Here comes another galaxy... (Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. Mellinger) Some recent research on the long-term future of the Milky Way prompted me to dig out and re-polish this post from the Life, Unbounded archives of 2010...
As the docking attempt between the Dragon cargo vehicle and the International Space Station gets underway, here are some of the latest images, plus the LIVE stream to the Dragon/ISS docking at the bottom!...
Through the skies darky - a planet turning to dust (Credit: NASA) A significant number of exoplanets orbit their parent stars far more closely than anything does in our solar system.
Annular eclipse (Credit: sancho_panza) When the Sun is eclipsed by the Moon this Sunday, for many observers across much of the world it will be temporarily replaced by a beautiful ring of fire - a brilliant annulus of stellar plasma just peeking out around the dark lunar disk...
On August 14th 2012 my new book, Gravity's Engines , will launch. I'm enormously excited about this, and over the next couple of months - increasingly so as publication date approaches, Life, Unbounded will carry some posts that talk about the science between the covers...
Lonely Planets of the Cosmos Hot Jupiters are special beasts in the exoplanetary menagerie. These giant worlds orbit their parent stars incredibly tightly, sometimes zipping around in barely a day or two, and so close that they can disturb the stellar atmosphere itself - as well as throwing themselves at the mercy of gravitational tides and scorching radiation.They were also the very first type of exoplanets to be detected around normal, hydrogen-burning, stars like our Sun in 1995...
Tweets In Space (N. Stern and S. Kildall) When the interplanetary missions Pioneer 10 and 11 launched in the late 1970s they each carried a metal plaque engraved with a set of pictorial messages from humanity...
It seems that the Saturnian system just keeps on giving when it comes to amazing imagery. Of course it helps to have a $3 billion space mission in place like Cassini to record everything going on...
The Bug Nebula (NASA, ESA and A.Zijlstra (UMIST, Manchester, UK)) One of the most widely known and repeated astrophysical facts is that stars produce all the heavy elements that eventually make planets, shrubberies, and the likes of us...
Planet, planet, planet.... (Image credit: ESA) Exactly how many planets orbit any given star is still a major unknown in exoplanetary science. The two primary techniques for detecting planets and quantifying their characteristics have significant limitations that blinker us to the full contents of other solar systems...
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