Supernovae produce some of the most powerful explosions in the cosmos, expelling a doomed star’s contents at velocities reaching 10 percent the speed of light. It usually takes a few weeks or months for a supernova to fade into nothingness, but astronomers have now documented a record-setting case in which a star was extinguished in just a few days. Continue reading Rare Type of Supernova Extinguishes Star at Unprecedented Speed
The space-based telescope responsible for detecting 2,245 exoplanets, and another 2,342 yet to be confirmed, is running out of fuel and may have just a few months left before its lights go out. The Kepler spacecraft will go down in history as one of the greatest astronomical tools ever used to scan the heavens. Continue reading NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope Has Only a Few Months to Live
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.
Humanity hasn’t done a ton of good in our short stint on Earth, though we’ve definitely succeeded at turning this planet into a trash pit of despair. Today, researchers from NASA’s Kepler space telescope team announced we might get to bring our garbage party to another planet—perhaps a bunch of them.
The galaxy brims with billions of planets, but whoa—they’re so far away! Unfortunately for would-be star trekkers, even the closest would take hundreds of lifetimes to reach with current technology. Until someone invents the warp drive, we’ll have to do our exploring with telescopes.
Kepler has given us a stash of thousands of exoplanets. Now, researchers have pulled twenty from that stash that they say are the most likely to be habitable.
Space is not the soundless vacuum movies would have us believe. In fact, judging by these eerie recordings of the music being thrown off by the oldest stars in the Milky Way, space actually sounds like a bit of a party.