Large-scale sky surveys are set to revolutionize astronomy. Observatories such as Vera Rubin and others will allow astronomers to observe how the sky changes on the scale of days, not weeks or months. They will be able to capture transient events such as supernovae in their earliest stages and will discover near-Earth asteroids we have missed in the past. At the same time, the rise of satellite constellations such as Starlink threatens to overwhelm these surveys with light pollution and could threaten their ability to succeed.Continue reading “Satellites Make up to 80,000 Flashing Glints Per Hour. It's a Big Problem for Astronomers”
Astronomers have discovered two known interstellar objects (ISO), ‘Oumuamua and 21/Borisov. But there could be thousands of these objects passing through the Solar System at any time. According to a new paper, the upcoming Vera Rubin Telescope will be a fantastic interstellar object hunter, and could possibly find up to 70 objects a year coming from other star systems.Continue reading “Vera Rubin Observatory Could Find Up to 70 Interstellar Objects a Year”
Two of the most important telescopes being constructed at the moment are Vera C. Rubin and Nancy Grace Roman. Each has the capability of transforming our understanding of the universe, but as a recent paper on the arxiv shows, they will be even more transformative when they work together.Continue reading “Nancy Grace Roman and Vera Rubin Will be the Perfect Astronomical Partnership”
The Vera C. Rubin Observatory has taken another step towards first light, projected for some time in 2022. Its enormous 3200 megapixel camera just took its first picture during lab testing at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The camera is the largest ever built, and its unprecedented power is the driving force behind the Observatory’s ten year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST).Continue reading “Vera Rubin’s Monster 3200-Megapixel Camera Takes its First Picture (in the Lab)”
A comet-eating black hole the size of a planet? It’s possible. And if there’s one out there in the distant Solar System, a pair of researchers think they know how to find it.
If they do, we might finally put the Planet 9 issue to rest.Continue reading “If Planet 9 is a Primordial Black Hole, We Might Be Able to See Flares When it Consumes Comets”
When Canadian astronomer Robert Weryk discovered `Oumuamua passing through our Solar System with the Pan-STARRS telescope, in October 2017, it caused quite a stir. It was the first interstellar object we’d ever seen coming through our neighbourhood. The excitement led to speculation: what could it be?
There was lots of fun conjecture on its origins. Was it an alien spacecraft? A solar sail? Or something more prosaic?Continue reading “Interstellar Oumuamua Was a Dark Hydrogen Iceberg”
The U.S. House of Representatives have passed a bill to change the name of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST.) Instead of that explanatory yet cumbersome name, it will be named after American astronomer Vera Rubin. Rubin is well-known for her pioneering work in discovering dark matter.Continue reading “Great News! The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Might be Named for Vera Rubin”