SPACE.com 21 Sep 2017, 12:00 UTC Not one but two gigantic black holes lurk at the heart of the distant spiral galaxy NGC 7674, a new study suggests. These two supermassive black holes are separated by less than 1 light-year and together harbor about 40 million times the mass of the sun, researchers said.
EarthSky Blog 21 Sep 2017, 11:53 UTC Brown researchers have found new evidence of ice sheets in permanently shadowed craters near the north pole of Mercury. Image via Head lab/Brown University. The scorching hot surface of Mercury – the closest planet to the sun – seems like an unlikely place to find ice, but research over the past three decades has suggested that frozen water hidden away on crater floors that are permanently shadowed from the sun’s blistering rays. Now, a new study led by Brown University researchers suggests that there could be much more ice on Mercury’s surface than previously thought. The study, by researchers from Brown University, published September 14, 2017 in Geophysical Research Letters, adds three new members to the list of craters near Mercury’s north pole that appear to harbor large surface ice deposits. The researchers estimate the total area of the three sheets to be about 3,400 square kilometers (1,313 square miles) — that’s slightly larger than the U.S. state of Rhode Island. In addition to those large deposits, the research also shows evidence that smaller-scale deposits scattered around Mercury’s north pole, both inside craters and in shadowed terrain between craters. Those deposits may be small, but they could add up to ...
EarthSky Blog 21 Sep 2017, 10:02 UTC In this image of Aeolis Dorsa, the dotted white arrow points to curved strata recording point bar growth and river migration. Stacked above the point bars and completely confined within the dotted white and black lines are topographically inverted river deposits outcropping as ridges (e.g., black arrow). In places (e.g., south of the dotted white arrow), the ridges run against the dotted boundaries, suggesting flow was once redirected along a valley wall. Image via GSA. River deposits exist across the surface of Mars, and record a surface environment from over 3.5 billion years ago that was able to support liquid water at the surface. That’s according to a study published in the September 2017 issue of the Geological Society of America’s GSA Bulletin. A region of Mars named Aeolis Dorsa contains some of the planet’s most spectacular and densely packed ancient river deposits. These deposits are observable with satellite images because they have undergone a process called “topographic inversion” – that is, deposits that once filled low river channels have been lifted up so that they now exist as ridges at the surface of the planet. With the use of high-resolution images and topographic data from cameras on orbiting satellites, ...
Universe @ CSIRO 21 Sep 2017, 04:18 UTC Radio astronomy is undergoing a major boost, with new technology gathering data on objects in our universe faster than astronomers can analyse. But once that data is scrutinised it could lead to some amazing new discoveries, as I explain in my review of the state of radio astronomy, published today in Nature Astronomy. Over the next few years, we will see the universe in a very different light, and we are likely to make completely unexpected discoveries.
David Reneke's World of Space and Astronomy 21 Sep 2017, 02:25 UTC
David Reneke's World of Space and Astronomy 21 Sep 2017, 01:45 UTC
Space Fellowship 20 Sep 2017, 23:01 UTC
Astro Watch 20 Sep 2017, 21:40 UTC Scientists have long been intrigued by the surfaces of terrestrial bodies other than Earth which reveal deep similarities beneath their superficially differing volcanic and tectonic histories. A team of scientists from NASA, Hampton University and the University of Hong Kong propose a new way of understanding the cooling and transfer of heat from terrestrial planetary interiors and how that affects the generation of the volcanic terrains that dominate the rocky planets.
Universe Today 20 Sep 2017, 17:47 UTC In 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft established orbit around the large asteroid (aka. planetoid) known as Vesta. Over the course of the next 14 months, the probe conducted detailed studies of Vesta’s surface with its suite of scientific instruments. These findings revealed much about the planetoid’s history, its surface features, and its structure – which is believed to be differentiated, like the rocky planets.