Astronomy articlesNew findings on the birth of the solar system
A team of international astrophysicists, including Dr Maria Lugaro from Monash University, has discovered a new explanation for the early composition of our solar system.
Mauna Kea selected for thirty meter telescope
After careful evaluation and comparison between two outstanding candidate sites -- Mauna Kea in Hawaii and Cerro Armazones in Chile -- the board of directors of the TMT Observatory Corporation has selected Mauna Kea as the preferred site for the Thirty Meter Telescope. The TMT will be the most capable and advanced telescope ever constructed.
Crashing comets not likely the cause of Earth's mass extinctions
Scientists have debated how many mass extinction events in Earth's history were triggered by a space body crashing into the planet's surface. Most agree that an asteroid collision 65 million years ago brought an end to the age of dinosaurs, but there is uncertainty about how many other extinctions might have resulted from asteroid or comet collisions with Earth.
Unveiling the true face of a gigantic star
An international team of astronomers, led by Keiichi Ohnaka at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, has made the most high resolution images of a dying giant star to date. For the first time they could show how the gas is moving in different areas over the surface of a distant star. This was made possible by combining three 1.8 metre telescopes as an interferometer, giving the astronomers the resolving power of a virtual, gigantic 48 metre telescope.
Columbia researchers lead race to find dark matter
Inside a mountain range in central Italy, Columbia researchers are trying to solve one of the most pressing questions in modern physics: What is dark matter?
New evidence supports possibility of life on Mars
Studies of Mars are yielding more clues that conditions may once have been right for life on the Red Planet. With data still pouring out of analysis from the Phoenix Mars Lander, scientists are gleaning enough clues to consider that a billion or so years ago, microscopic creatures may have thrived and fed in Martian soil.
New laser technique may help find supernova
One single atom of a certain isotope of hafnium found on Earth would prove that a supernova once exploded near our solar system. The problem is how to find such an atom - among billions of others. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have developed a laser technique that, in combination with standard techniques, may be able to do the job.
Variability of type 1A supernovae has implications for dark energy studies
The stellar explosions known as type 1a supernovae have long been used as "standard candles", their uniform brightness giving astronomers a way to measure cosmic distances and the expansion of the universe. But a new study published in Nature reveals sources of variability in type 1a supernovae that will have to be taken into account if astronomers are to use them for more precise measurements in the future.
Gravitational wave observatory listens for echoes of Universe's birth
An investigation by a major scientific group headed by a University of Florida professor has advanced understanding of the early evolution of the universe.
Super planetary nebulae
A team of scientists in Australia and the United States, led by Associate Professor Miroslav Filipovi? from the University of Western Sydney, have discovered a new class of object which they call "Super Planetary Nebulae." They report their work in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Star-birth myth 'busted'
An international team of researchers has debunked one of astronomy's long held beliefs about how stars are formed, using a set of galaxies found with CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope.
Astronomers find coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth
The search for the best observatory site in the world has lead to the discovery of what is thought to be the coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth. No human is thought to have ever been there but it is expected to yield images of the heavens three times sharper than any ever taken from the ground.
Cosmic cannibalism seen in action
Stars and giant structures around the Andromeda Galaxy - many seen for the first time - are probably the remnants of smaller galaxies that have been cannibalised by Andromeda, finds a new study published online in Nature.
Giant galaxy hosts the most distant supermassive black hole
University of Hawaii (UH) astronomer Dr. Tomotsugu Goto and colleagues have discovered a giant galaxy surrounding the most distant supermassive black hole ever found. The galaxy, so distant that it is seen as it was 12.8 billion years ago, is as large as the Milky Way galaxy and harbours a supermassive black hole that contains at least a billion times as much matter as our Sun. The scientists set out their results in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society later this month.
Is the Milky Way doomed to be destroyed by galactic bombardment? Probably not, study says
As scientists attempt to learn more about how galaxies evolve, an open question has been whether collisions with our dwarf galactic neighbors will one day tear apart the disk of the Milky Way.
Economists measure GDP growth from outer space
Outer space offers a new perspective for measuring economic growth, according to new research by three Brown University economists. In a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, J. Vernon Henderson, Adam Storeygard, and David N. Weil suggest a new framework for estimating a country or region's gross domestic product (GDP) by using satellite images of the area's nighttime lights.
Magnetic fields play larger role in star formation than previously thought
The simple picture of star formation calls for giant clouds of gas and dust to collapse inward due to gravity, growing denser and hotter until igniting nuclear fusion. In reality, forces other than gravity also influence the birth of stars. New research shows that cosmic magnetic fields play a more important role in star formation than previously thought.
Will Kepler find habitable moons?
Since the launch of the NASA Kepler Mission earlier this year, astronomers have been keenly awaiting the first detection of an Earth-like planet around another star. Now, in an echo of science fiction movies a team of scientists led by Dr David Kipping of University College London thinks that they may even find habitable 'exomoons' too. The new results will appear in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Researchers make rare meteorite find using new camera network in australian desert
Researchers have discovered an unusual kind of meteorite in the Western Australian desert and have uncovered where in the Solar System it came from, in a very rare finding published in the journal Science.
New NASA temperature maps provide 'whole new way of seeing the Moon'
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), an unmanned mission to comprehensively map the entire moon, has returned its first data. One of the seven instruments aboard, the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment, is making the first global survey of the temperature of the lunar surface while the spacecraft orbits some 31 miles above the moon.