It’s 2016. This is the year that Juno will arrive at Jupiter to study the gas giant’s composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere. This year also brings us February 29–the Leap Day. It happens every four years. So why is it that we have Leap Year?
Many people think that the Polaris, aka “the North Star,” is the brightest star in the sky. Actually, Polaris is about the 47th brightest star in the nighttime sky. So, you may ask, what exactly are the brightest stars? Here is the list of the top 10 brightest stars you can see in our nighttime sky.
Last year, we had a series of three blogs dealing with the astronomical world of Harry Potter. Not only did we looked at how some of the characters in the Harry Potter series got their names from the Roman, Greek, & Norse mythologies, but how those mythologies played into the develop of their respective characters. If you missed it, we covered Draco, Luna, Dumbledore, Fenrir, Sirius and Bellatrix.
So, what about two of Harry Potter’s most trusted friends: Hermione and Ginny?
Break out the binoculars because on Wednesday, Jan. 20, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will all be visible in the sky at the same time. If you miss it tomorrow night there’s no need to fret, the spectacle will still be visible for the remainder of the month.
Supernovae are some of the brightest events that happen in space. However, in recent decades scientists have discovered a rare new class of blasts known as superluminous supernovae (SLSNe), or “hypernovae” to some. The new discovery was spotted last June by the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN). At its peak, the new supernova known as ASAS-SN-15lh outshone our entire Milky Way galaxy by 50 times.
Now that 2015 has come and gone we can look back on some of the more notable astronomical events: March brought the total eclipse of the sun that could be viewed in the North Atlantic, and in April there was the total eclipse of the moon which could be viewed primarily on the Pacific edge of US and Canada. Well, 2016 is here and the folks at Universe2Go have provided a nice infographic for all the upcoming astronomical events that you should be keeping an eye on.
Pablo Carlos Budassi recently unveiled a new illustration based on almost incomprehensible logarithmic maps created by Princeton University. It shows the entire known visible universe. Though it is not a true map, it should be considered a “visualization showing fields of view” of the entire observable universe.
A massive black hole releases sound waves in a deep bass pitch, astronomers have found. Researchers used NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory to “listen” to wavelengths coming from the heart of the Perseus A Cluster, a giant clump of galaxies 250 million light-years from Earth (A light-year is the distance light travels in a year in a vacuum, about 9.5 trillion kilometers.)
Many stars end their existence by going out in a huge explosion known as a supernova. However, only a few of these stellar explosions have been caught in the act. When they are, spotting them successfully has been down to pure luck—until now. On 11 December 2015 astronomers not only imaged a supernova in action, but saw it when and where they had predicted it would be.