Observations

Supernova study might change how speed of light in vacuum is measured

Einstein’s theories suggest that light can not travel faster than c, a constant equal to the speed of light in a vacuum, which is 299,792,458 metres per second (by definition) or about 186,282.4 miles per second. All of our standing physical models are based on this assumption, and so far this idea has yet to […]

Light from huge explosion 12 billion years ago reaches Earth

Intense light from a huge explosion (a gamma ray burst) that took place shortly after the birth of the Universe (12 billion years ago) has reached Earth, and was observed by researchers. Gamma Ray bursts are the strongest explosions since the Big Bang – in just 10 seconds, they release more energy than our sun in […]

Astronomers find the sun’s first sibling: a star made of the same stuff

In what’s considered the first find out of a slew to follow, a team of astronomers have identified a star that originated out of the same matter as our own sun. In lack of a better analogy, the two are siblings and probably share many more sisters. Apart from telling us where in the galaxy […]

Dusty rovers and weather on Mars

Mark Lemmon is an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University and a camera operator for numerous Mars missions, especially those involving the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. These two rovers are considered nothing short of heroes by the men and women at mission control who were part of the projects. Spirit, for instance, […]

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 […]

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