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Moon’s-eye view of total solar eclipse

30 August 2017 Astronomy Now

During the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera captured an image of the Moon’s shadow over a large region of the United States, centered just north of Nashville, Tennessee.

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Astronomers investigate distant galaxy’s magnetic field

30 August 2017 Astronomy Now

With the help of a gigantic cosmic lens, astronomers have measured the magnetic field of a galaxy nearly five billion light-years away. The achievement is giving them important new clues about a problem at the frontiers of cosmology — the nature and origin of the magnetic fields that play an important role in how galaxies develop over time.

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Kepler space telescope discovers variability in the Seven Sisters

29 August 2017 Astronomy Now

The Seven Sisters, as they were known to the ancient Greeks, are now known to modern astronomers as the Pleiades star cluster – a set of stars which are visible to the naked eye and have been studied for thousands of years by cultures all over the world. A new algorithm to analyse data from NASA’s Kepler telescope has revealed insights about the behaviour of the stars.

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Best ever image of another star’s surface and atmosphere

26 August 2017 Astronomy Now

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer astronomers have constructed the most detailed image ever of a star — the red supergiant star Antares. They have also made the first map of the velocities of material in the atmosphere of a star other than the Sun, revealing unexpected turbulence in Antares’s huge extended atmosphere.

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Supermassive black holes feed on cosmic jellyfish

26 August 2017 Astronomy Now

Observations of “Jellyfish galaxies” with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have revealed a previously unknown way to fuel supermassive black holes. It seems the mechanism that produces the tentacles of gas and newborn stars that give these galaxies their nickname also makes it possible for the gas to reach the central regions of the galaxies, feeding the black hole that lurks in each of them and causing it to shine brilliantly.

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Saturn-lit moon

25 August 2017 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Cassini probe gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet.

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Sneak peek of Gaia’s sky in colour

23 August 2017 Astronomy Now

While surveying the positions of over a billion stars, ESA’s Gaia mission is also measuring their colour, a key diagnostic to study the physical properties of stars. A new image provides a preview of Gaia’s first full-colour all-sky map, which will be unleashed in its highest resolution with the next data release in 2018.

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Pioneering ESA mission aims to create artificial solar eclipses

20 August 2017 Stephen Clark

As skywatchers and scientists converge on a transcontinental band of totality for Monday’s solar eclipse in the United States, engineers in Europe are building a unique pair of satellites to create artificial eclipses lasting for hours — a feat that that could be a boon for solar physicists but will escape the view of Earth-bound spectators.