Astronomers Discover a Black Hole as Massive as 12 Billion Suns

Astronomers Discover a Black Hole as Massive as 12 Billion Suns

In a galaxy far, far away (that is to say, about 12.8 billion light-years away) a supermassive black hole has been discovered that is estimated to weigh as much as 12 billion suns and is 420 trillion times brighter than the sun.  But it isn’t the weight and size that is baffling scientists–it’s how young it is.

Continue reading

The Happiest Place in the Universe? How About SDSS J1038+4849

SDSS J1038+4849

The Hubble Space Telescope recently captured an image which looks remarkably like a smiling face in the sky.  It is SDSS J1038+4849, a galaxy cluster that resides just outside the constellation of Ursa Major.  But what makes this image look so close to a smiley face?

Continue reading

Super Saturn Discovered with Rings Stretching 55 Million Miles

j1407

Because of its detailed ring system, Saturn is known as the “jewel of the solar system.”  Saturn’s rings stretch from edge-to-edge as wide as 175,000 miles, about the distance from the Earth to the Moon.  Even though the other gas planets in our solar system have a series of rings, Saturn’s system of rings is the most prominent and well known.  However, a new exoplanet–some 420 light years from Earth–has been discovered with a ring system that dwarfs any ring system ever before seen; it is a ring system over 200 times larger than the rings of Saturn.

Continue reading

New Images of Dwarf Planet Ceres from the Dawn Spacecraft

ceres

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has traveled roughly 3 billion miles at this point and it’s finally set its sights on the dwarf planet Ceres.  Images of Ceres were released back in December, but those images were just for calibration.  Dawn’s recently captured pictures are about 27 pixels across, about three times better than what it took last month.

Continue reading

Explore the Universe in a Special Planetarium Producer’s Talk

 Dr. Carter Emmart, dark matter

Dr. Carter Emmart, Producer of Dark Universe and director of Astrovisualization at the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space, will present a behind-the-scenes look at how some of the most accurate three-dimensional mapping data of the universe was used to create the show’s beautiful visual effects.

Continue reading

A Trek to the Land of Auroras – a live LASM presentation

Tonight, January 13th, at 7pm will be a live presentation in the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium.  Discover both the beauty and science of auroras in a special presentation by the Art & Science Museum’s Irene W. Pennington Planetarium Director Jon Elvert. Learn what auroras are, what causes them, and where they can best be seen. Along with an opportunity to ask questions, information will also be provided on a 2016 Northern Lights Voyage along the coast of Norway. This event is being held free of charge, but please note that space is limited.

This program is held in partnership with Geauxing Places Travel & Hurtigruten.

Visit www.LASM.org for more details.