Astronomy

Astronomy News -- ScienceDaily Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.

  • Astrophysicist predicts detached, eclipsing white dwarfs to merge into exotic star
    on August 18, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    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
    on August 18, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    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
    on August 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    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
    on August 17, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    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
    on August 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    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
    on August 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    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
    on August 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    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
    on August 16, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    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
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    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
    on August 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    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
    on August 15, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    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. […]

  • Tracking a solar eruption through the solar system
    on August 15, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    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
    on August 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    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
    on August 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    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
    on August 14, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    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
    on August 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    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
    on August 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    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
    on August 12, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    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'
    on August 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    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
    on August 11, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    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
    on August 10, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    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
    on August 10, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    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
    on August 10, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    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
    on August 9, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    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
    on August 7, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    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
    on August 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    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
    on August 4, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    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. […]

  • Twilight observations reveal huge storm on Neptune
    on August 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Striking images of a storm system nearly the size of Earth have astronomers doing a double-take after pinpointing its location near Neptune's equator, a region where no bright cloud has been seen before. The discovery was made at dawn on June 26 as researchers were testing the Keck telescope to see whether it could make useful observations during twilight, a time most astronomers consider unusable because it's not dark enough. […]

  • Dark Energy Survey reveals most accurate measurement of universe's dark matter
    on August 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Dark Energy Survey scientists have unveiled the most accurate measurement ever made of the present large-scale structure of the universe. These measurements of the amount and 'clumpiness' (or distribution) of dark matter in the present-day cosmos were made with a precision that, for the first time, rivals that of inferences from the early universe by the European Space Agency's orbiting Planck observatory. […]

  • Our solar system's 'shocking' origin story
    on August 3, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    According to one longstanding theory, our Solar System's formation was triggered by a shock wave from an exploding supernova. It injected material from the exploding star into a neighboring cloud of dust and gas, causing it to collapse in on itself and form the Sun and its surrounding planets. New work offers fresh evidence supporting this theory, modeling the Solar System's formation beyond the initial cloud collapse and into the intermediate stages of star formation. […]