4 Oct 2017, 16:12 UTC One of the most mysterious stellar objects may be revealing some of its secrets at last. Next Previous
20 Sep 2017, 17:00 UTC Next Previous
14 Sep 2017, 14:00 UTC Astronomers have discovered that the well-studied exoplanet WASP-12b reflects almost no light, making it appear essentially pitch black. This discovery sheds new light on the atmospheric composition of the planet and also refutes previous hypotheses about WASP-12b’s atmosphere. The results are also in stark contrast to observations of another similarly sized exoplanet. Next Previous
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory 16 Oct 2017, 21:07 UTC The Advanced LIGO gravitational wave detectors have announced their first observation of a binary neutron star coalescence.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 16 Oct 2017, 18:49 UTC NASA's Cassini spacecraft ended its journey on Sept. 15 with an intentional plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn, but analysis continues on the mountain of data the spacecraft sent during its long life. Some of the Cassini team's freshest insights were presented during a news conference today at the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Science meeting in Provo, Utah.
MIT 16 Oct 2017, 13:59 UTC For the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves — ripples in space-time — in addition to light from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. This marks the first time that a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 13 Oct 2017, 15:51 UTC
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 13 Oct 2017, 15:27 UTC As far as galaxies are concerned, size can be deceptive. Some of the largest galaxies in the Universe are dormant, while some dwarf galaxies, such as ESO 553-46 imaged here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, can produce stars at a hair-raising rate. In fact, ESO 553-46 has one of the highest rates of star formation of the 1,000 or so galaxies nearest to the Milky Way. No mean feat for such a diminutive galaxy!
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Sky and Telescope 17 Oct 2017, 17:45 UTC When NASA's Cassini spacecraft eased into orbit around Saturn in July 2004, its "to-do" list spanned every aspect of the Saturn system. Yet some of the mission's most memorable moments were close encounters with the planet's vast system of moons — from a single brush with two-faced Iapetus to 127 close flybys of huge, murky Titan (which included delivering the European Space Agency's Huygens lander).
SPACE.com 17 Oct 2017, 16:00 UTC A shift in focus in NASA's exploration plans to the moon won't have an immediate effect on planning for the first flight of the agency's Space Launch System rocket, now expected no sooner than late 2019.
SPACE.com 17 Oct 2017, 14:20 UTC A few weeks ago, two research teams named for the corresponding gravitational-wave detectors — the LIGO and Virgo collaborations — made their first announcement of the joint detection of these ripples in the fabric of space-time.
Starts With a Bang! 17 Oct 2017, 14:02 UTC A nearly uniform Universe, expanding over time and under the influence of gravity, will create a cosmic web of structure. The web contains both dark and normal matter. Image credit: Western Washington University.Finding a warm-hot intergalactic plasma is amazing! But we still need dark matter just as much as ever.“There are stars leaving the Milky Way, and immense gas clouds falling into it. There are turbulent plasmas writhing with X- and gamma-rays and mighty stellar explosions. There are, perhaps, places which are outside our universe. The universe is vast and awesome, and for the first time we are becoming a part of it.” -Carl SaganLook out at the Universe as deeply as possible, and everywhere you look, there they are: stars and galaxies, beautiful, distant, and in all directions. All told, there are some two trillion galaxies in the observable Universe, each one with hundreds of billions of stars, on average. But if we take all that light, even knowing how stars work, it only explains a tiny fraction of the Universe’s mass. Looking within the galaxies themselves for gas, dust, black holes, nebulae, and more, we still don’t get close to enough mass to make up our Universe. A ...
Starts With A Bang! 17 Oct 2017, 12:11 UTC “This is going to have a bigger impact on science and human understanding, in many ways, than the first discovery of gravitational waves. We’re going to be puzzling over the observations we’ve made with gravitational waves and with light for years to come.” -Duncan Brown Detecting black holes and the gravitational wave signals from them was an incredible feat, but doing the same thing for neutron star mergers is a true game-changer. Instead of fractions of a second, neutron star mergers show up for up to half a minute. Unlike black holes, there’s an electromagnetic counterpart. Because of that, we can verify that the speed of gravity really is identical to the speed of light: to better than 1 part in 1,000,000,000,000,000. All massless particles travel at the speed of light, including the photon, gluon and gravitational waves, which carry the electromagnetic, strong nuclear and gravitational interactions, respectively. Image credit: NASA / Sonoma State University / Aurora Simonnet. And perhaps most spectacularly, we can bring the electromagnetic and gravitational-wave skies together for the first time. Even though LIGO has seen more merging black holes, the fact is that there are more merging neutron stars. The key, now, is finding them. ...
SPACE.com 17 Oct 2017, 11:00 UTC Telescopes all over the world and in space were busy on Aug. 17, when scientists made the first-ever observations of both light and gravitational waves from a single cosmic event. Here are some of the stunning images of the event, including some from the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as artists' illustrations that give insight into the complex workings of this energetic collision.