Astronomy articlesIowa state astronomer helps discover planet that offers clues to earth's future
An international team of astronomers that includes Steve Kawaler of Iowa State University has announced the first discovery of a planet orbiting a star near the end of its life.
Study sheds new light on early star formation in the universe
A groundbreaking study has provided new insight into the way the first stars were formed at the start of the Universe, some 13 billion years ago.
Subaru astronomers measure meteoroid tunnels in earth's atmosphere
When meteoroids flash through the Earth's atmosphere, they bore tunnels through the air, leaving behind narrow meteor tracks that are heated by the collision of the fast-moving incoming object with atoms of highly diluted atmospheric gases. Most meteoroids are bits of space debris the size of a grain of sand. The width of the tracks they make has long been known to be narrower than a meter, but until recently, more precise measurements have been impossible to make.
Astronomers will trace planet formation with neon
Astronomers have observed neon in disks of dust and gas swirling around sunlike stars for the first time.
New theory explains ice on mars
Wobbles on Mars cause ice ages that are much more dramatic than those on Earth, says astronomer Norbert Schörghofer of the University of Hawaii.
Dark, but light: smallest galaxies ever seen solve a big problem
Mauna Kea scientists may have solved a discrepancy between the number of extremely small, faint galaxies predicted to exist near the Milky Way and the number actually observed.
The magellanic clouds are first-time visitors
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) are two of the Milky Way's closest neighboring galaxies. A stunning sight in the southern hemisphere, they were named after Ferdinand Magellan, who explored those waters in the 16th century. For hundreds of years, these galaxies were considered satellites of the Milky Way, gravitationally bound to our home galaxy. New research by Gurtina Besla (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and her colleagues shows that the Magellanic Clouds are recent arrivals on their first visit to the Milky Way's neighborhood.
One of the most curious objects in the sky delights astronomers again
Edwin Hubble once called IC 10 "one of the most curious objects in the sky," and new observations of the extremely faint, lightweight dwarf galaxy are giving scientists new clues about how populations of stars are born.
Oxygen on earth: 50 to 100 million years earlier than scientists thought
Scientists have found that traces of oxygen appeared in Earth's atmosphere 50 to 100 million years earlier than previously thought--before what geologists call the "Great Oxidation Event."
Scientists model a cornucopia of earth-sized planets
In the Star Wars movies fictional planets are covered with forests, oceans, deserts, and volcanoes. But new models from a team of MIT, NASA, and Carnegie scientists begin to describe an even wider range of Earth-size planets that astronomers might actually be able to find in the near future.
Seeking objects 'weirder than black holes'
Researchers from Duke University and the University of Cambridge think there is a way to determine whether some black holes are not actually black.
Sign of 'embryonic planets' forming in nearby stellar systems
Astronomers at the University of Rochester are pointing to three nearby stars they say may hold "embryonic planets"—a missing link in planet-formation theories.
Mysterious energy burst stuns astronomers
In a shock finding, astronomers using CSIRO's Parkes telescope have detected a huge burst of radio energy from the distant universe that could open up a new field in astrophysics.
Gamma ray delay may be sign of 'new physics'
Delayed gamma rays from deep space may provide the first evidence for physics beyond current theories.
Supernovae not what they used to be
Exploding stars that light the way for research on dark energy aren't as powerful or bright, on average, as they once were, says a new study by University of Toronto astronomers.
Most powerful supernova
Astronomer Robert Quimby has again found the most luminous supernova.
Radio telescope array dedicated to astronomy, seti
A new-concept radio telescope devoted equally to galactic astronomy and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence was dedicated Thursday, Oct. 11 by the University of California, Berkeley, and the SETI Institute at a ceremony in northern California.
Astronomers get their hands dirty as they lift the veil on galactic dust
There is more to a grain of dust than meets the eye, at least for astronomers as they attempt to probe deeper into distant galaxies. Until now dust has been a nuisance because it has obscured galaxies, and the stars within them, by absorbing the radiation they emit. But more recently dust has started to present opportunities because it emits radiation itself as a consequence of being heated up by nearby stars.
Asteroid is 'practice case' for potential hazards
In research that could aid decisions about future asteroids on a collision course with Earth, MIT scientists have for the first time determined the composition of a near-Earth asteroid that has a very slight possibility of someday hitting our planet.
Scientists discover possible cosmic defect, remnant from big bang
Scientists from the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (IFCA) and the University of Cambridge may have discovered an example of a cosmic defect, a remnant from the Big Bang called a texture. If confirmed, their discovery, reported in Science, will provide dramatic new insight into how the universe evolved following the Big Bang.