Scientists have long pondered what lies beneath the surface of comet 67P, but a study out in Nature this week has the answer: dust. Lots and lots of dust. I was hoping for space gremlins, but to planetary scientists this result is almost as exciting.
What’s this, you ask? Oh, it’s nothing. Just a supermassive black hole blasting a giant x-ray beam over a 300,000 light year-wide gulf of intergalactic space.
The cosmos is littered with clouds of star-forming gas, but few are as well studied as the Smith Cloud, set to crash into our galaxy in 30 million years. God-fearing humans might ask: Where did this unholy dust ball come from, and why is it heading straight for us? Now, science has the answer.
This photo of the fourth mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope makes the cleaning and inspection of an incredible piece of engineering looks more like some dudes cleaning out their back yard.
On January 24th, 1986, Voyager 2 swept past our system’s seventh planet, Uranus, on its way through the solar system. It was the first and last time we visited the gas giant, and we found it’s one of the stranger locations in our solar system.
Behold Trumpler 14, a dazzling star cluster located 8,000 light-years from Earth. Situated within the Carina Nebula, it’s home to one of the highest concentrations of massive, bright stars in the Milky Way. But as spectacular as these stellar objects appear be, their majestic appearance comes at a price.
KIC 8462852 has quickly become one of the biggest astronomical mysteries of the decade. It’ll be months before we have any firm answers on this fitfully flickering star, but astronomers intend to get to the bottom of it. How?
It’s probably not aliens. Seriously guys, it’s very, very unlikely that it’s aliens. But the weird, flickering star known as KIC 8462852 still isn’t sitting right with astronomers. In fact, it just got a lot weirder.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded its prestigious Crafoord Prize, honoring three scientists who have made outstanding achievements in black hole physics and a special kind of geometry.
A new study has shown that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has frozen water just beneath its surface, which occasionally becomes exposed as a result of geological activity.
Swiss scientists may have found the answer to a troubling mystery about the early evolution of our universe. After the Big Bang, the universe cooled down for a billion years in a kind of cosmic dark age. But then it mysteriously reheated. Electrons and protons that had been happily joined in hydrogen atoms were ripped…
The Kepler spacecraft came roaring back into the news last week, when scientists announced that the plucky little planet hunter had unearthed hundreds of new exoplanets in our cosmic backyard, despite being literally broken. But that’s not all Kepler’s been up to—by a long shot.
In 1977, astronomer Jerry R. Ehman observed a data signal so unique he drew a red circle around it and wrote “Wow!” to emphasize the discovery. The source of the signal was never identified, leading some to say it was aliens. But a new study suggests it wasn’t aliens at all—but rather a hydrogen cloud caused by comets.
With Pluto millions of miles behind us and construction of the James Webb Space Telescope moving swiftly along, astronomers are already thinking about the Next Big Mission. At the top of their wish list? A forty foot-wide orbital telescope that’ll search for proof of life beyond Earth.
Drop whatever you're doing and watch this. NASA has released videos shot from onboard the Space Shuttle's Solid Rocket Boosters in the past, but you've never seen one prepared as masterfully as this.
Combining data from two instruments on board the New Horizons spacecraft, NASA scientists have produced a detailed composite image of Pluto’s Viking Terra region. NASA has also released a photo of the Sputnik Planum region which it says is the sharpest view yet of the Plutonian surface.
The Milky Way may have 13.6 billion years under its belt, but its stars range from newborns to ancients. Astronomers mapped how old the stars are, creating the first-ever age map of our galaxy—and this map could give us clues about how life in the Milky Way started.
In the starless void of intergalactic space, there are clouds of cosmic gas as old as the Milky Way. They produce no visible light, and they barely radiate heat. Now, for the first time, astronomers have determined their size. These shadowy structures are as big as galaxies.