A radioactive element produced near the heart of collapsing stars hints at the mechanism behind Cassiopeia A’s supernova explosion.
Astronomers have discovered the purest star to date. Composed almost exclusively of hydrogen and helium — with 15 million times less iron than our Sun — it illuminates what happened among the first supernovae in the early universe.
Astronomers have discovered a new “failed star” with unusually red, dusty skies. The dust makes the object look much younger than it actually is, complicating studies of this type of brown dwarf.
Astronomers have found a size gap between stars that fuse hydrogen in their cores and so-called failed stars, which never muster the ability to sustain fusion. This boundary could help observers precisely identify the smallest stellar citizens.
The gossamer veil of reflective dust surrounding the star RS Puppis reflects its flickering light in a fantastic display.
Astronomers have identified a molecule containing the noble gas argon in the Crab Nebula. It's the first such molecule detected in space and confirms predictions of where a certain argon isotope is created in the cosmos.
A complex of three bright, star-forming clumps called Himiko is merging in the early universe. With its light reaching us from when the universe was only 800 million years old, this primordial galaxy could yield insight into the elusive process of early galaxy formation.
A few whirling neutron stars might get their start as very different objects, at least if a new analysis is correct.
Astronomers have revealed a supposedly monster black hole to be rather ordinary in size.
Observations of one of the most powerful supernovas ever recorded suggest that the standard model for gamma-ray bursts might be missing a piece of the puzzle.
Explore a supernova remnant with this fun interactive simulation, created from detailed space- and ground-based observations in multiple wavelengths.
Observers have found an object floating in Capricornus, far from any star, that appears to be a free-floating planet with six times the mass of Jupiter.
Turns out “the lonely star of autumn” has not just one, but two distant companions, making it one of the most widely separated systems known.
Astronomers have discovered a neutron star that switches between X-ray and radio emission within a few days. The find is fabulous news for theorists, who have long predicted that the two pulsar types were connected.
Scientists sneaked a peek into the Sun’s interior, but what they saw contradicts the assumptions made by models predicting solar activity.
New studies of the coolest brown dwarfs are helping astronomers explore the mysterious objects that bridge the gap between stars and planets.
Observations of two solar twins — one old and one young — confirm that the Sun has probably destroyed the fragile element as the star has grown older.
Observing the pattern of flickers in a star’s light offers a new way for astronomers to measure one of the basic properties of stars — and any exoplanets they might host.
Astronomers have detected a signal that looks like it's from two neutron stars crashing together. The observations could be solid evidence for the hypothesized culprits of short gamma-ray bursts.
Scientists are struggling to explain the Sun’s bizarre recent behavior. Is it a fluke, or a sign of a deeper trend?
Astronomers at the American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division meeting discussed new evidence that magnetic waves are the reason our star's corona is blazing hot.
Space-based observations of RR Lyrae variable stars, once considered the paragon of simplicity, are revealing turmoil in their daily vibrations.
These stellar corpses have many faces, from pulsars to magnetars. New models provide evidence for unifying these disparate objects under one theory.
Dusty disks that encircle young stars sometimes host giant gaps. But a new study shows these gaps aren't necessarily the signature of a nearby planet.
Four powerful radio bursts have left astronomers scratching their heads. The bursts appear to come from several billion light-years away and could provide a whole new look at the universe — but observers aren't sure what they are.