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News

Your online destination for news articles on planets, cosmology, NASA, space missions, and more. You’ll also find information on how to observe upcoming visible sky events such as meteor showers, solar and lunar eclipses, key planetary appearances, comets, and asteroids.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Giant cosmic tsunami wakes up comatose galaxies

Galaxies are often found in clusters, which contain many “red and dead” members that stopped forming stars in the distant past. Now, an international team of astronomers, led by Andra Stroe of Leiden Observatory and David Sobral of Leiden...

Astronomers find runaway galaxies

We know of about two dozen runaway stars and have even found one runaway star cluster escaping its galaxy forever. Now, astronomers have spotted 11 runaway galaxies that have been flung out of their homes to wander the void of intergalactic space. &...

Looking back: Hubble at 25, an interactive timeline

Originally appeared on DiscoverMagazine.com
Thursday, April 23, 2015

NASA’s NExSS to lead search for life on distant worlds

NASA is bringing together experts spanning a variety of scientific fields for an unprecedented initiative dedicated to the search for life on planets outside our solar system. The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) hopes to better understa...

NASA unveils celestial fireworks as official image for Hubble 25th anniversary

The brilliant tapestry of young stars flaring to life resemble a glittering fireworks display in the 25th anniversary NASA Hubble Space Telescope image to commemorate a quarter-century of exploring the solar system and beyond since its launch on Apri...
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pulsing light may indicate supermassive black hole merger

As two galaxies enter the final stages of merging, scientists have theorized that the galaxies’ supermassive black holes will form a “binary” — two black holes in such close orbit that they are gravitationally bound to one ano...

Clusters of monster stars lit up the early universe

The first stars in the universe were born several hundred million years after the Big Bang, ending a period known as the cosmological “Dark Ages,” when atoms of hydrogen and helium had formed but nothing shone in visible light. Now two Ca...
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Astronomers probe young star and its planets

Astronomers have probed deeper than before into a planetary system 130 light-years from Earth. The observations mark the first results of a new exoplanet survey called LBT Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH). The planetary system HR8799, a young s...

ALMA reveals intense magnetic field close to supermassive black hole

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has revealed an extremely powerful magnetic field, beyond anything previously detected in the core of a galaxy, very close to the event horizon of a supermassive black hole. This new observation...
Monday, April 20, 2015

A cold cosmic mystery solved

In 2004, astronomers examining a map of the radiation left over from the Big Bang — the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — discovered the Cold Spot, a larger-than-expected unusually cold area of the sky. The physics surrounding the Big B...

Icy tendrils reaching into Saturn ring traced to their source

As the researchers examined images from different times and positions around Saturn, they also found that the detailed appearance of the tendrils changes over time. "It became clear to us that some features disappeared from one image to the next," sa...
Friday, April 17, 2015

NASA’s New Horizons nears historic encounter with Pluto

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is three months from returning to humanity the first-ever close-up images and scientific observations of distant Pluto and its system of large and small moons. "Scientific literature is filled with papers on the charac...

Dawn glimpses Ceres’ north pole

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken April 10 from a distance of 21,000 miles (3...
Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spitzer, Ogle spot planet deep within our galaxy

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has teamed up with a telescope on the ground to find a remote gas planet about 13,000 light-years away, making it one of the most distant planets known. The discovery demonstrates that Spitzer — from its unique p...

Giant galaxies die from the inside out

Astronomers have shown for the first time how star formation in "dead" galaxies sputtered out billions of years ago. The European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have revealed that...
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rosetta and Philae find comet not magnetized

Studying the properties of a comet can provide clues to the role that magnetic fields played in the formation of solar system bodies almost 4.6 billion years ago. The infant solar system was once nothing more than a swirling disk of gas and dust but,...

Dark matter may not be completely dark after all

For the first time, dark matter may have been observed interacting with other dark matter in a way other than through the force of gravity. Observations of colliding galaxies made with the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telesc...
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NASA-funded study explains Saturn’s epic tantrums

The long-standing mystery of why Saturn seethes with enormous storms every 30 years may have been solved by scientists working with data from NASA’s Cassini mission. The tempests, which can grow into bright bands that encircle the entire planet...

Mars rover’s weather data bolster case for brine

Martian weather and soil conditions that NASA’s Curiosity rover has measured, together with a type of salt found in martian soil, could put liquid brine in the soil at night. Perchlorate identified in martian soil by the Curiosity mission, and...
Monday, April 13, 2015

Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water

Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but the Red Planet also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as surface of the ground, but radar meas...

Dawn’s Ceres color map reveals surface diversity

A new color map of dwarf planet Ceres, which NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting since March, reveals the diversity of the surface of this planetary body. Differences in morphology and color across the surface suggest Ceres was once an active bo...
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