What’s it like to spend a night at a huge telescope observatory? Jordi Busque recorded a brilliant timelapse of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). What makes this video unique is not only the exotic location in Chile, but the use of sound in the area rather than music.
While Comet ISON’s breakup around Thanksgiving last year disappointed many amateur observers, its flight through the inner solar system beforehand showed scientists something neat: it was carrying organic materials with it. A group examined the molecules surrounding the comet in its coma (atmosphere) and, along with observations of Comet Lemmon, created a 3-D model that […]
A Saturn-mass planet might be lurking in the debris surrounding Beta Pictoris, new measurements of a debris field around the star shown. If this could be proven, this would be the second planet found around that star. The planet would be sheparding a giant swarm of comets (some in front and some trailing behind the […]
As the chill of winter settles into the northern hemisphere, fantasies of down-south travel pervade a lot of people’s dreams. Well, here’s a virtual journey to warm climes for astronomy buffs: a beautiful, music-filled timelapse of several European Southern Observatory telescopes gazing at the heavens in Chile. Uploaded in 2011 (but promoted this morning on […]
There’s an excellent chance of frost in this corner of the universe: astronomers have spotted a “snow line” in a baby solar system about 175 light-years away from Earth. The find is cool (literally and figuratively) in itself. More importantly, however, it could give us clues about how our own planet formed billions of years […]
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, astronomers found an unexpected spiral structure surrounding the red giant star R Sculptoris shown here in this visualization. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) Sometimes what we can’t see is just as surprising as what lies directly in front of us. This especially holds true in a new finding from […]