News

A new view of the Moon’s formation

8 April 2015 Astronomy Now

A crucial difference in the isotopic chemical “fingerprints” of Earth and the Moon confirms an explosive, interconnected past when, within the first 150 million years after our Solar System formed, a giant body roughly the size of Mars struck the Earth.

News

Mars has belts of glaciers composed of water ice

8 April 2015 Astronomy Now

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have used data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter combined with computer modelling to determine that Mars has thousands of dust-covered glacier-like formations on the planet’s northern and southern hemispheres.

Picture This

Getting close to Iapetus

8 April 2015 Kerry Hebden

This two-tone, almost yin-yang like image of Iapetus, Saturn’s third largest moon, is the view Cassini was privilege to when it did its second closest approach of the satellite earlier this year.

News

The seasons of the Sun

8 April 2015 Astronomy Now

A team of researchers has determined that the Sun undergoes a type of seasonal variability with its activity waxing and waning over the course of nearly two years. This behaviour affects the approximately 11-year solar cycle, sometimes amplifying solar storms that can buffet Earth’s atmosphere.

Observing

Venus meets the Pleiades in the evening sky

6 April 2015 Ade Ashford

Currently unmistakable as a brilliant ‘evening star’ over to west at dusk, planet Venus treks through the constellation of Taurus starting April 7th, leading to a close encounter with the Pleiades star cluster on the 11th.

News

Rosetta probe disoriented by comet dust

6 April 2015 Stephen Clark

Ground controllers are analyzing a fault aboard Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft after an encounter with comet dust confused the probe’s navigation system, leaving the robot explorer in a temporary safe mode and halting regular science operations.

News

Black holes may reveal what lies within

6 April 2015 Astronomy Now

The “information loss paradox” in black holes — a problem that has plagued physics for nearly 40 years, since Stephen Hawking first proposed that black holes could radiate energy and evaporate over time — may not exist, according to University at Buffalo scientists.