The European SPHERE instrument has been successfully installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) and has achieved first light. This powerful new facility can directly image gas-giant exoplanets and dust discs orbiting nearby stars (up to 300 light years away) with unparalleled precision and contrast.
The high-definition video via laser transmission from space to ground, stating 'Hello, World!' was the first of its kind for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science from the International Space Station.
The Man in the Moon appeared when meteoroids struck the Earth-facing side of the moon creating large flat seas of basalt that we see as dark areas called maria. But no 'face' exists on farside of the moon and now, Penn State astrophysicists think they know why.
An international team of astronomers reports the discovery of two new planets orbiting a very old star that is near to our own Sun. One of these planets orbits the star at the right distance to allow liquid water to exist on its surface, a key ingredient to support life.
Scientists have resolved an isotopic difference between the Earth and the Moon. The slight variation in oxygen isotopes confirms the 'Giant impact' hypothesis of Moon formation, according to which the Moon formed from the debris of a giant collision between the Earth and another proto-Planet about 4.5 billion years ago.
NASA is seeking proposals from universities to advance the agency's plans for exploration to deep space and Mars. The Early Stage Innovations NASA Research Announcement calls for innovative space technology proposals that could benefit the space program, other government agencies and the greater aerospace community.
A new study of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies has found magnetic fields play an impressive role in the systems' dynamics. In fact, in dozens of black holes surveyed, the magnetic field strength matched the force produced by the black holes' powerful gravitational pull.
Arguing for a continuation of the nation's human space exploration program, a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council concludes that the expense of human spaceflight and the dangers to the astronauts involved can be justified only by the goal of putting humans on other worlds.
In a discovery decades in the making, scientists have detected the first of a 'theoretical' class of stars first proposed in 1975 by physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Zytkow. Thorne-Zytkow objects are hybrids of red supergiant and neutron stars that superficially resemble normal red supergiants, such as Betelguese in the constellation Orion. They differ, however, in their distinct chemical signatures that result from unique activity in their stellar interiors.
Cutting-edge observations with the 1.6-meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory in California have taken research into the structure and activity of the Sun to new levels of understanding. The telescope at Big Bear is the most powerful ground-based instrument dedicated to studying the sun.
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have captured the most comprehensive picture ever assembled of the evolving universe - and one of the most colorful. The study is called the Ultraviolet Coverage of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field project.
There are some 100 million other places in the Milky Way galaxy that could support complex life, report a group of university astronomers. They have developed a new computation method to examine data from planets orbiting other stars in the universe.