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Jun 30  How long is the day on Neptune?
The answer is 15 hours, 57 minutes and 59 seconds with an uncertainty of a few seconds. Neither the question nor the answer are simple however, as measuring the the exact rotation period of a gaseous >>>
Jun 29  Space junk near miss with the ISS
Yesterday the International Space Station risked a collision with a small unidentified object, a piece of so-called "space junk". According to NASA spokesman Stephanie Schierholz, the size of the object is >>>
Jun 28  SOFIA sees Pluto occult a star
An international research team of American and German astronomers and engineers has succeeded in the delicate task of observing the occultation of a distant star caused by the transit of the dwarf >>>
Jun 27  Close flyby of 2011 MD
Today sees the close flyby, at only 12,000 km from Earth, of the little asteroid 2011 MD. Its trajectory will take it over the southern Atlantic ocean and at its closest approach it will be over the Antarctic >>>
Jun 24  The nebular complex of Betelgeuse
The red supergiant Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis) is one of the brightest stars in the sky, and also one of the largest stars known, with a volume that could fill almost all of space within the orbit of Jupiter (shown >>>
Jun 23  L1448-MM, a giant stellar hydrant
For their entire lives, stars do nothing but blast their surroundings with heat, but in the first phases of their birth there is a period, whose duration is uncertain, in which they actually produce water! >>>
Jun 22  The strange planetary system of UZ For
In the southern constellation of Fornax is an eclipsing binary, called UZ For, that consists of two small stars, a white dwarf and a red dwarf, that orbit their common barycentre in just a couple of hours. Their >>>
Jun 21  The solar system after its demise
The ultimate destiny of the Sun is the transformation into a white dwarf in approximately 5 billion years, after which it will cool very, very slowly to become almost invisible. The fate of the planets is less >>>
Jun 20  Phobos "grazes" Jupiter!
The European Space Agency has released images of a grazing occultation of Jupiter by the martian satellite Phobos, that took place on the first of this month. The only witness of the unusual >>>
Jun 17  Super black hole devours a star
Some results were previewed yesterday in Science Express describing research on an exceptionally unusual gamma ray flash: unusual because it has lasted for two and a half months! In fact, this >>>
Jun 16  May be no sunspot cycle 25!
This is news that will leave many people open-mouthed, because the effects of even slight, long term variations on our star could have serious consequences here on Earth. Three independent works >>>
Jun 15  Solved, the mystery of Iapetus
Iapetus, one of the biggest satellites of Saturn, has a peculiarity, that since its discovery by Cassini in 1671, has made it one of the most curious objects in the solar system: one half of its surface is >>>
Jun 14  The Milky Way's new arm
A few days ago we referred to the similarity between our own galaxy and NGC 6744, a beautiful spiral visible in the southern hemisphere. Now we receive the surprising news of the discovery of a new >>>
Jun 13  Markarian 739: two nuclei, two black holes
Looking oddly like a smiley face, this image shows a pair of interacting galaxies in the process of merging into a single object. This system is called Markarian 739 (and NGC 3758) and lies at a distance of >>>
Jun 10  The organic chemistry of chondrites
According to many scientists, the organic chemicals found in meteorites played a fundamental role in the appearance of life on Earth. Given the presence of certain chemicals in meteorites, there is little >>>
Jun 9  SN1987A continues to brighten
An article in today's issue of Nature, led by Josefin Larsson (University of Stockholm) reports that the remains of the supernova that exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud over 24 years ago, supernova >>>
Jun 8  Black holes: feeding habits in X-rays
Although black holes are not observable directly, as they emit no light, the environment that surrounds them, and in particular an accretion disk that forms around them when material falls towards the hole >>>
Jun 6  Opportunity exceeds 30 km on Mars
10 days or so ago we gave news of the loss of the martian rover Spirit, that had lost its ability to communicate with Earth. In contrast, at the start of this month, its twin, Opportunity, reached a milestone >>>
Jun 3  NGC 6744, the Milky Way look-a-like (may be)
An image released by the European Southern Observatory, that portrays the galaxy NGC 6744, a beautiful spiral visible even with modest telescopes, in the southern constellation of Pavo, has >>>
Jun 2  Sp1149 and the perfect gravitational lens
Gravitational lenses are a unique instrument for the observation of very distant galaxies, otherwise invisible. The lens is normally made up of a cluster of galaxies between us and the remote object. >>>
Jun 1  Neutron stars with extreme masses
After the discovery in October of last year of a neutron star (PSR J1614-2230) with a mass equivalent to about two Suns, astronomers have begun to ask how such an object forms, given that almost >>>

 

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