Enormous outflows of charged particles from the centre of our Galaxy, stretching more than halfway across the sky and moving at supersonic speeds, have been detected and mapped with CSIRO's 64-m Parkes radio telescope.
As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study shows that cosmic radiation - which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars - could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Of the three telescopes carried by NASA's Swift satellite, only one captures cosmic light at energies similar to those seen by the human eye. Although small by the standards of ground-based observatories, Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) plays a critical role in rapidly pinpointing the locations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the brightest explosions in the cosmos.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been providing astounding images of the universe since April 1990 and has led to remarkable discoveries. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is the next-generation telescope that will peer even deeper into space and unveil even more mysteries. Both of these extraordinary telescopes are now the topics of two free e-books available from the Apple iBookstore.
In certain circumstances, stars can be given a new burst of life, receiving extra fuel that bulks them up and substantially brightens them. This can happen if one star pulls matter off a neighbour, or if they collide.