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The appearance of a years-long supernova explosion challenges scientist's current understanding of star formation and death, and work is underway to explain the bizarre phenomenon. Stars more than eight times the mass of the sun end their lives in fantastic explosions called supernovas. These are among the most energetic phenomena in the universe. The brightness of a single dying star can briefly rival that of an entire galaxy. Supernovas that form from supermassive stars typically rise quickly to a peak brightness and then fade over the course of around 100 days as the shock wave loses energy. In contrast, the newly analyzed supernova iPTF14hls grew dimmer and brighter over the span of more than two years, according to a statement by Las Cumbres Observatory in Goleta, California, which tracked the object. Details of the discovery appeared on Nov. 8 in the journal Nature. [First Supernova Shock Wave Image Snapped by Planet-Hunting Telescope] An inconspicuous discove...

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November Skies

Tuesday, November 7th 2017 04:17 PM

November brings a collection of new things to see in the night skies. The summer Milky Way is gone by the early evening and by midnight many of the winter constellations can be found rising. These skies offer a amazing collection of stunning clusters, galaxies and nebulae to see and photography. The Beaver MoonThe full moon for November has actually already passed, being it occurred on November 4th. This full moon is known at the Beaver moon. The name comes from the time of year one would set traps to catch beavers before the ponds froze over. This would allow people to utilize the warm fur coats for the winter. Some Native American tribes would also refer to the November full moon as the Frost moon to signal the coming frosts of winter. November Meteor ShowersThere is one major meteor shower this month, the Leonids. The Leonids occurs November 17 to 18th which is perfect as the new moon occurs on...

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Galaxies come in many different shapes and sizes, and researchers think many spiral galaxies form mainly through mergers of smaller elliptical galaxies, although many factors can affect how a galaxy changes its shape over time, according to NASA. Elliptical galaxies are disks that can be mostly circular or very elongated but lack the arm-like features of spiral galaxies.     Astronomer Edwin Hubble was one of the first people to theorize that elliptical galaxies evolved to form spiral galaxies, although he did not fully appreciate the complexity of galaxy evolution, according to the European Space Agency's Hubble Space Telescope website. Nonetheless, researchers still refer to the time in cosmic history when spiral galaxies began to form from elliptical galaxies as "the Hubble sequence."    "Studying ancient spirals like A1689B11 is a key to unlocking the mystery of how and when the Hubble sequence emerges," Cen said in the statement...

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  The construction of a highly anticipated mega-telescope is proceeding apace. Technicians have begun casting the fifth primary mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) at the University of Arizona's Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory, project representatives announced today (Nov. 3). When the GMT is complete, it will integrate seven of these 20-ton, 27.6-foot-wide (8.4 meter) mirrors into a single light-collecting surface 80 feet (24.5 m) across. The resulting instrument will have 10 times the resolving power of NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope, GMT representatives have said. [Photos: Casting Mirror No. 5 for the Giant Magellan Telescope]   "Creating the largest telescope in history is a monumental endeavor, and the GMT will be among the largest privately funded scientific initiatives to date," Taft Armandroff, vice chairman of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) corporation board of directors, said in a statement. "With this next mile...

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Oceans on Jupiter?

Monday, November 6th 2017 12:31 PM

  Jupiter may not always have been a big ball of hydrogen and helium.  A new study suggests that, in their youth, Jupiter and other gas-giant planets may have been "steam worlds" — warm ocean planets a bit bigger than Earth, with water-vapor atmospheres.  John Chambers, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., proposes that some protoplanets may grow into steam worlds from their modest beginnings as accretions of rock and ice pebbles. [Gallery: The Strangest Alien Planets]     As the accreting bodies come together and the protoplanet grows, increasing pressure liquefies the ices, and oceans form. Without any air present, water and any other liquids sublimate, creating an atmosphere dominated by water vapor, the idea goes. Even a relatively small protoplanet of between 0.08 and 0.16 Earth masses can be quite warm — from 32 to 704 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 347 degrees Celsius), Chambers...

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MEADE Lightswitch SALE

Friday, November 3rd 2017 12:27 PM

LightSwitch™ S A L E ASTRONOMY MADE SIMPLE with Meade's LightSwitch™ (LS) Series Telescopes. November 1st, 2017 through December 31st, 2017   , you can SAVE UP TO $300 on LS Telescopes and up to 30% OFF select Accessories. Meade's award-winning self aligning LightSwitch telescope is so easy to use!  Just flip the switch, and watch the magic happen. It really is that simple. After a few minutes, this telescope is ready for a full night of observation and fun.  The LightSwitch is the most beginner-friendly GoTo telescope there is. Once the telescope has aligned itself, punch in the object you wish to look at using the AudioStar III handbox controller, and the LightSwitch will point to it. The AudioStar III has over 100,000 objects in its library, as well as guided tours and "Tonight's Best", which gives you a tour of the best objects visible in your sky. The bu...

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Something For Everyone Sale

Thursday, November 2nd 2017 09:47 AM

    SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE SALE Our Something For Everyone Sale is just that...we have something for EVERYONE. Meade's LX200 comes in an variety of apertures suitable for just about anyone and now you can get one on SALE! Our LX200 Telescopes are made with both the observer and imager in mind! Take advantage of this sale while you can and get someone, or yourself, the telescope that makes Meade world-renowned.From November 1st, 2017 - December 31st, 2017, you can SAVE UP TO $600 on LX200 Series Telescopes & up to 30% OFF select accessories. SHOP SALE > The LX200-ACF is the most widely used research grade telescope system. This telescope brings Advanced Coma-Free™ optics wit...

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Kiss the Sky Tonight!

Thursday, November 2nd 2017 09:42 AM

The lovely Triangulum Galaxy (NGC 598), visible during the month, belongs to the same cluster of galaxies that includes our own Milky Way Galaxy. Also known as M33, the galaxy is about 3 million light-years away. It can be seen in a dark sky with a small telescope. (Image Credit: Adam Block, Mount Lemmon SkyCenter, University of Arizona)   Welcome to the night sky report for November 2017 -- Your guide to the constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and celestial events that are observable during the month. The night sky is truly a celestial showcase, so get outside and explore its wonders from your own backyard. In the now famous words of James Marshall Hendrix (apparently a fellow admirer of the heavens), "Excuse me while I kiss the sky."Evening PlanetsAfter sunset, look for Saturn low in the southwestern sky. Use a telescope to view the ringed planet before it slips below the horizon.Constellations and Deep Sky ObjectsSome fish, a ram, and a triangle can all be found in the...

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  Scientists on the hunt for colliding black holes should turn their eyes to the quiet, outer regions of galaxies like the Milky Way, a new study suggests. In late 2015, researchers made the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves — ripples in the universal fabric known as space-time. Astronomers have now detected four separate gravitational-wave signals coming from pairs of black holes colliding and merging together. The fusion of black holes this size — about 20 to 50 times the mass of the sun — had never been directly observed in nature before. Unfortunately, gravitational-wave detectors have a tough time narrowing down where those merging black holes are located. This makes it difficult for scientists to do follow-up studies, or to look for possible sources of light around the black holes. [No Escape: Dive Into a Black Hole (Infographic)] Previous work had suggested that pairs of black holes in this mass range are more lik...

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