At the heart of galaxy NGC 4889 lurks one of the most massive black holes ever discovered. Astronomers think this giant has stopped feeding and is now resting.
Today’s Friday FAQ: Why do we kiss? Well, duh, because it feels good. But why does it feel good?
Tonight – February 12, 2016 – the waxing crescent moon and planet Uranus, the seventh planet outward from the sun, float in front of the constellation Pisces the Fishes. Although Uranus will remain within Pisces’ borders for the rest of this year, the moon will leave Pisces after a few more days.
After storms and high winds in England, France and Germany this week, a moment of serenity with a crescent moon.
EarthSky News with Deborah Byrd for February 11, 2016. To say that this morning’s announcement of the detection of gravitational waves was momentous is an understatement. At the announcement in Washington D.C. this morning, scientists struggled to find powerful-enough words to convey their excitement.
The science world has buzzed with rumors about this morning’s announcement by LIGO all week but now it’s for real. Scientists have detected gravitational waves. David Reitze, executive director of the LIGO Laboratory at Caltech – compared our newly acquired ability to detect these elusive waves to Galileo’s first use of a telescope 400 years ago. Few doubt that this discovery will be worth a Nobel Prize. These mysterious ripples in spacetime were predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity 100 years ago. They’ll let us explore the universe in a whole new way.
Slovenian folklore speaks of baby dragons flushed from parents’ subterranean lairs. Today, we know these rare creatures as the olm, and one of them has laid eggs.
An international team of astronomers used a radio telescope in Australia – equipped with an innovative receiver – to peer through the stars and dust of our Milky Way galaxy. And what did they find? More galaxies. In this way, they’ve taken steps forward in explaining the Great Attractor – a giant concentration of mass that’s pulling our Milky Way and hundreds of thousands of other galaxies toward it.
Technically speaking, Mercury and Venus will not have a conjunction this month. However, these two worlds will be staging a quasi-conjunction over the next several mornings. A quasi-conjunction is said to take place whenever two planets come to within 5o of each other on the sky’s dome, yet do not align north and south of one another.
Is this cool or what? Time-lapse video from International Space Station astronaut Tim Peake.