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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: 9 hours 41 min ago

Best ever image of a star's surface, atmosphere

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 9:09am
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer astronomers have constructed the most detailed image ever of a star -- the red supergiant star Antares. They have also made the first map of the velocities of material in the atmosphere of a star other than the sun, revealing unexpected turbulence in Antares's huge extended atmosphere.

Hubble's twisted galaxy

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:50pm
Gravity governs the movements of the cosmos. It draws flocks of galaxies together to form small groups and more massive galaxy clusters, and brings duos so close that they begin to tug at one another. This latter scenario can have extreme consequences, with members of interacting pairs of galaxies often being dramatically distorted, torn apart, or driven to smash into one another, abandoning their former identities and merging to form a single accumulation of gas, dust and stars.

Saturn-lit Tethys

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:47pm
Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet.

Large asteroid to safely pass Earth on Sept. 1

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:45pm
Asteroid Florence, a large near-Earth asteroid, will pass safely by Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of about 4.4 million miles, (7.0 million kilometers, or about 18 Earth-Moon distances).

Brown dwarf weather forecasts improved

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:42pm
Dim objects called brown dwarfs, less massive than the Sun but more massive than Jupiter, have powerful winds and clouds -- specifically, hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust. Scientists recently realized these giant clouds can move and thicken or thin surprisingly rapidly, in less than an Earth day, but did not understand why.

The moving Martian bow shock

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 1:18pm
Physicists throw new light on the interaction between the planet Mars and supersonic particles in the solar wind.

A silent search for dark matter

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 11:30am
Results from its first run indicate that XENON1T is the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth. The sensitivity of the detector -- an underground sentinel awaiting a collision that would confirm a hypothesis - stems from both its size and its 'silence.'

Trace of galaxies at the heart of a gigantic galaxy cluster

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 12:30pm
The discovery of numerous ultra-diffuse galaxies is both remarkable and puzzling, explain scientists in a new report.

Eclipse data used to create musical composition

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:57am
Researchers have created an original music composition for Monday's eclipse. They uses drums, synthesized tones and other sounds to symbolize the movements of the sun and moon and the gradual darkness they will produce during the August 21 event.

Astrophysicist predicts detached, eclipsing white dwarfs to merge into exotic star

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 4:24pm
Astrophysicists have discovered two detached, eclipsing double white dwarf binaries with orbital periods of 40 and 46 minutes, respectively. White dwarfs are the remnants of Sun-like stars, many of which are found in pairs, or binaries.

Eclipse research: Following in the moon's slipstream to capture high-res sunspot images

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 4:24pm
While much of the research around the eclipse on Monday will focus on the effects of the Sun's brief, daytime disappearance on Earth and its atmosphere, a group of solar physicists will be leveraging the rare event to capture a better glimpse of the star itself.

Spoiler alert: Computer simulations provide preview of upcoming eclipse

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 9:21am
Scientists have forecast the corona of the sun during the upcoming eclipse. The findings shed light on what the eclipse of the sun might look like Aug. 21 when it will be visible across much of the US, tracing a 70-mile-wide band across 14 states.

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.