Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

Organic molecules found on comet

The Philae lander found organic molecules on the surface of a comet.

As we were telling you already in several articles, the Rosetta probe is in orbit of a comet – the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. But to make things even more exciting, Philae, Rosetta’s lander, also made contact with the comet; among other things, the lander found carbon molecules on the comet – the basis of life on Earth. Considering how comets are believed to…

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

A ‘Ying Yang’ binary system that can sustain Planetary Formation

his artist's impression shows the dust and gas around the double star system GG Tauri-A. Credit: ESO/L.Calçada

A group from the Laboratory of Astrophysics of Bordeaux, France, and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) has made a most exciting discovery. The astronomers found that an odd binary system – a solar system comprised of two stars – actually behaves like a double star, with two disks of matter encircling the system in a beautiful dance of gas and…

Astronomy, News, Observations, Space

Nova seen Expanding right from the Beginning for the First Time

Artist impression of a dwarf star 'feeding' on donor star. Credit: David A. Hardy / astroart.org

Here’s something you don’t see everyday – for the first time, astronomers witnessed how a nova is formed right from the onset, capturing and detailing its expansion. The white dwarf turned nova is located some 14,800 light-years away and its study is set to reveal many things about how novas form. The star is dead, long live the nova! Stars shine…

Astronomy, News

Mind-Blowing $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope begins construction in Hawaii

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After years of planning and engineering schemes, the construction of the $1.4 billion telescope in Hawaii has finally begun. The unimaginatively named Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will provide astronomers with unparalleled power to observe the stars – it will have a resolution 10 times better than Hubble. The telescope is designed for observations from near-ultraviolet to mid-infrared (0.31 to 28 μm…

Art, Astronomy, Great Pics

Astronomy Photographer of Year: 2014 winning entries

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Every year the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in partnership with BBC Sky at Night Magazine and Flickr, invites astrophotographers from all over the world to share their best work that captures the contest’s values: spectacular beauty of the night sky and the natural wonders of our universe. Below, you can find all the winning entries for the current edition of the…

Astronomy, News, Observations, Space

Astronomers map the Supercluster the Milky Way belongs to

The Laniakea Supercluster shown its equatorial plane. Image: CEA/Saclay, France

Our sun is but a tiny speck of light among billions, part of the spiral galaxy we familiarly call the Milky Way. That in itself makes us puny humans feel extremely humble, but things get really out of proportion when you zoom out. Galaxies on their own turn congregate in the hundreds or even thousands, bound together by gravity to…

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News, Space

ESA’s billion-star surveyor, Gaia, ready to begin its science mission

Artistic representation of the ESA.

Gaia is an unmanned space observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA) which aims to catalog approximately 1 billion astronomical objects (mostly stars), about 1% of the Milky Way population. Gaia will provide a trove of valuable and spectacular data, including a precise three-dimensional map of astronomical objects throughout the Milky Way and map their motions. We were telling you…

Alien life, Astronomy

101 Dalmatians ?! Probe counts and maps the geysers on Enceladus

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The geysers on the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus have been counted and mapped, strengthening theories that Enceladus is one of the best extraterrestrial places in our solar system to look for life. Earth is not the only place in our solar system which holds water. For example, Enceladus also has liquid oceans – albeit ones covered by a thick…

Astronomy, Astrophysics

When Galaxies Collide: Triple Black Hole System Discovered

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Two decades ago, astronomers started to find evidence that almost all galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their center. However, the discovery of a trio of black holes circling the center of a distant galaxy, reported by astronomers on Wednesday indicates that duos and trios of black holes are much more common than previously thought. “We were quite surprised to…

Alien life, Astronomy, Interviews

Scientist Interviews: Marie-Eve Naud [Astrobiology]

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A while ago, we were telling you about the discovery of a huge exoplanet – a gas giant, found just 155 light years away from Earth. The head researcher behind that study was Marie-Eve Naud. Her main research field is the detection and characterization of exoplanets, with a focus on astrobiology. She was kind enough to talk to us and shed some…