Astrophysicists have measured the minute gravitational distortions in polarized radiation from the early universe and discovered that these ancient microwaves can provide an important cosmological test of Einstein's theory of general relativity.
A gas giant has been added to the short list of exoplanets discovered through direct imaging. It is located around GU Psc, a star three times less massive than the Sun and located in the constellation Pisces.
The first galaxies evolved only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. But why do they have such a great variety of shapes and structures? How did the universe evolve as a whole? Two German-Chinese Partner Groups are using observations and simulations to investigate how the early universe evolved
ATLASGAL is a survey of the Galactic Plane at a wavelength of 0.87 mm. It has revealed an unprecedented number of cold dense clumps of gas and dust as the cradles of massive stars, thus providing a complete view of their birthplaces in the Milky Way.
Using state of the art computer simulations, a team of French astrophysicists have for the first time explained a long standing mystery: why surges of star formation (so called 'starbursts') take place when galaxies collide.
On March 29, 2014, an X-class flare erupted from the right side of the sun - and vaulted into history as the best-observed flare of all time. The flare was witnessed by four different NASA spacecraft and one ground-based observatory - three of which had been fortuitously focused in on the correct spot as programmed into their viewing schedule a full day in advance.
On 24 October 2012 observatories across the world were alerted about a huge stellar explosion, the GRB121024A. The data obtained on that explosion, which took place about 11,000 million years ago, have made it possible to reconstruct how a black hole is formed.
Astronomers discovered a 'hypervelocity star' that is the closest, second-brightest and among the largest of 20 found so far. Speeding at more than 1 million mph, the star may provide clues about the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way and the halo of mysterious 'dark matter' surrounding the galaxy.
An international team of astrophysicists has released an unprecedented map of the entire sky that charts the magnetic field shaping our Milky Way Galaxy. The map reveals magnetic field lines running parallel to the plane of the Galaxy, as well as great loops and whorls associated with nearby clouds of gas and dust.
The SETI project scientists are known for tracking possible extraterrestrial signals, but now they are also considering sending messages from Earth telling of our position. A researcher questions this idea in view of the results from a survey taken by students, revealing the general level of ignorance about the cosmos and the influence of religion when tackling these matters.
Distant exploding stars observed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are providing astronomers with a powerful tool to determine the strength of naturally-occurring 'cosmic lenses' that are used to magnify objects in the remote universe.