Scientific American 16 Feb 2018, 19:00 UTC When ‘Oumuamua, a mysterious interstellar object, swept through our solar system last October, it elicited breathless news stories all asking the obvious question—is it a spaceship? There were no signs it was—although many people seemed to hope otherwise.
OrbitalHub 16 Feb 2018, 13:00 UTC ESA’s XMM-Newton has spotted surprising changes in the powerful streams of gas from two massive stars, suggesting that colliding stellar winds don’t behave as expected. Massive stars – several times larger than our Sun – lead turbulent lives, burning their nuclear fuel rapidly and pouring large amounts of material into their surroundings throughout their short but sparkling lives.
SPACE.com 16 Feb 2018, 11:59 UTC When NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Neptune in 1989, it observed large, dark storms flying through the distant planet's atmosphere. Since then, scientists have monitored Neptune using the Hubble Space Telescope and seen new storms develop.
ESO Blog 16 Feb 2018, 11:00 UTC Part of ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany, is currently in a frenzy of activity as we prepare to open the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre in April 2018. This cutting-edge free astronomy centre is equipped with a 14-metre planetarium dome and an amazing exhibition that takes visitors on a journey to the stars. It’s a lot of work to install a planetarium system from scratch, but to engineer Max Rößner, the ESO Supernova is like a giant playground.
Astro Bob 16 Feb 2018, 03:03 UTC I do enjoy a big picture perspective. You too? As part of an engineering test, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image of the Earth and Moon using its navigation camera on January 17 from a distance of 39.5 million miles (63.6 million km). When the camera snapped the image, the spacecraft was moving away from Earth at 19,000 miles per hour (8.5 km/sec). Earth and the fainter, smaller moon dominate the photo. From the spacecraft’s perspective they’re in the head of the constellation Cetus the Whale. At upper is the familiar Seven Sisters star cluster also known as the Pleiades (PLEE-uh-deez), while Aries the Ram, the smallest zodiac constellation, occupies the upper right.
Centauri Dreams 15 Feb 2018, 16:43 UTC “Wherever you go, there you are.” So goes an old saw that makes a valid point: You can’t escape yourself by changing locations. Translating the great Greek poet C. P. Cavafy, Lawrence Durrell tweaked the language of “The God Abandons Antony” to come up with these closing lines: Ah! don’t you see Just as you’ve ruined your life in this One plot of ground you’ve ruined its worth Everywhere now — over the whole earth?
NPR 15 Feb 2018, 15:06 UTC As the fox told the prince in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's wonderful fable The Little Prince: "What is essential is invisible to the eye." If the fox had not been talking about love, she could have been referring to the elementary particles of matter, the building blocks of everything that exists. The poetry here is in knowing that the world is made of tiny, invisible bits of stuff that carry, in them, the story of creation itself.