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Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
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Ceres: Water ice in eternal polar night

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 2:18pm
The cameras of the Dawn space probe discover water ice in Ceres' polar region. It can survive for aeons in the extreme cold traps, even though there is no atmosphere.

A super flash from a star and a supermassive black hole

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 10:58am
The brightest flash of light in the cosmos could be a rare event involving a star and a supermassive black hole.

Beyond the standard model through 'mini spirals'

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 8:08am
Statistical analysis of mini-spiral galaxies shows an unexpected interaction between dark matter and ordinary matter. According to a new report, where the relationship is obvious and cannot be explained in a trivial way within the context of the Standard Model, these objects may serve as "portals" to a completely new form of Physics which can explain phenomena like matter and dark energy.

Newly formed stars shoot out powerful whirlwinds

Wed, 12/14/2016 - 3:15pm
Researchers have used the ALMA telescopes to observe the early stages in the formation of a new solar system. For the first time they have seen how a powerful whirlwind shoot out from the rotating disc of gas and dust surrounding the young star.

Lunar sonic booms

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:57am
Physicist have new findings on the physics surrounding mini shock waves produced on the moon.

Young, thin and hyperactive: That's what outlier galaxies look like

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 7:41am
The more massive, or full of stars, a galaxy is, the faster the stars in it are formed. This seems to be the general rule, which is contradicted, however, by some abnormal cases, for example thin (not massive) galaxies that are hyperactive in their star formation. Until now the phenomenon had been explained by catastrophic external events like galaxies colliding and merging, but a new theory offers an alternative explanation, related to an in situ (internal) process of galaxy evolution.

A new light on stellar death

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 1:36pm
Back in 2015 when astronomers discovered an intense flare in a distant galaxy, they considered it the brightest supernova ever observed. Now, astrophysicists offer an entirely different interpretation based on new astronomical observation data.

Winds of rubies and sapphires strike the sky of giant planet

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 11:58am
Signs of powerful changing winds have been detected on a planet 16 times larger than Earth, over 1,000 light years away -- the first time ever that weather systems have been found on a gas giant outside our solar system -- according to new research.

ALMA finds compelling evidence for pair of infant planets around young star

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 11:58am
New ALMA observations contain compelling evidence that two newborn planets, each about the size of Saturn, are in orbit around a young star known as HD 163296. These planets, which are not yet fully formed, revealed themselves by the dual imprint they left in both the dust and the gas portions of the star's protoplanetary disk.

Spinning black hole swallowing star explains superluminous event

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 11:57am
An extraordinarily brilliant point of light seen in a distant galaxy, and dubbed ASASSN-15lh, was thought to be the brightest supernova ever seen. But new observations from several observatories, including ESO, have now cast doubt on this classification. Instead, a group of astronomers propose that the source was an even more extreme and very rare event -- a rapidly spinning black hole ripping apart a passing star that came too close.

Hubble catches a transformation in the Virgo constellation

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 12:17pm
The constellation of Virgo (The Virgin) is especially rich in galaxies, due in part to the presence of a massive and gravitationally-bound collection of over 1,300 galaxies called the Virgo Cluster. One particular member of this cosmic community, NGC 4388, is captured in this image, as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

'Hyper-starburst' galaxy churns out stars, clues to universe’s evolution

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 8:10am
A recently discovered galaxy is undergoing an extraordinary boom of stellar construction.

Amateur astronomer helps uncover secrets of unique pulsar binary system

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 2:33pm
A professional astrophysicist and an amateur astronomer have teamed up to reveal surprising details about an unusual millisecond pulsar (MSP) binary system comprising one of the fastest-spinning pulsars in our Galaxy and its unique companion star.

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 9:04am
What will happen to Earth when, in a few billion years' time, the sun is a hundred times bigger than it is today? Using the most powerful radio telescope in the world, an international team of astronomers has set out to look for answers in the star L2 Puppis. Five billion years ago, this star was very similar to the sun as it is today.

Cassini beams back first images from new orbit

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 3:57pm
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's intriguing hexagon-shaped jet stream.

Saturn's bulging core implies moons younger than thought

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 1:23pm
Freshly harvested data from NASA's Cassini mission reveals that the ringed planet's moons may be younger than previously thought.

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 9:29am
Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team used data from the Kilo Degree Survey (KiDS) to study how the light from about 15 million distant galaxies was affected by the gravitational influence of matter on the largest scales in the universe.

Second-generation stars identified, giving clues about their predecessors

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 3:56pm
Astronomers have identified what they believe to be the second generation of stars, shedding light on the nature of the universe's first stars.

Relationships between chemicals found on comets

Sat, 12/03/2016 - 3:45pm
A new study has revealed similarities and relationships between certain types of chemicals found on 30 different comets, which vary widely in their overall composition compared to one another. The research is part of ongoing investigations into these primordial bodies, which contain material largely unchanged from the birth of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago.

New evidence on the formation of the solar system

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 10:10am
Scientists are using new computer models and evidence from meteorites to show that a low-mass supernova triggered the formation of our solar system.