Astronomy, News, Space

Dwarf Planet Ceres reveals its colors, but keeps its secrets

Infrared images suggest that Spot 1 (top row), an area on Ceres, is made of ice. But the pair of bright gleams known as Spot 5 were invisible to an infrared camera (bottom right). Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/ASI/INAF

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft already has an impressive resume – it’s traveled to the strange area between Mars and Jupiter and managed to start orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres, even though Ceres measures only 950 kilometers (590 miles) in diameter and has a very small gravitational field. But it’s not stopping just yet – after previously revealing a number of black and white pictures, Dawn has now provided a color photograph, but here’s the thing – it poses more questions than it answers.

Astronomy, Geology, News

Mars has giant belts of glaciers, Danish researchers claim

Mars may have many non-polar glaciers.

Astronomers have known for quite a while that Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but the Red Planet might also have belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres. These huge glaciers are covered by a thick layer of dust which masks them and makes them seem like they are actually part of the surface of the ground.

Alien life, Astronomy, News

NASA: we’ll find alien life in 10-20 years

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When it comes to alien life, we’ve had our hopes crushed time and time again. As the Moon was being observed with telescopes in medieval times, many thought it might be inhabited, but then we learned there’s not atmosphere and no water on it. Then Venus, our sister planet turned out to be completely unsuitable for life, and even Mars seems to

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

Scientists find the sound of stars

Solar flare. Image via Wikipedia.

A chance discovery has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. While he was examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma target, John Parsley from the University of York found that interfering plasma generates a series of pressure pulses – in other words, sounds.

Astronomy, Geology, News

Chinese Lunar Rover Reveals Secrets from The Dark Side of the Moon

Image via Xinhua.

The Moon’s geologic past was much more interesting and active than previously thought, results from the Chinese lunar rover indicate. The Yutu moon rover found evidence of at least nine distinct rock layers deep beneath its wheels, something which seems to indicate a more complex setting.

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

Gamma Ray Signal Might Help Scientists Zoom in on Dark Matter

Artistic representation of a dwarf galaxy. Image via Stanford University.

At the core of a newly found dwarf galaxy, astronomers discovered a mysterious source of gamma rays that may signal the presence of the mysterious dark matter. If this is confirmed, then it would be the first time we see dark matter through anything else than its gravitational pull.

Astronomy, News, Observations

Planet discovered in four-star solar system

This artist's conception shows the 30 Ari system, which includes four stars and a planet.
Image Credit: Karen Teramura, UH IfA

For the second time, astronomers have discovered a planet in a solar system with four stars! While most solar systems only have one star, two stars are pretty rare, three are very rare, and four stars… that almost never happens – or at least this is what we thought. The planet wasn’t newly discovered, but previously, astronomers thought it resides

Astronomy, News, Observations

Exploding supernova observed in four different images

The powerful gravity of a galaxy embedded in a massive cluster of galaxies in this Hubble Space Telescope image is producing multiple images of a single distant supernova far behind it. Both the galaxy and the galaxy cluster are acting like a giant cosmic lens, bending and magnifying light from the supernova behind them, an effect called gravitational lensing. Image via NASA.

According to a new report, a team of astronomers has observed a supernova explode – split into four different images. It’s a “needle in the hay stack” scenario which astronomers were hoping to find for a long time… and now they finally did.

Astronomy, News

An old looking galaxy found in a young Universe

This spectacular view from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the rich galaxy cluster Abell 1689, which acted like a gravitational lens. Image credits: NASA.

Many people change a lot after their youth… and so to did our Universe. Nowadays, galaxies contain both dust and gas, but back in the early Big-Bang days, the earliest galaxies had no dust, only gas. Now, a team of astronomers has discovered a very young galaxy with lots of dust – the equivalent of a white-bearded young man.

Astronomy, News, Space

Newly discovered ancient Black hole is monstrously big for its age

This is an artist's impression of a quasar with a supermassive black hole in the distant universe. Credit: Zhaoyu Li/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Misti Mountain Observatory

Astronomers have discovered a humongous supermassive black hole that’s 12 billion times as massive as the Sun. What’s peculiar about it isn’t necessarily its mass – some even bigger black holes have been found – but rather its age. Observations suggest that the black hole 12.8 billion light-years away, which means what scientists are reading and observing what the black