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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: 21 hours 40 min ago

Black hole models contradicted by hands-on tests

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 2:07pm
Models of black holes that rely upon an assumption made 20 years ago need revision, explain investigators.

Galaxy 5 billion light-years away shows we live in a magnetic universe

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 12:45pm
A chance combination of a gravitational lens and polarized waves coming from a distant quasar gave astronomers the tool needed to make a measurement important to understanding the origin of magnetic fields in galaxies.

Pleiades star cluster: Surprising variability

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 9:13am
The Seven Sisters, as they were known to the ancient Greeks, are now known to modern astronomers as the Pleiades star cluster – a set of stars which are visible to the naked eye and have been studied for thousands of years by cultures all over the world. Now astronomers have demonstrated a powerful new technique for observing stars such as these, which are ordinarily far too bright to look at with high performance telescopes.

'Spectacular' imagery of total solar eclipse over U.S.

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 6:21pm
Telescopes with sensitive, high-speed, visible-light and infrared cameras flew aboard NASA WB-57F research aircraft to gather data during the total solar eclipse.

NASA's Webb Telescope will study our solar system's 'ocean worlds'

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 2:13pm
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will use its infrared capabilities to study the "ocean worlds" of Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus, adding to observations previously made by NASA's Galileo and Cassini orbiters. The Webb telescope's observations could also help guide future missions to the icy moons.

Phoenicid meteor shower from dead comet arises again after 58 years

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 2:12pm
Astronomers have observed the elusive 'Phoenicid meteor shower' and have determined that it was spawned by the now vanished Comet Blanpain. They also found that Comet Blanpain was active, though only weakly, in the early 20th Century. This is the first time that researchers could determine the activity of a comet by observing its associated meteor shower. These results are important for understanding the evolution of minor bodies in the Solar System.

Black holes: Scientists 'excited' by observations suggesting formation scenarios

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 1:12pm
Physicists have described how observations of gravitational waves limit the possible explanations for the formation of black holes outside of our galaxy; either they are spinning more slowly than black holes in our own galaxy or they spin rapidly but are 'tumbled around' with spins randomly oriented to their orbit.

First X-rays detected from mystery supernovas

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 1:12pm
Scientists appear to have found the first X-rays coming from type Ia supernovae.

Best ever image of a star's surface, atmosphere

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 9:09am
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer astronomers have constructed the most detailed image ever of a star -- the red supergiant star Antares. They have also made the first map of the velocities of material in the atmosphere of a star other than the sun, revealing unexpected turbulence in Antares's huge extended atmosphere.

Hubble's twisted galaxy

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:50pm
Gravity governs the movements of the cosmos. It draws flocks of galaxies together to form small groups and more massive galaxy clusters, and brings duos so close that they begin to tug at one another. This latter scenario can have extreme consequences, with members of interacting pairs of galaxies often being dramatically distorted, torn apart, or driven to smash into one another, abandoning their former identities and merging to form a single accumulation of gas, dust and stars.

Saturn-lit Tethys

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:47pm
Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet.

Large asteroid to safely pass Earth on Sept. 1

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:45pm
Asteroid Florence, a large near-Earth asteroid, will pass safely by Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of about 4.4 million miles, (7.0 million kilometers, or about 18 Earth-Moon distances).

Brown dwarf weather forecasts improved

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:42pm
Dim objects called brown dwarfs, less massive than the Sun but more massive than Jupiter, have powerful winds and clouds -- specifically, hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust. Scientists recently realized these giant clouds can move and thicken or thin surprisingly rapidly, in less than an Earth day, but did not understand why.

The moving Martian bow shock

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 1:18pm
Physicists throw new light on the interaction between the planet Mars and supersonic particles in the solar wind.

A silent search for dark matter

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 11:30am
Results from its first run indicate that XENON1T is the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth. The sensitivity of the detector -- an underground sentinel awaiting a collision that would confirm a hypothesis - stems from both its size and its 'silence.'

Trace of galaxies at the heart of a gigantic galaxy cluster

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 12:30pm
The discovery of numerous ultra-diffuse galaxies is both remarkable and puzzling, explain scientists in a new report.

Eclipse data used to create musical composition

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:57am
Researchers have created an original music composition for Monday's eclipse. They uses drums, synthesized tones and other sounds to symbolize the movements of the sun and moon and the gradual darkness they will produce during the August 21 event.

Astrophysicist predicts detached, eclipsing white dwarfs to merge into exotic star

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 4:24pm
Astrophysicists have discovered two detached, eclipsing double white dwarf binaries with orbital periods of 40 and 46 minutes, respectively. White dwarfs are the remnants of Sun-like stars, many of which are found in pairs, or binaries.

Eclipse research: Following in the moon's slipstream to capture high-res sunspot images

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 4:24pm
While much of the research around the eclipse on Monday will focus on the effects of the Sun's brief, daytime disappearance on Earth and its atmosphere, a group of solar physicists will be leveraging the rare event to capture a better glimpse of the star itself.

Spoiler alert: Computer simulations provide preview of upcoming eclipse

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 9:21am
Scientists have forecast the corona of the sun during the upcoming eclipse. The findings shed light on what the eclipse of the sun might look like Aug. 21 when it will be visible across much of the US, tracing a 70-mile-wide band across 14 states.

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