Jeff Ingalls

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Distant new world may point to undiscovered planets in solar system

Today’s discovery of dwarf planet 2012 VP113 suggests that many planet-sized worlds lurk undetected beyond the orbit of Pluto, maybe even a giant ‘Super Earth’<p>We learned today that our solar system is larger than we had previously known. A newly discovered, extremely distant dwarf planet with the …

Our Universe May Exist in a Multiverse, Cosmic Inflation Discovery Suggests

The first direct evidence of cosmic inflation — a period of rapid expansion that occurred a fraction of a second after the Big Bang — also supports …

Robert Fields sent Space.com this image of Messier 42, or the Orion Nebula on March 18, 2014. See some of the best space images taken this month: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/tyq7

As seen on #Cosmos: A spherical shell of icy bodies surroundi…

As seen on #Cosmos: A spherical shell of icy bodies surrounding the solar system, now named the Oort Cloud, occupies space at a distance between 5,000 and 100,000 astronomical units. (One astronomical unit, or AU, is the mean distance of Earth from the sun: about 150 million km or 93 million miles.) The outer extent of the Oort Cloud is believed to be in the region of space where the sun's gravitational influence is weaker than the influence of nearby stars.<p>The Oort Cloud probably contains 0.1 …

As seen on #Cosmos: The next major cosmic event to affect our…

As seen on #Cosmos: The next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed.<p>This illustration shows a stage in the predicted merger …

New observations from NASA’s Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft show what appear to be glints of sunlight bouncing off a wind-rippled lake on the moon Titan. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/tyyr

Can Light Orbit A Black Hole?

<i>Since black holes are the most powerful gravitational spots in the entire Universe, can they distort light so much that it actually goes into orbit?</i> …

Four Moons of Saturn! Two pairs of moons make a rare joint…

Four Moons of Saturn! Two pairs of moons make a rare joint appearance. The F ring's shepherd moons, Prometheus and Pandora, appear just inside and outside of the F ring (the thin faint ring furthest from Saturn). Meanwhile, farther from Saturn the co-orbital moons Janus (near the bottom) and Epimetheus (about a third of the way down from the top) also are captured.<p>This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 47 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light …

Amazing Aurora in Alaska, March 2014

Every year, our friend and astrophotographer extraordinaire John Chumack co-leads a tour to Alaska on how to photograph the northern lights and the …

Mars Rover Curiosity Takes Aim at Next Martian Science Target

After a long stretch of pedal-to-the-metal driving, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has its next science target in sight.<p>The 1-ton Curiosity rover is …

Rocky Alien Planet Leftovers 'Polluted' White Dwarf Stars With Metal

What’s with all the metals in the atmosphere of white dwarfs, those things that are corpses of stars like our own Sun? While before scientists had …

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has once again shown itself to be a crack investigator, recently capturing a distant spiral galaxy in the process of spilling its cosmic guts. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/uao8

A Horse of a Different Color

Cosmic eXploration: Hubble eXtreme Deep Field

Discovery! Possible Dwarf Planet Found Far Beyond Pluto's Orbit

What is a dwarf planet? Some astronomers have been asking that question after Pluto was demoted from planethood almost a decade ago, partly due to …

Celestial Snow Angel 3D: Star-forming Region Sharpless 2-106

The Search for Seeds of Black Holes

How does one grow supermassive black holes? A new study using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up what might be …

Research

Asteroid Found with Rings! First-of-Its-Kind Discovery Stuns Astronomers (Video, Images)

Scientists have made a stunning discovery in the outer realm of the solar system — an asteroid with its own set of rings that orbits the sun between …

This composition is made up from 5000 pictures taken in a 48 hour period and looks amazing.

Discovery of new dwarf planet hints at other objects in solar system

Planet-hunters scouring the heavens have found thousands of distant worlds around other stars, but astronomers may have overlooked one lurking much closer to home.<p>Scientists searching for glimmers of light beyond Pluto say they've discovered a new dwarf planet — and that its movements hint that an …