AAS Nova 9 Mar 2018, 17:00 UTC Supernova explosions enrich the interstellar medium and can even briefly outshine their host galaxies. However, the mechanism behind these massive explosions still isn’t fully understood. Could probing the asymmetry of supernova remnants help us better understand what drives these explosions?
Starts With a Bang! 9 Mar 2018, 15:01 UTC Just 30 years ago, if you had asked an astronomer if there were planets around other stars beyond the Sun, they couldn’t tell you for certain. Although all the theories about planet formation indicated that they should exist around many stars, if not most of them, we had no evidence of planets beyond the Solar System. So we did the most natural thing you can imagine: we assumed others were like our own, with rocky worlds in the inner portions and gas giants in the outer reaches. Over the ensuing decades, we began discovering that our assumptions were gravely mistaken: practically all stars have planets; worlds of all sizes could appear anywhere in a solar system; there were many planets even larger than Jupiter; and most worlds were larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. Yet, despite all we’ve learned, there seem to be only three classes of planet out there: Terran worlds, Neptunian worlds, and Jovian worlds.
Scientific American 9 Mar 2018, 14:00 UTC This is what Earth looks like through a planet hunter's eyes.
ESO Blog 9 Mar 2018, 11:00 UTC Every galaxy is surrounded by a mysterious halo that scientists currently know little about. A team of astronomers has recently used a new technique to map the structure of a distant galaxy halo that is located in between a giant background galaxy and a huge foreground gravitational lens — like a galaxy halo sandwich.
Space Fellowship 9 Mar 2018, 06:19 UTC Combined image data from the massive, ground-based VISTA telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope was used to create this wide perspective of the interstellar landscape surrounding the famous Horsehead Nebula. Captured at near-infrared wavelengths, the region’s dusty molecular cloud sprawls across the scene that covers an angle about two-thirds the size of the Full Moon on the sky.
Starts With a Bang! 8 Mar 2018, 21:01 UTC Our Solar System is an orderly place, with the four inner planets, the asteroid belt, and the gas giant worlds all orbiting in the same plane around the Sun. Even as you go farther out, the Kuiper belt objects appear to line up with that same exact plane. Given that the Sun is spherical and that there are stars appearing with planets orbiting in every direction imaginable, it seems too much of a coincidence to be random chance that all these worlds line up. In fact, practically every Solar System we’ve observed outside of our own appears to have their worlds line up in the same plane, too, wherever we’ve been able to detect it. Here’s the science behind what’s going on, to the best of our knowledge.
Astronomy Now 8 Mar 2018, 19:47 UTC Two galaxies 350 million light years away are in the process of merging, both being distorted by gravitational interactions that are stripping stars and dust away in long tidal tails while triggering concentrated bursts of star formation where clouds of interstellar gas and dust are stirred up. The ongoing cosmic collision gives scientists a ringside seat for a common phenomenon in the universe and one that is expected to play out closer to home as the Milky Way and Andromeda crash together in 4 billion years or so.
NASA Space Station Blog 8 Mar 2018, 18:13 UTC Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 55 crew continued exploring how plants adapt to gravity and began preparing for a suite of combustion experiments. The trio is also continuing the maintenance of the station’s life support systems and its microgravity science operations.