News and Updates

News about Astronomy and Space Science. Find every news item and update here, in blog format. You can get these updates sent straight to your mailbox by subscribing here, or you can subscribe to the RSS feed by clicking the icon at the bottom of the page.

Allen Versfeld's picture

Maker Camp 2014

Maker CampUrban Astronomer is an astronomy website.  We don't cover general science, or engineering news.  But this is cool, and valuable, and since they've sent a 3D printer to the ISS to allow for in situ manufacturing of spare parts, there's a convenient space angle.  So...

Do you like making things, or tinkering with them to see how they work?  Are your favourite TV characters inventors and scientists?  Do you wish you were one of those clever people who design and build the thousands of machines and gadgets we all rely on every day?  Then why not join the Maker Camp, a six week virtual event sponsored by Google Plus and Make Magazine and take part in some of the 30 brilliant DIY projects.

Read more about Maker Camp 2014

Allen Versfeld's picture

What lies within an asteroid

A schematic view of the strange peanut-shaped asteroid Itokawa. Credit:  ESO. Acknowledgement: JAXAWhen we think about asteroids, we imagine a large potato-shaped rock covered in craters. But a new analysis of data from Hayabusa, the plucky Japanese spacecraft that could, reveals a more interesting picture. It seems that asteroid Itokawa is not a simple space rock, but has a complex structure, with different internal regions having different densities. Read more about What lies within an asteroid

Allen Versfeld's picture

Predicting Alien Weather

ESO's Very Large Telescope has been used to create the first ever map of the weather on the surface of the nearest brown dwarf to Earth. An international team has made a chart of the dark and light features on WISE J104915.57-531906.1B, which is informally known as Luhman 16B and is one of two recently discovered brown dwarfs forming a pair only six light-years from the Sun.  The figure shows the object at six equally spaced times as it rotates once on its axis.  Credit:  ESO/I. CrossfieldApologies for the misleading headline. Nobody is predicting weather on planets outside of our Solar System. We're just monitoring and recording it (as previously discussed here), and have been for some time.  But recent observations of a very near pair of brown dwarf objects has led to something new:  We're watching the weather on stars themselves! Read more about Predicting Alien Weather

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