Astronomers at Harvard are working to digitize over 500,000 historic photographic plates obtained between 1985 and 1993. With about ~8% of the plates scanned they are already offering us a unique glimpse into the variability of the universe on a 100 year time scale.
Every 27.1 years, the ε Aurigae system gets dimmer and stays dim for two years. What is causing the dip in brightness? Have Hoard et al. uncovered the invisible monster?
In this paper, techniques from helioseismology – using waves to learn about the interior of the Sun – are applied to yet another object: Jupiter. Because Jupiter is largely a fluid, like the Sun, astronomers have expected it to show global seismic behavior since the mid-1970s; the signal was even theorized to be about the same magnitude as solar oscillations. However, attempts to detect Jupiter’s global oscillations in the 80s and 90s were largely unsuccessful.