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

  • Milky Way's supermassive black hole may have 'unseen' siblings
    on April 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Astronomers predict that galaxies with a mass similar to the Milky Way should host several supermassive black holes. […]

  • Uncovering the secret law of the evolution of galaxy clusters
    on April 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Using observational data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Subaru Telescope, the size and mass of galaxy clusters have precisely been measured. The research team analyzed those data and found a simple law that regulates the growth of the clusters. They also showed that the clusters are still young and growing. The newfound law will serve as a tool to clarify the evolutionary history of clusters and the universe. […]

  • 'Face recognition' for galaxies: Artificial intelligence brings new tools to astronomy
    on April 23, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    A machine learning method called 'deep learning,' which has been widely used in face recognition and other image- and speech-recognition applications, has shown promise in helping astronomers analyze images of galaxies and understand how they form and evolve. In a new study, researchers used computer simulations of galaxy formation to train a deep learning algorithm, which then proved surprisingly good at analyzing images of galaxies from the Hubble Space Telescope. […]

  • Galaxies grow bigger and puffier as they age
    on April 23, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    A new international study has found that galaxies grow bigger and puffier as they age. […]

  • Vast stellar nursery of Lagoon Nebula
    on April 19, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    This colorful cloud of glowing interstellar gas is just a tiny part of the Lagoon Nebula, a vast stellar nursery. This nebula is a region full of intense activity, with fierce winds from hot stars, swirling chimneys of gas, and energetic star formation all embedded within a hazy labyrinth of gas and dust. […]

  • NASA planet hunter on its way to orbit
    on April 19, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched on the first-of-its-kind mission to find worlds beyond our solar system, including some that could support life. Researchers will use spectroscopy to determine a planet's mass, density and atmospheric composition. Water, and other key molecules, in its atmosphere can give us hints about a planets' capacity to harbor life. […]

  • Optimizing space travel efficiency
    on April 18, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Sending a human into space and doing it efficiently presents a galaxy of challenges. Scientists have explored ways to integrate the logistics of space travel by looking at a campaign of lunar missions, spacecraft design, and conducting research, to create a framework to optimize fuel and other resources. […]

  • Meteorite diamonds tell of a lost planet
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Scientists have examined a slice from a meteorite that contains large diamonds formed at high pressure. The study shows that the parent body from which the meteorite came was a planetary embryo of a size between Mercury and Mars. […]

  • Black hole and stellar winds form giant butterfly, shut down star formation in galaxy
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Researchers have completed an unprecedented 'dissection' of twin galaxies in the final stages of merging. The new study explores a galaxy called NGC 6240. While most galaxies in the universe hold only one supermassive black hole at their center, NGC 6240 contains two -- and they're circling each other in the last steps before crashing together. […]

  • Martian moons model indicates formation following large impact
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Scientists posit a violent birth of the tiny Martian moons Phobos and Deimos, but on a much smaller scale than the giant impact thought to have resulted in the Earth-moon system. Their work shows that an impact between proto-Mars and a dwarf-planet-sized object likely produced the two moons. […]

  • 340,000 stars' 'DNA' interrogated in search for sun's lost siblings
    on April 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Astronomers have revealed the 'DNA' of more than 340,000 stars in the Milky Way, which should help them find the siblings of the sun, now scattered across the sky. This is the first major announcement of an ambitious survey as part of a quest to uncover the formulation and evolution of galaxies -- after the Australian-led Galactic Archaeology survey, called GALAH, commenced three years ago. […]

  • Can we tell black holes apart?
    on April 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Astrophysicists have created and compared self-consistent and realistic images of the shadow of an accreting supermassive black hole. The goal was to test if Einsteinian black holes can be distinguished from those in alternative theories of gravity. […]

  • Looking for extrasolar planets: DARKNESS lights the way
    on April 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    An international team of scientists has developed a new instrument to detect planets around the nearest stars. It is the world's largest and most advanced superconducting camera. […]

  • Once upon a time, an exoplanet was discovered
    on April 16, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    In recent history, a very important achievement was the discovery, in 1995, of 51 Pegasi b, the first extrasolar planet ever found around a normal star other than the Sun. […]

  • An astrophysicist is unlocking the secrets to dark matter
    on April 16, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    New research examines an interesting light source that was captured by four different telescopes each pointing in a different direction in the sky. […]

  • Hubble catches a colossal cluster
    on April 13, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows a massive galaxy cluster glowing brightly in the darkness. […]

  • Circumbinary castaways: Short-period binary systems can eject orbiting worlds
    on April 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Planets orbiting 'short-period' binary stars, or stars locked in close orbital embrace, can be ejected off into space as a consequence of their host stars' evolution, according to new research. […]

  • Fascinating zoo of discs discovered around young stars
    on April 11, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    New images from the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope are revealing the dusty discs surrounding nearby young stars in greater detail than previously achieved. They show a bizarre variety of shapes, sizes and structures, including the likely effects of planets still in the process of forming. […]

  • Tiny distortions in universe's oldest light reveal strands in cosmic web
    on April 10, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Scientists have decoded faint distortions in the patterns of the universe's earliest light to map huge tubelike structures invisible to our eyes -- known as filaments -- that serve as superhighways for delivering matter to dense hubs such as galaxy clusters. […]

  • Outback radio telescope listens in on interstellar visitor
    on April 10, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    A telescope in outback Australia has been used to listen to a mysterious cigar-shaped object that entered our Solar System late last year. When 'Oumuamua was first discovered, astronomers thought it was a comet or an asteroid from within the Solar System. But after studying its orbit and discovering its long, cylindrical shape, they realised 'Oumuamua was neither and had come from interstellar space. […]

  • The largest catalog ever published of very high energy gamma ray sources in the galaxy
    on April 9, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Astronomers have published the results of 15 years of gamma ray observations of the Milky Way. Its telescopes installed in Namibia have studied populations of pulsar wind nebulae and supernova remnants, as well as microquasars, never before detected in gamma rays. […]

  • Hunting for dark matter in the smallest galaxies in the Universe
    on April 6, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Astrophysicists have created a new method to measure the amount of dark matter at the center of tiny “dwarf” galaxies. […]

  • Giant solar tornadoes put researchers in a spin
    on April 6, 2018 at 2:34 am

    Despite their appearance solar tornadoes are not rotating after all, according to a team of scientists. A new analysis of these gigantic structures, each one several times the size of the Earth, indicates that they may have been misnamed because scientists have so far only been able to observe them using 2-dimensional images. […]

  • Dark matter might not be interactive after all
    on April 6, 2018 at 2:34 am

    Astronomers are back in the dark about what dark matter might be, after new observations showed the mysterious substance may not be interacting with forces other than gravity after all. […]

  • Dead star circled by light
    on April 5, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    New images reveal a rich landscape of stars and glowing clouds of gas in one of our closest neighboring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud. The pictures have allowed astronomers to identify an elusive stellar corpse left behind by a 2,000-year-old supernova explosion. The MUSE instrument was used to establish where this object is hiding, and Chandra X-ray Observatory data confirmed its identity as an isolated neutron star. […]

  • Paucity of phosphorus hints at precarious path for extraterrestrial life
    on April 5, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Work by astronomers suggests there may be a cosmic lack of a chemical element essential to life. […]

  • Tens of thousands of black holes may exist in Milky Way's center
    on April 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Astrophysicists have discovered a dozen black holes gathered around Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The finding is the first to support a decades-old prediction, opening up myriad opportunities to better understand the universe. […]

  • Hubble makes the first precise distance measurement to an ancient globular star cluster
    on April 4, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Astronomers have for the first time precisely measured the distance to one of the oldest objects in the universe, a collection of stars born shortly after the big bang. […]

  • From car engines to exoplanets
    on April 4, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Chemical models developed to help limit the emission of pollutants by car engines are being used to study the atmospheres of hot exoplanets orbiting close to their stars. […]

  • Magnetic hot spots on neutron stars survive for millions of years
    on April 4, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    A study of the evolution of magnetic fields inside neutron stars shows that instabilities can create intense magnetic hot spots that survive for millions of years, even after the star's overall magnetic field has decayed significantly. […]