Tonight! Look skyward to glimpse the “shooting stars” of the Delta Aquarid meteor shower. According to @earthsky-blog, the best viewing hours are after midnight and before dawn, centered around 2 a.m. (3 a.m. Daylight Saving Time) for all time zones around the world. You may even see an early Perseid meteor, which will be at its peak in early-mid August. 

Learn more on the Earth Sky website. 

Artist’s impression of the exotic binary star system AR Scorpii by Hubble Space Telescope / ESA on Flickr.

This artist’s impression shows the strange object AR Scorpii. In this unique double star a rapidly spinning white dwarf star (right) powers electrons up to almost the speed of light. These high energy particles release blasts of radiation that lash the companion red dwarf star (left) and cause the entire system to pulse dramatically every 1.97 minutes with radiation ranging from the ultraviolet to radio.

More information:

M. Garlick/University of Warwick, ESA/Hubble

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anonymous asked:

Hi! Do you know any good astronomy books (even textbooks may work haha) that I can selfstudy at home with? Thanks :)

Hi! I know some, yes, but I mostly read stuff on the internets. 

If you haven’t already, read some Carl Sagan. The book Cosmos is a good place to start, though you need to keep in mind that it was published 36 years ago, so some things are not up to date (like, Pluto is not a planet now!). It’s still a wonderful read, and covers a lot more topics than just astronomy. 

After that, read Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. I like it even more than Cosmos, it focuses more on humankind’s future in space. Again, published 22 years ago, so some content is out of date. 

(And now that you’re fallen in love with Sagan, read his other books about various subjects.)

If you’re into aliens and wonder why we haven’t had any contact yet, read Stephen Webb’s ‘If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens … Where Is Everybody?’. I haven’t finished it yet, but it seems fine enough. The subtitle is ‘Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life’ which pretty much explains what the book is about.

Paul Davies’ The Eerie Silence is also about possible (intelligent) alien life and how detecting them may affect us. 

And of course there is Stephen Hawking’s Brief History of Time. It’s not so much about astronomy but cosmology and math, but it’s definitely worth a read. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson has also written plenty of books, but I have read none. I have all the reasons to believe they’re awesome (and up to date) though!

Night Hides the World : Stars come out as evening twilight fades in this serene skyscape following the Persian proverb Night hides the world, but reveals a universe. The scene finds the Sun setting over northern Kenya and the night will soon hide the shores of Lake Turkana, home to many Nile crocodiles. The region is also known for its abundance of hominid fossils. On that past November night, a brilliant Venus, then the worlds evening star, dominates the starry skies above. But also revealed are faint stars, cosmic dust clouds, and glowing nebulae along the graceful arc of our own Milky Way galaxy. via NASA


Abell S1063, the final frontier by Hubble Space Telescope / ESA on Flickr.

Abell S1063, a galaxy cluster, was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope as part of the Frontier Fields programme. The huge mass of the cluster acts as a cosmic magnifying glass and enlarges even more distant galaxies, so they become bright enough for Hubble to see.

More information:

NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI)

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Good-bye, Philae. Comet lander's radio link cut off for good
Rosetta spacecraft will use remaining power for science before it crash-lands on the comet Sept. 30

The European Space Agency says it is switching off its radio link to the probe that landed on a comet, after receiving no signal from the lander for a year.

The agency says the decision to shut down a communications instrument on the Rosetta spacecraft Wednesday was taken to conserve energy. Rosetta had used the instrument to communicate with its lander, Philae, which touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014.

During the next two months, Rosetta will use its remaining power to conduct scientific measurements before it crash-lands on the comet Sept. 30.

Data collected by Rosetta and Philae have improved scientists’ understanding of comets and the role they played in the early universe.

Hubble Captures Vivid Auroras in Jupiter’s Atmosphere

Astronomers are using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study auroras — stunning light shows in a planet’s atmosphere — on the poles of the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter. This observation program is supported by measurements made by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, currently on its way to Jupiter.

For more information visit our webpage here

NGC 6814: Grand Design Spiral Galaxy from Hubble : In the center of this serene stellar swirl is likely a harrowing black-hole beast. The surrounding swirl sweeps around billions of stars which are highlighted by the brightest and bluest. The breadth and beauty of the display give the swirl the designation of a grand design spiral galaxy. The central beast shows evidence that it is a supermassive black hole about 10 million times the mass of our Sun. This ferocious creature devours stars and gas and is surrounded by a spinning moat of hot plasma that emits blasts of X-rays. The central violent activity gives it the designation of a Seyfert galaxy. Together, this beauty and beast are cataloged as NGC 6814 and have been appearing together toward the constellation of the Eagle for roughly the past billion years. via NASA

Jupiter is so freaking massive, it doesn't actually orbit the Sun
By Rafi Letzter, Tech Insider

Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun, gas giant, and subject of the Juno mission, is huge. Huge.

It’s so huge, in fact, that it doesn’t actually orbit the Sun. Not exactly. With 2.5 times the mass of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, it’s big enough that the centre of gravity between Jupiter and the Sun doesn’t actually reside inside the Sun – rather, at a point in space just above the Sun’s surface.

Here’s how that works.

Read more…