Popular Science articles about Astronomy & Space

Landing points (SONC) on a NAVCAM image are shown. Note that a second TD2, here taken at 17:24
(observed time: 17:25:26) is not modeled by RMOC and here only an example is given, since it
is not well constrained. We expect that the last hop was only a few meters.

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...

Astronomers discover powerful aurora beyond solar system

Astronomers have discovered the first aurora ever seen in an object beyond our Solar System. The aurora -- similar to the famous "Northern Lights" on Earth -- is 10,000 times...

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First detection of lithium from an exploding star

This image from the New Technology Telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory shows Nova Centauri 2013 in July 2015 as the brightest star in the centre of the picture. This was more than eighteen months after the initial explosive outburst. This nova was the first in which evidence of lithium has been found.The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made using telescopes at ESO's La Silla Observatory,...

Astronomers discover Earth's bigger cousin

Today an international team of astronomers from NASA's Kepler mission have announced the discovery of a near-Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star.

ALMA witnesses assembly of galaxies in the early universe for the first time

This view is a combination of images from ALMA and the Very Large Telescope. The central object is a very distant galaxy, labelled BDF 3299, which is seen when the Universe was less than 800 million years old. The bright red cloud just to the lower left is the ALMA detection of a vast cloud of material that is in the process of assembling the very young galaxy.When the first galaxies started to form a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, the Universe was full of a fog of hydrogen gas. But as more and...

Jupiter twin discovered around solar twin

This is an artist's impression showing a newly discovered Jupiter twin gas giant orbiting the solar twin star, HIP 11915. The planet is of a very similar mass to Jupiter and orbits at the same distance from its star as Jupiter does from the Sun. This, together with HIP 11915's Sun-like composition, hints at the possibility of the system of planets orbiting HIP 11915 bearing a resemblance to our own Solar System, with smaller rocky planets orbiting closer to the host star.So far, exoplanet surveys have been most sensitive to planetary systems that are populated in their inner regions by massive planets, down to a few times the mass of the...

NASA data shows surfer-shaped waves in near-Earth space

This simulation shows the magnetic bubble around Earth, called the magnetosphere. As the the solar wind -- a steady flow of particles from the sun -- rushes by, it creates the shape of classic surfer waves known to scientists as Kelvin-Helmholtz waves.The universe overflows with repeating patterns. From the smallest cells to the largest galaxies, scientists are often rewarded by observing similar patterns in vastly different places. One such pattern is...

Biggest explosions in the universe powered by strongest magnets

This artist's impression shows a supernova and associated gamma-ray burst driven by a rapidly spinning neutron star with a very strong magnetic field -- an exotic object known as a magnetar. Observations from ESO's La Silla and Paranal Observatories in Chile have for the first time demonstrated a link between a very long-lasting burst of gamma rays and an unusually bright supernova explosion. The results show that the supernova following the burst GRB 111209A was not driven by radioactive decay, as expected, but was instead powered by the decaying super-strong magnetic fields around a magnetar.Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs - http://www.eso.org/public/science/grb/) are one of the outcomes associated with the biggest explosions to have taken place since the Big Bang. They are detected by orbiting...

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Unexpectedly little black-hole monsters rapidly suck up surrounding matter

Multi-color optical image around the ULX "X-1" (indicated by the arrow) in the dwarf galaxy Holmberg II, is located in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major, at a distance of 11 million light-years. The image size corresponds to 1,100 × 900 light-years at the galaxy. The red color represents spectral line emission from hydrogen atoms.Using the Subaru Telescope, researchers at the Special Astrophysical Observatory in Russia and Kyoto University in Japan have found evidence that enigmatic objects in nearby galaxies - called ultra-luminous X-ray...

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NASA's Hubble sees a 'behemoth' bleeding atmosphere around a warm exoplanet

This artist's concept shows "The Behemoth," an enormous comet-like cloud of hydrogen bleeding off of a warm, Neptune-sized planet just 30 light-years from Earth. Also depicted is the parent star, which is a faint red dwarf named GJ 436. The hydrogen is evaporating from the planet due to extreme radiation from the star. A phenomenon this large has never before been seen around any exoplanet.Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen dubbed "The Behemoth" bleeding from a planet orbiting a nearby star. The enormous, comet-like feature is about...

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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...

Researchers find that Earth's magnetic shield is much older than previously thought

This is an artist's depiction of Earth's magnetic field deflecting high-energy protons from the sun four billion years ago. Note: The relative sizes of the Earth and Sun, as well as the distances between the two bodies, are not drawn to scale.Since 2010, the best estimate of the age of Earth's magnetic field has been 3.45 billion years. But now a researcher responsible for that finding has new data showing the...

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York scientists unlock secrets of stars through aluminium

Physicists at the University of York have revealed a new understanding of nucleosynthesis in stars, providing insight into the role massive stars play in the evolution of the Milky Way...

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

The coalescence of two black holes -- a very violent and exotic event -- is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no...

Déjà-vu, new theory says dark matter acts like well-known particle

Conventional theories predict that dark matter particles would not collide, rather they would slip past one another. Hochberg et al. predicts dark matter SIMPs would collide and interact with one another.A new theory says dark matter acts remarkably similar to subatomic particles known to science since the 1930s.

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NASA satellite camera provides 'EPIC' view of Earth

This is Earth as seen on July 6, 2015 from a distance of one million miles by a NASA scientific camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft.A NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has returned its first view of the entire sunlit side of Earth from one million miles away.

Curiosity rover finds evidence of Mars' primitive continental crust

Igneous clast named Harrison embedded in a conglomerate rock in Gale crater, Mars, shows elongated light-toned feldspar crystals. The mosaic merges an image from Mastcam with higher-resolution images from ChemCam's Remote Micro-Imager.The ChemCam laser instrument on NASA's Curiosity rover has turned its beam onto some unusually light-colored rocks on Mars, and the results are surprisingly similar to Earth's granitic continental crust...

NASA's Fermi sees record flare from a black hole in a distant galaxy

Five billion years ago, a great disturbance rocked a region near the monster black hole at the center of galaxy 3C 279. On June 14, the pulse of high-energy light...

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Rosetta spacecraft sees sinkholes on comet

This close-up image shows the most active pit, known as Seth_01, observed on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the Rosetta spacecraft. A new study suggests that this pit and others like it could be sinkholes, formed by a surface collapse process similar to the way these features form on Earth.The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft first began orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014. Almost immediately, scientists began to wonder about several surprisingly deep, almost perfectly circular pits on the...

Giant galaxy is still growing

The huge halo around giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 appears on this very deep image. An excess of light in the top-right part of this halo, and the motion of planetary nebulae in the galaxy, are the last remaining signs of a medium-sized galaxy that recently collided with Messier 87.

The image also reveals many other galaxies forming the Virgo Cluster, of which Messier 87 is the largest member. In particular, the two galaxies at the top right of the frame are nicknamed 'the Eyes'.Astronomers expect that galaxies grow by swallowing smaller galaxies. But the evidence is usually not easy to see -- just as the remains of the water thrown from a glass...

Neutron star's echoes give astronomers a new measuring stick

Circinus X-1 is a bizarre and sometimes frenetic source of X-rays in our galaxy. Residing in the plane of the Milky Way, where it cannot be observed by optical telescopes because of obscuring clouds of interstellar dust, Circinus X-1 is the glowing husk of a binary star system that exploded in a supernova event just 2,500 years ago. It consists of a very dense neutron star locked in the orbital embrace of a companion star. The system is called an X-ray binary because it flashes in X-rays as material from the companion star is sucked onto the dense neutron star.In late 2013, when the neutron star at the heart of one of our galaxy's oddest supernovae gave off a massive burst of X-rays, the resulting echoes -- created when...

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