Astronomers paint a clearer picture of how supernovae are born

Supernovae are one of the most energetic and brightest events in the cosmos, often so powerful they outshine whole galaxies. They’re considered  to play a major role in our understanding of the Universe, which is why scientists have invested so much time and effort into studying them. A recent study of X-ray and ultraviolet observations from NASA’s Swift satellite has helped

Space weather causes explosions on Venus

Strange, huge explosions apparently fueled by solar energy are detonating just above the surface of Venus, a surprising new study concludes. Explosive Venus This is not the first time this unusual phenomenon, called ‘hot flow anomaly‘ (of HFA) was observed; such events have been previously spotted above Earth, and possibly Saturn and Mars – but this is the first time

Oxygen atmosphere on Saturn’s moon, Dione

It’s been less than a month since we published the last thing about the Cassini probe, and the amazing spacecraft has done it again; this time it detected a thin, oxygen atmosphere, on a moon of Saturn – Dione. The study was published in the Geophysical Research Letters At 1122 km in diameter, Dione is the 15th largest moon, and

Nomad planets may litter Milky Way

According to a recent study published by researchers from the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), our galaxy may be ‘infested’ with nomad planets, which wander aimlessly instead of orbiting a star. Furthermore, the study concluded there may actually be 100,000 times more “nomad planets” in the Milky Way than stars. If this theory is proven correct, it

There is no empty space in the Universe (shorties)

New research concludes that instead of edges, galaxies have extremely long outskirts of dark matter that extend up to other galaxies, and thus, the intergalactic space wouldn’t be empty, but filled with dark matter. Researchers at the University of Tokyo’s Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) and Nagoya University used large scale supercomputer simulations, complementing them

A thrilling first! NASA detects ‘alien’ matter from outside our solar system

For the first time, a NASA spacecraft has detected matter from outside our solar system – matter that drifted from some other part of our galaxy right to us. This interstellar material was spotted by Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), a spacecraft with the purpose of studying the outskirts of our solar system from its orbit about 322.000 kilometers above Earth.

Achieving the unbelievable: taking a picture of a black hole

Black Holes are the least understood entities, so far, in the Universe. However, if there’s one thing scientists know for sure about them, it’s that they’re the most extreme environment in cosmos. Black Holes have such a powerful, relentless gravity pull that it swallows absolutely everything in its vicinity, even light gets absorbed with zero reflection. This makes it practically

Astronomers spot galaxy made out of mostly dark matter

Using a technique called ‘gravitational lensing’, astronomers were able to spot a dwarf galaxy, some 10 billion light years away, which they believe is made out mostly of dark matter. It is only the second ‘black dwarf’ ever found – why there are so few of them is one of the biggest questions in astronomy. Even though dark matter is

‘El Gordo’ – largest galaxy cluster ever seen, is colliding and growing

Galaxy clusters are the biggest stable structures in our Universe that we know of, typically containing 50 to 1000 galaxies. El Gordo Seven billion light years away and two million billion times heavier than our Sun lies El Gordo – which is Spanish for ‘the fat one’. Astronomers reporting at the 219th American Astronomical Society meeting said that at the

Best cosmic map of dark matter so far produced

Astronomers have created the most accurate and comprehensive map yet of the universe’s dark matter, finding it spread in a spider web around areas which would otherwise seem not interesting. It has long been theoretized that the Universe is made out of 85% dark matter, because judging only by the amount of visible matter… the whole thing should just fly

Top Astrophysicists Throng Goa (India) to Share Experiences on “Gravity and Cosmology” in VII International Conclave

Panaji (Goa-India), Dec 12, 2011: Hunt for finding the hypothetical massive elementary particle, the Higgs boson, popularly known as ‘The God Particle’. Exploring the pulls and pressures among the planets and the dark matter above. Building capacities to explore hitherto lesser known Universe to benefit humanity using science and technology tools through global collaborative efforts. This is what eminent astrophysicists

Researchers find smallest known black hole

Researchers working at the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer have probably discovered what can be described as the heart beat of the smallest known black hole. This comes in less then a month after astrophysicists discovered the biggest known black hole in the Universe. An international team worked on this research, which relied on detecting X-rays coming from cosmic sources, the

Supernova observed right after its explosion

An unprecedented observation of a supernova right after its explosion has offered scientists extremely valuable insight on these cosmic explosions of biblical proportions. PTF 11kly, a type Ia supernova, was spotted in August in the Pinwheel galaxy and is one of the closest to Earth ever found – but don’t worry just yet – at some 21 million light years

Fastest spinning star found

Astronomers have found the fastest rotating star yet – a giant star located over 160.000 light years away, which spins 100 times faster than the Sun. The star, which was nicknamed VFTS 102 is quickly approaching the point where, if it will spin any faster, it will be ripped apart by its own centrifugal force. Based on their observations and

Astronomers find biggest, baddest black holes yet

Don’t get too close – you might not be able to get away. Researchers have found and measured the biggest black holes discovered so far – abyssal surfaces 10 times bigger than our Solar system – and several billion times heavier. Yes, you read that right; these unimaginable giants likely devoured billions of Sun in their existence, destroying them like

Planning to move in outer space? Saturn’s Moon, Titan, may be the best choice

At first, science fiction artists wrote about it and nobody gave it much attention, but nowadays, a lot of researchers are putting effort into this: inhabiting another planet; or in this case, a satellite. A group of astrobiologists have already began calculating, though more for the sake of it than for practical interest, which planet might be the best ones

Watch the Mars rover launch LIVE this Saturday [video stream]

On November 26, after countless delays, budget overruns and buckets of sweat, humankind’s most capable machine of landing on and traveling through the red planet will finally touch base and launch towards its ambitious destination. The Curiosity rover‘s lift off is currently scheduled for 10:02 a.m. EST, this Saturday. Also known as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the Curiosity rover will

Pluto might host a hidden ocean

Some astronomers have long believed that an ocean might lurk beneath Pluto’s ice, heated by isotopes undergoing a radioactive decay – but we’ll have to wait until 2015 to know for sure. The New Horizons spacecraft is set to visit Pluto less than four years from now, and it will map the surface of the planetoid and its moon, Charon;

Mystery of Moon’s past magnetism might be solved

The Moon still holds numerous unanswered questions, and among these, perhaps the most interesting is the one regarding its lost magnetism. Why is it that the Moon had magnetism? Now, two teams working separately seem to have found two complementary explanations. Rock magnetism It all started when the Apollo missions brought back samples of moon rocks from their lunar landing

Half of supermassive black holes are surrounded by ‘dust clouds’

Black holes are perhaps the most fascinating and staggering objects in the known Universe, and we are just now beginning to uncover their secrets. Dr. Sergei Nayakshin of the University of Leicester and his team found that doughnut-shaped dust shrouds that cover about half of supermassive black holes may very well be the result of high speed crashes between planets