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January 20, 2021 Starlink launch

Astronomy and Society

Beyond Starlink: The Satellite Saga Continues

SpaceX has placed more than 1,000 Starlinks in orbit, and other companies are following suit. Here's the latest on what's being done to protect astronomy.

Most distant quasar

Black Holes

What the Most Distant Quasar Tells Us About Black Hole Birth

The existence of a quasar when the universe was only 670 million years old is helping astronomers understand how black holes are born.

Exoplanets

Rocky Planet Found Around 10 Billion-Year-Old Star

Astronomers have found an Earth-size (but not at all Earth-like) planet around an ancient star that has a nice high view of our galaxy.

Timing an array of pulsars

Black Holes

Pulsars Show Hint of Gravitational-wave Background

Duos of supermassive black holes tangoing throughout the universe make their own music, and astronomers may have picked up a hint of the tune.

Astronomy & Observing News

Top Astronomy News Stories of 2020

This has been a year rocked by a global pandemic that has left its mark on nearly every aspect of society. Wildfires, social unrest, and loss have only added to our sense of struggle. Yet it has also been a year of celestial wonders, astronomical discoveries, and space successes. We…

Sunspot, in detail

Solar System

Will the Next Solar Cycle Surprise Us?

The coming months will test a new prediction that — contrary to most expectations — forecasts one of the strongest sunspot cycles on record.

Side-view of Heracles' remains

Galaxies

Astronomers Discover Galactic “Fossil” Inside the Milky Way

Thousands of stars that once belonged to an ancient galaxy are inside our own.

Galaxies

A Dark Matter-less Galaxy, Explained (Maybe)

An international team of astronomers has explained the lack of dark matter in a distant dwarf galaxy — another galaxy stole it.

Arecibo damage

Professional Telescopes

The Arecibo Telescope Has Collapsed [Video]

The Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico has collapsed less than two weeks after officials announced it was too dangerous to attempt repairs.

Birth of a Magnetar

Stellar Science

Gamma-ray Flash Heralds Birth of a Magnetar

What happens when two neutron stars don't add up to a black hole?

Arecibo dish damage

Professional Telescopes

Iconic Arecibo Telescope Damaged, To Be Dismantled

The iconic Arecibo telescope, damaged by two cable failures within three months, is beyond repair.

Blue Ring Nebula

Stellar Science

The Case of the Blue Ring Nebula

After 16 years, astronomers have figured out the origin of a strange ring of ultraviolet light, and shed light on a common — but rarely observed — event.

Like moths in the lamplight

Galaxies

Star Clusters Reveal the "Kraken" in the Milky Way's Past

Astronomers have reconstructed the Milky Way's merger history, finding that our galaxy has absorbed five large satellite galaxies in the last 12 billion years.

Misshapen monster

Stellar Science

How Big Is Betelgeuse Really?

Knowing Betelgeuse’s size is crucial to understanding its recent bizarre behavior — and predicting when it will go supernova. But it’s harder to figure out than you might think.

Magnetar

Stellar Science

Magnetars Make Some — Maybe All — Mysterious Radio Flashes

In-depth analysis of a flash of radio waves coming from a Milky Way magnetar have convinced astronomers: Magnetars produce at least some fast radio bursts.

ALPINE galaxies

Exoplanets

60-second Astro News: Mature Infant Galaxies & A Possibly Rogue Planet

This week in astronomy news: Distant galaxies that look older than they are and a terrestrial planet that might be drifting through our galaxy.

ALMA image of Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Galaxies

Astronomers Chart Star Formation History, Glimpse Fate of the Universe

Astronomers have tallied how star-making material evolved over cosmic time — and they've predicted how long stars will keep forming before the universe goes dark.

Magma ocean and crust

Solar System

Moon’s Magnetism Might Have Protected Earth

The Moon's magnetic field, now long gone, might once have shielded Earth from the young Sun's radiation.

Venus

Solar System

Calling on Amateur Astronomers: Observe Venus!

The Mercury-bound BepiColombo spacecraft will fly by Venus on October 15th, and the mission is asking amateurs for their help.

Planetary nebulae (mostly)

Stellar Science

How Planetary Nebulae Get Their Shapes

New research shows why these celestial gems range in shape from spirals to butterflies.

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