20
Nov 10

Planet from another galaxy discovered

Source: ESO Science Release eso1045


Artist’s impression of HIP 13044 b, an exoplanet orbiting a star that entered our galaxy.
Image credit: ESO/L. Calçada

An exoplanet orbiting a star that entered our Milky Way from another galaxy has been detected by a European team of astronomers using the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The Jupiter-like planet is particularly unusual, as it is orbiting a star nearing the end of its life and could be about to be engulfed by it, giving tantalising clues about the fate of our own planetary system in the distant future.(read more)

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20
Nov 10

Cometary Snowstorm Engulfs Hartley 2

Source: NASA Science News


Comet Snowstorm. Image credit: NASA/Deep Impact

NASA has just issued a travel advisory for spacecraft: Watch out for Comet Hartley 2, it is experiencing a significant winter snowstorm.

Deep Impact photographed the unexpected tempest when it flew past the comet's nucleus on Nov. 4th at a distance of only 700 km (435 miles). At first, researchers only noticed the comet's hyperactive jets. The icy nucleus is studded with them, flamboyantly spewing carbon dioxide from dozens of sites. A closer look revealed an even greater marvel, however. The space around the comet's core is glistening with chunks of ice and snow, some of them possibly as large as a basketball. (read more)

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