Doom may be averted for the Smith Cloud, a gigantic streamer of hydrogen gas that is on a collision course with the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers using the VLA and GBT have discovered a magnetic field deep in the cloud's interior, which may protect it during its meteoric plunge into the disk of our galaxy.
Most of the universe's heavy elements, including the iron central to life itself, formed early in cosmic history and spread throughout the universe, according to a new study of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster using Japan's Suzaku satellite.
By detecting an even distribution of iron throughout a massive galaxy cluster, astrophysicists can tell the 10-billion-year-old story of how exploding stars and black holes sowed the early cosmos with heavy elements.
A NASA spacecraft that will examine the upper atmosphere of Mars in unprecedented detail is undergoing final preparations for a scheduled 1:28 p.m. EST Monday, Nov. 18 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Planets rich in carbon, including so-called diamond planets, may lack oceans, according to NASA-funded theoretical research.
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At a cosmologically crisp one degree Kelvin (minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit), the Boomerang Nebula is the coldest known object in the Universe - colder than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, which is the natural background temperature of space. Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have taken a new look at this intriguing object to learn more about its frigid properties and to determine its true shape, which has an eerily ghost-like appearance.
In an ambitious collaborative program, called The Frontier Fields, NASA's Great Observatories are teaming up to look deeper into the universe than ever before. With a boost from natural 'zoom lenses' found in space, they should be able to uncover galaxies that are as much as 100 times fainter than what the Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra space telescopes can typically see.
Just 13 days in space may be enough to cause profound changes in eye structure and gene expression, report researchers. Their study is the first to examine eye-related gene expression and cell behavior after spaceflight.
Planets are formed in disks of gas and dust around nascent stars. Now, observations have produced a rare view of a planetary construction site in an intermediate state of evolution: Contrary to expectations, the disk around the star HD 21997 appears to contain both primordial gas left over from the formation of the star itself and dust that appears to have been produced in collisions between planetesimals.