- The center of our Milky Way galaxy is too distant for us to visit in person, but we can still explore it. Telescopes give us a chance to see what the Galactic Center looks like in different types of light. By translating the inherently digital data (in the form of ones and zeroes) captured by telescopes in space into images, astronomers create visual representations that would otherwise be invisible to us. But what about experiencing these data with other senses like hearing? Sonification is the process that translates data into sound, and a new project brings the center of the Milky Way to ... [Read More]


- Astronomers have shown that water vapor can potentially be detected in the atmospheres of exoplanets by peering literally over the tops of their impenetrable clouds. University of Warwick astronomers have shown that water vapour can potentially be detected in the atmospheres of exoplanets by peering literally over the tops of their impenetrable clouds. By applying the technique to models based upon known exoplanets with clouds the team has demonstrated in principle that high resolution spectroscopy can be used to examine the atmospheres of exoplanets that were previously too difficult to ... [Read More]

- An atmospheric light show previously relegated to planets and Jupiter moons is found on comet using data from ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft. Data from NASA instruments aboard the ESA (European Space Agency) Rosetta mission have helped reveal that comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has its own far-ultraviolet aurora. It is the first time such electromagnetic emissions in the far-ultraviolet have been documented on a celestial object other than a planet or moon. A paper on the findings was released in the journal Nature Astronomy yesterday, September 21, 2020. On Earth, aurora (also known as the ... [Read More]

- The Osiris-Rex mission team spotted some Vesta crumbs on Bennu's face. Asteroid Bennu, the subject of NASA's Osiris-Rex mission, appears to be housing some unusual souvenirs. In a case of cosmic CSI, researchers have traced the origin of bright boulders on Bennu's surface to a different asteroid named Vesta. Osiris-Rex is currently in residence at Bennu, preparing for a daring sample collection operation in October . The spacecraft has already sent back a wealth of images and data from the "rubble pile" asteroid that was formed from fragments of a brutal collision. The boulders in question ... [Read More]


- An asteroid that was discovered just four days ago will make an "extremely close"—albeit safe—approach to our planet this Thursday, astronomer Gianluca Masi from the Virtual Telescope Project told Newsweek . At around 7:18 a.m. ET on September 24, the object—known as 2020 SW—will come within around 16,700 miles of Earth, which is less than one tenth of the average distance between our planet and the moon, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies. In astronomical terms, that is a tiny distance. In fact, CNEOS figures show that over the course of the next 365 days, 2020 ... [Read More]


- launched in July 2020 , and is the first Mars rover tasked with searching for life itself. Thanks to earlier missions, we now know that liquid water was once abundant on the surface of Mars. In this instalment of our video series Science with Sam, you will find out how the rover will hunt for evidence of life , see how scientists will attempt to launch a helicopter on another planet for the first time, and learn how Perseverance will test the technology for making oxygen on Mars in preparation for future human exploration. Tune in every week to  for a new episode, ... [Read More]

- So you like TNW? Then join our upcoming online event, TNW2020 , you don’t want to miss it. Neutron star collisions were thought to make much of the gold in the Universe, but something else is making a lot of the precious metal… 2017, astronomers witnessed a collision between two neutron stars — the ultradense corpses of massive stars. The analysis seemed to reveal the formation of all elements heavier than iron — including gold — are forged in these titanic collisions. A new study shows these collisions can not deliver anywhere near enough gold to account for the concentrations we ... [Read More]

- In a paper published today (September 21, 2020) in Nature Astronomy , researchers report the first ever clear images of nanojets — bright thin lights that travel perpendicular to the magnetic structures in the solar atmosphere, called the corona — in a process that reveals the existence of one of the potential In pursuit of understanding why the Sun’s atmosphere is so much hotter than the surface, and to help differentiate between a host of theories about what causes this heating, researchers turn to NASA ’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission. IRIS was finely tuned ... [Read More]

- Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The asteroid Ryugu is a loose assemblage of fragments from a collision between two asteroids, according to new research published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy . Some asteroids are composed of large, solid pieces of rock, but Ryugu is more like a rubble pile than a rock. It is too small and fragile to have remained intact for very long -- scientists estimate Ryugu formed between 10 million to 20 million years ago. "Ryugu is too small to have survived the whole 4.6 billion years of solar system history," Seiji Sugita, professor of planetary sciences at the University ... [Read More]


- An international team of astrophysicists has found a distinctive signature of black hole event horizons, unmistakably separating them from neutron stars — objects, comparable to black holes in mass and size but confined within a hard surface. This is by far the strongest steady signature of stellar-mass black holes to date. The team consisting of Mr. Srimanta Banerjee and Professor Sudip Bhattacharyya from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India, and Professor Marat Gilfanov and Professor Rashid Sunyaev from Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Germany and Space Research ... [Read More]

- Scientists have discovered a 'pi Earth' -- an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days, in an orbit reminiscent of the universal mathematics constant. In a delightful alignment of astronomy and mathematics, scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a "pi Earth" -- an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days, in an orbit reminiscent of the universal mathematics constant. The researchers discovered signals of the planet in data taken in 2017 by the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. By zeroing in on the system earlier this year with ... [Read More]

- Data captured by the Cassini spacecraft has been used to create a global infrared map of the Saturnian moon Enceladus. The icy world plays host to the dramatic "Tiger Stripe" vent formation which leads down to a massive subsurface ocean that, it's long been speculated, could play host to extraterrestrial life. Following its launch in 1997, the Cassini spacecraft spent 13 years unraveling the secrets of the ringed gas giant Saturn and its many moons. In this time, the legendary explorer made a total of 147 flybys of Enceladus, including 23 close passes. During these encounters Cassini captured ... [Read More]


- An international team of astronomers recently announced the discovery of a rare molecule — phosphine — in the clouds of Venus . On Earth, this gas is only made industrially or by microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments. Astronomers have speculated for decades that high clouds on Venus could offer a home for microbes — floating free of the scorching surface but needing to tolerate very high acidity. The detection of phosphine could point to such extra-terrestrial "aerial" life. "When we got the first hints of phosphine in Venus’s spectrum, it was a shock!" says team leader ... [Read More]

- NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured its latest image of Jupiter and its moon Europa on August 25, 2020, some 406 million miles from Earth. (NASA, ESA, STScI, A. Simon, M. via AP) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Jupiter and its enticing moon Europa shine in a new photo by the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble snapped the picture last month when the planet was 406 million miles away, and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore released it Thursday. Europa, which is smaller than our own moon, appears as a pale dot alongside its giant, color-streaked gas planet. A bright white splotch ... [Read More]

- (CNN) Each time the Hubble Space Telescope captures an image of the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter looks a little different. This time, Hubble's weather report has shown new storms and updates on the Great Red Spot and its cousin. The gas giant has an atmosphere that's constantly in motion. Its signature bands of color are created by the planet's atmosphere, which is dominated by hydrogen and helium. Streaking and swirling clouds are pushed along by hurricane-force winds. Lightning can be seen illuminating the insides of storms on the planet -- and their force makes lightning on ... [Read More]


- Celebrate the autumnal equinox and peer around the limb of the Moon from September 18 to 25. Friday, September 18 Observers with medium to large telescopes will want to point at magnitude 4 Saturn this evening. Several of the ringed planet’s moons are lined up nicely tonight: Tethys and Enceladus sit east of Saturn, while Mimas, Dione, and Rhea stretch out to the west. Brighter Titan sits about 1.5' northeast of the planet and is visible with smaller scopes. Similarly, Saturn’s brilliant rings are within reach a small telescope or even large binoculars. They stretch 40" across and ... [Read More]