For the first time, astronomers have used the same imaging technology found in a digital camera to take a picture of a planet far from our solar system with an Earth-based telescope. The accomplishment is a small step toward the technology astronomers will need in order to characterize planets suitable for harboring life.
The signal was transmitted by the Lunar Lasercom Space Terminal (LLST) on board the NASA spacecraft Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), which has been orbiting the Moon since October 2013. This is the first time that an optical link has been analysed after a long passage through space.
GOSSS (Galactic O-Star Spectroscopic Survey) substantially improves on prior catalogues. It is a very ambitious project from the point of view of the number of objects and the quality of the data; it will yield a homogeneous sample, with data from both hemispheres which will be constantly updated, so it will be a very solid tool.
A new innovative instrument called MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) has been successfully installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MUSE has observed distant galaxies, bright stars and other test targets during the first period of very successful observations.
This new Hubble image shows spiral galaxy ESO 137-001, framed against a bright background as it moves through the heart of galaxy cluster Abell 3627. This cluster is violently ripping the spiral's entrails out into space, leaving bright blue streaks as telltale clues to this cosmic crime.
A giant sunspot - a magnetically strong and complex region on the sun's surface - has just appeared over the sun's horizon. This is the third trip for this region across the face of the sun, which takes approximately 27 days to make a complete rotation.
A team of Australian and American astronomers have been studying nearby galaxy M83 and have found a new superpowered small black hole, named MQ1, the first object of its kind to be studied in this much detail.
The closest and brightest supernova in decades, SN 2014J, brightens faster than expected for Type Ia supernovae, the exploding stars used to measure cosmic distances, according to University of California Berkeley astronomers.
Stowed inside ESA's next supply ship to the International Space Station will be one of the most advanced joysticks ever built, designed to test the remote control of robots on the ground from up in orbit.
New images from the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA) telescope provide the most detailed view yet of stellar nurseries within the Snake nebula. These images offer new insights into how cosmic seeds can grow into massive stars.