Astronomers have spotted young planets before, but rarely this young — or with such easy observation. As CBS News says, a University of Hawaii-led team has discovered 2M0437b, one of the youngest planets ever found at ‘just’ several million years old. The baby planet was found in the Taurus Cloud “nursery” and young enough that it’s still emanating lava-like heat from its birth.
Some 230 million light-years from Earth, there’s a black hole going places. These extraordinarily dense objects are usually found sitting at the center of a galaxy violently gobbling up matter, so it was a surprise when astronomers spotted this one moving out of step with its resident galaxy.
The Cassini space probe’s fatal plummet into Saturn has revealed that the gas giant’s innermost ring sheds icy showers of rain and organic molecules into the planet’s upper atmosphere at an incredible rate.
About 10 years ago, astronomers catalogued a galaxy 12.4 billion light years away called COSMOS-AzTEC-1, a giant “monster galaxy” believed to be an ancestor of massive modern galaxies like ours. Galaxies go through an evolutionary process, changing from disordered masses of gasses to star-filled stunners like our own beautiful Milky Way. Because researchers are viewing AzTEC-1 at the early stages of its existence, they expected that it would still be a little chaotic. But Sarah Lewin at Space.com reports the galaxy might be ahead of the curve: the monster galaxy is producing 1,000 times as many stars as the Milky Way. Continue reading Monster Galaxy Churns Out 1,000 Times As Many Stars As Our Own
Kepler is the gift that keeps on giving. After suffering a major malfunction five years ago, the rejiggered space-based telescope continues to churn away, scanning the heavens for signs of distant worlds. An international team of astronomers has now released the results of its latest survey, confirming the existence of nearly 100 new exoplanets.
Benjamin Banneker (Nov. 9, 1731-Oct. 9, 1806) was a famous mathematician, inventor, and abolitionist in the early days of the U.S. He was born to a family of mixed race. His grandmother, Molly Wash, was an English woman and a former indentured servant. Banneker’s grandfather was a former enslaved west African royal named Banneka. The two violated Maryland law and got married despite the social taboo and stigma of interracial marriage. Banneker’s mother, Mary, was of mixed race and she went on to marry a newly free Black man named Robert, who took Banneker as his surname upon their marriage according toPBA.
An unidentified blast of powerful X-rays suggests something violent is happening at the core of the galaxy—but astronomers aren’t sure what it is.