The mere fact that we live in a universe boggles my mind every once in a while. But thankfully, our cosmic home is a place that follows rules; the laws of physics seem to agree everywhere, and galaxies are uniformly distributed throughout. Except for in this 300-million-light-year-long region, which seems to be…
The Universe’s earliest epochs appear to be written into the small dwarf galaxies orbiting our own galactic home, the Milky Way.
There’s an exoplanet whose surface is so hot, it rips apart water molecules. It’s almost a star, but not quite; it’s an ultra-hot, Jupiter-like world located around 880 light-years from Earth.
First, the bad news: Sunday is the anniversary of the disastrous white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that culminated in a neo-Nazi car attack that killed local woman Heather Heyer and wounded scores of others, as well as resulted in the deaths of two police officers. The organizer of…
The Parker Solar Probe blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday, setting itself on course to become both the fastest human craft ever launched (in the neighborhood of 430,000 miles per hour) and the first to probe the outer corona of the sun.
You may have seen recent headlines about a strange radio signal picked up by a Canadian telescope. Some go as far as to say it was caused by all-caps ALIENS.
NASA doesn’t just randomly decide what telescopes and satellites to shoot into space and what planet to study next. Instead, a committee of outside scientists drafts a set of goals and recommendations in what’s called a decadal survey. And though it notes some financial setbacks, a midterm review of the last decadal…
When some stars get old, they eject gas and dust, forming a cloud of electrically charged material in space called a planetary nebula. These nebulae all tend to have the same layered structure, but a team of scientists recently spotted a kind of planetary nebula that looks to be inside out.
Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity is magnificent. For a hundred years, it has consistently predicted all sorts of wacky phenomena scientists have later observed throughout space. One international team is now announcing that a 26-year-long observation campaign has once again confirmed the theory.
The astronomers behind a universe-mapping satellite have released the project’s final set of processed data. What you see above is the newest image of the oldest visible light in the Universe—microwave radiation from just a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang.
Our nearest galactic neighbor, the spiral Andromeda galaxy, seems to have a history of cannibalism. New research suggests that Andromeda gobbled up another large galaxy some two billion years ago.
You’re probably sitting still, right? Wrong, absolutely wrong. Not only are you on a spinning orb, but you’re also traveling around 70,000 miles per hour around a star, in a galaxy that, observations imply, is sailing through space at over a million miles per hour.
You’re looking at the center of our galactic home, the Milky Way, as imaged by 64 radio telescopes in the South African wilderness.
Today, scientists made a huge announcement: Telescopes around the world recorded a source of mysterious, ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, the highest-energy particles that hit the Earth. It all started with a text message.
Every so often, protons and even entire atomic nuclei strike the Earth with extremely high energies—much higher than what scientists can produce in their most powerful physics experiments. Since the discovery of “cosmic rays” a hundred years ago, no one knew for sure where the most energetic of these particles came…
Eleven light-years from Earth, orbiting a dim red star, there’s an exoplanet called Ross 128b that, as we recently reported, has some the best prospects for life of any known distant world. New results may help astronomers figure out what the planet is made of—and they offer more evidence that it might be inside its…
Last month, a fireball lit up the skies over Botswana just hours after scientists first spotted the space rock hurtling toward Earth. Researchers from Botswana, South Africa, Finland, and the United States have now found pieces of the meteorite.
Scientists understand gravity pretty well when it comes to two objects, but add a third, and you’ve got chaos—a system that’s impossible to explain with our simplest equations. But you also have a way to test the limits of Einstein’s theory of gravity.
You might be aware of one of Uranus’ complexities: It spins on its side, and its moons orbit on that same rotated plane. New evidence strengthens the case that Uranus was smashed in a giant collision, resulting in its sideways orientation to its orbital plane and perhaps explaining some of the planet’s other mysteries.
At this point, we’ve spotted several thousand exoplanets—there’s nothing super exciting anymore about finding a distant star with several worlds orbiting it. But today, scientists are announcing that they have seen an exoplanet in the middle of forming.