Planetary Swing: Spitzer Space Telescope Probes Extreme Climates on Hot Jupiters and Super Earths

A simulation showing the turbulent atmosphere of exoplanet HD 80606b, based on data gathered with the Spitzer space telescope. This hot Jupiter-type world has one of the most elongated orbits known for an exoplanet, one that resembles the orbits of comets in our Solar System. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT/Principia College

Seen from the perspective […]

Kepler Observes Supernova's Shockwave in Visible Light for First Time

An artist’s impression of a supernova explosion. With the help of NASA’s Kepler space telescope, astronomers were able to observe for the first time the exact moment when the shockwave from a supernova reaches the surface of the progenitor star just before the latter explodes. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

One of the most […]

Size Matters: Astronomers Discover Rare, 'Super Spiral' Galaxies

A team of astronomers has recently discovered a total of 53 ‘super spiral’ galaxies which are enormous in size, three of which are shown in the image above. The galaxies shown at the left and center images also exhibit a double nucleus, which could be the result of a past galactic merger. Image […]

New Twists Add More Mystery to the Fast Radio Burst Enigma

A composite image of the Milky Way above the Australia Telescope Compact Array, which has been utilised in the study of fast radio bursts in recent years. A series of recent discoveries, including the detection of the first-ever repeating fast radio burst, has added new layers to the existing mystery of this elusive […]

The Next Big Thing: NASA Officially Gives the Go-Ahead for WFIRST Telescope—An Interview With Dr. Neil Gehrels

An artist’s concept of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). NASA has officially chosen the infrared-space telescope as the scientific successor to the James Webb Space Telescope, with a projected launch date around the 2024 timeframe. WFIRST is expected to make significant contributions in the study of dark energy and the characterisation […]

Record-Shattering, Ultra-Luminous Hypernova Explosion Stuns Astronomers, Poses New Cosmic Mystery

An artist’s impression of the record-breakingly powerful, superluminous supernova ASASSN-15lh that was recently discovered by the Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN), as it would appear from a hypothetical exoplanet located about 10,000 light years away in the host galaxy of the hypernova. (Image Credit: Beijing Planetarium / Jin Ma)

A means to portray […]

James Webb Telescope 'Pathfinder' Replica Completes First Cryogenic Optics Test

The ‘Pathfinder’ enters Chamber A at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Image Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

If there is one mantra that drives the development of space mission projects, it’s ‘test, test, test’. Before every successful manned or robotic mission has ever flown to space countless man-hours were devoted for extensive and rigorous testing on […]

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 […]

Astronomers Get Rare Glimpse of the 'Nasty' Lifestyles of Massive Stars

Artist’s illustration of the vast disk of gas surrounding the massive and bright Wolf-Rayet star NaSt1, affectionately nicknamed ‘Nasty 1’. Observations with the Hubble and Chandra space telescopes revealed that contrary to other Wolf-Rayet stars, NaSt1 is feeding material into its companion star (shown here by the bridge of bright material connecting the […]

Astronomers Determine Progenitors of Supernova Explosions More Varied Than Thought

Computer-generated image of a Type Ia supernova explosion. New research has provided important insights about the progenitor stars of these cataclysmic cosmic events. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Dana Berry

Type Ia supernova explosions can be considered as some of the Universe’s most spectacular and inviting attractions, signifying the death of very massive stars. With peak […]