Moon over Saturn

Moon over Saturn

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Carlos Di Nallo] What happened to half of Saturn? Nothing other than Earth’s Moon getting in the way. As pictured above on the far right, Saturn is partly eclipsed by a dark edge of a Moon itself only partly illuminated by the Sun. This year the orbits of the […]

NASA: Astronomers think every star in Milky Way ‘has at least one planet’

NASA: Astronomers think every star in Milky Way ‘has at least one planet’

Cambridge, Mass – NASA predicts that 100 million worlds in our own Milky Way galaxy may host alien life, and space program scientists estimate that humans will be able to find life within two decades. Speaking at NASA’s Washington headquarters on Monday, the space agency outlined a plan to search for alien life using current […]

Dying, nearby dwarf star is 12 time hotter than our sun

Dying, nearby dwarf star is 12 time hotter than our sun

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, Univ. Arizona] The gorgeous, gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star, planetary nebula Abell 36 lies a mere 800 light-years away in the constellation of Virgo. Shrugging off its outer layers, the nebula’s central star is contracting and becoming hotter, evolving towards a final […]

Looking back to the sun from distant Neptune

Looking back to the sun from distant Neptune

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION, Data – Voyager 2, NASA Planetary Data System] Cruising through the outer solar system, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune on August 25, 1989, the only spacecraft to visit the most distant gas giant. Based on the images recorded during its close encounter and in […]

Solar spectrum shifted from absorption to emission during eclipse

Solar spectrum shifted from absorption to emission during eclipse

[CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION / Constantine Emmanouilidi] In a flash, the visible spectrum of the Sun changed from absorption to emission on November 3rd, during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse. [Normally a spectrum of the sun will show dark lines where where wavelengths of energy for elements have been absorbed […]

Eclipse reveals planet size flares on sun’s surface

Eclipse reveals planet size flares on sun’s surface

This month’s New Moon brought a total solar eclipse to parts of planet Earth on Nov. 13 (UT). Most of the total eclipse track fell across the southern Pacific, but the Moon’s dark umbral shadow began its journey in northern Australia on Wednesday morning, local time. From along the track, this telescopic snapshot captures the […]

Venus rises with the sun over the Black Sea

Venus rises with the sun over the Black Sea

This dramatic telephoto view across the Black Sea on June 6 finds Venus rising with the Sun, the planet in silhouette against a ruddy and ragged solar disk. Of course, the reddened light is due to scattering in planet Earth’s atmosphere and the rare transit of Venus didn’t influence the strangely shaped and distorted Sun. […]

Transit of Venus today, June 5, is last until 2117

Transit of Venus today, June 5, is last until 2117

We’re not supposed to look directly at the sun and surprisingly, the Hubble space telescope can’t either. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland manages the telescope. An exciting event is about to occur: “the transit of Venus,” […]