science
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 >>

uncategorized
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 >>

space
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 >>

space
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 >>

space
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 >>

space
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 >>

space
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 >>

space
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 >>

astronomy
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 >>

space
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 >>

space
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 >>

space
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
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 >>

space
Scientists Discover Long-Sought Evidence of First Stars Forming

When you sweep across the FM radio band, you don’t always hear music—mostly, you hear static. Lots of this ambient noise is actually garbled signals from throughout the Milky Way. If you had perhaps the most sensitive FM receiver on Earth, you might pick up the tiniest dip in volume: a signal that comes not from our galaxy, but from the earliest stars in the Universe. Read More >>

space
Amateur Astronomer Spots Supernova Right as It Begins

Amateur astronomer Victor Buso was testing his camera-telescope setup in Argentina back in September 2016, pointing his Newtonian telescope at a spiral galaxy called NGC613. He collected light from the galaxy for the next hour and a half, taking short exposures to keep out the Santa Fe city lights. When he looked at his images, he realised he’d captured a potential supernova—an enormous flash of light and energy bursting off of a distant star. Read More >>