Although scientists are increasingly using pint-size satellites sometimes no larger than a loaf of bread to gather data from low-Earth orbit, they have yet to apply the less-expensive small-satellite technology to observe physical phenomena far from terra firma.
Using ever more energetic lasers, researchers have produced a record high number of electron-positron pairs, opening exciting opportunities to study extreme astrophysical processes, such as black holes and gamma-ray bursts.
Astronomers have discovered for the first time a rear-end collision between two high-speed knots of ejected matter from a supermassive black hole. This discovery was made while piecing together a time-lapse movie of a plasma jet blasted from a supermassive black hole inside a galaxy, located 260 million light-years from Earth.
Astronomers have discovered a disc of planetary debris surrounding a young sun-like star that shares remarkable similarities with the Kuiper Belt that lies beyond Neptune, and may aid in understanding how our solar system developed.
Great honour for Nicolas Thomas from the University of Berne: The scientist was selected as part of the imaging team for NASA's Europa Clipper mission. The mission will help to answer the question whether there is life in the oceans of Jupiter's moon, Europa.
In the brightest region of the nebula RCW 34, gas is heated and expands through the surrounding cooler gas. Once the heated hydrogen reaches the borders of the gas cloud, it bursts outwards into the vacuum like the contents of an uncorked champagne bottle - this process is referred to as champagne flow. But the young RCW 34 has more to offer; there seem to have been multiple episodes of star formation within the same cloud.
Supernovas just might be the maid service of the universe. It seems these explosions that mark the end of a star's life work hand-in-hand with supermassive black holes to sweep out gas and shut down galaxies' star-forming factories.
A remote galaxy shining brightly with infrared light equal to more than 300 trillion suns has been discovered using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The galaxy, which belongs to a new class of objects recently discovered by WISE - nicknamed extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs - is the most luminous galaxy found to date.
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered surprising new clues about a hefty, rapidly aging star whose behavior has never been seen before in our Milky Way galaxy. In fact, the star is so weird that astronomers have nicknamed it 'Nasty 1', a play on its catalog name of NaSt1. The star may represent a brief transitory stage in the evolution of extremely massive stars.