There are over 1000 known open star clusters within the Milky Way, with a wide range of properties, such as size and age, that provide astronomers with clues to how stars form, evolve and die. The main appeal of these clusters is that all of their stars are born together out of the same material.
The universe is 13.8 billion years old, while our planet formed just 4.5 billion years ago. Some scientists think this time gap means that life on other planets could be billions of years older than ours. However, new theoretical work suggests that present-day life is actually premature from a cosmic perspective.
An international team of researchers have discovered an extremely rare, double source plane gravitational lensing system, in which two distant galaxies are simultaneously lensed by a foreground galaxy. The team dubbed the system 'Eye of Horus'. Such a rare system is a unique probe of fundamental physics of galaxies and cosmology.
Astronomers have discovered for the first time that the hot gas in the halo of the Milky Way galaxy is spinning in the same direction and at comparable speed as the galaxy's disk, which contains our stars, planets, gas, and dust. This new knowledge sheds light on how individual atoms have assembled into stars, planets, and galaxies like our own, and what the future holds for these galaxies.
Flown on a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station, an experiment shows that large-volume protein crystals, needed for some experiments in drug design, can be grown bigger and better in space than on Earth.
A team of hundreds of physicists and astronomers have announced results from the largest-ever, three-dimensional map of distant galaxies. The team constructed this map to make one of the most precise measurements yet of the dark energy currently driving the accelerated expansion of the Universe.
Astronomers have discovered evidence for an unusual kind of black hole born extremely early in the universe. They showed that a recently discovered unusual source of intense radiation is likely powered by a 'direct-collapse black hole', a type of object predicted by theorists more than a decade ago.