Cosmic Champagne

Ever heard the term ‘champagne flow?’ I’m not talking about a celebration, it’s actually a term in astronomy.  When a cluster of massive stars form and ionize the surrounding hydrogen cloud, the hot gas propels itself through the layers of cooler gas at the cluster outskirts.  When the hot gas finally bursts through to the […]

Mars has Auroras!

Auroras on Earth are caused by the ionization of atoms high in the atmosphere near the north and south magnetic poles.  The solar wind flies toward the Earth and this harmful radiation is blocked and funnelled by our magnetic field, creating harmless, beautiful glows that remind us how close we came to total destruction, but […]

Brightest Galaxy in the Universe Discovered

Of the approximately 100 Million galaxies in the visible universe, we see incredible variation.  We always try to classify them based on their shape, size, and peak radiation, but even then we still find others that stray from the usual patterns.  In recent years, a new class of galaxies named Extremely Luminous Infrared Galaxies (ELIRGs) […]

ESO and Medusa

When we have the best telescopes at our disposal, we can take the most detailed data, and ultimately gain the most valuable science.  Being able to take a closer look, to resolve the finer details, to see what lies within, gives us the ability to understand the present, peer into the past, and ultimately, predict […]

Tiny Spacecraft are the Future!

For a long time, the scientific community has been hopeful for a mission to some of the most interesting moons of the solar system.  Europa, Enceladus, and Ganymede all have subsurface oceans and will give substantial insights into the formation and evolution of life in the solar system and beyond. The only problem is that […]