Stars like our Sun eject large amounts of gas and dust into space, containing various elements and compounds. Asymptotic giant branch -- AGB -- phase stars, near their end of life, are particularly significant sources of such substances in our galaxy.
Astronomers observed the galaxy NGC 253 and for the first time, they resolved the locations of star formation in this galaxy down to the scale of a molecular cloud, which is a star formation site with a size of about 30 light-years.
The ALMA Observatory has detected dust around Proxima Centauri. The data also hint at the presence of an outer dust belt and may indicate the presence of a planetary system. These structures are similar to the belts in the solar system and are expected to be made from rock and ice.
After a five-year, 1.74 billion-mile journey, NASA's Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter's orbit in July 2016, to begin its mission to collect data on the structure, atmosphere, and magnetic and gravitational fields of the mysterious planet.
One of the most vexing gets at the heart of what our universe is actually made of. Cosmological observations have determined the average density of matter in our universe to very high precision. But this density turns out to be much greater than can be accounted for with ordinary atoms.