X-rays streaming toward Earth from the region near a neutron star that is cannibalizing its companion star have revealed the pair to be the youngest "X-ray binary" yet known. The discovery, by a team that includes a Penn State astronomer, also solves a long-unsolved mystery about this record-breaking object, named Circinus X-1.
Just over a year since launch, NASA's Van Allen Probes mission continues to unravel longstanding mysteries of Earth's high-energy radiation belts that encircle our planet and pose hazards to orbiting satellites and astronauts.
A star is formed when a large cloud of gas and dust condenses and eventually becomes so dense that it collapses into a ball of gas, where the pressure heats the matter, creating a glowing gas ball - a star is born. New research from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, shows that a young, newly formed star in the Milky Way had such an explosive growth, that it was initially about 100 times brighter than it is now.
In a finding of relevance to the search for life in our solar system, researchers have shown the subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa may have deep currents and circulation patterns with heat and energy transfers capable of sustaining biological life. The findings, summarized in this week's online edition of Nature Geosciences, are based on numerical models accounting for the formation of the chaos terrains, one of Europa's most prominent surface features.
Using the powerful eye of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, two teams of scientists have found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets. The presence of atmospheric water was reported previously on a few exoplanets orbiting stars beyond our solar system, but this is the first study to conclusively measure and compare the profiles and intensities of these signatures on multiple worlds.
The ALHAMBRA project has identified and classified more than half a million galaxies, after seven years of close observation of the universe from the Observatory of Calar Alto and thanks to a technique that breaks the stars energy in their colours through astronomical filters.
Until now, scientists were pretty sure they knew how the surface of a neutron star - a super dense star that forms when a large star explodes and its core collapses into itself - can heat itself up. However, research by a team of scientists led by a Michigan State University physicist has researchers rethinking that.
astroEDU is a platform that allows educators to discover, review, distribute, improve and remix astronomy education activities, and offers a free peer-review service by professionals in education and science.
The Milky Way Galaxy comprises hundreds of billions stars. An ambitious ESA project will map around a billion of these. The European funded GREAT network will train young researchers across Europe to help make sense of this wealth of data.
A combination of pop songs, talkback radio and cutting-edge science has enabled Australian astronomers to identify a way to prevent catastrophic, multi-billion dollar space junk collisions, a new study has revealed.
At its meeting in Paris today, the Science Programme Committee of the European Space Agency (ESA) selected the 'The Hot and Energetic Universe' as the theme for its next Large mission, which is expected to be launched in 2028.
Gemini observations support an unexpected discovery in the galaxy Messier 101. A relatively small black hole (20-30 times the mass of our sun) can sustain a hugely voracious appetite while consuming material in an efficient and tidy manner - something previously thought impossible. The research also affects the long quest for elusive intermediate-mass black holes.