NASA Helps Decipher How Some Distant Planets Have Clouds of Sand

NASA Helps Decipher How Some Distant Planets Have Clouds of Sand

A new study using archival observations by the now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope found a common trait among distant worlds where the exotic clouds form. Most clouds on Earth are made of water, but beyond our planet they come in many chemical varieties. The top of Jupiter’s atmosphere, for example, is blanketed in yellow-hued clouds made of […]

Dead Star Caught Ripping Up Planetary System

Dead Star Caught Ripping Up Planetary System

The illustration above shows a white dwarf star siphoning off debris from shattered objects in a planetary system. The Hubble Space Telescope detects the spectral signature of the vaporized debris that revealed a combination of rocky-metallic and icy material, the ingredients of planets. The findings help describe the violent nature of evolved planetary systems and […]

NASA Telescope to Help Untangle Galaxy Growth, Dark Matter Makeup

Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope

NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will study wispy streams of stars that extend far beyond the apparent edges of many galaxies. Missions like the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes would have to patch together hundreds of small images to see these structures around nearby galaxies in full. Roman will do so in a […]

Gaia Data Release 3: Exploring our Multi-Dimensional Milky Way

Gaia Data Release 3: Exploring our Multi-Dimensional Milky Way

Since its launch in 2013 ESA’s Gaia observatory has been mapping our galaxy from Lagrange point 2, creating the most accurate and complete multi-dimensional map of the Milky Way. By now two full sets of data have been released, the first set in 2016 and a second one in 2018. These data releases contained stellar […]

Skywatching Highlights for May 2022

Skywatching Highlights for April 2022

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Bn349KyGzE What are some skywatching highlights in May 2022? May provides some great planet spotting, including a close conjunction of Jupiter and Mars. At mid-month, a total eclipse of the Moon should delight skywatchers across the Americas, Europe, and Africa. And all month long, the Coma star cluster (aka, the Coma Berenices star cluster, or […]

Skywatching Highlights for April 2022

Skywatching Highlights for April 2022

What are some skywatching highlights in April 2022? The gathering of planets in the morning sky increases from three to four, as Jupiter joins the party. Two close conjunctions – between Mars and Saturn, and Venus and Jupiter – provide highlights at the beginning and end of the month. And the Big Dipper hosts a […]

Hubble Views an Infant Star’s Outburst

Hubble Views an Infant Star’s Outburst

 Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, B. Nisini An energetic outburst from an infant star streaks across this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This stellar tantrum – produced by an extremely young star in the earliest phase of formation – consists of an incandescent jet of gas traveling at supersonic speeds. As the jet collides […]