VY Canis Majoris is a stellar goliath, a red hypergiant, one of the largest known stars in the Milky Way. It is 30-40 times the mass of the Sun and 300 000 times more luminous. In its current state, the star would encompass the orbit of Jupiter, having expanded tremendously as it enters the final stages of its life.
Astronomers have identified the hottest white dwarf ever discovered in our Galaxy. With a temperature of 250,000 degrees Celsius, this dying star at the outskirts of the Milky Way has already even entered its cooling phase.
With nearly 2000 exoplanets found to date, it is no wonder so many of them will resemble our planet in some way. But which exoplanets are similar enough to the Earth that they could actually be habitable?
Astronomers have found a galaxy with a heartbeat - and they've taken its pulse. It is the first time scientists have measured the effect that pulsating, older red stars have on the light of their surrounding galaxy.
'Interplanetary dust' is hugely important. It is thought to have played a crucial role in the formation and evolution of our solar system. What?s more, it may even have provided our planet with water - and kick-started life.
The dilemma of whether to accept the cost of acting or risk disaster by waiting is the kind of strategic problem studied by game theory. A situation like the space debris problem, where players act just for their own benefit instead of taking group interests into account, is referred to in game theory as the 'tragedy of the commons'.
A new machine-learning simulation system promises cosmologists an expanded suite of galaxy models - a necessary first step to developing more accurate and relevant insights into the formation of the universe.
Astronomers have identified for the first time one of the key components of many stars, a study suggests. A type of gas found in the voids between galaxies - known as atomic gas - appears to be part of the star formation process under certain conditions, researchers say.
An enduring astronomical mystery is how stars and galaxies acquire their magnetic fields. Physicists now have found a clue to the answer in the collective behavior of small magnetic disturbances. They report that small magnetic perturbations can combine to form large-scale magnetic fields just like those found throughout the universe.