Unusual Fast-Moving 'Ripples' Discovered in Planetary Debris Disk Surrounding Nearby Star

Hubble and VLT images of the "ripples" within the debris disk surrounding the young star AU Microscopii. Image Credit: ESO/NASA/ESA

Hubble and VLT images of the “ripples” within the debris disk surrounding the young star AU Microscopii. Image Credit: ESO/NASA/ESA

Planetary debris disks, or protoplanetary disks, are some of the most interesting phenomena in astronomy – these giant clouds of dust and gas surrounding young stars are the birthplaces of new planets. Now, astronomers […]

Planets Around Red Dwarf Stars Could Be More Life-Friendly Than Previously Thought, According to New Study

An artist’s concept of a hypothetical terrestrial exoplanet with two moons orbiting inside the habitable zone of a red dwarf star. New research has shown that such planets could under the right conditions generate their own magnetic field, which could render them potentially habitable. Image Credit: D. Aguilar/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

The history of […]

Increased X-Ray Activity From Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole Puzzles Astronomers

An X-ray view (at the bottom) of the region around Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, taken with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The analysis of archival observations from Chandra and other orbiting X-ray telescopes has revealed that Sgr A* has increased its X-ray flaring by a […]

Astronomers Probe Light From Very Early Universe, Discover Most Distant Galaxy to Date

An image of the galaxy EGS8p7, as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope. The top inset at the right shows a magnified view of the same image centered around EGS8p7, while the bottom insert shows the same view as seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope in infrared wavelengths. EGS8p7 is the most distant galaxy […]

OSIRIS-REx Taking Shape, Engineers Explain Innovative Asteroid Sample Return Mechanism

Artist concept of OSIRIS-REx. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Artist concept of OSIRIS-REx in the environs of Asteroid Bennu, sometime after 2018. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

While avid space watchers may thrill to missions such as Stardust (which returned a sample from a comet), Dawn (which visited an asteroid and dwarf planet), and Rosetta (which placed a lander upon a comet’s surface), […]

Interiors of Rocky Exoplanets Might Be Different Than Earth's, According to New Study

Artist’s impression of the Super-Earth-type exoplanet HD 85512 b. As evidenced by the results of a new study, these rocky exoplanets, which are though to be similar to Earth, could have a different internal chemistry instead. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger

The steady stream of terrestrial exoplanet discoveries that have come from NASA’s Kepler […]

On Course to the Stars: James Webb Space Telescope Shaping Up for 2018 Launch

From ESA: “This image shows two polished test mirror segments being inspected by an optical engineer: one segment with the gold coating already applied, the other without. In the meantime, the coating of all 18 mirrors has been completed.” Photo Credit: NASA/C. Gunn

While the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) recently celebrated 25 years in […]

Two Years From Today: Get Ready For the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017

A total eclipse of the Sun, showing the Sun's atmosphere, or corona, stretching out, which is not normally visible during daylight. Photo Credit: Fred Espenak/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

A total eclipse of the Sun, showing the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona, stretching out into space, which is not normally visible during daylight. Photo Credit: Fred Espenak/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Exactly two years from today, on Aug. 21, 2017, a rare total solar eclipse will be seen again in the skies of the […]

The Early Solar System Could Have Hosted a Fifth Giant Planet, According to New Study

Artist’s impression of a rogue gas giant planet, free-floating in interstellar space. According to a new study, the early Solar System hosted a fifth gas giant planet besides Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, which was eventually ejected into interstellar space through the gravitational interactions with the rest of the Solar System’s giant planets. Image […]

The Coming of the Cosmic Old Age: New Survey Finds the Universe's Energy Output Is Decreasing With Time

A composite image of a galaxy as seen in different wavelengths by the GAMA survey. The results of the survey, which studied more than 200,000 galaxies in the local Universe, revealed that the latter’s total energy output has decreased by at least 50 percent during the last 2 billion years. Image Credit: ICRAR/GAMA and […]