astronomy

Astronomers discover the smallest rogue planet yet zipping through the Milky Way

Astronomers discover the smallest rogue planet yet zipping through the Milky Way

The term rogue planet is applied to planets that do not orbit a star. These planets fly unaccompanied through the galaxy, and astronomers have announced that they have spotted the smallest rogue planet candidate yet. The belief that the planet could be smaller than the Earth, with a mass somewhere between that of our world and Mars.

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Researchers study the atmosphere of distant “hot Neptune” planet

Researchers study the atmosphere of distant “hot Neptune” planet

A team of astronomers has used data gathered from TESS and the Spitzer space telescope to investigate the atmosphere of a distant planet known as LTT 9779b. The planet is described as a "hot Neptune," and the study marks the first time the atmosphere of this exoplanet was studied. Researchers performed the first spectral atmospheric characterization and global temperature map of any TESS planet that has an atmosphere and is classified as a hot Neptune.

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Skywatchers still have a chance to check out the Orionid meteor shower

Skywatchers still have a chance to check out the Orionid meteor shower

Skywatchers may have missed the peak of the Orionid meteor shower, which occurred in the predawn hours last Wednesday. However, there is still a chance to see a few meteors in the sky. The Orionid meteor shower continues through November 7.

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Orionid meteor shower peaks next week

Orionid meteor shower peaks next week

Skywatchers have something to look forward to next week as one of the strongest meteor showers of fall is set to reach its peak on Tuesday night. The annual Orionid meteor shower will peak Tuesday night and into the early hours of Wednesday morning. Those who stay up to watch the meteor shower can expect around 20 meteors per hour around most of the globe.

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NASA says rocky asteroid Bennu is home to chunks of another asteroid

NASA says rocky asteroid Bennu is home to chunks of another asteroid

NASA has released the latest update on its OSIRI-REx mission, which involves a spacecraft that is closely orbiting a very rocky, somewhat angular asteroid called Bennu. The space agency explains that Bennu is an asteroid made of rubble from other space rocks; it is the result of some massive collision in the past. Studying the rubble has revealed the presence of meteorites that originated from another -- and much larger -- asteroid nearby.

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Super Moon April 2020: The biggest one all year

Super Moon April 2020: The biggest one all year

Tuesday night you'll be able to see the most full and large Supermoon of the year 2020. This is called the Super Pink Moon, but it won't actually appear to be pink in color. This one name (of many) includes two separate descriptors, one because it's a Super Moon, another because it's a Pink Moon. This is also the point at which the moon will appear larger than any other one of the Supermoons we see all year long!

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12,000+ people applied to be a NASA astronaut for missions to our Moon and Mars

12,000+ people applied to be a NASA astronaut for missions to our Moon and Mars

More than 12,000 individuals applied for the job of astronaut in NASA's 2020 call for interest in the Artemis Generation. Those chosen for the program will be involved in Artemis missions to our Moon and beyond. "We've entered a bold new era of space exploration with the Artemis program," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "We are thrilled to see so many incredible Americans apply to join us."

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How to sign up to be a NASA Astronaut in 2020

How to sign up to be a NASA Astronaut in 2020

Back in the year 2015, NASA opened applications for candidates for their astronaut program. At that time, they received the highest-ever amount of applications to the program. Approximately 18,300 people applied in late 2015, and in early 2020, 11 new astronauts graduated from the NASA program. NASA just announced a new round of candidate application availability.

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Astronomers couldn’t believe this record-breaking black hole explosion – until now

Astronomers couldn’t believe this record-breaking black hole explosion – until now

It's no Big Bang but it is a very big bang. NASA says it has spotted a record-breaking explosion, as a distant black hole erupts with galaxy-scale results. Luckily for us, though, the huge jets from the supermassive black hole occurred around 390 million light years away from Earth.

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Re-watch the first all-female spacewalk via NASA

Re-watch the first all-female spacewalk via NASA

UPDATE: The spacewalk is effectively complete, but we can watch it again and again since NASA's recorded the whole thing, live in effect. Humanity's first all-female spacewalk started at 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 GMT) on October 18, 2019. Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir worked outside the International Space Station to repair the station by replacing a power controller.

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This is the Spacebit moon spider

This is the Spacebit moon spider

This bit of robotics from the folks at Spacebit is known as "The Walking Rover". It's effectively a moon spider - albeit with 4 legs instead of 8, and a box-like body of metal rather than organic. It's powered by the sun via solar panels and stores energy on rechargeable batteries. It weighs around 1.3kg, works with Swarm Intelligence, is part of a Modular Robotics Platform, and it can jump.

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Can NASA’s planetary system keep us safe from asteroids?

Can NASA’s planetary system keep us safe from asteroids?

While we’re struggling to get out of bed, deciding which pair of socks to wear to work, there is a group of people working hard to track asteroids that could literally end all life on Earth. No, it’s not the Avengers - they’re called the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), but they may just be Earth’s mightiest heroes.

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