Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not.
Both are equally terrifying.

— Arthur C. Clarke

Universe Today

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Updated: 7 hours 24 min ago

Which Habitable Zones are the Best to Actually Search for Life?

Sat, 03/16/2019 - 10:12pm

A new study conducted by an international team of scientists examines what the term "habitable zone" means and how next-generation telescopes will test our assumptions.

The post Which Habitable Zones are the Best to Actually Search for Life? appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

SLS Rocket Promises To Do Better

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 10:57pm

The SLS rocket found its future launch manifest severely curtailed in a new budget request. This leaves the long overdue rocket with uncertain long term prospects.

The post SLS Rocket Promises To Do Better appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Progress for the Skylon. Europe agrees to continue working on the air-breathing SABRE engine

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 6:03pm

The ESA and Reaction Engines recently took another step towards the realization of the hypersonic SABRE engine.

The post Progress for the Skylon. Europe agrees to continue working on the air-breathing SABRE engine appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Do You See the “Cosmic Bat” in NGC 1788?

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 5:12pm

2,000 light years away, in the Orion constellation, lurks an eerie looking creature, made of glowing gas lit up by young stars: the Cosmic Bat. Its real name is NGC 1788. It’s a reflection nebula, meaning the light of nearby stars is strong enough to light it up, but not strong enough to ionize the …

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Categories: Astronomy

This Star has been Kicked Out of the Milky Way. It Knows What It Did.

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 3:48pm

Every once in a while, the Milky Way ejects a star. The evicted star is typically ejected from the chaotic area at the center of the galaxy, where our Super Massive Black Hole (SMBH) lives. But at least one of them was ejected from the comparatively calm galactic disk, a discovery that has astronomers rethinking …

The post This Star has been Kicked Out of the Milky Way. It Knows What It Did. appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

The Iridium Flare Era is About to End

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 12:40pm

Fast-forward to 2019, and the age of the predictable Iridium flare may be coming to an end. Already, scrolling through Heavens-Above reveals very few Iridium flares for the coming months, and these familiar nighttime flashes may become a thing of the past come 2020.

The post The Iridium Flare Era is About to End appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

New Ring of Dust Discovered in the Inner Solar System

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 6:07pm

Discovering new things in space is a regular occurrence. Astronomers keep finding more distant objects in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Worlds like ‘The Goblin,’ ‘FarOut,’ and ‘FarFarOut‘ are stretching the limits of what our Solar System actually is. But finding new things in the inner Solar System is rare. “It’s not every …

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Categories: Astronomy

This is the Final Photograph from Opportunity

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 1:47pm

Sad. But beautiful. NASA has shared Opportunity’s final photograph from the surface of Mars. The rover’s final resting place is in Endeavour Crater, and barring any statistically unlikely event, it will sit there for centuries, millennia, or even longer. And instead of a tombstone, we have this final image. The image is a panorama, captured …

The post This is the Final Photograph from Opportunity appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Weekly Space Hangout: Mar 13, 2019 – Dr. Luisa Rebull, Spitzer, and Star Formation

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 6:30pm

Hosts: Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain) Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier ) Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org) Dr. Luisa Rebull is an astronomer studying the properties of young stars, specifically evolution of rotation rates, disks, accretion rates, and Li abundances. She is an Associate …

The post Weekly Space Hangout: Mar 13, 2019 – Dr. Luisa Rebull, Spitzer, and Star Formation appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

This is What It’ll Look Like When the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies Collide Billions of Years from Now

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 6:01pm

What happens when two galaxies collide? The Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy are on a collision course, and in about 4.5 billion years, they will meet. Now astronomers using the Hubble have provided some visual insight into what that collision might look like. When two galaxies collide, it’s highly unlikely that any stars will …

The post This is What It’ll Look Like When the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies Collide Billions of Years from Now appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

China’s Lunar Rover Wakes Up and Gets to Work for its 3rd Lunar Day

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 2:52pm

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has released some new photos and updated the world on their lunar rover mission. The Yutu-2 rover is working its way into the history books on the lunar far side, exploring the Von Karman crater. It’s third lunar day is now in the record books. As of March 4th, …

The post China’s Lunar Rover Wakes Up and Gets to Work for its 3rd Lunar Day appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Using Black Holes to Conquer Space: The Halo Drive!

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 2:45pm

According to a new study, black holes could be used as a gravitational slingshot, allowing for interstellar space exploration.

The post Using Black Holes to Conquer Space: The Halo Drive! appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Jupiter or Earth? Which One’s Which, and Why Do They Look so Similar?

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 6:08pm

Jupiter: a massive, lifeless gas giant out there on the other side of the asteroid belt. It’s a behemoth, containing 2.5 times as much mass as all the other planets combined. To top it off, it’s named after the Roman God of War. Earth: a tiny rocky world, almost too close to the Sun, where …

The post Jupiter or Earth? Which One’s Which, and Why Do They Look so Similar? appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Now You Can See MU69 in Thrilling 3D

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 4:10pm

The New Horizons team has released new images that take advantage of the "binocular effect" to create 3D impressions of Ultima Thule.

The post Now You Can See MU69 in Thrilling 3D appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

A Newer, More Accurate Measurement Sets the Mass of the Milky Way at 1.5 Trillion Solar Masses

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 3:59pm

Astronomers keep trying to measure the mass of the Milky Way and they keep coming up with different numbers. But it’s not that they’re bad at math. Measuring the mass of something as enormous as the Milky Way is confounding. Plus, we’re embedded in it; it takes some very clever maneuvering to constrain its mass. …

The post A Newer, More Accurate Measurement Sets the Mass of the Milky Way at 1.5 Trillion Solar Masses appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Messier 80 – the NGC 6093 Globular Cluster

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 3:00pm

Located in the Scorpius constellation, roughly 32,600 light years from Earth, is the globular cluster known as Messier 80.

The post Messier 80 – the NGC 6093 Globular Cluster appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Massive Photons Could Explain Dark Matter, But Don’t

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 12:27am

I’ll be the first to admit that we don’t understand dark matter. We do know for sure that something funny is going on at large scales in the universe (“large” here meaning at least as big as galaxies). In short, the numbers just aren’t adding up. For example, when we look at a galaxy and …

The post Massive Photons Could Explain Dark Matter, But Don’t appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Pluto and Charon Don’t Have Enough Small Craters

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 4:21pm

The New Horizons team just shared new findings about the lack of small craters on Pluto and Charon's surface, which reveal things about the Kuiper Belt.

The post Pluto and Charon Don’t Have Enough Small Craters appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

It Took 10 Years to Confirm the First Planet Ever Found by Kepler

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 5:42pm

Even though astronomy people are fond of touting the number of exoplanets found by the Kepler spacecraft, those planets aren’t actually confirmed. They’re more correctly called candidate exoplanets, because the signals that show something’s out there, orbiting a distant star, can be caused by something other than exoplanets. It can actually take a long time …

The post It Took 10 Years to Confirm the First Planet Ever Found by Kepler appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Ho-Hum. More Boring Success for SpaceX as Crew Dragon Splashes Down

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 2:22pm

A few hours ago, the SpaceX Crew Dragon splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean, about 200 miles off the coast of Florida. The splashdown is the last act in what has been a successful first flight for the Crew Dragon. The flight, called Demo-1, was launched on March 2nd and spent five days at the …

The post Ho-Hum. More Boring Success for SpaceX as Crew Dragon Splashes Down appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy