Heavens

NGC 7714 shows tell-tale signs of a galactic merger

NGC 7714 shows tell-tale signs of a galactic merger

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured this striking view of spiral galaxy NGC 7714. This galaxy has drifted too close to another nearby galaxy and the dramatic interaction has twisted its spiral arms out of shape, dragged streams of material out into space, and triggered bright bursts of star formation.

NGC 7714 is a spiral galaxy at 100 million light-years from Earth -- a relatively close neighbor in cosmic terms.

If you think the weather forecast for New York City was scary, imagine the hysteria this NASA data would have generated

If you think the weather forecast for New York City was scary, imagine the hysteria this NASA data would have generated

Though predictions of a Snowmageddon were misplaced (it happens the other way also - Hurricane Katrina was nothing special before it hit shore), they would have been a lot wilder if weather services had access to what NASA has. NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument was monitoring wind speed showing hurricane-force wind gusts over a large enough region that RapidScat had to make ascending and descending passes over parts of it every 24 hours.

Hemispheres: The 2 faces of Mars

Hemispheres: The 2 faces of Mars

The two hemispheres of Mars are more different from any other planet in our solar system. Non-volcanic, flat lowlands characterise the northern hemisphere, while highlands punctuated by countless volcanoes extend across the southern hemisphere. Although theories and assumptions about the origin of this so-called and often-discussed Mars dichotomy abound, there are very few definitive answers.

ETH Zurich geophysicists under Giovanni Leone are now providing a new explanation.

Kepler-444: 'Astro-archaeological' discovery from the dawn of time

Kepler-444: 'Astro-archaeological' discovery from the dawn of time

Scientists have discovered a solar system with 5 Earth-sized planets dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy.

Thanks to the NASA Kepler mission, the scientists announced today (Tuesday 27 January 2015) in The Astrophysical Journal the observation of a Sun-like star (Kepler-444) hosting 5 planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus.

Kepler-444 was formed 11.2 billion years ago, when the Universe was less than 20% its current age. This is the oldest known system of terrestrial-sized planets in our Galaxy - 2 and a half times older than the Earth.

Astronomers discover ancient star with 5 Earth-size planets

Astronomers discover ancient star with 5 Earth-size planets

Astronomers poring over four years of data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft have discovered a star that's 11.2 billion years old and has at least five Earth-size planets.

Gigantic ring system around J1407b much larger, heavier than Saturn's

Gigantic ring system around J1407b much larger, heavier than Saturn's

Astronomers at the Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands, and the University of Rochester, USA, have discovered that the ring system that they see eclipse the very young Sun-like star J1407 is of enormous proportions, much larger and heavier than the ring system of Saturn. The ring system - the first of its kind to be found outside our solar system - was discovered in 2012 by a team led by Rochester's Eric Mamajek.

HESS collaboration finds three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud

HESS collaboration finds three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud

A multinational team of astronomers working on the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) telescopes found three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way. These are objects of different types, namely the most powerful pulsar wind nebula; the most powerful supernova remnant; and a shell of 270 light years in diameter blown by multiple stars, and supernovae - a so-called superbubble.

How planetary building blocks evolved from porous to hard objects

How planetary building blocks evolved from porous to hard objects

Thinking small has enabled an international team of scientists to gain new insight into the evolution of planetary building blocks in the early solar system.

The researchers compared the results of small-scale numerical simulations of colliding rock and dust particles to the composition of meteorites. They found that collisions helped transform initially porous materials into the more highly solidified asteroids and meteorites observed today. The team of seven scientists published their evidence last month in Nature Communications.

Hypothetical particle could help detect theoretical dark matter

Researchers at the University of Southampton have proposed a new fundamental particle which could explain why no one has managed to detect 'Dark Matter', the elusive missing 85 percent of the Universe's mass.

Dark Matter is thought to exist because of its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies, gravitational lensing (the bending of light rays) around these, and through its imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background - the afterglow of the Big Bang.

Death of a dynamo: recovering a hard drive from space

The dying moments of an asteroid's magnetic field have been successfully captured by researchers, in a study that offers a tantalising glimpse of what may happen to the Earth's magnetic core billions of years from now.