Five Moon myths – and how to disprove them yourself

Daniel Brown, Nottingham Trent University This year’s first supermoon will potentially grace the sky on February 9. A supermoon is usually defined as the largest full moon possible. This is a very loose definition and roughly means this happens when the full moon occurs within 10% of its closest to Earth. But in reality, supermoons […]

Fastest human-made object: Parker Solar Probe

On January 29, 2020, during its fourth close approach of the Sun, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe reached a top speed of 244,225 mph (393,042 km/h) or 62.28 miles per second (mi/s) (109.18 kilometers per second) and once again became the fastest human-made object ever built. Despite it seems blazingly fast (and actually it is), it […]

A meteor has just been observed in Puerto Rico – Amazing footage

Desireé Cotto-Figueroa, an Associate Professor from the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao (UPRH) Department of Physics and Electronics has just tweeted amazing footage of a meteor over Puerto Rico, saying “Meteor just observed in #PuertoRico. Everyone who saw it please report it here.”

Proxima Centauri c: how we spotted a potential new planet around the Sun’s neighbouring star

Hugh Jones, University of Hertfordshire Most exoplanets, bodies orbiting stars other than the sun, are too far away for us to be able to send probes to. So it’s no wonder that the discovery of a possible habitable planet around the sun’s nearest neighbour star, Proxima Centauri, a few years ago generated a lot of […]

Betelgeuse: star’s weird dimming sparks rumours that its death is imminent

Daniel Brown, Nottingham Trent University Every season has its characteristic star constellations in the night sky. Orion – one of the most recognisable – is distinctly visible on crisp, clear winter nights in the northern hemisphere. The constellation is easy to spot even in light-polluted cities, with its bright stars representing the shape of a […]

NASA’s TESS Space Telescope discovers its first Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone

Exciting news! NASA’s planet-hunter TESS Space Telescope (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) has discovered its first Earth-sized exoplanet in its star’s habitable zone. The discovery was announced by NASA on January 7, 2020. The planet is named “TOI 700 d”. Using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers confirmed the discovery and have modeled the planet’s potential environments […]

Top 20 Exciting Advances in Space Science in the 2010s

Today is the last day of the 2010s – and what a decade it has been for space science and space exploration! Here is a timeline of the top 20 major (and exciting!) advances in space science in the 2010s.

Planetary confusion: why astronomers keep changing what it means to be a planet

Christopher Palma, Pennsylvania State University As an astronomer, the question I hear the most is why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore? More than 10 years ago, astronomers famously voted to change Pluto’s classification. But the question still comes up.