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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 34 min ago

New branch in family tree of exoplanets discovered

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 12:02pm
Researchers have classified exoplanets in much the same way that biologists identify new animal species.

MAVEN's top 10 discoveries at Mars

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 1:40pm
Since its launch in November 2013 and its orbit insertion in September 2014, MAVEN has been exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. MAVEN is bringing insight to how the sun stripped Mars of most of its atmosphere, turning a planet once possibly habitable to microbial life into a barren desert world.

Orion blazing bright in radio light

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 11:09am
Astronomers have created the largest image ever of the dense band of star-forming gas that weaves its way through the northern portion of the Orion Nebula.

Scientists make waves with black hole research: Water bath simulation

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 11:28am
Scientists have made a significant leap forward in understanding the workings of one of the mysteries of the universe. They have successfully simulated the conditions around black holes using a specially designed water bath.

Low-mass stars always born with a sibling: Many, like our sun, split up

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 9:19am
Though astronomers have long known that many if not most stars are binaries, the question has always been, Were they born that way, or did one star capture another? Astronomers teamed up to systematically study very young stars inside their nest eggs, called dense cores, in the Perseus molecular cloud and concluded that all sunlike stars are born as wide binaries. Most subsequently split up, while the rest become tight binaries.

Search for Earth-like planets: Try a statistical approach

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 9:19am
A team of astronomers seeks to change the way scientists approach the search for Earth-like planets orbiting stars other than the sun. They favor taking a statistical comparative approach in seeking habitable planets and life beyond the solar system.

Cloudy with a chance of radiation: NASA studies simulated radiation

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 6:51pm
NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is simulating space radiation on Earth following upgrades to the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. These upgrades help researchers on Earth learn more about the effects of ionizing space radiation to keep astronauts safe on a journey to Mars.

New insight into galaxy cluster's spectacular 'mini-halo'

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 2:52pm
New images give an unprecedented view, revealing multitude of new substructures that shed light on mechanisms creating the massive radio-emitting structure.

Galaxy alignments traced back 10 billion years

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 11:16am
The most massive galaxies in the universe have been aligned with their surroundings for at least ten billion years. This discovery shows that galaxies, like people, are influenced by their environment from a young age.

New strategy to search for ancient black holes

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 10:29am
An interdisciplinary team of physicists and astronomers has devised a new strategy to search for 'primordial' black holes produced in the early universe. Such black holes are possibly responsible for the gravitational wave events observed by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.

VST captures Eagle Nebula and close companions

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 10:21am
Two of the sky's more famous residents share the stage with a lesser-known neighbor in an enormous new three gigapixel image from ESO's VLT Survey Telescope (VST). On the right lies Sharpless 2-54, the iconic Eagle Nebula is in the center, and the Omega Nebula to the left. This cosmic trio makes up just a portion of a vast complex of gas and dust within which new stars are springing to life and illuminating their surroundings.

Jupiter is one old-timer, scientist finds

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 3:42pm
Jupiter is the oldest planet in our solar system, an international group of scientists has found.

SpaceX Dragon to deliver research to Space Station

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 7:31pm
SpaceX is scheduled to launch its Dragon spacecraft for its eleventh commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station June 1 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center's historic pad 39A.

Hubble applauds waltzing dwarfs

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 7:31pm
This seemingly unspectacular series of dots with varying distances between them actually shows the slow waltz of two brown dwarfs. The image is a stack of 12 images made over the course of three years with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Using high-precision astrometry, astronomers tracked the two components of the system as they moved both across the sky and around each other.

The largest virtual Universe ever simulated

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 10:22am
Researchers have simulated the formation of our entire Universe with a large supercomputer. A gigantic catalogue of about 25 billion virtual galaxies has been generated from 2 trillion digital particles. This catalogue is being used to calibrate the experiments on board the Euclid satellite, that will be launched in 2020 with the objective of investigating the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Composition of Earth-size planets in TRAPPIST-1 system

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 2:55pm
An astrophysics researcher has identified the possible compositions of the seven planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. Using thousands of numerical simulations to identify the planets stable for millions of years, Quarles concluded that six of the seven planets are consistent with an Earth-like composition. The exception is TRAPPIST-1f, which has a mass of 25 percent water, suggesting that TRAPPIST-1e may be the best candidate for future habitability studies.

Ingredient of life found around infant Sun-like stars

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 7:29am
ALMA has observed stars like the Sun at a very early stage in their formation and found traces of methyl isocyanate -- a chemical building block of life. This is the first ever detection of this prebiotic molecule towards solar-type protostars, the sort from which our Solar System evolved. The discovery could help astronomers understand how life arose on Earth.

Celestial boondocks: Study supports the idea we live in a void

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 2:29pm
A new study not only firms up the idea that we exist in one of the holes of the Swiss cheese structure of the cosmos, but helps ease the apparent disagreement between different measurements of the Hubble Constant, the unit cosmologists use to describe the rate at which the universe is expanding today.

Century-old relativity experiment used to measure a white dwarf's mass

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 2:26pm
Astronomers have used the sharp vision of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to repeat a century-old test of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The team measured the mass of white dwarf Stein 2051 B, the burned-out remnant of a normal star, by seeing how much it deflects the light from a background star. The gravitational microlensing method data provide a solid estimate of the white dwarf’s mass and yield insights into theories of the structure and composition of the burned-out star.

New confirmation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 12:38pm
Albert Einstein predicted that whenever light from a distant star passes by a closer object, gravity acts as a kind of magnifying lens, brightening and bending distant starlight. Yet, Einstein added, 'There is no hope of observing this phenomenon directly.' Now, researchers have done just that, saying that the discovery opens a new window to understanding 'the history and evolution of galaxies such as our own.'

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