Astronomer Evan Kirby at Caltech measured the velocities of six stars in the nearby dwarf galaxy Triangulum II. This measurement let them infer the mass of the galaxy, which has only 1,000 visible stars. The surprising result was that Triangulum II may have the highest concentration of dark matter of any known galaxy. It may be a long-sought dark matter galaxy – mostly dark matter with few visible stars. Holy grail? Or is there another explanation?
More than two weeks after the first rain of the season, another rainfall. Peter Lowenstein in Mutare, Zimbabwe reports.
November 20, 1889. Happy birthday, Edwin Hubble! The Hubble Space Telescope is named for this astronomer. How did this honor come to be? Hubble’s work was pivotal in changing our entire cosmology: our idea of the universe as a whole.
At McDonald Observatory in West Texas last month, I toured of the inner workings of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which has recently undergone a $25 million upgrade and has just re-achieved first light. The telescope is being geared up for a new project, called the Dark Energy Experiment, due to begin in early 2016. Follow the links inside to learn more about dark energy, the Dark Energy Experiment and the fate of our universe.
There’s a hybrid canid living in the eastern US, the result of an amazing evolution story unfolding right in front of us. But it’s not a new species – yet – says a wildlife biologist.
Yale Press originally released this 1-minute video in 2013, but it has now resurfaced. It’s the vision of paleoartist John Gurche of his own direct ancestry, essentially the face of human evolution over the past six-million years.
What’s left in a solar system whose central sun has become a white dwarf? This study shows what our own solar system might be like, billions of years from now.
A small space rock discovered yesterday (November 14) passed very close to Earth just hours after first being detected. Asteroid 2015 VY105 was moving at a speed of more than 39,000 miles per hour (62,000 kph) when it passed over the Pacific Ocean. At closest approach, it was just 21,000 miles (34,000 km) from Earth. That’s close, closer than weather and television satellites as well as other geostationary satellites.
November 14 1963. On this date, a cook aboard a trawler called Ísleifur II – sailing south of Iceland – spotted a column of dark smoke rising from the surface of the sea. The ship’s captain thought it be a boat on fire and turned his vessel to investigate. What they found was an island in the process of being born: explosive volcanic eruptions originating from below the sea surface, belching black columns of ash. The new island was later named Surtsey, for Surtur, a fire jötunn (a mythological race of Norse giants). Click inside for its story.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 14, 2015. Object WT1190F – nicknamed WTF – reentered Earth’s atmosphere as predicted on Friday. It was the first-ever precisely predicted fall of space debris. Scientists captured images of it as it fell over the southern waters near Sri Lanka, in the Indian Ocean.