Institute of Astronomy

Astronomy News

Mysterious 'alien beacon' was false alarm

25 October 2021 - 6:53pm

Nature, Published online: 25 October 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-02931-7

Radio signal seemed to originate from the star Proxima Centauri, and provided a helpful drill for future searches.

NASA Invites Media to Launch of IXPE Mission to Study X-rays in Space

25 October 2021 - 9:35am

Media accreditation is open for the upcoming launch of NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission, which will measure polarized X-rays from exotic cosmic objects, such as black holes and neutron stars, to better understand these types of phenomena and extreme environments.

Ten Mysteries of Venus

22 October 2021 - 4:41pm
Portal origin URL: Ten Mysteries of VenusPortal origin nid: 473583Published: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 13:00Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: The surface of Venus is inhospitable for life: barren, dry, crushed under an atmosphere about 90 times the pressure of Earth’s and roasted by temperatures two times hotter than an oven. Was it always that way? Could Venus have been a habitable world with oceans? This is one of many mysteries associated with Venus that DAVINCI will investigate.Portal image: Venus

NASA Mission Helps Solve a Mystery: Why Are Some Asteroid Surfaces Rocky?

22 October 2021 - 4:40pm
Portal origin URL: NASA Mission Helps Solve a Mystery: Why Are Some Asteroid Surfaces Rocky?Portal origin nid: 474584Published: Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 12:00Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: Scientists thought Bennu's surface was like a sandy beach, abundant in fine sand and pebbles, which would have been perfect for collecting samples. But when NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission arrived at Bennu in late 2018, the mission saw a surface covered in boulders.Portal image: This image shows a view of asteroid Bennu’s rocky surface in a region near the equator.

Hubble Gives Unprecedented, Early View of a Doomed Star's Destruction

22 October 2021 - 4:40pm
Portal origin URL: Hubble Gives Unprecedented, Early View of a Doomed Star's DestructionPortal origin nid: 474757Published: Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 12:45Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: Like a witness to a violent death, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope recently gave astronomers an unprecedented, comprehensive view of the first moments of a star's cataclysmic demise.Portal image: Hubble delivered a ringside seat to the first moments of the ill-fated star's demise.

NASA Selects Gamma-ray Telescope to Chart Milky Way Evolution

20 October 2021 - 4:34pm
Portal origin URL: NASA Selects Gamma-ray Telescope to Chart Milky Way EvolutionPortal origin nid: 474745Published: Monday, October 18, 2021 - 15:08Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: NASA has selected a new space telescope proposal that will study the recent history of star birth, star death, and the formation of chemical elements in the Milky Way.Portal image: NASA has selected a new gamma-ray space telescope, the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI), that will chart the evolution of the Milky Way, seen here in this illustration.

Studying the Edge of the Sun’s Magnetic Bubble

20 October 2021 - 4:34pm
Portal origin URL: Studying the Edge of the Sun’s Magnetic BubblePortal origin nid: 474746Published: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 10:00Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: Our corner of the universe, the solar system, is nestled inside the Milky Way galaxy, home to more than 100 billion stars. The solar system is encased in a bubble called the heliosphere, which separates us from the vast galaxy beyond – and some of its harsh space radiation.Portal image: An illustration showing the heliosphere being pelted with cosmic rays from outside our solar system

A mysterious object is beaming radio waves into the Milky Way

20 October 2021 - 3:31pm

Nature, Published online: 20 October 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-02836-5

The emissions profile measured on Earth does not match that of any known type of space body.

NASA Selects Gamma-ray Telescope to Chart Milky Way Evolution

19 October 2021 - 10:34am

NASA has selected a new space telescope proposal that will study the recent history of star birth, star death, and the formation of chemical elements in the Milky Way.

Non-KREEP origin for Chang’E-5 basalts in the Procellarum KREEP Terrane

19 October 2021 - 10:33am

Nature, Published online: 19 October 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04119-5

Non-KREEP origin for Chang’E-5 basalts in the Procellarum KREEP Terrane

A dry lunar mantle reservoir for young mare basalts of Chang’E-5

19 October 2021 - 10:33am

Nature, Published online: 19 October 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04107-9

A dry lunar mantle reservoir for young mare basalts of Chang’E-5

Two billion-year-old volcanism on the Moon from Chang’E-5 basalts

19 October 2021 - 10:33am

Nature, Published online: 19 October 2021; doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04100-2

Two billion-year-old volcanism on the Moon from Chang’E-5 basalts

Nebra Sky Disc: British Museum to display world's 'oldest map of stars'

18 October 2021 - 10:01am

The Nebra Sky Disc is dated 3,600-years-old and considered one of the most important archaeological finds.

NASA, ULA Launch Lucy Mission to ‘Fossils’ of Planet Formation

17 October 2021 - 11:59am

NASA’s Lucy mission, the agency’s first to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, launched at 5:34 a.m. EDT Saturday on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Hubble Finds Evidence of Persistent Water Vapor in One Hemisphere of Europa

16 October 2021 - 8:31am
Portal origin URL: Hubble Finds Evidence of Persistent Water Vapor in One Hemisphere of Europa Portal origin nid: 474614Published: Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 10:45Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope observations of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa have revealed the presence of persistent water vapor – but, mysteriously, only in one hemisphere.Portal image: This photograph of the Jovian moon Europa was taken in June 1997 at a range of 776,700 miles by NASA's Galileo spacecraft.

Hubble Uncovers a Burst of Star Formation

16 October 2021 - 8:30am
Portal origin URL: Hubble Uncovers a Burst of Star FormationPortal origin nid: 474673Published: Friday, October 15, 2021 - 06:50Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: NGC 4666, a majestic spiral galaxy, takes center stage in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.Portal image: NGC 4666, a spiral galaxy, takes center stage in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

How the Sun Affects Asteroids in Our Neighborhood

16 October 2021 - 8:30am
Portal origin URL: How the Sun Affects Asteroids in Our NeighborhoodPortal origin nid: 474688Published: Friday, October 15, 2021 - 09:36Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: Like all the planets, asteroids exist in the heliosphere, the vast bubble of space defined by the reaches of our Sun’s wind. Directly and indirectly, the Sun affects many aspects of existence within this pocket of the universe. Here are a few of the ways the Sun influences asteroids like the Trojans in our solar system.Portal image: Artist’s illustration of the Lucy concept.

First mission to Jupiter’s asteroids could reveal Solar System origins

15 October 2021 - 8:26am

Nature, Published online: 14 October 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-02807-w

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will loop past the never-before-explored ‘Trojan’ asteroids during a 12-year journey.

With First Martian Samples Packed, Perseverance Initiates Remarkable Sample Return Mission

13 October 2021 - 8:02pm
Portal origin URL: With First Martian Samples Packed, Perseverance Initiates Remarkable Sample Return MissionPortal origin nid: 474506Published: Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 10:58Featured (stick to top of list): noPortal text teaser: NASA, along with the European Space Agency, is developing a campaign to return the Martian samples to Earth.Portal image: Picture shows the first cored sample of Mars rock

Venus might never have been habitable

13 October 2021 - 6:53pm

Nature, Published online: 13 October 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-02720-2

A sophisticated climate model suggests that liquid-water oceans never formed on Venus, and that some planets outside the Solar System that were thought to be habitable might not be.