Telescopic Watch 19 Jan 2019, 17:51 UTC What’s the most distant object you can see with just your eyes? You might name a local building or point to an aircraft flying overhead. You might even guess the name of a distant star, but an astronomer will give a different answer: the Andromeda Galaxy.
Starts With a Bang! 19 Jan 2019, 15:01 UTC What is our Universe made out of? At a fundamental level, to the best of our knowledge, the answer is simple: particles and fields. The type of matter that makes up humans, Earth, and all the stars, for example, is all composed of the known particles of the Standard Model. Dark matter is theorized to be a particle, while dark energy is theorized to be a field inherent to space itself. But all the particles that exist, at the core of their nature, are just excited quantum fields themselves. What gives them the properties that they have? That’s the topic of this week’s question
Scientific American 19 Jan 2019, 13:00 UTC A new analysis suggests the last few hundred million years of life on Earth has seen above-average asteroid impact rates
Universe Today 19 Jan 2019, 05:23 UTC In 2018, scientists announced the discovery of a extrasolar planet orbiting Barnard’s star, an M-type (red dwarf) that is just 6 light years away. Using the Radial Velocity method, the research team responsible for the discovery determined that this exoplanet (Barnard’s Star b) was at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth and experienced average surface temperatures of about -170 °C (-274 °F) – making it both a “Super-Earth” and “ice planet”.
Universe Today 18 Jan 2019, 21:06 UTC The Cassini mission to Saturn ended in September 2017, but the data it gathered during its 13 year mission is still yielding scientific results. On the heels of a newly-released global image of Saturn’s moon Titancomes another discovery: Rainfall at Titan’s north pole.
Astronotes 18 Jan 2019, 17:12 UTC At the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium we have been having a look at all the things that are going to happen throughout the year and trying to select some of the events that we are most looking forward to. Needless to say this was a hard task, but we have managed to come up with a top 10 list for you!
The Planetary Society Blog 18 Jan 2019, 12:00 UTC Honeybee Robotics has successfully completed a second round of testing on a next-generation drill that might one day burrow deep beneath icy planetary surfaces. The work, which took place in December 2018, builds on a 2015 Planetary Society-sponsored test, and paves the way for an ambitious drilling expedition in Greenland this year.
ESO Blog 18 Jan 2019, 11:00 UTC Although they look like fuzzy patches of light, distant galaxies are actually made up of billions of stars and other astronomical intricacies. Telescopes are rarely powerful enough to study the individual stars in galaxies except for those closest to the Milky Way, but a team of scientists has now used the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope to resolve the stars in the spiral galaxy NGC 300. By telling the story of how astronomy has reached this point, team member Martin M. Roth from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam helps us understand why this result is so exciting.