Space

2014RC is a 60 foot (or about 20 meter) wide asteroid detected at the last possible minute.  This small asteroid will not hit Earth.  What about the ones like it that eventually will?   I ask that question because it is a certainty the last time Earth was hit by an asteroid of this size wasn't the last time forever. If it was going to hit there are three things we could do about it. 

Some facts about 2014RC

By Tanya Hill, University of Melbourne 

Have you ever considered our cosmic address? It’s a fun device I’ve often used to help students get a grasp on our place in the universe.

For example, I work at the Melbourne Planetarium, 2 Booker St, Spotswood, Victoria, Australia, Earth, Solar System, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Virgo Cluster, Local Supercluster, the Universe.

You have a new galactic address; astronomers have determined that our own Milky Way galaxy is part of a newly identified enormous supercluster of galaxies - dubbed "Laniakea," which means "immense heaven" in Hawaiian.

This discovery broadens the boundaries of our galactic neighborhood and establishes previously unrecognized linkages among various galaxy clusters in the local Universe. How big are are talking? The Milky Way galaxy alone has 100 billion stars. We think. And then there are 1012 galaxies. So your address is now a lot bigger. Instead of being Earth, Sol, Orion arm, Milky Way, Local Group and Virgo cluster, you can now add Laniakea before Universe.




Observations made by the Kepler spacecraft have shown that Kepler-413b is a very wobbling exoplanet. The planet's orbit is unusual in that it is tilted 2.5 degrees with respect to the plane of the binary star's orbit.

Many of us care deeply about the possibility of tigers, lemurs and such like becoming extinct in the wild. I'd like to suggest that we care as much about the possibility of microbes on Mars and elsewhere in our solar system becoming extinct through human activities.

Astrophysicists have detected the formation of radioactive cobalt during a supernova explosion, lending credence to a corresponding theory of supernova explosions. 

The article's main author, Yevgeny Churazov (Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences), and  co-authors, including Sergei Sazonov of the Space Research Institute and MIPT, reported the results of their analysis of data collected with the INTEGRAL gamma-ray orbital telescope, which they used to detect the radioactive isotope cobalt-56(56Co).



There are some massive galaxies out there, and we now know a little about their early life.Credit: Lauro Roger McAllister/Flickr, CC BY

By Edward Taylor, University of Melbourne

A piece of the galaxy formation puzzle may have fallen into place, thanks to a team of European and American astronomers peering into the depths of our early universe.

Astronomers have caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction - a dense galactic core blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars that are forming at a ferocious rate.

A fully developed elliptical galaxy is a gas-deficient gathering of ancient stars theorized to develop from the inside out, with a compact core marking its beginnings. Because the galactic core is so far away, the light of the forming galaxy that is observable from Earth was actually created 11 billion years ago, just 3 billion years after the Big Bang.


Where should we go, on Mars, to look for droplets and streaks of present day liquid water? You may have heard of the "warm seasonal flows", and the recent "swimming pools of bacteria". 

However,  there are several other promising ideas for habitats such as the "Flow like features", the advancing sand dunes bioreactor, and possibilities for life using the humidity of the night time air on Mars. It's an exciting field with many new discoveries and ideas every year, and it is hard to keep up with the developments.