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astronomy

cotton candy planets

Bizarre ‘cotton candy’ planets might have rings, scientists say

March 3rd, 2020

Our solar system has a nice selection of planet types. We have ultra-hot worlds orbiting close to our Sun, rocky worlds like Earth and Mars, gas giants like Jupiter and frozen behemoths like Neptune hanging out on the distant edge. When telescope technology reached a point that scientists began spotting planets outside of our home …

space news

Students stumble upon new black hole in NASA asteroid probe data

March 3rd, 2020

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has spent the majority of its life studying the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. It was tasked with traveling to the asteroid, orbiting it, and eventually snatching samples so it could return that material to Earth. Spotting distant black holes wasn’t initially part of the plan, but as NASA explains in a new blog …

earth mini moon

Earth might have caught a new moon, and it’s super tiny

February 26th, 2020

Many of the planets in our solar system have multiple moons, and some even have dozens of large objects cruising around in orbit around them. Earth, by contrast, has just one large moon. Thanks to its solo nature, we even just call it “The Moon,” which is convenient, but that doesn’t mean that other natural …

betelgeuse update

Supernova dreams crushed as Betelgeuse starts brightening again

February 26th, 2020

For a couple of months now, the nearby star known as Betelgeuse has been acting rather strange. At first, the star appeared to be getting very dim, hinting at the possibility that the Red Giant may soon collapse and explode into a supernova. Not everyone believed the star was nearing its final act, but its …

radio signal in space

Something is blasting out a mysterious signal from deep space

February 10th, 2020

Of all the mysteries of outer space, fast radio bursts (or FRBs for short) are some of the most interesting. These incredibly powerful signals are carried over huge distances and every once in awhile scientists on Earth are able to hear them. Once we pick up on them, we can sometimes pinpoint a spot in …

stars crashing

Incredible image shows two massive stars locked in battle

February 7th, 2020

Our Sun flies solo, chilling out in a relatively calm arm of the Milky Way galaxy and not causing much trouble for its stellar neighbors. That’s great for us, but it’s not uncommon for astronomers to find stars that orbit each other closely in an object called a binary. Binary star systems aren’t uncommon, but …