Backyard astronomy: 2021 encouraged us to look beyond the stars

Looking back to 2021, there were many great space stories in the news, including two lunar eclipses back in May and November. By coincidence, two more total lunar eclipses will occur in May and November 2022. We were also entertained by three great meteor showers in January, August and December but the moon ran major … Read more

How Netflix’s ‘Don’t Look Up’ got astronomy right with NASA NEO scientist

As a professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Science, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Amy Mainzer knows a lot about space. Her work primarily focuses on assessing the dangers flying objects, like meteors, pose to earth. In addition, she is also the primary lead for NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission, a project that hopes … Read more

Polish astronomers determined the mass of a hidden gravitational object

We deal with microlensing when there is an invisible object between the observer and the observed astronomical phenomenon (at the intersection of the vision axis) with a mass large enough to exert a gravitational influence on the light flowing from there. The result is then a characteristic distortion of the image of the observed object … Read more

The VLT Observatory spotted a particular pair of supermassive black holes

The pair of supermassive black holes in the galaxy NGC 7727 in the constellation of Aquarius is about 89 million light-years from Earth. It may seem far away, but on a cosmic scale it is not – especially as this result quite significantly beats the existing record for the closest arrangement of such objects to … Read more

A tiny black hole “caught” in a star cluster outside the Milky Way

The newly found black hole was identified in the NGC 1850 cluster, composed of thousands of stars and almost 160,000 light-years away from the solar system (located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy adjacent to the Milky Way). “We are looking at every single star in this cluster […]by trying to find evidence for … Read more

Manned space travel: SpaceX successfully sends two people into space

Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley did it: On Saturday evening at 9:22 p.m. (CEST), the US space travelers took off with a Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral spaceport and the separated first rocket stage landed on a transport ship in the ocean as planned. The astronauts will now travel to the International Space … Read more

Integration of Geology and Astronomy Shows That Rocky Exoplanets May Be Stranger Than Thought

An astronomer from NSF’s NOIRLab teamed up with a geologist at California State University, Fresno, to make the first estimates of the types of rock that exist on planets orbiting nearby stars. After studying the chemical composition of “polluted” white dwarfs, they concluded that most rocky planets orbiting nearby stars are more diverse and exotic … Read more

A record distant star forming galaxy showing the presence of fluoride

“We all know about fluoride because it is in the form of fluoride in toothpaste used daily,” notes Maximilien Franco of the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, who led a new study published in Nature Astronomy. Like most of the elements around, fluorine is made inside stars, but it has not been known exactly … Read more

NASA scientists call for new framework in search for alien life

NASA scientists are calling for new framework in the search for alien life. The agency on Wednesday recapped the contents of a new article published in Nature. The article was led by NASA’s chief scientist Jim Green. The group said that creating a scale for evaluating and combining different lines of evidence would help to provide context for findings … Read more

SolAero Technologies to Power NASA’s Lucy Mission | National News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Oct. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — SolAero Technologies Corp. (SolAero), a leading provider of high efficiency solar cells, solar panels, and composite structural products for satellite and aerospace applications, populated Northrop Grumman Space Systems’ (NGSS’) UltraFlex© solar arrays with its patented ZTJ solar cell technology to power NASA’s Lucy Mission. Powered by SolAero’s high-efficiency, triple-junction … Read more