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A selection of the latest astronomy news and blog posts.

"Black Hole Enigma" - Could the Discovery Be a Massive Neutron Star? But a Chinese team of astronomers recently claimed to have discovered a black hole as massive as 70 solar masses, which, if confirmed, would severely challenge the current view of stellar evolution. The publication immediately triggered theoretical investigations as well as additional observations by other astrophysicists.

Tagish Lake Meteorite Day On January 18, 2000 at 16:43 local time, fragments of the Tagish Lake meteorite landed on the so named lake in Canada's Yukon Territory. The original meteor from which it broke off may have weighed as much as 200 tons. The passage of the fireball and the high-altitude explosion set off a wide array of satellite sensors as well as seismographs.

Bluestem Pond at Dawn As the days begin to lengthen almost imperceptibly, I find myself surprised to see daybreak coming earlier each week. It makes me think about the early humans and how they figured out that the seasons were swinging back into the sunlight. I mean, without a clock, how would you even know that dawn came a few minutes earlier than the day before?

What does it take to succeed in science? I've been thinking lately about what personal characteristics are needed to succeed in academic science today. What does it take to publish top papers, win lots of grants and reach the top of the profession?

Weighing Planets At this month's meeting of the American Astronomical Society, the team developing the NEID spectrograph at Kitt Peak National Observatory announced the instrument's first light and released a great, processed image of the first spectrum that illustrates much of what I've talked about when giving behind-scenes-glimpses of the work.

AASWomen Newsletter for January 17, 2020 How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter. 16. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter. 17. Access to Past Issues of the AASWOMEN newsletter. "The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy is compiling interviews highlighting the diversity of career trajectories available to astronomers.

Some Weird Gas Balls Are Swirling Around Sagittarius A Researchers have discovered a slew of what they believe to be a brand-spanking-new class of objects-called G objects-circling the Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. They behave strangely, too-like stars, instead of the clouds of gas to which their spectral signatures point.

Planet Earth Report - "The Strange Microbe that Shaped Evolution to Australia's Terrifying Fire Clouds" "Planet Earth Report" connects you to headline news on the science, technology, discoveries, people and events changing our planet and the future of the human species. Pyrocumulonimbus clouds, or pyroCbs, can generate thunder, lightning and tornado-force winds, in addition to belching out burning embers.

Dinosaur extinction? Say it together… Asteroid Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs, according to an international, Yale-led team of researchers. It was all about the asteroid.

"Dead or Alive?" - Postmortem of Gigantic Galaxies at Dawn of the Cosmos "This result pairs up with the fact that, when these dying gigantic systems were still alive and forming stars, they might have not been that extreme compared with the average population of galaxies", adds Francesco Valentino, author of an article on the past history of dead galaxies appeared in the Astrophysical Journal.

New Mysterious Radio Flash Pinned Down; Hundreds More Being Discovered Recent observations have pinpointed the location of a fifth fast radio burst, shedding light on the environments that create these powerful sources. The source of fast radio bursts, flashes of radio waves that convey in a few milliseconds the power that the Sun radiates in a day, remains an open question in astronomy.

Astronomers Find Four Strange New Objects in the Center of the Milky Way But instead of Sagittarius A*'s intense gravity stretching out the gas clouds as expected, the clumps stayed compact as they traveled around the black hole, said Anna Ciurlo, an astronomer at UCLA and the lead author of the new paper.

60-Second Astro News: Planets in Tight Quarters & Kuiper Belt Forays Astronomers have calculated the loss of planets around stars in globular clusters, and New Horizons returns observations of worlds in the outer solar system. At most one-fifth of planetary systems around stars in globular clusters may survive, student Melissa Cashion reported at the recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu.

Space transport roundup - Jan.17.2020 A sampling of recent articles, videos, and images dealing with space transport :.

Amazing photo of the Quadrantid meteor shower… from space! International Space Station astronaut Christina Koch tweeted this shot a couple of days after the Quadrantid peak:. Look to the left: You can see several trails from bits of asteroid 2003 EH as they hypersonically plow through our upper atmosphere, about 100 km off the ground.

The Downlink: Ganymede's North Pole, A New Asteroid to Explore Welcome to The Downlink, a planetary exploration news roundup from The Planetary Society! Here's everything that crossed our radar this week. NASA's Juno spacecraft recently captured the first-ever north pole images of Jupiter's moon Ganymede.

Love astronomy? See Silent Sky at Birmingham-Southern College Jan. 23-26 Ever heard of Henrietta Swan Leavitt? Silent Sky is a play about this pioneering astronomer who Edwin Hubble said deserved the Nobel Prize for her work measuring the universe. You can see the play Jan. 23-26 at Birmingham Southern's College Theatre - The Underground.

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 17 - 25 By the time the Moon rises tonight around 1 a.m., it will have waned slightly past precisely half-lit. It'll be at the dim feet of Virgo, with Spica to its upper right and bright Arcturus higher to its upper left. Saturday, Jan. 18. - Is your sky dark enough for you to see the winter Milky Way?

Apollo 17: A Stereo View from Lunar Orbit Get out your red/blue glasses and check out this awesome stereo view of another world. The scene was recorded by Apollo 17 mission commander Eugene Cernan on December 11, 1972, one orbit before des…

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup - Jan.16.2020 A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs :. ** ACRUX-1 CubeSat was launched by the Melbourne Space Program last summer on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket. The goal of the not-for-profit organization is "to launch the next generation of technology pioneers".

After a Century, Geologist Find Crater Responsible for Meteorite Mystery After a century, researchers may finally have solved a prehistoric meteorite mystery. Imagine the scene: one fine day, about 790,000 years ago in the Pleistocene era, a 2-kilometer wide asteroid split the sky over modern-day southeast Asia.

Whole lot of shaking goin' on? Puerto Rico has been getting pounded by quakes over the last month to the point that they have visibly changed the landscape. Why so many earthquakes? Well, as they say in real estate, it's all about location, location, and location.

Card Game Review: 'Astronomy Fluxx' from Looney Labs While these others showed how numbers and materials can work together on a tangible plane, Astronomy Fluxx takes things into the cosmos to show how everything connects. Gameplay in Astronomy Fluxx follows the well-established near-chaos of the Fluxx line.

Dark Matter Particles the Size of Planets? - "Yes" Say 'Cold-Model' Physicists "At first, we thought it was absurd. How else could you respond to the idea that black holes generate swirling clouds of planet-sized particles that could be the dark matter thought to hold galaxies together?

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