A dark cloud of cosmic dust snakes across this spectacular wide field image, illuminated by the brilliant light of new stars. This dense cloud is a star-forming region called Lupus 3, where dazzlingly hot stars are born from collapsing masses of gas and dust.
Scientists have solved an important puzzle in astrochemistry: how to measure magnetic fields in space using methanol, the simplest form of alcohol. Their results give astronomers a new way of investigating how massive stars are born.
An international team of astronomers has produced the first detailed images of the surface of a giant star outside our solar system, revealing a nearly circular, dust-free atmosphere with complex areas of moving material, known as convection cells or granules.
In 2014, astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope found that this enormous galaxy cluster contains the mass of a staggering three million billion suns -- so it's little wonder that it has earned the nickname of El Gordo ('the Fat One' in Spanish).
Astronomers have discovered a star in the cluster NGC 3201 that is behaving very strangely. It appears to be orbiting an invisible black hole with about four times the mass of the Sun -- the first such inactive stellar-mass black hole found in a globular cluster and the first found by directly detecting its gravitational pull.