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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 38 min ago

Tracking a solar eruption through the solar system

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:04pm
Ten spacecraft, from ESA's Venus Express to NASA's Voyager-2, felt the effect of a solar eruption as it washed through the solar system while three other satellites watched, providing a unique perspective on this space weather event.

Cosmic velocity web: Motions of thousands of galaxies mapped

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 9:51am
The cosmic web -- the distribution of matter on the largest scales in the universe -- has usually been defined through the distribution of galaxies. Now, a new study by a team of astronomers demonstrates a novel approach. Instead of using galaxy positions, they mapped the motions of thousands of galaxies.

Tidally locked exoplanets may be more common than previously thought

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 4:19pm
Many exoplanets to be found by coming high-powered telescopes will probably be tidally locked -- with one side permanently facing their host star -- according to new research.

Supernova collides with nearby star, taking astrophysicists by surprise

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 1:48pm
In the 2009 film 'Star Trek,' a supernova hurtles through space and obliterates a planet unfortunate enough to be in its path. Fiction, of course, but it turns out the notion is not so farfetched.

Studying the Sun's atmosphere with the total solar eclipse of 2017

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 12:53pm
A total solar eclipse happens somewhere on Earth about once every 18 months. But because Earth's surface is mostly ocean, most eclipses are visible over land for only a short time, if at all. The total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, is different -- its path stretches over land for nearly 90 minutes, giving scientists an unprecedented opportunity to make scientific measurements from the ground.

New 3-D simulations show how galactic centers cool their jets

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 12:09pm
Scientists have developed new theories and 3-D simulations to explain what's at work in the mysterious jets of energy and matter beaming from the center of galaxies at nearly the speed of light.

Cassini to begin final five orbits around Saturn

Sat, 08/12/2017 - 12:15pm
NASA's Cassini spacecraft will enter new territory in its final mission phase, the Grand Finale, as it prepares to embark on a set of ultra-close passes through Saturn's upper atmosphere with its final five orbits around the planet.

New mission going to the space station to explore mysteries of 'cosmic rain'

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 1:49pm
A new experiment set for launch to the International Space Station will provide an unprecedented look at a rain of particles from deep space, called cosmic rays, that constantly showers our planet. The mission is designed to measure the highest-energy particles of any detector yet flown in space.

NASA watches the Sun put a stop to its own eruption

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 12:48pm
On Sept. 30, 2014, multiple NASA observatories watched a failed solar eruption. Because scientists had so many eyes on the event, they were able to explain how the Sun's magnetic landscape shredded its own eruption.

Galactic winds push researchers to probe galaxies at unprecedented scale

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 5:33pm
After using the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to rule out a potential mechanism for galactic wind, astrophysicists are aiming to generate nearly a trillion-cell simulation of an entire galaxy, which would be the largest simulation of a galaxy ever.

Day to night and back again: Earth's ionosphere during the total solar eclipse

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 2:57pm
Three NASA-funded studies will use the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse as a ready-made experiment, courtesy of nature, to improve our understanding of the ionosphere and its relationship to the Sun.

New observations of Crab Nebula and Pulsar reveal polarized emissions

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 8:21am
New observations of polarised X-rays from the Crab Nebula and Pulsar may help explain sudden flares in the Crab’s X-ray intensity, as well as provide new data for modeling – and understanding – the nebula.

Chaco Canyon petroglyph may represent ancient total eclipse

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 2:01pm
As the hullabaloo surrounding the Aug. 21 total eclipse of the sun swells by the day, an expert says a petroglyph in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon may represent a total eclipse that occurred there a thousand years ago.

Black holes pervade the universe, celestial census indicates

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 3:54pm
After conducting a cosmic inventory of sorts to calculate and categorize stellar-remnant black holes, astronomers have concluded that there are probably tens of millions of the enigmatic, dark objects in the Milky Way -- far more than expected.

Astronauts to bring asteroid back into lunar orbit

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 11:03am
Future space exploration aims to fly further from Earth than ever before. New research examines the robotic phase of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). In addition to taking manned spaceflights deeper into space than ever before, the proposed mission would also bring some benefit for planetary science.

Primordial black holes may have helped to forge heavy elements

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 1:18pm
Astronomers like to say we are the byproducts of stars, stellar furnaces that long ago fused hydrogen and helium into the elements needed for life through the process of stellar nucleosynthesis. But what about the heavier elements in the periodic chart, elements such as gold, platinum and uranium? Astronomers believe most of these "r-process elements" -- elements much heavier than iron -- were created, either in the aftermath of the collapse of massive stars and the associated supernova explosions, or in the merging of binary neutron star systems.