Astronomy articlesComputer program makes night sky searchable
Computer science PhD candidate Dustin Lang has embarked on his own Star Trek as part of astronometry.net, a collaboration between computer scientists at U of T and astronomers at New York University.
Astronomer offers new theory into 400-year-old lunar mystery
Columbia astronomy professor Arlin Crotts thinks he has solved a 400-year-old mystery: the origin of strange optical flashes often reported as appearing on the moon's surface.
Astronomers claim to find the most distant known galaxies
Using natural "gravitational lenses," an international team of astronomers claim to have found the first traces of a population of the most distant galaxies yet seen-the light we see from them today left more than 13 billion years ago, when the universe was just 500 million years old.
Benchmark survey shows that giant outer extrasolar planets are rare
Astronomers who used powerful telescopes in Arizona and Chile in a survey for planets around nearby stars have discovered that extrasolar planets more massive than Jupiter are extremely rare in other outer solar systems.
Star surface polluted by planetary debris
Looking at the chemical composition of stars that host planets, astronomers have found that while dwarf stars often show iron enrichment on their surface, giant stars do not. The astronomers think that the planetary debris falling onto the outer layer of the star produces a detectable effect in a dwarf star, but this pollution is diluted by the giant star and mixed into its interior.
The gobbling dwarf that explodedPrivacy protection software utilities
A unique set of observations, obtained with ESO's VLT, has allowed astronomers to find direct evidence for the material that surrounded a star before it exploded as a Type Ia supernova. This strongly supports the scenario in which the explosion occurred in a system where a white dwarf is fed by a red giant.Did you know that all your internet history can be reviewed by anyone with access to simple free tool available online. The internet brings with it many advantages and disadvantages.
Interstellar chemistry gets more complex with new charged-molecule discovery
Astronomers using data from the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have found the largest negatively-charged molecule yet seen in space. The discovery of the third negatively-charged molecule, called an anion, in less than a year and the size of the latest anion will force a drastic revision of theoretical models of interstellar chemistry, the astronomers say.
Arizona radio observatory team discovers supergiant star spews molecules needed for life
University of Arizona astronomers who are probing the oxygen-rich environment around a supergiant star with one of the world's most sensitive radio telescopes have discovered a score of molecules that include compounds needed for life.
Pluto's moon an ice machine
Frigid geysers spewing material up through cracks in the crust of Pluto's companion Charon could be making this distant world into the equivalent of an outer solar system ice machine.
Monster galaxy pileup sighted
Four galaxies are slamming into each other and kicking up billions of stars in one of the largest cosmic smash-ups ever observed.
Keck finds largest exoplanet to date
An international team of astronomers has discovered the largest-radius and lowest-density exoplanet of all those whose mass and radius are known. It is a gas-giant planet about twice the size of Jupiter, and is likely to have a curved comet-like tail. It has been named TrES-4, as the fourth planet detected by the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES) network of 10-cm telescopes.
New imaging detectors could take snapshots from deep space
Snapshots from space may someday confirm the presence of lakes and oceans on Europa—one of Jupiter's moons—and on other planetary bodies. Imaging detectors that capture information from every wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum could detect the presence of liquid methane or hydrocarbons, the stew that just might sustain microbial life forms.
Frigid enceladus: an unlikely harbor for life
A new model of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus may quell hopes of finding life there. Developed by researchers at the University of Illinois, the model explains the most salient observations on Enceladus without requiring the presence of liquid water.
Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life
Recent probes inside comets show it is overwhelmingly likely that life began in space, according to a new paper by Cardiff University scientists.
What makes mars magnetic?
If you could pick up a rock from the surface of Mars, then the chances are it would be magnetic. And yet, Mars doesn't have a magnetic field coming from its core. These rocks are clinging to the signal of an ancient magnetic field, dating back billions of years, to the times when Mars had a magnetic field like Earth's.
Scientists confirm long-held theory about source of sunshine
Scientists are a step closer to understanding sunshine. A monumental experiment buried deep beneath the mountains of Italy has provided Princeton physicists with a clearer understanding of the sun's heart -- and of a mysterious class of subatomic particles born there.
Our neighbour, the neutron star
McGill University and Penn State University astronomers using NASA's Swift satellite have discovered what they believe to be the closest neutron star to Earth. If confirmed, it would also be only the eighth so-called isolated neutron star ever discovered. Unlike the majority of known neutron stars, the isolated variety do not have associated supernova remnants or binary companions, and do not emit radio pulsations.
Astronomers find gaping hole in the universe
University of Minnesota astronomers have found an enormous hole in the Universe, nearly a billion light-years across, empty of both normal matter such as stars, galaxies and gas, as well as the mysterious, unseen "dark matter." While earlier studies have shown holes, or voids, in the large-scale structure of the Universe, this new discovery dwarfs them all.
Scientists find elusive waves in solar corona
Scientists for the first time have observed elusive oscillations in the sun's corona, known as Alfvén waves, that transport energy outward from the surface of the sun. The discovery may give researchers more insight into solar magnetic fields, eventually leading to a better understanding of how the sun affects Earth's atmosphere and the entire solar system.
Astronomers obtain sharpest-ever pictures of the heavens
Astronomers from the California Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge have developed a new camera that produces much more detailed pictures of stars and nebulae than even the Hubble Space Telescope, and it does all this from here on Earth.