Enigmatic Pluto Emits X-Rays and 'Spray-Paints' Its Largest Moon, New Research Shows

For the first time, x-rays have been detected around Pluto, as seen by Chandra (inset image). Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Chandra X-Ray Center

It has been 14 months since the New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto and its moons, but data still continues to come in, and new […]

Testing Panspermia: Searching for 'Bubbles of Life' in the Galaxy

Does life spread through the galaxy like an infectious disease, with “bubbles” of inhabited planets? Image Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

We still don’t know if there is life elsewhere in the universe, but scientists are working on techniques to better understand how it may have originated anyway, in the event that such alien biology […]

Two New Exoplanet Findings Bring Us Closer to Discovering Other Earth-Like Worlds

Artist’s conception of a super-Earth ocean world, with another gas giant planet rising over the horizon. Image Credit: David A. Aguilar/CfA

When it comes to exoplanets, the most exciting for many people are, of course, the ones which may be the most Earth-like, since these are regarded as the most likely to possibly […]

Kepler Finds 'Super-Earth' Exoplanet in First Discovery of New Mission

Artist’s conception of super-Earth HIP 116454b. Image Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

The Kepler space telescope has found its first new exoplanet, a “super-Earth,” of its secondary mission phase. The discovery adds to a current tally of 996 confirmed exoplanets and 4,183 planetary candidates already found by the revolutionary planet-hunting telescope.

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New Dust Map of Galaxy Casts Doubts on Gravitational Waves Discovery

All-sky map of interstellar dust from Planck. Blue areas have less dust and red areas have more. The patch of sky observed by BICEP2 is not in one of the less dusty regions. Northern hemisphere is on the left and southern is on the right. Image Credit: ESA

As sometimes happens, the celebrations […]

'Mega-Earth' Planet Discovered Orbiting Distant Sun-Like Star

Artist’s conception of Kepler-10c (foreground) and Kepler-10b. Image Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/David Aguilar

Astronomers on Monday made a “big” announcement about exoplanets, and it is big—literally. Another new world has been discovered, which is quite routine now these days, but this one is different, and unexpected: a planet which is more than […]

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 […]

NASA's Chandra Observatory Catches Giant Black Hole Rejecting Material

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al., IR: NASA/STScI

Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have taken a major step in explaining why material around the giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy is extraordinarily faint in X-rays. This discovery holds important implications for understanding black holes.

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NASA's Chandra Sees Eclipsing Planet in X-rays for First Time

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/K. Poppenhaeger et al; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

For the first time since exoplanets, or planets around stars other than the sun, were discovered almost 20 years ago, X-ray observations have detected an exoplanet passing in front of its parent star.

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On @ The 90: How Mission to Capture Asteroid Could Change NASA

Could a new initiative proposed in the FY 2014 Budget Proposal make space exploration a highly profitable endeavor? Image Credit: NASA

In April 2010, President Obama announced a plan that, at the time, received a rather tepid response. This was the president’s announcement that NASA would conduct a mission to an asteroid. The […]