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News: September 2011

 

Myriad marvels on mysterious Mercury

Mercury’s surprising surface composition is challenging theories of how the intriguing innermost planet formed, thanks to observations in orbit by NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft, which also found evidence for copious ancient volcanism.

READ MORE

 
 

Star's shells show Sun's fate

Giant dust shells around CW Leonis, an elderly giant star in the constellation of Leo studied by the Herschel Space Telescope, are providing clues on how our own Sun will behave when it nears the end of its life, around five billion years from now.

READ MORE

 
 

Spitzer's steaming
super-Earth

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found that exoplanet 55 Cancri e, which was first discovered in 2004, is less dense than previously reported; instead of a scorched, rocky world, water vapour and other gases likely steam from its molten surface.

READ MORE

 
 

Rare star resembles
fried egg

A rare yellow hypergiant star surrounded by two dusty shells has been imaged by astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

READ MORE

 
 

Large NASA science satellite likely fell into Pacific

NASA's decommissioned 6.3-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, out of gas and out of control after two decades in space, plunged back into the atmosphere early Saturday, heating up, breaking apart and presumably showering chunks of debris along a 500-mile-long Pacific Ocean impact zone.

FULL STORY VIA SPACEFLIGHT NOW

 
 

Dinosaur killing asteroid family remains at large

Detailed observations by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have cleared the asteroid family that has long been on trial for its suspected role in killing the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

READ MORE

 
 

Black holes punching through stars may solve dark matter

If mysterious dark matter is made up of mini black holes formed in the first moments after the big bang, then it may be possible to test this theory and detect these black holes as they collide with stars, argue two postdoctoral researchers from the United States.

READ MORE

 
 

Possible life in the
Martian trenches?

A team of scientists at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, have drawn attention to a couple of small mineral-rich depressions on Mars that, perhaps relatively recently in the red planet’s history, could have been places for life.

READ MORE

 
 

Intergalactic collision gave Milky Way its arms

Collisions of the dwarf galaxy Sagittarius with the Milky Way gave our Galaxy its iconic spiral arms, say astronomers reporting results of new supercomputer simulations in the journal Nature.

READ MORE

 
 

Coupled stars break up
for the single life

Why some stars prefer to be single, while others are either paired up or in trios, could have been answered by a team of astronomers at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio astronomy and the University of Bonn with the help of sophisticated computer models.

READ MORE

 
 

Kepler planet circles
two suns

The first confirmed example of a planet orbiting two suns has been found in the Kepler dataset.

READ MORE

 
 

Cosmic collisions forge gold

The cosmic production site of heavy chemical elements such as gold and lead may have finally been identified in the merger events of two neutron stars thanks to detailed numerical simulations.

READ MORE

 
 

Star fries planet with X-rays

New data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESO's Very Large Telescope find that a planet discovered in 2008 by CoRoT is being eroded away by an intense stream of X-rays from its host star.

READ MORE

 
 

Brown dwarf cooks
up a storm

A team led by astronomers from the University of Toronto have observed noticeable changes in brightness of a nearby brown dwarf, roughly 40 light years away, indicating the presence of a gigantic storm.

READ MORE

 
 

From the Earth to the Moon: GRAIL spacecraft blast off

Catching a break from the weather, a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket blasted off Saturday and successfully boosted two NASA science satellites into space on looping, round-about trajectories to the moon, the first step in an ambitious $496 million mission to map the cratered satellite's gravity and internal structure.

READ MORE

 
 

New world holds promise of plentiful super-earths

A record-breaking planet-finding instrument at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile has opened up a treasure chest of exoplanet discoveries, including a bounty of 16 ‘super-earths’ amidst a haul of over 50 new alien worlds.

READ MORE

 
 

Kepler leaves unseen exoplanet nowhere to hide

Since 1995 astronomers have been discovering exoplanets that they cannot see by watching the way their gravity tugs on their parent stars, but now Kepler scientists are going one step better by discovering planets that tug on other planets.

READ MORE

 
 

Rover begins 'whole new mission' at Martian crater

Showing signs of wear after more than seven years driving across the plains of Mars, NASA's Opportunity rover is investigating a broad impact crater unlike any place ever visited on the Red Planet, effectively beginning a new mission for the celebrated robot.

READ MORE

 
 

A forbidden star

An ancient star has been found lurking in the “forbidden zone” of star formation, which has astronomers puzzled as to how it could have formed.

READ MORE

 
 

Supersonic jets from
young stars

Stars aren't shy about sending out birth announcements. They fire off energetic jets of glowing gas traveling at supersonic speeds in opposite directions through space. Although astronomers for decades have looked at still pictures of stellar jets, they now can watch movies of them, thanks to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

HUBBLE NEWS RELEASE

 
 

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2010 Yearbook
Our latest 132-page Astronomy Now special edition is an extravaganza of astronomy for the year ahead, with a complete 30-page guide to observing the planets, moon, meteor showers, two solar eclipses, and the deep sky in 2010.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE
 

Take the tour!
A 100-page special edition from the creators of Astronomy Now magazine, The Grand Tour of the Universe takes readers from one end of the Universe to the other and, in doing so, asks the question "just how big is the Universe?"
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE


Infinity Rising
This special publication features the photography of British astro-imager Nik Szymanek and covers a range of photographic methods from basic to advanced. Beautiful pictures of the night sky can be obtained with a simple camera and tripod before tackling more difficult projects, such as guided astrophotography through the telescope and CCD imaging.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Guide to the Constellations
Astronomy Now presents this 100-page, full-colour guide to the 68 constellations visible from the British Isles by Neil Bone, the respected amateur astronomer and writer.
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE

Exploring Mars
Astronomy Now is pleased to announce the publication of Exploring Mars. The very best images of Mars taken by orbiting spacecraft and NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers fill up the 98 glossy pages of this special edition!
 U.K. STORE
 E.U. STORE
 U.S. & WORLDWIDE STORE


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