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A Light in the Dark? Observations of Milky Way's Center Hint at Existence of Dark Matter

A view of the entire gamma-ray sky from the Fermi Space Telescope, shaded to emphasize the center of the Milky Way. The inset is a map of the galactic center with known sources removed, which reveals the gamma-ray excess (red, green, and blue) found there. This excess emission is consistent with annihilations from some [...]

First Direct Imaging of Exoplanet in Visible Light Obtained by Ground-Based Telescope

Image of the exoplanet Beta Pictoris b made with the Magellan Adaptive Optics (MagAO) VisAO camera. This image was made using a CCD camera, which is essentially the same technology as a cell phone camera. The planet is nearly 100,000 times fainter than its star and orbits its star at roughly the same distance [...]

Listening to the Cosmic Winds, Then Talking to the Artist Who Recorded Them

NASA’s Voyager missions are part of humanity’s greatest achievements ever, inspiring the generations. Their tremendous collection of scientific data have also inspired a scientist/musician who converted them into music, giving a whole new meaning and appreciation to both science and music. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“The heavenly motions… are nothing but a continuous [...]

New Dwarf Planet Candidate Discovered at Solar System's Edge: Could a Hidden Planet Be Orbiting Farther Out?

The discovery images of 2012 VP113. Three images of the night sky, each taken about two hours apart, were combined into one. The first image was artificially colored red, the second green, and the third blue. 2012 VP113 moved between each image as seen by the red, green, and blue dots. The background stars [...]

Probing the Surfaces of Alien Waters: Cassini Reveals Possible Evidence of Waves on Seas of Titan

An image of Kivu Lacus, a small lake on Titan’s northern hemisphere, taken in infrared wavelengths in July 2012 with Cassini’s VIMS instrument from a distance of approximately 30,000 km. The bright spot indicates a specular reflection of sunlight from the surface of Kivu Lacus, which could result from the formation of waves. Image [...]

Smoking Gun Found for Big Bang Birth of the Universe

Image of gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, which appear as twisting “curls” and are known as B-nodes, as observed by the BICEP2 telescope. Image Credit: BICEP2 Collaboration

Astronomers today announced an exciting discovery: the first direct evidence for what happened during the first few seconds or so of the birth of our [...]

Putting an End to the Planet X Saga? Latest Search for Hypothetical Planet at Edge of Solar System Comes Up Empty

The notion of Planet X, a hypothetical massive planet orbiting the Sun beyond the known reaches of the Solar System, has held great appeal for the general public for many decades. The newest results from NASA’s WISE mission, however, indicate that no such planet exists. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

 

Deeply ingrained in popular [...]

Probing the Point of No Return: The Event Horizon Telescope

A computer-generated image depicting the event horizon around a black hole. The material that is trapped by the black hole’s gravity is accreted around the event horizon, creating a “ring” that astronomers call the event horizon’s “shadow.” The Event Horizon Telescope aims to image the “shadow” of Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole lying [...]

Bathed in Crimson Light: New Exoplanet Discoveries and the Prospect of Habitability Around Red Dwarf Stars

An artist’s impression of a sunset on Gliese 667 Cc, a habitable Super Earth-sized planet around the triple star system Gliese 667, located 22 light-years away from Earth. Are views, such as this envisioned here, common on planets around red dwarfs stars in the galaxy? Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada

“Call them the Firstborn. [...]

Looking Beyond: NASA's Frontier Fields Possibly Finds One of the Youngest Galaxies in the Early Universe

This image of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744 was obtained with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, as part of the Frontier Fields program, designed to push the limits of how far we can see into the early universe. The zoomed image shows the region around the galaxy Abell2744_Y1, one of the most distant galaxy candidates [...]