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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

How hard did it rain on Mars?

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 10:48am
Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet's impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study. Scientists show that changes in the atmosphere on Mars made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet's surface as we see on Earth.

Scientists take first tentative steps to explore potential climate of Proxima B

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 7:27pm
The quest to discover whether a planet orbiting our closest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri (4.2 light years or 25 trillion miles from Earth), has the potential to support life has taken a new, exhilarating twist.

New 'styrofoam' planet provides tools in search for habitable planets

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 6:04pm
Researchers have discovered a new planet orbiting a star 320 light years from Earth that has the density of styrofoam. This 'puffy' exoplanet may hold opportunities for testing atmospheres that will be useful when assessing future planets for signs of life.

NASA's EPIC view spots flashes on Earth

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 1:30pm
One million miles from Earth, a NASA camera is capturing unexpected flashes of light reflecting off our planet.

Hubble catches a galaxy duo by the 'hare'

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 1:44pm
This image shows the unusual galaxy IRAS 06076-2139, found in the constellation Lepus (The Hare).

Primitive atmosphere discovered around 'Warm Neptune'

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 2:19pm
A pioneering new study uncovering the 'primitive atmosphere' surrounding a distant world could provide a pivotal breakthrough in the search to how planets form and develop in far-flung galaxies.

Observatories combine to crack open the Crab Nebula

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 2:07pm
Astronomers have produced a highly detailed image of the Crab Nebula, by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Two James Webb instruments are best suited for exoplanet atmospheres

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 2:52pm
The best way to study the atmospheres of distant worlds with the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in late 2018, will combine two of its infrared instruments, according to a team of astronomers.

Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:20pm
Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet -- or planet-like anyway. A team discovered that what astronomers had previously thought was one of the closest brown dwarfs to our own Sun is in fact a planetary mass object.

Astronauts experience decrease in blood vessel function during spaceflight

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:20pm
A kinesiology study has found that astronauts aboard the International Space Station have decreased physical fitness because of a decrease in the way oxygen moves through the body.

Space radiation reproduced in the lab for better, safer missions

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 11:23am
Human-made space radiation has been produced in new research, which could help to make space exploration safer, more reliable and more extensive.

Space weather model simulates solar storms from nowhere

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 11:23am
A kind of solar storm has puzzled scientists for its lack of typical warning signs: They seem to come from nowhere, and scientists call them stealth CMEs. Now, scientists have developed a model simulating their evolution.

Chemical engineer explains oxygen mystery on comets

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 8:32am
A chemical engineer who normally develops new ways to fabricate microprocessors in computers has figured out how to explain a nagging mystery in space -- why comets expel oxygen gas, the same gas we humans breathe.

A lot of galaxies need guarding

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 10:18am
Like the quirky characters in the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Hubble Space Telescope has some amazing superpowers, specifically when it comes to observing galaxies across time and space. One stunning example is galaxy cluster Abell 370, which contains a vast assortment of several hundred galaxies tied together by the mutual pull of gravity. That's a lot of galaxies to be guarding, and just in this one cluster!

VISTA peeks through the Small Magellanic Cloud's dusty veil

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 8:02am
VISTA's infrared capabilities have now allowed astronomers to see the myriad of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy much more clearly than ever before. The result is this record-breaking image -- the biggest infrared image ever taken of the Small Magellanic Cloud -- with the whole frame filled with millions of stars.

Scientists find giant wave rolling through the Perseus galaxy cluster

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 2:24pm
Combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with radio observations and computer simulations, an international team of scientists has discovered a 200,000-light-year wave of hot gas in the Perseus galaxy cluster.

Nearby star is a good model of our early solar system

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 2:19pm
Scientists have confirmed a nearby star's planetary system contains separate belts of asteroids, similar to our own solar system. The star is also about one-fifth the age of our sun. All that makes this star a good model of the early days of our solar system.

Origin of Milky Way's hypothetical dark matter signal may not be so dark

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 12:12pm
A mysterious gamma-ray glow at the center of the Milky Way is most likely caused by pulsars. The findings cast doubt on previous interpretations of the signal as a potential sign of dark matter.

Hubble's bright shining lizard star

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:35am
The bright object seen in this Hubble image is a single and little-studied star named TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard). The star is much closer than the much more distant galaxy.

Intergalactic gas and ripples in the cosmic web

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 2:17pm
A team of astronomers has made the first measurements of small-scale ripples in primeval hydrogen gas using rare double quasars.