Artist's impression of HR 6819

Black Holes

Casting Doubt on a Nearby Black Hole

New research has shown that the recently-discovered closest black hole to Earth might not be a black hole after all but a binary star.

Lensing white dwarf

Stellar Science

An “Impossible” White Dwarf Identified in Kepler Data

Meet the white dwarf that defies all expectations.

Superluminous supernova (artist's impression)

Stellar Science

A Link Between Fast Radio Bursts, Magnetars, and Supernovae?

What causes the bizarre, extragalactic fast radio bursts we’ve detected over the last decade? An unusually bright supernova may hold the answer.

Buckyball

60 carbon

Hubble Confirms Interstellar Buckyballs

From a jumble of confusing clues in Hubble observations of interstellar space, scientists have picked out evidence of a celebrity molecule: ionized Buckminsterfullerene, or buckyballs.

Super-puff exoplanet

Exoplanets

Inflating a Super-Puff Planet

Super-puffy exoplanets are a problem. They shouldn’t exist — and yet we've detected half a dozen of them. Here's what theory might be getting wrong.

1758

Dwarf Galaxy or Giant Globular Cluster?

AAS Nova brings us the story of a newly discovered cluster of stars. But the jury's out as to whether this group is a typical ancient stellar cluster or something more.

Molecules in space

aas nova

Taking Note of Molecules in Space

What do methylidyne, cyanamide, vinyl alcohol, and rugbyballene all have in common? They’re all molecules that have been detected in space — and they’re all included in a recent census of our universe’s chemical makeup.

Stellar Science

Surprise Discovery of a 14-Year-Old Supernova

Much of today’s astronomy happens via methodical searches, but sometimes serendipitous discoveries still surprise us. Such is the case with the transient CGS2004A, a possible supernova recently detected in a galaxy nearly 50 million light-years away.

Exoplanets

The Fate of Exomoons when Planets Scatter

Planet interactions are thought to be common as solar systems are first forming and settling down. A new study suggests that these close encounters could have a significant impact on the moons of giant exoplanets — and they may generate a large population of free-floating exomoons.

Neutron stars just before merger (artist's concept)

Stellar Science

Neutron Stars Discovered on Collision Course

Got any plans in 46 million years? If not, you should keep an eye out for PSR J1946+2052 around that time — this upcoming merger of two neutron stars promises to be an exciting show!

Exoplanets

An Eccentric Planet Skims a Giant Star

As part of a major survey of evolved stars, scientists have discovered the most eccentric planet known to orbit a giant. What can we learn from this unusual object before it’s eventually consumed by its host?

Exoplanets

More Planets in the Hyades Cluster

A few weeks ago, Astrobites reported on a Neptune-sized planet discovered orbiting a star in the Hyades cluster. A separate study submitted at the same time, however, reveals that there may be even more planets lurking in this system.

Milky Way

Analog of the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds

A hunt for merging dwarf galaxies has yielded an intriguing result: 180 million light-years away, a galaxy very similar to the Milky Way — with two dwarf-galaxy satellites just like our own Magellanic clouds

aas nova

Little Eyes on Large Solar Motions

What can we learn from observations made with digital cameras mounted on ~10-cm telescopes? It turns out, a lot about the solar corona.

Cosmology

Featured Image: The Cosmic Velocity Web

Have you ever considered the idea of a cosmic velocity web? Learn more about these intriguing visualizations from the study led by Daniel Pomarède.

Exoplanets

How Do Earth-Sized, Short-Period Planets Form?

Matching theory to observation often requires creative detective work. In a new study, scientists have used a clever test to reveal clues about the birth of speedy, Earth-sized planets.

Galaxies

Globular Clusters for Faint Galaxies

The origin of ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) has posed a long-standing mystery for astronomers. New observations of several of these faint giants with the Hubble Space Telescope are now lending support to one theory.

Exoplanets

Discovery of a Free-Floating Double Planet?

An object previously identified as a free-floating, large Jupiter analog turns out to be two objects — each with the mass of a few Jupiters. This system is the lowest-mass binary we’ve ever discovered.

Milky Way

Exploring the Minispiral at the Milky Way’s Center

The region around Sgr A*, the 4-million-solar-mass black hole at the heart of our galaxy, is a complex and dynamic place. New Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observations of the Milky Way’s center now reveal more about this harsh, inhospitable environment.

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