Astronomers have discovered an object in space that might be a black hole catapulted out of a galaxy. Or, according to an alternative interpretation, it might be a giant star that is exploding over an exceptionally long period of several decades. In any case, one thing is certain: This mysterious object is something quite unique, a source of fascination for physicists the world over because of its potential to provide experimental confirmation of the much-discussed gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein.
Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope have revealed alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the universe. A research team has found that the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars are parallel to each other over distances of billions of light-years. Also found was that the rotation axes of these quasars tend to be aligned with the structures in the cosmic web in which they reside.
For years physicists have been looking for the universe's elusive dark matter, but so far no one has seen any trace of it. Maybe we are looking in the wrong place? Now physicists from University of Southern Denmark propose a new technique to detect dark matter.
There is ample evidence that water once flowed on the surface of ancient Mars. But that evidence is difficult to reconcile with the latest generation of climate models that suggest Mars should have been eternally icy. A new study suggest that warming and water flow on Mars were probably episodic and related to ancient volcanic eruptions.
The everyday use of a GPS device might be to find your way around town or even navigate a hiking trail, but for two physicists, the Global Positioning System might be a tool in directly detecting and measuring dark matter, so far an elusive but ubiquitous form of matter responsible for the formation of galaxies.
When two detectors are switched on in the US next year, researchers hope their research will help pick up the faint ripples of black hole collisions millions of years ago, known as gravitational waves.
One of the mysteries of the Universe is the question of how all the galaxies we see around us came to be. Astronomers have now uncovered new insights into the processes that have shaped galaxies, using the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory telescope.
Astronomers have provided the first direct evidence that an intergalactic 'wind' is stripping galaxies of star-forming gas as they fall into clusters of galaxies. The observations help explain why galaxies found in clusters are known to have relatively little gas and less star formation when compared to non-cluster or 'field' galaxies.
The first attempted landing on the surface of a comet is a huge landmark in the history of space exploration that will not only uncover further details about comets but could unlock further clues about the origins of our solar system and the development of life on Earth.
Astronomers are announcing today the discovery of two unusual objects in comet-like orbits that originate in the Oort cloud but with almost no activity, giving scientists a first look at their surfaces. These results are particularly intriguing because the surfaces are different from what astronomers expected.
Nestled among a triplet of young galaxies more than 12.5 billion light-years away is a cosmic powerhouse: a galaxy that is producing stars nearly 1,000 times faster than our own Milky Way. This energetic starburst galaxy, known as AzTEC-3, together with its gang of calmer galaxies may represent the best evidence yet that large galaxies grow from the merger of smaller ones in the early Universe, a process known as hierarchical merging.