26 Jan 2021, 09:27 UTC 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 their central star. Next Previous
22 Jan 2021, 14:09 UTC Next Previous
20 Jan 2021, 10:33 UTC Galaxies begin to “die” when they stop forming stars, but until now astronomers had never clearly glimpsed the start of this process in a far-away galaxy. Using the ALMA, astronomers have seen a galaxy ejecting nearly half of its star-forming gas. Next Previous
7 Jan 2021, 09:00 UTC Next Previous
10 Dec 2020, 16:00 UTC
Science Release: Hubble Identifies Strange Exoplanet That Behaves Like the Long-Sought “Planet Nine”Next Previous
3 Dec 2020, 09:00 UTC The motion of stars in the outskirts of our galaxy hints at significant changes in the history of the Milky Way. This and other equally fascinating results come from a set of papers that demonstrate the quality of ESA’s Gaia Early third Data Release (EDR3), which is made public today. Next Previous
4 Nov 2020, 16:00 UTC Fast radio bursts are extremely bright flashes of energy that last for a fraction of a second, during which they can blast out more than 100 million times more power than the sun. Since they were first detected in 2007, astronomers have observed traces of fast radio bursts, or FRBs, scattered across the universe, but their sources have been too far away to clearly make out. It has been a mystery, then, as to what astrophysical objects could possibly produce such brief though brilliant radio flares. Now astronomers at MIT, McGill University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and elsewhere report that they have observed fast radio bursts in our own galaxy, for the first time. The radio pulses are the closest FRBs detected to date, and their proximity has allowed the team to pinpoint their source. It appears that the observed radio pulses were produced by a magnetar — a type of neutron star with a hugely powerful magnetic field. Physicists have hypothesized that magnetars might produce FRBs. This is the first time scientists have direct observational proof that magnetars are indeed sources of fast radio bursts. “There’s this great ... Next Previous
30 Oct 2020, 13:05 UTC This ethereal remnant of a long dead star, nestled in the belly of The Whale, bears an uneasy resemblance to a skull floating through space. Captured in astounding detail by ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), the eerie Skull Nebula is showcased in this new image in beautiful bloodshot colours. This planetary nebula is the first known to be associated with a pair of closely bound stars orbited by a third outer star. Next Previous
27 Oct 2020, 15:00 UTC Next Previous
ESA Top News 25 Jan 2021, 15:00 UTC ESA’s exoplanet mission Cheops has revealed a unique planetary system consisting of six exoplanets, five of which are locked in a rare rhythmic dance as they orbit their central star. The sizes and masses of the planets, however, don’t follow such an orderly pattern. This finding challenges current theories of planet formation.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 21 Jan 2021, 18:42 UTC Located in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin), around 50 million light-years from Earth, the galaxy NGC 4535 is truly a stunning sight to behold. Despite the incredible quality of this image, taken from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NGC 4535 has a hazy, somewhat ghostly, appearance when viewed from a smaller telescope. This led amateur astronomer Leland S. Copeland to nickname NGC 4535 the “Lost Galaxy” in the 1950s.
HubbleSite NewsCenter -- Latest News Releases 14 Jan 2021, 21:30 UTC Astronomers are winding back the clock on the expanding remains of a nearby, exploded star. By using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, they retraced the speedy shrapnel from the blast to calculate a more accurate estimate of the location and time of the stellar detonation.
NASA's Ames Research Center News and Features 14 Jan 2021, 17:15 UTC What’s fueling the massive ejection of gas and dust out of the Cigar galaxy, otherwise known as Messier 82?
HubbleSite NewsCenter -- Latest News Releases 12 Jan 2021, 17:00 UTC How dark is the sky, and what does that tell us about the number of galaxies in the visible universe? Astronomers can estimate the total number of galaxies by counting everything visible in a Hubble deep field and then multiplying them by the total area of the sky. But other galaxies are too faint and distant to directly detect. Yet while we can’t count them, their light suffuses space with a feeble glow.
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Universe Today 27 Jan 2021, 16:03 UTC In 1995, NASA’s Galileo mission dropped a probe into the atmosphere of Jupiter and found it to be far drier than expected. In 2020, NASA’s follow-up mission Juno explained the mystery: it involves mushballs.
Illuminated Universe 27 Jan 2021, 11:00 UTC Exploring how galaxies change with time requires the study of how visible light and non-visible radiation are interconnected. With the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) we can map, often in light the human eye can detect, the regions in the disk of a spiral galaxy where young stars reside and simultaneously, massive stars die. Yet invisible to our eyes, and traced by radio telescopes such as the Very Large Array (VLA), are vast halos of radiation that are intimately related to these so-called star-forming regions. The radio data inform us that the halo “light” is generated by negatively charged particles, called electrons, that are in motion at almost the speed of light. Indeed the data show that some of this motion is caused by the electrons slithering in a spiral trajectory around magnetic field lines. Some of these lines extend vertically away from the disk of a galaxy for several thousand light-years. But where do the electrons in the radio halo come from? We know that vast quantities of electrons are produced in explosive stellar deaths, called supernovae, in the disk of galaxies. In order to test the hypothesis that these electrons are dragged and pushed out of a galaxy’s disk ...
Universe Today 26 Jan 2021, 19:36 UTC Budget constraints are a major consideration for every space program throughout the world. Lately, NASA has taken a particularly bold approach, by not only innovating through novel ideas that could do great science, but innovating with the way they fund those missions. A good example of this innovation is the Astrophysics Pioneers program, which is a NASA fund program targeted at early- to mid-career researchers. The interesting thing about the program is that the overall budget for each project is capped at $20 million. Now, the program has selected its first four projects to move ahead to its second stage.
NASA: Universe News 26 Jan 2021, 15:48 UTC On May 10, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will say farewell to asteroid Bennu and begin its journey back to Earth. During its Oct. 20, 2020, sample collection event, the spacecraft collected a substantial amount of material from Bennu’s surface, likely exceeding the mission’s requirement of 2 ounces (60 grams). The spacecraft is scheduled to deliver the sample to Earth on Sep. 24, 2023.
Universe Today 26 Jan 2021, 09:32 UTC 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 do they look so beautiful?
Universe Today 25 Jan 2021, 16:56 UTC The TRAPPIST-1 system has long be studied by exoplanet hunters due to its unique quantity of planets that happen to also be Earth sized. In a recent paper, a team of scientists led by Erik Agol at the University of Washington, dove into more detail on the density of the seven known planets in the system, and, surprisingly, found that they were all very similar.