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Updated: 1 hour 20 min ago

Mercury, Venus, and Neptune rise with the crescent Moon tomorrow morning

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 04:00
Shortly after twilight begins tomorrow morning, look low in the east-southeast for Venus. The hellish planet shines brilliantly at magnitude –3.9 and pierces the growing twilight with ease. The boiling world rises just 22 minutes before the slim crescent Moon, which will hang about 4° directly below Venus. A half-hour before sunrise, the two stand just above of the horizon. Mercury also joins the Venus-Moon duo tomorrow morning. The innermost planet rises slightly east of the pair s
Categories: Astronomy

Astronomers finally confirm methane on Mars

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 04:00
Claims of martian methane have been around for years. But now, researchers are confident it's really there.
Categories: Astronomy

The Sky This Week from March 29 to April 7

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 04:00
The evening sky offers views of Mars and the Pleiades in the same binocular field, the zodiacal light having its final hurrah of 2019, and the sky’s biggest and brightest asterism.
Categories: Astronomy

The case for Trident: NASA’s shrinking window for a mission to Triton

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 04:00
This little mission with big returns would give scientists a closer look at a moon that may host an environment hospitable for life.
Categories: Astronomy

LIGO is searching for gravitational waves again, and here's what scientists hope to learn

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 04:00
Following a year of hardware upgrades, LIGO is back up and running, and ready to reveal more about our universe.
Categories: Astronomy

Second ghostly galaxy without dark matter discovered, first confirmed

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 04:00

Ironically, by finding two galaxies severely lacking in dark matter, researchers have made a compelling case for the existence of the mysterious material.

Categories: Astronomy

Saturn's small moons formed from the dust of its rings

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 04:00

Cassini data suggests that Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora and Epimetheus were created from the vast dust whirling in Saturn's rings.

Categories: Astronomy

The hunt for cosmic fireworks in the Magellanic Clouds

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 04:00
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) are two of the most stunning naked-eye sights you can spot in the southern sky. Over the past few billion years, these two satellite galaxies of the Milky Way have been locked in a complex dance that has led to numerous interactions between them. And each time they get close, their gravitational forces disrupt the gas clouds within them, spawning the formation of thousands of new star clusters. Now, astronomers need your he
Categories: Astronomy

The Moon slides by Saturn tomorrow morning

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 04:00
The Moon moves eastward relative to the background stars an average of 13° every day, and early tomorrow morning (Friday, March 29), Earth's only satellite will pass within just 3° of Saturn. The ringed planet rises around 3:15 a.m. local daylight time over the southeastern horizon. The Moon, which currently appears as a waning crescent, follows about 10 minutes later. The two will hover within just 3° of each other throughout the morning hours, and Saturn will remain a fixture i
Categories: Astronomy

Ancient rivers raged on Mars, upsetting geological timeline

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 04:00
A new global study of ancient Martian riverbeds shows they are wider than Earth rivers on average, and once carried large volumes of water and runoff. They also flowed until surprisingly recently in Mars’ history, perhaps into the last billion years. This is a puzzle, given the Red Planet’s current desert environment, its thin atmosphere and dim sunlight. These features should have prevented vast water resources even early in the world’s history. Now scientists must puzzle out
Categories: Astronomy

Trojan asteroids reveal Jupiter's great migration

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 04:00

The planetary goliath Jupiter formed some 3.5 times farther from the Sun than it is now, but its journey inward only took about 700,000 years.

Categories: Astronomy

Astronomers peek at a young, stormy exoplanet swirling with iron clouds

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 04:00
A powerful imaging technique has been turned on a young, hot super-Jupiter around a nearby star.
Categories: Astronomy

NASA shuffles crew roster, nixing historic all-female spacewalk

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 04:00
To ensure the astronauts' spacesuits will fit properly, both women cannot currently perform an EVA at once.
Categories: Astronomy

Pence: America will put astronauts back on the Moon in five years

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 04:00
According to the Vice President, the first woman and the next man on the Moon will be American.
Categories: Astronomy

Titan's slot canyons of ice rival those of Zion National park

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 04:00
The American southwest is littered with slot canyons – deep, narrow passages worn through by the erosive force of water. But there’s another place in the solar system with this majestic geology: Saturn’s moon, Titan. “Titan’s canyons are wider, generally deeper, and have slightly more sloping walls (than Earth),” says Tracy Gregg, a geologist at the University of Buffalo in New York. Gregg presented her research on Titan’s slot canyons last week at the L
Categories: Astronomy

The Moon points to two bright planets this week

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 04:00

The Moon’s relentless march across the night sky carries it past Jupiter and Saturn later this week.

Categories: Astronomy

Hubble catches Neptune forming new, massive storms

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 04:00
Neptune has a new storm, in the form of a large dark spot that appeared in late 2018. By analyzing Hubble images dating back to 2015, astronomers have discovered high-altitude clouds that formed years ahead of the visible storm, indicating it was already forming there, swirling beneath the clouds and haze. The telltale clouds are teaching astronomers more about how such storms form and evolve on all the giant outer planets. Birth of a storm Neptune, like all the outer solar system planets, forms
Categories: Astronomy

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