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.
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.
More than a decade of observations shows any planets orbiting the two main stars in the nearby Alpha Centauri system are not being blasted by dangerous levels of radiation that would be hostile to life.
Data collected by NASA’s New Horizons probe and ESA’s Rosetta mission suggest Pluto might have formed from the accretion of a billion or so smaller bodies similar to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and other Kuiper Belt objects.
Computer simulations show how some of Saturn’s small inner moons might have acquired their unique pasta-like shapes thanks to low-velocity near head-on impacts of smaller bodies in the presence of extremely strong tidal forces.
A postcard from Cassini – a stunning edge-on view of Saturn, its rings, their shadow and three moons, captured by the orbiter in 2006 as it passed within about 2.7 million kilometres (1.7 million miles) of the sixth planet.
The European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft collected proper motion data for several million stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way, allowing astronomers to visualize its rotation in a unique fingerprint-like pattern.
For the first time, the Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the surviving companion of a star that exploded in a supernova blast 17 years ago, evidence that supernovas can originate in binary star systems.
Many, if not all, large galaxies host supermassive black holes, including the Milky Way. A new study predicts such galaxies likely host more than one, far from the galactic core, the result of earlier mergers.
Australian astronomers are in the process of collecting the spectra of a million stars across the Milky Way in a project to study galactic evolution. In the process, they hope to track down at least some of the sun’s lost siblings.