BASTIAN OF THE STARS

Current events following astronomy, exoplanet discovery, and space exploration.

TESS Observes Star Shredding Black Hole

On September 26, 2019, NASA reported that the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission, mankind’s premier planet hunter, recently observed the initial bursts of a tidal disruption event, a world first in the history of our civilization. This cosmic...

Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) Potential 2nd Confirmed Interstellar Visitor

On August 30, 2019, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov made a fascinating discovery when he detected a comet set on a rather odd path. From his very own MARGO observatory located in Crimea, Borisov spotted Comet C/2019 Q4 approximately 3 AU from the Sun. The Minor...

The Artemis Program

Artemis represents the next stage of mankind’s pursuit into the unknown, as NASA continues developing the mission that will bring American astronauts back to the Moon, bringing the first woman to ever set foot on our bright little neighbor, and creating a permanent...

Virgin Galactic Set to Become First Publicly Traded Space Company

On July 9, 2019, entrepreneur extraordinaire Sir Richard Branson announced plans to take his space tourism venture Virgin Galactic public by the end of 2019, becoming the world’s first publically traded commercial human spaceflight company. Since its founding in 2004,...

NASA’s Dragonfly Will Search For Life on Titan

On June 27, 2019, NASA announced its next destination into deep space where no man’s gone before: Titan, Saturn’s largest moon and the solar system’s second largest satellite behind Ganymede (Jupiter). A unique icy world, Titan presents NASA a significant challenge...

DART: Double Asteroid Redirection Test Mission

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test Mission, also referred to as DART, is a planetary defense program designed to test technologies to prevent impacts from Earth’s most notorious nemeses: hazardous asteroids. For the first time in our planet’s history, our...

Supernova 1987a

Supernova 1987a, also known by its designation SN1987A, is a type II supernova that occurred in the Large Magellanic Cloud some 168,000 light-years away from Earth. The light from 1987a reached Earth on February 23, 1987, becoming the first discovered supernova of the...

Halley’s Comet

Every 75 years, Halley’s Comet traverses our planetary neighborhood, providing an astonishing spectacle of beaming light before drifting back into the Solar System. It is the most famous comet identified by mankind, having first been observed by Chinese astronomers...

Comet Encke

On January 17, 1786, French astronomer Pierre Mechain discovered Comet Encke, but it wasn’t until 1819 when German astronomer Johann Franz Encke calculated its trajectory that the object became officially recognized. Comet Encke orbits our Sun once every 3.3 years,...

The Wow! Signal

May the 4th be with you! On May 25, 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope hit theaters, forever changing the world of cinema. Months later in that same year, an astronomer named Jerry R. Ehman made a curious observation that's puzzled the scientific community to this day. At...

Exoplanet Discoveries

Our galaxy is teeming with celestial objects, though we have barely scratched the surface of what else is out there.
 

Confirmed

Multiplanetary Star Systems

Candidates

Habitable Zone

Intergalactic Phenomena

Through observation, humanity has the capability to study the stars and the bizarre phenomenon that lights up our sky. And through all this, the heavy truth remains that we are but a small drop in the ocean of the Cosmos. We truly reside in a vast and ancient universe full of mystery and wonder.

The Artemis Program

Artemis represents the next stage of mankind’s pursuit into the unknown, as NASA continues developing the mission that will bring American astronauts back to the Moon, bringing the first woman to ever set foot on our bright little neighbor, and creating a permanent...

read more

Supernova 1987a

Supernova 1987a, also known by its designation SN1987A, is a type II supernova that occurred in the Large Magellanic Cloud some 168,000 light-years away from Earth. The light from 1987a reached Earth on February 23, 1987, becoming the first discovered supernova of the...

read more

Halley’s Comet

Every 75 years, Halley’s Comet traverses our planetary neighborhood, providing an astonishing spectacle of beaming light before drifting back into the Solar System. It is the most famous comet identified by mankind, having first been observed by Chinese astronomers...

read more

Comet Encke

On January 17, 1786, French astronomer Pierre Mechain discovered Comet Encke, but it wasn’t until 1819 when German astronomer Johann Franz Encke calculated its trajectory that the object became officially recognized. Comet Encke orbits our Sun once every 3.3 years,...

read more

The Wow! Signal

May the 4th be with you! On May 25, 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope hit theaters, forever changing the world of cinema. Months later in that same year, an astronomer named Jerry R. Ehman made a curious observation that's puzzled the scientific community to this day. At...

read more

Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

Twenty-nine years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope launched into orbit, beginning one of NASA’s greatest missions that completely altered the way our civilization views the Cosmos. The first of NASA’s Great Observatories, Hubble launched on April 24, 1990 aboard the...

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The Boötes Void

The Boötes Void is a massive spherical region in space approximately 330 million light-years in diameter (accounting for 0.27% of the diameter of the entire Universe) composed of empty space. Also called “The Great Nothing,” this mysterious region resides in the...

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Proxima Centauri B

Located slightly over 4 light-years away from Earth, Proxima Centauri B, our closest neighboring world, bears many characteristics that suggest it might offer ideal conditions to support life. The exoplanet, also referred to as Proxima B, was discovered in 2016 by the...

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NASA Releases Landmark Twin Study Results

NASA Twins Study results examining the effects of the human body in a spaceflight environment were published this week in an April 12, 2019 edition of Science. NASA began the study in 2015, with the objective to prepare for advanced crewed missions to the Moon and...

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European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Successor to the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) represents 16 nations collaborating on ground based astronomical research. At a 1962 Convention, the ESO announced its primary mission,...

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Gliese 667 Cc

Residing in a triple star system in the Scorpius constellation some 23-23 light-years away, Gliese (GJ) 667 Cc orbits within the habitable zone of its red dwarf star.  Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory discovered Gliese 667 Cc in 2011 (announced 2012)...

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Spitzer Space Telescope (SST)

The Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) is an infrared space telescope launched in 2003, its mission ongoing. It is the final installation of NASA’s Great Observatories Program, following the Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray...

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Kepler-1229b

Kepler-1229b is a confirmed Super-Earth exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star, Kepler-1229, inside the habitable zone. It is the lone planet of the star system, located 770 light-years away from Earth in the Cygnus constellation. Discovered on May 12, 2016 by the Kepler...

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Fermi Paradox: Dark Forest Theory

The Dark Forest Theory is a possible explanation for the Fermi Paradox, albeit a darker and unappealing possibility. The Fermi Paradox, named after physicist Enrico Fermi who conceived the idea, poses a simple yet dauntingly perplexing premise:1)      If there are...

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NASA’s Europa Clipper

The Europa Clipper is a spacecraft under construction set to launch in 2023 to orbit Europa, one of Jupiter’s most intriguing moons. During its mission, the orbiter will observe and analyze Europa, to determine whether the giant ice ball possess all the ideal...

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Very Large Array (VLA)

The Very Large Array (VLA) is one of Planet Earth’s premier astronomical radio observatories. An important component of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the VLA is located in central New Mexico and houses twenty seven 25-meter radio telescopes,...

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Wolf 1061c

Wolf 1061c is an exoplanet confirmed to orbit within the habitable zone of its host star (Wolf 1061) 13.8 light-years away from Earth, residing in the constellation Ophiuchus, the fifth closest potentially habitable world to Earth. Above: artist concept of a...

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Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO)

The Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO) is a space observatory launched on STS-93 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 23, 1999, its mission ongoing to the present day. Designed to detect x-ray emissions from extremely hot regions of space including galaxy...

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China’s Sights Set On Mars, 2020

The past few months have been exciting for China's ambitious space program. Following a successful lunar landing on the Moon’s dark side and several captivating announcements for the future, Wu Weiren, the chief designer behind China’s lunar exploration program,...

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Solar Storm of 1859: The Carrington Event

The Solar Storm of 1859, also known as the Carrington Event, was a geomagnetic storm of immense power that occurred during September 1-2, 1859. A solar coronal mass ejection (CME) struck Earth’s magnetosphere, producing one the greatest geomagnetic storms ever...

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16 Psyche

16 Psyche is an M-type asteroid residing in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. In other words… it is one of the ten most massive asteroids in the belt, over 120 miles (200km) in diameter, and the most massive known M-type asteroid. Italian astronomer Annibale...

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Chinese Solar Farms by 2025

Continuing a trend of historic success and burgeoning space ambitions, China’s state sponsored Science and Technology Daily announced plans to design, construct, and launch a power station into Earth’s orbit that will harness the energy produced by the Sun, initially...

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XMM Newton Space Observatory

XMM Newton, also referred to as the High Throughput X-ray Spectroscopy Mission or the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission, is an X-ray Observatory launched on December 10, 1999 from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, France on an Ariane 5 rocket. The mission is operated...

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NASA’s Opportunity Rover Mission Ends

Concluding an incredible 15 years of exploring, surveying, and laying the groundwork for future missions on the surface of Mars, NASA’s Opportunity Rover’s mission has finally come to a close. Following thousands of commands attempting to restore the rover, one last...

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