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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: 15 hours 25 min ago

New 'styrofoam' planet provides tools in search for habitable planets

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 6:04pm
Researchers have discovered a new planet orbiting a star 320 light years from Earth that has the density of styrofoam. This 'puffy' exoplanet may hold opportunities for testing atmospheres that will be useful when assessing future planets for signs of life.

NASA's EPIC view spots flashes on Earth

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 1:30pm
One million miles from Earth, a NASA camera is capturing unexpected flashes of light reflecting off our planet.

Hubble catches a galaxy duo by the 'hare'

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 1:44pm
This image shows the unusual galaxy IRAS 06076-2139, found in the constellation Lepus (The Hare).

Primitive atmosphere discovered around 'Warm Neptune'

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 2:19pm
A pioneering new study uncovering the 'primitive atmosphere' surrounding a distant world could provide a pivotal breakthrough in the search to how planets form and develop in far-flung galaxies.

Observatories combine to crack open the Crab Nebula

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 2:07pm
Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image of the Crab Nebula, by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Two James Webb instruments are best suited for exoplanet atmospheres

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 2:52pm
The best way to study the atmospheres of distant worlds with the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in late 2018, will combine two of its infrared instruments, according to a team of astronomers.

Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:20pm
Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet -- or planet-like anyway. A team discovered that what astronomers had previously thought was one of the closest brown dwarfs to our own Sun is in fact a planetary mass object.

Astronauts experience decrease in blood vessel function during spaceflight

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:20pm
A kinesiology study has found that astronauts aboard the International Space Station have decreased physical fitness because of a decrease in the way oxygen moves through the body.

Space radiation reproduced in the lab for better, safer missions

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 11:23am
Human-made space radiation has been produced in new research, which could help to make space exploration safer, more reliable and more extensive.

Space weather model simulates solar storms from nowhere

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 11:23am
A kind of solar storm has puzzled scientists for its lack of typical warning signs: They seem to come from nowhere, and scientists call them stealth CMEs. Now, scientists have developed a model simulating their evolution.

Chemical engineer explains oxygen mystery on comets

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 8:32am
A chemical engineer who normally develops new ways to fabricate microprocessors in computers has figured out how to explain a nagging mystery in space -- why comets expel oxygen gas, the same gas we humans breathe.

A lot of galaxies need guarding

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 10:18am
Like the quirky characters in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Hubble Space Telescope has some amazing superpowers, specifically when it comes to observing galaxies across time and space. One stunning example is galaxy cluster Abell 370, which contains a vast assortment of several hundred galaxies tied together by the mutual pull of gravity. That's a lot of galaxies to be guarding, and just in this one cluster!

VISTA peeks through the Small Magellanic Cloud's dusty veil

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 8:02am
VISTA's infrared capabilities have now allowed astronomers to see the myriad of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy much more clearly than ever before. The result is this record-breaking image -- the biggest infrared image ever taken of the Small Magellanic Cloud -- with the whole frame filled with millions of stars.

Scientists find giant wave rolling through the Perseus galaxy cluster

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 2:24pm
Combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with radio observations and computer simulations, an international team of scientists has discovered a 200,000-light-year wave of hot gas in the Perseus galaxy cluster.

Nearby star is a good model of our early solar system

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 2:19pm
Scientists have confirmed a nearby star's planetary system contains separate belts of asteroids, similar to our own solar system. The star is also about one-fifth the age of our sun. All that makes this star a good model of the early days of our solar system.

Origin of Milky Way's hypothetical dark matter signal may not be so dark

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 12:12pm
A mysterious gamma-ray glow at the center of the Milky Way is most likely caused by pulsars. The findings cast doubt on previous interpretations of the signal as a potential sign of dark matter.

Hubble's bright shining lizard star

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:35am
The bright object seen in this Hubble image is a single and little-studied star named TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard). The star is much closer than the much more distant galaxy.

Intergalactic gas and ripples in the cosmic web

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 2:17pm
A team of astronomers has made the first measurements of small-scale ripples in primeval hydrogen gas using rare double quasars.

Cassini spacecraft dives between Saturn and its rings

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 9:29am
NASA's Cassini spacecraft is back in contact with Earth after its successful first-ever dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017.

Using math to investigate possibility of time travel

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 9:17am
After some serious number crunching, a researcher says that he has come up with a mathematical model for a viable time machine: a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (TARDIS). He describes it as a bubble of space-time geometry which carries its contents backward and forwards through space and time as it tours a large circular path. The bubble moves through space-time at speeds greater than the speed of light at times, allowing it to move backward in time.