Astronomers have responded to the buzz about a mysterious dimming star by studying data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. They conclude the dimming was probably caused by a family of comets passing in front of the star.
A team of astronomers has captured the most detailed images ever of the hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris. These observations show how the unexpectedly large size of the particles of dust surrounding the star enable it to lose an enormous amount of mass as it begins to die. This process, understood now for the first time, is necessary to prepare such gigantic stars to meet explosive demises as supernovae.
Scientists witness for the first time how planets are born and grow. Also; The red planet Mars to get a Saturn-like ring, and 100 years of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Scientists suggest that 3.8 billion years ago, Mars might have had only a moderately dense atmosphere. The scientists have identified a photochemical process that could have helped such an early atmosphere evolve into the current thin one without creating the problem of 'missing' carbon and in a way that is consistent with existing carbon isotopic measurements.
Mars' largest moon -- one of only two in our solar system moving inward towards its planet -- will eventually be torn apart by tidal forces and distributed in a ring around the planet, a study of the cohesiveness of Phobos has concluded. This would take about 10-20 million years, and the ring will persist for up to 100 million years before the dust falls into Mars' atmosphere and burns up as 'moon' showers.
Astronomers have identified a dying star and intergalactic gas entering the Milky Way.
Scientists have proposed a new type of gamma-ray spectroscope that has ideal properties for planetary exploration and asteroid mining.