Night Sky Observer Space and Astronomy News


06/19/2017 10:38 PM
Kepler Survey Catalog With Hundreds of New Planet Candidates Released by NASA

NASA’s Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star’s habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet. This is...

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06/19/2017 02:31 AM
A Stormy Stellar Nursery

This shot from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a maelstrom of glowing gas and dark dust within one of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This stormy scene shows a stellar nursery known as N159, an HII region over 150 light-years across. N159 contains many hot young stars. These stars...

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03/30/2017 03:45 AM
Dark Energy May Not Be Needed to Explain the Accelerating Expansion of the Universe

Enigmatic ‘dark energy‘, thought to make up 68% of the universe, may not exist at all, according to a Hungarian-American team. The researchers believe that standard models of the universe fail to take account of its changing structure, but that once this is done the need for dark energy disappears. The team publish their results...

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The original post is located here: Dark Energy May Not Be Needed to Explain the Accelerating Expansion of the Universe


02/25/2017 01:43 AM
A New Look at Supernova 1987A

Three decades ago, astronomers spotted one of the brightest exploding stars in more than 400 years. The titanic supernova, called Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A), blazed with the power of 100 million suns for several months following its discovery on Feb. 23, 1987. This is where Supernova 1987A is located Since that first sighting, SN 1987A...

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The original post is located here: A New Look at Supernova 1987A


02/18/2017 02:51 AM

NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter, which has been in orbit around the gas giant since July 4, 2016, will remain in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission. This will allow Juno to accomplish its science goals, while avoiding the risk of a previously-planned engine firing that would have reduced the spacecraft’s...

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02/17/2017 04:39 AM
The Release of LunarPhase Pro Version 4 – and a Potted History of My Astronomy Software

The Main Screen for LunarPhase Pro Verison 4. Click the image for a full-size view I wrote my first astronomy application back in 1981 while I was still in University. It was for the Sinclair ZX81. A year earlier I had bought my first ever computer – a ZX80 which had a whopping 1K RAM...

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The original post is located here: The Release of LunarPhase Pro Version 4 – and a Potted History of My Astronomy Software


12/23/2016 01:41 AM
Is There a Subsurface Ocean on Jupiter’s Largest Moon Ganymede?

In the video below, scientists Tony Darnell, Dr. Carol Christian and Scott Lewis discuss observations of Ganymede with the Hubble Space Telescope science team. Nearly 500 million miles from the Sun lies a moon orbiting Jupiter that is slightly larger than the planet Mercury and may contain more water than all of Earth’s oceans. Temperatures...

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The original post is located here: Is There a Subsurface Ocean on Jupiter’s Largest Moon Ganymede?


12/20/2016 12:40 AM
Data From Pan-STARRS Released to the Public

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu, Hawaii, publicly released data yesterday from Pan-STARRS — the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System — the world’s largest digital sky survey. “The Pan-STARRS1 Surveys allow anyone to access millions of images and...

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The original post is located here: Data From Pan-STARRS Released to the Public


12/19/2016 03:20 AM
ExoMars 2020 Is a Go!

The first ExoMars mission arrived at the Red Planet in October and now the second mission has been confirmed to complete its construction for a 2020 launch. ESA and Thales Alenia Space signed a contract today that secures the completion of the European elements of the next mission. The main objective of the ExoMars programme...

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The original post is located here: ExoMars 2020 Is a Go!


11/21/2016 12:04 AM
Rosetta Finds Carbon Dioxide Ice Surprise on Comet

As Rosetta’s comet approached its most active period last year, the spacecraft spotted carbon dioxide ice – never before seen on a comet – followed by the emergence of two unusually large patches of water ice. The carbon dioxide ice layer covered an area comparable to the size of a football pitch, while the two...

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The original post is located here: Rosetta Finds Carbon Dioxide Ice Surprise on Comet