aug 152013
New Pulsar Reveals Feeding Habits of Milky Way’s Black Hole

  A team of astronomers, including Heino Falcke (Radboud University Nijmegen/ ASTRON) and Adam Deller (ASTRON), has discovered radio pulses from a neutron star practically next door to the supermassive black hole which resides at the center of the Milky Way. Radio ‘pulsars’ are rapidly spinning neutron stars, ubiquitous in the rest of the Milky [continue reading]

aug 062013
The Sun's Magnetic Field is about to Flip

  Something big is about to happen on the Sun.  According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the Sun’s vast magnetic field is about to flip. Something big is happening on the Sun. The Sun’s global magnetic field is about to flip, a sign that Solar Max has arrived. Image Credit: Science@NASA “It looks like we’re [continue reading]

apr 102013
Rain is Falling from Saturn’s Rings

  Astronomers using the W. M. Keck Observatory tracked the “rain” of charged water particles into the atmosphere of Saturn and found the extent of the ring-rain is far greater, and falls across larger areas of the planet, than previously thought. The work reveals the rain influences the composition and temperature structure of parts of Saturn’s [continue reading]

mrt 102013
The Source of the Solar Wind Energy Discovered

  Using data from an aging NASA spacecraft, researchers have found signs of an energy source in the solar wind that has caught the attention of fusion researchers. NASA will be able to test the theory later this decade when it sends a new probe into the Sun for a closer look. The solar wind [continue reading]

feb 182013
Studying Supernova Shocks In Situ in our own Solar System

  During a chance encounter with an unusually strong blast of solar wind arriving at Saturn, the international Cassini spacecraft detected particles being accelerated to ultra-high energies, similar to the acceleration that takes place around supernova explosions.  Saturn, the second largest planet in our Solar System. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute Shock waves are commonplace in [continue reading]

jan 292013
Venus Behaves Like a Comet

  ESA’s Venus Express has made unique observations of Venus during a period of reduced solar wind pressure, discovering that the planet’s ionosphere balloons out like a comet’s tail on its night-side. The change in ionosphere of Venus during normal solar wind conditions (left) and reduced solar wind activity (right), as observed by ESA’s Venus Express [continue reading]