Observations

Vitamin B may have come from space – what does this mean for origin of life?

After analyzing samples from eight different carbon-rich meteorites, researchers at Pennsylvania State Universities found these contained niacin, also known as vitamin B3 and the more pristine the meteorite, the higher the concentration. What this means is that the ancient Earth had a steady supply of vitamin B3 during its early years when it was frequently […]

First possible evidence of an exomoon

Until just a few decades ago, there wasn’t any proof that there were any planets beyond those in our solar system, although of course everybody expected them to exist somewhere. After the Kepler Space Telescope was deployed, astronomers found not one, but a couple hundred exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars). In fact, our galaxy is […]

Curiosity spots what looks like a Martian camp fire, alas it’s nothing of the sorts

The photo right above was captured by the Curiosity Rover’s right-hand navigation camera , currently deployed on Mars and on route to Mount Sharp, which shows a striking flare of light seemingly torching near the horizon. Taken on April 4th, the photo somehow made its way to the general public (bad idea NASA) and stirred international […]

Astronomers discover the oldest known star

A team led by astronomers at The Australian National University has discovered what they believe to be the oldest star in the known Universe – forming shortly after the Big Bang, some 13.7 billion years ago. This is the first time astrophysicists get the chance to study the chemistry of the oldest stars, giving scientists […]

New images of Tarantula Nebula may help refine star formation theory

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope recently completed one of its most thorough and ambitious mozaic projectes. Astronomers at Hubble, stitched together some 438 separate images, both in visible and infra-red light, to complete the most accurate picture of the Tarantula Nebula so far, spanning across no less than 600 light-years. The Tarantula nebula contains some 800,000 […]

The most accurate map of the Universe suggests it’s ‘flat’ and infinite

A new map of a slice of the Universe was recently released by BOSS – Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey – and it’s the most accurate and comprehensive one so far. The map plots the location of some 1.2 million galaxies with an astonishing accuracy of 99%, nothing short of spectacular – remember, each of these […]

Star surveyor Gaia enters its operational orbit

The European Space Agency‘s billion-dollar star surveyor ‘Gaia’ is now in its operational orbit around a gravitationally stable virtual point in space, at about 1.5 million km from Earth. Gaia has been traveling to reach that point since December 19, following a spectacular launch from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Last night, the surveyor […]

Hubble goes farther than ever before: images reveal deepest view of the Universe yet

This year Hubble will embark on one its most ambitious projects yet, as it’s scheduled to glimpse farther away into the Universe than ever before. Six new “deep field” images are slated, and recently astronomers at Hubble have delivered the first to the public. The image reveals extremely faint, tiny galaxies that may be more […]

First images from Gemini capture planets outside our solar system

In the past few decades planet hunters have confirmed a couple hundred alien planets, with hundreds more on the waiting list. Think about it, hundreds or thousands of light years away a myriad of alien planets exist, maybe some similar to our very own Earth, which scientists are ferociously studying. There many technical limitations however. […]

Newly found gassy exoplanet has mass similar to Earth’s

A team of astronomers recently discovered a new exoplanet some 200 light years away whose mass is about the same as Earth’s – the first Earth-mass planet that transits, or crosses in front of, its host star. Although very similar in mass, the planet is 60% larger in diameter suggesting it has a thick atmosphere. […]

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