380 results


A Galactic Dead Zone

Astronomers find that the organic compounds common throughout our galaxy and others suddenly disappear along M101's outer edge.


Weighing Black Holes with a Thermometer

Astronomers use the 12-million-kelvin-blaze of a galaxy's central region to measure its supermassive black hole.

circuit board

Stellar Science

Artificial Intelligence Aids Astronomers

Astronomers have designed a neural network that can determine the particulars of binary star systems by just examining their light curves — and it can do it really, really fast.


Are Jupiters Hard to Come By?

A recent survey of stars in the Orion Nebula Cluster reveals that less than 10% of stars there have enough material in their surrounding disks to form Jupiter-sized planets.

Stellar Science

Faint Supernovae Remain Unexplained

A subclass of supernovae that fades much faster than expected reveals possible kinks in astronomers' theories of what causes these explosions.

Solar System

Water in Moon Dust Raises Questions

Traces of water recently found in glassy granules brought back 40 years ago by the Apollo 15 crew suggest scientists haven't quite figured out yet just how our Moon formed.

brown dwarf binary

Stellar Science

Brown-Dwarf Binary Tests Theories

Recent calculations for a pair of failed stars add to astronomers' scant knowledge of brown dwarfs and will help set a reference point for future studies.

Space Missions

Mercury: The Incredible Shrinking Planet

During its first flyby of Mercury, NASA"s Messenger spacecraft found much less iron on the planet’s surface than expected and a cloud of ionized atoms — including water — caught up in the planet’s magnetosphere. And that’s just for starters.

Stellar Science

Regulus’s Secret Companion

Astronomers confirm a low-mass star orbits the Lion’s heart, the bright blue star imaged here to the lower right. But what exactly is it?

Solar System

Martian Dirt is Friendly to Life

The Phoenix lander's first wet chemical analysis of the Martian surface confirms water’s thumbprint and finds the kinds of inorganic minerals you'd have in a backyard garden.

Milky Way

The Most Massive Star Yet?

Searching the core of one of the densest young star clusters in the Milky Way, scientists may have beat out primetime TV in the search for the newest big star.

Ulysses spacecraft

Space Missions

Ulysses' Space Odyssey Ends on July 1st

The only space mission ever to study the Sun’s poles directly will turn off at month’s end after a long life of trial and triumph.

Saturn aurorae by Hubble

Solar System

The Mystery of Saturn’s Double Aurorae

New infrared observations reveal a second auroral ring on Saturn that may help astronomers understand what causes the planet's aurorae in the first place.


Hubble Looks into the Coma Cluster

The HST captures a pristine image of various galaxy types grouped together, but what is most intriguing is what the image doesn't reveal.

Solar System

Moonlets Perturb Saturn’s Ring

New observations from Cassini show small satellites are responsible for Saturn's F ring looking a little frazzled.

Space Missions

NASA UV Satellite Powers Down

After five years in orbit, CHIPSat enters a hibernation that may — or may not — be permanent.


Signs Found of Many “Super-Earths”

Jupiter-like exoplanets are outnumbered by smaller planets three to one, say astronomers describing their cutting-edge work in progress.

Solar System

Jupiter Sports a Third Red Spot

Jupiter's new spot may herald global climate change for the gas giant.

Spirit's tracks uncover silica deposits that hint at past hydrothermal activity.

Space Missions

Mars Rover Unearths Ancient Hot Springs

The Mars rover Spirit uncovers evidence for hydrothermal activity on the Red Planet and a possible cache for microbial fossils.

Stellar Science

Puny Star's Big Flare Wows Astronomers

While a NASA satellite looked on, last month a red dwarf in Lacerta erupted with a titanic — and unexpected — burst of energy.

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