Asteroids help scientists measure distant stars

Look up at the sky on a clear night, and you'll see lots of stars. Sometimes they seem almost within reach or at least a short rocket ride. But the closest star to Earth—not counting our sun—is more than four light years ...

The Lords of the Rings among centaurs

(Phys.org)—Chariklo, the largest known centaur object, orbiting in a region between Saturn and Uranus, is a very intriguing celestial body that surprised astronomers last year. This remote minor planet has unveiled the ...

A second minor planet may possess Saturn-like rings

There are only five bodies in our solar system that are known to bear rings. The most obvious is the planet Saturn; to a lesser extent, rings of gas and dust also encircle Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. The fifth member of ...

Astronomers study Kuiper Belt object during stellar occultation

(PhysOrg.com) -- Until now, astronomers have used telescopes to find Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), moon-sized bodies, and obtain their spectra to determine what types of ices are on their surface. They have also used thermal-imaging ...

Thanks, Gaia: Astronomers spy Europa blocking distant star

On 31 March 2017, Jupiter's moon Europa passed in front of a background star—a rare event that was captured for the first time by ground-based telescopes thanks to data provided by ESA's Gaia spacecraft.

Orion's belt lights up Cassini's view of Enceladus

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Cassini mission will take advantage of the position of two of the three stars in Orion's belt when the spacecraft flies by Saturn's moon Enceladus on Wed., Oct. 19. As the hot, bright stars pass behind ...

SOFIA successfully observes challenging Pluto occultation

(PhysOrg.com) -- On June 23, NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) observed the dwarf planet Pluto as it passed in front of a distant star. This event, known as an "occultation," allowed scientific ...

Spring on Pluto: An analysis over 30 years

Whenever it passes in front of a star, Pluto provides precious information about its atmosphere, precious because occultations by Pluto are rare. The survey achieved by researchers from Paris Observatory over several decades ...

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