ESO’s MATISSE Instrument Looks For Nano-Diamonds Around Nearby Stars

On a recent gorgeous autumn afternoon high above Nice, France, my Uber driver screeched to an abrupt halt at the storied entrance to the Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur. It’s the kind of exotic setting that evokes visions of Hollywood on the Riviera, a la Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. But despite the observatory architecture’s old-world air, […]

960x0 (1)

A weird, orbital dance keeps these moons of Neptune safely on track

Bobbing up and down like a carousel horse might not sound like a stable way to orbit a planet, but it works for one little moon of Neptune. The planet's innermost known satellite, Naiad, has a tilted orbit and it moves up-and-down relative to its neighboring moon, Thalassa. The strange arrangement keeps the two moons steadily on track, despite their close orbits, without getting thrown into Neptune or into space, according to a new study. The finding also helps reveal some of the history behind Neptune’s moons. The researchers reported the discovery in a recent paper in the journal Icarus.

neptunetriton_voyager_8001024x1024

Un bretzel cósmico

El telescopio gigante ALMA ha detectado una estrella binaria rodeada por una lazada de gas y polvo. El sorprendente astro es buen laboratorio para estudiar cómo se forman planetas