Gas Far Outside of Our Galaxy Illuminated by Enormous Burst of Energy Unleashed by Milky Way’s Black Hole3 Jun 2020, 12:45 UTC About 3.5 million years ago, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy unleashed an enormous burst of energy. Our primitive ancestors, already afoot on the African plains, likely would have witnessed this flare as a ghostly glow high overhead in the constellation Sagittarius. It might have persisted for 1 million years.
Discover 2 Jun 2020, 19:30 UTC For a long time after their discovery in 1877, scientists assumed Mars’ two puny moons — Deimos and Phobos — were captured asteroids. This belief persisted until evidence revealed both moons formed at the same time as the Red Planet itself, and that the smaller one, Deimos, has a mysteriously tilted orbit. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that researchers put forth a new idea that could explain why Deimos' orbit is slanted by 2 degrees.
Bad Astronomy 2 Jun 2020, 13:00 UTC Three million people in the U.S. alone use lithium as a medication to treat mental illness, including bipolar and major depressive disorders. Lithium is also used in batteries; I have four large lithium-ion batteries in my garage that charge every day from solar panels and power my house at night, and electric cars also use lithium-ion batteries. It's used in making glass and many other products as well.
National Science Foundation's Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory 1 Jun 2020, 15:40 UTC A project started ten years ago by NSF’s NOIRLab Director Patrick McCarthy, then an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science, and fellow Carnegie scientist Daniel Kelson, has come to fruition this month with the results of the Carnegie-Spitzer-IMACS (CSI) Redshift Survey being published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Bad Astronomy 1 Jun 2020, 13:00 UTC Jupiter is a very photogenic planet. That's a big reason scientists installed the JunoCam instrument on Juno, a mission orbiting the ginormous planet. Juno's mission is to study the atmosphere and interior of Jupiter, and has a lot of sophisticated instruments on board to do that.
Universe Today 29 May 2020, 18:45 UTC If we ever intend to send crewed missions to deep-space locations, then we need to come up with solutions for how to keep the crews supplied. For astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), who regularly receive resupply missions from Earth, this is not an issue. But for missions traveling to destinations like Mars and beyond, self-sufficiency is the name of the game!
Lights in the Dark 29 May 2020, 15:40 UTC During the first few million years of our sun’s lifetime it was surrounded by a protoplanetary disk made up of gas and dust. Jupiter coalesced from this disk and became encircled by its own disk of satellite-building material. This “circum-Jovian disk” was fed by material from the sun’s protoplanetary disk that rained down on Jupiter at the planet’s poles, and flowed back out of Jupiter’s gravitational influence along the planet’s equatorial plane. But this is where things get tricky for satellite formation; how did this ever-changing disk accumulate enough material to form moons?
Bad Astronomy 28 May 2020, 13:00 UTC Titan is Saturn's largest moon, and the second biggest in the solar system. It's a world unto itself; nearly as big as Mercury, with a nitrogen atmosphere with higher surface pressure than Earth. The Cassini spacecraft swept past the giant moon an incredible 127 times over its 13-year tour of the Saturn system, taking close-up images of the moon.