Over the course of ten years, a once-brilliant quasar seems to have stopped gobbling down nearby gas.
To study something — not because we're looking to gain anything in particular, but out of sheer curiosity — is what makes us human.
Meet the assistant director of the Hayden planetarium, a man who unexpectantly found himself in astronomy and now has one of the coolest jobs in the
The world's most powerful particle collider is waking up from a well-earned rest. See what's in store for the LHC as it starts to operate at
almost double its previous power.
A remarkable new image shows a young planetary system in turmoil.
A newly processed image from NASA's Galileo spacecraft shows Europa's breathtaking beauty and tortured surface in greater detail than ever
Chaotic conditions in a planetary system's gaseous wombs may birth extrasolar planets that orbit in directions opposite to the ways their
stars are spinning.
If you wake extra early on these chilly mornings (and you're north of the equator), you might spot the "false dawn," a diffuse, white glow
above the eastern horizon. Now astronomers have observed a similar light around nine nearby stars.
Stymied scientists disagree about how to drive home global warming lessons.
Astronomers have caught a galaxy right as it turns off star formation, allowing them to investigate this mysterious process in action.
In a patch of sky 3.5 billion light-years away there's a mess of galaxies. It's the result of a vast cosmic collision. Now astronomers are
digging through the nearby darkness. They're eying the remnant stars that were cast adrift in intergalactic space.
NASA scientists have found three potential Kuiper belt objects in the nick of time, saving the Pluto-bound probe from missing out on half of its
For years, astronomers have used quasars — brilliant galactic centers fueled by supermassive black holes rapidly accreting material —
to map the otherwise invisible matter. But now, a team of astronomers has managed to create a three-dimensional map of the large-scale structure of
the Universe using distant galaxies.
It's been less than a month since NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft slipped into orbit. But it's already provided
mission scientists their first look at Mars' tenuous atmosphere.
Retired Astronaut Chris Hadfield unveiled another 150 images in his latest book. The photographs open a rare window onto the Earth, illuminating
our planet's beauty and the consequences of human settlement.
Although astronomers have gathered overwhelming evidence that dark matter makes up roughly 84 percent of the Universe's matter. Now, a group of
Australian astronomers think there's only half as much dark matter in the Milky Way as previously thought.
A new study looks at survival of the fittest in an increasingly warm world.
It sounds like science fiction, but the time you experience between two events depends directly on the path you take through the universe.
Now scientists have confirmed this so-called time dilation to an unprecedented accuracy.
New data collected by Galaxy Zoo show early galaxies with central bars, providing implications about how galaxies grow.
Huge disks of dust and gas encircle many young stars. Some contain circular gaps, which are likely the result of forming planets carving out cavities
along their orbital paths. Two independent research teams think they've spotted forming planets in the ripple-like gaps.
New elevation models of Greenland and Antarctica's ice caps show an undisputable glacial melt.
The Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma in the Canary Islands has recently charted 219 million separate stars in the Milky
Hot young stars are wildly active. But now, observations show that a planet's causing its host star to age rapidly.
NASA's Night Sky Network is conducting a new survey in order to better help the amateur astronomy community in the United
In 2011, an odd supernova explosion pierced the Whirlpool galaxy. Now, astronomers have discovered a companion star
to this rare supernova and fit the puzzle pieces together.
Harvard is seeking your help to transcribe observing logbooks that will preserve over 100 years of observations.
A super-Earth dubbed Gliese 15Ab ranks as one of the closest known exoplanets, circling its host star 11.7 light-years
away from Earth.
An international team of astronomers has discovered small bright spots in the solar atmosphere
that allow us to observe the constant turmoil of material inside the Sun.
There are few environments more hostile than a planet circling two stars. But a new study suggests that these extreme systems exist in abundance, with
roughly half of all exoplanets orbiting binary stars.
You can add one more line to your cosmic address: the Laniakea Supercluster, which extends more than 500 million light-years and contains the mass of
100 quadrillion Suns in 100,000 large galaxies.
A new analysis suggests that hot super-Earths might be the skeletal remnants of hot Jupiters stripped of their atmospheres.
A new measurement argues that the distance to the Pleiades star cluster measured by ESA's Hipparcos satellite is decidedly wrong and that previous
measurements from ground-based telescopes had it right all along.
Observations of the Orion nebula show that it may be brimming with pebble-size dust grains. Such massive particles may jump-start planet formation and cause rocky
planets to be much more common than previously thought.
Astronomers have spotted, for the first time, a dense galactic core blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars in the early universe.
New simulations hope to uncover the origin of the ultraviolet light that bathes — and shapes — the early cosmos.
A research team has discovered an ancient low-mass star that likely formed from the elements produced in the supernova explosion of a very massive first
An international team of astronomers has obtained the best view yet of two galaxies colliding when the universe was only half its current age.
Although it has been postulated that extreme weather events may be due to climate change, a new study has found much better evidence.
The universe is stunning. Images from even the most modest telescopes can unveil its brilliant beauty. But couple that with profound reason — our
ability to question and understand the physical laws that dominate that brilliant beauty — and the image transforms into something much more
New data shed light on last month's exciting discovery of a black hole triplet — but they suggest instead that the threesome is really just
NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array has captured a spectacular event: a supermassive black hole's gravity tugging on nearby X-ray light.
The hunt is on for exomoons. Now, a research team thinks following a trail of radio wave emissions may lead astronomers to this groundbreaking
New simulations show that if a black hole in the early universe is trapped within a cluster of thousands of stars, it might grow to
This month I'm launching a project on Beacon — a new independent platform for journalism — that will go behind the sensational
headlines covering our search for Earth 2.0. Please help.
Astronomers might be on the brink of developing a new rung on the cosmic distance ladder.
A team of astronomers is now beginning to understand calcium-rich transients — luminous explosions that originate in the emptiness of space —
hypothesizing that they're created by collisions between white dwarf stars and neutron stars, both of which have been thrown out of their galaxy.
Astronomers have used Hubble's archive to find the progenitor of a mysterious type of supernova, dubbed Type 1ax, which is less energetic
and much fainter than its Type 1a cousin.
Evidence from observations sheds doubt on cosmic cannibalism as a source for galaxy growth, suggesting that instead galaxies grow by
pulling in gas from the intergalactic medium.
Jupiter's innermost moon, Io, is by far the most geologically active body in the Solar System. But last August, Io truly came alive
with volcanism. Now, an image from the Gemini Observatory captures what is one of the brightest volcanoes ever seen in our Solar
Sometimes there's a chance alignment, when a galaxy cluster in the foreground intersects light from an even more distant object. The conjunction plays visual tricks, where the galaxy cluster acts like a lens. Now, astronomers have detected the most distant cosmic lens yet.
New observations from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope unexpectedly show that four novae produce gamma rays, the most energetic form of
Jets — narrow beams of matter spat out a high speed — typically accompany the most enigmatic objects in the universe. Never before,
have astronomers detected so many at once.
The shape of the moon deviates from a simple sphere in a way that scientists have struggled to explain. But new research shows that tidal
and rotational forces during the moon's early history can explain most of its large-scale topography.
It's a well-kept secret that the vacuum of space is not, technically speaking, a vacuum. It's filled with mysterious molecule that
astronomers can't identify. But new research offers a tantalizing possibility of what these molecules might be.
A new study has uncovered a striking pair of wildly misalighned planet-forming disks in a young binary star system. It's the clearest picture
ever of protoplanetary disks around a double star, shedding light on the birth and eventual orbit of the planets in a multiple star system.
Accurate parallaxes of nearby stars form the base of the cosmic distance ladder out to the farthest galaxies. It's a crucial science that's
about to take a giant leap forward.
The entire night sky as seen by an X-ray detector glows softly. But its origins have long remained a mystery. New findings show that it comes
from both inside and outside the Solar System.
NASA's Opportunity mars rover now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles of driving.
An international team of astronomers has precisely mapped a galaxy cluster — hundreds of thousands of galaxies swarming under a collective
gravitational pull — 4.5 billion light-years away.
Light from the puniest galaxies played a bigger role in shaping the early universe than previously thought.
Stunning photographs of the cosmos convey the beauty that arises from the simple interplay of dust, light and gas on absolutely massive and distant scales.
This striking image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile is but one example.
Data from NASA's crippled Kepler space telescope show a transiting exoplanet beyond the snow line, suggesting that it's the first non-migrating gas giant in a
transiting system found.
Jupiter-like planets' origins root back to small rocky cores that glom together until the body is massive enough to accrete a gaseous envelope. At least
that's the theory. New research shows it in action.
A newly discovered radio burst places these ultrafast, ultrabright pulses on the cosmic map of unknown phenomena.
The Universe is overflowing with cosmic dust. But its origin has remained a mystery. Now, a group of astronomers has been able to follow cosmic dust
being created in the aftermath of a supernova explosion.
Defining a "Sun-like" star may be nearly as difficult as definining an "Earth-like" planet. Thankfully a new technique is allowing astronomers to
measure stellar ages based only on spin and find true solar analogues.
The IAU has unveiled a worldwide contest, NameExoWorlds, which gives the public a role in naming planets and their host stars beyond the Solar System.
It's the latest chapter in a years-long controversy over how celestial objects, including exoplanets, are classified.
A new study provides the first direct evidence that extremely powerful and high-velocity outflows of gas launched from supermassive black holes,
are accelerated by enerjetic jets.
Most of us long for dark nights, far away from the city lights. But a new study suggests the Universe is a little too dark.
Precisely dating a star is one of the toughest plights in astronomy. But the latest research is providing a new technique, showing that
protostars can easily be dated by measuring the acoustic vibrations — sound waves — they emit.
While Fourth of July festivities tonight may bring brilliant colors blazing across the night sky, only 23 million light-years away is another
immense cosmic display, complete with a supermassive black hole, shock waves, and vast reservoirs of gas.
In recent years a rare class of cosmic explosions, which are tens to hundreds of times more luminous than ordinary supernovae, has been discovered. And
now one of those odd superluminous supernovae is mystifying astronomers further, with characteristics that simply don't add up.
In a galaxy four billion light-years away, three supermassive black holes are locked in a whirling embrace. It's the tightest trio of black
holes known to date.
Saturn's largest moon Titan played a cameo as an exoplanet, allowing astronomers to better understand how a thick layer of haze or clouds
might affect their observations of more distant alien worlds.
New research suggests Saturn's icy moon Titan — famous for its rivers and lakes of liquid methane — may have an atmosphere older than
its parent planet.
With the help of a pulsar, astronomers have detected the faintest white dwarf yet. It's so cold its carbon has crystalized into diamond.
The search for life is largely limited to the search for water. But now, it seems, astronomers are turning their eyes away from water and toward
methane, the simplest organic molecule, also widely accepted to be a sign of potential life.
New observations from the Hubble Space Telescope show that even dwarf galaxies — the small, low mass clusters
of several billion stars — produced stars at a rapid rate, playing a bigger role than expected in the early
On February 24, 2009, the launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) mission — designed to study the
global fate of carbon dioxide — resulted in failure. But now, a carbon copy of the original mission, OCO-2 is
slated to launch on July 1, 2014.
New images from ALMA show the first-ever map of molecular gas and dust in two galaxies that were previously rocked
by gamma-ray bursts.
Kapteyn's star — a nearby star that likely formed outside this galaxy — hosts two planets more than twice as old as Earth.
The best science — the questions that capture and compel any human being — is enshrouded in mystery. This week, CERN came
one step closer in solving one of the most captivating mysteries in modern physics: why there's far more matter than antimatter.
The latest data from the crippled Kepler space telescope point to three distinct molds of exoplanets — rocky planets, gas dwarfs,
and ice or gas giants — distinguishable based on the level of heavy elements in their host star's atmosphere.
In the Milky Way there's a single X-ray binary known as Cygnus X-1. But 30 million light-years away in the Whirlpool galaxy, M51, there
are hundreds of X-ray points of light and a full 10 X-ray binaries.
It's perhaps one of the most famous images in astronomy. But now, with the addition of ultaviolet light, the Hubble Ultra Deep Field is
even better than ever.
Today, President Obama proposed an Environmental Protection Agency regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation's power plants.
It's one of the strongest actions ever taken by the United States government to fight climate change.
At any given moment, the sky is sizzling with celestial phenomena waiting to be stumbled upon. New research
shows fireballs — those brilliant meteors that leave behind glowing streaks in the night sky — unexpectedly
emit a low radio frequency, hinting at new unexplored physics.
Two elements deep within Cassiopeia A, hint the supernova remnant underwent a quark nova — a theoretical
second explosion that leaves behind a quark star — just days after the original supernova.
Astronomers have devised a clever method that allows citizen scientists to measure the Moon's distance
with only their digital camera and smartphone.
A high-velocity cloud hurtling toward the Milky Way should have disintegrated long ago when
it first collided with and passed through our Galaxy. The fact that it's still intact suggests
it's encased in a shell of dark matter, like a Hobbit wrapped in a mithril coat.
Exoplanet missions are shifting their goals from counting to characterizing, with multiple instruments
coming online to directly image these alien worlds.
Astronomers using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have found a fresh meteor-impact crater.
Magnetars — extremely dense and highly magnetic neutron stars — have eluded astronomers for 35 years. But a new observation suggests they
form with the help of a companion star.
E=mc2. It's one of the most basic and fundamental equations throughout astrophysics, implying that light can be transformed into matter. But
can it really — physically — be done? Now, scientists say yes.
A neighboring galaxy's central black hole powers strong winds, allowing astronomers — for the first time — to
spot those gales pushing out star-forming gas.
Astronomers have created the most realistic computer simulation of the universe's evolution to date, tracking activity across
13 billion years of cosmic history.
New research shows a puzzling feature within one Gamma-ray burst, suggesting that these objects may behave differently
than previously thought.
Neuro-psychologist Gabriel G. de la Torre is questioning whether or not astronomers, who have previously only looked for
signs of extraterrestrial life, should actively send messages from Earth.
I'm always amazed by the power of data visualization. In this case a video shrinks the rising levels of carbon dioxide over
the course of 800,000 years to just under two minutes.
An international team of astronomers has taken unprecedented images of intergalactic space — the diffuse and often invisible
gas that connects and feeds galaxies throughout the Universe.
NASA is looking for ideas for a mission to Europa, a moon that never ceases to surprise and amaze astronomers and amateurs alike.
A small galaxy circling the Milky Way may be a fossil left over from the early Universe.
A new processing technique has revealed once-invisible planetary disks encircling five stars imaged in Hubble's archive.
The Virgo Cluster galaxy, M87, has ejected an entire star cluster, throwing it toward us at more than two million miles per hour.
Astronomers have used a new technique to measure — for the first time — the spin of an extrasolar planet.
Our stellar neighborhood just got a little busier ... and a little colder.
In 2010, a mysteriously bright supernova appeared, later sparking a debate within the astronomy community. But new images
of the now-faded supernova, reveal an intervening — and until now invisible — cosmic lens, which magnified its
As astronomers we stand on our cosmic platform and wait for the light from various happenings to reach us. Once it does, we
dig through that light — collecting photons in different filters or spreading them across a spectrum of wavelengths
— reaping every last bit of knowledge possible. Astronomical research is complex and abstract. But it's what we
love about it.
By combining nearly 1,500 observations with sophisticated computer models, astronomers have shed light on a nearby
planetary system, proving that the planets' bizarre orbits will actually remain stable for the next 100 million years.
The odd behavior of a star in the heart of the Stingray Nebula provides tantalizing evidence that we may be seeing, first-hand, its
helium-shell flash: an explosive phase of nuclear burning at the end of a star's life.
The newly discovered planet, Kepler-168f, is the first Earth-sized exoplanet circling in its star's habitable zone. The media worldwide is
gleaming with fantastical headlines, but readers in the know may have an inkling the result is less than it seems.
New images from NASA's Cassini mission show bright spots along Saturn's A ring, likely caused by a small moonlet in the process
of forming or shattering.
Take a look at this supernova remnant from radio waves to x-rays to see multiple features of its bubble-like expanding shock wave.
Sizzling gas giants circling close to their host stars — so-called hot Jupiters — keep their host stars
young and active, a new study suggests.
The Northeast Astronomy Forum in Suffern, NY, welcomes visitors from across the world on April 12-13. Sky & Telescope
will be there. Will you?
Why does Universe Today — an astronomy and space news site — report on the science and even the politics
regarding climate change?
The most precise measurement yet of the Hubble parameter illuminates dark energy — the elusive entity that's accelerating the
Climate change is now affecting every continent and ocean says the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have provided further evidence that Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus harbors a
liquid ocean under its surface.
Astronomers have developed a new method to measure distances to bright but faraway galaxies, a tool which will help better
constrain the expansion rate of the universe.
This year's April Fools' provides a wealth of alarming results. Catch up on all the scientific shenanigans here.
Join the world's largest celebration of astronomy — Global Astronomy Month — throughout April.
An international team of observers has made the surprising discovery that a distant asteroid has two distinct, dense rings
A team of astronomers claim to have the most compelling case for annihilating dark matter yet.
New images from the European Space Agency's Venus Express orbiter hint there might be active volcanoes on Venus today.
Astronomers have discovered hot, young stars in the Leading Arm of the Magellanic Stream, calling the history of the Magellanic Clouds
once again into question.
Gravitational microlensing has allowed astronomers to confirm the first exoplanet orbiting a candidate brown dwarf.
Astronomers have announced Nobel Prize-worthy evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of spacetime —
providing the first direct evidence the universe underwent a brief but stupendously accelerated expansion immediately following the big bang.
A new rumor is in overdrive: a U.S. team is on the verge of confirming they have detected primordial
gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of spacetime that carry echoes of the big bang nearly 14 billion years ago.
Astronomers might have solved an outstanding mystery of why forming planetary systems have more infrared light than expected.
The key lies with gas and dust suspended in giant magnetic loops.
For the first time researchers are able to probe the hidden interiors of gas giants by simulating the lower atmospheric layers
of these planets in the lab.
The unusual object P/2013 R3 orbits squarely in the main asteroid belt. It's broken into at least 10 pieces, likely because it spun
so fast it flew apart.
A new map of Beta Pictoris reveals an asymmetric clump of carbon monoxide likely produced in cometary collisions. It provides a rare
glimpse at the chaotic birth of a planetary system.
Astronomers have developed a new method for testing the atmospheric pressure of a distant exoplanet.
A new study finds the space surrounding dwarf galaxies in the nearby universe to be shockingly pristine.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Kingdom's Royal Society agree:
climate change is not only indisputable, it's largely the result of human activities.
Old data from NASA's crippled Kepler space telescope has yielded a new windfall of confirmed exoplanets, nearly
doubling the number tallied since 1992.
For the first time, astronomers have uncovered evidence of a vast cosmic collision close to home.
A team of astronomers has assembled the first fully 3-dimensional view of stellar motions in a nearby galaxy.
Astronomers have witnessed the largest lunar impact to date. With an impact energy equivalent to 15 tons of TNT — approximately
three times as great as the previous record-holder — the flash was visible even to the naked-eye.
Astronomers have discovered the purest star to date. Composed almost exclusively of hydrogen and helium — with 15
million times less iron than our Sun — it illuminates what happened among the first supernovae in the early universe.
Eta Carinae walks a thin line between stellar stability and tumultuous explosions. But now astronomers are growing concerned that
it's leaning toward instability and eruption.
NSF's most recent study shows that roughly six in every 10 young adults believe astrology is scientific. But a
new study shows that respondents may be mixing up the term "astrology" with "astronomy."
A short memoir from my stay in Thailand. To appear in the February, 2014 issue of Livewire magazine.
Zooniverse — the renowned home of citizen science projects — is now one million strong.
Both hot and cool white dwarf stars can display the ramains of destroyed planets polluting their atmospheres. There
now appear to be two routes for this material to make its way in.
Get an eyeful of the solar system's largest moon — a world of ancient, crater-packed plains and broad
swaths of younger grooved terrain that defies easy explanation.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory — Curiosity — has successfully crossed a sand dune standing between the
rover and its final science destination.
Russian researchers claim they may finally have found fragments of the Tunguska meteorite and that it's even from
Mars, but that "may" is huge.
MIT astronomers have developed a new technique for determining mass by using an exoplanet's transit signal alone.
Astronomers are beginning to understand the unlikely formation and dangerous survival of exoplanets circling binary stars.
Yale law professor Dan Kahan has done extensive research which reveals how our deep-rooted cultural dispositions might interfere
with our perceptions of reality.
Five computer simulated planets potentially circling Alpha Centauri B have a high potential for synthetic life. This article has been shared
on Google Plus more than 1,000 times.
Planets form and grow within dusty circling planes of gas that surround young stars. Astronomers have collected
a wealth of data but in order to find the planetary nurseries they have to inspect every single image by eye. Hence the
invention of Disk Detective.
The bright star Fomalhaut hosts a spectactular debris disk: a dusty circling plane of small objects where
planets form. Astronomers have just discovered a mini debris disk around its third companion star.
NASA has laid out a roadmap — a long-term vision for future missions — necessary to advance our understanding of the
There is tantalizing — although yet unconfirmed — evidence that an exoplanet is circling the third closest
system to the Sun.
Five new videos explain the physical mechanisms behind global warming (with the shortest clocking in at 35 words
in under a minute).