How to see the star Fomalhaut in your sky and a word about Fomalhaut b, the first planet beyond our solar system visible to the eye in photographic images.
This image shows the debris ring around Fomalhaut and the location of its first known planet. This is the actual discovery image, published in the journal Science in November, 2008. Fomalhaut b was the first beyond our solar system visible to the eye in photographic images. Image via Hubble Space Telescope.
2017’s September equinox arrives today. Happy autumn (or spring)!
Another great explanation of Friday’s equinox – plus beautiful graphics – from astronomer Guy Ottewell.
Our scene, for an hour after sunset on equinox day in mid-U.S.A., happens to be about three hours after the instant of the equinox. You can see that the “anti-Sun,” as we can call the point 180 degrees from the Sun, appears to be just on the opposite crossroads of ecliptic and equator. Image via Guy Ottewell.
OSIRIS-REx – bound for a 2018 encounter with asteroid Bennu – will sweep in close to Earth on Friday. It’ll be closest today just before 16:52 UTC (12:52 p.m. EDT).
Mike Olason in Denver, Colorado caught OSIRIS-REx with a telescope and CCD camera on September 20, 2017. He wrote: "The image is an average of 19 images (each image is 3 minutes) stacked. The sequence shows 1 hour in the life of the spacecraft. The spacecraft is moving to the west-southwest (west is down and south is left) in this image."
Wow! So many beautiful photos of something relatively hard to catch … the young moon returning to the evening sky this week next to the bright planet Jupiter.
Ashly Cullumber caught this shot on September 21 and wrote: "Crescent Moon & Jupiter setting over Avila Beach, CA -- captured from Shell Beach, CA on this last day of summer."
The scorching hot surface of Mercury – our sun’s innermost planet – seems an unlikely place to find ice. But a new study suggests otherwise.
Brown researchers have found new evidence of ice sheets in permanently shadowed craters near the north pole of Mercury. Image via Head lab / Brown University.
Planetary researchers say a large sedimentary basin, named Aeolis Dorsa, contains some of the planet’s most spectacular and densely packed river deposits.
In this image, the dotted white arrow points to curved strata recording point bar growth and river migration. The boundaries of ancient valley walls are defined by textural and albedo changes and are also associated with lateral river migration. Stacked above the point bars and completely confined within the dotted white and black lines are topographically inverted river deposits outcropping as ridges (e.g., black arrow). In places (e.g., south of the dotted white arrow), the ridges run against the dotted boundaries, suggesting flow was once redirected along a valley wall. Image via GSA.
Autumn is connected in Chinese thought with the direction west, considered to be the direction of dreams and visions.
Talk about dedication to science! This biologist stuck his arm into an eel tank – 10 times – to get an accurate measure of an eel’s shock. He said it felt “like touching a horse fence.”