The International Dark Sky Association names two new UK dark sky places

Cawfields-Observing-Shot

On December 9th 2013, the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) announced that it has designated two new International Dark Sky Places in the United Kingdom, including one representing the largest land area of protected night skies in all of Europe. Click to read more

Recently Observed Comet ISON Brightening likely due to fragmentation

Comet ISON Coma Wings

Images taken of Comet ISON in the last few days by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the Wendelstein Observatory of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Germany suggest that one or more fragments may have detached from the main nucleus of Comet ISON which may explain the recent outburst of activity reported last week. Click to read more

Analysis of Chelyabinsk meteorite yields size, energy, source and concludes Large Asteroid Impact Risk Underestimated

Chelyabinsk meteor capture

Two teams report in Nature their analysis of the Chelyabinsk meteorite estimating the energy to be 500kt equivalent of TNT and find a common origin, 2km diameter asteroid 86039 (1999NC43) located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Click to read more

Statistical analysis of Kepler data suggests 22% of stars have Earth-sized Planets in the Habitable Zone

Habitable Zone

A statistical analysis of all the data accumulated by the Kepler mission has been conducted to reach an estimate of the number of Sun-like stars that have potentially habitable Earth-size planets orbiting them. Their conclusion is “22% of Sun-like stars harbour Earth-sized planets orbiting in their habitable zones.” Click to read more

Black Hole candidate discovered in Globular Cluster Messier 62 goes against 40 years of thinking

Messier_62_Hubble_WikiSky

A stellar-mass black hole candidate has been discovered in the globular cluster Messier 22. This potential discovery calls into question assumptions about stellar interactions within globular clusters which were thought to have resulted in the ejection of all stellar-mass black holes long ago. Click to read more