NASA's Hubble Helps Solve Mystery of Ultra-Compact, Burned-Out Galaxies

An odyssey of exploration began on 25 April 1990, when Steve Hawley gingerly pulled Discovery’s robot arm away from the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory have pieced together the evolutionary sequence of compact elliptical galaxies that erupted and burned out early in […]

Ghost of Comet ISON Rises Like an Icy Phoenix After Suicidal Kamikaze Visit With the Sun

ISON appears as a white smear heading up and away from the Sun. ISON was not visible during its closest approach to the Sun, so many scientists thought it had disintegrated, but images like this one from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory suggest that a small nucleus may be intact. Image/Caption Credit: ESA/NASA/SOHO/GSFC

[…]

Herschel Completes Its ‘Cool’ Journey in Space

Image Credit: European Space Agency

WASHINGTON — The Herschel Observatory, a European space telescope for which NASA helped build instruments and process data, has stopped making observations after running out of liquid coolant as expected.

[…]

Strange New Worlds: Exoplanets Abound in the Cosmos (Part 2)

A comparison of the sizes of the three known planets of the star Kepler-37 with some of the worlds of the solar system. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Astronomers have been dazzled by the sheer number of planets there seem to be in the galaxy. According to a recent estimate, there’s on average at least one […]

Planets, Planets Everywhere: Exoplanets Abound in the Cosmos

Illustration depicting a system of three rocky planets, each smaller than the Earth, found in orbit around the red dwarf KOI-961. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

It has been only about 20 years since the first planets were found outside our solar system. Today, almost a thousand exoplanets have been confirmed, and the rate of discovery […]

Planck Mission Brings Universe into Sharp Focus

This map shows the oldest light in our universe, as detected with the greatest precision yet by the Planck mission. The ancient light, called the cosmic microwave background, was imprinted on the sky when the universe was 370,000 years old. It shows tiny temperature fluctuations that correspond to regions of slightly different densities, representing […]