The atmosphere of Rosetta’s comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is far from homogeneous. In addition to sudden outbursts of gas and dust, daily recurring phenomena at sunrise can be observed. In these, evaporating gas and entrained dust are concentrated to form jet-like structures. A new study, led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany and published in the journal Nature Astronomy, now identifies the rugged, duck-shaped structure of the comet as the main cause of these jets. Not only do concave regions collimate gas and dust emissions similar to an optical lens, the complex topography also provide some areas of the surface with more sunlight than others.
Imagine only knowing 15 people in the world, and as you discover more people, your knowledge expands. Scientists studying our galaxy face something similar as they make discoveries that build our understanding of the universe.
Southwest Research Institute scientists integrated NASA’s New Horizons discoveries with data from ESA’s Rosetta mission to develop a new theory about how Pluto may have formed at the edge of our solar system.
Astronomers are one step closer to understanding a mysterious class of optically faint galaxies thanks to deep radio observations with the Green Bank Telescope, reveals a poster presented today at the Canadian Astronomical Society Annual Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia.
Astronomers have discovered a special kind of neutron star for the first time outside of the Milky Way galaxy, using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.
Engineers working with NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover have been hard at work testing a new way for the rover to drill rocks and extract powder from them. This past weekend, that effort produced the first drilled sample on Mars in more than a year.
The nation’s newest weather satellite, launched less than three months ago, has a serious cooling problem that could affect the quality of its pictures.
A team of astronomers has performed one of the highest resolution observations in astronomical history by observing two intense regions of radiation, 20 kilometres apart, around a star 6500 light-years away.
As the International Space Station flew over the Indonesian coast of Sumatra on an April night, lightning from a thunderstorm reached the upper layers of the atmosphere and its light show was captured by ESA’s latest observatory in space.
By targeting the most massive galaxies in our universe, astronomers have studied how their stars move. The results are surprising: while half of them spin around their short axis as expected, the other half turn around their long axis. Such kinematics are most likely the result of a special type of galaxy merger, involving already massive, similar-mass galaxies. This would imply that the growth of the most massive and the largest galaxies is governed by these rare events.