Related topics: earth · telescope · nasa · planets

Five planets revealed after 20 years of observation

Over 4000 exoplanets have been discovered since the first one in 1995, but the vast majority of them orbit their stars with relatively short periods of revolution. Indeed, to confirm the presence of a planet, it is necessary ...

NASA's OCO-3 measures how plants grow—and glow

When plants take in too much energy, they don't get fat—they lighten up. They absorb more sunlight than they need to power photosynthesis, and they get rid of the excess solar energy by emitting it as a very faint glow. ...

Two-armed 3-D printing

Twin robotic arms work together as part of a project to construct what will be the largest, most complex object ever 3-D printed in titanium: a test version of the 3-m diameter 'optic bench' at the heart of ESA's Athena X-ray ...

LIGO and Virgo resume search for ripples in space and time

The National Science Foundation's LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) is set to resume its hunt for gravitational waves—ripples in space and time—on April 1, after receiving a series of upgrades ...

Waiting for neutrinos

On Feb. 24, 1987, light from a supernova that exploded 168,000 years ago in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighbor of the Milky Way, reached Earth. Astronomers Ian Shelton and Oscar Duhalde at the Las Campanas Observatory ...

Image: SOHO's equinox sun

Last Wednesday, all locations on our planet enjoyed roughly the same number of hours of day and night. This event, called an equinox, takes place twice a year – around 20 March and then again around 23 September.

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Observatory

An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial and/or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geology, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed. Historically, observatories were as simple as containing an astronomical sextant (for measuring the distance between stars) or Stonehenge (which has some alignments on astronomical phenomena).

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