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Updated: 8 hours 55 min ago

'Extreme' telescopes find the second-fastest-spinning pulsar

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 12:32pm
By following up on mysterious high-energy sources mapped by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, a Netherlands-based radio telescope has discovered a new pulsar, the second fastest-spinning known.

Stellar corpse sheds light on origin of cosmic rays

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 9:34am
New research revealed that the entire zoo of electromagnetic radiation streaming from the Crab nebula -- one of the most iconic objects in the sky -- has its origin in one population of electrons and must be produced in a different way than scientists have traditionally thought. The results have implications for our understanding of how cosmic rays attain their incredible energies.

Physicists propose new theories of black holes from the very early universe

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 1:55pm
'Primordial black holes,' believed to have formed shortly after the Big Bang, might explain how heavy elements such as gold, platinum and uranium came to be, physicists report.

Equatorial jet in Venusian atmosphere

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 9:38am
Observations by Japan's Venus climate orbiter Akatsuki have revealed an equatorial jet in the lower to middle cloud layer of the planet's atmosphere, a finding that could be pivotal to unraveling a phenomenon called superrotation.

First hints of possible water content on TRAPPIST-1 planets

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 11:30am
Astronomers have been trying to determine whether there might be water on the seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the nearby dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. The results suggest that the outer planets of the system might still harbor substantial amounts of water. This includes the three planets within the habitable zone of the star, lending further weight to the possibility that they may indeed be habitable.

Artificial intelligence analyzes gravitational lenses 10 million times faster

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 1:22pm
Researchers have for the first time shown that neural networks -- a form of artificial intelligence -- can accurately analyze the complex distortions in spacetime known as gravitational lenses 10 million times faster than traditional methods.

What lit up the universe? Black holes may have punctured darkened galaxies, allowing light to escape

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 11:48am
Researchers have a new explanation for how the universe changed from darkness to light. They propose that black holes within galaxies produce winds strong enough to fling out matter that punctures holes in galaxies, allowing light to escape.

NASA's Lunar mission captures solar eclipse as seen from the moon

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 4:45pm
LRO captured an image of the Moon's shadow over a large region of the United States, centered just north of Nashville, Tennessee.

Black hole models contradicted by hands-on tests

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 2:07pm
Models of black holes that rely upon an assumption made 20 years ago need revision, explain investigators.

Galaxy 5 billion light-years away shows we live in a magnetic universe

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 12:45pm
A chance combination of a gravitational lens and polarized waves coming from a distant quasar gave astronomers the tool needed to make a measurement important to understanding the origin of magnetic fields in galaxies.

Pleiades star cluster: Surprising variability

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 9:13am
The Seven Sisters, as they were known to the ancient Greeks, are now known to modern astronomers as the Pleiades star cluster – a set of stars which are visible to the naked eye and have been studied for thousands of years by cultures all over the world. Now astronomers have demonstrated a powerful new technique for observing stars such as these, which are ordinarily far too bright to look at with high performance telescopes.

'Spectacular' imagery of total solar eclipse over U.S.

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 6:21pm
Telescopes with sensitive, high-speed, visible-light and infrared cameras flew aboard NASA WB-57F research aircraft to gather data during the total solar eclipse.

NASA's Webb Telescope will study our solar system's 'ocean worlds'

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 2:13pm
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will use its infrared capabilities to study the "ocean worlds" of Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus, adding to observations previously made by NASA's Galileo and Cassini orbiters. The Webb telescope's observations could also help guide future missions to the icy moons.

Phoenicid meteor shower from dead comet arises again after 58 years

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 2:12pm
Astronomers have observed the elusive 'Phoenicid meteor shower' and have determined that it was spawned by the now vanished Comet Blanpain. They also found that Comet Blanpain was active, though only weakly, in the early 20th Century. This is the first time that researchers could determine the activity of a comet by observing its associated meteor shower. These results are important for understanding the evolution of minor bodies in the Solar System.

Black holes: Scientists 'excited' by observations suggesting formation scenarios

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 1:12pm
Physicists have described how observations of gravitational waves limit the possible explanations for the formation of black holes outside of our galaxy; either they are spinning more slowly than black holes in our own galaxy or they spin rapidly but are 'tumbled around' with spins randomly oriented to their orbit.

First X-rays detected from mystery supernovas

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 1:12pm
Scientists appear to have found the first X-rays coming from type Ia supernovae.

Best ever image of a star's surface, atmosphere

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 9:09am
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer astronomers have constructed the most detailed image ever of a star -- the red supergiant star Antares. They have also made the first map of the velocities of material in the atmosphere of a star other than the sun, revealing unexpected turbulence in Antares's huge extended atmosphere.

Hubble's twisted galaxy

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:50pm
Gravity governs the movements of the cosmos. It draws flocks of galaxies together to form small groups and more massive galaxy clusters, and brings duos so close that they begin to tug at one another. This latter scenario can have extreme consequences, with members of interacting pairs of galaxies often being dramatically distorted, torn apart, or driven to smash into one another, abandoning their former identities and merging to form a single accumulation of gas, dust and stars.

Saturn-lit Tethys

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:47pm
Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet.

Large asteroid to safely pass Earth on Sept. 1

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:45pm
Asteroid Florence, a large near-Earth asteroid, will pass safely by Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of about 4.4 million miles, (7.0 million kilometers, or about 18 Earth-Moon distances).