Cracking the Moon

The Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms) is the largest of the lunar maria (seas) covering roughly 4 million square kilometers (about the surface area of the EU). Its wide flat basaltic surface was believed...
Artist’s impression of the merger of two neutron stars. Credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick

Gravitational Waves Were Used To Look Inside Neutron Stars

Last October, scientists witnessed the first neutron star collision thanks to gravitational wave observations and the subsequent use of regular telescopes. Those observations were the first step towards a new method of astronomy, and...

The Very Hungry Supermassive Black Hole

We all get the munchies, but when you're a supermassive black hole (SMBH) your hunger might have dire consequences. And just like that an SMBH has outgrown its galaxy and jumped to the top of the heavyweight objects in the universe. About 12 billion light years from us, there is a galaxy called CID-947. It has a mass similar to our own Milky Way (about 1000 billion times the mass of the Sun) and it was only remarkable because it had an active galactic nucleus (AGN, i.e. an accreting SMBH).

Are there cows on Mars?

Obviously there are no cows on Mars but NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover detected an increase of methane in the atmosphere and organic molecules from the soil during one of its drilling sessions. The findings were...

A new planetary type has been found by Kepler

The exoplanet finder extraordinaire that is the Kepler telescope significantly changed our understanding of the type of planets that can exist in our galaxy. We only find two types of planets in our solar...

Kepler has discovered the most Earth-like planet yet

The NASA's Kepler Space Telescope team have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone". The habitable zone, also known as the "Goldilock zone", is the area around a start where...

Seeing Steve – Observing the new Aurora phenomenon 

As you might have seen in a previous post, I was recently in the Arctic circle and was lucky enough to enjoy the natural spectacle of the Aurora borealis! Northern lights are weird; I...
The Omega Centauri cluster. NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

The Alpha and The Omega (Centauri) of Habitable Planets

Finding out if there is life in the Universe is far from easy and even the preliminary steps are full of uncertainties. Planetary scientists don’t completely agree on what ingredients make a planet habitable,...

We have discovered a brown dwarf colder than ice

Associate Professor Kevin Luhman of Penn State University has discovered the coldest brown dwarf yet using the NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. A brown dwarf is a massive gaseous object which is on the low...

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