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.
For the first time an international team of astronomers has measured circular polarisation in the bright flash of light from a dying star collapsing to a black hole, giving insight into an event that happened almost 11 billion years ago.
Over the past two decades, almost 1,500 exoplanets have been discovered orbiting distant stars - but Dutch astronomers have determined for the very first time just how fast one of those exoplanets is spinning on its axis.
Researchers discovered an indicator of when re-ionization of the primordial Universe began. Direct measurement of the absorption features in the spectrum of the afterglow toward GRB 130606A, located at a great distance, revealed the proportion of neutral hydrogen gas absorbing the light in its vicinity. This finding provides the best estimate of the amount of such neutral gas in the early Universe.
The galaxy known as M87 has a fastball that would be the envy of any baseball pitcher. It has thrown an entire star cluster toward us at more than two million miles per hour. The newly discovered cluster, which astronomers named HVGC-1, is now on a fast journey to nowhere. Its fate: to drift through the void between the galaxies for all time.
If you have often imagined yourself piloting your X-Wing fighter on an attack run on the Death Star, you'll be reassured that University of Leicester students have demonstrated that your shields could take whatever the Imperial fleet can throw at you.