A new dwarf planet, designated V774104 has been identified and now takes the crown of most distant object in our solar system, being three times farther away than Pluto. The dwarf planet is estimated to be between 500 and 1000 kilometers across. Astronomers don’t yet have enough data to estimate its orbit and estimate that about an year of observations is needed to gather enough data for a precise answer.
How do you understand the natural history of rocks and water on another planet when all you have are pictures? You do the math. Scientists have discovered how to use images of pebble shapes to estimate to estimate how far water may have moved them in ancient Martian riverbeds. These estimates enhance geographic information about the planet to provide even
China is currently building the world’s largest radio telescope, that will be capable to detect signs of life from billions of light years away. A new drone video has been released by China Central Television Station showed the latest progress of this telescope, and it’s absolutely amazing.
An international astronomy team has detected two supermassive black holes that appear to be orbiting each other in a nearby galaxy. The discovery of a likely binary black hole system suggests that supermassive black holes assemble their masses through violent unions.
Before you get overly excited, no, Pluto hasn’t been once again accepted as a planet – it’s still officially a dwarf planet (though in our hearts, you’ll always be a planet, Pluto!). However, this emblematic picture of the solar system from my childhood is now complete, as seen in this great family portrait produced by Ben Gross, a research fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Basically, we have at least the one good image of all the worlds in our solar system.
The European Space Agency has confirmed that the Rosetta mission will continue until at least September 2016, when it will most likely land on a comet called Comet 67P.
Carbon buckyball molecules rarely exist naturally on Earth. Nonetheless, that did not stop astronomers from finding an unexpected abundance of buckyballs in space. Three years ago, Dr. Olivier Berné and Professor Xander Tielens – then, both at Leiden University – suggested a way to form these carbon buckyballs by sifting the hydrogen from larger carbon-hydrogen molecules. Now, a team of astrochemists
Saturn’s Moon Titan is a remarkable place; it’s the only place aside for the Earth which has liquids on its surface – albeit, the liquid isn’t water, but rather hydrocarbons: methane and ethane. Titan is too cold to have liquid water on its surface, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured some amazing pictures of
We live in a solar system filled with water. Not only does liquid water cover 72% of our planet Earth, we have also found ice water in asteroids and comets, on the Moon, on Mars, and even in the shadows of craters on Mercury; while Europa and other moons of Jupiter and Saturn almost certainly harbor liquid oceans beneath their
A spacecraft from Earth is about to do something no other spacecraft has done before: take off, orbit a comet, and send a lander to it. The European Space Agency (ESA), NASA’s European counterpart has developed the Rosetta probe to hurl towards Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The mission is simple in principle, but the work behind it is gargantuan: study the comet at close-range,