News, Observations, Space

Pushing the limit: scientists discover oldest known stars

Artist's impression of the first stars, 400 million years after the Big Bang. Image via Wikipedia.

Astronomers have discovered the oldest known stars lurking in a super-luminous galaxy – they may very well be among the very first objects that formed in the history of the Universe.

News, Observations, Space

The Moon is shrouded by a dust cloud, and a mystery still stands

(Photo: © Bloomsbury Auctions)

The Moon doesn’t have an atmosphere, but it is surrounded by a thick dust cloud; the dust constantly falls down to the lunar surface, but new dust constantly jumps to replenish it. The pattern of dust falling back to its home “in due time … will fill in craters,” says the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Mihaly Horanyi, who led the team

Astronomy, Observations, Space

World’s largest telescope to begin construction soon following $500 million funding

giant telescopes

High up in Chile’s Las Campanas Observatory, right in the middle of the desert, work will soon start to build the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) – the biggest telescope in the world once finished. The site was cleared before, but actual deployment just recently commenced following a $500 million pledge from 11 international partners. The total cost of the project is $1 billion. Once the giant telescope will be open, sometime around 2021, it will be used to peer the sky for neighboring potentially habitable planets, dark matter and dark energy, supermassive black holes and detect some of the first light emitted in the Universe.

News, Observations, Space

NASA spacecraft takes new photos of Pluto


In the past couple of months, we’ve posted quite a lot of articles about the New Horizons spacecraft zooming in on Pluto. It got close enough to see its moons, to see it in color, and to see it at unprecedented resolution. Now, New Horizons got even closer to Pluto and guess what – it took some even better photos.

Astronomy, Observations

Scientists discover extremely rare quadruple quasar system

It's like winning the lottery - twice. Astronomers have spotted a rare cluster of four quasars—some of the brightest objects in the universe, formed from active black holes. Photograph by Hennawy and Arrigoni Battaia, MPIA.

A team of astronomers has discovered a unique system of quadruple quasars. The quartet, discovered at the very edge of the universe, is one of the most massive structures in the known universe.

News, Observations, Space

Mercury has magnetic field, astronomers report

MASCS/MDIS color mosaics of Mercury. Image credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The MESSENGER spacecraft spent four years orbiting Mercury, gathering valuable information and sending it back to Earth. But even in its final moments, as it crashed towards the surface of the planet, the spacecraft still did its job – it reported that Mercury has a magnetic field, likely millions of years old.

News, Observations, Space

Hubble Discovers Huge Halo Around Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy seen in infrared by the Spitzer Space Telescope, one of NASA's four Great Space Observatories. Image via Wikipedia.

In an article published in the Astrophysical Journal last week, astronomers described a massive halo around the Andromeda Galaxy, extending up close to Earth. The team spotted the halo through NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and consider it one of the galaxy’s most important features.

News, Observations, Space

Astronomers discover farthest galaxy yet

The galaxy EGS-zs8-1 sets a new distance record. It was discovered in images from the Hubble Space Telescope's CANDELS survey.
Credit: NASA, ESA, P. Oesch and I. Momcheva (Yale University), and the 3D-HST and HUDF09/XDF teams

A team of astronomers from Yale and the University of California-Santa Cruz have looked back in time, discovering a galaxy that was formed when the Universe was only 5% of its current age. This is now the farthest, and youngest galaxy known to date.

News, Observations, Space

Satellite reveals huge solar filament blazing out from the Sun


Last week, the Sun ejected a huge solar filament – a gigantic burst of hot plasma – and a satellite was just in the right place to capture the whole thing on tape.

Astronomy, News, Observations

High school students help astronomers discover spectacular pulsar

PSR J1930-1852. Image credit: J. K. Swiggum et al.

Highschool students analyzing data obtained with the 100-meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope have discovered an exotic pulsar with the widest orbit known to date. Pulsars (pulsating radio stars) are some of the most spectacular things in the known Universe. They are basically highly magnetized, rotating neutron stars that emit beams of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can be observed when the beam