Welcome back to Messier Monday! In our ongoing tribute to the great Tammy Plotner, we take a look at the Messier 16 open star cluster – aka. The Eagle Nebula (and a slew of other names). Enjoy! In the 18th century, while searching the night sky for comets, French astronomer Charles Messier began noticing a […]
For millennia, human beings have stared up at the night sky and stood in awe of the Milky Way. Today, stargazers and amateur astronomers continue in this tradition, knowing that what they are witnessing is in fact a collection of hundreds of millions of stars and dust clouds, not to mention billions of other worlds. […]
The Solar System is 4.5 billion years old, but the Universe is much older. What was here before our Solar System formed? The Solar System is old. Like, dial-up-fax-machine-old. 4.6 billion years to be specific. The Solar System has nothing on the Universe. It’s been around for 13.8 billion years, give or take a few […]
Two white dwarfs circle around one other, locked in a fatal tango. With an intimate orbit and a hefty combined mass, the pair is ultimately destined to collide, merge, and erupt in a titanic explosion: a Type Ia supernova. Or so goes the theory behind the infamous “standard candles” of cosmology. Now, in a paper published in today’s issue of […]
Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain) Special Guest: Andy Weir , author of “The Martian” Andy was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, […]
Wow! One of the most famous star explosions captured by the Hubble Space Telescope — several times — shows clear evidence of expansion in this new animation. You can see here the Homunculus Nebula getting bigger and bigger between 1995 and 2008, when Hubble took pictures of the Eta Carinae star system. More details from […]
We’ve got at least one scary night ahead with Halloween falling on Friday. Adam Block, manager at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter at the University of Arizona sent us this image of the nebula LBN 438, explaining that this dark cloud of dust glows eerily both from scattered starlight and extended red emission due to the […]
Zoom! This video brings you up close to a region where a bunch of stars are being born. This new video from the European Southern Observatory shows a so-called an HII region made up of hydrogen gas, which is a common feature of nurseries. Another famous example is the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation.