Astronomers don’t understand how the galaxy’s most massive stars form, but a new simulation sheds light on the process of stellar birth.
Stellar streams are the remains of dwarf galaxies that once orbited the Milky Way. We showcase here stunning images of these galactic ghosts.
Astronomers have observed the motion of distant star clusters to measure our galaxy’s mass. The new estimate places the Milky Way in the lightweight class of galaxies.
Every now and then, the Milky Way’s central, supermassive black hole tears apart a star and flings away some of its innards. Now astronomers think they know how to spot these cosmic spitballs.
The Chandra X-ray Observatory has gazed at a small patch of sky for almost 12 weeks, revealing 1,008 X-ray-emitting sources — most of them supermassive black holes.
An incredible blaze of light discovered more than a year ago still has astronomers baffled as to its cause - and the answer may be contrary to recent headlines.
Scientists have been looking for decades to confirm a weird quantum effect first predicted in 1936. Have they finally found hard evidence for it?
Asteroseismologists delving into the Kepler mission's data trove have found a star that appears to be more spherical than any natural object.
Three teams of astronomers used the SPHERE instrument on the Very Large Telescope to image protoplanetary disks around nearby stars and catch planet formation in action.
Astronomers have spotted a supermassive black hole in a stripped-down galaxy racing away from a near-fatal close encounter in the center of a galaxy cluster.
Astronomers have imaged a third star embedded in the spiral disk around a pair of baby stars, the first direct evidence of a process of star formation known as disk fragmentation.
Astronomers have mapped neutral atomic hydrogen, which profuses the space between stars, in unprecedented detail to create a beautiful radio-wavelength portrait of the Milky Way.
Two sources tens of millions of light-years away have sent puzzling X-ray flares blazing our way. Now astronomers think they might have the answer: intermediate-mass black holes.
A young pair of stars hosts three potentially planet-forming disks, and all three of them are wildly tilted with respect to each other.
ALMA, the largest telescope array in the world, took a look at the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, and revealed the cosmic history of star formation.
New observations suggest this unstable star let off some steam before its famous 19th century “Great Eruption” . . . but there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
Astronomers have caught a galaxy cluster in the prime of its life — perhaps just before it transitions to retirement.
Dust and gas between stars would pose a threat to spacecraft en route from Earth to the Alpha Centauri system — and scientists are seriously considering the problem now that the prospect of interstellar travel is no longer sci-fi.
A new study on KIC 8462852, the star of alien megastructure fame, finds yearlong trends that effectively rule out the one working theory astronomers had to explain this strange star.
The Antarctic observatory known as IceCube has ruled out the existence of a fourth type of neutrino particle — and one-time dark matter contender — known as the light sterile neutrino.
An underground detector reports zero detections of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), the top candidate for mysterious dark matter.
New observations solve a 30-year-old puzzle of mysterious signals from around black holes.
In its first — and final — month of flight, the Hitomi X-ray observatory measured the calm within the bubbling core of the Perseus Cluster.
A recent glut of exoplanet research reveals the early chaos that helped shape planetary systems.
The discovery of a chiral molecule in space has the potential to sort out one of the biggest mysteries in the chemistry of life.