Scientists have devised a method of distinguishing black holes from compact massive objects that are externally indistinguishable from one another. The method involves studying the energy spectrum of particles moving in the vicinity - in one case it will be continuous and in the other it will be discrete.
Astronomers are using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study auroras -- stunning light shows in a planet's atmosphere -- on the poles of the largest planet in the Solar System, Jupiter.
Astronomers have found an explanation for the chaotic behavior of the orbit of Halley's Comet.
Researchers have found that several volcanic deposits on Mercury's surface require mantle melting to have started close to the planet's core-mantle boundary, which lies only 400 km below the planets surface and making it unique in the solar system.
Scientists have developed an automated method for three-dimensional tracking of massive eruptions from the Sun, called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). The Automated CME Triangulation (ACT) system uses data from three space-based observatories that orbit the Sun at different locations, allowing scientists to view the Sun and CMEs from different angles. ACT's ability to track whether a CME is heading towards Earth, and when it is likely to reach us, should lead to significant improvements in space weather forecasting.
Astronomers have released a catalog of the hidden universe, which reveals the unseen sources of energy found over the last 12 billion years of cosmic history.
Water is necessary for life as we know it, but too much water is bad for habitability. Therefore, to study the habitability of extrasolar planets, determining the abundance of water is a key element. Astronomers now show that the observation of exoplanets at different ages can be used to set statistical constraints on their water content -- an important result for future space missions.
A new Hubble Space Telescope image shows a firestorm of star birth lighting up one end of the diminutive galaxy Kiso 5639. The dwarf galaxy is shaped like a flattened pancake, but because it is tilted edge-on, it resembles a skyrocket, with a brilliant blazing head and a long, star-studded tail. Kiso 5639 is a member of a class of galaxies called "tadpoles" because of their bright heads and elongated tails. This galaxy resides relatively nearby, at 82 million light-years away. Tadpoles are rare in the local universe but more common in the distant cosmos, suggesting that many galaxies pass through a phase like this as they evolve.
Amino acids are the building blocks for life on earth. They may originate in space and reach the earth via comets and meteorites.
Rotating ring of complex organic molecules discovered around newborn star: Chemical diversity in planet forming regions unveiled
Researchers have discovered a rotating ring containing large organic molecules around a protostar. This observation definitively shows that organic materials formed in interstellar space are brought into the planet-forming region. Researchers also found that the molecular species brought into the planet-forming region vary from one protostar to another. Chemical composition is a new way to answer the long-standing question of whether or not the Solar System is a typical example of a planetary system.
Astronomers have concluded that a peculiar source of radio waves thought to be a distant galaxy is actually a nearby binary star system containing a low-mass star and a black hole. This identification suggests there may be a vast number of black holes in our Galaxy that have gone unnoticed until now.
Around half of the star formation in the local Universe arises from minor mergers between galaxies, according to data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The patch of sky called Stripe 82 is observed repeatedly to produce high-quality images of spiral galaxies. Disruptions to the shapes of these galaxies, caused by interactions with their smallest neighbors, pointed to increased star formation.
Astronomers have released spectacular new infrared images of the distant Universe, providing the deepest view ever obtained over a large area of sky.
Machine-learning techniques that mimic human recognition and dreaming processes are being deployed in the search for habitable worlds beyond our solar system. A deep belief neural network, called RobERt (Robotic Exoplanet Recognition), has been developed by astronomers to sift through detections of light emanating from distant planetary systems and retrieve spectral information about the gases present in the exoplanet atmospheres.
Scientists have discovered an elusive, dark moon orbiting Makemake, one of the 'big four' dwarf planets populating the Kuiper Belt region at the edge of our solar system.
Brown dwarfs are sometimes called failed stars. They're stars' dim, low-mass siblings and they fade in brightness over time. They're fascinating to astronomers for a variety of reasons, but much about them remains unknown. New work reports the distances of a number of brown dwarfs, as well as low-mass stars.