Interstellar visitor to Earth’s neighbourhood

An elongated astronomical object of reddish hue recently visited Earth’s neighbourhood. Trajectory analysis of the astronomical object revealed that it originated from interstellar space and is not an asteroid or comet that orbits our Sun. The finding opens up the possibility of finding more interstellar astronomical objects that visit our Solar System by tuning into … More Interstellar visitor to Earth’s neighbourhood

Gravitational forces could not disintegrate a moon of a planet

Rings around planets are thought to be formed, in part, by the disintegration of small moons by the gravitational forces of the parent planet. However, this is unlikely to be the case as moons around a planet are compositionally different from asteroids or comets. In particular, moons are formed through a nucleation process where smaller … More Gravitational forces could not disintegrate a moon of a planet

Current transit methods could only confirm exoplanets of short duration orbit around the host star

Confirmation of an exoplanet require observations of three transits of the exoplanet around the host star. Thus, given the relative short operating span of current space telescopes used in detecting exoplanets, only exoplanets with short duration orbit around host stars are confirmed as exoplanets, while others remain as candidate exoplanets. However, with sufficient observation time, … More Current transit methods could only confirm exoplanets of short duration orbit around the host star

What is a super-Earth in exoplanet research?

Super Earth refers to planets with a rocky core that has a radius of between 1.5 to 2 of that of Earth. They represent a class of exoplanets of significant scientific interest given the possibility of Earth-like habitability with respect to life, and is a target for observation by both space-based and Earth-based observatories. Thus … More What is a super-Earth in exoplanet research?

Gaining spatial resolution by arranging radio telescopes in interferometric arrays

Interferometry is the way to go in modern radio astronomy. Why? By arranging multiple small radio telescopes in interferometric arrays, spatial resolution of the entire array of smaller dishes is higher than that of a single radio dish of larger diameter.   More importantly, design of interferometric arrays is critical to improving reception of distant … More Gaining spatial resolution by arranging radio telescopes in interferometric arrays

Observatories with large reflector telescopes are usually located at high elevations with low relative humidity and away from light pollution

Many observatories are available in the world, but many of them are situated in areas of low elevations and with significant light pollution. These observatories typically could be used for observing planets in our Solar System and bright stars in the Milky Way.   To perform cutting edge research into cosmology, planetary science and astrophysics, … More Observatories with large reflector telescopes are usually located at high elevations with low relative humidity and away from light pollution

Could the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter be the remnants of a planet?

Between Mars and Jupiter lies a disk of asteroids, which is purported to be remnants of a planet shred apart by the gravitational pull of Jupiter. Personally, I do not think that is the case.   Specifically, it is hard to conceive that a rocky planet between Mars and Jupiter could be shred apart by … More Could the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter be the remnants of a planet?

Global network of standardized telescopes for time domain astronomy

Feature article in Science, Vol. 356, Issue 6337, pp. 476-479, “A global robotic telescope network helps astronomers keep up with the fast-changing sky”   Summary of article: Using standardized telescopes of diameter between 2 meter and 40 centimeters, a global network of automated telescopes lend clarity to distant stars, galaxies and even exoplanets through the … More Global network of standardized telescopes for time domain astronomy

Determining the expansion of the Universe through the Hubble constant

Feature article in Science, Vol. 355, Issue 6329, pp. 1010-1014, “Hubble Trouble” Summary of article: Observations of distant stars and galaxies highlighted to astronomers that the universe is expanding through possibly the repulsive effect of dark energy; however, the rate of expansion of the universe as measured by the Hubble constant is still under heavy … More Determining the expansion of the Universe through the Hubble constant