Tuesday, June 18

Astronomy

High-speed baby stars circle the supermassive black hole Sgr A* like a swarm of bees
Astronomy

High-speed baby stars circle the supermassive black hole Sgr A* like a swarm of bees

Multiwavelength finding chart of the inner ≈0.4 pc of the Galactic center observed in the K-band (red) and L-band (blue) observed with NACO (VLT). Credit: Astronomy & Astrophysics (2024). DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202449729 Observational astronomy shows that newly discovered young stellar objects (YSOs) in the immediate vicinity of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* located in the center of our galaxy behave differently than expected. They describe similar orbits to already known young evolved stars and are arranged in a particular pattern around the supermassive black hole. Studies show that Sgr A* causes th...
June Night Sky 2024 – Astronotes
Astronomy

June Night Sky 2024 – Astronotes

Night Sky June Summer is almost here so welcome back for another month of objects to look out for in the night sky, with some good weather (fingers crossed)! June has a few things for us to see, first thing being the summer solstice. Summer Solstice Thursday 20th of June this year marks the summer solstice. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year and the shortest night of the year, this is because the Earth’s axis on this day will be most directly inclined towards the sun, giving the northern hemisphere plenty of sunshine. The solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky at noon. This point is called the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degrees North latitude). On this day, the Sun appears to stand still at its most northern point before reversing direction. Many ...
Star power in Boötes – Astronomy Now
Astronomy

Star power in Boötes – Astronomy Now

Arcturus (alpha Boötis) is the brightest star north of the celestial equator and only Sirius outshines it from UK shores. Dominating the short, late-spring nights is Arcturus, the brightest star of the northern hemisphere sky and the sentinel of spring. It’s the brilliant leader of the constellation of Boötes, the Herdsman, or Bear Keeper, an area of the night sky that’s bereft of bright deep-sky objects, including no Messier-designated targets. Don’t you think then that it’s rather fitting that otherwise uninspiring Boötes has been handed the distinct honour of hosting Arcturus, as well as several superb double stars, including the beautifully formed and named Pulcherrima (Izar, epsilon Boötis).  Arrive at Arcturus Arcturus is a magnificent naked eye star, shining at magnitude –0.04 – o...
Astronomy

Six planets to appear in alignment next week in rare celestial parade | Planets

Stargazers are in with a chance of a celestial treat on Monday with six planets appearing in alignment.Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus will take part in the parade – which occurs when planets gather on the same side of the sun.Prof Danny Steeghs, of the University of Warwick said the event, which should be visible around the world, was due to occur around sunrise and would be rather low in the east, meaning the alignment would need some equipment to see properly.“Uranus and Neptune will be faint, so viewers will require good binoculars to see them,” he said, adding that the proximity of Jupiter and Mercury to the sun would restrict their view.Some of the planets may be visible to the naked eye, although scattered light might still cause difficulties. “Mars and Saturn are...
A Weather Satellite Watched a Space Rock Burn Up Above Spain and Portugal
Astronomy

A Weather Satellite Watched a Space Rock Burn Up Above Spain and Portugal

It’s been a momentous May for skywatchers around the world. First the big auroral event of May 10-11, next a flaming space rock entering over Spain and Portugal. The inbound object was captured by ground-based cameras and the MeteoSat Third Generation Imager in geostationary orbit. The incoming meteor dazzled viewers across both countries as it sped across the skies at 160,000 km/hour. Of course, social media came alive with speculation about what was burning up in the atmosphere. Most people thought it was a piece of space rock from an asteroid. European Space Agency members of the Planetary Defence Office immediately began analyzing images and data to figure out the composition of the impactor. Now it seems more likely the chunk of space debris came from a comet. They used other data a...