17
Nov 10

The Best Meteor Shower Of The Year

There are several major meteor showers to enjoy every year at various times, with some more active than others. The 2010 Leonid meteor shower peaks the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 17.

If you're viewing in dark conditions, the best viewing time will be after midnight, in the hours just before dawn. But don't expect too much. While the annual shower has been spectacular in the past, this year's 85% full moon will obstruct viewing for most backyard astronomers. At most, expect to see approximately 15 meteors per hour.

Whether you're watching from a downtown area or the dark countryside, here are some tips to help you enjoy these celestial shows of shooting stars. Those streaks of light are really caused by tiny specks of comet-stuff hitting Earth's atmosphere at very high speed and disintegrating in flashes of light.

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17
Nov 10

Youngest-Ever Nearby Black Hole Discovered

Credit: NASA Science


This composite image shows a supernova within the galaxy M100 that may contain the youngest known black hole in our cosmic neighborhood. In this image, Chandra’s X-rays are colored gold, while optical data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope are shown in red, green, and blue, and infrared data from Spitzer are red. The location of the supernova, known as SN 1979C, is labeled. Image credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/D.Patnaude et al, Optical: ESO/VLT, Infrared: NASA/JPL/Caltech

Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood. The 30-year-old object provides a unique opportunity to watch a black hole develop from infancy. (read more)

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