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E.g., 04/26/2018
E.g., 04/26/2018
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  • all-sky map of the Milky Way
  • Charon
Your search has returned 1405 articles:
  • News in Brief

    The latest star map from the Gaia spacecraft plots 1.7 billion stars

    Using the precise position and brightness of almost 1.7 billion stars, the Gaia spacecraft has created the most precise 3-D map of the Milky Way yet.

    On April 25, the European Space Agency’s Gaia team released the spacecraft’s second batch of data, gathered from July 2014 to May 2016, used to create the map. The tally includes measurements of half a million quasars — the active black...

    04/25/2018 - 15:45 Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Young galaxies are flat, but old ones are more blobby

    It’s hard to keep trim when you’re an old galaxy.

    A survey of hundreds of galaxies found a clear link between their shapes and their stars’ ages, astronomers report April 23 in Nature Astronomy. Galaxies with younger stars are more squashed into flatter shapes, while galaxies with older stars are more blobby, says astronomer Jesse van de Sande of the University of Sydney.


    04/23/2018 - 11:00 Astronomy
  • The Name Game

    Celebrity names now mark places on Pluto’s moon Charon

    Pluto’s largest moon, long seen as a mysterious smudge at the outer reaches of our solar system, was revealed in 2015 closeup images to be pocked with craters, mountains and steep-sided depressions called chasmas. Now, 12 of those topographical features have names.

    Charon’s six most prominent craters were named for fictional explorers, including Dorothy who visited the fantastical land...

    04/20/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Delayed launch of NASA’s next exoplanet hunter is now set for tonight

    Editor's note: This story has been updated April 18 with new launch plans for TESS.

    The launch of NASA’s next exoplanet hunter, TESS, has been rescheduled for 6:51 p.m. EDT April 18. You can watch launch coverage on NASA TV starting at 6:30 p.m. 

    SpaceX, whose Falcon 9 rocket is set to carry TESS into space, had scrubbed the satellite’s planned April 16 just hours before liftoff,...

    04/16/2018 - 14:53 Astronomy
  • News

    With the launch of TESS, NASA will boost its search for exoplanets

    NASA is stepping up its search for planets outside our solar system. Its next exoplanet hunting telescope, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is due to launch from Cape Canaveral on the evening of April 16.

    Following the Kepler space telescope’s discovery of more than 5,000 possible exoplanets since 2009, TESS will continue the galactic census — flagging more planetary...

    04/12/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Exoplanets
  • News in Brief

    Einstein’s general relativity reveals new quirk of Mercury’s orbit

    The calculation of Mercury’s orbit is being tweaked — for a second time. And it’s all thanks to Albert Einstein.

    Before the famous physicist came up with his theory of gravity, known as the general theory of relativity, scientists’ predictions for Mercury’s motions were slightly off: The planet’s orbit disagreed with expectations. When Einstein realized that general relativity accounted...

    04/11/2018 - 12:11 Physics, Astronomy
  • News in Brief

    Dark matter isn’t interacting with itself after all

    Dark matter is still the shyest particle in physics. New observations show that dark matter in galaxy cluster Abell 3827 stubbornly ignores all other kinds of matter — including itself, astronomers reported April 6 at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Liverpool, England.

    The research, also posted online at, negates an earlier finding that stars were separated...

    04/05/2018 - 19:05 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • News

    A dozen new black holes found in Milky Way’s center

    The center of the Milky Way may be abuzz with black holes. For the first time, a dozen small black holes have been spotted within the inner region of the galaxy in an area spanning just a few light-years — and there could be thousands more.

    Astrophysicist Charles Hailey of Columbia University and his colleagues spotted the black holes thanks to the holes’ interactions with stars slowly...

    04/04/2018 - 13:00 Astronomy
  • Reviews & Previews

    Why the Nobel Prize might need a makeover

    Losing the Nobel PrizeBrian KeatingW.W. Norton & Co., $27.95

    Dust may seem insignificant, but in science, it can cost you a Nobel Prize.

    That’s what happened to Brian Keating, a major contributor to the BICEP2 team that claimed in 2014 to have found the first definitive evidence of cosmic inflation (SN: 4/5/14, p. 6), a period of extremely rapid expansion just after the...

    04/02/2018 - 09:00 Cosmology, History of Science, Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    A Chinese space station will fall to Earth this weekend

    China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, is expected to fall to Earth sometime between March 31 and April 1. No fooling.

    Most of the 10.4-meter-long station will burn up as it zooms through Earth’s atmosphere. But some parts will survive and reach the ground, according to the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office. No one can be sure where or when those pieces will hit. Even within...

    03/30/2018 - 08:00 Astronomy