astrophysics

Hubble is the Ultimate Multitasker: Discovering Asteroids While it’s Doing Other Observations

Hubble is the Ultimate Multitasker: Discovering Asteroids While it’s Doing Other Observations

It looks like a poster of the famous Hubble Deep Field, marked with white streaks by a child, or put away carelessly and scratched in the process. But it’s not. The white streaks aren’t accidents; they’re the paths of asteroids.

Hubble Finds Tiny “Electric Soccer Balls” in Space, Helps Solve Interstellar Mystery

Hubble Finds Tiny “Electric Soccer Balls” in Space, Helps Solve Interstellar Mystery

Scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the presence of electrically-charged molecules in space shaped like soccer balls, shedding light on the mysterious contents of the interstellar medium (ISM) – the gas and dust that fills interstellar space.

There’s a Ring of Cool Gas Wrapped Around the Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

There’s a Ring of Cool Gas Wrapped Around the Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

There’s a lot going on at the center of our galaxy. A supermassive black hole named Sagittarius A-Star resides there, drawing material in with its inexorable gravitational attraction. In that mind-bending neighborhood, where the laws of physics are stretched beyond comprehension, astronomers have detected a ring of cool gas.

Astronomers See an Enormous Coronal Mass Ejection… On Another Star!

Astronomers See an Enormous Coronal Mass Ejection… On Another Star!

For the first time ever, astronomers have witnessed a coronal mass ejection (CME) on a star other than our very own Sun. The star, named HR 9024 (and also known as OU Andromeda,) is about 455 light years away, in the constellation Andromeda. It’s an active, variable star with a strong magnetic field, which astronomers say may cause CMEs.

New Clues About How Ancient Galaxies Lit up the Universe

New Clues About How Ancient Galaxies Lit up the Universe

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed that some of the universe's earliest galaxies were brighter than expected. The excess light is a byproduct of the galaxies releasing incredibly high amounts of ionizing radiation. The finding offers clues to the cause of the Epoch of Reionization, a major cosmic event that transformed the universe from being mostly opaque to the brilliant starscape seen today.

Now We Know That Dark Matter Isn’t Primordial Black Holes

Now We Know That Dark Matter Isn’t Primordial Black Holes

For over fifty years, scientists have theorized that roughly 85% of matter in the Universe’s is made up of a mysterious, invisible mass. Since then, multiple observation campaigns have indirectly witnessed the effects that this “Dark Matter” has on the Universe. Unfortunately, all attempts to detect it so far have failed, leading scientists to propose some very interesting theories about its nature.

The fate of the Earth? We discovered the remains of a planet following the violent death of its parent star

The fate of the Earth? We discovered the remains of a planet following the violent death of its parent star

If it weren’t for the sun constantly showering us with energy, there would be no life on Earth. But eventually stars like it run out of fuel, expand into red giants and finally collapse into small, faint objects called white dwarfs. So what will happen to us and the other planets in our solar system when the sun dies? It’s not been entirely clear.

ESO might be Announcing the First Black Hole Picture on April 10!

ESO might be Announcing the First Black Hole Picture on April 10!

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has set an important press conference for April 10th, involving the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). They haven’t come right out and said it, but the Media Advisory from the ESO says they will, “hold a press conference to present a ground-breaking result from the EHT.” If it’s not a black hole, then well-played ESO, well-played.

Cooking up Alien Atmospheres on Earth

Cooking up Alien Atmospheres on Earth

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are cooking up an alien atmosphere right here on Earth. In a new study, JPL scientists used a high-temperature "oven" to heat a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,100 Celsius), about the temperature of molten lava. The aim was to simulate conditions that might be found in the atmospheres of a special class of exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) called "hot Jupiters."