astronomy

This Star Model Is Based On Nothing But Shadows

Saturn’s rings are already mind-blowingly large — about 70,000km across — but astronomers at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands have found a much more extensive ring system. At least they think they have — all they can actually see are shadows.


A Pair Of Black Holes Could Soon Collide And Destroy Their Galaxy

One black hole is not to be messed with, let alone two. Astronomers have discovered what appears to be two supermassive black holes just one light-year apart, setting up a collision so massive it could be release as much energy as 100 million supernovas and destroy it’s inside galaxy. Yep.


Three-Kilometre-High Structures Rising On Saturn's Rings

Someone on Reddit just posted this old November 2010 image by the Cassini spacecraft. It shows 2-mile-high (3.5-kilometer) structures rising on Saturn’s B ring’s outer edge. We talked about this back then, but it’s a great peg to show this cool artist impression of what it would look like from the ring itself:


You Can Discover New Planets With A DSLR 

Wouldn’t it be cool to discover a planet circling a lonely star light years away from Earth? Maybe you’d even get to name it. Actually exploring deep space is hard, but as IEEE Spectrum’s David Schneider points out, detecting exoplanets is pretty simple, simple enough that a basic DSLR and a telephoto lens can do it.


Comet Dust Has Been Hiding Out In Antarctica This Whole Time  

Last month, the European Space Agency landed on a comet 482 million kilometres away to take samples that could help unravel our solar system’s origins. It turns out there are pieces of comets closer to home too. Scientists have just found comet dust preserved in the frozen reaches of Antarctica.


Rosetta Is Sending Back Intriguing Data On The Origins Of Earth's Water

While you were worrying about Philae’s landing, the spacecraft Rosetta has been patiently circling the comet, doing its own science. And it’s just dropped some intriguing results into the big debate over how Earth got its water.


A Magnificent Photo Of The Milky Way Arching Over Devils Tower

Photo: NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is featuring this extraordinary 16-photo panorama by astrophotographer David Lane: The Milky Way arching over the Devils Tower, in northeastern Wyoming. I keep looking expecting the UFOs from Close Encounters to zoom into the frame at any time now.


A French Inventor Proposed A Giant Mirror To Burn A Message On Mars

When we want to leave our mark on Mars today, we simply send over a few rovers to roll around in its red soil. But 150 years ago, scientists had very different plans for contacting the planet, including one French inventor who wanted to use the refracted light of the sun to sear a welcoming message into the Martian desert.


Beautiful Long Exposure Photo Of The Lunar Eclipse Rising Over China

Image Cache: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is featuring this long exposure photo of the lunar eclipse rising over the city of Chongqing, China, captured by photographer Zhou Yannan on 8 October. The zooming tail effect as the Moon went out of the eclipse is fantastic.


This Guy Just Won The Best Little Planet Photo Ever Contest

Photographers, you all can give up, because astrophotographer Göran Strand just won the best little planet photo ever contest with this amazing photo featured in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day: The equinox night on the above Lake Storsjön in Jämtland, Sweden, with auroras and all.