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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 39 min ago

Supermassive black holes found in two tiny galaxies

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 2:49pm
Astronomers have found two ultra-compact dwarf galaxies with supermassive black holes, the second and third such galaxies found to harbor the objects. Together, the three examples suggest that black holes lurk at the center of most ultra-compact dwarfs, potentially doubling the number of supermassive black holes known in the universe. The tiny galaxies were likely leftovers of larger galaxies stripped of their outer layers after colliding into other, larger galaxies.

NASA team explores using LISA Pathfinder as 'comet crumb' detector

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 1:10pm
Scientists hope to take advantage of LISA Pathfinder's record-breaking sensitivity to acceleration to map out the distribution of tiny dust particles shed by asteroids and comets far from Earth.

Hubble sees starbursts in Virgo

Fri, 04/14/2017 - 10:58am
Starburst galaxies contain regions where stars are forming at such a breakneck rate that the galaxy is eating up its gas supply faster than it can be replenished.

New insights into 'ocean worlds' in our solar system

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 2:08pm
Two veteran NASA missions are providing new details about icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn, further heightening the scientific interest of these and other "ocean worlds" in our solar system and beyond. Scientists announce that a form of chemical energy that life can feed on appears to exist on Saturn's moon Enceladus, and researchers also report additional evidence of plumes erupting from Jupiter's moon Europa.

Meet 'DeeDee,' a distant, dim member of our solar system

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 11:57am
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have revealed extraordinary details about a recently discovered far-flung member of our solar system, the planetary body 2014 UZ224, more informally known as DeeDee.

First 'image' of a dark matter web that connects galaxies

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 9:12am
Researchers have been able to capture the first composite image of a dark matter bridge that connects galaxies together.

Scientist measures brightness of the universe with NASA's New Horizons spacecraft

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 1:58pm
Images taken by NASA's New Horizons mission on its way to Pluto, and now the Kuiper Belt, have given scientists an unexpected tool for measuring the brightness of all the galaxies in the universe.

Milky Way’s ionized hydrogen brought into focus

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 12:59pm
Building on efforts to tease out a new and mostly hidden feature of our galaxy, astronomers have developed WHAM, a spectrometer capable of detecting the faint, diffuse light emanating from the space between the stars.

'Cold' great spot discovered on Jupiter

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 9:01am
A Great Cold Spot comparable in scale to Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot (24,000 km west-east and 12,000 km north-south) has been found on the planet. The phenomenon, only recently observed, may have existed for thousands of years, however, this is the first direct evidence of a sustained weather system generated by polar aurorae and opens possibility on other planets.

NASA's MAVEN reveals Mars has metal in its atmosphere

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 3:47pm
Mars has electrically charged metal atoms (ions) high in its atmosphere, according to new results. The metal ions can reveal previously invisible activity in the mysterious electrically charged upper atmosphere (ionosphere) of Mars.

Long ago and far away, an average galaxy: 'Typical' galaxy helps astronomers study epoch of reionization

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 12:40pm
Using a giant galaxy cluster as a cosmic-scale lens, astronomers have discovered a galaxy from the early universe that they think is 'typical' of its time. This could help astronomers better understand the Epoch of Reionization when the first galaxies appeared.

Hubble spots auroras on Uranus

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 12:39pm
A composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different observations made by Hubble shows one for the ring and one for the auroras found around the planet.

Explosive material: The making of a supernova

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 9:56am
Pre-supernova stars may show signs of instability for months before the big explosion, spewing material into space and creating a dense gas shell around themselves, report scientists in a new report.

Astrochemistry: How life may have begun in space

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 8:51am
What chemical processes in space could have created the building blocks of life is being researched by chemists. In their experiments, the scientists are simulating the conditions in space to understand in detail how certain chemical reactions occur.

Dramatic stellar fireworks of star birth

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 1:27pm
Stellar explosions are most often associated with supernovae, the spectacular deaths of stars. But new observations provide insights into explosions at the other end of the stellar life cycle, star birth. Astronomers captured these dramatic images as they explored the firework-like debris from the birth of a group of massive stars, demonstrating that star formation can be a violent and explosive process too.

Atmosphere detected around an Earth-like planet

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 3:24pm
Astronomers have detected an atmosphere on another Earth-like planet. This marks the first detection of an atmosphere around an Earth-like planet other than Earth itself, and thus is a significant step on the path towards the detection of life outside our Solar System.

Hubble takes close-up portrait of Jupiter

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 2:38pm
On April 3, 2017, as Jupiter made its nearest approach to Earth in a year, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope viewed the solar system's largest planet in all of its up-close glory.