429 Finding Exoplanets

Kepler-452 b is an “Earth-cousin” that orbits a star like our Sun in the habitable zone, where liquid water could exist. Kepler-452b is the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of star that is similar to our Sun. Until its discovery in 2015, the Kepler telescope had only detected 12 Earth-size […]

Read More 429 Finding Exoplanets

430 The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven is a group of nearby (within 1,000 light-years, less than a few hundred parsecs) middle-aged (several hundred thousand years old) isolated neutron stars cooling by emitting x rays. The Magnificent Seven represent a large class of young neutron stars with many properties different from normal radio pulsars. There are other types of […]

Read More 430 The Magnificent Seven

431 Best Meteor Shower Each Year

The most famous—and generally the best—meteor shower each year is the Perseids, which peaks around August 12 with rates of 60 “shooting stars” per hour. Derived from the Greek word meteoros (meaning”high in the air”), meteors are bits of interplanetary debris that slam into Earth’s upper atmosphere at speeds of 30 to 70 km (20 […]

Read More 431 Best Meteor Shower Each Year

432 Strongest Consistent X-Ray Source

Next to the Sun, the strongest consistent x-ray source (and also the first extrasolar x-ray source discovered) is Scorpius X-1 which lies 9,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Scorpius. Detected in 1962, its x-radiation is not only strong but, like other x-ray sources, quite variable as well. Its variability exhibits two states, […]

Read More 432 Strongest Consistent X-Ray Source

433 Constellations in the Sky

Over many centuries, perhaps from the earliest people on Earth, patterns of stars have been noticed and named. Today there are 88 named constellations of the night sky. Of course, not all of them are visible everywhere. Those below the equator are never visible in the northern hemisphere. One that almost every child learns is […]

Read More 433 Constellations in the Sky