SPACE.com 11 Sep 2019, 11:06 UTC New Horizons made an epic flyby of a Kuiper Belt object to ring in the new year. But the scientists behind the spacecraft won't truly understand the data gathered during that flyby until a brand-new batch of observations reaches Earth.
SPACE.com 11 Sep 2019, 11:04 UTC Einstein's theory of general relativity has been confirmed once again, this time in the wobbling of a pulsar 25,000 light-years from Earth. Over the span of 14 years, astronomers observed the spinning neutron star PSR J1906+0746. Their goal? To study the wobble, or precession, of two pulsars as they orbit each other, a rare phenomenon predicted by general relativity.
Universe Today 10 Sep 2019, 21:38 UTC After years of construction, China’s new radio telescope is in action. The telescope, called FAST (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope) has double the collecting power of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which has a 305 meter dish. Until now, Arecibo was the world’s largest radio dish of its type.
Universe Today 10 Sep 2019, 19:52 UTC In anticipation of many Moon landings to come, NASA is testing an autonomous lunar landing system in the Mojave Desert in California. The system is called a “terrain relative navigation system.” It’s being tested on a launch and landing of a Zodiac rocket, built by Masten Space Systems. The test will happen on Wednesday, September 11th.
NASA Space Station Blog 10 Sep 2019, 16:10 UTC Ten years after the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched its first H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) mission, today the HTV-8 “Kounotori” cargo craft will launch from the Tanegashima Space Center to the International Space Station. While launch is scheduled for 5:33 p.m. EDT, NASA Television will start its coverage at 5 p.m.
Physics World Blog 10 Sep 2019, 14:48 UTC Observations of gas being sucked into the supermassive black holes at the centres of quasars have shed new light on how the astronomical objects convert gravitational energy into vast amounts of outgoing radiation. Hongyan Zhou at the Polar Research Institute of China and colleagues measured the speed of the infalling gas and confirmed that it was being supplied by “dusty tori” that surround quasars.
Bad Astronomy 10 Sep 2019, 13:00 UTC In a recent article about the nearby young star Beta Pictoris, I wrote about a second exoplanet found orbiting the star. That's very exciting, because the system is only 65 light years away, making it easier to study than many others. I also mentioned offhand that exocomets had been discovered there too: Literally, comets orbiting an alien star! Several have been discovered, but a paper came out in March 2019 that highlights one in particular, because the observations of it are just so lovely.
SPACE.com 9 Sep 2019, 21:23 UTC Even in star clusters, families tend to stick together, and stellar "siblings" don't leave each other's sides for billions of years. Using data from the European Space Agency's Gaia Observatory, scientists observed star formation in a large area of space that surrounds the Milky Way and found that stellar families, or stars that formed around the same time from the same cloud, stayed together in string-like groups.
SPACE.com 9 Sep 2019, 19:57 UTC Three asteroids are expected to hurtle past Earth today (Sept. 9). One will pass as near as 310,000 miles (500,000 kilometers) — closer than any potential asteroid near-miss for the next three months. Asteroid 2019 QZ3 flew by at 6:49 a.m. ET; asteroid 2019 RG2 follows at around 3:13 p.m. ET, and the third, asteroid 2019 QY4, flashes past at 9:10 p.m. ET, the International Business Times reported.