Astronomers studying over 200,000 galaxies have measured the energy generated within a large portion of space more precisely than ever. This represents the most comprehensive assessment of the energy output of the nearby Universe. They confirm that the energy produced in a section of the Universe today is only about half what it was two billion years ago and is occurring from the ultraviolet to the far infrared.
Astronomers have uncovered a unique process for how the universe's largest elliptical galaxies continue making stars long after their peak years of star birth. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's exquisite high resolution and ultraviolet-light sensitivity allowed the astronomers to see brilliant knots of hot, blue stars forming along the jets of active black holes found in the centers of giant elliptical galaxies.
Gravity, one of the four fundamental forces of nature, appears reassuringly constant across the Universe, according to a decades-long study of a distant pulsar. This research helps to answer a long-standing question in cosmology: Is the force of gravity the same everywhere and at all times? The answer, so far, appears to be yes.
A camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last month. The series of test images shows the fully illuminated 'dark side' of the moon that is never visible from Earth.
A team of astronomers has discovered a giant swirling disk of gas 10 billion light-years away - a galaxy-in-the-making that is actively being fed cool primordial gas tracing back to the Big Bang. The finding provides the strongest observational support yet for what is known as the cold-flow model of galaxy formation.
This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying star. This is the best view of the little-known object ESO 378-1 yet obtained and was captured by ESO's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile.
A star in the constellation Cassiopeia has a planet in a three-day orbit that transits, or crosses in front of its star. At a distance of just 21 light-years, it is by far the closest transiting planet to Earth, which makes it ideal for follow-up studies. Moreover, it is the nearest rocky planet confirmed outside our solar system.
Components used on a space mission must be cleaned meticulously. Fraunhofer researchers designed a cleanroom for the ESA (European Space Agency) in which the most infinitesimal contaminants can be removed.