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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: 41 min 48 sec ago

NASA's MAVEN mission finds Mars has a twisted magnetic tail

Thu, 2017-10-19 18:18
Mars has an invisible magnetic 'tail' that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.

New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds

Thu, 2017-10-19 18:18
New NASA research is helping to refine our understanding of candidate planets beyond our solar system that might support life.

Noxious ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan

Thu, 2017-10-19 10:10
Researchers with NASA's Cassini mission found evidence of a toxic hybrid ice in a wispy cloud high above the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Solar eruptions could electrify Martian moons

Wed, 2017-10-18 12:41
Powerful solar eruptions could electrically charge areas of the Martian moon Phobos to hundreds of volts, presenting a complex electrical environment that could possibly affect sensitive electronics carried by future robotic explorers, according to a new NASA study. The study also considered electrical charges that could develop as astronauts transit the surface on potential human missions to Phobos.

Potential human habitat located on the moon

Wed, 2017-10-18 10:43
A new study confirms the existence of a large open lava tube in the Marius Hills region of the moon, which could be used to protect astronauts from hazardous conditions on the surface.

How bright is the moon, really?

Tue, 2017-10-17 16:37
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is planning to take new measurements of the Moon's brightness, a highly useful property that satellites rely upon every day.

To keep Saturn's A ring contained, its moons stand united

Tue, 2017-10-17 12:43
For three decades, astronomers thought that only Saturn's moon Janus confined the planet's A ring -- the largest and farthest of the visible rings. But after poring over NASA's Cassini mission data, astronomers now conclude that the teamwork of seven moons keeps this ring corralled.

Catch a fleeting kilonova

Mon, 2017-10-16 13:26
Alerted by the first-ever gravitational waves caused by two neutron stars merging, astronomers detect the resulting optical flash.

Seeing the light of neutron star collisions

Mon, 2017-10-16 12:21
When two neutron stars collided on Aug. 17, a widespread search for electromagnetic radiation from the event led to observations of light from the afterglow of the explosion, finally connecting a gravitational-wave-producing event with conventional astronomy using light, according to an international team of astronomers.

Hubble observes source of gravitational waves for the first time

Mon, 2017-10-16 12:21
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has observed for the first time the source of a gravitational wave, created by the merger of two neutron stars. This merger created a kilonova -- an object predicted by theory decades ago -- that ejects heavy elements such as gold and platinum into space. This event also provides the strongest evidence yet that short duration gamma-ray bursts are caused by mergers of neutron stars.

Gravitational waves plus new clues from space reveal new way to make a black hole

Mon, 2017-10-16 10:28
For the first time, scientists have detected both gravitational waves and light shooting toward our planet from the birthplace of a new black hole created by the merger of two neutron stars. The discovery marks the beginning of a new era of

Gamma-ray burst detection just what researchers exclusively predicted

Mon, 2017-10-16 10:28
More than a month before a game-changing detection of a short gamma-ray burst, scientists predicted such a discovery would occur.

Radio 'eyes' unlocking secrets of neutron-star collision

Mon, 2017-10-16 10:28
When a pair of superdense neutron stars collided and potentially formed a black hole in a galaxy 130 million light-years from Earth, they unleashed not only a train of gravitational waves but also an ongoing torrent of radio waves that are answering some of the biggest questions about the nature of such a cataclysmic event.

Astronomers strike cosmic gold, confirm origin of precious metals in neutron star mergers

Mon, 2017-10-16 10:28
What many thought would be a long way off, the detection of gravitational waves from the merger of binary neutron stars, actually happened on Aug. 17. The observation of a blue and then red glow from the radioactive debris cloud left behind matched simulations of what the merger should look like, proving that such mergers are the source of most of the very heavy elements in the universe, including gold.

First observations of merging neutron stars mark a new era in astronomy

Mon, 2017-10-16 10:28
After LIGO detected gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars, the race was on to detect a visible counterpart, because unlike the colliding black holes responsible for LIGO's four previous detections, this event was expected to produce an explosion of visible light. Researchers have now found the source of the gravitational waves, capturing the first images of the event with the Swope Telescope in Chile.

How scientists used NASA data to predict the corona of the Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse

Sat, 2017-10-14 11:17
When the total solar eclipse swept across the United States on Aug. 21, 2017, NASA satellites captured a diverse set of images from space. But days before the eclipse, some NASA satellites also enabled scientists to predict what the corona -- the Sun's outer atmosphere -- would look like during the eclipse, from the ground. In addition to offering a case study to test our predictive abilities, the predictions also enabled some eclipse scientists to choose their study targets in advance.

Solar research: NASA sounding rocket instrument spots signatures of long-sought small solar flares

Fri, 2017-10-13 14:03
Like most solar sounding rockets, the second flight of the FOXSI instrument -- short for Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager -- lasted 15 minutes, with just six minutes of data collection. But in that short time, the cutting-edge instrument found the best evidence to date of a phenomenon scientists have been seeking for years: signatures of tiny solar flares that could help explain the mysterious extreme heating of the Sun's outer atmosphere.

Astronomers find potential solution into how planets form

Fri, 2017-10-13 12:32
The quest to discover how planets found in the far reaches of the universe are born has taken a new, crucial twist.

Solar research: On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

Fri, 2017-10-13 12:31
Combining computer observations and simulations, a new model shows that the presence of neutrals in the gas facilitates the magnetic fields to penetrate through the surface of the Sun producing the spicules.

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

Fri, 2017-10-13 09:52
While it's true that space radiation is one of the biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars, it's also true that NASA is developing technologies and countermeasures to ensure a safe and successful journey to the red planet.