Tag Archives: Astronomy

Lucy is off to Visit Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft is on its way. The spacecraft was launched into space on Saturday, October 16th on an Atlas 5 rocket. Its primary target is Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. Spacecraft have visited asteroids before, and even brought samples back to Earth. But Lucy is unique: it’ll visit a total of eight asteroids, including seven Jupiter Trojans and one main-belt asteroid. ...

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Rocky Planets Might Need to be the Right age to Support Life

Extrasolar planets are being discovered at a rapid rate, with 4,531 planets in 3,363 systems (with another 7,798 candidates awaiting confirmation). Of these, 166 have been identified as rocky planets (aka. “Earth-like”), while another 1,389 have been rocky planets that are several times the size of Earth (“Super-Earths). As more and more discoveries are made, the focus is shifting from ...

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Images of 42 of the Biggest Asteroids in the Solar System

A huge team of astronomers have combined forces to use the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT) to provide the sharpest view ever of 42 of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter. Fittingly, the collection of images was released on the 42nd anniversary of the publication of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the ...

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BepiColombo Meets Mercury for the First Time on October 1

BepiColombo made a quick visit to Venus in August and is on to its next rendezvous. On October 1st it’ll perform a flyby of Mercury, the spacecraft’s eventual destination. This visit is just a little flirtation—one of six—ahead of its eventual orbital link-up with Mercury in late 2025. The quick visit will yield some scientific results, though, and they’ll be ...

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Rogue Planets Could be Habitable

The search for potentially habitable planets is focused on exoplanets—planets orbiting other stars—for good reason. The only planet we know of with life is Earth and sunlight fuels life here. But some estimates say there are many more rogue planets roaming through space, not bound to or warmed by any star. Could some of them support life? The term ‘Rogue ...

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