Now visible: Comet as big as the full moon

Hyperactive comet 46P/Wirtanen is approaching Earth for one of the closest Earth-comet encounters of the Space Age. Observers report that the comet’s gaseous green atmosphere now covers a patch of sky as large as the full Moon–and it is growing larger. On Dec. 16th, Comet 46P/Wirtanenwill approach Earth less than 11.5 million km away–making it one…

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NASA fixes the Hubble Space Telescope

With a series of forced maneuvers, NASA fixes the Hubble’s gyroscopes Washington, Oct 23 – The Hubble Space Telescope may soon resume science operations, say NASA scientists, after resolving a technical glitch that forced the probe to enter ‘safe mode’ earlier this month. After the telescope’s gyroscope — which helps Hubble turn and lock on…

Earth narrowly misses massive meteor storm

On Oct. 8-9, European sky watchers were amazed when a flurry of faint meteors filled the sky at midnight. It was an outburst of the annual Draconids meteor shower. Turns out, that outburst was just the tip of the iceberg. Computer models show that Earth narrowly missed two streams of comet debris that would have…

NASA Finding: Jupiter has an extra magnetic pole

Unique in the solar system, scientists consider the possibility that we are catching Jupiter in the middle of a magnetic reversal NASA’s Juno spacecraft has discovered something extraordinary about Jupiter. There is an extra magnetic pole near the giant planet’s equator, dubbed “The Great Blue Spot” by researchers who identified it. Jupiter’s unexpected magnetic morphology…

Dramatic polar light show on Saturn

WASHINGTON — Astronomers using the Hubble Space telescope have taken a series of images featuring the fluttering auroras at the north pole of Saturn. The observations were taken in ultraviolet light and the resulting images provide astronomers with the most comprehensive picture so far of Saturn’s northern aurora. In 2017, over a period of seven…

Presence of water confirmed on the moon

From NASA JPL: Water Ice confirmed at the moon’s poles In the darkest and coldest parts of its polar regions, a team of scientists has directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon’s surface. These ice deposits are patchily distributed and could possibly be ancient. At the southern pole, most of the ice…

Bizarre rogue planet discovered wandering in our galaxy

A bizarre rogue planet without a star is roaming the Milky Way just 20 light-years from the Sun. And according to a recently published study in The Astrophysical Journal, this strange, nomadic world has an incredibly powerful magnetic field that is some 4 million times stronger than Earth’s. Furthermore, it generates spectacular auroras that would put our own northern lights…

Astronomers witness a star devouring a planet

From MIT: New data may explain star’s mysterious dimming. For nearly a century, astronomers have puzzled over the curious variability of young stars residing in the Taurus-Auriga constellation some 450 light years from Earth. One star in particular has drawn astronomers’ attention. Every few decades, the star’s light has faded briefly before brightening again. In…