Astronomy articles-Study highlights role of hit-and-run collisions in planet formation
Hit-and-run collisions between embryonic planets during a critical period in the early history of the Solar System may account for some previously unexplained properties of planets, asteroids, and meteorites, according to researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
-Fossil galaxy reveals clues to early universe
A tiny galaxy has given astronomers a glimpse of a time when the first bright objects in the universe formed, ending the dark ages that followed the birth of the universe.
Astronomers weigh 'recycled' millisecond pulsar
A team of U.S. and Australian astronomers is announcing that they have, for the first time, precisely measured the mass of a millisecond pulsar -- a tiny, dead star spinning hundreds of times every second. This result is of special interest because it gives new insight into the production of millisecond pulsars and may shed light on the laws that govern nuclear matter.
Martian snow source of tropical glaciers
Snow is the source of glacial deposits found at the base of the majestic volcanoes and mountains dotting the mid-latitude and tropical regions of Mars. Based on an innovative blend of geological observations and climate modeling created by a team of American and French scientists, the finding appears in Science.
Two new dusty planetary disks may be astrophysical mirrors of our kuiper belt
A survey by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of 22 nearby stars has turned up two with bright debris disks that appear to be the equivalent of our own solar system's Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy rocks outside the orbit of Neptune and the source of short-period comets.
Astronomers find smallest extrasolar planet yet around normal star
Using an armada of telescopes, an international team of astronomers has found the smallest planet ever detected around a normal star outside our solar system.
New "planet" is larger than Pluto
Claims that the Solar System has a tenth planet are bolstered by the finding by a group lead by Bonn astrophysicists that this alleged planet, announced last summer and tentatively named 2003 UB313, is bigger than Pluto. By measuring its thermal emission, the scientists were able to determine a diameter of about 3000 km, which makes it 700 km larger than Pluto and thereby marks it as the largest solar system object found since the discovery of Neptune in 1846.
"Deep Impact" team reports first evidence of cometary ice
Comet Tempel 1, which created a flamboyant Fourth of July fireworks display in space last year, is covered with a small amount of water ice. These results, reported by members of NASA's Deep Impact team in an advanced online edition of Science, offer the first definitive evidence of surface ice on any comet.
Disks encircling hypergiants may spawn planets in inhospitable environment
The discovery of dusty disks--the building blocks of planets--around two of the most massive stars known suggests that planets might form and survive in surprisingly hostile environments.
Kaboom! Ancient impacts scarred Moon to its core, may have created "man in the Moon"
Ohio State University planetary scientists have found the remains of ancient lunar impacts that may have helped create the surface feature commonly called the "man in the moon."
A neutron star spins toward intergalactic space
The Milky Way's fastest observed pulsar is speeding out of the galaxy at more than 670 miles a second, propelled largely by a kick it received at its birth 2.5 million years ago.
Einstein's theory improved?
A Chinese astronomer from the University of St Andrews has fine-tuned Einstein's groundbreaking theory of gravity, creating a 'simple' theory which could solve a dark mystery that has baffled astrophysicists for three-quarters of a century.
Astronomer finds galaxies that contain massive young stars in compact, cosmic globs
The discovery makes the fiery environment within a typical spiral or starburst galaxy look almost pastoral. Cornell researchers using the Spitzer Space Telescope say distant galaxies contain an inferno of very young, massive and violently evolving stars, packed together in tiny but extremely powerful cosmic globs.
LIGO kicks into high gear for gravitational-wave search with 18-month observation run
The quest to detect and study gravitational waves with the NSF-funded Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is now in the fourth month of its first sustained science run since achieving its promised design sensitivity, project personnel announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Man-made star shines in the Southern sky
Scientists celebrate another major milestone at Cerro Paranal in Chile, home of ESO's Very Large Telescope array. Thanks to their dedicated efforts, they were able to create the first artificial star in the Southern Hemisphere, allowing astronomers to study the Universe in the finest detail. This artificial laser guide star makes it possible to apply adaptive optics systems, that counteract the blurring effect of the atmosphere, almost anywhere in the sky.
Scientists seek to unwrap the sweet mystery
Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a quick and simple way to investigate the sugar coating that surrounds bacteria and plays a role in infection and immunity.
Still-forming solar system may have planets orbiting star in opposite directions
Astronomers studying a disk of material circling a still-forming star inside our Galaxy have found a tantalizing result -- the inner part of the disk is orbiting the protostar in the opposite direction from the outer part of the disk.
Big Gamma-Ray flare from star disturbs earth's ionosphere
On Dec. 27, 2004, scientists detected the largest gamma-ray burst ever recorded. It came from a magnetar-a neutron star with an enormous magnetic field-50,000 light years away. Its powerful rays penetrated deep into the ionosphere, the electrically conductive layer encircling Earth.
Devices tease out individual sounds from underwater racket
While biologists sort out what levels of noise go unnoticed, are annoying or cause harm to marine mammals, physical oceanographer Jeff Nystuen is giving scientists and managers a way to sift through and identify the sounds present in various marine ecosystems.
Scientists detect new kind of cosmic explosion
Scientists using NASA's Swift satellite have detected a new kind of cosmic explosion. The event appears to be a precursor to a supernova. UK astronomers and their colleagues around the world are watching closely as they have never seen an explosion of this kind before.