NASA revealed recently my favorite picture in recent memory……a wonderful snapshot of the earth being partly eclipsed by the moon from a million miles away.
Astronomers have found the first aurora outside our solar system on a brown dwarf. This makes these confusing objects, which have both planetary and stellar characteristics, more planet-like than ever before. A Brown dwarf is a very ambiguous thing. They are substellar objects that are too big to be planets but are relatively small and
Two undergraduate astronomy students have found the densest galaxies ever found in what are being called UCDs or Ultra-Compact Dwarf galaxies.
Michael Sandoval and Richard Vo from San José University were looking through databases of archived galaxies when they came across two galactic gems that were hiding in plain site.
It just past close approach for New Horizons. Launched on January 19, 2006, it was the fastest spacecraft ever. In February of 2007 it swung around Jupiter to get a little “gravity assist,” to save on fuel and help the probe make it to its final destinations. After traveling 3 billion miles for almost a decade, New Horizons’ closest approach to Pluto occurred at 7:49:57am EST.
The theory that the Universe can end disastrously in a “Big Rip” has received some preliminary theoretical support.
The Big Rip scenario in which the universe, including every tiny piece of it, rips itself apart in the distant future has been bandied about for quite a while now ever since the ever-increasing expansion of the universe was discovered in 1990s. This expansion was likely due to some weird sort of negative pressure or anti-gravitational energy which is now-famously referred to as Dark Energy. As End-Of-The-Universe theories go, this one was certainly at the extra-terrifying end of the spectrum. I did feel better though when I read consistent scientific assurances that this horrific end-game was highly unlikely.
Now, some scientists are not so sure again.
The last minute of June this year, Tuesday June 30th, will be an odd one. It will consist of 61 seconds due to the occasional insertion of what’s called a leap second.
I’m seeing a lot of websites that try to explain why we use leap seconds. This is often described as necessary because the earth is slowing down. A slower rotation of the earth means a longer day which means we have to add time, right?
A new theory shows that Jupiter may have briefly visited our inner solar system, decimating what was there and setting the stage for the formation of the inner rocky planets that we know and love.