Astronomy articlesSearch for the lost amphibians
Teams of scientists around the world have launched an unprecedented search in the hope of rediscovering 100 species of "lost" amphibians - animals considered potentially extinct but that may be holding on in a few remote places - Conservation International and the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group announced.
A new way to weigh planets
An international CSIRO-led team of astronomers has developed a new way to weigh the planets in our Solar System - using radio signals from the small spinning stars called pulsars.
Solar system may be 2 million years older than we thought
Timescales of early Solar System processes rely on precise, accurate and consistent ages obtained with radiometric dating. However, recent advances in instrumentation now allow scientists to make more precise measurements, some of which are revealing inconsistencies in the ages of samples. Seeking better constraints on the age of the Solar System, Arizona State University researchers Audrey Bouvier and Meenakshi Wadhwa analyzed meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 2364 and found that the age of the Solar System predates previous estimates by up to 1.9 million years.
Astronomers use galactic magnifying lens to probe elusive dark energy
A team of astronomers has used a massive galaxy cluster as a cosmic magnifying lens to study the nature of dark energy for the first time. When combined with existing techniques, their results significantly improve current measurements of the mass and energy content of the universe. The findings appeared in the August 20 issue of the journal Science.
Avoiding an asteroid collision
Though it was once believed that all asteroids are giant pieces of solid rock, later hypotheses have it that some are actually a collection of small gravel-sized rocks, held together by gravity. If one of these "rubble piles" spins fast enough, it's speculated that pieces could separate from it through centrifugal force and form a second collection - in effect, a second asteroid.
Chandra finds evidence for stellar cannibalism
Evidence that a star has recently engulfed a companion star or a giant planet has been found using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The likely existence of such a "cannibal" star provides new insight into how stars and the planets around them may interact as they age.
Aminoacids could be produced within impacting comets, bringing life to Earth
Life on Earth as we know it really could be from out of this world. New research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists shows that comets that crashed into Earth millions of years ago could have produced amino acids - the building blocks of life.
3-D computer simulations help envision supernovae explosions
For scientists, supernovae are true superstars -- massive explosions of huge, dying stars that shine light on the shape and fate of the universe.
Milky Way sidelined in galactic tug of war
The Magellanic Stream is an arc of hydrogen gas spanning more than 100 degrees of the sky as it trails behind the Milky Way's neighbor galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, has long been thought to be the dominant gravitational force in forming the Stream by pulling gas from the Clouds. A new computer simulation by Gurtina Besla (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and her colleagues now shows, however, that the Magellanic Stream resulted from a past close encounter between these dwarf galaxies rather than effects of the Milky Way.
City Tech Research Team Casts Light on Asteroid Deflection
So you think global warming is a big problem? What could happen if a 25-million-ton chunk of rock slammed into Earth? When something similar happened 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs and other forms of life were wiped out.
Rare meteorites reveal Mars collision caused water flow
Rare fragments of Martian meteorites have been investigated at the University of Leicester revealing one of the ways water flowed near the surface of Mars.
First Stars in Universe Were Not Alone
The first stars in the universe were not as solitary as previously thought. In fact, they could have formed alongside numerous companions when the gas disks that surrounded them broke up during formation, giving birth to sibling stars in the fragments.
Isolating the stellar discs of Andromeda
A team of astronomers from the UK, the US and Europe have identified a thick stellar disc in the nearby Andromeda galaxy for the first time. The discovery and properties of the thick disc will constrain the dominant physical processes involved in the formation and evolution of large spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way.
Primordial weirdness: did the early Universe have one fimension?
Did the early universe have just one spatial dimension? That's the mind-boggling concept at the heart of a theory that University at Buffalo physicist Dejan Stojkovic and colleagues proposed in 2010.
Astronomers unveil portrait of super-exotic super-Earth: Densest known rocky planet
An international team of astronomers today revealed details of a "super-exotic" exoplanet that would make the planet Pandora in the movie Avatar pale in comparison.
Meteorites: Tool kits for creating life on Earth
Meteorites hold a record of the chemicals that existed in the early Solar System and that may have been a crucial source of the organic compounds that gave rise to life on Earth.
What caused a giant arrow-shaped cloud on Saturn's moon Titan?
Why does Titan, Saturn's largest moon, have what looks like an enormous white arrow about the size of Texas on its surface?
A Tale of Tails
An international group of astronomers led by Tom Scott at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía in Granada, Spain, has discovered extraordinarily long one-sided gaseous tails in two groups of galaxies that are amongst the longest structures ever observed in such environments.
Solar storms could 'sandblast' the Moon
Solar storms and associated Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) can significantly erode the lunar surface according to a new set of computer simulations by NASA scientists. In addition to removing a surprisingly large amount of material from the lunar surface, this could be a major method of atmospheric loss for planets like Mars that are unprotected by a global magnetic field.
Sleeping giants discovered
Astronomers recently discovered the most massive black holes to date. Found in two separate nearby galaxies roughly 300 million light years away from Earth, each black hole has a mass equivalent to 10 billion suns.