Astronomers report that they have discovered the most gigantic black holes ever found in the universe, an abyss 10 times the size of our solar system, encompassing regions or “event horizons” about five times the distance from the sun to Pluto or about 2,500 times as massive as the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
This artist’s conception illustrates Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star. It is the first planet that NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed to orbit in a star’s habitable zone — the region around a star where liquid water, a requirement for life on Earth, could persist. The planet is 2.4 times the size of Earth, making it the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star like our sun.
This slender crescent Moon was recorded at a tender age of 34 hours and 18 minutes. Well, OK … when calculating the lunar age during a lunation or complete cycle of phases – from New Moon to Full Moon and back to New Moon again – the Moon never gets more than around 29.5 days old. Photographer Stefan Seip.
Our Sun is more active now than it has been for the past four years. Increasingly, energetic particles and radiation are being ejected toward the Earth, posing significant hazards for our spaceborne and ground-based infrastructure. Next year will see the start of ESA’s precursor space weather warning services under the SSA Preparatory Programme. Credits: ESA
Now appearing as planet Earth’s evening star, brilliant Venus shines in western skies at twilight. Standing above a rugged horizon and warm sunset colors, the twilight’s celestial beacon was joined last Saturday by a Moon 35 hours young in this gorgeous skyscape. The close pairing of Venus and Moon is known as a conjunction. Photographer Benjamim Ribeiro