1–20 of 88 results
Giant flare on a magnetar

Stellar Science

Masquerading Magnetars Make Short Brilliant Bursts

Giant flares emitted from the surface of highly magnetized neutron stars could explain some gamma-ray flashes astronomers have caught over the past few decades.

Supermassive black hole devouring a star

Black Holes

Black Hole Feasts on Star, Bite by Bite

Like a cosmic blinker, a distant supermassive black hole is flaring every 114 days. Astronomers believe the eerily regular signal betrays the piecemeal devouring of a star.

Babylonian planet grouping

Astronomy and Society

Ancient Babylonians Witnessed Unique Planetary Gathering

Jupiter and Saturn's "Great Conjunction" is a noteworthy event, but on the morning of March 25, 185 BC, an even grander planetary gathering greeted Babylonian sky watchers

Milky Way

Gaia Makes Most Accurate 3D Map of the Milky Way Yet

Astronomers have released a new, extremely detailed three-dimensional census of our Milky Way galaxy.

Brown dwarf aurorae

Exoplanets

Radio Transmission from a Brown Dwarf

The radio discovery of a brown dwarf holds promise for future exoplanet detections.

Jovian sprite

Solar System

Juno Discovers Sprites and Elves on Jupiter

NASA's Juno spacecraft has captured ultraviolet images of a rare atmospheric phenomenon in Jupiter's atmosphere.

Psyche

Solar System

Psyche: A Metal-Rock World with Iron Lava?

New observations suggest the main-belt asteroid Psyche is an intriguing world, possibly one with volcanic flows of iron on its surface.

Near-Earth asteroid passing Earth

Solar System

(Very) Small Chance of Apophis Asteroid Impact in 2068

The subtle effect of sunlight may turn the near-Earth asteroid Apophis toward Earth in 2068 . . . but chances for impact remain small.

Ariel transits Uranus

Solar System

Uranian Moons Are Like Dwarf Planets

The moons of Uranus exhibit heat signatures similar to dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt — where the moons were likely born.

Jupiter, Ganymede, Europa and double shadows, March 25, 2019

Solar System

Study Suggests Jupiter Could Have 600 Moons

New detections of candidate moons suggest that the king of planets could have hundreds of smaller satellites.

Gravitational waves from GW190521

Black Holes

Record-breaking Signal Reveals New Population of Black Holes

Gravitational-wave observatories have detected the most massive black hole merger yet, and it's challenging our ideas of black hole formation.

Twinkling quasar

Solar System

Twinkling Quasar Hints at Mysterious Nearby Plasma Cloud

Radio observations have turned up evidence of a cloud of hot plasma near — or even in — the solar system. But its distance estimate is still up for debate.

KIDS survey

Cosmology

Our Unexpectedly Smooth Universe May Point to New Physics

The latest data release from a survey of 31 million galaxies reveals that our universe is even smoother than we thought it was.

Magnetic field in the galactic center

Milky Way

Magnetism Rules in the Milky Way’s Core

Recent observations from the airborne SOFIA observatory show that magnetic fields — not gravity — govern the gas at the center of the Milky Way.

A

Stellar Science

Two New Beasts for an Explosive Zoo

And that makes three: Astronomers are beginning to understand what may be causing a special kind of flare in the distant universe.

Delta Scuti star and light curve

Stellar Science

Astronomers Investigate Stellar Interiors

Astronomers have untangled the constantly changing brightness of variable stars known as Delta Scuti stars, yielding estimates for their ages.

The Sun vs. Sun-like Stars

Solar System

How Lazy Is the Sun?

Astronomers studying hundreds of Sun-like stars were surprised to find that most of them are more active than the Sun. Why is the Sun different?

Brightest supernova

Stellar Science

Astronomers Detect One of the Most Luminous Supernovae Ever

One of the most luminous supernovae ever discovered provides evidence that such extremely bright explosions require exotic sources.

Single-looped Knife Edge Galaxy

Galaxies

The Knife Edge Galaxy Throws Astronomers For a Loop

A 2008 image captured a stunning double loop of stars around an edge-on galaxy. Now, astronomers are questioning whether one of those loops exist.

Pulsar-white dwarf pair

Cosmology

White Dwarf’s Whirlwind Spin Drags Spacetime

Astronomers have used observations of a tight white dwarf-neutron star pair to confirm an aspect of Einstein's general theory of relativity.

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