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Posts Tagged ‘astronomy’

NASA delivers first grant in 30 years to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

NASA has funded a new research collaborative research effort between Harvard, the Smithsonian Institutions, and the University of Rochester to search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). This is the first NASA grant for SETI in three decades and the first ever to search for signs of ET that aren't radio transmissions. Instead, the scientists will look ...

“My dad launched the quest to find alien intelligence. It changed astronomy.”

In 1960, Frank Drake, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, launched Project Ozma, the first scientific effort to listen for radio communications from extraterrestrials. Frank, now 90, is still serious about SETI, writing research papers and advising scientists who are listening to the stars for signs of intelligent life. (I came to ...

Tonight is a supermoon, the largest full Moon this year

Tonight's full moon is a "Pink Moon" aka "Passover Moon" aka "Paschal Moon" aka "Hanuman Jayanti" aka supermoon, the largest full moon of 2020. From NASA:

The term "supermoon" was coined by the astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to either a new or full Moon that occurs within 90% of perigee, its closest ...

Undersea telescope seeks out dark matter

More than 125 of these curious soccer ball-sized glass spheres hang near the floor of the Mediterranean Sea. Even though they're deep underwater, they're keeping a constant vigil for neutrinos, particles that may be evidence of dark matter, supernovae, and neutron stars far off in intergalactic space. Eventually, the Cubic Kilometer Neutrino Telescope (KM3NeT) will ...

NASA’s stunning image of our galactic center

Last July, NASA released this wonderful composite image of the galactic center of the Milky Way.

The central region of our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains an exotic collection of objects, including a supermassive black hole weighing about 4 million times the mass of the Sun (called Sagittarius A*), clouds of gas at temperatures of millions ...

Biggest explosion ever seen in the Universe

A massively powerful eruption has been detected in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, located about 390 million light years from Earth. It is the biggest such event ever observed.

In some ways, this blast is similar to how the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 ripped off the top of the mountain,” said Simona Giacintucci of ...

Breathtaking image of a red giant star swallowing another star

Astronomers captured this incredible image of a double-star system where a red giant star appears to have "engulfed the other (star) which, in turn, spiraled towards its partner provoking it into shedding its outer layers." The scientists spotted this astounding event using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in the Chilean Andes. From ...

You are looking at 84 million stars in the heart of the Milky Way — how small do you feel now?

My ***, it's full of stars!

To create this unprecedented view of the Milky Way, ESO combined thousands of individual images from VISTA, taken through three different infrared filters, into a single monumental mosaic. These data form part of the VVV public survey and have been used to study a much larger number of individual ...

First asteroid found inside orbit of Venus: Caltech

Some extra-planetary Caltech news to take your mind off Earth

Reports Caltech: “A rare asteroid orbiting snugly within the inner confines of our solar system has been discovered by Caltech's Zwicky Transient Facility, or ZTF, a survey camera based at Palomar Observatory. The newfound body, named 2020 AV2, is the first asteroid found to ...

Wanda Diaz Merced is a blind astronomer who hears the science of the stars

Wanda Diaz Merced is an astronomer at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Office for Astronomy Outreach in Mitaka, Japan. Diaz Merced is blind and uses a technique to transform data from astronomical surveys into sounds for analysis. Over at Nature, Elizabeth Gibney interviewed Merced about how "converting astronomical data into sound could bring discoveries that ...