astronomy

Quadrantid meteor shower to start around midnight

Quadrantid meteor shower to start around midnight

Just three days into the new year, and star gazers are in for a treat. On January 3 (starting at midnight tonight and lasting into the morning hours), the Quandrantid meteor shower will put on a show for the Western coast of the United states, as well as Asia. The Quads, as it is more commonly known, typically produce 60 to 200 meteors per hour, but will sadly fall during daylight hours for certain time zones.

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Earth microbes can survive on Mars, study finds

Earth microbes can survive on Mars, study finds

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University of Florida show that the anaerobic organism Carnobacterium can survive on the Red Planet. This comes after years of belief that any Earth microbes that make their way to Mars via devices sent there, such as the Curiosity rover, won't survive the conditions. In light of this information, scientists have to be more careful than ever to avoid sending microbes to the Martian planet.

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December 13 promises grand Geminid meteor shower

December 13 promises grand Geminid meteor shower

On December 13, star-gazers will be graced with the Geminid meteor shower, which promises dozens of shooting stars throughout the night and early morning. These particular meteor showers are known for their reliability and strong presence. This shower specifically will be extra awesome due to falling during an almost moonless week.

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NASA finds over 100 billion tons of ice on Mercury

NASA finds over 100 billion tons of ice on Mercury

NASA scientists have discovered that Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, is home to a whole lot of ice. This, of course, is the same planet that gets ridiculously hot around its equator, to the tune of about 800-degrees Fahrenheit. There has been speculation for quite some time that the craters located on the planet's poles might contain ice; now we have confirmation thanks to scientists working with the Messenger mission.

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Penumbral lunar eclipse scheduled for 6AM PST tomorrow

Penumbral lunar eclipse scheduled for 6AM PST tomorrow

Tomorrow at about 6AM Pacific time, if you're not unlucky enough to have an overcast sky, you'll be able to observe a penumbral lunar eclipse. This happens when the Earth moves between the moon and sun, and the moon ends up under Earth's penumbra. According to NASA, the eclipse will be at its greatest around 6:33am, and will be visible until around 7am.

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Fighting asteroids with paintballs: an MIT graduate student’s winning strategy

Fighting asteroids with paintballs: an MIT graduate student’s winning strategy

It’s like something out a strange science fiction movie: a giant asteroid careening towards earth is diverted using a massive blast of paintballs fired into space, saving mankind and forever giving paintball-lovers bragging rights over airsoft fans. As odd as it sounds, this very proposal earned Sung Wook Paek, Department of Aeronautics and Astronauts at MIT, the 2012 Move an Asteroid Technical Paper Competition. And yes, there’s a video.

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ESO assembles 9-gigapixel image of 84 million stars

ESO assembles 9-gigapixel image of 84 million stars

ESO has released a ginormous 9-gigapixel image of 84 million stars taken via the VISTA infrared survey telescope at its Paranal Observatory. Featuring the center of the Milky Way, this huge picture is the by-product of an international team of astronomers, and will be used to help study our galaxy. Just how big is 9-gigapixels? Printed "with the resolution of a typical book," it would be almost 30 feet long and 23 feet high.

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Astronomers discover planet with four suns

Astronomers discover planet with four suns

A group of astronomers, including some volunteers has made a very interesting discovery of a new planet in a unique system. The new planet that was discovered is a gas giant about six times the size of the Earth. The planet itself isn't as interesting as the fact that it orbits a unique star system.

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Massive impact on Jupiter seen from Earth

Massive impact on Jupiter seen from Earth

Sometimes interesting discoveries in space are made by amateur astronomers rather than scientists at NASA and other organizations around the world. This is exactly what happened this week when amateur astronomer George Hall captured image of what appears to be some sort of massive impact on the surface of Jupiter. Hall was recording video observations of the planet with his telescope on September 10 from Dallas, Texas.

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Galaxies come in all shapes of the alphabet

Galaxies come in all shapes of the alphabet

The cosmos is an amazing place. The things astronomers and scientists discover scattered around the universe are incredible. Thanks to a group of volunteers participating in the online Galaxy Zoo project, we can now literally say that galaxies come in all shapes of the alphabet.

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