The Vista Variables in the Via Lactea Survey (VVV) ESO public survey is using the VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory to take multiple images at different times of the central parts of the galaxy at infrared wavelengths. It is discovering huge numbers of new objects, including variable stars, clusters and exploding stars.
Some of the most intractable scientific problems involve natural and physical processes that span many scales and disciplines, from atoms to organs, and from quarks to galaxies. Developing coherent theories that can describe these fundamental phenomena will be crucial to understanding the origins of the Universe and life on Earth. Researchers are inventing solutions to link the vast with the tiny.
Astronomers compile the largest astronomical image of all time. In order to view it, researchers have provided an online tool. The image contains data gathered in astronomical observations over a period of five years.
Astronomers have discovered never-before-seen structures within a dusty disc surrounding a nearby star. The fast-moving wave-like features in the disc of the star AU Microscopii are unlike anything ever observed, or even predicted, before now. The origin and nature of these features present a new mystery for astronomers to explore.
Observations using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed that the unusually large magnetosphere around an O-type star called NGC 1624-2 contains a raging storm of extreme stellar winds and dense plasma that gobbles up X-rays before they can escape into space.
The center of our Milky Way galaxy is a mysterious place. Not only is it thousands of light-years away, it's also cloaked in so much dust that most stars within are rendered invisible. Harvard researchers are proposing a new way to clear the fog and spot stars hiding there. They suggest looking for radio waves coming from supersonic stars.