A new diagram might link the diverse visible-light characteristics of quasars to two physical properties — essentially, their accretion rate and orientation. If the analysis holds up, it could point the way toward a long-sought unification.
Astronomers have mapped the cosmic watershed and discovered a massive supercluster that extends more than 500 million light-years and contains 100,000 large galaxies. The Milky Way sits on the edge of this humongous structure.
Astronomers are tracking down the seeds that likely grew to become today’s most massive elliptical galaxies.
A new measurement could be the farthest back in time astronomers have ever reached when measuring a black hole’s spin.
Astronomers might have found a star that was infected by the explosive death of one of the universe’s first stars.
Astronomers have detected a star in pre-explosion images of the peculiar supernova 2012Z. The detection is the first discovery of a potential progenitor for the oddball class of stellar explosions dubbed Type Iax.
Astronomers have detected gamma-ray emission from three classical novae, an unexpected discovery that has left them perplexed.
A cluster of detections in the Northern Hemisphere sky might point to a source for the most energetic particles bombarding Earth's atmosphere.
A new analysis confirms that an exoplanet thought to orbit in the habitable zone of the star Gliese 581 actually doesn’t exist.
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko only woke briefly before starting another nap, expected on-again-off-again behavior that bodes well for the comet-chasing spacecraft's arrival in August 2014.
Fleeting radar features in a sea in Titan’s northern hemisphere are a tantalizing possibility of seasonal changes.
New analyses suggest that observations heralded as evidence for the universe’s brief growth spurt don’t conclusively show what researchers thought they did.
The Rosetta spacecraft took these images of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko as it approaches the nucleus. It'll launch its lander, Philae, in November onto the nucleus's surface.
The ESA's Planck mission has released one of the most detailed maps of the Milky Way's magnetic field.
Researchers with an experiment based at the South Pole have discovered the long-sought "smoking gun" for inflation. The signal was hidden in polarization patterns in the cosmic microwave background and confirms physicists' audacious theory of how the Big Bang happened.
X-ray observations and cosmic coincidence unveil the details of a distant supermassive black hole. The result could be a first step in expanding our understanding of how black holes have beefed themselves up over the last several billion years.
A stellar-mass black hole in the iconic galaxy M83 seems to have kept eating long after it should have stopped. If true, the discovery could have implications for how much black holes can affect their environments.
Two teams have independently pinpointed the same key player in postponing the growth of the universe’s smaller galaxies.
Astronomers have counted up the number of galaxy clusters in the cosmos and found a problem: the number is much lower than they expected. What's going on?
Evidence from observations and computer simulations supports a picture of galaxy growth that isn't dominated by the rough-and-tumble crashes of big galaxies. Instead, most of the universe's stellar metropolises appear to feed themselves with nibbles instead of feasts.
Astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope to peek into the universe's early eras using the light from galaxies that existed several hundred million years after the Big Bang.
Imagine a three-star system with two white dwarfs and a wildly spinning, superdense neutron star, all packed within a space no bigger than Earth's orbit.
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.
New Hubble Space Telescope observations provide the best evidence yet that Jupiter's icy moon spits out water vapor from its surface. If real, such plumes could reach more than 100 miles above the little world's surface and rain down an extraterrestrial form of snow.
Strange emission from a distant galaxy paints an enigmatic picture of what’s happening inside its core. One solution: instead of one supermassive black hole, the galaxy hosts two trapped in a tight dance around each other.