A head-on collision between the Milky Way and a smaller body dubbed the “Sausage” galaxy eight to 10 billion years ago had a profound effect on the structure and evolution of Earth’s home in space, astronomers say.
The origins of high-energy cosmic rays are difficult to trace because of the effects of magnetic fields, but data from NASA’s NuSTAR X-ray telescope indicates the massive binary star Eta Carinae is one likely source.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is now in an orbit around the asteroid Ceres that carries it as close as 35 kilometres (22 miles), giving researchers a bird’s eye view of enigmatic Occator Crater and its famously bright deposits of sodium carbonate.
Astronomers have managed to spot a new planet in the process of forming in a dusty disk surrounding a hot young star. It is the first definitive observation of its kind, opening a new window in exoplanet research.
Supernova 1987A is one of the most studied stellar explosions in history and more than 30 years after the blast, astronomers have detected a magnetic field 50,000 times weaker than a refrigerator magnet.