Big Baby Planet Caught In The Act Of Forming

Calling someone a big baby is an insult, but when it comes to new planets, go ahead — no hard feelings! Astronomers have captured a spectacular photo of such a planet in the act of forming from a disk of dust and gas around the young dwarf star PDS 70. By using the SPHERE instrument on the European Southern…
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Surprise Aurora Steals Into The Night

Charles Darwin closed the last paragraph of his book On the Origin of Species with this wonderful observation: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of…
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Crazy, Big Aurora Out In Full Moon Light Tonight!

The aurora forecast was for a minor storm tonight (Kp=5), something that would normally be almost impossible to see in the light of the full moon and masked by the fire smoke that plagues the night sky of many states and Canadian provinces. That’s why I didn’t post an alert earlier. But as usual, we…
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Full Sturgeon Moon, String Bean Craters And Planetary Pomp

We get two full moon nights this weekend! August’s Full Sturgeon Moon happens tomorrow morning at 6:56 a.m. (Central Time). That’s the time when the moon will be fullest. This evening, the moon rises for the Americas some 12 hours, give or take, before full phase. Sunday night it comes up about 12 hours after full.…
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Hubble Crams 15,000 Galaxies Into A Single Photo

Astronomers estimate there are some 2 trillion galaxies in the universe. Just to give you an idea of how big that number is, a trillion is a million multiplied by a million or one followed by 12 zeroes. Then multiply that by 2.  As recently as 2013 the galaxy count stood at just 200 billion…
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