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Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Lightning strikes, seen from ISS

Is this cool or what? Time-lapse video from International Space Station astronaut Tim Peake.

This artist's illustration compares the interior structures of Earth (left) with the exoplanet Kepler-93b (right), which is one and a half times the size of Earth and 4 times as massive. New research suggests that rocky worlds share similar structures, with a core containing about a third of the planet's mass, surrounded by a mantle and topped by a thin crust. Image credit: M. Weiss/CfA
Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Earthlike exoplanets with Earthlike interiors?

Rocky planets orbiting other stars have interiors similar to Earth’s, with a thin outer crust, thick mantle, and Mars-sized core, says a new study.

Gravitational waves are created in some of the most violent events in our universe, such as the merger of two black holes.  one.Image via Swinburne Astronomy Productions / NASA JPL.
Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

How to watch Thursday’s big reveal about gravitational waves

If they’ve been detected, we have a whole new way of looking at the universe. Unanticipated discoveries, unexpected marvels, ahead.

Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Merging galaxies in Eridanus, via Hubble

Characterized as a peculiar galaxy, NGC 1487 is an elaborate cosmic whirl likely formed when several dwarf galaxies merged.

The floor of a basin on Mars where Rodriguez and others propose in this investigation that shallow lakes could have formed. These lakes could have provided an abode for life, these scientists say.
Science Wire | Feb 10, 2016

Volcanos, lakebeds and possible Mars life

Scientists are traveling to Tibet this summer to explore places that might be possible earthly analogs to regions on Mars once suitable for life.

Great Meteor Procession of 1913 via U. of Toronto
Blogs | This Date in Science | Feb 09, 2016

This date in science: Great Meteor Procession

During the Great Meteor Procession of February 9, 1913, bright meteors were seen to cross the sky on stately, nearly identical paths.

Photo Credit: zamb0ni
Tonight | Feb 09, 2016

Orion Nebula where new stars are born

On some moonless night, look for the Orion Nebula below Orion’s Belt. Your eye sees it as a tiny, hazy spot. But it’s a vast region of star formation.

Science Wire | Feb 08, 2016

James Webb Space Telescope takes a giant step

It’ll have 7 times the collecting area of Hubble, and it’s scheduled for launch in 2018. James Webb Space Telescope … and more on this episode of EarthSky News.

Since late January, and through mid-February, 5 bright planets are visible at once in the predawn sky. This image is from February 8, 2016.  It's by Eliot Herman in Tucson, Arizona.  View on Flickr.
Science Wire | Feb 08, 2016

See 5 bright planets at once

First time we can see 5 planets at once since 2005. All 5 are up before dawn, still, and all 5 will remain visible until Mercury disappears in the dawn just after mid-February.

Science Wire | Feb 08, 2016

Pluto has mysterious, floating hills

The hills are thought to be fragments of Pluto’s rugged uplands that have broken away and are being carried along the flow paths of glaciers.

Science Wire | Feb 07, 2016

Mars’ west quadrature on February 7

At west quadrature on February 7, 2016, the red planet appears 90% illuminated as seen through a telescope. Fantastic time to see Mars is just ahead.

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.
Tonight | Feb 05, 2016

February 2016 guide to the 5 bright planets

You can see all 5 bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter – together in the sky before dawn, through mid-February.

Photo Credit:  A. Dupree, R. Gilliland, NASA
Science Wire | Feb 05, 2016

How far is Betelgeuse?

Finding star distances isn’t easy. Here’s how it’s done, and why astronomers recently modified the distance estimate to the famous star Betelgeuse.

Artist's impression. Image credit: UCLAnewsroom
Science Wire | Feb 04, 2016

Violent, head-on crash created moon

On this episode of EarthSky News, an update on the idea that the early Earth collided with a Mars-sized proto-planet to make the moon. That and more. Join us.

Milky Way over Morocco, by Besancon Arnaud.  Visit his website.
Science Wire | Feb 04, 2016

Is our Milky Way galaxy a zombie?

An astrophysicist says our Milky Way may already be dead, but is still going. Why do galaxies stop forming stars, change their shape and fade away?

Clyde W. Tombaugh at his family's farm with his homemade telescope in 1928, two years before his discovery of Pluto.  Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Science Wire | Feb 04, 2016

This date in science: Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto

This is the 110th anniversary of Clyde Tombaugh’s birth. He was a farm boy who loved astronomy and ultimately discovered Pluto. Planets X and Pluto, here.

View larger. | Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as seen by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft
Science Wire | Feb 04, 2016

Darn. No caverns on Rosetta’s comet

Low density of comets suggested there might be huge empty caves honeycombed throughout their interiors. Maybe true for some, but not so for Rosetta’s comet.

Artist's concept of an asteroid approaching Earth.
Science Wire | Feb 03, 2016

How close for asteroid 2013 TX68?

The asteroid will pass closest to Earth on March 5. Will it pass millions of miles away, or as closely as 11,000 miles (17,000 km)?

View larger. | The Pictor A galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its center, and material falling onto the black hole is driving an enormous beam, or jet, of particles at nearly the speed of light into intergalactic space. This composite image contains X-ray data obtained by Chandra at various times over 15 years (blue) and radio data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (red). By studying the details of the structure seen in both X-rays and radio waves, scientists seek to gain a deeper understanding of these huge collimated blasts. X-ray (Blue), Radio (Red)Image credit: NASA/CXC/Univ of Hertfordshire/M.Hardcastle et al
Science Wire | Feb 03, 2016

New image of enormous black hole blast

It shows a giant jet of particles extending 300,000 light-years, blasting from a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy.

Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, Expedition 40 flight engineer, attired in a Russian Orlan spacesuit, is pictured in this close-up view during a session of extravehicular activity (EVA) in support of science and maintenance on the International Space Station. During the five-hour, 11-minute spacewalk, Skvortsov and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev (out of frame) deployed a small science satellite, retrieved and installed experiment packages and inspected components on the exterior of the orbital laboratory. Image credit: NASA
Science Wire | Feb 03, 2016

Watch cosmonauts’ spacewalk today

NASA TV will broadcast live coverage of a 5.5-hour spacewalk by two Russian cosmonauts aboard ISS beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET (1230 UTC) Wednesday.

Science Wire | Feb 03, 2016

Saturn ring density is an illusion

The most opaque parts of Saturn’s rings – the parts that look most dense – don’t always contain more material. Another great Saturn mystery!