Artist depiction of the MMS spacecraft that provided the first view of magnetic reconnection. Credit: NASA/GSFC
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection" -- the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion --...
These images reveal the final stage of a union between pairs of galactic nuclei in the messy cores of colliding galaxies. The image at top left, taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3, shows the merging galaxy NGC 6240. A close-up of the two brilliant cores of this galactic union is shown at top right. This view, taken in infrared light, pierces the dense cloud of dust and gas encasing the two colliding galaxies and uncovers the active cores. The hefty black holes in these cores are growing quickly as they feast on gas kicked up by the galaxy merger. The black holes' speedy growth occurs during the last 10 million to 20 million years of the merger. Images of four other colliding galaxies, along with close-up views of their coalescing nuclei in the bright cores, are shown beneath the snapshots of NGC 6240. The images of the bright cores were taken in near-infrared light by the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, using adaptive optics to sharpen the view. The reference images (left) of the merging galaxies were taken by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). The two nuclei in the Hubble and Keck Observatory photos are only about 3,000 light-years apart -- a near-embrace in cosmic terms. If there are pairs of black holes, they will likely merge within the next 10 million years to form a more massive black hole. These observations are part of the largest-ever survey of the cores of nearby galaxies using high-resolution images in near-infrared light taken by the Hubble and Keck observatories. The survey galaxies' average distance is 330 million light-years from Earth. Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Koss (Eureka Scientific, Inc.); Keck images: W. M. Keck Observatory and M. Koss (Eureka Scientific, Inc.); Pan-STARRS images: Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System and M. Koss (Eureka Scientific, Inc.)
For the first time, a team of astronomers has observed several pairs of galaxies in the final stages of merging together into single, larger galaxies. Peering through thick walls of gas and dust surrounding the...
Not all stars are like the sun, so not all planetary systems can be studied with the same expectations. New research from a University of Washington-led team of astronomers gives updated climate models for the...
Scientists have concluded that vents on the surface of 'Oumuamua must have emitted jets of gases, giving the object a slight boost in speed, which researchers detected by measuring the position of the object as it passed by Earth in 2017. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
In November 2017, scientists pointed NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope toward the object known as 'Oumuamua -- the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system. The infrared Spitzer was one of many telescopes pointed...
An image of the 5,000th sunrise captured by the Mars rover Opportunity. Credit: NASA
Scientists have created the soundtrack of the 5,000th Mars sunrise captured by the robotic exploration rover, Opportunity, using data sonification techniques to create a two-minute piece of music. Researchers created the piece of music (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loXhsglsG-w)...
Sketch of dimensional reduction. Credit: David Weir
In the Standard Model of particle physics, there is almost no difference between matter and antimatter. But there is an abundance of evidence that our observable universe is made up only of matter -- if...
The experiment on La Palma: The laser beam (yellow) generates an artificial guide star in the mesosphere. This light is collected in the receiver telescope (front left). The laser source and the receiver telescope are eight meters away from each other. Credit: Copyright Felipe Pedreros Bustos
The mesosphere, at heights between 85 and 100 kilometers above the Earth's surface, contains a layer of atomic sodium. Astronomers use laser beams to create artificial stars, or laser guide stars (LGS), in this layer...
The nearest single star to the Sun hosts an exoplanet at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth -- a so-called super-Earth. Data from a worldwide array of telescopes, including ESO's planet-hunting HARPS instrument, have revealed this frozen, dimly lit world. The newly discovered planet is the second-closest known exoplanet to the Earth and orbits the fastest moving star in the night sky. This image shows an artist's impression of the planet's surface. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser
A planet has been detected orbiting Barnard's Star , a mere 6 light-years away. This breakthrough -- announced in a paper published today in the journal Nature -- is a result of the Red Dots...
Map of the bedrock topography beneath the ice sheet and the ice-free land surrounding the Hiawatha impact crater. The structure is 31 km wide, with a prominent rim surrounding the structure. In the central part of the impact structure, an area with elevated terrain is seen, which is typical for larger impact craters. Calculations shows that in order to generate an impact crater of this size, the earth was struck by a meteorite more than 1 km wide. Credit: The Natural History Museum of Denmark
An international team lead by researchers from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen have discovered a 31-km wide meteorite impact crater buried beneath the ice-sheet in the...
The star, named 2MASS J18082002–5104378 B, is part of a two-star system orbiting around a common point. Credit: ESO/Beletsky/DSS1 + DSS2 + 2MASS
Astronomers have found what could be one of the universe's oldest stars, a body almost entirely made of materials spewed from the Big Bang. The discovery of this approximately 13.5 billion-year-old tiny star means more stars...