What goes on in the sun can only be observed indirectly. Sunspots, for instance, reveal the degree of solar activity - the more sunspots are visible on the surface of the sun, the more active is our central star deep inside. Even though sunspots have been known since antiquity, they have only been documented in detail since the invention of the telescope around 400 years ago.
In a new paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academies of ScienceS (PNAS), planetary geologist Joe Levy, assistant professor of geology at Colgate University, reveals a groundbreaking new analysis of the mysterious glaciers of Mars.
Scientists have combined NASA data and cutting-edge image processing to gain new insight into the solar structures that create the Sun's flow of high-speed solar wind, detailed in new research published today in The Astrophysical Journal. This first look at relatively small features, dubbed "plumelets," could help scientists understand how and why disturbances form in the solar wind.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has observed the supernova remnant named 1E 0102.2-7219. Researchers are using Hubble's imagery of the remnant object to wind back the clock on the expanding remains of this exploded star in the hope of understanding the supernova event that caused it 1700 years ago.
The featured star that exploded long ago belongs to the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way located roughly 200 000 light-years away. The doomed star left behind an expanding, gaseous corpse -- a supernova remnant -- known as 1E 0102.2-7219.
The Beijing-Arizona Sky Survey (BASS) team of National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and their collaborators of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) project released a giant 2D map of the universe, which paves the way for the upcoming new-generation dark energy spectroscopic survey.
Astronomers have curated the most complete list of nearby brown dwarfs to date thanks to discoveries made by thousands of volunteers participating in the Backyard Worlds citizen science project. The list and 3D map of 525 brown dwarfs -- including 38 reported for the first time -- incorporate observations from a host of astronomical instruments including several NOIRLab facilities. The results confirm that the Sun's neighborhood appears surprisingly diverse relative to other parts of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Astronomers are winding back the clock on the expanding remains of a nearby, exploded star. By using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, they retraced the speedy shrapnel from the blast to calculate a more accurate estimate of the location and time of the stellar detonation.
Data from the DESI (Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument) Legacy Imaging Surveys have revealed over 1200 new gravitational lenses, approximately doubling the number of known lenses. Discovered using machine learning trained on real data, these warped and stretched images of distant galaxies provide astronomers with a flood of new targets with which to measure fundamental properties of the Universe such as the Hubble constant, which describes the expanding Universe.
Astronomers using images from Kitt Peak National Observatory and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory have created the largest ever map of the sky, comprising over a billion galaxies. The ninth and final data release from the ambitious DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys sets the stage for a ground-breaking 5-year survey with the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), which aims to provide new insights into the nature of dark energy. The map was released today at the January 2021 meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
Apart from black holes, magnetars may be the most extreme stars in the universe. With a diameter less than the length of Manhattan, they pack more mass than that of our sun, wield the largest magnetic field of any known object -- more than 10 trillion times stronger than a refrigerator magnet -- and spin on their axes every few seconds.
A type of neutron star -- the remnant of a supernova explosion -- magnetars are so highly magnetized that even modest disturbances in the magnetic field can cause bursts of X-rays that last sporadically for weeks or months.
On April 15, 2020, a brief burst of high-energy light swept through the solar system, triggering instruments on several NASA and European spacecraft. Now, multiple international science teams conclude that the blast came from a supermagnetized stellar remnant known as a magnetar located in a neighboring galaxy.
This finding confirms long-held suspicions that some gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) - cosmic eruptions detected in the sky almost daily - are in fact powerful flares from magnetars relatively close to home.
During a typical year, over a million people visit Yellowstone National Park, where the Old Faithful geyser regularly blasts a jet of boiling water high in the air. Now, an international team of astronomers has discovered a cosmic equivalent, a distant galaxy that erupts roughly every 114 days.
You've heard of Old Faithful, the Yellowstone National Park geyser that erupts every hour or two, a geological phenomenon on a nearly predictable schedule.
Now, an international group of scientists who study space have discovered an astronomical "Old Faithful" - an eruption of light flashing about once every 114 days on a nearly predictable schedule. The researchers believe it is a tidal disruption event, a phenomenon that happens when a star gets so close to a black hole that the black hole "rips" away pieces of the star, causing the flare.
The most distant quasar known has been discovered. The quasar, observed just 670 million years after the Big Bang, is 1000 times more luminous than the Milky Way. It is powered by the earliest known supermassive black hole, which weighs in at more than 1.6 billion times the mass of the Sun. Seen more than 13 billion years ago, this fully formed distant quasar is also the earliest yet discovered, providing astronomers with insight into the formation of massive galaxies in the early Universe. The result was released today at the January 2021 meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
A team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona has observed a luminous quasar 13.03 billion light-years from Earth - the most distant quasar discovered to date. Dating back to 670 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only 5% its current age, the quasar hosts a supermassive black hole equivalent to the combined mass of 1.6 billion suns.