Counting stars with Gaia

This image, based on housekeeping data from ESA’s Gaia satellite, is no ordinary depiction of the heavens. While the image portrays the outline of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, and of its neighbouring Magellanic Clouds, it was obtained in a rather unusual way. To source

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Telescopes focus on target of ESA’s asteroid mission

Telescopes around the globe recently homed in on one point in the sky, observing the paired Didymos asteroids – the target for ESA’s proposed Asteroid Impact Mission. The 800 m-diameter main body is orbited by a 170 m moon, informally dubbed Didymoon. The duo were more favourably placed from March until early June for studies. To […]

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How Black Holes Could Reveal Dark Matter | Video

As matter is pulled toward a rotating black hole, it reaches an area where all must spin in roughly the same direction. NASA astrophysicist Jeremy Schnittman has discovered certain orbits where a form of dark matter called Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPS) is mostly likely to collide, creating a burst of gamma rays, and thus […]

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Construction of Giant Telescope Pushes on Despite Protests

Artist’s concept of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop the volcanic peak of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The construction phase of the TMT project officially kicked off in October 2014; the telescope should achieve “first light” in 2022, if all goes according to plan.Credit: Courtesy TMT International Observatory The group building a huge telescope on Hawaii’s […]

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Want to Go Stargazing? Know the Stars of Early Summer

Early summer is an “in-between” time in the skies. The realm of the galaxies has moved off to the west, but the summer Milky Way has not yet arrived. This is the best time of year to observe globular clusters and double stars. The centerpiece of the early summer constellations is Boötes, the herdsman, with […]

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Astronaut Spies Menacing Tropical Storm Bill from Space

This photo, taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station, shows Tropical Storm Bill in the Gulf of Mexico on June 15, 2015.Credit: Scott Kelly/NASA Tropical Storm Bill lurks menacingly near the coast of Texas in a photo taken from space yesterday (June 15). The image was captured from the International Space […]

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Methane in Mars Meteorites Suggests Possibility of Life

Meteorites from Mars found on Earth have traces of methane, adding weight to the idea that life could live off methane on the Red Planet, scientists say. But the methane detection alone is not proof that life exists on Mars now or in the past, they add.Credit: Image by Michael Helfenbein Methane, a potential sign […]

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