Our sun is constantly changing. It goes through cycles of activity - swinging between times of relative calm and times when frequent explosions on its surface can fling light, particles and energy out into space. This activity cycle peaks approximately every 11 years. New research shows evidence of a shorter time cycle as well, with activity waxing and waning over the course of about 330 days.
Are the building blocks of life universal?
Astronomers have detected the presence of complex organic molecules, the building blocks of life, in a protoplanetary disc surrounding a young star named MWC 480. That means the conditions that spawned the Earth and Sun are not unique in the Universe.
If you are a star gazer, you just got to see a Blood Moon
eclipse and if you were thinking that also happened a short while ago, you are not wrong. The latest Blood Moon eclipse is part of a series of four that started on April 14th-15th
, 2014 and then again October 7th-8th.
Astronomers have determined the pre-explosion mass of a white dwarf star that blew up thousands of years ago and the measurement strongly suggests the explosion involved only a single white dwarf, ruling out a well-established alternative scenario involving a pair of merging white dwarfs.
A set of enigmatic quasar ghosts mark the graves of these objects that flickered to life and then faded.
8 unusual looped structures orbit their host galaxies and glow in a bright and eerie goblin-green hue. The ethereal wisps in these images were illuminated, perhaps briefly, by a blast of radiation from a quasar - a very luminous and compact region that surrounds a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy - and Hubble was there to catch it.
The first object of this type was found in 2007 by Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel participating in the Galaxy Zoo project, which catalogs the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The bizarre feature was dubbed Hanny's Voorwerp (Dutch for Hanny's object).
Cosmologists may have discovered what could be the precursors of the vast clusters of galaxies that we see today. Galaxies like our Milky Way, with its 100 billion stars, are usually not found in isolation. 13.8 billion years after the Big Bang, many are in dense clusters of tens, hundreds or even thousands of galaxies.
The study of fluids in motion – now known as hydrodynamics – goes back to the Egyptians so it has been involved in a lot of experiments but now it has provided something new; experimental evidence that stars may generate...sound.
Dark matter is an umbrella term for matter that no one has directly detected but must be out there or physics at the very large scale makes even less sense than it makes now. Since it does not reflect, absorb or emit light, it is invisible, so whatever it 'is' is only known to exist via its gravitational effects on matter as we know it.
We may have Jupiter to thank for our unusual solar system.
Before the inner planets we now call Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars formed, a great inward-and-then-outward journey that Jupiter made early in the solar system's history may have torn apart a number of super-Earths - planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune - and caused their giant remnants to fall into the sun billions of years ago.
One of astronomy's big questions is why galaxies forming as recently as 1 billion years after the Big Bang contain so much dust. The leading hypothesis is that supernovae, stars that explode at the end of their lives, contain large amounts of metal-enriched material that, in turn, harbors key ingredients of dust, like silicon, iron and carbon.