astronomy - updates

Rappler's latest stories on astronomy


Water discovered for first time in atmosphere of habitable exoplanet

Sep 12, 2019 - 9:41 AM

Eight times the mass of Earth and twice as big, K2-18b orbits in its star's 'habitable zone' at a distance – neither too far nor too close – where water can exist in liquid form, scientists report

EXOPLANET. This artist’s impression shows the planet K2-18b, its host star and an accompanying planet in this system. Image from ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser

A layer of 'aerogel' could make Mars habitable and even enable life to develop there – but here's why we should wait

Jul 20, 2019 - 8:30 AM

Ideas for changing or 'terraforming' Mars, by introducing an atmospheric greenhouse effect to warm it, have been around for a long time

Artist concept of settlement on Mars. NASA

New Universe map unearths 300,000 more galaxies

Feb 19, 2019 - 6:04 PM

A new map of the night sky published February 19 charts hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies discovered using a telescope that can detect light sources optical instruments cannot see

MORE GALAXIES. This handout released by Paris Observatory-PSL on February 19, 2019, shows an optical image of the M106 galaxy stacked on an image of the galaxy's emissions of material (in orange) taken with the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) radio telescope. A new map of the night sky published on February 20 charts hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies discovered using the LOFAR radio telescope that can detect light sources optical instruments cannot see. AFP PHOTO / OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS - PSL / CYRIL TASSE

We discovered a warped and twisted disc of young, massive stars at the edge of our Milky Way

Feb 09, 2019 - 11:38 AM

The Milky Way is all around us, so to determine its shape, we would need to map the distributions of stars in all directions

WARPED AND TWISTED. The warped spiral galaxy ESO 510-G13 seen edge-on. NASA

How we solved a centuries-old mystery by discovering a rare form of star collision

Oct 27, 2018 - 1:30 PM

A collision between a white dwarf and a brown dwarf would be spectacular

SPACE. The ALMA telescope has seen tantalizing hints of a violent event. ESO/B. Tafreshi/TWAN (, CC BY-ND

GUIDE: Watching the July 28 'blood moon'

Jul 28, 2018 - 12:55 AM

The longest total lunar eclipse of the century will be visible in the Philippines, and Mars will be right next to the eclipsing moon, according to NASA

Philippines to witness total lunar eclipse on July 28

Jul 05, 2018 - 5:40 PM

This is reportedly the longest total lunar eclipse of the century. The eclipse will start at 1:13 am Philippine Standard Time.

Astronomers detect signal of Universe's first stars

Mar 01, 2018 - 8:23 AM

It is hoped the discovery will shed light on dark matter – an invisible, mysterious substance thought to make up a large share of the Universe

FIRST STARS. This handout photo released by Nature on February 28, 2018 shows a timeline of the universe, updated to show when the first stars emerged reflecting a recent discovery by researchers at Arizona State University that the first stars emerged by 180 million years after the Big Bang. AFP PHOTO / NATURE - NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION / N.R. FULLER

GUIDE: Watching the January 31 super blue blood moon

Jan 31, 2018 - 1:10 PM

Excited to see the 'super blue blood moon'? Here's a quick guide

The supermoon rises over a highway near Yangon on December 3, 2017. Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Look up at the super blue blood full moon on January 31

Jan 29, 2018 - 4:00 PM

[The Conversation] Here's what you'll see on January 31 and why

In this file photo, a second full moon for the month of July 2015 is seen next to the dome of the US Capitol on July 31, 2015 in Washington DC, USA. NASA/Bill Ingalls

Orbital cargo ship arrives at space station

Apr 22, 2017 - 8:20 PM

The Cygnus spacecraft is packed with 7 626 pounds of crew supplies hardware and dozens of experiments aimed at studying fire growing food and cancer therapies

CARGO SPACECRAFT. The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft approaches its 10-meter capture point where the Canadarm2 grapples resupply ship. Photo and caption courtesy of NASA

'Ring of fire' eclipse delights Africa, South America

Feb 26, 2017 - 9:09 PM

UPDATED The solar eclipse is most visible in a 100 kilometer 62 mile band cutting through Chile Argentina Angola Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Picture taken on February 26, 2017 showing people preparing to see an annular solar eclipse, at the Estancia El Muster, near Sarmiento, Chubut province, 1600 km south of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on February 26, 2017. Alejandro Pagni/AFP

7 Earth-like planets found orbiting nearby star

Feb 23, 2017 - 6:41 AM

A nearby dwarf star is orbited by at least 7 exoplanets a number of which have the potential to sustain life scientists announce

This artist’s impression shows the view from the surface of one of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. This artist’s impression is based on the known physical parameters for the planets and stars seen, and uses a vast database of objects in the Universe. ESO/M. Kornmesser/

NASA set to reveal major exoplanet 'discovery'

Feb 22, 2017 - 12:10 PM

NASA will hold a news conference to present new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our sun

PROXIMA B. This artist's impression shows the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. The double star Alpha Centauri AB also appears in the image between the planet and Proxima itself. M. Kornmesser/ESO

Mystery radio bursts traced to distant galaxy

Jan 05, 2017 - 9:25 AM

The discovery however does not answer the core question of what produces these strange emanations that long escaped the notice of professional star gazers

This undated photo obtained from the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC) website, shows the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Courtesy of the NAIC: Arecibo Observatory / AFP

Duterte's war on drugs, Leila de Lima, US Secretary of State | Evening wRap

Dec 13, 2016 - 10:49 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Chay Hofileña

Dark matter 'smoother' than we thought – study

Dec 07, 2016 - 8:55 PM

The finding may throw into question what little we know about the birth and growth of the cosmos astronomers report

DARK MATTER. A handout photo released by the European Southern Observatory shows a map of dark matter in the Universe which was obtained from data from the KiDS survey, using the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. Image from. European Southern Observatory / AFP

Russia seeks answers after ISS cargo ship crashes

Dec 02, 2016 - 7:05 PM

Russia s space agency says the Progress ship – carrying tons of food and equipment as well as gifts for the ISS crew of 6 – was lost minutes after launch Thursday evening December 1 in an abnormal situation

Service towers move towards the Soyuz-U carrier rocket with the cargo ship Progress MS-04 lifted on the launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on November 29, 2016. Roscosmos/Stringer/AFP

'Thank the aliens': Thousands displaced for China's huge telescope

Dec 01, 2016 - 1:16 PM

The Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope FAST comes at the cost of forcibly displacing about 9 000 villagers who called the site in Pingtang county their home

This picture taken on September 24, 2016 shows the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in Pingtang, in southwestern China's Guizhou province. Stringer/AFP

World looks up to gaze at extra bright 'supermoon'

Nov 15, 2016 - 9:44 AM

At a distance of 356 509 kilometers 221 524 miles this is the closest it has been to Earth since 1948 creating what NASA described as an extra supermoon

A 'supermoon' rises against the skyline in Madrid on November 14, 2016. Gerard Julien/AFP

'Supermoon' graces Monday night sky

Nov 14, 2016 - 6:03 PM

On Monday November 14 the Moon will be at its closest point to Earth making it appear closer and larger in the night sky a phenomenon usually called as a supermoon

MOONRISE. A view of the moon in Baguio City, November 12, 2016. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Expect longer nights: Autumnal equinox begins September 22

Sep 21, 2016 - 11:40 PM

September s fall equinox occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator an imaginary line in the sky above earth s equator This changes the angle of sunlight and makes the day and night last approximately the same length

SETTING SUN. The sun sets behind US Navy ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) docked at the Manila Pier in Manila on March 5, 2016. File photo by Noel Celis/AFP

Duterte, Proxima Centauri, Britney Spears | 12PM wRap

Aug 25, 2016 - 12:20 PM

Watch the 12PM wRap with Zak Yuson

Earth-like planet orbiting star nearest our Solar System

Aug 25, 2016 - 1:00 AM

Scientists confirm the presence of an Earth like exoplanet orbiting Proxima Centauri the star nearest our Solar System

PALE RED DOT. This artist’s impression shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. The double star Alpha Centauri AB also appears in the image to the upper-right of Proxima itself. ESO/M. Kornmesser

LIVE: 2016 Perseid meteor shower

Aug 11, 2016 - 11:49 AM

Bookmark this page to watch the 2016 Perseid meteor shower live courtesy of Slooh Community Observatory

Stars and shooting stars are pictured during the annual perseids meteor shower, with the Drusenfluh mountain (L) and the Sulzfluh mountain (R), in St. Antoenien in the canton of Grisons, Switzerland, August 13, 2015. Gian Ehrenzeller/EPA

Perseid meteor shower: Prepare for 'outburst'

Aug 09, 2016 - 12:14 PM

UPDATED For about an hour around 2300 GMT there will be more than double the usual fireball activity associated with the annual Perseid meteor shower

Shooting stars cross the night sky over a wooden idol near the village of Ptich some 25km away from Minsk, Belarus, during the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower on August 15, 2015. Sergey Balay/AFP

Scientists discover strange planet with 3 stars

Jul 08, 2016 - 2:35 PM

The planet named HD 131399Ab is located about 340 light years from Earth and is believed to be about 16 million years old

epa05413486 An undated handout artist's impression made avaiable by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on 07 July 2016 showing view of the triple-star system HD 131399 from close to the giant planet orbiting in the system. The planet is known as HD 131399Ab and appears at the lower-left of the picture. Located about 320 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur), HD 131399Ab is about 16 million years old, making it also one of the youngest exoplanets discovered to date, and one of very few directly imaged planets. With a temperature of around 580 degrees Celsius and an estimated mass of four Jupiter masses, it is also one of the coldest and least massive directly-imaged exoplanets. EPA/L. Calcada / ESO / HANDOUT MANDATORY CREDIT: ESO/L. Calcada HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Real-life Tatooine? Scientists discover giant new planet orbiting two suns

Jun 14, 2016 - 8:24 AM

Located near the Cygnus constellation the planet Kepler 1647 b lies some 3 700 light years away from the Earth

DOUBLE SUN. Artist's impression of the simultaneous stellar eclipse and planetary transit events on Kepler-1647. Illustration by Lynette Cook, via the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii

Astronaut Scott Kelly to retire in April

Mar 12, 2016 - 11:37 PM

Kelly hopes the legacy of his near one year mission would be to help pave the way toward a deep space mission to Mars someday

RETIRING. International Space Station (ISS) crew member Scott Kelly of the U.S. shows a victory sign after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan (Zhezkazgan), Kazakhstan, March 2, 2016. File photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev/EPA

AS IT HAPPENS: March 9 total solar eclipse

Mar 09, 2016 - 7:30 AM

UPDATED Watch 2016 s lone solar eclipse again courtesy of Slooh

Image courtesy NASA

Strange radio bursts from space come in clusters – study

Mar 03, 2016 - 9:38 AM

The repeated pulses emanate from well beyond the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy according to a study published in the journal Nature

This undated photo obtained from the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC) website, shows the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Courtesy of the NAIC: Arecibo Observatory / AFP

Radio flash came from galaxy 6B light-years away – study

Feb 25, 2016 - 9:59 AM

The team says their breakthrough also sheds light on another long standing science question – that of the missing matter

The Australia Telescope Compact Array, in New South Wales, which helped to identify the location of a fast radio burst. Alex Cherney via Nature

India OKs plan to build gravitational waves observatory

Feb 18, 2016 - 8:42 AM

More detectors in other parts of the world will allow scientists to study gravitational waves from different orientations

CARDIFF CONTRIBUTION. Sixteen of about 1,000 authors of the study that discovered gravitational waves are from Cardiff University

China's space telescope to displace humans in search for aliens

Feb 16, 2016 - 4:14 PM

Provincial officials vow to relocate 9 110 residents living within 5 kilometers of the 500 metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope FAST by September

GIANT RADIO TELESCOPE. This picture taken on July 29, 2015 shows the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) under construction in Pingtang, southwest China's Guizhou province. AFP/ Stringer

Philae comet probe: World prepares for final farewell

Feb 03, 2016 - 11:43 AM

The success of the campaign to humanize a scientific instrument has left the European Space Agency ESA with a dilemma: how to communicate Philae s demise?

WAKE UP, PHILAE! A cartoon showing Rosetta's lander Philae waking up from hibernation, released June 2015. Courtesy European Space Agency

Mamasapano probe, Spratlys visit, largest solar system | 12PM wRap

Jan 28, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Watch the 12PM edition of Rappler s newscast The wRap

Long-distance relationship: Astronomers spot widest-known solar system

Jan 28, 2016 - 9:01 AM

Astronomers find the widest known solar system with a huge planet so far from its star that it takes nearly a million years to complete an orbit

LONELY PLANET. Artist’s depiction of the gas giant planet 2MASS J2126-8140 in orbit around the red dwarf star TYC 9486-927-1, faintly visible in the background. Credit: University of Hertfordshire/Neil James Cook

Solar system could have '9th planet,' researchers say

Jan 21, 2016 - 10:13 AM

Sorry it s not Pluto: Anomalous orbits of Kuiper Belt objects eventually lead to the conclusion that a massive planet exists in the outer edges of our solar system

PLANET NINE. An artist's rendition of a distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. Image courtesy Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

Pre-dawn spectacle: 5 planets in rare alignment

Jan 20, 2016 - 4:48 PM

Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the sky at dawn until around late February – the first time in a decade

Space bloom: Astronauts grow flower at space station

Jan 19, 2016 - 3:58 PM

Astronaut Scott Kelly tweets: Yes there are other life forms in space

OUT OF THIS WORLD. The first-ever flower to bloom in space, a zinnia, pictured here by astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station (ISS), January 18, 2017. Photo courtesy NASA/Scott Kelly

Exploding star shines brighter than any supernova seen

Jan 15, 2016 - 7:46 PM

Known as ASASSN 15lh astronomers say it is the most powerful supernova discovered in human history

MOST POWERFUL SUPERNOVA. An artist's impression of the record-breaking powerful and superluminous supernova ASASSN-15lh as it would appear from an exoplanet located about 10,000 light years away in the host galaxy of the supernova. Photo by Beijing Planetarium / Jin Ma

2015 top science stories: Edited genes, reusable rockets, water on Mars

Dec 22, 2015 - 11:30 AM

Within Earth and beyond what are the most important and intriguing stories in science from the previous 12 months? We ask the Mind Movers of The Mind Museum

Obama sambut Ahmed, pelajar pembuat jam diduga bom

Oct 20, 2015 - 6:32 PM

Obama undang Ahmed Mohammed hadiri Malam Astronomi di Gedung Putih

SALAH TANGKAP. Ahmed Mohammad. Foto: Twitter @ahmed_USA

Blue skies, frozen water detected on Pluto

Oct 09, 2015 - 5:01 AM

Never before has Pluto – a resident of the distant Kuiper Belt a frigid region of the solar system beyond Neptune that is home to many comets and asteroids – been observed in such detail

BLUE RING. Pluto’s haze layer shows its blue color in this picture taken by the New Horizons Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

The wRap Indonesia: Tortured farmer, Go-Mart invasion

Sep 29, 2015 - 7:07 AM

A farmer killed for protesting sand mining is allegedly not the first one murdered Go Jek CEO and Founder Nadiem Makarim talks to Rappler about Go Mart and other top news from Indonesia and around the world

Ucapan dukacita jaringan Gusdurian atas meninggalnya Salim Kancil. Foto dari Twitter @AlissaWahid

LIVE EVENT: Lunar eclipse, September 2015

Sep 28, 2015 - 5:17 AM

Watch the blood moon eclipse live courtesy of Slooh Community Observatory

'Super blood moon' to give stargazers a rare show

Sep 24, 2015 - 11:33 PM

The Moon will be at its closest orbital point to Earth called perigee while also in its brightest phase

'Eternal doze': Universe slowly dying, study finds

Aug 12, 2015 - 9:51 AM

The international team carries out the most precise measurements of energy generation in a large portion of space ever completed and finds that it is only half of what it was 2 billion years ago and fading

This composite picture shows how a typical galaxy appears at different wavelengths in the GAMA survey. ICRAR/GAMA and ESO

Comet 67P, robot lab Philae's alien host, nears Sun

Aug 10, 2015 - 11:19 AM

Scientists hope the heat of perihelion – when the comet comes closest to the Sun in its orbit – will cause the enigmatic traveller to shed more of its icy crust

This image from Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera is marked to show the location of the first touchdown point of the Philae lander. ESA/Rosetta/MPS

Found: 'Bigger, older' Earth-like planet

Jul 24, 2015 - 12:00 AM

UPDATED A planet orbiting a Sun like star 1 400 light years away is found to be strikingly similar to Earth – and could shed light on what our planet could become in the future

EARTH 2.0. The artistic concept compares Earth (left) to the new planet, called Kepler-452b, which is about 60 percent larger. NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle