It’s been 13 years since astronomers announced Pluto would no longer be considered a major planet in our solar system. When it happened, in 2006, the decision caused a shock wave around the world.
Pluto via New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, 2015.
According to a new study by astronomers, based on data from the Kepler Space Telescope, 1 in 4 sunlike stars should have a planet that’s approximately Earth-sized, orbiting in the star’s habitable zone.
Artist's concept of the Kepler Space Telescope. Kepler has discovered thousands of exoplanets, and now scientists estimate that 1 in 4 sun-like stars has at least one planet about the same size as Earth, orbiting at a similar distance from its star. Image via NASA/Ames Research Center/W. Stenzel/D. Rutter/Penn State News.
NASA released this 1st moon photo of Earth on August 23, 1966, via its spacecraft Lunar Orbiter 1. Years later, it used digital technology to restore the photo and reveal more detail.
First view of Earth from the moon, courtesy NASA/Lunar Orbiter 1.
On Earth, methane gas is often associated with microbial life. Scientists find methane in Mars’ atmosphere, too. Could it be life-related? We still don’t know, but a new study shows wind erosion is likely not the cause.
Mars is a very rocky world, and some scientists theorized that wind erosion of rocks produces methane. But a new study from Newcastle University refutes that. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Phys.org.
On August 14, gravitational wave detectors in the US and Italy sensed ripples in space-time. Data analysis suggests they came from a black hole engulfing a neutron star, 900 million light-years from Earth. If so … it’s a first-ever detection by earthly scientists.
Artist's concept of a scene that might occur when a black hole and neutron star meet, in a galaxy far, far away. Image via ANU
On tall ice structures high in the Chilean Andes, researchers found algae growing on snow. They don’t entirely understand how the algae are able to bloom.
Lara Vimercati and Jack Darcy, two members of the research team, on Volcán Llullaillaco. Image via Steven Schmidt.
New analyses of Saturn’s rings reveal how and when they were made, from what, and whether they’ll last.
With giant Saturn hanging in the blackness and sheltering Cassini from the sun’s blinding glare, the spacecraft viewed the rings as never before.
With the moon waning now, it’s time to go out in the country to witness the glorious Milky Way. Want to locate the direction to the galaxy’s center? This post points the way.
Ruslan Merzlyakov of RMS Photography https://www.facebook.com/rmsphotography95/ calls this image The Star Catcher. He wrote: "One of my biggest night-sky photographs I have ever made, consisting of 50 images and making a total resolution of 258 MegaPixels. Shot during 2 nights between August 7-10. This panoramic view shows a beautiful landscape of the Rubjerg Knude lighthouse's surrounding area, stretching approximately 200 degrees from North to South-West and displays our galaxy, the Milky Way, in zenith."
The Lagoon – aka M8 – is the largest and brightest nebula, or cloud in space, in the vicinity of the Teapot asterism in the constellation Sagittarius.
This is Messier 8 aka M8 or the Lagoon Nebula - as captured by the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. This giant cloud of gas and dust is creating intensely bright young stars, and is home to young stellar clusters. Through your binoculars, the cloud won't look so detailed, but it is still very beautiful. Image via ESO/VPHAS+ team/ Messier-Objects.com