Minnesota State University Moorhead Astronomy News Feeds

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Central NGC 1316: After Galaxies Collide
January 26, 2021

Central NGC 1316: After Galaxies Collide How did this strange-looking galaxy form? Astronomers turn detectives when trying to figure out the cause of unusual jumbles of stars, gas, and dust like NGC 1316. Inspection indicates that NGC...

Astronomical Time Information for
the Fargo-Moorhead Area

Current Local Time:Tuesday, January 26, 2021 12:34:03 pm CST
Julian Date:2459241.27365
Local Sidereal Time:20:33:19.5

The following sunrise/sunset times are for Paul P. Feder Observatory at Buffalo River State Park, about 14 miles from the MSUM Campus. They are only accurate to about 3 minutes since no attempt has been made to deal with the effects of changing temperature/humidity on atmospheric refraction. However, they should be reasonably accurate anywhere in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Daylight on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 in Paul J. Feder Observatory
Solar Day (Sun Rising/Setting)7:59 am CST5:18 pm CST
Astronomical Day (Darkest Skies)6:13 am CST7:04 pm CST
You can click on the "ICAL" button to the right to download an iCal file with the Sunrise and Sunset times for the next year (iCal files should be compatible with Mac OS X iCal or Microsoft Outlook).

Astronomical News

BIG DISCLAIMER: This page of links is assembled automatically via software algorithm, and therefore while we do provide links to these other astronomy oriented websites, I do not necessarily endorse any claims or opinions expressed by those authors.

Universe Today (Top 5 items)

  1. A Cubesat Will Test out Water as a Propulsion System (Tue Jan 26 1:08 pm)
    Novel propulsion systems for CubeSats have been on an innovative tear of late.  UT has reported on propulsion systems that use everything from solid iodine to the Earth's own magnetic field as a way of moving a small spacecraft.  Now there...
  2. Away From the Light Pollution of the Inner Solar System, New Horizons was Able to see how Dark the Universe Really is (Tue Jan 26 9:45 am)
    Just how dark is the universe, anyway? It's a pretty hard thing to measure when we?re sitting this close to the sun. But NASA's New Horizons probe is so far away that the images it takes of the distant universe are able to deliver the most...
  3. Astronomers Hoped to see Evidence of Dark Matter Particles Inside Betelgeuse. No Luck (Mon Jan 25 9:34 pm)
    Axions are a hypothetical particle that might explain the existence of dark matter. But it might occasionally interact with normal matter, especially in the cores of stars. A team of physicists have searched for evidence of axions in Betelgeuse...
  4. Tree Rings Reveal 1,000 Years of Solar Activity (Mon Jan 25 6:52 pm)
    The Sun has a lot of rhythm and goes through different cycles of activity. The most well-known cycle might be the Schwabe cycle, which has an 11-year cadence. But what about cycles with much longer time scales? How can scientists understand...
  5. Why do Planetary Nebulae Look the Way They Do? (Mon Jan 25 4:11 pm)
    Planetary nebulae are the most beautiful objects in the night sky. Their gossamer shells of gas are otherworldly and evocative. They captivate the eye, and viewers need no scientific knowledge to get drawn in. How are they created, and why...

EurekaAlert Space News (Top 5 items)

  1. CHEOPS finds unique planetary system (Sun Jan 24 11:00 pm)
    (University of Bern) The CHEOPS space telescope detects six planets orbiting the star TOI-178. Five of the planets are in a harmonic rhythm despite very different compositions - a novelty. CHEOPS is a joint mission by the European Space Agency...
  2. NASA's Roman mission will probe galaxy's core for hot Jupiters, brown dwarfs (Sun Jan 24 11:00 pm)
    (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's Roman Space Telescope will conduct a microlensing survey to reveal worlds that are similar to the planets in our solar system. Now, a new study shows that the same survey will also unveil more extreme...
  3. New galaxy sheds light on how stars form (Sun Jan 24 11:00 pm)
    (University of Bath) Detailed observations of molecular gas in a tidal dwarf galaxy have important implications for our understanding of how stars are formed.
  4. When galaxies collide (Sun Jan 24 11:00 pm)
    (University of Tokyo) It was previously thought that collisions between galaxies would necessarily add to the activity of the massive black holes at their centers. However, researchers have performed the most accurate simulations of a range...
  5. Puzzling six-exoplanet system with rhythmic movement challenges theories of how planets form (Sun Jan 24 11:00 pm)
    (ESO) Using a combination of telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO's VLT), astronomers have revealed a system consisting of six exoplanets, five of which are locked in a rare rhythm around...

Astronomer's Telegrams (Top 5 items)

  1. ATel 14352: Increased X-ray activity for the black hole binary GX 339-4 detected with NuSTAR and Swift/XRT (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    The black hole binary GX 339-4 is an X-ray transient system typically displaying outbursts every 2-3 years. On 2021-01-04, radio observations with the MeerKAT radio telescope detected the source at 264 +/- 25 uJy (Atel #14336). ...
  2. ATel 14351: Detection of X-ray flaring activity from GX 339-4 using Swift (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    The black hole binary system GX 339-4 went through frequent outbursts every 2-3 years (ATel #944, #2380, #6649, #12287, #12322). Recently MeerKAT radio observations revealed enhanced activity from the source in radio wavelengths (ATel #14336)...
  3. ATel 14350: Swift follow-up observations of BL Lacertae during a new flaring activity (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
  4. ATel 14349: Swift/MAXI/Fermi detection of strong X-ray activity from 2S 1417-624 (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    The X-ray pulsar 2S 1417-624 was discovered with SAS-3 in 1978 (Apparao et al., 1980, A & A, 89, 249). The source went through several outbursts after its discovery (ATel #52, #2275, #11479, #11569, #12841). ...
  5. ATel 14348: NuSTAR observation of the ongoing outburst of the accreting X-ray pulsar 2S 1553-542 (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    Based on the renewed activity from the accreting pulsar in the Be/X-ray binary system 2S 1553-542 (ATel #14301, #14308, #14335), we initiated a 30 ks Discretionary Director’s Time observation with NuSTAR, which was performed starting on...