Astronomy News -- ScienceDaily
Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
Best evidence of rare black hole captured
Montag, 18.06.2018, 20:18:34 Uhr
Scientists have been able to prove the existence of small black holes and those that are super-massive but the existence of an elusive type of black hole, known as intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) is hotly debated. New research shows the strongest evidence to date that this middle-of-the-road black hole exists, by serendipitously capturing one in action devouring an encountering star.
Hunting molecules to find new planets
Montag, 18.06.2018, 17:30:30 Uhr
It's been impossible to obtain images of an exoplanet, so dazzling is the light of its star. However, astronomers have the idea of detecting molecules that are present in the planet's atmosphere in order to make it visible, provided that these same molecules are absent from its star. Thanks to this innovative technique, the device is sensitive to the selected molecules, making the star invisible and allowing the astronomers to observe the planet.
Explosive volcanoes spawned mysterious Martian rock formation
Montag, 18.06.2018, 16:25:53 Uhr
Explosive volcanic eruptions that shot jets of hot ash, rock and gas skyward are the likely source of a mysterious Martian rock formation, a new study finds. The new finding could add to scientists' understanding of Mars's interior and its past potential for habitability, according to the study's authors.
Astronomers see distant eruption as black hole destroys star
Freitag, 15.06.2018, 03:38:19 Uhr
Scientists get first direct images showing fast-moving jet of particles ejected as a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy shreds a passing star.
Dust clouds can explain puzzling features of active galactic nuclei
Freitag, 15.06.2018, 03:36:15 Uhr
Many large galaxies have a bright central region called an active galactic nucleus, powered by matter spiraling into a supermassive black hole. Gas clouds around the AGN emit light at characteristic wavelengths, but the complexity and variability of these emissions has been a longstanding puzzle. A new study explains these and other puzzling features of active galactic nuclei as the result of small clouds of dust that can partially obscure the innermost regions of AGNs.
Distant moons may harbor life
Freitag, 15.06.2018, 03:36:00 Uhr
Researchers have identified more than 100 giant planets that potentially host moons capable of supporting life. Their work will guide the design of future telescopes that can detect these potential moons and look for tell-tale signs of life, called biosignatures, in their atmospheres.
Short gamma-ray bursts do follow binary neutron star mergers
Donnerstag, 14.06.2018, 07:51:28 Uhr
Researchers have confirmed that last fall's union of two neutron stars did in fact cause a short gamma-ray burst.
The true power of the solar wind
Dienstag, 12.06.2018, 16:57:53 Uhr
The planets and moons of our solar system are continuously being bombarded by particles from the sun. On the Moon or on Mercury, the uppermost layer of rock is gradually eroded by the impact of sun particles. New results show that previous models of this process are incomplete. The effects of solar wind bombardment are much more drastic than previously thought.
Diamond dust shimmering around distant stars
Montag, 11.06.2018, 19:38:02 Uhr
Some of the tiniest diamonds in the universe -- bits of crystalline carbon hundreds of thousands of times smaller than a grain of sand -- have been detected swirling around three infant star systems in the Milky Way. These microscopic gemstones are neither rare nor precious; they are, however, exciting for astronomers who identified them as the source of a mysterious cosmic microwave 'glow' emanating from several protoplanetary disks in our galaxy.
Minerology on Mars points to a cold and icy ancient climate
Freitag, 08.06.2018, 06:31:55 Uhr
The climate throughout Mars' early history has long been debated -- was the Red Planet warm and wet, or cold and icy? New research published in Icarus provides evidence for the latter.
NASA finds ancient organic material, mysterious methane on Mars
Donnerstag, 07.06.2018, 20:29:16 Uhr
NASA's Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet.
The disc of the Milky Way is bigger than we thought
Donnerstag, 07.06.2018, 17:27:46 Uhr
A team of researchers suggests that if we could travel at the speed of light it would take us 200,000 years to cross the disc of our Galaxy.
One of the most massive neutron stars ever discovered
Donnerstag, 07.06.2018, 17:27:37 Uhr
Using a pioneering method, researchers have found a neutron star of about 2.3 Solar masses -- one of the most massive ever detected.
Multiple alkali metals in unique exoplanet
Donnerstag, 07.06.2018, 17:27:35 Uhr
Scientists have observed a rare gaseous planet, with partly clear skies, and strong signatures of alkali metals in its atmosphere.
How solar prominences vibrate
Donnerstag, 07.06.2018, 17:27:30 Uhr
Researchers have cataloged around 200 oscillations of the solar prominences during the first half of 2014. Its development has been possible thanks to the GONG network of telescopes, of which one of them is located in the Teide Observatory.
System with three Earth-sized planets discovered
Donnerstag, 07.06.2018, 17:27:27 Uhr
Today marks the discovery of two new planetary systems, one of them hosting three planets with the same size of the Earth.
Astronomers find a galaxy unchanged since the early universe
Donnerstag, 07.06.2018, 16:10:07 Uhr
Researchers confirm the first detection of a relic galaxy with the Hubble Space Telescope.
Discovery of clusters of galaxies in the early universe
Donnerstag, 07.06.2018, 16:09:59 Uhr
Until now astronomers thought that these phenomena occurred 3,000 million years after the Big Bang, but this new result shows that they were already happening when the Universe was 1,500 million years old.
How do you weigh a galaxy? Especially the one you're in?
Mittwoch, 06.06.2018, 23:38:03 Uhr
Pinning down the mass of a galaxy may seem like an esoteric undertaking, but scientists think it holds the key to unraveling the nature of the elusive, yet-to-be-seen dark matter, and the fabric of our cosmos. A new technique promises more reliable estimates of the masses of galaxies.
Tumultuous galaxy mergers better at switching on black holes
Mittwoch, 06.06.2018, 23:37:52 Uhr
A new study finds that violent crashes may be more effective at activating black holes than more peaceful mergers.
Majority of Americans believe it is essential that the US remain a global leader in space
Mittwoch, 06.06.2018, 18:04:51 Uhr
Roughly seven in 10 Americans (72 percent) say it is essential for the US to continue to be a world leader in space exploration. Strong public support is widely shared across gender, generational, educational and political groups.
As solar wind blows, our heliosphere balloons
Mittwoch, 06.06.2018, 18:04:11 Uhr
What happens when the solar wind suddenly starts to blow significantly harder? According to two recent studies, the boundaries of our entire solar system balloon outward -- and an analysis of particles rebounding off of its edges will reveal its new shape.
Collective gravity, not Planet Nine, may explain the orbits of 'detached objects'
Montag, 04.06.2018, 19:17:19 Uhr
Bumper car-like interactions at the edges of our solar system -- and not a mysterious ninth planet -- may explain the dynamics of strange bodies called 'detached objects,' according to a new study.
ALMA and VLT find too many massive stars in starburst galaxies, near and far
Montag, 04.06.2018, 17:25:50 Uhr
Astronomers using ALMA and the VLT have discovered that both starburst galaxies in the early Universe and a star-forming region in a nearby galaxy contain a much higher proportion of massive stars than is found in more peaceful galaxies. These findings challenge current ideas about how galaxies evolved, changing our understanding of cosmic star-formation history and the build up of chemical elements.
Globular clusters 4 billion years younger than previously thought
Montag, 04.06.2018, 17:24:38 Uhr
Globular clusters could be up to 4 billion years younger than previously thought, new research has found.
Cosmic collision lights up the darkness
Donnerstag, 31.05.2018, 17:46:08 Uhr
Though it resembles a peaceful rose swirling in the darkness of the cosmos, NGC 3256 is actually the site of a violent clash. This distorted galaxy is the relic of a collision between two spiral galaxies, estimated to have occured 500 millions years ago. Today it is still reeling in the aftermath of this event.
Large Magellanic Cloud: A crowded neighborhood
Mittwoch, 30.05.2018, 17:31:41 Uhr
Glowing brightly about 160,000 light-years away, the Tarantula Nebula is the most spectacular feature of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way. A new image reveals a cosmic landscape of star clusters, glowing gas clouds and the scattered remains of supernova explosions. This is the sharpest image ever of this entire field.
New model explains what we see when a massive black hole devours a star
Dienstag, 29.05.2018, 20:09:43 Uhr
A star that wanders too close to the supermassive black hole in the center of its galaxy will be torn apart by the black hole's gravity in a violent cataclysm called a tidal disruption event (TDE), producing a bright flare of radiation. A new study provides a unified model that explains recent observations of these extreme events.
Mars rocks may harbor signs of life from 4 billion years ago
Freitag, 25.05.2018, 18:32:12 Uhr
Iron-rich rocks near ancient lake sites on Mars could hold vital clues that show life once existed there, research suggests.
Scientists introduce cosmochemical model for Pluto formation
Freitag, 25.05.2018, 15:54:12 Uhr
Scientists integrated NASA's New Horizons discoveries with data from ESA's Rosetta mission to develop a new theory about how Pluto may have formed at the edge of our solar system.
Why we won't get to Mars without teamwork
Donnerstag, 24.05.2018, 17:24:04 Uhr
If humanity hopes to make it to Mars anytime soon, we need to understand not just technology, but the psychological dynamic of a small group of astronauts trapped in a confined space for months with no escape.
Unprecedented detail in pulsar 6,500 light-years from Earth
Mittwoch, 23.05.2018, 19:32:19 Uhr
A team of astronomers has performed one of the highest resolution observations in astronomical history by observing two intense regions of radiation, 20 kilometers apart, around a star 6,500 light-years away. The observation is equivalent to using a telescope on Earth to see a flea on the surface of Pluto.
Lightening up dark galaxies
Mittwoch, 23.05.2018, 15:13:07 Uhr
Astronomers have identified at least six candidates for dark galaxies -- galaxies that have a few (if any) stars in them and are, for that reason, notoriously difficult to detect with current instruments.
Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation
Mittwoch, 23.05.2018, 14:02:00 Uhr
Microgravity conditions affect DNA methylation of muscle cells, slowing their differentiation.
Deep space radiation treatment reboots brain's immune system
Montag, 21.05.2018, 20:39:09 Uhr
NASA and private company SpaceX plan to send humans to Mars within the next 15 years -- but need to figure out how to protect astronauts from the dangerous cosmic radiation of deep space. Now neuroscientists have identified a potential treatment for the brain damage caused by cosmic rays -- a drug that prevents memory impairment in mice exposed to simulated space radiation.
First interstellar immigrant discovered in the solar system
Montag, 21.05.2018, 15:27:17 Uhr
A new study has discovered the first known permanent immigrant to our solar system. The asteroid, currently nestling in Jupiter's orbit, is the first known asteroid to have been captured from another star system.
NASA's new planet hunter snaps initial test image, swings by Moon toward final orbit
Freitag, 18.05.2018, 18:19:28 Uhr
After launching April 18, TESS has completed its lunar flyby to put it on track for its final science orbit, and has released a first test image.
Astronomers release most complete ultraviolet-light survey of nearby galaxies
Donnerstag, 17.05.2018, 20:25:32 Uhr
Capitalizing on the unparalleled sharpness and spectral range of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers is releasing the most comprehensive, high-resolution ultraviolet-light survey of nearby star-forming galaxies.
Vast ionized hydrogen cloud in the Whirlpool Galaxy revealed by ultra-sensitive telescope
Mittwoch, 16.05.2018, 20:46:19 Uhr
No one has ever seen what astronomers first observed using a refurbished 75-year-old telescope in the Arizona mountains. What it was turned out to be a massive cloud of ionized hydrogen gas spewed from a nearby galaxy and then essentially 'cooked' by radiation from the galaxy's central black hole.
Evidence for stars forming just 250 million years after Big Bang
Mittwoch, 16.05.2018, 19:12:14 Uhr
Astronomers have used observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) to determine that star formation in the very distant galaxy MACS1149-JD1 started at an unexpectedly early stage, only 250 million years after the Big Bang. This discovery also represents the most distant oxygen ever detected in the universe and the most distant galaxy ever observed by ALMA or the VLT.
Astronomers find fastest-growing black hole known in space
Mittwoch, 16.05.2018, 16:52:18 Uhr
Astronomers have found the fastest-growing black hole known in the universe, describing it as a monster that devours a mass equivalent to our sun every two days.
Unusual laser emission from the Ant Nebula
Mittwoch, 16.05.2018, 16:23:10 Uhr
Astronomers have discovered an unusual laser emission that suggests the presence of a double star system hidden at the heart of the 'spectacular' Ant Nebula. The extremely rare phenomenon is connected to the death of a star and was discovered in observations made by European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory.
Orbital variations can trigger 'snowball' states in habitable zones around sunlike stars
Dienstag, 15.05.2018, 22:28:13 Uhr
Aspects of an otherwise Earthlike planet's tilt and orbital dynamics can severely affect its potential habitability -- even triggering abrupt 'snowball states' where oceans freeze and surface life is impossible, according to new research from astronomers.
Water plumes on Jupiter's moon Europa?
Dienstag, 15.05.2018, 14:57:49 Uhr
Scientists re-examining data from an old mission bring new insights to the tantalizing question of whether Jupiter's moon Europa has the ingredients to support life. The data provide independent evidence that the moon's subsurface liquid water reservoir may be venting plumes of water vapor above its icy shell.
Scientists use Dorset, UK, as model to help find traces of life on Mars
Dienstag, 15.05.2018, 14:17:32 Uhr
By studying a stream on the UK coast, experts have calculated how much organic matter we might find on Mars, and where to look.
Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA
Freitag, 11.05.2018, 22:02:42 Uhr
A next-generation observatory, called LISA, is expected to be in space in 2034, and it will be sensitive to gravitational waves of a lower frequency than those detected by the Earth-bound Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
Atmospheric seasons could signal alien life
Mittwoch, 09.05.2018, 19:54:17 Uhr
To complement traditional biosignatures, scientists are developing the first quantitative framework for dynamic biosignatures based on seasonal changes in the Earth's atmosphere.
New magnetic process in turbulent space
Mittwoch, 09.05.2018, 19:54:14 Uhr
Explorations in Earth's space environment by NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft have discovered a surprising new magnetic event in turbulent plasma.
Exiled asteroid discovered in outer reaches of solar system
Mittwoch, 09.05.2018, 14:19:54 Uhr
Astronomers have used ESO telescopes to investigate a relic of the primordial solar system. The team found that the unusual Kuiper Belt Object 2004 EW95 is a carbon-rich asteroid, the first of its kind to be confirmed in the cold outer reaches of the Solar System. This curious object likely formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and has been flung billions of kilometers from its origin to its current home in the Kuiper Belt.
Why does the Sun's Corona sizzle at one million degrees Fahrenheit?
Dienstag, 08.05.2018, 19:10:11 Uhr
Physicists have discovered a phenomenon that may begin to untangle what they call "one of the greatest challenges for solar modeling" -- determining the physical mechanisms that heat the upper atmosphere to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher.
Mission to study how Mars was made
Montag, 07.05.2018, 17:22:53 Uhr
NASA's Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is on a 300-million-mile (483-million-kilometer) trip to Mars to study for the first time what lies deep beneath the surface of the Red Planet. InSight is scheduled to land on the Red Planet around 3 p.m. EST (noon PST) Nov. 26, where it will conduct science operations until Nov. 24, 2020, which equates to one year and 40 days on Mars, or nearly two Earth years.
Astronomers find exoplanet atmosphere free of clouds
Montag, 07.05.2018, 17:19:20 Uhr
Scientists have detected an exoplanet atmosphere that is free of clouds, marking a pivotal breakthrough in the quest for greater understanding of the planets beyond our solar system.
What will happen when our sun dies?
Montag, 07.05.2018, 17:19:17 Uhr
Scientists agree the sun will die in approximately five billion years, but they weren't sure what would happen next -- until now. A team of international astronomers predicts it will turn into a massive ring of luminous, interstellar gas and dust, known as a planetary nebula.
Mars growth was stunted by early giant planetary instability
Montag, 07.05.2018, 14:48:32 Uhr
An astrophysics team explains why the growth of Mars was stunted by an orbital instability among the outer solar system's giant planets in a new study on the evolution of the young solar system. The study builds on the widely accepted Nice Model, which invokes a planetary instability to explain many peculiar observed aspects of the outer solar system. The research shows how planet accretion (growth) is halted by the outer solar system instability.
May the forest be with you: GEDI moves toward launch to space station
Freitag, 04.05.2018, 18:23:56 Uhr
GEDI (pronounced like 'Jedi,' of Star Wars fame) is a first-of-its-kind laser instrument designed to map the world's forests in 3-D from space. These measurements will help fill in critical gaps in scientists' understanding of how much carbon is stored in the world's forests, the potential for ecosystems to absorb rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, and the impact of forest changes on biodiversity.
Hubble detects helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time
Mittwoch, 02.05.2018, 19:18:17 Uhr
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have detected helium in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-107b. This is the first time this element has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside the Solar System. The discovery demonstrates the ability to use infrared spectra to study exoplanet extended atmospheres.
Recent work challenges view of early Mars, picturing a warm desert with occasional rain
Mittwoch, 02.05.2018, 15:46:38 Uhr
The climate of early Mars is a subject of debate. A recent study suggests that the early Martian surface may not have been dominated by ice, but instead it may have been modestly warm and prone to rain, with only small patches of ice.
Flares in the universe can now be studied on Earth
Mittwoch, 02.05.2018, 13:58:58 Uhr
Solar flares, cosmic radiation, and the northern lights are well known phenomena. But exactly how their enormous energy arises is not as well understood. Now, physicists have discovered a new way to study these spectacular space plasma phenomena in a laboratory environment.
Doubt cast on new theories of star formation
Montag, 30.04.2018, 19:19:02 Uhr
The birth of stars from dense clouds of gas and dust may be happening in a completely unexpected way in our own galaxy and beyond.
Old data, new tricks: Fresh results from NASA's Galileo spacecraft 20 years on
Montag, 30.04.2018, 19:18:26 Uhr
Newly analyzed data from the Galileo spacecraft's flybys of one of Jupiter's moons two decades ago is yielding fresh insights: the magnetic field around the moon Ganymede makes it unlike any other in the solar system.