News

Record-breaking galaxy cluster discovered

31 August 2016 Astronomy Now

A new record for the most distant galaxy cluster has been set using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. CL J1001+0220 is located about 11.1 billion light-years from Earth. The discovery of this object pushes back the formation time of galaxy clusters — the largest structures in the universe held together by gravity — by about 700 million years.

News

Hunt for Planet 9 reveals extremely distant solar system objects

30 August 2016 Astronomy Now

In the race to discover a proposed ninth planet in our solar system, astronomers are conducting the largest, deepest survey for objects beyond Neptune and the Kuiper Belt. Nearly 10 percent of the sky has been explored to date using some of the largest and most advanced telescopes, revealing several never-before-seen objects at extreme distances from the Sun.

Picture This

Wall of Plasma by Eric Toops

29 August 2016 Astronomy Now

A searing solar prominence extends outwards from the surface of the Sun. The ‘wall of plasma’ is the height of three times the Earth’s diameter.

Picture This

Best image of Alpha Centauri A and B

29 August 2016 Astronomy Now

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has given us this stunning view of the closest bright stars Alpha Centauri A (on the left) and Alpha Centauri B (on the right), at a distance of 4.3 light-years from the Earth. The Alpha Centauri group is completed by a faint red dwarf, Proxima Centauri (not shown), recently revealed to possess an Earth-like planet orbiting in its habitable zone.

News

Juno gets its closest look at Jupiter

28 August 2016 Stephen Clark

Nearly two months after NASA’s Juno spacecraft slipped into orbit around Jupiter, the solar-powered probe made a passage 4,200 kilometres over the giant planet’s colourful banded clouds Saturday, the closest planned encounter during its 20-month exploration of the solar system’s largest world.