Science fiction doesn’t exist to make movies about the stuff we know about—it explores the unknown physics, astronomy, biology and chemistry where real uncertainty about topics can lead to compelling, believable stories. That’s what makes black holes such a popular subject; light can’t escape them, maybe they’re…
Hubble’s deep field images have provided the farthest glimpses we’ve ever had of galaxies in spaces. Combining those images with a new telescope view has revealed that there are even more galaxies there than we knew—including a mysterious, new type of galaxy.
A telescope just snagged the very first image of a water snow line drifting around a young star in space—and it could transform what we know about how planets form.
One of the most incredible things about black holes is how much bigger they are than almost anything else out there. Now, a new image taken at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Observatory shows that we’ve been totally wrong about how they manage to grow so large.
Astronomers have captured an image of a dense clump of dust orbiting around a young star—and they’re saying it could be our first glimpse of a planet in the very earliest stages of formation.
I have only one piece of advice: Watch out for the spikes before sitting down when you are about to inspect radio telescope antenna.
Night falls in the Atacama Desert, but the day is far from over. In this wonderful little timelapse, sent along to us by the photographer Enrico Sacchetti, we get a sense for the constant work being done at the European Southern Observatory.
Now this is extraordinary. It's the sharpest picture ever made of a protoplanetary disc surrounding a young star. The image, which bears a striking resemblance to prior artistic impressions, is set to revolutionize our understanding of how planets form.
What happens when you take observations of a gas cloud, a protostar, and a pre-star dense core of gas, and model them with turbulence? A downright hypnotizing model at how multiple star systems may form.
Though the massive 66-antenna ALMA array in Chile's Atacama desert has been online since last October when the last of its 54, 12-meter radios was installed, the system has only been operating at a fraction of its potential resolution. But with the delicate delivery of 12 additional 7-meter radio dishes—the last of…
By nature, astronomical observatories have to be remote—far away from humans and cities and light pollution. That makes these extraordinary facilities difficult to visit, unless you've got Google Street View. Three of Chile's most remote observatories are now open to the digital tourist, and we've found you some of…
The European Southern Observatory sent a documentary team around to their telescopes in Chile. While the footage is still being processed, they've released some amazing photographs and timelapse footage for us to drool over. Oooooh, pretty!
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array consists of 66 individual radio telescopes that can be moved to zoom in on a patch of sky. But how do they move those 100-ton beasts around the desert?
The massive carbon monoxide clouds observed in the Beta Pictoris planetary system are just weird. The star's ultraviolet light breaks down the gas within a century, so massive Mars-sized comets need to be constantly colliding to supply new gas.
Ready to lose time to all the space-related stories we didn't cover this week?
ALMA Observatory staff interceded to protect this abandoned vicuña fawn when it was being chased by foxes. After failing to reintroduce the fawn to its herd, they stuck it in their truck and brought it back to the observatory.
There's a solar system close to here that hosts an unusually active debris field, one in which a comet is annihilated every five minutes. Astronomers say it could be the result of gravitationally trapped debris — or the catastrophic collision between two planets the size of Mars.
See that reddish cloud inside this supernova's shockwave? It's a massive plume of dust that formed shortly after the star ripped itself to shreds. The observation was made using the the brand new ALMA telescope — and it's one that will help explain how galaxies got their dusty and dim complexion.
On the other side of the universe, a supermassive black hole is devouring enormous quantities of matter and spewing material in a jet that's 150 light years long. One scientist identifies the situation as "black hole indigestion," and boy, is it pretty.
With the arrival of the 54th—and final—12-meter wide radio telescope, the single largest astronomical project humanity has ever under taken can finally begin peering into the heavens at full strength.