Saturday, December 4, 2010

Volcanoes outside the Solar System

Volcanoes are prevalent inside the Solar System - and not just on Earth. Venus has them, so do some of the moons of Jupiter, and Mars had them. But can we detect volcanoes outside our Solar System? According to this study, it is possible. Wow.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Everbrightening Supernova Remnant

Did you think that the light from explosions decreases with time? That makes sense, right? Think again. Recent optical (Hubble), radio, and X-ray images of SN1987a have found that is getting brighter with time. The reason why is that, as the material ejected in this explosion expands, it sweeps up more and more of the surrounding material, heating them up such that they emit light in these wavelengths. In fact, very recently the ejecta collided with dense gas released by the star about 20-30 years before it exploded, causing it to light up. Go here to read more. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Solar Flares and You

Solar flares are pretty much known to cause aurorae, power outages, satellite problems, etc. But they can change how elements decay? Really? Apparently so. Go here to read more. So weird....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Age of the Solar System

Maybe a little bit higher than previously thought. Go here to read about the latest measurement.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The End of the Lone Astronomer

At least according to this book. I'm not too sure of this, but it is an interesting argument.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How strong is Gravity?

As explained here, we don't know the answer to this question as much as we would like.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ouch! The Light!

Please don't shine it at my telescope, it hurts. Go here to read about the latest problem regarding light pollution.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Elliptical Crater

Huh? Go here to see a stunningly weird picture from Mars.

Friday, November 26, 2010

How to make a supermassive black hole

Apparently, the recipe is:
Step 1 - Crash two galaxies together
Step 2 - Wait for the two smaller black holes at the center of these galaxies to merge together, during which time lots of gas falls into them.
Step 3 - Go to Step 1.

Figuring this out was not as simple as it looks. Go here,
here, and here, and here to learn more.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A WISE picture

Well, at least a picture taken by the WISE satellite. Go here to see the very pretty picture. Enjoy!