Astroengine 2 Nov 2019, 02:11 UTC While we have a pretty good idea about how stars like our Sun work, observing all the details that unfold over millions to billions of years of stellar evolution can be difficult, especially if the phenomena occur over short timescales. Take, for example, a particularly explosive and relatively short-lived period our Sun is expected to experience in roughly five billion years.
Asteroid Hygiea is Round Enough That it Could Qualify as a Dwarf Planet, the Smallest in the Solar System2 Nov 2019, 02:07 UTC Within the Main Asteroid Belt, there are a number of larger bodies that have defied traditional classification. The largest among them is Ceres, which is followed by Vesta, Pallas, and Hygeia. Until recently, Ceres was thought to be the only object in the Main Belt large enough to undergo hydrostatic equilibrium – where an object is sufficiently massive that its gravity causes it to collapse into a roughly spherical shape.
SciTech Daily 2 Nov 2019, 01:41 UTC Galaxies may seem lonely, floating alone in the vast, inky blackness of the sparsely populated cosmos — but looks can be deceiving. This image of NGC 1706, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is a good example of this. NGC 1706 is a spiral galaxy, about 230 million light-years away, in the constellation of Dorado (the Swordfish).
EarthSky Blog 1 Nov 2019, 15:35 UTC Earth’s gravity bent the trajectory of asteroid C0PPEV1 so much yesterday – as this asteroid swept only 3,852 miles (6,200 km) above Africa – that its farthest point from the sun has now shifted out to the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.
Bad Astronomy 1 Nov 2019, 13:00 UTC We know that all big galaxies have supermassive black holes (SMBHs to those in the know) in their centers, and that these SMBHs grew to their enormous sizes early on. These black holes affect the way the galaxy grows, which in turn also affects how the SMBH grows, too.
Centauri Dreams 31 Oct 2019, 13:54 UTC The spectacular success of New Horizons inevitably leads to questions about what an orbiter at Pluto/Charon might accomplish. It’s heartening that NASA has funded the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to look further into the matter, the Institute having already examined the question on its own. Now a Pluto orbiter becomes one of ten mission studies NASA is sponsoring as we look toward the next National Academy Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Beginning in 2020, the survey will outline science objectives and recommend missions over a ten year period.
Bad Astronomy 31 Oct 2019, 13:00 UTC Today is Halloween, a traditionally favorite nerd holiday. Boo! In the past I've posted images of many a spooky astronomical object on this day, but today I have one that is both eerie and cute, terrifying and lovable. What could fit this bill but a giant cosmic tardigrade!
Universe Today 31 Oct 2019, 08:45 UTC Though it looks like it to us, Jupiter’s clouds do no form a flat surface. Some of its clouds rise up above the surrounding cloud tops. The two bright spots in the right center of this image are much higher than the surrounding clouds.