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Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
Updated: 33 min 24 sec ago

In a pair of merging supermassive black holes, a new method for measuring the void

Mon, 2022-05-09 13:26
Researchers have devised a potentially easier way of gazing into the abyss. Their imaging technique could allow astronomers to study black holes smaller than M87's, a monster with a mass of 6.5 billion suns, harbored in galaxies more distant than M87, which at 55 million light-years away, is still relatively close to our own Milky Way.

New method to synchronize devices on Earth makes use of cosmic rays

Mon, 2022-05-09 11:20
Various technologies, networks and institutions benefit from or require accurate time keeping to synchronize their activities. Current ways of synchronizing time have some drawbacks that a new proposed method seeks to address. The cosmic time synchronizer works by synchronizing devices around cosmic ray events detected by those devices. This could bring accurate timing abilities to remote sensing stations, or even underwater, places that other methods cannot serve. Early tests show promise, but the real challenge may lie in the adoption of this new technique.

Hubble reveals surviving companion star in aftermath of supernova

Thu, 2022-05-05 11:47
It's not unheard of to find a surviving star at the scene of a titanic supernova explosion, which would be expected to obliterate everything around it, but new research has provided a long-awaited clue to a specific type of stellar death. In some supernova cases, astronomers find no trace of the former star's outermost layer of hydrogen. What happened to the hydrogen? Suspicions that companion stars are responsible -- siphoning away their partners' outer shell before their death -- are supported by the recent identification of a surviving companion star on the scene of supernova 2013ge.

Lunar soil has the potential to generate oxygen and fuel

Thu, 2022-05-05 11:46
Soil on the moon contains active compounds that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and fuels, scientists report. They are now exploring whether lunar resources can be used to facilitate human exploration on the moon or beyond.

Astronomers discover a rare 'black widow' binary, with the shortest orbit yet

Wed, 2022-05-04 11:04
Astronomers discovered a 'black widow binary' -- a rapidly spinning neutron star circling and slowly consuming a smaller companion star. Named ZTF J1406+1222, the pair has the shortest orbital period yet identified, and is unique in that it appears to host a third star that orbits around the two inner stars every 10,000 years.

Experiments measure freezing point of extraterrestrial oceans to aid search for life

Tue, 2022-05-03 19:01
A planetary scientist worked with engineers to measure the physical limits for a liquid when salty water is at very high pressure. The results suggest where to look for extraterrestrial life in the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Titan.

Physicists develop ideal testing conditions of solar cells for space applications

Tue, 2022-05-03 14:14
Researchers have described the optimal conditions for testing perovskite solar cells for space.

Proposed spacecraft navigation uses x-rays from dead stars

Tue, 2022-05-03 14:13
The remnants of a collapsed neutron star, called a pulsar, are magnetically charged and spinning anywhere from one rotation per second to hundreds of rotations per second. These celestial bodies, each 12 to 15 miles in diameter, generate light in the x-ray wavelength range. Researchers have developed a new way spacecraft can use signals from multiple pulsars to navigate in deep space.

Astronauts: Blood clot expert to study blood flow, clot formation in zero gravity

Tue, 2022-05-03 10:28
This was the first time a blood clot had been found in an astronaut in space, so there was no established method of treatment for DVT in zero gravity.

Younger exoplanets are better candidates when looking for other Earths

Tue, 2022-05-03 10:02
As the scientific community searches for worlds orbiting nearby stars that could potentially harbor life, new research suggests that younger rocky exoplanets are more likely to support temperate, Earth-like climates.

Search reveals eight new sources of black hole echoes

Mon, 2022-05-02 12:05
Astronomers discovered eight new echoing black hole binaries in our galaxy, enabling them to piece together a general picture of how a black hole evolves during an outburst. The findings will help scientists trace a black hole's evolution as it feeds on stellar material.

Spinning stars shed new light on strange signal coming from galactic center

Thu, 2022-04-28 12:54
Researchers have found an alternative explanation for a mysterious gamma-ray signal coming from the center of the galaxy, which was long claimed as a signature of dark matter.

Discovery of 30 exocomets in a young planetary system

Thu, 2022-04-28 08:58
The star Beta Pictoris has fascinated astronomers because it enables them to observe a planetary system in the process of formation. It is made up of at least two young planets, and also contains comets, which were detected as early as 1987. Now, an international research team has discovered 30 such exocomets and determined the size of their nuclei, which vary between 3 and 14 kilometers in diameter.

Earth's atmosphere may be source of some lunar water

Wed, 2022-04-27 21:13
Hydrogen and oxygen ions escaping from Earth's upper atmosphere and combining on the moon could be one of the sources of the known lunar water and ice, according to new research.

The instability at the beginning of the solar system

Wed, 2022-04-27 15:40
Michigan State University's Seth Jacobson and colleagues in China and France have unveiled a new theory that could help solve a galactic mystery of how our solar system evolved. Specifically, how did the gas giants -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune -- end up where they are, orbiting the sun like they do? The research also has implications for how terrestrial planets such as Earth were formed and the possibility that a fifth gas giant lurks 50 billion miles out into the distance.

Supernova reveals secrets to astronomers

Wed, 2022-04-27 11:57
An international group of astronomers has used observations to unlock a puzzling mystery about a stellar explosion discovered several years ago and evolving even now. The results will help astronomers better understand the process of how massive stars live and die.

Solar beats nuclear at many potential settlement sites on Mars

Wed, 2022-04-27 10:05
While most missions to the moon and other planets rely upon solar power, scientists have assumed that any extended surface mission involving humans would require a more reliable source of energy: nuclear power. Improvements in photovoltaics are upending this calculus. A new study concludes that a solar power system would weigh less than a nuclear system, and would be sufficient to power a colony at sites over nearly half the surface.

Classifying exoplanet atmospheres opens new field of study

Tue, 2022-04-26 10:17
An international team of researchers examined data for 25 exoplanets and found some links among the properties of the atmospheres, including the thermal profiles and chemical abundances in them. These findings will help establish a generalized theory of planet formation which will improve our understanding of all planets, including the Earth.

Scientists model landscape formation on Titan, revealing an Earth-like alien world

Mon, 2022-04-25 10:49
A new hypothesis reveals that a global sedimentary cycle driven by seasons could explain the formation of landscapes on Saturn's moon Titan. The research shows the alien world may be more Earth-like than previously thought.

Dying stars' cocoons might explain fast blue optical transients

Wed, 2022-04-20 13:36
Using a newly developed model, astrophysicists present a new theory to explain fast blue optical transients, a new class of transients that has boggled researchers since their discovery in 2018. In the new study, astrophysicists find that FBOTs could result from the actively cooling cocoons that surround jets launched by dying stars.