser ablation resonance ionization mass spectrometry can avoid the need for sophisticated sample preparation.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:45:08 EDT

Abundance of certain elements in Earth dictate whether plate tectonics can happen
Planet Earth is situated in what astronomers call the Goldilocks Zone -- a sweet spot in a solar system where a planet's surface temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. An ideal distance from a home star -- in Earth's case, the sun -- this habitable zone, as it is also known, creates optimal conditions that prevent water from freezing and generating a global icehouse or evaporating into space and creating a runaway greenhouse.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Jul 2015 14:13:26 EDT

Solar events unlikely to trigger birth defects on Earth
A new investigation has found radiation from solar events is too weak to cause worry at ground level.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Jul 2015 11:49:58 EDT