Science News

A Close Encounter with a Small Asteroid

09 June 2014
On 8 June 2014, a newly discovered asteroid approached Earth, and passed safely at a distance of about 1.25 million km, over three times the Earth-Moon distance.

Discovery of a Cold Stellar Neighbor

01 June 2014
Brown dwarfs are dim relatively cool star-like objects, whose sizes and masses are intermediate between those of the smallest stars and the largest planets. Interestingly, they are described to be failed stars, as their masses are too low to ignite the nuclear fusion reactions, which transform hydrogen into helium, producing the enormous radiation of the stars. Also, brown dwarfs are typically reddish or magenta in color

Moon Meets the Largest Planet

28 May 2014
On the evening of 1 June 2014, the skies of Egypt will feature a beautiful sight: the Moon will appear close to Jupiter, the largest planet and the third brightest object in the night sky, after the Moon and Venus (Mars, the Red Planet, sometimes briefly rivals Jupiter in brightness). When two or more celestial bodies become visible close together in the sky, near the line of sight, they are said to be in conjunction. Conjunctions are very interesting naked-eye astronomical phenomena, particularly if the conjunction is between the Moon and a bright planet, such as Jupiter or Venus.

Space Telescope Observes Galaxy Wars

25 May 2014
Although galaxies are vastly spaced, some galaxies that occur in small groups or huge clusters, do interact, strongly affecting each other through the force of gravity, or even collide and merge, ultimately forming a single giant galaxy. These encounters and collisions of galaxies play a major role for the evolution of the cosmos, since they affect the structure and evolution of the interacting galaxies.

Mercury Shines in the Evening Twilight

21 May 2014
Mercury, the smallest and innermost planet, is often difficult to observe with the unaided eye. As viewed from Earth, it is always close to the Sun in the sky, since its orbit lies within Earth’s orbit. Therefore, it is often immersed in the glare of the Sun. It appears only in the evening, after sunset, or in the morning, before sunrise. It never becomes visible nightly.

Sun’s Sister Star Identified

20 May 2014
A team of researchers led by University of Texas astronomer Ivan Ramirez has identified the first “sibling” of the Sun, a star believed to have almost certainly formed from the same cloud of gas and cosmic dust within which our parent star was born, about 4.5 billion years ago. This star is known as HD 162826, and lies 110 light years away from Earth. It is invisible to the unaided eye, but can be viewed with binoculars or a small telescope.

A Tiny Moon Meets a Giant Planet

18 May 2014
The European Space Agency (ESA) recently published an intriguing series of images (Fig. 1), showing an alignment of a tiny moon, the Martian satellite Phobos, and mighty Jupiter, the largest planet. The images of Fig. 1 were acquired from Mars orbit, by ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft. This sequence shows Phobos, the biggest of Mars’ two satellites, crossing, from right to left, in front of Jupiter, visible in the distance as a pale dot.

Astronomer Await a Possible New Meteor Shower

14 May 2014
A meteor shower is a fascinating astronomical phenomenon, in which meteors appear to streak from one point on the sky, known as the radiant. A meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through a stream of cosmic dust ejected by a comet. Many meteor showers occur annually, but a few ones are strong, featuring a high number of meteors. Interestingly, astronomers expect there could be a new meteor shower, never observed before, on the morning of 24 May 2014.

Moon Meets Mars

11 May 2014
On 11 May 2014, the skies of Egypt feature a beautiful evening naked-eye astronomical phenomenon, a conjunction of the Moon and Mars, the Red Planet. When two or more celestial objects are visible close together in the sky, near the line of sight, they are said to be in conjunction. Conjunctions are among the most fascinating heavenly sights, particularly, when featuring the Moon and a bright planet, such as Venus or Jupiter.

Crashing on the Moon

22 April 2014
On 17 April 2014, ground controllers at NASA's Ames Research Center confirmed that NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft impacted the surface of the Moon, as planned

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