Jupiter's trademark Great Red Spot - a swirling storm feature larger than Earth - is shrinking. This downsizing, which is changing the shape of the spot from an oval into a circle, has been known about since the 1930s, but now these striking new Hubble Space Telescope images capture the spot at a smaller size than ever before.
Magnetars are the super-dense remnants of supernova explosions. They are the strongest magnets known in the Universe - millions of times more powerful than the strongest magnets on Earth. A team of astronomers now believe they've found the partner star of a magnetar for the first time. This discovery helps to explain how magnetars form and why this particular star didn't collapse into a black hole as astronomers would expect.
Astrophysicists have measured the minute gravitational distortions in polarized radiation from the early universe and discovered that these ancient microwaves can provide an important cosmological test of Einstein's theory of general relativity.
A gas giant has been added to the short list of exoplanets discovered through direct imaging. It is located around GU Psc, a star three times less massive than the Sun and located in the constellation Pisces.
The first galaxies evolved only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. But why do they have such a great variety of shapes and structures? How did the universe evolve as a whole? Two German-Chinese Partner Groups are using observations and simulations to investigate how the early universe evolved
ATLASGAL is a survey of the Galactic Plane at a wavelength of 0.87 mm. It has revealed an unprecedented number of cold dense clumps of gas and dust as the cradles of massive stars, thus providing a complete view of their birthplaces in the Milky Way.
Using state of the art computer simulations, a team of French astrophysicists have for the first time explained a long standing mystery: why surges of star formation (so called 'starbursts') take place when galaxies collide.
On March 29, 2014, an X-class flare erupted from the right side of the sun - and vaulted into history as the best-observed flare of all time. The flare was witnessed by four different NASA spacecraft and one ground-based observatory - three of which had been fortuitously focused in on the correct spot as programmed into their viewing schedule a full day in advance.
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.