2 Earth-mass Planets Orbit Teegarden's Star a Mere 12.5 Light-years Away

Astronomers have found two Earth-sized and *potentially Earth-like* planets orbiting a star just 12.5 light years away. The planets were found using an instrument called CARMENES, which stands for Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical Échelle Spectrographs). That's a mouthful, but it means an extremely sensitive detector mounted on a telescope at the Calar Alto observatory in Spain that looks for alien worlds like Earth orbiting very cool red dwarfs.


Originally posted on Twitter.

Extrasolar Fireworks

For the 1st time, we've detected a coronal mass ejection (CME) from a star other than our own. This event, located 450 light years from Earth, was marked by an intense flash of X-rays followed by the emission of a big bubble of plasma, and was captured by the Chandra X-ray Observatory:

Hey, CMEs figure prominently in The Stars Like Gods….


Originally posted on Twitter.

Hot, Hot, Hot

From NASA: “Discovery Alert: These three new planets are Qatar-8b, 9b and 10b are all gas giants like our own Jupiter and Saturn, but in such tight orbits around their parent stars that they hover between 1,457 degrees to 3,000 degrees F.”

Note: This brings the total number of confirmed exoplanet discovers to 3,949 - only 51 to go until 4K.


Originally posted on Twitter.

The Quest for the Most Elusive Material in Physics

"The Quest for the Most Elusive Material in Physics" - you mean the Rasu?

It shouldn't be a huge spoiler to say that in TSLG, our Asterion friends expend some time and effort trying to decipher exactly what the Rasu *ARE*. While, don't worry, I don't go into this level of science-gasm detail, in my head I imagine that some of the experiments they run look a little like these. 😎


Originally posted on Facebook.

Event Horizon

Here you go, space nerds: the first ever image of the event horizon of a black hole! The supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy M87 is 54 million light-years from earth and has a mass of 6.5 billion suns.

The close-up image is from the Event Horizon Telescope, the wide-field view from the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Early analysis suggests the observations are consistent with Einstein's Theory of General Relativity (some were hoping they would conflict, because having to redo all the theories is kind of exciting).

Download a high-res version of the image here:


Originally posted on Facebook.

A Busy Week in the Stars

It's a busy week for our accelerating journey into the stars, so keep one eye on the news - or this page, because you know I'll be posting. 😎

Wednesday at 9am EST, scientists are expected to reveal the first ever direct imaging of the event horizon of a black hole 😯, as part of the results of the Event Horizon Telescope (actually 10 radio telescopes on 4 continents). It's a surprise whether the image and data will relate to Sag A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, or the one in the M87 galaxy. You can watch the press conference here:

Wednesday evening (EST), SpaceX will conduct its second launch of its massive Falcon Heavy rocket - then attempt to land the central core and both side boosters at 3 separate locations. 😲 You can watch the launch and landings here:

Thursday afternoon (EST), the Israeli privately funded Beresheet lunar lander will attempt to - you guessed it. Land on the moon. 🌝 You can watch the landing here:



Originally posted on Facebook.

The Wonders of Modern Science

And then science goes and invents the one thing that you never foresaw. It's not the slightly off takes on supraluminal space travel or the funny terms for the brain-computer interface that will render my books "quaint" and "dated" in fifty years - it's stuff like this:

*shakes head* 
*makes a note to keep tabs on the progress of Alcarelle*


Originally posted on Facebook.

Galactic Center visualization

Guys, this video.

From the Chandra Observatory: “Want to take a trip to the center of our Milky Way? A new visualization using Chandra data & @NASAAmes supercomputer simulations provides viewers with an immersive, 360-degree view of the center of our Galaxy! “

YouTube link in case the embed doesn’t work for you: .

Originally posted on Twitter.

Pulsar Ejection

The article is interesting, but we’re all here for the jaw-dropping image. While extremely processed, this image is from the Very Large Array radio telescope, and it captures a pulsar getting kicked out of its own supernova:


Originally posted on Twitter.

The New Planet Hunters

Life probably exists beyond Earth. So how do we find it? With next-generation telescopes, tiny space probes, and more, scientists aim to search for life beyond our solar system—and make contact:

Excellent piece by National Geographic on the science and philosophy driving the next generation of planet-hunters. Courtesy of Carolyn McBride.

2019-03-05 18_29_30-Greenshot.jpg

Originally posted on Twitter.

Imaging ever closer to the event horizon

As the number and variety of ground- and space-based telescopes increases, we’re inching ever closer to seeing the unseeable: what waits on the other side of the event horizon of a black hole (see the earlier article about a new hypothesis that in certain circumstances, they could even be traversable). Considering that only a few brief decades ago, the mere existence of black holes was at best a somewhat dubious theory posited by some admittedly brilliant men, we’ve come a long way in a short time.


Originally posted on Twitter.

Repeating Fast Radio Bursts From the Deep (Space)

The astrophysics story of the day! It's even made the non-science news outlets, because...IT COULD BE ALIENS!*

What I get from the story is this: the universe is old, it is vast, and it is vibrant and alive and powerful.

*It's almost certainly not aliens. But it COULD be.

Additional articles:…/radio-signals-fast-radio-bu…

H/T: Nadia Vigoni…/astronomy-radio-burst-repeating-…


Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

It's a snowman!

NASA presents Ultima Thule: it's a snowman! ⛄️

Okay, it's actually a contact binary Kuiper Belt object (this means it was once two separate objects that gently merged over a long period of time). It's the most distant "world" and the first contact binary ever visited by a human spacecraft. It's a reddish color, similar to the red regions of Pluto that New Horizons imaged so beautifully, and is 21 miles/33 kms long.

Because scientists are not science fiction writers (well, almost never), they named the bottom, larger lobe "Ultima" and the smaller, top lobe "Thule." 🤨

Expect even better images and a lot more details in coming months; New Horizons recorded gigabytes of data, but the transmission rate is ssllllooowwwww.



Originally posted on Facebook.