Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
Updated: 23 hours 33 min ago
Astrophysicists set a new limit for the maximum mass of neutron stars: It cannot exceed 2.16 solar masses.
Statistical analysis of supermassive black holes suggests that the spin of the black hole may play a role in the generation of powerful high-speed jets blasting radio waves. By analyzing nearly 8000 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, research team found that the oxygen emissions are 1.5 times stronger in radio loud quasars than in radio quiet quasars. This implies that spin is an important factor in the generation of jets.
In a technology first, a team of engineers has demonstrated fully autonomous X-ray navigation in space -- a capability that could revolutionize NASA's ability in the future to pilot robotic spacecraft to the far reaches of the solar system and beyond.
Astronomers have caught a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy snacking on gas and then "burping" — not once, but twice.
An intensive survey deep into the universe by NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has yielded the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack: the farthest galaxy yet seen in an image that has been stretched and amplified by a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.
A new analysis of about 10,000 normal Sun-like stars in the Milky Way's bulge reveals that our galaxy’s hub is a dynamic environment of variously aged stars zipping around at different speeds.
A new study shows rings, arcs and spirals in disks around stars may not be caused by planets. They may self-generate.
Astronomers have uncovered the largest known population of brown dwarfs sprinkled among newborn stars in the Orion Nebula.
In its search for exoplanets -- planets outside of our solar system -- NASA's Kepler telescope trails behind Earth, measuring the brightness of stars that may potentially host planets. The instrument identifies potential planets around other stars by looking for dips in the brightness of the stars that occur when planets cross in front of, or transit, them. Typically, computer programs flag the stars with these brightness dips, then astronomers look at each one and decide whether or not they truly could host a planet candidate.
Astronomers have made the first definitive interstellar detection of benzonitrile, an intriguing organic molecule that helps to chemically link simple carbon-based molecules and truly massive ones known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This discovery is a vital clue in a 30-year-old mystery: identifying the source of a faint infrared glow that permeates the Milky Way and other galaxies.
A new mission will launch a small satellite telescope into space to study the environment in other solar systems around the Galaxy's most common type of star.
New detections of radio waves from a repeating fast radio burst have revealed an astonishingly potent magnetic field in the source's environment, indicating that it is situated near a massive black hole or within a nebula of unprecedented power.
Astronomers have discovered what appears to be a grand exodus of more than 100 hydrogen clouds streaming away from the center of the Milky Way and heading into intergalactic space.
NASA's Swift spacecraft, now renamed the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory after the mission's late principal investigator, has detected the most dramatic change in a comet's rotation ever seen.
Where do the stars in our Galaxy come from? All the stars we see in the night-time sky belong to our Milky Way galaxy, and while most stars were likely born here, in the Milky Way, many appear to have originated in other galaxies and migrated to our shores. Tell-tale evidence comes from streams of stars created when small galaxies interact with the Milky Way.
Astronomers have looked back to a time soon after the Big Bang, and have discovered swirling gas in some of the earliest galaxies to have formed in the universe. These 'newborns' -- observed as they appeared nearly 13 billion years ago -- spun like a whirlpool, similar to our own Milky Way. This is the first time that it has been possible to detect movement in galaxies at such an early point in the universe's history.
Advanced simulations created with one of the world's most powerful supercomputers show the jets' streams gradually change direction in the sky, or precess, as a result of space-time being dragged into the rotation of the black hole.
A study of 909 planets and 355 stars reveals that, unlike our solar system, other planetary systems are distinguished by strict regularity.
Scientists have solved a cosmic mystery by finding evidence that supermassive black holes prevent stars forming in some smaller galaxies.
Analyses on a small pebble found in south-west Egypt cast significant questions on a widely-held view about the primitive pre-solar dust cloud which our Sun, Earth and other planets were formed from. Researchers found exotic micro-mineral compounds in the 'Hypatia' stone that are not known to occur on Earth, elsewhere in our solar system, or in known meteorites or comets.