Searching for Meteorites in Antarctica

Meteorites in South Pole

Where is the best place on Earth to find meteorites? Although meteors fall all over the world, they usually just sink to the bottom of an ocean, are buried by shifting terrain, or are easily confused with terrestrial rocks.

By |December 26, 2011|Categories: Astronomy, Natural phenomena

Titan and Dione

Saturn's moons

Saturn’s third-largest moon Dione can be seen through the haze of its largest moon, Titan, in this view of the two posing before the planet and its rings from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

By |December 24, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Sleigh ride over Mars

Take a virtual sleigh ride over the real landscapes of Mars, courtesy of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

By |December 24, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

‘Rose’ made of Galaxies

spiral galaxies UGC 1810

In celebration of the twenty-first anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s deployment in April 2011, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute pointed Hubble’s eye to an especially photogenic group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.

By |December 23, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Comet Lovejoy over Western Australia (video)

Comet Lovejoy (2011 W3)

Not getting much sleep but hey who needs sleep?! Had another lovely view of the comet last night wandering the shore of the Estuary. It’s quite unique down there.  Photograph and video by Colin Legg

By |December 23, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

NASA Discovers First Earth-size Exoplanets

Exoplanets Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f

NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered the first Earth-size planets orbiting a sun-like star outside our solar system. The planets, called Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, are too close to their star to be in the so-called habitable zone where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface, but they are the smallest exoplanets ever confirmed around a star like our sun.

By |December 22, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

NASA detects the smallest Black Hole by its ‘heartbeat’ (video)

Black Hole IGR J17091-3624

An international team of astronomers has identified a candidate for the smallest-known black hole using data from NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The evidence comes from a specific type of X-ray pattern, nicknamed a “heartbeat” because of its resemblance to an electrocardiogram. The pattern until now has been recorded in only one other black hole system.

By |December 21, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Holiday Snow Angel (video)

star-forming region- Sharpless 2-106

The bipolar star-forming region, called Sharpless 2-106, looks like a soaring, celestial snow angel. The outstretched “wings” of the nebula record the contrasting imprint of heat and motion against the backdrop of a colder medium.

By |December 17, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Spectacular Martian Sunrises

Martian Sunrises

Good morning, Red planet!  We are lucky to observe a sunrise over Mars from the vantage point of high orbit.

By |December 16, 2011|Categories: Astronomy

Mercury on the Horizon

Planet Mercury

Have you ever seen the planet Mercury? Because Mercury orbits so close to the Sun, it never wanders far from the Sun in Earth’s sky. If trailing the Sun, Mercury will be visible low on the horizon for only a short while after sunsetPhotographer Juan Carlos Casado

By |December 15, 2011|Categories: Astronomy, Natural phenomena
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