Evidence of universe’s oldest state of matter lurking inside neutron stars

Astrophysicists have found evidence of a strange substance called quark matter at the heart of compact stars. Combining recent theoretical calculations with measurements of gravitational waves from neutron star collisions, the researchers found that th… Continue reading Evidence of universe’s oldest state of matter lurking inside neutron stars

Avoiding violent neighbors key to planet formation in star clusters

According to the results of a new study, stars orbiting near the centers of massive clusters have a much harder time forming planets than those located at the edge. The discovery was made possible by the powerful viewing capabilities of the Hubble Spac… Continue reading Avoiding violent neighbors key to planet formation in star clusters

“Cow” and “Koala” lead explosive new class of space signals

The universe is full of powerful explosions from various sources, and now astronomers have described a brand new class of space signals. Named fast blue optical transients (FBOTs), these events are very bright and throw off incredible amounts of energy… Continue reading “Cow” and “Koala” lead explosive new class of space signals

“Cosmic ring of fire” tells tale of ancient intergalactic collision

Astronomers have discovered a “cosmic ring of fire” – a galaxy shaped like a gigantic donut. This type of galaxy is extremely rare, especially for its age, and it was likely caused by a collision with a smaller galaxy that can still be seen lingering n… Continue reading “Cosmic ring of fire” tells tale of ancient intergalactic collision

Nearest black hole discovered has companion stars visible from Earth

The closest black hole to our solar system has been discovered a mere 1,000 light-years from Earth. The black hole – which has a mass the equivalent to at least four suns – is completely invisible even to the most powerful of observatories, but orbits … Continue reading Nearest black hole discovered has companion stars visible from Earth

“Astronomers’ sunglasses” spot stripy clouds in brown dwarf atmosphere

Using polarized light, astronomers have detected signs of cloud bands in the atmosphere of a brown dwarf far beyond the solar system. It turns out that these gassy giants have a similar appearance to Jupiter, and the same kind of wild weather.Continue … Continue reading “Astronomers’ sunglasses” spot stripy clouds in brown dwarf atmosphere

Is the Sun always this quiet or is it just a phase?

To get a sense of how “normal” the Sun may be, astronomers have compared the Sun to hundreds of similar stars. It turns out that it’s actually far less active than its peers – but is this a permanent personality, or is it just going through a phase?Con… Continue reading Is the Sun always this quiet or is it just a phase?

Celebrating Spitzer: 16 years of incredible infrared space photography

NASA finally retired the Spitzer Space Telescope on January 30 this year, after 16 years of scanning the skies in infrared. In that time the observatory has been responsible for some of the most stunning space photos ever taken, so to celebrate its lif… Continue reading Celebrating Spitzer: 16 years of incredible infrared space photography

Brush with black hole may turn star into planet in a trillion years

Usually, a brush with a black hole marks the end of an object’s journey – after all, even light itself can’t escape the intense gravity. But in the galaxy GSN 069, a star has managed to survive a close encounter with a black hole, ending up in orbit ar… Continue reading Brush with black hole may turn star into planet in a trillion years

Star spotted with spirograph orbit around supermassive black hole

In space, most orbiting objects will have circular- or elliptical-shaped orbits. But now, almost 30 years of observations has revealed that a star in the center of our galaxy orbits the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) in a rosette, or s… Continue reading Star spotted with spirograph orbit around supermassive black hole