astronomy

Perseids meteor shower is gearing up to be a spectacle in the nighttime sky

Perseids meteor shower is gearing up to be a spectacle in the nighttime sky

Each year, the Earth moves through the tail of a comet leading to the Perseid meteor showers that start in late July and peak by the middle of August. The first meteor of the shower for 2021 was observed on July 26. NASA says anyone wanting to look at the skies and see the meteor shower for themselves would find the best viewing on the night of August 11.

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Astronomers investigate the layered atmosphere of a brown dwarf

Astronomers investigate the layered atmosphere of a brown dwarf

In our solar system, Jupiter is the biggest planet of them all. It's a massive gas giant, many times larger than Earth. Despite how large Jupiter is and its stature as the biggest planet in our solar system, it's very small compared to some gas giants orbiting other stars. These types of supermassive planets are known as super-Jupiters and can weigh up to 13 times Jupiter's mass.

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Astronomers capture first spin measurements of planets in the HR 8799 star system

Astronomers capture first spin measurements of planets in the HR 8799 star system

Astronomers have been studying a star system discovered in 2008 by the W. M. Keck Observatory and Gemini Observatory from Hawaii. The star system is called HR 8799 and is 129 light-years away from Earth. Within that star system is a quartet of planets, all known as super-Jupiters.

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Astronomers have detected new areas of star formation in the Milky Way

Astronomers have detected new areas of star formation in the Milky Way

Astronomers used two of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world to make a very detailed and sensitive image of a large segment of the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers were able to detect previously unseen tracers indicating massive star formation by using the radio telescopes. The telescopes used in the study included the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the 100-meter Effelsberg Telescope in Germany.

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Amateur astronomer discovers a new Jovian moon

Amateur astronomer discovers a new Jovian moon

Everyone knows that the Earth only has one moon orbiting the planet. We all get to see it most nights, no matter where we are on the globe. While Earth has only one moon, other planets have significantly more. Jupiter for instance, has 79 known moons and may have one more.

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ESO astronomers share galaxy images that look like fireworks

ESO astronomers share galaxy images that look like fireworks

A team of astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have released some new observations of galaxies that look like colorful explosions of fireworks in the sky. The images were obtained using the ESL Very Large Telescope (VLT) and show different components of each galaxy in distinct colors. The multiple colors allow astronomers to pinpoint the locations of young stars and the warm gas they produce around them.

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Astronomers finally solve a decades-old mystery surrounding Jupiter’s x-ray bursts

Astronomers finally solve a decades-old mystery surrounding Jupiter’s x-ray bursts

A group of researchers has solved a mystery that has lingered for 40 years of how Jupiter produces bursts of x-rays every few minutes. The team says the x-rays are part of Jupiter's aurora, which are bursts of visible and invisible light occurring when charged particles interact with the atmosphere of the massive planet. On Earth, auroras happened as well and are more commonly known as the northern lights.

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Astronomers identify a new type of star explosion called a magneto-rotational hypernova

Astronomers identify a new type of star explosion called a magneto-rotational hypernova

An international team of astronomers has discovered the first evidence of the destruction of a collapsed and rapidly spinning star in a phenomenon they have called a magneto-rotational hypernova. This is a new type of explosion that was previously unknown and is said to have occurred only about a billion years after the Big Bang. Researchers believe the new type of explosion is the most likely explanation for the presence of unusually high amounts of some elements detected in another extremely ancient and primitive Milky Way star.

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Kepler telescope uncovers evidence of planets not tied to a host star

Kepler telescope uncovers evidence of planets not tied to a host star

The Kepler telescope has discovered evidence suggesting there are free-floating planets that are alone in deep space, unbound to any host star. The data shows four new discoveries consistent with planets having similar masses to Earth that are free-floating in deep space. The study was led by Iain McDonald from the University of Manchester and used data gathered in 2016 during the K2 phase of the NASA Kepler Space Telescope.

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Unique features of Palomar 5 could be the result of an oversized black hole population

Unique features of Palomar 5 could be the result of an oversized black hole population

Among the star clusters in our galaxy, Palomar 5 is one of the most unique. It's described as the "fluffiest" cluster in the halo of the Milky Way, with an average distance between stars in the cluster only a few light-years apart. Palomar 5 also has a unique stellar stream associated with it, spanning more than 20 degrees across the sky. A recent paper published by a group of astronomers and astrophysicists led by the University of Barcelona has shown that both of those distinguishing features of Palomar 5 are likely the result of a large black hole population.

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Square Kilometer Array radio telescope networks to begin construction

Square Kilometer Array radio telescope networks to begin construction

Two new radio telescope networks have been approved for construction by the SKA Observatory (SKAO). SKAO member states voted to approve the construction of the SKA telescopes in Australia and South Africa. The pair of telescope networks is currently designated SKA-Low and SKA-Mid, with the names describing the radio frequency ranges each network will cover.

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Astronomers discover a small yet massive white dwarf star

Astronomers discover a small yet massive white dwarf star

Astronomers had discovered a white dwarf star that is a bit of a contradiction. It's small, but at the same time, it's the most massive white dwarf ever seen. The star was formed when two less massive white dwarfs merged and is about 4300 kilometers across, making it slightly larger than the moon.

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