Record-Breaking Blast from Black Hole

Written by The Night Sky Guy on November 28, 2012 – 11:39 pm -

Astronomers have witnessed a record breaking blast flowing out of a monster black hole more than 11.5 billion light years distant.

The supermassive predator with a mass of 1 to 3 billion suns lurks at the core of a quasar – a class of extremely bright and energetic galaxies –  dubbed SDSS J1106+1939.

Read more about this giant predator and how it may shed light on galaxy evolution at  National Geographic.


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Meet Mysterious Makemake

Written by The Night Sky Guy on November 26, 2012 – 5:39 pm -

Orbiting at the frozen edges of the solar system the mysterious dwarf planet Makemake is finally coming out of the shadows as astronomers get their best view yet of Pluto’s sibling.  Discovered in 2005, Makemake – pronounced MAH-keh MAH-keh after a Polynesian creation god – is one of five Pluto-like objects that prompted a redefining of the term planet and the creation of the new group of dwarf planets.

Just like slightly larger Pluto, this icy world circles the Sun beyond Neptune- and was expected to have a global atmosphere too – but new evidence reveals that isn’t the case.

Find out more about this far-off dwarf planet in my latest National Geographic News story.


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Hubble Spies ‘Walking Dead’ Star

Written by The Night Sky Guy on November 20, 2012 – 10:27 pm -

Astronomers have discovered a nearly dead star that appears to have come back to life, giving a rare glimpse at what may be in store for our own solar system’s future.

the reborn star known as Abell 30 located 5,500 light years away and is at the heart of a glowing planetary nebula – formed during the death throes of sun-like stars that cast into space their outer layers of atmosphere via pulsations and wind .

Could our Sun become a zombie? Read the rest of my National Geographic story.


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Video: Weekly Space News Interview

Written by The Night Sky Guy on November 18, 2012 – 3:18 pm -

Check out some of the cool space news coming out this week I highlight on my weekly CTV News channel interview.


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Lion’s Meteor’s Roar this Weekend

Written by The Night Sky Guy on November 15, 2012 – 9:57 pm -

Skywatchers get ready for a display in meteors to grace Earthly skies as  the famous, annual Leonid shower peaks this weekend.

Like most meteor showers the Leonids are caused by Earth plowing through the dust trail left behind a comet, in this case 2 km wide Tempel-Tuttle, which circles the Sun every 33 years. When the comet gets close to the sun, melting ice releases pieces of dust, most no larger than a grain of sand and deposits them in clumps.

Read more about the Leonid meteors and how best to catch the sky show at National Geographic News


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