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Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
Updated: 11 min 3 sec ago

Einstein proved right in another galaxy

Thu, 2018-06-21 14:10
Astronomers have made the most precise test of gravity outside our own solar system. By combining data taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, the researchers show that gravity in this galaxy behaves as predicted by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, confirming the theory's validity on galactic scales.

Nearly 80 exoplanet candidates identified in record time

Thu, 2018-06-21 12:19
Scientists have analyzed data from K2, the follow-up mission to NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, and have discovered a trove of possible exoplanets amid some 50,000 stars. The scientists report the discovery of nearly 80 new planetary candidates, including a particular standout: a likely planet that orbits the star HD 73344, which would be the brightest planet host ever discovered by the K2 mission.

Old star clusters could have been the birthplace of supermassive stars

Thu, 2018-06-21 10:10
Astrophysicists may have found a solution to a problem that has perplexed scientists for more than 50 years: why are the stars in globular clusters made of material different to other stars found in the Milky Way?

Martian dust storm grows global: Curiosity captures photos of thickening haze

Wed, 2018-06-20 17:09
A storm of tiny dust particles has engulfed much of Mars over the last two weeks and prompted NASA's Opportunity rover to suspend science operations. But across the planet, NASA's Curiosity rover, which has been studying Martian soil at Gale Crater, is expected to remain largely unaffected by the dust. The Martian dust storm has grown in size and is now officially a 'planet-encircling' (or 'global') dust event.

Last of universe's missing ordinary matter

Wed, 2018-06-20 15:00
Researchers have helped to find the last reservoir of ordinary matter hiding in the universe.

Surgery in space

Wed, 2018-06-20 09:48
With renewed public interest in manned space exploration comes the potential need to diagnose and treat medical issues encountered by future space travelers.

Best evidence of rare black hole captured

Mon, 2018-06-18 14:18
Scientists have been able to prove the existence of small black holes and those that are super-massive but the existence of an elusive type of black hole, known as intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) is hotly debated. New research shows the strongest evidence to date that this middle-of-the-road black hole exists, by serendipitously capturing one in action devouring an encountering star.

Hunting molecules to find new planets

Mon, 2018-06-18 11:30
It's been impossible to obtain images of an exoplanet, so dazzling is the light of its star. However, astronomers have the idea of detecting molecules that are present in the planet's atmosphere in order to make it visible, provided that these same molecules are absent from its star. Thanks to this innovative technique, the device is sensitive to the selected molecules, making the star invisible and allowing the astronomers to observe the planet.

Explosive volcanoes spawned mysterious Martian rock formation

Mon, 2018-06-18 10:25
Explosive volcanic eruptions that shot jets of hot ash, rock and gas skyward are the likely source of a mysterious Martian rock formation, a new study finds. The new finding could add to scientists' understanding of Mars's interior and its past potential for habitability, according to the study's authors.

Astronomers see distant eruption as black hole destroys star

Thu, 2018-06-14 21:38
Scientists get first direct images showing fast-moving jet of particles ejected as a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy shreds a passing star.

Dust clouds can explain puzzling features of active galactic nuclei

Thu, 2018-06-14 21:36
Many large galaxies have a bright central region called an active galactic nucleus, powered by matter spiraling into a supermassive black hole. Gas clouds around the AGN emit light at characteristic wavelengths, but the complexity and variability of these emissions has been a longstanding puzzle. A new study explains these and other puzzling features of active galactic nuclei as the result of small clouds of dust that can partially obscure the innermost regions of AGNs.

Distant moons may harbor life

Thu, 2018-06-14 21:36
Researchers have identified more than 100 giant planets that potentially host moons capable of supporting life. Their work will guide the design of future telescopes that can detect these potential moons and look for tell-tale signs of life, called biosignatures, in their atmospheres.

Short gamma-ray bursts do follow binary neutron star mergers

Thu, 2018-06-14 01:51
Researchers have confirmed that last fall's union of two neutron stars did in fact cause a short gamma-ray burst.

The true power of the solar wind

Tue, 2018-06-12 10:57
The planets and moons of our solar system are continuously being bombarded by particles from the sun. On the Moon or on Mercury, the uppermost layer of rock is gradually eroded by the impact of sun particles. New results show that previous models of this process are incomplete. The effects of solar wind bombardment are much more drastic than previously thought.

Diamond dust shimmering around distant stars

Mon, 2018-06-11 13:38
Some of the tiniest diamonds in the universe -- bits of crystalline carbon hundreds of thousands of times smaller than a grain of sand -- have been detected swirling around three infant star systems in the Milky Way. These microscopic gemstones are neither rare nor precious; they are, however, exciting for astronomers who identified them as the source of a mysterious cosmic microwave 'glow' emanating from several protoplanetary disks in our galaxy.

Minerology on Mars points to a cold and icy ancient climate

Fri, 2018-06-08 00:31
The climate throughout Mars' early history has long been debated -- was the Red Planet warm and wet, or cold and icy? New research published in Icarus provides evidence for the latter.

NASA finds ancient organic material, mysterious methane on Mars

Thu, 2018-06-07 14:29
NASA's Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet.

The disc of the Milky Way is bigger than we thought

Thu, 2018-06-07 11:27
A team of researchers suggests that if we could travel at the speed of light it would take us 200,000 years to cross the disc of our Galaxy.

One of the most massive neutron stars ever discovered

Thu, 2018-06-07 11:27
Using a pioneering method, researchers have found a neutron star of about 2.3 Solar masses -- one of the most massive ever detected.

Multiple alkali metals in unique exoplanet

Thu, 2018-06-07 11:27
Scientists have observed a rare gaseous planet, with partly clear skies, and strong signatures of alkali metals in its atmosphere.