Astronomy News -- ScienceDaily
Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
A young star caught forming like a planet
Freitag, 14.12.2018, 15:38:27 Uhr
Astronomers have captured one of the most detailed views of a young star taken to date, and revealed an unexpected companion in orbit around it.
Mars InSight lander seen in first images from space
Freitag, 14.12.2018, 02:43:47 Uhr
On Nov. 26, NASA's InSight mission knew the spacecraft touched down within an 81-mile-long (130-kilometer-long) landing ellipse on Mars. Now, the team has pinpointed InSight's exact location using images from HiRISE, a powerful camera onboard another NASA spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators
Donnerstag, 13.12.2018, 19:12:42 Uhr
Magnetic field lines tangled like spaghetti in a bowl might be behind the most powerful particle accelerators in the universe. That's the result of a new computational study that simulated particle emissions from distant active galaxies.
Where did the hot Neptunes go? A shrinking planet holds the answer
Donnerstag, 13.12.2018, 16:13:25 Uhr
'Where did the hot Neptunes go?' This is the question astronomers have been asking for a long time, faced with the mysterious absence of planets the size of Neptune. Researchers have just discovered that one of these planets is losing its atmosphere at a frantic pace. This observation strengthens the theory that hot Neptunes have lost much of their atmosphere and turned into smaller planets called super-Earths.
Large population of potential young planets found in distant planetary systems
Mittwoch, 12.12.2018, 20:46:31 Uhr
Astronomers used the powerful ALMA telescope to discover that in other parts of the Milky Way Galaxy (seen here) there is potentially a large population of young planets -- similar in mass to Neptune or Jupiter -- at wide-orbit that are not detectable by other current planet searching techniques.
NASA's Juno mission halfway to Jupiter science
Mittwoch, 12.12.2018, 20:42:01 Uhr
On Dec. 21, NASA's Juno spacecraft will be 3,140 miles (5,053 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops and hurtling by at a healthy clip of 128,802 mph (207,287 kilometers per hour). This will mark the solar-powered spacecraft's halfway point in data collection during its prime mission.
NASA's InSight takes its first selfie
Mittwoch, 12.12.2018, 20:39:31 Uhr
NASA's InSight lander used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie -- a mosaic made up of 11 images. This is the same imaging process used by NASA's Curiosity rover mission, in which many overlapping pictures are taken and later stitched together.
Did supernovae kill off large ocean animals at dawn of Pleistocene?
Dienstag, 11.12.2018, 17:29:41 Uhr
The effects of a supernova -- and possibly more than one -- on large ocean life like school-bus-sized Megalodon 2.6 million years ago are detailed in a new article.
Calibrating cosmic mile markers
Dienstag, 11.12.2018, 16:31:16 Uhr
New work provides the best-yet calibrations for using type Ia supernovae to measure cosmic distances, which has implications for our understanding of how fast the universe is expanding and the role dark energy may play in driving this process.
Solar activity research provides insight into sun's past, future
Montag, 10.12.2018, 17:58:24 Uhr
Scientists have developed a new technique for looking at historic solar data to distinguish trustworthy observations from those that should be used with care. This work is critical to understanding the sun's past and future as well as whether solar activity plays a role in climate change.
Evidence for carbon-rich surface on Ceres
Montag, 10.12.2018, 17:58:21 Uhr
Astronomers have concluded that the surface of dwarf planet Ceres is rich in organic matter. Data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft indicate that Ceres's surface may contain several times the concentration of carbon than is present in the most carbon-rich, primitive meteorites found on Earth.
NASA's Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space
Montag, 10.12.2018, 17:38:20 Uhr
For the second time in history, a human-made object has reached the space between the stars. NASA's Voyager 2 probe now has exited the heliosphere -- the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun.
NASA InSight lander 'hears' Martian winds
Freitag, 07.12.2018, 22:49:27 Uhr
NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport InSight lander, which touched down on Mars just 10 days ago, has provided the first ever "sounds" of Martian winds on the Red Planet.
NASA's Mars InSight flexes its arm
Freitag, 07.12.2018, 22:47:28 Uhr
New images from NASA's Mars InSight lander show its robotic arm is ready to do some lifting. With a reach of nearly 6 feet (2 meters), the arm will be used to pick up science instruments from the lander's deck, gently setting them on the Martian surface at Elysium Planitia, the lava plain where InSight touched down on Nov. 26.
Planetary defense: The Bennu experiment
Freitag, 07.12.2018, 22:45:35 Uhr
On Dec. 3, after traveling billions of kilometers from Earth, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its target, Bennu, and kicked off a nearly two-year, up-close investigation of the asteroid. It will inspect nearly every square inch of this ancient clump of rubble left over from the formation of our solar system. Ultimately, the spacecraft will pick up a sample of pebbles and dust from Bennu's surface and deliver it to Earth in 2023.
Unknown treasure trove of planets found hiding in dust
Freitag, 07.12.2018, 17:27:17 Uhr
The first unbiased survey of protoplanetary disks surrounding young stars in the Taurus star-forming region turned up a higher-than-expected number of disks with features suggesting nascent planets, according to a new study.
An exoplanet inflated like a balloon
Donnerstag, 06.12.2018, 20:12:04 Uhr
Although helium is a rare element on Earth, it is ubiquitous in the universe. It is, after hydrogen, the main component of stars and gaseous giant planets. Despite its abundance, helium was only detected recently in the atmosphere of a gaseous giant by an international team. The team has observed for the first time how this gas escapes from the overheated atmosphere of an exoplanet, literally inflated with helium.
Mice display altered immune system following spaceflight
Donnerstag, 06.12.2018, 20:11:15 Uhr
Based on examinations of mice that had been on board the Bion-M1 biosatellite, new research demonstrates that the outer space environment impairs the production of B lymphocytes, the white blood cells responsible for antibody production. The study also shows that such adverse effects persist at least one week after returning to Earth.
Mantle neon illuminates Earth's formation
Mittwoch, 05.12.2018, 19:41:20 Uhr
The Earth formed relatively quickly from the cloud of dust and gas around the Sun, trapping water and gases in the planet's mantle, based on neon isotopes from the depths of the Earth and deep space. Apart from settling Earth's origins, the work could help in identifying extrasolar systems that could support habitable planets.
Bringing balance to the universe: New theory could explain missing 95 percent of the cosmos
Mittwoch, 05.12.2018, 15:37:16 Uhr
New research could shed light on the 'missing' dark matter and dark energy that make up 95 percent of our universe and yet are wholly invisible to us.
NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrives at asteroid Bennu
Dienstag, 04.12.2018, 15:09:06 Uhr
NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft completed its 1.2 billion-mile (2 billion-kilometer) journey to arrive at the asteroid Bennu Monday. The spacecraft executed a maneuver that transitioned it from flying toward Bennu to operating around the asteroid.
Mars new home 'a large sandbox'
Freitag, 30.11.2018, 17:11:11 Uhr
With InSight safely on the surface of Mars, the mission team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is busy learning more about the spacecraft's landing site. They knew when InSight landed on Nov. 26 that the spacecraft had touched down on target, a lava plain named Elysium Planitia. Now they've determined that the vehicle sits slightly tilted (about 4 degrees) in a shallow dust- and sand-filled impact crater known as a "hollow." InSight has been engineered to operate on a surface with an inclination up to 15 degrees.
LIGO and Virgo announce four new gravitational-wave detections
Montag, 03.12.2018, 17:16:17 Uhr
The LIGO and Virgo collaborations have now confidently detected gravitational waves from a total of 10 stellar-mass binary black hole mergers and one merger of neutron stars, which are the dense, spherical remains of stellar explosions. Six of the black hole merger events had been reported before, while four are newly announced.
Combination of space-based and ground-based telescopes reveals more than 100 exoplanets
Montag, 03.12.2018, 17:16:12 Uhr
Astronomers using a combination of ground and space based telescopes have reported more than 100 extrasolar planets (exoplanets) in only three months. These planets are quite diverse and expected to play a large role in developing the research field of exoplanets and life in the Universe.
Black hole 'donuts' are actually 'fountains'
Freitag, 30.11.2018, 15:43:15 Uhr
Based on computer simulations and new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers have found that the rings of gas surrounding active supermassive black holes are not simple donut shapes. Instead, gas expelled from the center interacts with infalling gas to create a dynamic circulation pattern, similar to a water fountain in a city park.
Newly discovered supernova complicates origin story theories
Freitag, 30.11.2018, 15:01:54 Uhr
A supernova discovered by an international group of astronomers provides an unprecedented look at the first moments of a violent stellar explosion. The light from the explosion's first hours showed an unexpected pattern, which astronomers analyzed to reveal that the genesis of these phenomena is even more mysterious than previously thought.
All of the starlight ever produced by the observable universe measured
Donnerstag, 29.11.2018, 20:24:14 Uhr
From their laboratories on a rocky planet dwarfed by the vastness of space, scientists have collaborated to measure all of the starlight ever produced throughout the history of the observable universe.
Hubble uncovers thousands of globular star clusters scattered among galaxies
Donnerstag, 29.11.2018, 17:41:19 Uhr
Astronomers using Hubble found a whopping 22,426 globular star clusters in a nearby neighborhood of galaxies.
Gas clouds whirling around black hole form heart of distant astronomical object
Donnerstag, 29.11.2018, 17:01:47 Uhr
Astronomers have concluded that gas clouds rapidly moving around a central black hole form the very heart of the 3C 327 quasar, confirming earlier measurements.
A new way to create Saturn's radiation belts
Donnerstag, 29.11.2018, 16:35:06 Uhr
Scientists have discovered a new method to explain how radiation belts are formed around the planet Saturn.
NASA Hears MarCO CubeSats Loud and Clear from Mars
Dienstag, 27.11.2018, 20:31:03 Uhr
NASA's MarCO mission was built to see whether two experimental, briefcase-sized spacecraft could survive the trip to deep space, and the two CubeSats proved more than able. After cruising along behind NASA's InSight for seven months, they successfully relayed data back down to Earth from the lander during its descent to the Martian surface on Monday, Nov. 26.
InSight Is catching rays on Mars
Dienstag, 27.11.2018, 15:28:25 Uhr
NASA's InSight has sent signals to Earth indicating that its solar panels are open and collecting sunlight on the Martian surface.
NASA InSight lander arrives on Martian surface to learn what lies beneath
Montag, 26.11.2018, 21:23:49 Uhr
Mars has just received its newest robotic resident. NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet after an almost seven-month, 300-million-mile (458-million-kilometer) journey from Earth.
NASA InSight Team on course for Mars touchdown
Montag, 26.11.2018, 13:48:20 Uhr
NASA's Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) spacecraft is on track for a soft touchdown on the surface of the Red Planet on Nov. 26. Engineers will be keeping a close eye on the stream of data indicating InSight's health and trajectory, and monitoring Martian weather reports to figure out if the team needs to make any final adjustments in preparation for landing.
Climate of small star TRAPPIST 1's seven intriguing worlds
Mittwoch, 21.11.2018, 20:24:44 Uhr
New research from astronomers gives updated climate models for the seven planets around the star TRAPPIST-1. The work also could help astronomers more effectively study planets around stars unlike our sun, and better use the resources of the James Webb Space Telescope.
Exoplanet stepping stones
Dienstag, 20.11.2018, 21:59:32 Uhr
New observations of a young gas giant demonstrate the power of a ground-based method for searching for signatures of life.
Scientists discover new 'pinwheel' star system
Dienstag, 20.11.2018, 13:36:41 Uhr
An international team of scientists has discovered a new, massive star system -- one that also challenges existing theories of how large stars eventually die.
Astronomers discover giant relic of disrupted 'tadpole' galaxy
Montag, 19.11.2018, 22:00:11 Uhr
Astronomers have identified a disrupted galaxy resembling a giant tadpole, complete with an elliptical head and a long, straight tail, about 300 million light years away from Earth. The discovery illuminates how and why galaxies disappear.
Odd bodies, rapid spins keep cosmic rings close
Montag, 19.11.2018, 21:59:59 Uhr
Forget those shepherding moons. Gravity and the odd shapes of asteroid Chariklo and dwarf planet Haumea -- small objects deep in our solar system -- can be credited for forming and maintaining their own rings, according new research.
Virtual reality simulation of a supermassive black hole
Montag, 19.11.2018, 12:41:37 Uhr
The black hole at the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, has been visualized in virtual reality for the first time.
Overflowing crater lakes carved canyons across Mars
Freitag, 16.11.2018, 22:45:05 Uhr
Today, most of the water on Mars is locked away in frozen ice caps. But billions of years ago it flowed freely across the surface, forming rushing rivers that emptied into craters, forming lakes and seas. New research has found evidence that sometimes the lakes would take on so much water that they overflowed and burst from the sides of their basins, creating catastrophic floods that carved canyons very rapidly, perhaps in a matter of weeks.
Astronomers find possible elusive star behind supernova
Donnerstag, 15.11.2018, 20:49:36 Uhr
Astronomers may have finally uncovered the long-sought progenitor to a specific type of exploding star by sifting through NASA Hubble Space Telescope archival data. The supernova, called a Type Ic, is thought to detonate after its massive star has shed or been stripped of its outer layers of hydrogen and helium.
Astronomers detect once-in-a-lifetime gamma rays
Donnerstag, 15.11.2018, 20:49:33 Uhr
It's not every day you get to observe a gamma-ray binary system. In fact, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience comparable to seeing Halley's Comet or a solar eclipse.
Earth's magnetotail: First-ever views of elusive energy explosion
Donnerstag, 15.11.2018, 20:49:17 Uhr
Researchers have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving 'magnetic reconnection' -- the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion -- in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Trans-galactic streamers feeding most luminous galaxy in the universe
Donnerstag, 15.11.2018, 20:48:58 Uhr
ALMA data show the most luminous galaxy in the universe has been caught in the act of stripping away nearly half the mass from at least three of its smaller neighbors.
NASA learns more about interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua
Donnerstag, 15.11.2018, 15:33:24 Uhr
The first known interstellar object to visit our solar system -- named 'Oumuamua -- was detected in October 2017 by Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope. But it was too faint for NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to detect when it looked more than two months after the object's closest approach to Earth in early September. That 'non-detection' puts a new limit on how large the strange object can be, astronomers now report.
Auroras unlock the physics of energetic processes in space
Donnerstag, 15.11.2018, 14:30:06 Uhr
A close study of auroras has revealed new ways of understanding the physics of explosive energy releases in space.
Cold Super-Earth found orbiting closest single star to Sun
Mittwoch, 14.11.2018, 19:20:40 Uhr
The nearest single star to the Sun hosts an exoplanet at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth -- a so-called super-Earth. One of the largest observing campaigns to date using data from a world-wide array of telescopes has revealed this frozen, dimly lit world. The newly discovered planet is the second-closest known exoplanet to the Earth. Barnard's star is the fastest moving star in the night sky.
Gravitational waves from a merged hyper-massive neutron star
Mittwoch, 14.11.2018, 16:44:08 Uhr
For the first time astronomers have detected gravitational waves from a merged, hyper-massive neutron star.
Scientists capture the 'sound' of sunrise on Mars
Freitag, 09.11.2018, 16:14:22 Uhr
Scientists have created the soundtrack of the 5,000th Mars sunrise captured by the robotic exploration rover, Opportunity, using data sonification techniques to create a two-minute piece of music.
Harvesting renewable energy from the sun and outer space at the same time
Donnerstag, 08.11.2018, 20:24:18 Uhr
Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that heat from the sun and coldness from outer space can be collected simultaneously with a single device. Their research suggests that devices for harvesting solar and space energy will not compete for land space and can actually help each other function more efficiently.
Aging a flock of stars in the Wild Duck Cluster
Donnerstag, 08.11.2018, 19:41:28 Uhr
The way they move belies the true ages of the almost 3,000 stars populating one of the richest star clusters known. Astronomers recently discovered the stars all were born in the same generation, solving a long-standing puzzle about how stars evolve.
Astronomers find pairs of black holes at the centers of merging galaxies
Mittwoch, 07.11.2018, 19:38:11 Uhr
For the first time, a team of astronomers has observed several pairs of galaxies in the final stages of merging together into single, larger galaxies. Peering through thick walls of gas and dust surrounding the merging galaxies' messy cores, the research team captured pairs of supermassive black holes -- each of which once occupied the center of one of the two original smaller galaxies -- drawing closer together before they coalescence into one giant black hole.
Cosmic fountain offers clues to how galaxies evolve
Dienstag, 06.11.2018, 16:38:40 Uhr
Galaxy evolution can be chaotic and messy, but it seems that streams of cold gas spraying out from the region around supermassive black holes may act to calm the storm.
Elusive star has origins close to Big Bang
Montag, 05.11.2018, 22:09:00 Uhr
Astronomers have found what could be one of the universe's oldest stars, made almost entirely of materials spewed from the Big Bang.
Laser tech could be fashioned into Earth's 'porch light' to attract alien astronomers
Montag, 05.11.2018, 19:28:59 Uhr
If extraterrestrial intelligence exists somewhere in our galaxy, a new study proposes that laser technology on Earth could, in principle, be fashioned into something of a planetary porch light -- a beacon strong enough to attract attention from as far as 20,000 light years away.
Magnetic pumping pushes plasma particles to high energies
Montag, 05.11.2018, 16:54:48 Uhr
The solar wind is not a calm summer breeze. Instead, it is a roiling, chaotic mess of turbulence and waves. There is a lot of energy stored in this turbulence, so scientists have long thought that it heats the solar wind. However, the heating expected from turbulence is not the heating observed. Scientists now have a new idea about what heats the solar wind, a theory called magnetic pumping.
Laboratory experiments probe the formation of stars and planets
Montag, 05.11.2018, 16:54:42 Uhr
The cosmos is a void dotted with stars and an ever-increasing number of newly-observed planets beyond our solar system. Yet, how these stars and planets formed out of clouds of interstellar dust and gas remains mysterious. The study of black holes provides clues that could help solve this mystery.
A stellar achievement: Magnetized space winds in the laboratory
Montag, 05.11.2018, 16:54:29 Uhr
New insights have been gained about stellar winds, streams of high-speed charged particles called plasma that blow through interstellar space. These winds, created by eruptions from stars or stellar explosions, carry with them strong magnetic fields which can interact with or effect other magnetic fields, such as those that surround planets like Earth. To understand these processes, researchers are employing laboratory experiments to study magnetic flows up close.
Borexino sheds light on solar neutrinos
Montag, 05.11.2018, 16:52:11 Uhr
For more than ten years, the Borexino Detector located 1,400 meters below surface of the Italian Gran Sasso massif has been exploring the interior of our Sun. During this time, the project has provided amazing insights into how the star at the center of our solar system generates its energy.