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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: 23 hours 33 min ago

How does it look when Earth is bombarded with dark matter?

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 12:25pm
A whole lot of zig-zagging: Perhaps that is what happens when the universe's mysterious dark matter particles hit the Earth. Researchers can now show through simulations how it might look.

NASA telescope studies quirky comet 45P

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 5:02pm
When comet 45P zipped past Earth early in 2017, researchers observing from NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility, or IRTF, in Hawai'i gave the long-time trekker a thorough astronomical checkup. The results help fill in crucial details about ices in Jupiter-family comets and reveal that quirky 45P doesn't quite match any comet studied so far.

Two Super-Earths around red dwarf K2-18

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:59am
New research has revealed that a little-known exoplanet called K2-18b could well be a scaled-up version of Earth. Just as exciting, the same researchers also discovered for the first time that the planet has a neighbor.

WASP-18b has smothering stratosphere without water

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 10:41am
Scientists have found evidence that the oversized planet WASP-18b is wrapped in a smothering stratosphere loaded with carbon monoxide and devoid of water.

New spin to solving mystery of stellar companions

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 9:15am
Scientists are investigating the nature of planetary-mass bodies that orbit stars, finding new clues to their origins.

MACHOs are dead, WIMPs are a no-show -- say hello to SIMPs

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 4:23pm
The nature of dark matter remains elusive, with numerous experimental searches for WIMPs coming up empty-handed and MACHOs all but abandoned. Theorists have proposed a different type of dark matter particle, a strongly interacting massive particle or SIMP, that differs from WIMPs in that they interact strongly with one another and hardly at all with normal matter. The dark matter structure of a galaxy pile-up could be evidence for SIMPs.

Neutron stars on the brink of collapse

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 9:46am
The exact characteristics of Neutron stars, the densest objects in the Universe, are still unknown. Scientists have managed to narrow down the size of neutron stars with the aid of computer simulations. The calculations based on data from the LIGO and Virgo observatories suggest that the neutron star radius must be at least 10.7 km.

Astronomer's map reveals location of mysterious fast-moving gas

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 9:12am
The most detailed map ever of clouds of high-velocity gas in the universe around us has now been developed by scientsits. The map covers the entire sky and shows curious clouds of neutral hydrogen gas that are moving at a different speed to the normal rotation of the Milky Way.

Voyager 1 fires up thrusters after 37 years

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 9:49am
A set of thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft successfully fired up Wednesday after 37 years without use. Since 2014, engineers have noticed that the thrusters Voyager 1 has been using to orient the spacecraft, called "attitude control thrusters," have been degrading.

Turbulence in astrophysical plasmas

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 12:29pm
Researchers provides better explanations of the turbulent behavior of plasmas in space.

Blowing in the stellar wind: Scientists reduce the chances of life on exoplanets in so-called habitable zones

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 6:00pm
A new article describes the detrimental impact of stellar wind on the atmosphere of exoplanets.

Gravitational waves could shed light on the origin of black holes

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 2:10pm
The detection of gravitational waves has given astronomers a new way of looking at the universe, and a new study shows how these ripples in the fabric of spacetime might confirm or rule out the existence of a certain type of black hole.

MUSE probes uncharted depths of Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 9:02am
Astronomers using the MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile have conducted the deepest spectroscopic survey ever. They focused on the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, measuring distances and properties of 1600 very faint galaxies including 72 galaxies that have never been detected before. This wealth of new information is giving astronomers insight into star formation in the early Universe.

Why is massive star formation quenched in galaxy centers?

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 12:33pm
A new study proposes that one of the reasons that slows down the rate at which massive stars form in galaxies is the existence of relatively large magnetic fields. Research has revealed that this process occurs around the center of the galaxy NGC 1097.

Infant stars found surprisingly near galaxy's supermassive black hole

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 12:32pm
ALMA has revealed the telltale signs of eleven low-mass stars forming perilously close -- within three light-years -- to the Milky Way's supermassive black hole.

First proper motions measured of stars in a small galaxy outside the Milky Way

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:47pm
By combining data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gaia mission, astronomers have been able to measure the proper motion of 15 stars in the Sculptor Galaxy, the first such measurement outside the Milky Way. Analysis shows an unexpected preference in the direction of movement, which suggests that the standard theoretical models used to describe the motion of stars and dark matter halos in other galaxies might be invalid.

All missions on board for NASA heliophysics research

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:47pm
Scientists have been studying the near-Earth environment for the better part of a century, but many mysteries -- like where the energetic particles that pervade the area originate and become energized -- still remain. In a new type of collaborative study, scientists combined data from 16 separate NASA and Los Alamos National Laboratory spacecraft to understand how a particle phenomenon in the magnetic environment around Earth occurs. These events, called substorms, can cause auroras, disrupt GPS communications and, at their most intense, damage power grids.

Earthworms can reproduce in Mars soil simulant

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 9:15am
Two young worms are the first offspring in a Mars soil experiment. A biologist found them in a Mars soil simulant that he obtained from NASA. At the start he only added adult worms. The experiments are crucial in the study that aims to determine whether people can keep themselves alive at the red planet by growing their own crops on Mars soils.

How the Earth stops high-energy neutrinos in their tracks

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 1:13pm
For the first time, a science experiment has measured Earth's ability to absorb neutrinos -- the smaller-than-an-atom particles that zoom throughout space and through us by the trillions every second at nearly the speed of light. The experiment was achieved with the IceCube detector, an array of 5,160 basketball-sized sensors frozen deep within a cubic kilometer of very clear ice near the South Pole.

Frictional heat powers hydrothermal activity on Enceladus

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:59pm
A computer simulation shows how icy moon heats water in a porous rock core. This study also offers among others an answer to the long-standing question of where the energy that can support water in liquid form on a small, cryovulcanic moon far from the sun comes from.