Astronomy & Space news

The difference between CMEs and solar flares

This is a question we are often asked: what is the difference between a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a solar flare? We discussed it in a recent astrophoto post, but today NASA put out a video with amazing graphics that explain ...

Sep 23, 2014
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Image: NGC 6872 in the constellation of Pavo

This picture, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), shows a galaxy known as NGC 6872 in the constellation of Pavo (The Peacock). Its unusual shape is caused ...

Sep 23, 2014
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Measuring the proper motion of a galaxy

The motion of a star relative to us can be determined by measuring two quantities, radial motion and proper motion. Radial motion is the motion of a star along our line of sight. That is, motion directly ...

Sep 23, 2014
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How ancient impacts made mining practical

About 1.85 billion years ago, in what would come to be known as Sudbury Canada, a 10 kilometer wide asteroid struck with such energy that it created an impact crater 250 kilometers wide. Today the chief industry of Sudbury ...

Sep 23, 2014
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Image: A cosmic hurricane

The giant planet Saturn is mostly a gigantic ball of rotating gas, completely unlike our solid home planet. But Earth and Saturn do have something in common: weather, although the gas giant is home to some ...

Sep 23, 2014
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Gravitational waves according to Planck

Scientists of the Planck collaboration, and in particular the Trieste team, have conducted a series of in-depth checks on the discovery recently publicized by the Antarctic Observatory, which announced last ...

Sep 22, 2014
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How gamma ray telescopes work

Yesterday I talked about the detection of gamma ray bursts, intense blasts of gamma rays that occasionally appear in distant galaxies. Gamma ray bursts were only detected when gamma ray satellites were put ...

Sep 22, 2014
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