Shannon Hall is an award-winning freelance science journalist and a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope. She specializes in writing about astronomy, geology, and the environment. Find her on Twitter at @ShannonWHall.
Data from NASA's Kepler space telescope point to three distinct molds of exoplanets — rocky worlds, gas dwarfs, and ice/gas giants — distinguishable based on the abundances of heavy elements in their host star’s atmosphere.
In 2010, a mysteriously bright supernova appeared, later sparking a debate within the astronomy community. But new images of the now-faded supernova reveal an intervening — and until now invisible — cosmic lens, which magnified its light.