Why Scientists Tried to Measure All of the Starlight That Ever Shone

Astronomers this week announced that they’d attempted to measure all of the starlight in the universe. Read More >>

Astronomers Have Stumbled Upon One of the Most Ancient Stars in the Universe

A tiny star located about 1,590 light-years from Earth could be as old as 13.53 billion years, making it one of the most ancient stars ever discovered. Read More >>

This ‘Born-Again’ Nebula Appears to Be Inside Out

When some stars get old, they eject gas and dust, forming a cloud of electrically charged material in space called a planetary nebula. These nebulae all tend to have the same layered structure, but a team of scientists recently spotted a kind of planetary nebula that looks to be inside out. Read More >>

NASA’s Sun Probe Set to Launch Next Week on Its Journey to Hell

Next week, NASA is scheduled to send human technology closer to a star than ever before. What they learn could change our understanding of, well, the whole galaxy. Read More >>

People Can’t Find the Stars They Paid to Name—and They’re Calling Astronomers for Tech Support

Professional astronomers are busy people. Some are mapping distant galaxies, others are listening for aliens, and more still are searching for habitable planets—which, it seems, we might one day need. But on occasion, they’re also called upon to do something that shouldn’t require a PhD: find the stars that people have “purchased” online. Read More >>

Astronomers Have Captured First Direct Evidence of an Exoplanet Being Born

At this point, we’ve spotted several thousand exoplanets—there’s nothing super exciting anymore about finding a distant star with several worlds orbiting it. But today, scientists are announcing that they have seen an exoplanet in the middle of forming. Read More >>

NASA’s New Exoplanet Hunter Releases Incredible First Image

On the way to its final orbit around Earth, NASA’s planet-hunting Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has sailed by the moon and snapped its first picture of space. We’ve said several times that TESS would be able to look at 200,000 stars in the 300 light-years around the Earth—but maybe this new shot will show you what that really means. Read More >>

Hints of the First Stars Seen in 13-Billion-Year-Old Oxygen

Scientists have spotted 13-billion-year-old oxygen in a distant galaxy—a signal of stars forming during the universe’s earliest days. Read More >>

Our Galaxy Was Walloped by a Neighbour in Its Not-So-Distant Past, New Analysis Suggests

Space is a chaotic, ever-changing place. But that’s not limited to exploding stars and colliding black holes. Even our own Milky Way galaxy could have recently received a massive jolt from which it is still recovering. Read More >>

Incredible New View of the Milky Way Is the Largest Star Map Ever

The European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft team has dropped its long-awaited trove of data about 1.7 billion stars. You can see a new visualisation of all those stars in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies above, but you really need to zoom in to appreciate just how much stuff there is in the map. Yes, the specks are stars. Read More >>

A Visiting Star Jostled Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago

Around the same time our ancestors left Africa, a dim red dwarf star came to within 0.8 light-years of our Sun, marking the closest known flyby of a star to our Solar System. New research suggests Scholz’s Star, as it’s known, left traces of this interstellar encounter by perturbing some comets in the outer Oort Cloud. Read More >>

Rare Type of Supernova Extinguishes Star at Unprecedented Speed

Supernovae produce some of the most powerful explosions in the cosmos, expelling a doomed star’s contents at velocities reaching 10 per cent the speed of light. It usually takes a few weeks or months for a supernova to fade into nothingness, but astronomers have now documented a record-setting case in which a star was extinguished in just a few days. Read More >>

Could the Weirdness of Quantum Physics Produce a New Kind of Star?

It would be silly to think that scientists and astronomers have spotted all of the different kinds of weird things that exist in space. After all, we’re pretty sure the universe is mostly composed of dark matter and dark energy that we haven’t directly detected. But new research seems to imply that there are entirely different kinds of stars hiding in the laws of physics—and that’s something quite surprising. Read More >>

Scientists Observe Red Giant Waking Up Neutron Star in a Flash

Neutron stars aren’t the twinkle-twinkle kind you typically see in the night sky. They’re stellar corpses, and incredibly dense sources of gravity, with perhaps 1.5 times the mass of the sun packed into an area less than a dozen miles across. Around 9,000 light years away from Earth, one neutron stars seems to have befriended a red giant. And scientists observed the new relationship beginning in a flash of energy. Read More >>

NASA Wants to Fly Your Name Into the Sun

The fine folks at NASA are sending a spacecraft to the Sun, and they want to send a little piece of you along with it. Here’s how to get your name on the ultimate “fry” list. Read More >>