Heavens

Visible imagery from NASA's Terra satellite showed Tropical Storm Alvin had organized and strengthened into a strong tropical storm, just over 500 miles from Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

On June 27, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite provided a visible image of Alvin. Satellite imagery revealed that Alvin's clouds appeared more organized than they did the previous day.

Main sequence star, red giant, white dwarf - in the course of their lifespan covering millions or even billions of years, stars pass through different stages of stellar evolution - all differing greatly in appearance. Yet, stars do not reveal their ages easily, at least not at first glance. The duration of each phase differs too greatly from star to star. With deeper look, however, researchers can reconstruct the star's life story. Various methods now make it possible to reliably determine the age of a star.

Researchers using ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) found a small dust concentration in the disk around TW Hydrae, the nearest young star. It is highly possible that a planet is growing or about to be formed in this concentration. This is the first time that the exact place where cold materials are forming the seed of a planet has been pinpointed in the disk around a young star.

Using sophisticated computer simulations and observations, a team led by researchers from the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at Tokyo Institute of Technology has shown how the so-called trans-Neptunian Objects (or TNOs) may have formed. TNOs, which include the dwarf planet Pluto, are a group of icy and rocky small bodies--smaller than planets but larger than comets--that orbit the Solar System beyond the planet Neptune. TNOs likely formed at the same time as the Solar System, and understanding their origin could provide important clues as to how the entire Solar System originated.

Astronomers have a new tool in their search for extraterrestrial life - a sophisticated bot that helps identify stars hosting planets similar to Jupiter and Saturn.

These giant planets' faraway twins may protect life in other solar systems, but they aren't bright enough to be viewed directly. Scientists find them based on properties they can observe in the stars they orbit. The challenge for planet hunters is that in our galaxy alone, there are roughly 200 billion stars.

Dying stars that cast off their outer envelopes to form the beautiful yet enigmatic "planetary nebulae" (PNe) have a new heavy-weight champion, the innocuously named PNe "BMP1613-5406". Massive stars live fast and die young, exploding as powerful supernovae after only a few million years. However, the vast majority of stars, including our own Sun, have much lower mass and may live for many billions of years before going through a short lived but glorious PNe phase. PNe form when only a tiny fraction of unburnt hydrogen remains in the stellar core.

New technique to monitor evolution of magnetic disturbances from the Aurora Borealis

University of Warwick researchers link up over a hundred magnetometers to form a 'social network'

Magnetometers 'befriend' each other when the disturbance propagates to them

Space weather results in magnetic disturbances on the ground that can interfere with power distribution and electrical systems

This image shows an irregular galaxy named IC 10, a member of the Local Group -- a collection of over 50 galaxies in our cosmic neighborhood that includes the Milky Way.

IC 10 is a remarkable object. It is the closest-known starburst galaxy, meaning that it is undergoing a furious bout of star formation fueled by ample supplies of cool hydrogen gas. This gas condenses into vast molecular clouds, which then form into dense knots where pressures and temperatures reach a point sufficient to ignite nuclear fusion, thus giving rise to new generations of stars.

SAN ANTONIO -- June 20, 2019 -- NASA has selected Southwest Research Institute to lead the "Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere" (PUNCH) mission, a landmark Small Explorers Program mission that will image beyond the Sun's outer corona.

The rings of Uranus are invisible to all but the largest telescopes -- they weren't even discovered until 1977 -- but they're surprisingly bright in new heat images of the planet taken by two large telescopes in the high deserts of Chile.

EVANSTON, Ill. -- An international team of astronomers has captured the first-ever polarized radio waves from a distant cosmic explosion.

This explosive event (known as gamma-ray burst GRB 190114C) is part of a class of the most energetic explosions in the universe. It was produced when a star -- much more massive than our sun -- collapsed to form a black hole.

Maunakea, Hawaii - A group of astronomers led by Crystal Martin and Stephanie Ho of the University of California, Santa Barbara, has discovered a dizzying cosmic choreography among typical star-forming galaxies; their cool halo gas appears to be in step with the galactic disks, spinning in the same direction.

The researchers used W. M. Keck Observatory to obtain the first-ever direct observational evidence showing that corotating halo gas is not only possible, but common. Their findings suggest that the whirling gas halo will eventually spiral in towards the disk.

An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has discovered two new Earth-like planets near one of our closest neighboring stars. "Teegarden's star" is only about 12.5 light years away from Earth and is one of the smallest known stars. It is only about 2,700 °C warm and about ten times lighter than the Sun. Although it is so close to us, the star wasn't discovered until 2003. The scientists observed the star for about three years. The results were published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Tropical Cyclone Vayu was fading as it neared the coast of southwestern Pakistan and northwestern India. Dry air and wind shear were preventing development the development of thunderstorms, making the clouds on the storm's western side appear wispy in an image from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite.

The Sun is why we're here. It's also why Martians or Venusians are not.

When the Sun was just a baby four billion years ago, it went through violent outbursts of intense radiation, spewing scorching, high-energy clouds and particles across the solar system. These growing pains helped seed life on early Earth by igniting chemical reactions that kept Earth warm and wet. Yet, these solar tantrums also may have prevented life from emerging on other worlds by stripping them of atmospheres and zapping nourishing chemicals.