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.
This beautiful planetary nebula is named after a dreadful creature from Greek mythology -- the Gorgon Medusa. It is also known as Sharpless 2-274 and is located in the constellation of [Gemini] (The Twins). The Medusa Nebula spans approximately four light-years and lies at a distance of about 1500 light-years. Despite its size it is extremely dim and hard to observe.
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.
A team of scientists investigated the oxygen isotope and mineral composition of the comet dust returned from Wild 2. In a study published recently, the team discovered an unexpected combination of material that has deepened the mystery of Wild 2's past.