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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

An unusual white dwarf may be a supernova leftover

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 2:17pm
Astronomers have identified a white dwarf star in our galaxy that may be the leftover remains of a recently discovered type of supernova.

Astrophysicists predict Earth-like planet in star system only 16 light years away

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 11:08am
Astrophysicists have predicted that an Earth-like planet may be lurking in a star system just 16 light years away. The team investigated the star system Gliese 832 for additional exoplanets residing between the two currently known alien worlds in this system. Their computations revealed that an additional Earth-like planet with a dynamically stable configuration may be residing at a distance ranging from 0.25 to 2.0 astronomical unit (AU) from the star.

Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest sun-like star

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 9:55am
Astronomers have discovered four Earth-sized planets orbiting the nearest sun-like star, tau Ceti, which is about 12 light years away and visible to the naked eye. These planets have masses as low as 1.7 Earth mass, making them among the smallest planets ever detected around nearby sun-like stars. Two of them are super-Earths located in the habitable zone of the star, meaning they could support liquid surface water.

NASA Protects its super heroes from space weather

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 9:27am
When astronauts travel in space they can't see or even feel radiation. However, NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is studying the effects radiation plays on the human body and developing ways to monitor and protect against this silent hazard.

Supermassive black holes feed on cosmic jellyfish

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 1:46pm
Observations of 'Jellyfish galaxies' with ESO's Very Large Telescope have revealed a previously unknown way to fuel supermassive black holes. It seems the mechanism that produces the tentacles of gas and newborn stars that give these galaxies their nickname also makes it possible for the gas to reach the central regions of the galaxies, feeding the black hole that lurks in each of them and causing it to shine brilliantly.

NASA, ESA spacecraft track solar storm through space

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:03am
Using seven spacecraft, along with computer models, scientists have pieced together the journey of a coronal mass ejection from the Sun outward to Mars, Comet 67P, Jupiter and even the New Horizons spacecraft now beyond Pluto.

Cassini says goodbye to a true Titan

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 3:02pm
Mere weeks away from its dramatic, mission-ending plunge into Saturn, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has a hectic schedule, orbiting the planet every week in its Grand Finale. On a few orbits, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has been near enough to tweak Cassini's orbit, causing the spacecraft to approach Saturn a bit closer or a bit farther away. A couple of those distant passes even pushed Cassini into the inner fringes of Saturn's rings.

Cosmic magnifying lens reveals inner jets of black holes

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 1:38pm
Jet material ejected from a black hole is magnified in new observations from Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory. This discovery provides the best view yet of blobs of hot gas that shoot out from supermassive black holes.

Tracking a solar eruption through the solar system

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:04pm
Ten spacecraft, from ESA's Venus Express to NASA's Voyager-2, felt the effect of a solar eruption as it washed through the solar system while three other satellites watched, providing a unique perspective on this space weather event.

Cosmic velocity web: Motions of thousands of galaxies mapped

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 9:51am
The cosmic web -- the distribution of matter on the largest scales in the universe -- has usually been defined through the distribution of galaxies. Now, a new study by a team of astronomers demonstrates a novel approach. Instead of using galaxy positions, they mapped the motions of thousands of galaxies.

Tidally locked exoplanets may be more common than previously thought

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 4:19pm
Many exoplanets to be found by coming high-powered telescopes will probably be tidally locked -- with one side permanently facing their host star -- according to new research.

Supernova collides with nearby star, taking astrophysicists by surprise

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 1:48pm
In the 2009 film 'Star Trek,' a supernova hurtles through space and obliterates a planet unfortunate enough to be in its path. Fiction, of course, but it turns out the notion is not so farfetched.

Studying the Sun's atmosphere with the total solar eclipse of 2017

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 12:53pm
A total solar eclipse happens somewhere on Earth about once every 18 months. But because Earth's surface is mostly ocean, most eclipses are visible over land for only a short time, if at all. The total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, is different -- its path stretches over land for nearly 90 minutes, giving scientists an unprecedented opportunity to make scientific measurements from the ground.

New 3-D simulations show how galactic centers cool their jets

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 12:09pm
Scientists have developed new theories and 3-D simulations to explain what's at work in the mysterious jets of energy and matter beaming from the center of galaxies at nearly the speed of light.

Cassini to begin final five orbits around Saturn

Sat, 08/12/2017 - 12:15pm
NASA's Cassini spacecraft will enter new territory in its final mission phase, the Grand Finale, as it prepares to embark on a set of ultra-close passes through Saturn's upper atmosphere with its final five orbits around the planet.

New mission going to the space station to explore mysteries of 'cosmic rain'

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 1:49pm
A new experiment set for launch to the International Space Station will provide an unprecedented look at a rain of particles from deep space, called cosmic rays, that constantly showers our planet. The mission is designed to measure the highest-energy particles of any detector yet flown in space.

NASA watches the Sun put a stop to its own eruption

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 12:48pm
On Sept. 30, 2014, multiple NASA observatories watched a failed solar eruption. Because scientists had so many eyes on the event, they were able to explain how the Sun's magnetic landscape shredded its own eruption.

Galactic winds push researchers to probe galaxies at unprecedented scale

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 5:33pm
After using the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to rule out a potential mechanism for galactic wind, astrophysicists are aiming to generate nearly a trillion-cell simulation of an entire galaxy, which would be the largest simulation of a galaxy ever.

Day to night and back again: Earth's ionosphere during the total solar eclipse

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 2:57pm
Three NASA-funded studies will use the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse as a ready-made experiment, courtesy of nature, to improve our understanding of the ionosphere and its relationship to the Sun.

New observations of Crab Nebula and Pulsar reveal polarized emissions

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 8:21am
New observations of polarised X-rays from the Crab Nebula and Pulsar may help explain sudden flares in the Crab’s X-ray intensity, as well as provide new data for modeling – and understanding – the nebula.