Category Archives: Far space

Faraway Star Is Roundest Natural Object Ever Seen

A star 5,000 light-years from Earth is the closest thing to a perfect sphere that has ever been observed in nature, a new study reports.

Stars, planets and other round celestial bodies bulge slightly at their equators due to centrifugal force. Generally speaking, the faster these objects spin, the greater the force, and the larger the bulge.  Continue reading Faraway Star Is Roundest Natural Object Ever Seen

Weird Deep Space X-Ray Flashes Stump Astronomers

The X-ray emissions were discovered by chance beyond the Milky Way and no one really knows what is causing them. Jimmy Irwin wasn’t looking to get a paper published in Nature when he gave three of his University of Alabama undergraduate students an assignment.

He told them to comb through archived Chandra and XMM-Newton telescope data for examples of bright X-ray emissions coming from galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The catch was to find examples emanating from globular cluster galaxies, a type of very old galaxy. Continue reading Weird Deep Space X-Ray Flashes Stump Astronomers

Eyeballing Proxima b: Probably Not a Second Earth

The historic discovery of a small world orbiting within a neighboring star’s habitable zone is exciting — but don’t pack your bags quite yet. In our profound quest to discover strange new worlds, we’ve inevitably been trying to find alien planets that possess any Earth-like similarities. Now, with the incredible find of an Earth-mass exoplanet orbiting a neighboring star at just the right distance for liquid water to persist on its surface, hopes are high that we may have discovered an “Earth 2.0” right on our galactic doorstep. Continue reading Eyeballing Proxima b: Probably Not a Second Earth

Confirmed! Sun’s Nearest Neighbor Has ‘Earth-Like’ World

The discovery of a small rocky exoplanet at Proxima Centauri brings the search for life beyond the solar system into our home turf. The star closest to the sun is home to an Earth-sized planet with temperatures suitable for water — if any exists — to pool on its surface, a scenario that is believed to be favorable for life, research published Wednesday shows. Continue reading Confirmed! Sun’s Nearest Neighbor Has ‘Earth-Like’ World

‘Galactic Tick Day’ Celebrates Our Trip Through the Galaxy

A California man has come up with a unique way to mark the passage of time. While most of us think in terms of months (that were originally based on the movement of the moon) and years (which follow the Earth’s path around the sun), he decided to think even bigger. Continue reading ‘Galactic Tick Day’ Celebrates Our Trip Through the Galaxy

NASA Regains Contact With ‘Dead’ Solar Mission

NASA has finally re-established contact with a sun-watching probe that was thought to be lost in space after it abruptly went silent in 2014.

A signal from the long-lost spacecraft, called STEREO-B, was detected Sunday evening (Aug. 21) by NASA’s Deep Space Network, a collection of space tracking stations that follows the agency’s space missions across the solar system and beyond. NASA scientists had kept vigil for STEREO-B, making monthly searches for the probe until it phoned home Sunday at 6:57 p.m. EDT (2257 GMT). Continue reading NASA Regains Contact With ‘Dead’ Solar Mission