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Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
Updated: 3 hours 30 min ago

Dawn of the cosmos: Seeing galaxies that appeared soon after the Big Bang

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 2:33pm
Astronomers have discovered 23 young galaxies, seen as they were 800 million years after the Big Bang.

Gamma-ray burst captured in unprecedented detail

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 1:21pm
Gamma-ray bursts are among the most energetic and explosive events in the universe. They are also short-lived, lasting from a few milliseconds to about a minute. This has made it tough for astronomers to observe a gamma-ray burst in detail. Using a wide array of ground- and space-based telescope observations, astronomers constructed one of the most detailed descriptions of a gamma-ray burst to date.

Large, distant comets more common than previously thought

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 4:10pm
There are about seven times more long-period comets measuring at least 1 kilometer across than previously predicted, suggests new research. The researchers also found that long-period comets are, on average, nearly twice as large as 'Jupiter family' comets, whose orbits are shaped by Jupiter's gravity and have periods of less than 20 years.

Cosmologists produce new maps of dark matter dynamics

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 12:21pm
New maps of dark matter dynamics in the Universe have been produced by a team of international cosmologists, outlines a new report.

Venus's turbulent atmosphere

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 12:20pm
Astronomers shed light on the so far unexplored nightside circulation at the upper cloud level of Venus. Researchers have discovered unexpected patterns of slow motion and abundant stationary waves in Venus's nighttime sky.

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 10:50am
NASA's Van Allen Probes have observed a new population of space sound waves, called plasmaspheric hiss, which are important in removing high-energy particles from around Earth that can damage satellites.

Superluminous supernova marks the death of a star at cosmic high noon

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 12:25pm
The death of a massive star in a distant galaxy 10 billion years ago created a rare superluminous supernova, one of the most distant ever discovered. The brilliant explosion, more than three times as bright as the 100 billion stars of our Milky Way galaxy combined, occurred about 3.5 billion years after the big bang at a period known as 'cosmic high noon,' when the rate of star formation in the universe reached its peak.

The moon is front and center during a total solar eclipse

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:31am
In the lead-up to a total solar eclipse, most of the attention is on the sun, but Earth's moon also has a starring role.

Flashes of light on dark matter

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:13am
A web that passes through infinite intergalactic spaces, a dense cosmic forest illuminated by very distant lights and a huge enigma to solve. These are the picturesque ingredients of a scientific research that adds an important element for understanding one of the fundamental components of our Universe: dark matter.

Holographic imaging could be used to detect signs of life in space

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 8:47am
Engineers say a method called digital holographic microscopy could be used to detect living microbes in space.

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 3:53pm
It was midafternoon, but it was dark in an area in Boulder, Colorado on Aug. 3, 1998. A thick cloud appeared overhead and dimmed the land below for more than 30 minutes. Well-calibrated radiometers showed that there were very low levels of light reaching the ground, sufficiently low that researchers decided to simulate this interesting event with computer models. Now in 2017, inspired by the event in Boulder, NASA scientists will explore the moon's eclipse of the sun to learn more about Earth's energy system.

Best measure of star-forming material in galaxy clusters in early universe

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 1:31pm
The international Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-sequence Cluster Survey (SpARCS) collaboration has combined observations from several of the world's most powerful telescopes to carry out one of the largest studies yet of molecular gas -- the raw material which fuels star formation throughout the universe -- in three of the most distant clusters of galaxies ever found, detected as they appeared when the universe was only four billion years old.

Viewing Martian moon orbiting the red planet

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 1:19pm
While photographing Mars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Hubble took 13 separate exposures over 22 minutes to create a time-lapse video showing the moon's orbital path.

Spiral arms allow school children to weigh black holes

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 11:36am
Astronomers have provided a way for armchair astronomers, and even primary school children, to merely look at a spiral galaxy and estimate the mass of its hidden, central black hole.

High-energy trap in our galaxy's center, revealed by gamma-ray telescopes

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 2:29pm
The center of our Milky Way contains a 'trap' that concentrates some of the highest-energy cosmic rays, among the fastest particles in the galaxy, a combined analysis of data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the High Energy Stereoscopic System, a ground-based observatory in Namibia, suggests.

NASA Neutron star mission begins science operations

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 9:15am
The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer, or NICER, payload completed commissioning and calibration and all systems are working as expected.

New hot Jupiter marks the first collaborative exoplanet discovery

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 8:52am
Researchers have discovered a new 'Hot Jupiter' exoplanet.

New brown dwarf discovered by citizen science project

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 3:09pm
One night three months ago, Rosa Castro finished her dinner, opened her laptop, and uncovered a novel object that was neither planet nor star. Therapist by day and amateur astronomer by night, Castro joined the NASA-funded Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen science project when it began in February -- not knowing she would become one of four volunteers to help identify the project's first brown dwarf, formally known as WISEA J110125.95+540052.8.

Space sound waves around Earth: Electrons whistle while they work?

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 11:04am
NASA's Van Allen Probes have observed a new population of space sound waves, called plasmaspheric hiss, which are important in removing high-energy particles from around Earth that can damage satellites.

Hubble spots a barred Lynx spiral

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 6:31pm
Discovered by British astronomer William Herschel over 200 years ago, NGC 2500 lies about 30 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Lynx. NGC 2500 is a particular kind of spiral galaxy known as a barred spiral, its wispy arms swirling out from a bright, elongated core.