A remote galaxy shining brightly with infrared light equal to more than 300 trillion suns has been discovered using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The galaxy, which belongs to a new class of objects recently discovered by WISE -- nicknamed extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs -- is the most luminous galaxy found to date.
Astronomers have spent decades trying to determine the oddball behavior of an aging star nicknamed "Nasty 1" residing in our Milky Way galaxy. Looking at the star using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers had expected to see a bipolar outflow of twin lobes of gas from the star. The astronomers were surprised, however, to find a pancake-shaped disk of gas encircling the star. The vast disk is nearly 1,000 times the diameter of our solar system.
Astronomers have caught a greedy galaxy gobbling on its neighbors and leaving crumbs of evidence about its dietary past.
Scientists have captured the early death throes of supernovae for the first time and found that the universe's benchmark explosions are much more varied than expected.The scientists used the Kepler space telescope to photograph three type 1a supernovae in the earliest stages of ignition. They then tracked the explosions in detail to full brightness around three weeks later, and the subsequent decline over the next few months.
Type Ia supernovae, one of the most dazzling phenomena in the universe, are produced when small dense stars called white dwarfs explode with ferocious intensity. At their peak, these supernovae can outshine an entire galaxy. Although thousands of supernovae of this kind were found in the last decades, the process by which a white dwarf becomes one has been unclear.
Astronomical research on asteroids, i.e. minor planets, is also benefiting from the large-scale Gaia mission of the European Space Agency (ESA). Even though the astrometry satellite's main purpose is to precisely measure nearly one billion stars in the Milky Way, it has tracked down a multitude of minor dwarf planets in our solar system.To determine its current position in space and thus ensure Gaia's extremely high measurement accuracy, images are taken every day of the regions of the sky where the very faint satellite is located.
Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its transition into retirement, it shed its outer layers into space, forming a colorful cloud. The image foreshadows the final fate of the Sun, which will eventually also become an object of this kind.
Researchers who have modeled planetary systems far beyond our own solar system have found that massive moons larger than Mars might be the best bet in the search for life beyond Earth.
Scientists still waiting for Rosetta's comet lander Philae to phone home. Also; a new explanation for the dominance of matter over antimatter, and CERN physicists confirm the neutral B meson sub atomic particle exists.
Although scientists are increasingly using pint-size satellites sometimes no larger than a loaf of bread to gather data from low-Earth orbit, they have yet to apply the less-expensive small-satellite technology to observe physical phenomena far from terra firma. Scientists are now advancing a CubeSat concept that would give scientists that capability.
Run far or run fast? That is one of the questions NASA is trying to answer with one of its latest studies -- and the answers may help keep us in shape on Earth, as well as in space. Even with regular exercise, astronauts who spend an extended period of time in space experience muscle weakening, bone loss, and decreased cardiovascular conditioning.