Astronomy & Space News Feeds

  • Chinese crew enters new space station on 3-month mission
    on June 17, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Three Chinese astronauts arrived Thursday at China’s new space station at the start of a three-month mission, marking another milestone in the country’s ambitious space program.

  • Researchers discover orbital patterns of trans-Neptunian objects
    on June 17, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), small objects that orbit the sun beyond Neptune, are fossils from the early days of the solar system which can tell us a lot about its formation and evolution.

  • Hubble data confirms galaxies lacking dark matter
    on June 17, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    The most accurate distance measurement yet of ultra-diffuse galaxy (UDG) NGC1052-DF2 (DF2) confirms beyond any shadow of a doubt that it is lacking in dark matter. The newly measured distance of 22.1 +/-1.2 megaparsecs was obtained by an international team of researchers led by Zili Shen and Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University and Shany Danieli, a NASA Hubble Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study.

  • Study of young, chaotic star system reveals planet formation secrets
    on June 17, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    A team of scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to study the young star Elias 2-27 have confirmed that gravitational instabilities play a key role in planet formation, and have for the first time directly measured the mass of protoplanetary disks using gas velocity data, potentially unlocking one of the mysteries of planet formation. The results of the research are published today in two papers in The Astrophysical Journal.

  • Juno detects Jupiter’s highest-energy ions
    on June 17, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    Jupiter’s planetary radiation environment is the most intense in the solar system. NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been orbiting the planet closer than any previous mission since 2016, investigating its innermost radiation belts from a unique polar orbit. The spacecraft’s orbit has enabled the first complete latitudinal and longitudinal study of Jupiter’s radiation belts. Becker et al. leverage this capability to report the discovery of a new population of heavy, high-energy ions trapped at Jupiter’s midlatitudes.

  • EXPLAINER: The significance of China’s new space station
    on June 17, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Adding a crew to China’s new orbiting space station is another major advance for the burgeoning space power.

  • Astronauts install new rollout solar panels on International Space Station
    on June 17, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Astronauts Thomas Pesquet of France and Shane Kimbrough of the United States spacewalked outside the International Space Station on Wednesday as they began the painstaking process of installing new solar panels to boost the orbital outpost’s deteriorating power systems.

  • Rocket blasts off carrying first Chinese crew to new space station
    on June 17, 2021 at 8:29 am

    The first astronauts for China’s new space station blasted off Thursday for the country’s longest crewed mission to date, a landmark step in establishing Beijing as a major space power.

  • China’s ‘space dream’: A Long March to the Moon and beyond
    on June 17, 2021 at 8:28 am

    The liftoff of three astronauts for China’s new space station on Thursday marks a landmark step in its space ambitions, its longest crewed mission to date.

  • Study points to a seed black hole produced by a dark matter halo collapse
    on June 16, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Supermassive black holes, or SMBHs, are black holes with masses that are several million to billion times the mass of our sun. The Milky Way hosts an SMBH with mass a few million times the solar mass. Surprisingly, astrophysical observations show that SMBHs already existed when the universe was very young. For example, a billion solar mass black holes are found when the universe was just 6% of its current age, 13.7 billion years. How do these SMBHs in the early universe originate?

  • The give and take of mega-flares from stars
    on June 16, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    The long relationships between stars and the planets around them—including the Sun and the Earth—may be even more complex than previously thought. This is one conclusion of a new study involving thousands of stars using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

  • Computer trouble hits Hubble Space Telescope, science halted
    on June 16, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    The Hubble Space Telescope has been hit with computer trouble, with all astronomical viewing halted, NASA said Wednesday.

  • Space embrace: Astronauts and robots work together to service the ISS
    on June 16, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, according to one of the three laws of robotics imagined by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. On board humanity’s only outpost in space, this obedience has turned into cooperation. Astronauts and robots are working together.

  • Study investigates the behavior of magnetar SGR J1745–2900
    on June 16, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Using NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), Russian astronomers have investigated the behavior of a magnetar known as SGR J1745–2900 after its outburst in April 2013. Results of the study, published June 9 on, could be essential to better understand the nature of this magnetar.

  • Spacesuit problems prevent astronauts from completing job (Update)
    on June 16, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Spacesuit problems prevented astronauts from completing the installation Wednesday of powerful, new solar panels outside the International Space Station.

  • Mystery of Betelgeuse’s dip in brightness solved
    on June 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    When Betelgeuse, a bright orange star in the constellation of Orion, became visibly darker in late 2019 and early 2020, the astronomy community was puzzled. A team of astronomers have now published new images of the star’s surface, taken using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT), that clearly show how its brightness changed. The new research reveals that the star was partially concealed by a cloud of dust, a discovery that solves the mystery of the Great Dimming of Betelgeuse.

  • Why is everyone so obsessed with going to Mars? Here are some other worlds ripe for exploration
    on June 16, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Last month, China successfully landed and deployed the Zhurong rover on Mars, becoming the second country ever to set wheels on the surface of the red planet.

  • Space scientists solve a decades-long gamma-ray burst puzzle
    on June 16, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    An international team of scientists, led by astrophysicists from the University of Bath in the UK, has measured the magnetic field in a far-off Gamma-Ray Burst, confirming for the first time a decades-long theoretical prediction—that the magnetic field in these blast waves becomes scrambled after the ejected material crashes into, and shocks, the surrounding medium.

  • Total solar eclipses shine a light on the solar wind with help from NASA’s ACE mission
    on June 16, 2021 at 11:55 am

    From traversing sand dunes in the Sahara Desert to keeping watch for polar bears in the Arctic, a group of solar scientists known as the “Solar Wind Sherpas” led by Shadia Habbal, have traveled to the ends of the Earth to scientifically observe total solar eclipses—the fleeting moments when the Moon completely blocks the Sun, temporarily turning day into night. With the images, they’ve uncovered a surprising finding about the Sun’s wind and its wispy outer atmosphere—the corona—which is only visible in its entirety during an eclipse.

  • Rare triple galaxy merger with at least two supermassive black holes
    on June 16, 2021 at 11:09 am

    One of the best things about that universe is that there is so much to it. If you look hard enough, you can most likely find any combination of astronomical events happening. Not long ago, we reported on research that found seven separate instances of three galaxies colliding with one another. Now, a team led by Jonathan Williams of the University of Maryland has found another triple galaxy merging cluster, but this one might potentially have two active supermassive black holes, allowing astronomers to peer into the system dynamics of two of the universe’s most extreme objects running into one another.

  • China to launch first crew to new space station on Thursday
    on June 16, 2021 at 6:10 am

    Astronauts blasting off on Thursday for China’s first crewed mission to its new space station will have a choice of 120 different types of food and “space treadmills” for exercise, China’s space agency said.

  • Coronal mass ejections and cosmic ray observations at Syowa Station
    on June 15, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Solar activities, such as CME(Coronal Mass Ejection), cause geomagnetic storms that disturb the Earth’s magnetosphere. Geomagnetic storms can affect GPS positioning, radio communication, and power transmission system. Solar explosions also emit radiation, which can cause satellite failures, radiation exposure to aircraft crew, and space activity. Therefore, it is important to understand space weather phenomena and their impact on the Earth.

  • Observations detect a brown dwarf orbiting the star TOI–1278
    on June 15, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    An international team of astronomers reports the discovery of a companion to the M dwarf star known as TOI–1278. The newly found object turns out to be a brown dwarf nearly 20 times as massive as Jupiter. The finding is detailed in a paper published June 8 on the arXiv pre-print server.

  • Largest structures in the universe show clear light-shifted signal of rotation
    on June 15, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    By mapping the motion of galaxies in huge filaments that connect the cosmic web, astronomers at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), in collaboration with scientists in China and Estonia, have found that these long tendrils of galaxies spin on the scale of hundreds of millions of light years. A rotation on such enormous scales has never been seen before. The results published in Nature Astronomy signify that angular momentum can be generated on unprecedented scales.

  • Juice moves into Large Space Simulator
    on June 15, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer has moved into the “Large Space Simulator” at ESA’s test center, ready for grueling environmental tests at a range of temperatures.

  • China ready to launch first crew to new space station
    on June 15, 2021 at 8:24 am

    The first crew for China’s new space station prepared to blast off this week for the latest step in Beijing’s ambitious programme to establish itself as a space power.

  • First-of-its-kind study finds lightning impacts edge of space in ways not previously observed
    on June 14, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    Solar flares jetting out from the sun and thunderstorms generated on Earth impact the planet’s ionosphere in different ways, which have implications for the ability to conduct long range communications.

  • Dark matter is slowing the spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar
    on June 14, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    The spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar, which is made up of billions of clustered stars, has slowed by about a quarter since its formation, according to a new study by researchers at University College London (UCL) and the University of Oxford.

  • Boundary of heliosphere mapped for the first time
    on June 14, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    For the first time, the boundary of the heliosphere has been mapped, giving scientists a better understanding of how solar and interstellar winds interact.

  • Black holes help with star birth
    on June 14, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    Research combining systematic observations with cosmological simulations has found that, surprisingly, black holes can help certain galaxies form new stars. On scales of galaxies, the role of supermassive black holes for star formation had previously been seen as destructive—active black holes can strip galaxies of the gas that galaxies need to form new stars. The new results, published in the journal Nature, showcase situations where active black holes can, instead, “clear the way” for galaxies that orbit inside galaxy groups or clusters, keeping those galaxies from having their star formation disrupted as they fly through the surrounding intergalactic gas.