The Milky Way Galaxy comprises hundreds of billions stars. An ambitious ESA project will map around a billion of these. The European funded GREAT network will train young researchers across Europe to help make sense of this wealth of data.
A combination of pop songs, talkback radio and cutting-edge science has enabled Australian astronomers to identify a way to prevent catastrophic, multi-billion dollar space junk collisions, a new study has revealed.
At its meeting in Paris today, the Science Programme Committee of the European Space Agency (ESA) selected the 'The Hot and Energetic Universe' as the theme for its next Large mission, which is expected to be launched in 2028.
Gemini observations support an unexpected discovery in the galaxy Messier 101. A relatively small black hole (20-30 times the mass of our sun) can sustain a hugely voracious appetite while consuming material in an efficient and tidy manner - something previously thought impossible. The research also affects the long quest for elusive intermediate-mass black holes.
The Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the closest galaxies to our own. Astronomers have now used the power of ESO's Very Large Telescope to explore one of its lesser known regions. This new image shows clouds of gas and dust where hot new stars are being born and are sculpting their surroundings into odd shapes. But the image also shows the effects of stellar death - filaments created by a supernova explosion.
The Dutch Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) has awarded a 1.2 million Euro grant to the research program 'Quantum gravity and the search for quantum spacetime', led by professor Renate Loll of Radboud University Nijmegen.
Two months ago astronomers created a new 3D map of stars at the centre of our Galaxy, showing more clearly than ever the bulge at its core. Previous explanations suggested that the stars that form the bulge are in banana-like orbits, but a paper published this week suggests that the stars probably move in peanut-shell or figure of eight-shaped orbits instead.
Scientists should take the conservative approach when searching for habitable zones where life-sustaining planets might exist, according to James Kasting, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Penn State, including when building terrestrial planet finders.
When a star explodes as a supernova, the material blasted outward from the explosion still glows hundreds or thousands of years later, forming a picturesque supernova remnant. What powers such long-lived brilliance? In the case of Tycho's supernova remnant, astronomers have discovered that a reverse shock wave racing inward at Mach 1000 (1,000 times the speed of sound) is heating the remnant and causing it to emit X-ray light.