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News

Your online destination for news articles on planets, cosmology, NASA, space missions, and more. You’ll also find information on how to observe upcoming visible sky events such as meteor showers, solar and lunar eclipses, key planetary appearances, comets, and asteroids.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Telescopes set limits on space-time quantum “foam”

A team of scientists has used X-ray and gamma-ray observations of some of the most distant objects in the universe to better understand the nature of space and time. Their results set limits on the quantum nature, or “foaminess,” of space...

Hubble survey confirms link between mergers and supermassive black holes with relativistic jets

In the most extensive survey of its kind ever conducted, a team of scientists has found an unambiguous link between the presence of supermassive black holes that power high-speed, radio-signal-emitting jets and the merger history of their host galaxi...
Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hubble video shows shock collision inside black hole jet

When you're blasting though space at more than 98 percent of the speed of light, you may need driver's insurance. Astronomers have discovered for the first time a rear-end collision between two high-speed knots of ejected matter from a supermassive b...

New Horizons sees more detail as it draws closer to Pluto

What a difference 20 million miles (32 million kilometers) makes! Images of Pluto from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft are growing in scale as the spacecraft approaches its mysterious target. The new images, taken May 8–12 using a powerful teles...
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Europa mission begins with selection of science instruments

NASA has selected nine science instruments for a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate whether the mysterious icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life. NASA’s Galileo mission yielded strong evidence that Europa, about...

A bubbly cosmic celebration

In the brightest region of this glowing nebula called RCW 34, gas is heated dramatically by young stars and expands through the surrounding cooler gas. Once the heated hydrogen reaches the borders of the gas cloud, it bursts outward into the vacuum l...
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

NASA’s Curiosity rover adjusts route up martian mountain

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover climbed a hill May 21 to approach an alternative site for investigating a geological boundary after a comparable site proved hard to reach. The drive of about 72 feet (22 meters) up slopes as steep as 21° brought Curi...
Friday, May 22, 2015

Hubble observes one-of-a-kind star nicknamed “Nasty”

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered surprising new clues about a hefty, rapidly aging star whose behavior has never been seen before in our Milky Way Galaxy. In fact, the star is so weird that astronomers have nicknam...

NASA’s WISE spacecraft discovers most luminous galaxy in universe

A remote galaxy shining with the light of more than 300 trillion Suns has been discovered using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The galaxy is the most luminous found to date and belongs to a new class of objects rec...
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Newly dedicated observatory to search for gravitational waves

First run scheduled for fall 2015 Seeking to expand how we observe and understand the universe where we live, the National Science Foundation (NSF) this week helped dedicate the Advanced Laser Gravitational Wave Observatories (Advanced LIGO) at the L...

Galaxy’s snacking habits revealed

A team of Australian and Spanish astronomers has caught a greedy galaxy gobbling on its neighbors and leaving crumbs of evidence about its dietary past. Galaxies grow by churning loose gas from their surroundings into new stars or by swallowing neig...
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The dreadful beauty of Medusa

Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile have captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its transition into retirement, ...

Astronomers observe a supernova colliding with its companion star

Type Ia supernovae, one of the most dazzling phenomena in the universe, are produced when small dense stars called white dwarfs explode with ferocious intensity. At their peak, these supernovae can outshine an entire galaxy. Although thousands of sup...
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scientists at Keck discover the fluffiest galaxies

An international team of researchers led by Pieter van Dokkum at Yale University has used the W. M. Keck Observatory to confirm the existence of the most diffuse class of galaxies known in the universe. These “fluffiest galaxies” are near...
Monday, May 18, 2015

Astronomers baffled by discovery of rare quasar quartet

Using the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, a group of astronomers led by Joseph Hennawi of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have discovered the first quadruple quasar: four rare active black holes situated in close proximity to one another. Th...

OSIRIS discovers balancing rock on Comet 67P

Scientists from Rosetta’s OSIRIS team have discovered an extraordinary formation on the larger lobe of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the Aker region. From a group of three boulders, the largest one with a diameter of approximately 98 feet ...
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