On Feb. 11, 2010, NASA launched an unprecedented solar observatory into space. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) flew up on an Atlas V rocket, carrying instruments that scientists hoped would revolutionize observations of the sun. If all went according to plan, SDO would provide incredibly high-resolution data of the entire solar disk almost as quickly as once a second.
The optics engineering expertise at the NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., made it possible for a group of solar scientist to see into the sun’s corona in unprecedented detail. The final mirror configuration was completed with inputs from partners at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, or SAO, in Cambridge, Mass., and a new [...]
Was our solar system once home to a fifth gas-giant? An astronomer from the Southwest Research Institute in Texas believes it might have been. First, it isn’t entirely unusual for planets to be ejected from planetary systems. In fact, astronomers think one or more planets may have been kicked from a system when there are [...]
The sun.. you know, that big, painfully bright yellowish-white dot that’s visible in the sky for a few hours each day.. Yes.. THAT thing. If it didn’t exist, neither would we and furthermore, if we were located much closer or much farther away, our planet would potentially be radically different than it is now. [...]
One billion stars New view of the blue marble Furthest-ever image of the universe 9 billion pixels of the Milky Way galaxy The view 50 million light years away Panorama of Mars A not-so-dark “dark core” A twister on Mars Saturns storms European panorma at night from the International Space Station The [...]
20 August 2012 — The first evidence of a planet’s destruction by its aging star has been discovered by an international team of astronomers. The evidence indicates that the missing planet was devoured as the star began expanding into a “red giant” — the stellar equivalent of advanced age. “A similar fate may await the [...]
The University of Central Florida has detected what could be its first planet, only two-thirds the size of Earth and located right around the corner, cosmically speaking, at a mere 33light- years away. The exoplanet candidate called UCF 1.01, is close to its star, so close it goes around the star in 1.4 [...]