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Space & Universe

A 212-Hour Exposure of Orion

The constellation of Orion is much more than three stars in a row. It is a direction in space that is rich with impressive nebulas. To better appreciate this well-known swath of sky, an extremely long exposure was taken over many clear nights in... Continue Reading →

Massive Beauty

NASA’s Juno mission captured this look at the southern hemisphere of Jupiter on Feb. 17, 2020, during the spacecraft’s most recent close approach to the giant planet. Not only is Jupiter the largest planet orbiting the Sun, it contains more... Continue Reading →

A Black Hole Disrupts a Passing Star

What happens to a star that goes near a black hole? If the star directly impacts a massive black hole, then the star falls in completely -- and everything vanishes. More likely, though, the star goes close enough to have the black... Continue Reading →

The Solar Dynamo: Toroidal and Radial Magnetic Fields

Using the solar plasma flows as input (see The Solar Dynamo: Plasma Flows), the equations of magnetohydrodynamics, and 'seeding' the calculations with an initial small magnetic field, one can compute how a magnetic field can grow and be maintained. This... Continue Reading →

Viewing Our Galactic Center

The central region of our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains an exotic collection of objects, including a supermassive black hole weighing about 4 million times the mass of the Sun (called Sagittarius A*), clouds of gas at temperatures of millions... Continue Reading →

Space Foam

Installed on Friday in the International Space Station and sending down images by Monday. This picture shows one of the first images of foam formed inside the Fluid Science Laboratory in Europe’s space laboratory Columbus. The Foam-Coarsening experiment, developed by... Continue Reading →

M77: Spiral Galaxy with an Active Center

What's happening in the center of nearby spiral galaxy M77? The face-on galaxy lies a mere 47 million light-years away toward the constellation of the Sea Monster (Cetus). At that estimated distance, this gorgeous island universe is about 100 thousand light-years across. Also known... Continue Reading →

ESO Telescope Observes Exoplanet Where It Rains Iron

Researchers using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have observed an extreme planet where they suspect it rains iron. The ultra-hot giant exoplanet has a day side where temperatures climb above 2400 degrees Celsius, high enough to vaporise metals. Strong winds... Continue Reading →

NASA’s MMS Marks its 5th Year Breaking Records in Space

Since its launch on March 12, 2015, NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, or MMS, has been making new discoveries as it flies around Earth studying magnetic reconnection — the explosive snapping and forging of magnetic field lines, at the heart of... Continue Reading →

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