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July 14, 2015

Image of the Day: NASA Sizes Up Pluto and Its Moon Charon

 

 

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This graphic presents a view of Pluto and Charon as they would appear if placed slightly above Earth's surface and viewed from a great distance.  Recent measurements obtained by New Horizons indicate that Pluto has a diameter of 2370 km, 18.5% that of Earth's, while Charon has a diameter of 1208 km, 9.5% that of Earth's.

Continue reading "Image of the Day: NASA Sizes Up Pluto and Its Moon Charon" »


July 13, 2015

NASA's PLUTO Mission Probe Live Stream Today

 

 

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At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) on Monday, July 13, NASA officials will provide the next daily update on the New Horizons probe, which will make a close flyby of Pluto on July 14. Watch live courtesy of NASA TV. Click here for complete live flyby coverage.

Continue reading "NASA's PLUTO Mission Probe Live Stream Today" »


The Day the World's Astronomers Zoomed in On a Distant Galaxy

 

 

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Five billion years ago, a great disturbance rocked a region near the monster black hole at the center of galaxy 3C 279. On June 14, the pulse of high-energy light produced by this event finally arrived at Earth, setting off detectors aboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and other satellites. Astronomers around the world turned instruments toward the galaxy to observe this brief but record-setting flare in greater detail.

Continue reading "The Day the World's Astronomers Zoomed in On a Distant Galaxy" »


July 12, 2015

"A Mysterious Link" -- Dark Matter and a Galaxy's Central Black Hole" (Weekend Most Popular)

 

 

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Every massive galaxy has a black hole at its center, and the heftier the galaxy, the bigger its black hole. But why are the two related? After all, the black hole is millions of times smaller and less massive than its home galaxy. A new study of football-shaped collections of stars called elliptical galaxies provides new insights into the connection between a galaxy and its black hole. It finds that the invisible hand of dark matter somehow influences black hole growth.

Continue reading ""A Mysterious Link" -- Dark Matter and a Galaxy's Central Black Hole" (Weekend Most Popular)" »


"Nature is Us" --The Emerging Anthropocene Epoch (Weekend Feature)

 

 

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Overpopulation, the greenhouse effect, warming temperatures and overall climate disruption are all well recognized as a major threat to the ecology and biodiversity of the Earth. The issue of mankind's negative impact on the environment, albeit hotly debated and continuously present in the public eye, still only leads to limited policy action. Nature is us, and responding to the Anthropocene means building a culture that grows with the Earth's biological wealth instead of depleting it.

Continue reading ""Nature is Us" --The Emerging Anthropocene Epoch (Weekend Feature)" »


July 11, 2015

"Houston, We Have Geology!" --NASA Explores Pluto's 'Antarctic' Night Region

 

 

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It’s Antarctic winter on Pluto. The sun has not been visible for twenty years in this frigid south polar region; it will not shine again for another 80 years. The only source of natural light is starlight and moonlight from Pluto’s largest moon, Charon.

Continue reading ""Houston, We Have Geology!" --NASA Explores Pluto's 'Antarctic' Night Region" »


Transit of Venus --"A Model for Exo-Planet Detection"



 

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Two of NASA's heliophysics missions can now claim planetary science on their list of scientific findings. A group of scientists used the Venus transit - a very rare event where a planet passes between Earth and the sun, appearing to us as a dark dot steadily making its way across the sun's bright face - to make measurements of how the Venusian atmosphere absorbs different kinds of light. This, in turn, gives scientists clues to exactly what elements are layered above Venus's surface. Gathering such information not only teaches us more about this planet so close to our own, but it also paves the way for techniques to better understand planets outside our solar system.

Continue reading "Transit of Venus --"A Model for Exo-Planet Detection"" »


With Thanks to Our Twitter Universe!

 

 

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Our thanks to our vibrant Twitter community. We've just reached 352,000 followers, growing at 1,000 per week, including many of the planet's leading astronomers and scientists, astronauts, space observatories, news organizations, universities and governmental space organizations such as NASA, JPL, ESO, SETI, International Space Station, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and Royal Astronomy Society members, as well celebrities from Mia Farrow to Kevin Spacey, William Shatner, musician David Crosby, and Gary Busey.


July 10, 2015

Colossal Black Hole From the Early Universe Outgrows Its Host Galaxy

 

 

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A new discovery runs counter to most observations about black holes, which are massive areas of space with extraordinarily strong gravity that can pull in anything -- even light. In most cases, black holes and their host galaxies expand at the same rate. But astronomers have spotted a super-sized black hole in the early universe that grew much faster than its host galaxy.

Continue reading "Colossal Black Hole From the Early Universe Outgrows Its Host Galaxy" »


NASA News: Observes an Erupting Black Hole With an Orbiting Sun-Like Star

 

 

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What looks like a shooting target is actually an image of nested rings of X-ray light centered on an erupting black hole. On June 15, NASA's Swift satellite detected the start of a new outburst from V404 Cygni, where a black hole and a sun-like star orbit each other. Since then, astronomers around the world have been monitoring the ongoing light show.

Continue reading "NASA News: Observes an Erupting Black Hole With an Orbiting Sun-Like Star" »




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