The face-on spiral galaxy M83, a favourite target for amateurs, reveals rampant star formation in thousands of blazing young clusters in this image by the Hubble Space Telescope that also features scores of supernova remnants.
The start of July finds magnitude -2.3 Jupiter almost two months past opposition and highest in the southern sky around 30 minutes before sunset for observers in the British Isles. The solar system’s largest planet may be past its best, but there still plenty of Jovian events visible from the UK.
An independent review board has recommended, with NASA concurrence, a 10-month delay for launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, to March 2021, to allow time to address a host of technical and managerial issues.
The cigar-shaped ‘Oumuamua, now sailing out of the Solar System after crossing the gulfs of interstellar space and looping past the Sun, has gained speed slightly, indicating it is a comet, not an asteroid as originally believed.
Amateur astronomers the world over routinely use the Messier catalog as a guide to deep space targets visible in relatively small telescopes. The Hubble Space Telescope provides an altogether different experience.
Supercomputer simulations show star clusters, regardless of size, form in the same way, starting with a dense cloud of interstellar gas and shaped over several million years by gravity, turbulence and radiation pressure
The Hubble Space Telescope routinely snaps breath-taking views of densely packed globular clusters, but astronomers don’t yet understand the role these vast assemblies might have played in the Milky Way’s evolution.
Astronomers and astrobiologists are working to understand what lines of evidence will be needed to confirm the presence of life on an exoplanet, how to collect that evidence and how to avoid being misled.
In a dress-rehearsal of sorts for NASA’s next planet-hunting satellite, researchers sifting through recent observations by NASA’s ageing Kepler space telescope have identified nearly 80 new candidate exoplanets.