Galaxies could use a set of traffic cops — they’re always running into each other. These galactic wrecks can produce some of the most beautiful objects in the universe.
There’s a problem with Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. There’s a fair amount of methane in its atmosphere and in its big lakes.
StarDate: Supergiant Blast, White Dwarf Collision Could Trigger Bright Supernova Blast Seen Across Universe
One of the giants of the Milky Way stands high overhead at nightfall. Deneb marks the tail of Cygnus, the swan. It’s a supergiant — about 15 times as massive as the Sun, and more than a hundred times as wide. And it shines more than 50,000 times brighter.
Mars is about to dodge a big snowball — a comet that will swing just 82,000 miles above the planet’s surface on Sunday. That’s just a third of the distance between Earth and the Moon, so it’s quite a close call.
Until the middle of the 19th century, the stars were little more than mysterious points of light. Astronomers could plot a star’s position in the sky, or record changes in its brightness, but that was about all
A few of our stellar neighbors are hard to miss. Vega, which passes high overhead on August evenings, is just 25 light-years away. And Sirius, the brightest star in all the night sky, is nine light-years away.
In a time when astronomers are studying galaxies that are billions of light-years away, you might think that we know everything there is to know about our own cosmic neighborhood.
The center of the Milky Way is already crowded with stars. But in a few million years, tens of thousands more could flare to life in a region known as the Brick. It’s a vast cloud of cold, dark gas and dust that’s shaped like a brick.
One of the first items on almost any amateur astronomer’s “to-do” list is completing the Messier marathon — looking at all 110 objects cataloged by Charles Messier. Messier himself began the first marathon 250 years ago.
There’s nothing like a trip to the mountains to escape the summer heat — whether you’re here on Earth or on Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor.