161–180 of 241 results


Distant Galaxies Hint at Exotic Physics

Observations of galaxies shooting high-powered jets from their cores suggest the existence of a hypothetical particle. While speculative, the results could mean that photons aren't as dependable as we envision them to be.


The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs

Two teams of astronomers have independently announced the detection of a dwarf galaxy being eaten by another dwarf galaxy, NGC 4449. Seen in this image as a faint swipe of red stars, the satellite will probably be shredded after only a few orbits of its host, adding its stars to that galaxy's collection.


Galaxy in a Bucket

A tiny lab experiment could provide additional evidence for how galaxies come by their magnetic fields. The physics isn't new, but that's part of the allure.

Professional Telescopes

A Bold Plan to Study Dark Energy

Beginning later this year, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment will begin to analyze the spectra of one million primordial galaxies — and, its designers hope, get some answers about the mysterious force that's accelerating the expansion of the universe.

Stellar Science

Black Hole Shoots Bullets

Observations of a black hole that spat out twin blobs of superhot material may help astronomers understand how the mysterious beasts create powerful jets that shoot out from their poles. The blobs appeared just as the system went quiet in X-rays.


New Maps of Dark Matter

An intensive study of dark matter’s distribution in the universe has verified predictions of where the invisible stuff that makes up the majority of cosmic matter resides.


Heartbeat Suggests Smallest Black Hole

Strange, regular pulses from a black hole-star binary system suggest that the smallest black hole yet discovered lies behind the signals. Similarities between it and another known mystery object may mean the black holes are hiccuping as they eat.


Black Hole Breakfast En Route

Astronomers have discovered a dusty, stretched-out cloud heading for the supermassive black hole lurking in the Milky Way's core. The blob could be the meal the beast needs to wake up for a bit from its slumber, if the cloud survives its incoming trip on the dining cart.


Super Black Holes: New Records, If Real

This week astronomers announced the existence of two gargantuan black holes. The black holes may be the most massive ever directly measured — if further studies can validate them.

Milky Way

Another Origin for Cosmic Rays

Recent gamma-ray observations support the longstanding theory that superspeedy particles called cosmic rays have their origin in the havoc-ridden regions around young star clusters.


Cygnus X-1, Exactly

Astronomers have pinned down the distance, mass, and spin rate for the first black hole candidate discovered, information that points to a birth sans supernova.

Georges Lemaître


A "Whodunit" of Cosmic Proportions

Most everyone credits Edwin Hubble with discovering that the universe is expanding. But historians believe the honor should really be shared with a lesser-known Belgian priest named Georges Lemaître. So what's the real story?

People, Places, and Events

Three Cosmologists Share Nobel Prize

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics to (left to right) Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Riess, whose observations of distant supernovae led to the realization that the expansion of our universe is accelerating.


Galaxies Make Giant Gas Clouds Glow

The Lyman-alpha blobs have been a mystery since their discovery in 2000. Recent research however might offer clues.


From Stars to Stardust

Astronomers have determined that a recent supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud created a half-Sun's worth of dust — hinting that such stellar explosions might be an unexpectedly rich source of dust throughout the universe.


A Paradigm-Shattering Quasar

A team of European astronomers has discovered the most distant known quasar.But at its heart is a monstrous black hole that could rob theorists of a few nights' sleep.


A Case for Frozen Hydrogen

Can hydrogen freeze solid in interstellar clouds? If so, it might contribute to a mysterious form of interstellar light absorption.

Spacecraft and Space Missions

The Star That Changed Our Universe

Modern observers have revisited a dim variable star in the Andromeda Galaxy whose discovery in 1923 rocked the astronomical world.


Black Hole Gobbles Star

A powerful Gamma Ray Burst captured by the Swift space telescope earlier this year gives astronomers a unique chance to study tidal disruption.


The Earliest Black Holes

Combining data from the deepest images ever taken in visual/infrared wavelengths and X-rays, astronomers have discovered some of the earliest black holes in the universe.