Category: Planets

Japan Is Sending a Lander to Phobos

Sending a mission to moons of Mars has been on the wish list for mission planners and space enthusiasts for quite some time. For the past few years, however, a team of Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) engineers and scientists have been working on putting such a mission together. Now, JAXA announced this week that the […]

What Exoplanet Is Closest to Earth?

AN artist’s conception of Proxima Centauri b as a rocky-like exoplanet, with Proxima Centauri and the Alpha Centauri binary system in the background. The actual appearance of the planet is unknown. (Image credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser) Astronomers are finding new exoplanets nearly every day. But this particular answer probably won’t change, because astronomers have already found […]

Explore the Winter Hexagon Tonight

This expansive region of the sky is home to plenty of bright stars and deep-sky wonders. Stellarium, with additions With the February dark of the Moon upon us, we have a fine opportunity to enjoy some winter sights. Perhaps most appealing for naked-eye observers is an impressive collection of stellar luminaries. Face south at nightfall, […]

A New Look at the ‘Pale Blue Dot’

The 30th anniversary of the famous ‘Pale Blue Dot’ image of Earth, which took place on February 14, is an appropriate occasion for the newly updated image below, which brings the latest methods to bear on the data Voyager 1 presented us. Our planet takes up less than a single pixel and for that reason […]

Making a “Mega-Telescope” for Exoplanets

Title: First direct detection of an exoplanet by optical interferometry Authors: GRAVITY Collaboration: S. Lacour, M. Nowak, J. Wang, et. al. First Author’s Institution: LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Universite PSL, CNRS, Sorbonne Universite, Univ. Paris Diderot, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics Status: Published in Astronomy & Astrophysics [closed access] and arXiv [open access] TRAPPIST-1 […]

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