Popular Science articles about Astronomy & Space

Rosetta-Alice spectrograph obtains first far ultraviolet spectra of a cometary surface

NASA's Alice ultraviolet (UV) spectrograph aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta comet orbiter has delivered its first scientific discoveries. Rosetta, in orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is the first spacecraft to study a comet up close.

First evidence for water ice clouds found outside solar system

A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System. Water ice clouds...

How much gravity is enough?

Keeping upright in a low-gravity environment is not easy, and NASA documents abound with examples of astronauts falling on the lunar surface. Now, a new study by an international team...

Newly identified galactic supercluster is home to the Milky Way

A slice of the Laniakea Supercluster in the supergalactic equatorial plane -- an imaginary plane containing many of the most massive clusters in this structure. The colors represent density within this slice, with red for high densities and blue for voids -- areas with relatively little matter. Individual galaxies are shown as white dots. Velocity flow streams within the region gravitationally dominated by Laniakea are shown in white, while dark blue flow lines are away from the Laniakea local basin of attraction. The orange contour encloses the outer limits of these streams, a diameter of about 160 Mpc. This region contains the mass of about 100 million billion suns.Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT) -- among other telescopes -- have determined that our own Milky Way galaxy is part of a newly identified ginormous...

Radio telescopes settle controversy over distance to Pleiades

Astronomers have used a worldwide network of radio telescopes to resolve a controversy over the distance to a famous star cluster -- a controversy that posed a potential challenge to...

What lit up the universe?

A computer model shows one scenario for how light is spread through the early universe on vast scales (more than 50 million light years across). Astronomers will soon know whether or not these kinds of computer models give an accurate portrayal of light in the real cosmos.New research from UCL shows we will soon uncover the origin of the ultraviolet light that bathes the cosmos, helping scientists understand how galaxies were built.

Spectacular supernova's mysteries revealed

New research by a team of UK and European-based astronomers is helping to solve the mystery of what caused a spectacular supernova in a galaxy 11 million light years away,...

Toothpaste fluorine formed in stars

The fluorine that is found in products such as toothpaste was likely formed billions of years ago in now dead stars of the same type as our sun. This has...

Astrophysicists detect destruction of 3 stars by black holes

Researchers from MIPT and the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences have reported registering three possible occasions of thetidal destruction of stars by supermassive black holes at...

Three radars are better than one: Field campaign demonstrates two new instruments

HIWRAP was developed by Goddard's High Altitude Radar Group. The team includes (left to right): Lihua Li, Gerry McIntire, Michael Coon, Matthew McLinden, Gerry Heymsfield and Martin Perrine. McLinden led the work on the Cloud Radar System and Li led the work on EXRAD.Putting three radars on a plane to measure rainfall may seem like overkill. But for the Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment field campaign in North Carolina recently, more definitely was...

Follow the radio waves to exomoons, UT Arlington physicists say

This is a schematic of a plasma torus around an exoplanet, which is created by the ions injected from an exomoon's ionosphere into the planet's magnetosphere.Scientists hunting for life beyond Earth have discovered more than 1,800 planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, in recent years, but so far, no one has been able to...

This is an artist's conception of the young massive star HD100546 and its surrounding disk. A planet forming in the disk has cleared the disk within 13AU of the star, a distance comparable to that of Saturn from the sun. As gas and dust flows from the circumstellar disk to the planet, this material surrounds the planet as a circumplanetary disk (inset). These rotating disks are believed to be the birthplaces of planetary moons, such as the Galilean moons that orbit Jupiter. While they are theoretically predicted to surround giant planets at birth, there has been little observational evidence to date for circumplanetary disks outside the solar system. Brittain et al. (2014) report evidence for an orbiting source of carbon monoxide emission whose size is consistent with theoretical predictions for a circumplanetary disk. Observations over 10 years trace the orbit of the forming planet from behind the near side of the circumstellar disk in 2003 to the far side of the disk in 2013. These observations provide a new way to study how planets form.

Researcher advances a new model for a cosmological enigma -- dark matter

This image shows the distribution of dark matter in the universe as computed within the two-component flavor-mixed dark matter paradigm.Astrophysicists believe that about 80 percent of the substance of our universe is made up of mysterious "dark matter" that can't be perceived by human senses or scientific instruments.

Researchers discover new clues to determining the solar cycle

This is a composite of 25 separate images from NASA's SDO, spanning one year from April 2012 to April 2013. The image reveals the migration tracks of active regions towards the equator during that period.Approximately every 11 years, the sun undergoes a complete personality change from quiet and calm to violently active. The height of the sun's activity, known as solar maximum, is a...

Astrophysicists report radioactive cobalt in supernova explosion

A radioactive decay chain and the spectrum obtained by the INTEGRAL observatory. Note the scale of the vertical axis -- about one gamma quantum an hour per 1cm2!A group of astrophysicists, including researchers from MIPT, has detected the formation of radioactive cobalt during a supernova explosion, lending credence to a corresponding theory of supernova explosions. Details are...

Orion rocks! Pebble-size particles may jump-start planet formation

Radio/optical composite of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex showing the OMC-2/3 star-forming filament. GBT data is shown in orange. Uncommonly large dust grains there may kick-start planet formation.Rocky planets like Earth start out as microscopic bits of dust tinier than a grain of sand, or so theories predict.

Best view yet of merging galaxies in distant universe

ALMA, the VLA, and other telescopes used gravitational lensing to obtain the best view yet of a collision that took place between two galaxies when the Universe was only half its current age. These new studies of the galaxy H-ATLAS J142935.3-002836 have shown that this complex and distant object looks surprisingly like the well-known local galaxy collision, the Antennae Galaxies. The foreground galaxy is doing the lensing and around it is an almost complete ring — the smeared out image of a star-forming galaxy merger far beyond. This picture combines the views from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck-II telescope on Hawaii (using adaptive optics) along with the ALMA images shown in red. The ALMA data also give information about the motions of the material in the distant merging galaxies and were vital in unravelling the complex object.An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) -- among other telescopes -- has obtained the best...

Electric sparks may alter evolution of lunar soil

The moon appears to be a tranquil place, but modeling done by University of New Hampshire and NASA scientists suggests that, over the eons, periodic storms of solar energetic particles...

Solar salad, anyone?

Natalie Hinkel gives a plenary talk at the Cool Stars 18 meeting in Flagstaff, Ariz. about her paper on the Hypatia Catalog.An Arizona State University alumna has devised the largest catalog ever produced for stellar compositions. Called the Hypatia Catalog, after one of the first female astronomers who lived ~350 AD...

New Milky Way maps help solve stubborn interstellar material mystery

An international team of sky scholars, including a key researcher from Johns Hopkins, has produced new maps of the material located between the stars in the Milky Way. The results...

University of Tennessee research uncovers forces that hold gravity-defying near-earth asteroid together

This is a asteroid 1950 DA.Researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have made a novel discovery that may potentially protect the world from future collisions with asteroids.

All-you-can-eat at the end of the universe

Dense cold gas (green) flows toward the center of a stellar cluster (red cross in blue circle) with stars (yellow); the erratic path of the black hole through the gas (black line) is randomized by the surrounding stars.At the ends of the Universe there are black holes with masses equaling billions of our sun. These giant bodies -- quasars -- feed on interstellar gas, swallowing large quantities...

More news about Astronomy & Space

Breaking science news from the newsfeed about Astronomy & Space