Current Astronomers News and Events

Current Astronomers News and Events, Astronomers News Articles.
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Reclusive neutron star may have been found in famous supernova
Since astronomers captured the bright explosion of a star on February 24, 1987, researchers have been searching for the squashed stellar core that should have been left behind. A group of astronomers using data from NASA space missions and ground-based telescopes may have finally found it. (2021-02-23)

Binary stars are all around us, new map of solar neighborhood shows
A UC Berkeley doctoral student has mined the most recent Gaia survey for all binary stars near Earth and created a 3D atlas of 1.3 million of them. The last local survey included about 200 binary pairs. With such census data, astronomers can conduct statistical analyses on binary populations. For pairs that contain white dwarfs, it's possible to determine the age of their main-sequence companion, and thus of any exoplanets around them. (2021-02-22)

First black hole ever detected is more massive than we thought
An international team, including researchers from National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), found that the first black hole, Cygnus X-1, contains a stellar-mass black hole with 21 solar mass and rotates at a speed close to the speed of light. (2021-02-18)

Vaporised crusts of Earth-like planets found in dying stars
Remnants of planets with Earth-like crusts have been discovered in the atmospheres of four nearby white dwarf stars by University of Warwick astronomers, offering a glimpse of the planets that may have once orbited them up to billions of years ago. (2021-02-11)

Hubble uncovers concentration of small black holes
Scientists were expecting to find an intermediate-mass black hole at the heart of the globular cluster NGC 6397, but instead they found evidence of a concentration of smaller black holes lurking there. New data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have led to the first measurement of the extent of a collection of black holes in a core-collapsed globular cluster. (2021-02-11)

Spectacular 'honeycomb heart' revealed in iconic stellar explosion
A unique 'heart-shape', with wisps of gas filaments showing an intricate honeycomb-like arrangement, has been discovered at the centre of the iconic supernova remnant, the Crab Nebula. Astronomers have mapped the void in unprecedented detail, creating a realistic three-dimensional reconstruction. The new work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (2021-02-10)

Astronomers uncover mysterious origins of 'super-Earths'
Mini-Neptunes and super-Earths up to four times the size of our own are the most common exoplanets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. Until now, super-Earths were thought to be the rocky cores of mini-Neptunes whose gassy atmospheres were blown away. In a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, astronomers from McGill University show that some of these exoplanets never had gaseous atmospheres to begin with, shedding new light on their mysterious origins. (2021-02-10)

Astronomers confirm orbit of most distant object ever observed in our solar system
A team of astronomers, including associate professor Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University's Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. (2021-02-10)

Astronomers offer possible explanation for elusive dark-matter-free galaxies
A team led by astronomers at the University of California, Riverside, has found that some dwarf galaxies may today appear to be dark-matter free even though they formed as galaxies dominated by dark matter in the past. (2021-02-09)

Rare blast's remains discovered in Milky Way's center
Astronomers may have found our Galaxy's first example of an unusual kind of stellar explosion. This discovery, made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, adds to the understanding of how some stars shatter and seed the universe with elements critical for life on Earth. (2021-02-08)

NASA's Roman mission will probe galaxy's core for hot Jupiters, brown dwarfs
NASA's Roman Space Telescope will conduct a microlensing survey to reveal worlds that are similar to the planets in our solar system. Now, a new study shows that the same survey will also unveil more extreme planets and planet-like bodies in the heart of the galaxy, thanks to their gravitational tug on the stars they orbit. (2021-01-25)

Astronomers discover first cloudless, Jupiter-like planet
Astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian have detected the first Jupiter-like planet without clouds or haze in its observable atmosphere. The findings were published this month in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. (2021-01-21)

Saturn's tilt caused by its moons
Two scientists from CNRS and Sorbonne University working at the Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Ephemeris Calculation (Paris Observatory - PSL/CNRS) have just shown that the influence of Saturn's satellites can explain the tilt of the rotation axis of the gas giant. Their work, published on 18 January 2021 in the journal Nature Astronomy, also predicts that the tilt will increase even further over the next few billion years. (2021-01-20)

Astronomers dissect the anatomy of planetary nebulae using Hubble Space Telescope images
Images of two iconic planetary nebulae taken by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new information about how they develop their dramatic features. Researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology and Green Bank Observatory presented new findings about the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) and the Jewel Bug Nebula (NGC 7027) at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (2021-01-19)

A most distant signal
Nearly every galaxy hosts a monster at its center -- a supermassive black hole millions to billions times the size of the Sun. Some of these black holes are particularly active, whipping up stars, dust and gas into glowing accretion disks emitting powerful radiation into the cosmos as they consume matter around them. These quasars are some of the most distant objects that astronomers can see, and there is now a new record for the farthest one ever observed. (2021-01-15)

Giant 2D atlas of the universe helps dark energy spectroscopic survey
Researchers from the National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and their collaborators released a giant 2D map of the universe, which paves the way for the upcoming new-generation dark energy spectroscopic survey. (2021-01-14)

Researchers rewind the clock to calculate age and site of supernova blast
Astronomers are winding back the clock on the expanding remains of a nearby, exploded star. By using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, they retraced the speedy shrapnel from the blast to calculate a more accurate estimate of the location and time of the stellar detonation. (2021-01-14)

Astronomers document the rise and fall of a rarely observed stellar dance
Astronomers have catalogued 126 years of changes to HS Hydra, a rare evolving eclipsing binary star system. Analyzing observations from astro-photographic plates in the late 1800s to TESS observations in 2019, they show that the two stars in HS Hydra began to eclipse each other around a century ago, peaking in the 1960s. The degree of eclipsing then plummeted over the course of just a half century, and will cease around February 2021. (2021-01-14)

Quasar discovery sets new distance record
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), along with other telescopes, have discovered the most distant quasar yet found. The bright quasar, powered by a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy, is seen as it was only 670 million years after the Big Bang, and is providing valuable clues about how such huge black holes and their host galaxies formed in the early Universe. (2021-01-12)

NASA missions help investigate an 'Old Faithful' active galaxy
Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful geyser regularly blasts a jet of boiling water high in the air. Now, an international team of astronomers has discovered a cosmic equivalent, a distant galaxy that erupts roughly every 114 days. (2021-01-12)

'Old Faithful' cosmic eruption shows black hole ripping at star
You've heard of Old Faithful, the Yellowstone National Park geyser that erupts every hour or two, a geological phenomenon on a nearly predictable schedule. Now, an international group of scientists who study space have discovered an astronomical 'Old Faithful' - an eruption of light flashing about once every 114 days on a nearly predictable schedule. (2021-01-12)

Unveiling the double origin of cosmic dust in the distant Universe
Two billion years after the Big Bang, the Universe was still very young. However, thousands of huge galaxies, rich in stars and dust, were already formed. A new study explains how this was possible. Scientists identified the processes behind their evolution and found evidence for a rapid growth of dust due to a high concentration of metals in the distant Universe. The study offers a new approach to investigate the evolutionion of massive objects. (2021-01-11)

Chandra studies extraordinary magnetar
In 2020, astronomers added a new member to an exclusive family of exotic objects with the discovery of a magnetar. New observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory help support the idea that it is also a pulsar, meaning it emits regular pulses of light. (2021-01-08)

Astronomers agree: Universe is nearly 14 billion years old
From an observatory high above Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers have taken a new look at the oldest light in the universe. Their observations, plus a bit of cosmic geometry, suggest that the universe is 13.77 billion years old - give or take 40 million years. (2021-01-04)

A blazar in the early universe
Observations with the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) reveal previously unseen details in a jet of material ejected from the core of a galaxy seen as it was when the universe was only about 7% of its current age. (2020-12-22)

Artificial intelligence classifies supernova explosions with unprecedented accuracy
Scientists from the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian have trained machine learning software to classify supernovae without the traditional use of spectra. The project--the first to use real supernovae data to inform its artificial intelligence--is 82% accurate. Currently, scientists take spectra of 10-percent of the ~10,000 supernovae discovered each year. When the Rubin Observatory goes online, only 0.1-percent of the expected supernovae discoveries will be further studied without the new software. (2020-12-17)

The farthest galaxy in the universe
A team of astronomers used the Keck I telescope to measure the distance to an ancient galaxy. They deduced the target galaxy GN-z11 is not only the oldest galaxy but also the most distant. It's so distant it defines the very boundary of the observable universe itself. The team hopes this study can shed light on a period of cosmological history when the universe was only a few hundred million years old. (2020-12-14)

Exoplanet around distant star resembles reputed 'Planet Nine' in our solar system
Astronomers think planets can exist in orbits far from their star, and propose a two-step process: interactions with the star or inner planets kick it out of the inner system, and then a passing star stabilizes the orbit to keep it bound. Such a scenario could explain the hypothesized ''Planet Nine'' in our solar system. Astronomers has now confirmed that one binary star system, HD 106906, has a planet in a bound, highly eccentric orbit. (2020-12-10)

Hubble identifies strange exoplanet that behaves like the long-sought "Planet Nine"
The 11-Jupiter-mass exoplanet called HD106906 b occupies an unlikely orbit around a double star 336 light-years away and it may be offering clues to something that might be much closer to home: a hypothesized distant member of our Solar System dubbed ''Planet Nine.'' This is the first time that astronomers have been able to measure the motion of a massive Jupiter-like planet that is orbiting very far away from its host stars and visible debris disc. (2020-12-10)

Study confirms dark coating can reduce satellite reflectivity
Observations conducted by the Murikabushi Telescope of Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory confirmed that dark coating can reduce satellite reflectivity by half. There are concerns that numerous artificial satellites in orbit could impair astronomical observations, but these findings may help alleviate such conditions. (2020-12-08)

Leaving so soon? Unusual planetary nebula fades mere decades after it arrived
The tiny Stingray Nebula unexpectedly appeared in the 1980s is by far the youngest planetary nebula in our sky. But a team of astronomers recently analyzed a more recent image of the nebula, taken in 2016 by Hubble, and found that it has faded significantly and changed shape over the course of just 20 years. If dimming continues at current rates, in 20 or 30 years the Stingray Nebula will be barely perceptible. (2020-12-03)

New Hubble data explains missing dark matter
New data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provides further evidence for tidal disruption in the galaxy NGC 1052-DF4. This result explains a previous finding that this galaxy is missing most of its dark matter. By studying the galaxy's light and globular cluster distribution, astronomers have concluded that the gravity forces of the neighbouring galaxy NGC 1035 stripped the dark matter from NGC 1052-DF4 and are now tearing the galaxy apart. (2020-11-26)

Rapid-forming giants could disrupt spiral protoplanetary discs
Giant planets that developed early in a star system's life could solve a mystery of why spiral structures are not observed in young protoplanetary discs, according to a new study by University of Warwick astronomers. (2020-11-26)

Galaxy encounter violently disturbed Milky Way, study finds
The long-held belief that the Milky Way, the galaxy containing Earth and the solar system, is relatively static has been ruptured by fresh cosmic insight. The spiral-shaped disc of stars and planets is being pulled, twisted and deformed with extreme violence by the gravitational force of a smaller galaxy - the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). (2020-11-23)

Astronomers' success: seven new cosmic masers
The astronomers from Toru?, Poland have successfully completed the survey of the Milky Way plane. They searched for gas clouds, where there was a maser reinforcement of the OH molecule. They saw seven new sources - each of them brings scientists closer to the process by which massive stars are born. - It is like listening to the buzzing of a mosquito during a loud concert - backstage observations are recapitulated by Prof. Anna Bartkiewicz. (2020-11-18)

Image release: Galaxies in the Perseus Cluster
New VLA images show how the crowded environment of a cluster of galaxies affects the individual galaxies, helping astronomers better understand some of the complex details of such an environment. (2020-11-12)

Radioactive elements may be crucial to the habitability of rocky planets
The amount of long-lived radioactive elements incorporated into a rocky planet as it forms may be a crucial factor in determining its future habitability. That's because internal heating from the radioactive decay of the heavy elements thorium and uranium drives plate tectonics and may be necessary for the planet to generate a magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field protects the planet from solar winds and cosmic rays. (2020-11-10)

Maunakea telescopes confirm first brown dwarf discovered by radio observations
A collaboration between the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope in Europe, the Gemini North telescope, and the NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF), both on Maunakea in Hawai'i, has led to the first direct discovery of a cold brown dwarf from its radio wavelength emission. Along with paving the way for future brown dwarf discoveries, this result is an important step towards applying radio astronomy to the exciting field of exoplanets. (2020-11-09)

FAST reveals mystery of fast radio bursts from the universe
The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) has revealed some mystery of the fast radio bursts, according to a study published in Nature on Oct. 28. (2020-11-04)

Galaxies in the very early universe were surprisingly mature
Massive galaxies were already much more mature in the early universe than previously expected. This is the conclusion of an international team of astronomers who studied distant galaxies with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The result is now published by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. (2020-10-30)

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