10-part overview of enigmatic ‘alien megastructure’ star, by Jason Wright

Whatever is causing the weird dimming around the star isn't known yet, but theories have ranged from comets to "alien megastructures." Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Whatever is causing the weird dimming around the star isn’t known yet, but theories have ranged from comets or dust to “alien megastructures.” Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This is a great 10-part overview of Boyajian’s Star (Tabby’s Star/KIC 8462852) by astronomer and astrophysicist Jason Wright, outlining the various hypotheses to date to explain this weird star observed by the Kepler Space Telescope. Whatever is causing the unusual short-term and long-term dimming is still unknown.

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Has ‘Planet X’ finally been found? A cautionary tale

planet-9
Artist’s conception of Planet Nine. The new evidence is the best so far that a massive planet exists far past Neptune in the outer Solar System. Image Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

For a long time now, there have been theories and rumors regarding the possible existence of another planet in our Solar System, far beyond Neptune or even Pluto, often referred to as “Planet X.” Unfortunately, there has been little hard evidence to back up any claims made. But now, new evidence has been presented by astronomers at Caltech which increases the likelihood of another, and fairly large, distant planet in the far outer reaches of the Solar System. How does this compare to other discovery claims for Planet X?

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Book review – Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos

Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos Credit: Smithsonian Books / Bill Anton / Service Station
Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos
Credit: Smithsonian Books / Bill Anton / Service Station

There are a lot of books out there about space and astronomy, often focusing on a particular area of research or perhaps sometimes a bit heavy on the technical side. What if you are looking for a book that is appealing to the general public, both visually and information-wise? Something ideal for newcomers to the subject as well as those who already have a good working knowledge about space exploration?

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