Scientists have discovered yet another black hole in our universe, but this one is just 1,500 light-years away from Earth, nicknamed “the Unicorn” black hole. That makes it the closest known black hole to our solar system.
We’re used to seeing stark images of rovers all alone on the Red Planet, but Perseverance brought a friend. NASA has just released a stunning photo showing two vehicles—the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter—in a single shot.
The European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope has performed new observations of comet 2l/Borisov. It’s only the second interstellar visitor ever detected in our Solar System. The ESO’s observations have also indicated that 2l/Borisov is one of the most pristine comets ever observed. Astronomers believe 2l/Borisov most likely never passed close to a star, meaning it’s an undisturbed relic of … Continue reading
There are two ways to get your hands on a meteorite. You can send up a billion-dollar robot to retrieve asteroid samples, or you can wait for a friendly space rock land at your doorstep for free. The latter option happened on February 28th, when a rare meteorite from the early solar system landed in a driveway in Winchcombe, England.
Scientists call this kind of meteorite “carbonaceous chondrite.” It contains a lot of carbon, so it looks a lot like coal, but carbonaceous chondrite actually dates back to the beginnings of our solar system and could help us understand Earth and other planets came to be. If this is like other samples of carbonaceous chondrite, it should also contain bits of diamond, graphite, and soft clay—a sign that the rock encountered water at some point.
Residents of Winchcombe, England, noticed a fireball reigning down before exploding in the sky the night of Sunday, February 28th. The next day, someone found the rock in their driveway, bagged it up, and contacted the U.K. Meteor Observation Network.
As noted by the Natural History Museum, the Winchcombe Meteorite is significantly larger than rocks collected by billion-dollar space probes. The Hayabusa2 probe returned to Earth last year with just 4.5 grams of asteroid rock, while the OSIRIS-REx probe is expected to return in 2023 with 60 grams of rock. But the Winchcombe Meteorite is 300 grams. Good things come to those who wait, I guess.
The Hubble Space Telescope is back online and resuming science operations, NASA has confirmed, though not every part of the aging instrument is working as it should. The telescope – which was put into orbit in 1990 and has since been instrumental in unlocking the secrets of distant stars and galaxies – switched into its protective safe mode last weekend. … Continue reading
NASA has no photos of Asteroid 2001 FO32, so here’s a picture of Eros. NASA
On March 21st, a Golden Gate Bridge-sized asteroid will whiz within 1.5 million kilometers of Earth, just close enough to see with a telescope. Asteroid 2001 FO32 will be the largest asteroid to glance by our planet in 2021, and if you don’t own a telescope, you can still watch the asteroid’s journey through the Virtual Telescope Project’s live feed.
An impact with Asteroid 2001 FO32 could cause mass destruction and rippling climate effects on Earth. While it isn’t the biggest asteroid we’ve encountered, Asteroid 2001 FO32 measures around a mile in length and flies at nearly 77,000 MPH. Thankfully, NASA says that we don’t need to worry about Asteroid 2001 FO32—not for another 200 years, at least.
You may have seen headlines about an #asteroid that will safely fly by Earth on March 21. While this asteroid, known as 2001 FO32, is large, it will safely zip past Earth at a distance of 1.3 million miles—five times further away than the Moon—and poses no risk of hitting Earth. pic.twitter.com/oZZG5UaFsf
Of course, finding a mile-wide rock that’s over a million kilometers away from Earth is like picking a needle out of a haystack, even with a good telescope. The asteroid will shine much dimmer than any star in our night sky, so you’re best off watching it through the Virtual Telescope Project’s live feed.
The Virtual Telescope Project live feed begins March 21st at 11pm ET (or March 22nd at 4am if you’re in the UK, where Virtual Telescope Project is based). The live feed is free to watch and will follow the asteroid until it’s too far to see, which will take a few hours.
NASA’s airborne telescope has made another major discovery just months after it confirmed the presence of water on the Moon’s sunlit surfaces. SOFIA’s latest find relates to the essence left by an icy comet that zipped past Earth in 2016…