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astronomy

spacex starlink

SpaceX’s satellite horde is a nightmare for astronomers

November 19th, 2019

SpaceX has done a lot to help scientists over the years. It’s a business, first and foremost, but by lowering the bar for satellite launches it has facilitated research that might not otherwise have been possible. Unfortunately, the company’s Starlink project is doing the exact opposite by hindering the ability of astronomers to observe the …

black hole galaxy

Black holes are bad news for tiny galaxies

October 14th, 2019

While astronomers have only recently been able to spot a black hole directly, there’s a lot that scientists think they know about them. For starters, it’s believed that they exist in the hearts of most large galaxies including our own, and their incredible pull can literally tear apart just about anything, including stars. So, if …

gas giant exoplanet

Astronomers spotted a planet that shouldn’t exist

September 28th, 2019

When we imagine what other solar systems are like it’s easy to fall into a trap of assuming that our own system is a model that all others must follow. That’s simply not the case, and astronomers know that solar systems come in all shapes and sizes, but even still, the system orbiting the star …

2i/borisov

‘Alien’ comet from outside our solar system gets an official name

September 25th, 2019

It’s now been a couple of weeks since an amateur astronomer stumbled across what appeared to be the second interstellar object ever observed by mankind. The object, which appears to be a comet-like body, entered our solar system at an angle that suggested it originated somewhere else, and subsequent observations proved that to be the …

sunspot mystery

Scientists think they’ve solved the mystery of sunspots

September 19th, 2019

We owe a lot to our Sun, and without it, well, we wouldn’t be here at all. Scientists have studied our star for a long time, and learned plenty about it over the years, but one of the mysteries that has endured for centuries is the sunspot cycle. Every 11 years, the Sun produces far …

universe age

Maybe the universe isn’t as old as everyone thought

September 13th, 2019

We like to think we’re the center of the universe, but in the grand scheme of things, humans have only been around for a tiny, almost impossibly small fraction of the age of Earth. Our planet and our solar system have only been around for about one-third as long as the universe itself, or so …

is pluto a planet

NASA boss weighs in on Pluto’s planet status

August 27th, 2019

One of the internet’s favorite topics of debate, at least when it comes to astronomy, is whether or not Pluto should be considered a planet. Once considered a planet, Pluto has since been “demoted” by the scientific community and is now considered a dwarf planet. Now, despite nobody really asking him to, NASA boss Jim …