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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: 19 min 51 sec ago

Brightest gamma-ray burst of all time came from the collapse of a massive star

Fri, 2024-04-12 11:34
In 2022, astronomers discovered the brightest gamma-ray burst (GRB) of all time. Now, astronomers confirm that a 'normal' supernova, the telltale sign of a stellar collapse, accompanied the GRB. The team also looked for signatures of heavy elements like gold and platinum in the supernova. They found no evidence of such elements, deepening the mystery of their origins.

Stellar winds of three sun-like stars detected for the first time

Fri, 2024-04-12 11:34
An international research team has for the first time directly detected stellar winds from three Sun-like stars by recording the X-ray emission from their astrospheres, and placed constraints on the mass loss rate of the stars via their stellar winds.

Exoplanets true to size

Fri, 2024-04-12 11:33
A star's magnetic field must be considered in order to correctly determine the characteristics of exoplanets from observations by space telescopes such as Kepler, James Webb, or PLATO. Researchers show that the distribution of the star's brightness over its disk depends on the star's level of magnetic activity. This, in turn, affects the signature of an exoplanet in observational data. The new model must be used in order to properly interpret the data from the latest generation of space telescopes pointed at distant worlds outside our Solar System.

Beautiful nebula, violent history: Clash of stars solves stellar mystery

Thu, 2024-04-11 16:59
When astronomers looked at a stellar pair at the heart of a stunning cloud of gas and dust, they were in for a surprise. Star pairs are typically very similar, like twins, but in HD 148937, one star appears younger and, unlike the other, is magnetic. New data suggest there were originally three stars in the system, until two of them clashed and merged. This violent event created the surrounding cloud and forever altered the system's fate.

The hidden role of the Milky Way in ancient Egyptian mythology

Wed, 2024-04-10 18:11
Astrophysicists shed light on the relationship between the Milky Way and the Egyptian sky-goddess Nut. The paper draws on ancient Egyptian texts and simulations to argue that the Milky Way might have shone a spotlight, as it were, on Nut's role as the sky. It proposes that in winter, the Milky Way highlighted Nut's outstretched arms, while in summer, it traced her backbone across the heavens.

Inexplicable flying fox found in Hydra galaxy cluster

Mon, 2024-04-08 13:08
High sensitivity radio observations have discovered a cloud of magnetized plasma in the Hydra galaxy cluster. The odd location and shape of this plasma defy all conventional explanations. Dubbed the Flying Fox based on its silhouette, this plasma will remain a mystery until additional observations can provide more insight.

Telescope detects unprecedented behavior from nearby magnetar

Mon, 2024-04-08 13:01
Captured by cutting-edge radio telescope technology, a chance reactivation of a magnetar -- the Universe's most powerful magnets -- has revealed an unexpectedly complex environment.

Neutron stars are key to understanding elusive dark matter

Fri, 2024-04-05 13:04
Scientists may be one step closer to unlocking one of the great mysteries of the universe after calculating that neutron stars might hold a key to helping us understand elusive dark matter.

CHEOPS detects a 'rainbow' on an exoplanet

Fri, 2024-04-05 13:04
The CHEOPS space telescope is providing new information on the mysterious exoplanet WASP-76b. This ultra-hot giant is characterized by an asymmetry between the amount of light observed on its eastern terminator -- the fictitious line that separates its night side from its day side -- and that observed on its western terminator. This peculiarity is thought to be due to a 'glory', a luminous phenomenon similar to a rainbow, which occurs if the light from the star -- the 'sun' around which the exoplanet orbits -- is reflected by clouds made up of a perfectly uniform substance. If this hypothesis is confirmed, this would be the first detection of this phenomenon outside our solar system.

Stellar collisions produce strange, zombie-like survivors

Thu, 2024-04-04 19:07
Densely packed, fast-moving stars at the Milky Way's center can collide with each other. New research uses simulations to explore the outcomes of these collisions. Some collisions are more like 'violent high fives' while others are full-on mergers.

NASA's Webb probes an extreme starburst galaxy

Wed, 2024-04-03 17:10
A team of astronomers has used NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to survey the starburst galaxy Messier 82 (M82). Located 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major, this galaxy is relatively compact in size but hosts a frenzy of star formation activity. For comparison, M82 is sprouting new stars 10 times faster than the Milky Way galaxy.

Unlocking supernova stardust secrets

Thu, 2024-03-28 11:10
New research has discovered a rare dust particle trapped in an ancient extra-terrestrial meteorite that was formed by a star other than our sun.

ALMA finds new molecular signposts in starburst galaxy

Thu, 2024-03-28 11:10
The ALMA radio telescope has detected more than 100 molecular species, including many indicative of different star formation and evolution processes, in a galaxy where stars are forming much more actively than in the Milky Way. This is far more molecules than were found in previous studies. Now the team will try to apply this knowledge to other galaxies.

Astronomers conduct first search for forming planets with new space telescope

Wed, 2024-03-27 15:49
Planets form in disks of dust and gas called protoplanetary disks that whirl around a central protostar during its final assembly.

Persistent hiccups in a far-off galaxy draw astronomers to new black hole behavior

Wed, 2024-03-27 15:49
Astronomers have found that a previously quiet black hole, which sits at the center of a galaxy about 800 million light years away, has suddenly erupted, giving off plumes of gas every 8.5 days before settling back to its normal, quiet state.

Astronomers unveil strong magnetic fields spiraling at the edge of Milky Way's central black hole

Wed, 2024-03-27 12:46
A new image from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration has uncovered strong and organized magnetic fields spiraling from the edge of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). Seen in polarized light for the first time, this new view of the monster lurking at the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy has revealed a magnetic field structure strikingly similar to that of the black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy, suggesting that strong magnetic fields may be common to all black holes.

Distant 'space snowman' unlocks mystery of how some dormant deep space objects become 'ice bombs'

Wed, 2024-03-27 12:46
Researchers found that the double-lobed object, which is officially named Kuiper Belt Object 486958 Arrokoth and resembles a snowman, may have ancient ices stored deep within it from when the object first formed billions of years ago.

Turbulence within solar transients imaged

Wed, 2024-03-27 12:45
Scientists captured images showing the development of turbulence as a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) interacted with the ambient solar wind in the circumsolar space.

'Cosmic cannibals' expel jets into space at 40 percent the speed of light

Wed, 2024-03-27 12:34
Astronomers have measured the speed of fast-moving jets in space, crucial to star formation and the distribution of elements needed for life. The jets of matter, expelled by stars deemed 'cosmic cannibals', were measured to travel at over one-third of the speed of light -- thanks to a groundbreaking new experiment.

Sleeping supermassive black holes awakened briefly by shredded stars

Tue, 2024-03-26 17:01
Astronomers have concluded that an obscure class of galaxies known as Compact Symmetric Objects, or CSOs, are not young as previously thought but rather lead relatively short lives.