Popular Science articles about Astronomy & Space

This is a Hubble mosaic of 414 photographs of the M31, or the Andromeda galaxy. On the bottom left is an enlargement of the boxed field (top) reveals myriad stars and numerous open star clusters as bright blue knots,spanning 4,400 light-years across. On the bottom right are six bright blue clusters extracted from the field. Each cluster square is 150 light-years across.

The wings of the butterfly

The Twin Jet Nebula, or PN M2-9, is a striking example of a bipolar planetary nebula. Bipolar planetary nebulae are formed when the central object is not a single star, but a binary system, Studies have shown that the nebula's size increases with time, and measurements of this rate of increase suggest that the stellar outburst that formed the lobes occurred just 1200 years ago.The shimmering colours visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula. The new image highlights the nebula's shells and its...

New data from Antarctic detector firms up cosmic neutrino sighting

This is one of the highest-energy neutrino events from a survey of the northern sky superimposed on a view of the IceCube Lab at the South Pole.Researchers using the IceCube Neutrino Observatory have sorted through the billions of subatomic particles that zip through its frozen cubic-kilometer-sized detector each year to gather powerful new evidence in support...

Sibling stars

This rich view of a tapestry of colorful stars was captured by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera, on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. It shows a open cluster of stars known as IC 4651, a stellar grouping that lies at in the constellation of Ara (The Altar).The loose speckling of stars in this new ESO image is the open star cluster IC 4651, located within the Milky Way, in the constellation of Ara (The Altar), about...

SwRI scientists study nitrogen provision for Pluto's atmosphere

The latest data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reveal diverse features on Pluto's surface and an atmosphere dominated by nitrogen gas. However, Pluto's small mass allows hundreds of tons of...

Corrected sunspot history suggests climate change not due to natural solar trends

A drawing of the Sun made by Galileo Galilei on 23 June 1613 showing the positions and sizes of a number of sunspots. Galileo was one of the first to observe and document sunspots.The Maunder Minimum, between 1645 and 1715, when sunspots were scarce and the winters harsh, strongly suggests a link between solar activity and climate change. Until now there was a...

Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests

A 21-year study of a pair of ancient stars -- one a pulsar and the other a white dwarf -- helps astronomers understand how gravity works across the cosmos. The study was conducted with the NSF's Green Bank Telescope and the Arecibo Observatory.Gravity, one of the four fundamental forces of nature, appears reassuringly constant across the Universe, according to a decades-long study of a distant pulsar. This research helps to answer a...

From a million miles away, NASA camera shows moon crossing face of Earth

This image shows the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth - one million miles away.A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last...

Scientists solve planetary ring riddle

In this simulated image of Saturn's rings, color is used to present information about ring particle sizes in different regions based on the measured attenuations of three radio signals. Study suggests planetary rings have a universal particle distribution Study solves 'amazing' mathematical inverse cubes law of particle size distribution

Cosmological 'lost' lithium: An environmental solution

In the beginning there were four "fundamental" elements besides Hydrogen- not Earth, Air, Fire, or Water, but rather Helium 3, Helium 4, Deuterium and Lithium-7, four "light" isotopes produced by...

Telescopes team up to find distant Uranus-sized planet through microlensing

This diagram shows how astronomers observed a distant gas giant planet around OGLE-2005-BLG-169 using microlensing.NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii have made independent confirmations of an exoplanet orbiting far from its central star. The planet was discovered through a...

Cosmic recycling

The rich patchwork of gas clouds in this new image make up part of a huge stellar nursery nicknamed the Prawn Nebula (also known as Gum 56 and IC 4628). Taken using the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, this may well be one of the best pictures ever taken of this object. It shows clumps of hot new-born stars nestled in among the clouds that make up the nebula.Deeply immersed in this huge stellar nursery are three clusters of hot young stars -- only a few million years old -- which glow brightly in ultraviolet light. It is...

Searching for ingredients of dark matter and dark energy

This is an artists' impression of the experiment. The conditions in the vacuum chamber and the use of individual atoms (violet dots) as probes simulate the conditions in empty space for the search for dark energy.Two new reports advance efforts to identify components of dark matter and energy, which together comprise about 95% of the universe yet leave much to scientists' imaginations. Both experiments illustrate...

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Queen's researcher finds new model of gas giant planet formation

Queen's University researcher Martin Duncan has co-authored a study that solves the mystery of how gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn formed in the early solar system.

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Young, Jupiter-like planet discovered

This is an image of the Jupiter-like planet discovered by the Gemini Planet Imager.A team of researchers has discovered a Jupiter-like planet within a young system that could provide a new understanding of how planets formed around our sun.

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Scientists measure slow death of the Universe

A galaxy from the GAMA survey was observed at different wavelengths from the far ultraviolet to the far infrared. The inset graph shows how much energy is being generated at the different wavelengths.An international team of astronomers studying 200,000 galaxies has measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever before, discovering that it's only half what...

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Astronomers discover new planet orbiting two stars

This is an artist's impression of the Kepler-453 system showing the newly discovered planet on the right and the eclipsing binary stars on the left.A team of astronomers including a San Francisco State University researcher has discovered a new planet orbiting a pair of stars, the 10th "circumbinary" planet discovered by NASA's Kepler Mission...

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NASA's Hubble finds evidence of galaxy star birth regulated by black-hole fountain

Top: Actual Hubble observations of gas density in the central portion of two galaxies. Bottom: Computer simulations of knots of star formation in the two galaxies show how gas falling into a galaxy's center is controlled by jets from the central black hole.Astronomers have uncovered a unique process for how the universe's largest elliptical galaxies continue making stars long after their peak years of star birth. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's exquisite high...

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Caltech astronomers unveil a distant protogalaxy connected to the cosmic web

Using the Cosmic Web Imager at Palomar Observatory to study a system with two quasars 10 billion light years away, a team of astronomers led by Caltech has unveiled a giant swirling disk of gas -- a protogalaxy, or galaxy in the making -- being fed cool gas by a filament of the cosmic web.A team of astronomers led by Caltech has discovered a giant swirling disk of gas 10 billion light-years away--a galaxy-in-the-making that is actively being fed cool primordial gas tracing back...

The ghost of a dying star

This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying star. This is the best view of the little-known object ESO 378-1 yet obtained and was captured by ESO's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile.This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary...

The ghostly remnants of galaxy interactions uncovered in a nearby galaxy group

Astronomers using the Subaru Telescope's Hyper Suprime-Cam observed the nearby large spiral galaxy M81, together with its two brightest neighbors. The team obtained deep and super wide-field images of the galaxies and discovered that the spatial distribution of the young stars around these galaxies follows very closely that of their distribution of neutral hydrogen. This is the first endeavor beyond the Local Group of galaxies to demonstrate the hierarchical galaxy assembly process on galactic scales.Astronomers using the Subaru Telescope's Hyper Suprime-Cam prime-focus camera recently observed the nearby large spiral galaxy M81, together with its two brightest neighbors, M82 and NGC3077. The results of their...

Stormy seas in Sagittarius

This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the Lagoon Nebula, an object with a deceptively tranquil name. The region is filled with intense winds from hot stars, churning funnels of gas, and energetic star formation, all embedded within an intricate haze of gas and pitch-dark dust.Some of the most breathtaking views in the Universe are created by nebulae - hot, glowing clouds of gas. This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the centre of...

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