Popular Science articles about Astronomy & Space

Massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744, nicknamed Pandora's Cluster, takes on a ghostly look where total starlight has been artificially colored blue in this Hubble view.

Yale finds a planet that won't stick to a schedule

Yale astronomers and citizen scientists from Planet Hunters have confirmed a low-mass, low-density planet that can't seem to stick to a schedule.For their latest discovery, Yale astronomers and the Planet Hunters program have found a low-mass, low-density planet with a punctuality problem.

Tremendously bright pulsar may be 1 of many

Recently, a team of astronomers reported discovering a pulsating star that appears to shine with the energy of 10 million suns. The find, which was announced in Nature, is the...

UNH scientist: Cosmic rays threaten future deep-space astronaut missions

Crewed missions to Mars remain an essential goal for NASA, but scientists are only now beginning to understand and characterize the radiation hazards that could make such ventures risky, concludes...

Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds: a first order mystery about the planet that researchers may be a little closer to solving because of a new...

Wobbling of a Saturn moon hints at what lies beneath

Using instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft to measure the wobbles of Mimas, the closest of Saturn's regular moons, a Cornell University astronomer publishing in Science, Oct. 17, has inferred that...

Milky Way ransacks nearby dwarf galaxies

This is an artist's impression of the Milky Way. Its hot halo appears to be stripping away the star-forming atomic hydrogen from its companion dwarf spheroidal galaxies.Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, along with data from other large radio telescopes, have discovered that our nearest galactic neighbors, the dwarf...

Discovery of the Benešov meteorites 20 years after the bolide event

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing the spectacular discovery of meteorite fragments 20 years after the corresponding bolide was seen in the skies of the Czech Republic. This discovery was made...

MAVEN's first look at Mars holds surprises, says CU-Boulder mission leader

This is an artist's conception of NASA's MAVEN spacecraft at Mars.NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has provided scientists their first look at a storm of energetic solar particles at Mars, produced unprecedented ultraviolet images of the tenuous...

Leaky galaxies lead researchers to better understand the universe

This is Sanchayeeta Borthakur, assistant research scientist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University.Focusing on large, star-forming galaxies, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University were able to measure radiation leaks in an effort to better understand how the universe evolved as the first...

NASA's Swift mission observes mega flares from a mini star

DG CVn, a binary consisting of two red dwarf stars shown here in an artist's rendering, unleashed a series of powerful flares seen by NASA's Swift. At its peak, the initial flare was brighter in X-rays than the combined light from both stars at all wavelengths under typical conditions.On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting...

New study finds oceans arrived early to Earth

In this illustration of the early solar system, the dashed white line represents the snow line -- the transition from the hotter inner solar system, where water ice is not stable (brown) to the outer Solar system, where water ice is stable (blue). Two possible ways that the inner solar system received water are: water molecules sticking to dust grains inside the "snow line" (as shown in the inset) and carbonaceous chondrite material flung into the inner solar system by the effect of gravity from protoJupiter. With either scenario, water must accrete to the inner planets within the first ca. 10 million years of solar system formation.Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of...

Planck 2013 results

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature of 31 articles describing the data gathered by Planck over 15 months of observations and released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration...

Big black holes can block new stars

This is elliptical galaxy NGC 1132, as seen by NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory; the blue/purple in the image is the X-ray glow from hot, diffuse gas that is not forming into stars.Massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, a study has found.

POLARBEAR seeks cosmic answers in microwave polarization

This is the Huan Tran Telescope in the Atacama Desert of Chile. The POLARBEAR microwave bolometers are mounted on the telescope to study the polarization of light from a period 380,000 years after the Big Bang.An international team of physicists has measured a subtle characteristic in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation that will allow them to map the large-scale structure of the...

Explosion first evidence of a hydrogen-deficient supernova progenitor

A group of researchers led by Melina Bersten of Kavli IPMU recently presented a model that provides the first characterization of the progenitor for a hydrogen-deficient supernova. Their model predicts...

Tiny 'nanoflares' might heat the Sun's corona

This image from the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) shows emission from hot plasma (T ~ 80,000-100,000 K) in the Sun's transition region -- the atmospheric layer between the surface and the outer corona. The bright, C-shaped feature at upper center shows brightening in the footprints of hot coronal loops, which is created by high-energy electrons accelerated by nanoflares. The vertical dark line corresponds to the slit of the spectrograph. The image is color-coded to show light at a wavelength of 1,400 Angstroms. The size of each pixel corresponds to about 120 km (75 miles) on the Sun.Why is the Sun's million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun's surface? This question has baffled astronomers for decades. Today, a team led by Paola Testa...

Getting to know super-earths

"If you have a coin and flip it just once, what does that tell you about the odds of heads versus tails?" asks Heather Knutson, assistant professor of planetary science...

Rediscovering Venus to find faraway earths

The astro-comb calibrates the Italian National Telescope's HARPS-Nspectrograph using an observation of the asteroid Vesta. The top figure is a colorizedversion of the raw HARPS-N spectrum, showing the astro-comb calibration dottedlines and the sun's spectrum reflected off Vesta as mostly solid vertical lines.The middle figure shows the raw data converted to a very precise standard one-dimensionalplot of spectral intensity vs. wavelength. The very regular astro-comb calibrationspectrum is below below.Astronomers Chih-Hao Li and David Phillips of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics want to rediscover Venus -- that familiar, nearby planet stargazers can see with the naked eye much of...

A warm dark matter search using XMASS: Editors' suggestion of Physical Review Letters

The XMASS collaboration, led by Yoichiro Suzuki at the Kavli IPMU, has reported its latest results on the search for warm dark matter. Their results rule out the possibility that...

NASA's SDO watches giant filament on the sun

A dark snaking line in the upper right of these images on Sept. 30, 2014, show a filament of solar material hovering above the sun's surface. NASA's SDO captured the images in extreme UV light -- different colors represent different wavelengths of light and different temperatures of solar material.A snaking, extended filament of solar material currently lies on the front of the sun-- some 1 million miles across from end to end. Filaments are clouds of solar material...

Simulations reveal an unusual death for ancient stars

This image is a slice through the interior of a supermassive star of 55,500 solar masses along the axis of symmetry. It shows the inner helium core in which nuclear burning is converting helium to oxygen, powering various fluid instabilities (swirling lines). This "snapshot" from a CASTRO simulation shows one moment a day after the onset of the explosion, when the radius of the outer circle would be slightly larger than that of the orbit of the Earth around the sun. Visualizations were done in VisIT.Certain primordial stars -- those between 55,000 and 56,000 times the mass of our Sun, or solar masses -- may have died unusually. In death, these objects -- among the...

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