Shannon Hall


Science Reporter

Online News Stories in 2014

Watching a Quasar Shut Down
Sky & Telescope, December 2014


Why Care About Astronomy?
Universe Today, December 2014


The Universe's Tour Guide
Universe Today, December 2014


What's Next for the Large Hadron Collider?
Universe Today, December 2014


Pluto-like Objects Turn to Dust Around a
Nearby Young Star

Universe Today, December 2014


Breathtaking View of an Icy Water World
Sky & Telescope, November 2014


Chaotic Wombs May Birth Wrong-way Planets
Universe Today, November 2014


Spotting Comet Dust Around Alien Suns
Sky & Telescope, November 2014


Drawing Outside the Lines
Scienceline, November 2014


A Snapshot of a Galactic Crash
Universe Today, November 2014


Hubble Spots the Ghostly Light from
Dead Galaxies

Universe Today, November 2014


Targeting Crisis Averted for New Horizons
Sky & Telescope, October 2014


Distant Galaxies Reveal 3D Cosmic Web for the First Time
Universe Today, October 2014


MAVEN Spacecraft's First Look at Mars Hints at Promising Results
Universe Today, October 2014


Retired Astronaut Chris Hadfield Releases
Stunning Space Photos

Universe Today, October 2014


A New Look at Dark Matter — Is the Milky Way Less of a Behemoth Than Previously Thought?
Universe Today, October 2014


Topical Lizard Might Outrace Climate Change
Scienceline, October 2014


Time Dilation Confirmed in the Lab
Universe Today, September 2014


Citizen Scientists Probe Early Galaxies
Sky & Telescope, September 2014


Have Astronomers Seen a Forming Planet in
Action?

Universe Today, September 2014


Glacial Heights Reach New Lows
Scienceline, September 2014


219 Million Stars Create the Most Detailed Catalogue of Our Milky Way Yet
Universe Today, September 2014


This Exoplanet Has Prematurely Aged its Star
Universe Today, September 2014


Calling All Amateur Astronomers
Sky & Telescope, September 2014


A Lurking Companion Star Explains Enigmatic Supernova
Universe Today, September 2014


Calling All Volunteers to Help Digitize
Astronomical History

Universe Today, September 2014


Gliese 15Ab: The Closest Known Super-Earth?
Universe Today, September 2014


A New Marker Might Better Track the Solar Cycle
Universe Today, September 2014


One Planet, Two Stars: A System More Common Than Previously Thought
Universe Today, September 2014


Meet Laniakea, Our Home Supercluster
Universe Today, September 2014


Do Exoplanets Transform Between Classes?
Sky & Telescope, September 2014


Radio Telescopes Resolve Pleiades Distance
Debate

Universe Today, August 2014


Astronomers Spot Pebble-Size Dust Grains in the Orion Nebula
Universe Today, August 2014


First Glimpse of a Young Galactic Core Forming
in the Early Universe

Universe Today, August 2014

What Lit up the Universe? Astronomers May be
on the Brink of an Answer

Universe Today, August 2014


Fingerprint From a First-Generation Star?
Universe Today, August 2014


A Cosmic Collision: Our Best View Yet of Two Distant Galaxies Merging
Universe Today, August 2014


Extreme Weather is Linked to Global Warming,
a New Study Suggests

Universe Today, August 2014


ESO's Latest Dramatic Landscape
Universe Today, August 2014


Black Hole Trio Questioned
Sky & Telescope, August 2014


NASA's NuSTAR Catches a Black Hole Bending
Light, Space and Time

Universe Today, August 2014


Can Radio Waves Lead to Exomoons?
Universe Today, August 2014


How did Supermassive Black Holes Grow so Massive so Quickly?
Universe Today, August 2014


Help a Universe Today Writer Share Stories
About Our Search for Earth-like Planets

Universe Today, August 2014


GRBs: A New Standard Candle?
Sky & Telescope, August 2014


Hypervelocity Neutron Stars Crashing Into
White Dwarfs — A Scenario for the Loneliest Supernovae?

Universe Today, August 2014


Hubble Archive Reveals Culprit for Enigmatic Supernova?
Universe Today, August 2014


Question Reopened: How do Galaxies Grow?
Sky & Telescope, August 2014


New Image Captures one of the Brightest Volcanoes Ever Seen in the Solar System
Universe Today, August 2014


Hubble Spots Farthest Lensing Galaxy Yet
Universe Today, July 2014


Surprise! Classical Novae Produce Gamma Rays
Universe Today, July 2014


Numerous Jets Spied with New Sky Survey
Universe Today, July 2014


Early Tidal and Rotational Forces Shaped Moon
Universe Today, July 2014


Mysterious Molecules in Space Named?
Universe Today, July 2014


ALMA Observes Binary Star System with Wacky Disks
Universe Today, July 2014


GAIA is "Go" for Science After a few Minor Hiccups
Universe Today, July 2014


X-ray Glow: Evidence of a Local Hot Bubble Carved out by a Supernova
Universe Today, July 2014


The Little Rover that Could: Opportunity Reaches Odometer Milestone
Universe Today, July 2014


Mapping Dark Matter 4.5 Billion Light-years Away
Universe Today, July 2014


Dwarf Galaxies Packed a Mighty Punch
Sky & Telescope, July 2014


ESO's La Silla Observatory Reveals Beautiful Star Cluster "Laboratory"
Universe Today, July 2014


First Transiting Exoplanet Discovered Beyond
the Snow Line

Universe Today, July 2014


Distant Stellar Atmospheres Shed Light on How Jupiter-like Planets Form
Universe Today, July 2014


New Radio Burst Deepens Mystery
Sky & Telescope, July 2014


New VLT Observations Clear up Dusty Mystery
Universe Today, July 2014


'Gyrochronology' Allows Astronomers to Find
True Sun-like Stars

Universe Today, July 2014


NameExoWorlds, an IAU Worldwide Contest to Name Alien Planets, Continues Controversy
Universe Today, July 2014


Supermassive Black Hole Blasting Molecular Hydrogen Solves Outstanding Mystery
Universe Today, July 2014


Missing Light Crisis: The Universe Seems a Little Too Dark
Universe Today, July 2014


A Protostar's Age Gleaned Only From
Sound Waves

Universe Today, July 2014


Chandra Image May Rival July 4th Fireworks
Universe Today, July 2014


Superluminous Supernova Puzzles Astronomers
Universe Today, June 2014


Three Supermassive Black Holes Tango in a
Distant Galaxy, Marking a Huge Discovery

Universe Today, June 2014


Titan Sheds New Light on Exoplanet Atmospheres
Sky & Telescope, June 2014


Titan's Atmosphere May be Older than Saturn,
a New Study Suggests

Universe Today, June 2014


An Earth-Size Diamond in the Sky: The Coolest Known White Dwarf Detected
Universe Today, June 2014


A New Mantra: Follow the Methance — May Advance Search for Extraterrestrial Life
Universe Today, June 2014


Powerful Starbursts in Dwarf Galaxies Helped Shape the Early Universe, a New Study Suggests
Universe Today, June 2014


Carbon Copy Spacecraft Ready to Track
Global Carbon Dioxide

Universe Today, June 2014


ALMA Sheds New Light on 'Dark'
Gamma-ray Bursts

Universe Today, June 2014


Two Ancient Exoplanets Discovered
Sky & Telescope, June 2014


First Precise Measurement of Antihydrogen
Universe Today, June 2014


Three Exoplanet Molds: Metals Matter
Sky & Telescope, June 2014


Amazing New X-ray Image of the Whirlpool
Galaxy Shows It's Dotted with Black Holes

Universe Today, June 2014


The New and Improved Hubble Ultra Deep Field
Universe Today, June 2014


President Obama Unveils a New Carbon Plan
Universe Today, June 2014


Surprise! Fireballs Light up the Radio Sky,
Hinting at Unexplored Physics

Universe Today, June 2014


Quark Nova Spotted in Cas A?
Sky & Telescope, May 2014


Want to Measure the Distance to the Moon Yourself? Now You Can!
Universe Today, May 2014


Gas Cloud Survives Collision with Milky Way
Universe Today, May 2014


Exoplanet Portraits — A Tale of New Instruments
Sky & Telescope, May 2014


Largest Crater Spotted on Mars Using Before-and-After Pictures
Universe Today, May 2014


"With a Little Help From Their Friends,"
Magnetars Form in Binary Systems

Universe Today, May 2014


Physicists Pave Way to Turn Light into Matter
Universe Today, May 2014


Spotting a Nearby Quasar's Winds
Sky & Telescope, May 2014


Best Model Yet for Cosmic Evolution
Sky & Telescope, May 2014


Surprise Gamma-Ray Burst Behaves Differently Than Expected
Universe Today, May 2014


Are We Ready for Contact?
Universe Today, May 2014


The Rise of Carbon Dioxide in a Single Video
Universe Today, May 2014


Unprecedented Images of the Intergalactic Medium
Universe Today, May 2014


NASA Seeks Ideas for Mission to Europa
Universe Today, May 2014


"Fossil Galaxy" Discovered From the Early
Universe

Universe Today, May 2014


Hidden Treasures in Hubble Images
Sky & Telescope, May 2014


'Runaway' Star Cluster Breaks Free from Distant Galaxy
Universe Today, April 2014


Exoplanet Out for a Quick Spin
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


It's Freezing on the Surface of this Nearby
Star-like Object

Universe Today, April 2014


Mysteriously Bright Supernova Explained
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Why Inflation Didn't Get the Same Hype
as the Higgs

Universe Today, April 2014


Planets' Wacky Orbits Solved
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Watch a Star Evolve in "Real Time"
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Most "Earth-Like" Planet Found Yet
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Drama at Saturn: The Birth (or Demise) of a Moonlet?
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Supernova Remnant in Technicolor
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Hot Jupiters Keep Their Stars Young
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Amateurs Flock to NEAF This Weekend
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Why Universe Today Writes on Climate Change
Universe Today, April 2014


Quasars Track Expanding Universe
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Sobering IPCC Report: "Warming is Unequivocal"
Universe Today, April 2014


Evidence for Subsurface Ocean Solidifies
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


A New Galactic Yardstick
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Fooling with the Universe
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Celebrate the Night Sky This Month
Sky & Telescope, April 2014


Chariklo: An Asteroid with Rings
Sky & Telescope, March 2014


Have We Spotted Dark Matter in the Milky Way?
Sky & Telescope, March 2014


Active Volcanoes on Venus?
Sky & Telescope, March 2014


Young Stars Lead the Magellanic Stream
Sky & Telescope, March 2014


First Microlensing Detection of a Planet Circling
a Brown Dwarf Candidate

Universe Today, March 2014


Landmark Discovery: New Results Provide Direct Evidence for Cosmic Inflation
Universe Today, March 2014


Rumors Flying as Fast as Their Subjects: Have Gravitational Waves Been Detected?
Universe Today, March 2014


Planets Form Along With Magnetic Storms
Sky & Telescope, March 2014


Physicists Reveal the Hidden Interiors of Gas Giants
Universe Today, March 2014


Hubble Catches a Crumbling Asteroid
Sky & Telescope, March 2014


New Map Reveals a Chaotic Planet-Forming Disk
Sky & Telescope, March 2014


New Technique Could Measure Exoplanet Atmospheric Pressure
Universe Today, March 2014


Fingerprinting the Circumgalactic Medium
Sky & Telescope, March 2014


"Climate Change is Now More Certain Than
Ever," New Report Says

Universe Today, February 2014


Kepler Announces Planets by the Hundreds
Sky & Telescope, February 2014


Nearby Stream of Stars Reveals Past Cosmic Collision
Universe Today, February 2014


Mapping the Large Magellanic Cloud in 3D
Sky & Telescope, February 2014


A Meteorite Lights up the Lunar Night
Sky & Telescope, February 2014


The Purest Star Tells an Ancient Tale
Sky & Telescope, February 2014


Is Eta Carinae Heading Toward Another Eruption?
Universe Today, February 2014


NSF Report Biased, Expert Says: Americans
Don't Think Astrology is Scientific

Universe Today, February 2014


Following in the Buddha's Footsteps
Livewire Magazine, February 2014


Zooniverse Reaches One Million Volunteers
Universe Today, February 2014


Hot White Dwarfs Show Planet Debris Too
Sky & Telescope, February 2014


Unveiling Ganymede
Sky & Telescope, February 2014


Curiosity Navigates the Crossroads
Sky & Telescope, February 2014


Experts Question Claim Tunguska Meteorite
May Have Come from Mars

Universe Today, February 2014


New Technique Puts Exoplanets on the Scale
Universe Today, February 2014


Shedding Twice the Light on Circumbinary
Systems

Sky & Telescope, February 2014


Why People Resist the Notion of Climate Change
Universe Today, February 2014


High Potential for Life Circling Around Alpha Centauri B, our Nearest Neighbor
Universe Today, February 2014


Search for Planetary Nurseries in the Latest
Citizen Science Project

Universe Today, January 2014


Surprise! Fomalhaut's Kid Sister Has a
Debris Disk Too

Universe Today, January 2014


Enduring Quests and Daring Visions: NASA Lays
out a Roadmap for Astrophysics

Universe Today, January 2014


Nearby Brown Dwarf System May Harbor Closest Exoplanet to Earth
Universe Today, January 2014


Global Warming Explained in 52 Seconds
Universe Today, January 2014

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 Universe.

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 before.

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 mission.

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 Way's disk.


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 States.

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 generation star.

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 spectactular.

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 a twosome.

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 discovery.

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 supermassive proportions.


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 System.

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 light.

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 Universe.

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 light.

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 universe's expansion.

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 Universe.


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).

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