The Changing Bright Spots of Ceres: New Evidence for Geological Activity?

Artist’s conception based on a detailed map of the surface compiled from images taken from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. New observations show that the bright spots change in brightness from day to night, suggesting that they change under the influence of sunlight as Ceres rotates, and may also indicate subsurface geological activity. Image Credit: ESO/L.Calçada/NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/Steve Albers/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

Artist’s illustration of the brights spots Occator crater and elsewhere, based on a detailed map of the surface compiled from images taken from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. New observations show that the bright spots change in brightness from day to night, suggesting that they change under the influence of […]

Surprise Discovery: Rings Around an Asteroid!

Artist’s conception of the asteroid Chariklo with its ring system. Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)

When it comes to planetary rings, what do you think of? Saturn is the first obvious thing that comes to mind, with its famous majestic ring system surrounding the gas giant planet. The other gas and ice […]

Three new exoplanets discovered in star cluster

Artist’s conception of one of the newly-found planets in the Messier 67 star cluster. Image Credit: ESO

Three more exoplanets have just been found, adding to a long and rapidly growing list, but their location makes them a bit more unique – they orbit three different stars in a star cluster rather than other isolated stars […]

Astronomers Find Earth-Sized Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri B

Artist’s concept of the newly-discovered planet, Alpha Centauri Bb, in orbit around its parent star, with Alpha Centauri A visible at bottom left and our Sun at upper right. The discovery was made by tracking perturbations in Alpha Centauri B’s movements as small as a baby’s crawl…an astonishing accomplishment when one considers that the […]