Astrophysics News

NASA DXL Sounding Rocket Solves One Cosmic Mystery, Reveals Another

September 23, 2016

0 Comments

NASA-Funded Sounding Rocket Solves One Cosmic Mystery, Reveals Another

New research confirms some of our ideas about where cosmic X-rays come from and reveals an entire group of X-rays that don’t come from any known source. In the last century, humans realized that space is filled with types of light we can’t see – from infrared signals released by hot stars and galaxies, to […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Explore the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

September 23, 2016

1 Comment

New Images of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, international teams of astronomers explore the distant corner of the Universe first revealed in the iconic images of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). New ALMA observations are significantly deeper and sharper than previous surveys at millimeter wavelengths. They clearly show how the rate of star formation in young […]

Continue reading...

CfA Astronomers Confirm and Characterize Exoplanet K2-33b

September 20, 2016

0 Comments

Astronomers Confirm and Characterize Exoplanet K2-33b

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics take a closer look at migrating exoplanets. Many known exoplanets orbit close to their host star, within one-tenth of an astronomical unit (one AU is the average distance of the Earth from the Sun). Since their orbital periods are therefore very short and their gravitational influences on the […]

Continue reading...

Researchers Measure Magnetic Fields in the Vicinity of a Black Hole

September 20, 2016

2 Comments

Astronomers Measure Magnetic Fields in the Vicinity of the Central Black Hole

A team of researchers has measured the magnetic fields in the vicinity of the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 1052. Two particle jets shoot out from the heart of active galaxy NGC 1052 at the speed of light, apparently originating in the vicinity of a massive black hole. A team of researchers […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Solve the Mystery of a Rare Change in the Behavior of a Supermassive Black Hole

September 16, 2016

2 Comments

ESO Views Active Galaxy Markarian 1018

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, a team of astronomers has solved the mystery of a rare change in the behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy. It seems that the black hole is no longer being fed enough fuel […]

Continue reading...

Speckle Imaging Helps Provide the Highest-Resolution Images Available of TRAPPIST-1

September 14, 2016

1 Comment

The TRAPPIST-1 System

Using the Gemini-South telescope and a speckle imaging camera, a team of astronomers have obtained the highest-resolution images available of TRAPPIST-1. When it comes to exoplanets, astronomers have realized that they only know the properties of the planets they discover as well as they know the properties of the stars being orbited. For a planet’s […]

Continue reading...

A Riddle for Our Time – Astronomers Examine Cosmic History

September 12, 2016

14 Comments

The Dimensionless Age of the Universe: a Riddle for Our Time

In a newly published study, a team of astronomers call attention to a neglected riddle of the expansion of the universe: although cosmic acceleration might have started at any time, curiously it has happened in our own time. One of the most remarkable successes of astrophysics in the last century was its discovery that the […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Detect Young Magnetar in Supernova Remnant, Likely the Slowest Pulsar Ever Discovered

September 8, 2016

0 Comments

Chandra Discovers Young Magnetar

Astronomers may have detected the slowest spinning neutron star to date. The object is in the middle of the RCW 103 supernova remnant, which is about 10,700 light years from Earth. While other neutron stars spin multiple times a minute, this object only rotates once about every 6.5 hours. Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and […]

Continue reading...

Mysterious X-Ray Signal Most Likely from Sulfur Ions, Not Dark Matter

September 6, 2016

0 Comments

Mysterious X-Ray Signal Most Likely Originates from Sulfur Ions

New research shows that a recently discovered mysterious X-ray signal most likely originates from sulfur ions, not from dark matter. A mysterious X-ray signal from clusters of galaxies recently caused some excitement among astronomers: Does it perhaps originate from dark matter, which makes up around 80 percent of the matter in the universe, but which […]

Continue reading...

Chandra Reveals Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster

August 31, 2016

1 Comment

Astronomers Discover Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster

Using Chandra and several other telescopes, astronomers have found the most distant galaxy cluster to date. This cluster, called CL J1001+0220, lies about 11.1 billion light years from Earth and may have been caught right after birth, a brief, but important stage of cluster evolution never seen before. The remote galaxy cluster was found in […]

Continue reading...

NASA Probes Peculiar Age-Defying Star IRAS 19312+1950

August 29, 2016

1 Comment

NASA Probes Peculiar Age-Defying Star IRAS 19312+1950

New research suggests that IRAS 19312+1950 might be a protostar a star still in the making. For years, astronomers have puzzled over a massive star lodged deep in the Milky Way that shows conflicting signs of being extremely old and extremely young. Researchers initially classified the star as elderly, perhaps a red supergiant. But a […]

Continue reading...

Astrophysicists Show Milky Way Had a Blowout Bash 6 Million Years Ago

August 29, 2016

1 Comment

New Study Shows Milky Way Had a Blowout Bash 6 Million Years Ago

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shows that the center of the Milky Way was once a very active place. The center of the Milky Way galaxy is currently a quiet place where a supermassive black hole slumbers, only occasionally slurping small sips of hydrogen gas. But it wasn’t always this way. A […]

Continue reading...

A Billion or More Jupiter-Like Worlds Could Be Orbiting Stars in the Milky Way

August 26, 2016

0 Comments

Scientists Compare Jupiter with Jupiter-like Planets

Using data from NASA’s Juno probe, astronomers hope to gain a better understanding of Jupiter and the the many Jupiter-like planets in our galaxy. Our galaxy is home to a bewildering variety of Jupiter-like worlds: hot ones, cold ones, giant versions of our own giant, pint-sized pretenders only half as big around. Astronomers say that […]

Continue reading...

Dragonfly 44 – A Massive Galaxy That Consists Almost Entirely of Dark Matter

August 25, 2016

1 Comment

Galaxy Dragonfly 44

An international team of astronomers has discovered a massive galaxy that consists almost entirely of dark matter. The galaxy, Dragonfly 44, is located in the nearby Coma constellation and had been overlooked until last year because of its unusual composition: It is a diffuse “blob” about the size of the Milky Way, but with far […]

Continue reading...

Earth-Sized Planet Proxima b Might be Habitable

August 25, 2016

0 Comments

Planet Found in Habitable Zone Around Nearest Star

Scientists reveal that a newly discovered, roughly Earth-sized planet orbiting our nearest neighboring star might be habitable. Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and […]

Continue reading...

NASA Telescopes Reveal a Surprising Blazar Connection

August 24, 2016

2 Comments

A Surprising Blazar Connection Revealed

Using data from from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, astronomers studying distant galaxies powered by monster black holes have uncovered an unexpected link between two very different wavelengths of the light they emit, the mid-infrared and gamma rays. The discovery has enabled the researchers to uncover dozens of new […]

Continue reading...

Exoplanet GJ 1132b Might Have a Thin Oxygen Atmosphere

August 18, 2016

1 Comment

Venus-like Exoplanet GJ 1132b Might Have Oxygen Atmosphere

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reveals that the Venus-like Exoplanet GJ 1132b might possess a thin, oxygen atmosphere – but no life due to its extreme heat. The distant planet GJ 1132b intrigued astronomers when it was discovered last year. Located just 39 light-years from Earth, it might have an atmosphere despite […]

Continue reading...

Chandra Data Raises Questions about the Timing and Origin of Supernova Remnant G11.2-0.3

August 18, 2016

0 Comments

New Chandra Data of the Supernova Remnant G11

New Chandra data of the supernova remnant G11.2-0.3 raise new questions about the timing of its origin. Chandra observations show that dense gas clouds lie along the line of sight between Earth and G11.2-0.3, meaning that the supernova explosion would have been too faint to be seen with the naked eye from Earth. A new […]

Continue reading...