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News

Your online destination for news articles on planets, cosmology, NASA, space missions, and more. You’ll also find information on how to observe upcoming visible sky events such as meteor showers, solar and lunar eclipses, key planetary appearances, comets, and asteroids.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The 'promising' SETI signal probably isn't aliens

It's easy for the public to get excited about the thinnest hints of anything alien. After all, there are dozens of "Earth-like" planets (which aren't confirmed to be anything like us) and there's that "alien megastructure" star (which is probably com...

Powerful magnetars may give way to small black holes

Four bright bursts identified earlier this year may be the products of spinning magnetic stars collapsing inward to form black holes. New research suggests that the flares may have been produced as dense stars at the end of their lives imploded, crea...
Monday, August 29, 2016

Russian SETI researchers are pursuing a promising signal

It could be nothing. In the kinds of circles that search for transmissions from alien civilizations, it always is. But nonetheless, Russian researchers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have something intriguing they're pursuing....
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Astronomers find a galaxy that's mostly dark matter

The hazy oval isn’t glare on your screen; it’s an entire galaxy. Dragonfly 44 weighs about the same as our Milky Way, except it’s 99.99% dark matter and has less than a hundredth the number of stars. Dark matter is stuff that can&rs...

When does a small star become a brown dwarf?

While the brightest stars can be easy to identify, their cooler cousins can be challenging to distinguish from the wannabes that never managed to reach stellar status. The difference can be huge when planets are involved, as with the three worlds orb...

Massive, short-lived stars may still form like the Sun

The elusive, gigantic blue O-type stars form fast (10 to 100,000 years fast), die young, and do both those things well. But when it comes time to study the stars, that becomes a big problem for astronomers because their massive size makes them blow u...
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Is Proxima Centauri b the most promising exoplanet yet?

A pale red dot not far from our sun may be orbited by a pale blue dot much different than Earth. In a shocking find, astronomers Wednesday announced their discovery of an Earth-sized planet orbiting the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, just 4.2 light-...
Friday, August 19, 2016

The Sky This Week for August 19 to August 28

Friday, August 19 • You’ll want to keep your eyes on the western evening sky all week. A trio of bright planets — Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter — lurk low in the twilight, forming an elegant triangle that changes shape with each...
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A dormant white dwarf violently exploded out of its slumber

White dwarf-companion star binaries can have explosive relationships. They begin with a hibernation phase, where the companion sends a whisper of mass to the white dwarf as a stream of hydrogen. The white dwarf cyclically brightens and dims and then ...
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