A LEGO® Version of the Very Large Telescope. It Even has a Laser Interferometer

Interferometers are some of the most highly advanced sensor instruments that humans have made.  They are used in everything from astronomy to quantum mechanics and have profoundly impacted our understanding of science.  But not all interferometers have to be functional. A Dutch astronomer named Frans Snik has just designed one that, while it isn’t function, …

Watch Live: A Day in the Life of the Very Large Telescope

Ever wonder what takes place on a daily basis at one of the premier ground-based observatories? The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and on October 5, 2012, they will host a free, live event on the web, “A Day in the Life of ESO.” There will be live observations from ESO’s …

The Next Generation Very Large Array Would be 263 Radio Telescopes Spread Across North America

The iconic Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico has been at the forefront of astrophysical research since its dedication in 1980. The Y-shaped configuration of 27 radio astronomy dishes have made key discoveries about the cosmos, while becoming a part of pop-culture in several high-profile movies. But the aging array is due for an …

Solar Orbiter’s Pictures of the Sun are Every Bit as Dramatic as You Were Hoping

On March 26th, the ESA’s Solar Orbiter made its closest approach to the Sun so far. It ventured inside Mercury’s orbit and was about one-third the distance from Earth to the Sun. It was hot but worth it. The Solar Orbiter’s primary mission is to understand the connection between the Sun and its heliosphere, and …

A Pulsar and Star are Orbiting Each Other Every 62 Minutes. The Fastest “Black Widow” Binary Ever Seen

The Milky Way Galaxy has its share of oddities, from black holes and magnetars to luminous blue variable stars and strange new worlds. But, have you ever heard of a “black widow binary?” Not exactly an easy name to wrap your head around, especially if you’re afraid of spiders. But, these things actually exist in …