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NASA's Ames Research Center News and Features 14 Feb 2020, 15:00 UTC Over a year ago, the New Horizons spacecraft flew by a strange object at the edge of our solar system. Just a hazy form resembling a snowman on the day of the spacecraft’s closest approach, Arrokoth is now taking shape to be a fascinating and revelatory member of the region of the solar system beyond Neptune's orbit known as the Kuiper Belt. Untouched by the usual turmoil and impacts of most small objects, this pristinely preserved world could tell us about the earliest years of our solar system's formation.
ESA Space Science 13 Feb 2020, 10:00 UTC This image shows a region of Mars’ surface named Nilosyrtis Mensae. It comprises data gathered on 29 September 2019 during orbit 19908. The ground resolution is approximately 15 m/pixel and the images are centred at about 69°E/31°N. This image was created using data from the nadir and colour channels of the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The nadir channel is aligned perpendicular to the surface of Mars, as if looking straight down at the surface. This perspective looks over the region from north to south.
IAU Press Releases 12 Feb 2020, 17:00 UTC In June 2019, the International Astronomical Union expressed concern about the negative impact that the planned mega-constellations of communication satellites may have on astronomical observations and on the pristine appearance of the night sky when observed from a dark region. We here present a summary of the current understanding of the impact of these satellite constellations.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 11 Feb 2020, 14:18 UTC In February 2020, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory — SDO — is celebrating its 10th year in space. Over the past decade the spacecraft has kept a constant eye on the Sun, studying how the Sun creates solar activity and drives space weather — the dynamic conditions in space that impact the entire solar system, including Earth.
McDonald Observatory 10 Feb 2020, 17:15 UTC A team of astronomers led by Brendan Bowler of The University of Texas at Austin has probed the formation process of giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs, a class of objects that are more massive than giant planets, but not massive enough to ignite nuclear fusion in their cores to shine like true stars. Using direct imaging with giant ground-based telescopes, they studied the orbits of these faint companions orbiting stars in 27 systems. These data, combined with modeling of the orbits, allowed them to determine that the brown dwarfs in these systems formed like stars, but the gas giants formed like planets. The research is published in the current issue of The Astronomical Journal.
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Starts With a Bang! 17 Feb 2020, 15:01 UTC We’ve come fantastically far in our understanding of the distant Universe. Here’s how we’ll go even farther.
Starts With a Bang! 14 Feb 2020, 15:01 UTC It took thousands of scientists working for hundreds of years for us to arrive at this picture, and yet the lack of a consensus on what the expansion rate actually is tells us that either something is dreadfully wrong, we have an unidentified error somewhere, or there’s a new scientific revolution just on the horizon.
Discover 14 Feb 2020, 13:00 UTC You don’t have to be a scientist to know that stars shine. It’s what they’re known for. But how and why they shine was unknown for thousands of years, and only became clear in the 20th century, as humans puzzled out the power of nuclear fusion.