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The Cow is nestled in the CGCG 137-068 galaxy, 200 million light years from Earth. Credit: Raffaella Margutti/Northwestern University

‘The Cow’ explosion: how astronomers are cracking one of the greatest new mysteries of the sky

‘The Cow’ explosion: how astronomers are cracking one of the greatest new mysteries of the sky The cow erupted near a galaxy known as CGCG 137-068, marked by the yellow cross. Credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey, CC BY-SA Paul M. Kuin, UCL Something highly unusual was picked up by the…

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Artist's conception of the Mars Excursion Module (MEM) proposed in a NASA Study in 1964. Dixon, Franklin P. (June 12, 1964). Author: Aeronutronic Division of Philco Corp, under contract by NASA. CC BY-SA 3.0

Space subjects that will get the world’s attention in 2019 – and beyond

Space subjects that will get the world’s attention in 2019 – and beyond Scale models of rockets at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s booth at the International Astronautical Congress. FOCKE STRANGMANN/EPA Keith Gottschalk, University of the Western Cape The first few days of 2019 brought remarkable news from outer…

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A composite image of a satellite firing an energy weapon at a target on Earth. Marc Ward/Shutterstock.com

Renewed space rivalry between nations ignores a tradition of cooperation

Renewed space rivalry between nations ignores a tradition of cooperation A composite image of a satellite firing an energy weapon at a target on Earth. Marc Ward/Shutterstock.com Scott Shackelford, Indiana University The annals of science fiction are full of visions of the future. Some are techno-utopian like “Star Trek” in…

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Perspective view of Korolev crater This image from ESA’s Mars Express shows Korolev crater, an 82-kilometre-across feature found in the northern lowlands of Mars. This oblique perspective view was generated using a digital terrain model and Mars Express data gathered over orbits 18042 (captured on 4 April 2018), 5726, 5692, 5654, and 1412. The crater itself is centred at 165° E, 73° N on the martian surface. The image has aresolution of roughly 21 metres per pixel. This image was created using data from the nadir and colour channels of the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The nadir channel is aligned perpendicular to the surface of Mars, as if looking straight down at the surface. Released 20/12/2018 11:00 am Copyright ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF KOROLEV CRATER

PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF KOROLEV CRATER This image from ESA’s Mars Express shows Korolev crater, an 82-kilometre-across feature found in the northern lowlands of Mars. This oblique perspective view was generated using a digital terrain model and Mars Express data gathered over orbits 18042 (captured on 4 April 2018), 5726, 5692,…

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Eta Carinae Nebula eso1828c. This image is a colour composite made from exposures from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2). The field of view is approximately 4.7 x 4.9 degrees. Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin.

Eta Carinae Nebula eso1828c

Eta Carinae Nebula eso1828c This image is a colour composite made from exposures from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2). The field of view is approximately 4.7 x 4.9 degrees. Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin. SHARE ON

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Close-up Views of Triangulum Galaxy (M33) Release Date: Jan 7, 2019 While the Triangulum Galaxy (M33) has led a quiet life compared to other massive galaxies, it still contains evidence of a rich "inner life." This collage zooms into several areas of the larger mosaic, highlighting the amazing details that NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals. Almost every dot of light is a star, with occasional dense clusters of stars, or even rare background galaxies shining through. Credits: NASA, ESA, and M. Durbin, J. Dalcanton, and B.F. Williams (University of Washington)

Close-up Views of Triangulum Galaxy (M33)

Close-up Views of Triangulum Galaxy (M33) While the Triangulum galaxy (M33) has led a quiet life compared to other massive galaxies, it still contains evidence of a rich “inner life.” This collage zooms into several areas of the larger mosaic, highlighting the amazing details that NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope reveals.…

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The Eagle Nebula is a famous example of a cloud where stars are born. This area is called the Pillars of Creation. Credits: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The Life and Death of a Planetary System

The Life and Death of a Planetary System How did we get here? How do stars and planets come into being? What happens during a star’s life, and what fate will its planets meet when it dies? Our story begins with unimaginably cold clouds in space that contain the seeds…

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Galaxy Clusters Abell S1063 and MACS J0416.1-2403 Release Date: Dec 20, 2018 Credits: NASA, ESA, and M. Montes (University of New South Wales)

Galaxy Clusters Abell S1063 and MACS J0416.1-2403

Galaxy Clusters Abell S1063 and MACS J0416.1-2403 Two massive galaxy clusters — Abell S1063 (left) and MACS J0416.1-2403 (right) — display a soft blue haze, called intracluster light, embedded among innumerable galaxies. The intracluster light is produced by orphan stars that no longer belong to any single galaxy, having been…

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First Images of Ultima Thule Release Date: January 2, 2019 This image taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) is the most detailed of Ultima Thule returned so far by the New Horizons spacecraft. It was taken at 5:01 Universal Time on January 1, 2019, just 30 minutes before closest approach from a range of 18,000 miles (28,000 kilometers), with an original scale of 459 feet (140 meters) per pixel. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

New Horizons Spacecraft Image From 4B Miles Of Ultima Thule

New Horizons Spacecraft Image From 4B Miles Of Ultima Thule First Images of Ultima Thule Release Date: January 2, 2019 This image taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) is the most detailed of Ultima Thule returned so far by the New Horizons spacecraft. It was taken at 5:01 Universal…

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credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) – Hubble/Europe Collaboration; Acknowledgement: H. Bond (STScI and Pennsylvania State University)

Hubble Images Holiday Sparkling Lights

Hubble Images Holiday Sparkling Lights This Hubble image shows RS Puppis, a type of variable star known as a Cepheid variable. As variable stars go, Cepheids have comparatively long periods — RS Puppis, for example, varies in brightness by almost a factor of five every 40 or so days. RS…

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Hubble captured this view of comet 46P/Wirtanen on Dec. 13, 2018. Credits: NASA, ESA, D. Bodewits (Auburn University) and J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute)

Hubble Telescopes Captures a Look of the Brightest Comet of Christmas 2018

Hubble Telescopes Captures a Look of the Brightest Comet of Christmas 2018 As the brilliant comet 46P/Wirtanen streaked across the sky, NASA telescopes caught it on camera from multiple angles. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope photographed comet 46P/Wirtanen on Dec. 13, when the comet was 7.4 million miles (12 million kilometers)…

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Cepheia/Shutterstock.com

A brief history of black holes

A brief history of black holes Cepheia/Shutterstock.com Carla Rodrigues Almeida, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Late in 2018, the gravitational wave observatory, LIGO, announced that they had detected the most distant and massive source of ripples of spacetime ever monitored: waves triggered by pairs of black holes…

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Distant stars above the ruins of Sherborne Old Castle, in the UK. Flickr/Rich Grundy, CC BY-NC

When you look up, how far back in time do you see?

When you look up, how far back in time do you see? Distant stars above the ruins of Sherborne Old Castle, in the UK. Flickr/Rich Grundy, CC BY-NC  Michael J. I. Brown, Monash University Our senses are stuck in the past. There’s a flash of lightning, and then seconds pass…

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One of the first images taken by humans of the whole Earth. Photographed by the crew of Apollo 8 (probably by Bill Anders) the photo shows the Earth at a distance of about 30,000 km. South is at the top, with South America visible at the covering the top half center, with Africa entering into shadow. North America is in the bottom right. Date 1968 U.S. govt. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In 1968, Apollo 8 realised the 2,000-year-old dream of a Roman philosopher

In 1968, Apollo 8 realised the 2,000-year-old dream of a Roman philosopher NASA  Tom McLeish, University of York Half a century of Christmases ago, the NASA space mission Apollo 8 became the first manned craft to leave low Earth orbit, atop the unprecedentedly powerful Saturn V rocket, and head out…

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