The National Weather Service says that the most likely explanation for an object which sent out illumination and a sonic boom throughout southwest Michigan, five other US states, and Canada on Tuesday night local time was the breakup of a meteor, WXYZ reported. The American Meteor Society collected at least 200 reports of the incident, which for around a second was so bright it lit parts of the Detroit region like it was daytime.
Tagged With astronomy
There may be at least half a million pieces of man-made junk orbiting this planet. Tiny pieces can travel around 10km/s, far faster than a bullet. The International Space Station has had to adjust its orbit just to avoid the stuff. People are rightfully concerned about what to do with all this orbital litter.
There's an unidentified source of infrared throughout the universe. By looking at the specific wavelengths of the light, scientists think that come from carbon - but not just any carbon, a special kind where the atoms are arranged in multiple hexagonal rings. No one has been able to spot one of these multi-ring "polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons," or PAHs in space - even though the infrared emissions imply that these PAHs should make up 10 per cent of the universe's carbon. Now, scientists have found a new hint.
To date, the best use of augmented reality has been running around parks trying to capture virtual Pokémon. But as that fad has (mercifully) faded away, a company called AstroReality has come up with a more compelling use of AR technology that works with an astonishingly detailed replica of the moon that's as much a work of art as it is a learning tool.
First detected in 2002, Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are quick, high-energy pulses originating from galaxies billions of light years away. Scientists still don't know the true nature of these bursts or what's causing them, but new observations of the only known repeating FRBs are providing details about the extreme environments in which these pulses are born.
Our Milky Way galaxy isn't alone in this corner of space -- it's orbited by a few smaller dwarf galaxies, including the Large Magellanic Cloud. Inside that cloud is 30 Doradus (or the Tarantula Nebula), a "starburst" where stars are formed at a much higher rate than the surrounding area. And 30 Doradus has too many massive stars.
Sure, the restaurants are great, and you've probably got a decent sports team to barrack for. But the bright lights of a big city mean that at night you can rarely see more than a few stars in the sky, and these stunning timelapses of the galaxy overhead will make you realise the spectacular show you're missing every evening.
The results are now in after a year-long, crowdfunded investigation into the star KIC 8462852, and to hardly anyone's surprise, the strange dimming produced by this star doesn't appear to be caused by an alien megastructure. That said, astronomers are now significantly closer to knowing the true reasons for the star's odd behaviour.
At the core of each large galaxy lies a supermassive black hole with the mass of 1 million suns. New research shows that these celestial vacuum cleaners do more than just devour nearby objects - they also grow to a size that eventually suppresses a galaxy's ability to churn out new stars, effectively rendering them sterile.
Astronomers spend their days looking at the sky. Maybe some crazy complex new telescope is helping, or some form of AI is teasing the complexities out of vast piles of data. It's still just the sky. The sky isn't immutable, though. Some of the most interesting science happens when brief blips pass into and out of existence. These dots send their light in the form of radio waves, microwaves, visible light and gamma rays into measuring apparatuses and tell us something new about the universe. They might even send space itself rippling with gravitational waves.
Mars looks like it used to have water - perhaps even entire oceans. But not today. Today, scientists can't even decide whether it's got slight trickles darkening the dirt on its mountainsides. If Mars did once have oceans, then where did they go?
On October 19, 2017, astronomers witnessed the first known interstellar asteroid - a bizarre, cigar-shaped rock that, just as quickly as it entered into our Solar System, exited in a hurry. Not satisfied that 'Oumuamua, as it's been named, is just an odd asteroid, astronomers from Breakthrough Listen recently tuned their Green Bank telescope into the object to see if it's an alien spaceship or some kind of probe. The preliminary results are now in and - brace yourself - it's still a rock.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is currently hurtling towards MU69, a Kuiper Belt object located around 1.6 billion km past Pluto. Details of this distant object just keep getting more intriguing. In addition to having a reddish hue and potentially consisting of two self-orbiting objects, MU69 may have a small moon, the latest research suggests. So what we once thought was a single object might actually be three.