161–180 of 264 results

Space Missions

Planck: Best Map Yet of Cosmic Creation

Planck mission scientists have released the first half of their observations of the cosmic microwave background. The results are a stunning confirmation of today's standard model for how the universe formed and grew. But they also raise some head-scratchers.


(Really) Cool View of Andromeda Galaxy

Nearing the end of its mission, ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has delivered a highly detailed map of extremely cold gas and dust in the iconic Andromeda Galaxy.

NGC 6872, the largest spiral galaxy


NGC 6872: The Largest Spiral Galaxy

Our Milky Way ranks near the top in the pecking order of spiral galaxies, but it's no match for an enormous "island universe" in the constellation Pavo that is more than 500,000 light-years across.


Beyond the Standard Model — Or Not

Scientists keep trying to disprove the Standard Model that governs modern physics. And they keep failing.

distant galaxies seen by Hubble


Hubble Takes Galaxy Census

New observations by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal some of the earliest galaxies in the universe.


Cosmic Web Weeds Dwarf Galaxies

Astronomers have discovered an unexpected explanation for why they can only find a small fraction of the satellite galaxies the Milky Way is supposed to have.


Fermi Detects Cosmic Fog

An international team has used the disappearance of high-energy photons to narrow in on the origin of the light suffusing the cosmos.

Straying stars


Stray Stars Might Solve Infrared Puzzle

A new study suggests that lonesome stars in galaxies’ farthest outskirts contribute to a mysterious, blotchy glow that permeates the sky.


Hubble Goes Deep — eXtremely Deep

The Hubble Space Telescope's newest deep space image reveals 5,500 galaxies in a tiny, dark patch of sky in the constellation Fornax.


Universe is Still Missing its Lithium

New observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud have only heightened the mystery surrounding a decades-long cosmic conundrum: why does the universe have so much less lithium than astronomers think it should?

Jay Pasachoff and local Chinese students

Solar System

Science All Around at the IAU

Jay Pasachoff blogs about his experience at the second week of IAU's General Assembly in Beijing, taking in talks on everything from the age of the universe to the history of sunspots.


WISE Detects Blazing Black Holes

Astronomers using data from the WISE all-sky infrared survey have discovered a new class of luminous galaxies in the distant universe. These objects are rare, super-duper bright, and yet totally invisible in visible light.


New Heavyweight Galaxy Cluster

Astronomers have discovered a supermassive galaxy cluster that both meets and challenges expectations for how clusters ought to behave.

Professional Telescopes

Fly Through a 3D Map of the Universe

A mind-boggling 1.5 million galaxies trace out the filaments, clusters, and voids in Sloan Digital Sky Survey's new 3D map of the universe.


Star-Shredder's Brief Pulse

A supermassive black hole spotted last year as it ripped a star apart and spat out a jet had another surprise up its sleeve: a short-lived X-ray heartbeat seen only once before from a galaxy’s central beast.


Dark-Matter Thread Revealed

Scientists have found a dark-matter filament, a strand of the cosmic web that connects clusters of galaxies. It's the first time an individual filament has been detected and is among our first observational glimpses of the universe’s largest structures.



A Windy Early Universe

Winds in the early universe could make radio observations of the first stars and galaxies a little easier, says a new study published in Nature.

Stellar Science

The Universe’s Lost Lithium

Astronomers are still struggling with a 30-year-old mystery that puts modern cosmology in a head-to-head clash with stellar observations. A new study may make the problem even worse.

Stellar Science

Black Hole Eats Stripped Star

A closely-watched flare from a gargantuan black hole in a distant galaxy has revealed to astronomers not only the mass of the black hole that ate the snack but the type of star that met its end as the meal.


Cosmic Ray Origin Still Mysterious

Observations out of Antarctica support the idea that the most energetic of the superspeedy space particles raining down on Earth are not from gamma-ray bursts. The new result prolongs a long-standing mystery in astrophysics.