The agency awarded a sole source contract extension to the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy for continued Hubble science operations support at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
Hubble reveals stellar fireworks in 'skyrocket' galaxy 28 June 2016, 8:15 pm A new Hubble Space Telescope image shows a firestorm of star birth lighting up one end of the diminutive galaxy Kiso 5639. The dwarf galaxy is shaped like a flattened pancake, but because it is tilted edge-on, it resembles a skyrocket, with a brilliant blazing head and a long, star-studded tail. Kiso 5639 is a member of a class of galaxies called "tadpoles" because of their bright heads and elongated tails. This galaxy resides relatively nearby, at 82 million light-years away. Tadpoles are rare in the local universe but more common in the distant cosmos, suggesting that many galaxies pass through a phase like this as they evolve.
Rotating ring of complex organic molecules discovered around newborn star: Chemical diversity in planet forming regions unveiled 28 June 2016, 1:24 pm Researchers have discovered a rotating ring containing large organic molecules around a protostar. This observation definitively shows that organic materials formed in interstellar space are brought into the planet-forming region. Researchers also found that the molecular species brought into the planet-forming region vary from one protostar to another. Chemical composition is a new way to answer the long-standing question of whether or not the Solar System is a typical example of a planetary system.
Clandestine black hole may represent new population 28 June 2016, 1:22 pm Astronomers have concluded that a peculiar source of radio waves thought to be a distant galaxy is actually a nearby binary star system containing a low-mass star and a black hole. This identification suggests there may be a vast number of black holes in our Galaxy that have gone unnoticed until now.
Minor mergers are major drivers of star formation 28 June 2016, 3:46 am Around half of the star formation in the local Universe arises from minor mergers between galaxies, according to data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The patch of sky called Stripe 82 is observed repeatedly to produce high-quality images of spiral galaxies. Disruptions to the shapes of these galaxies, caused by interactions with their smallest neighbors, pointed to increased star formation.
Meet RobERt, the dreaming detective for exoplanet atmospheres 28 June 2016, 3:46 am Machine-learning techniques that mimic human recognition and dreaming processes are being deployed in the search for habitable worlds beyond our solar system. A deep belief neural network, called RobERt (Robotic Exoplanet Recognition), has been developed by astronomers to sift through detections of light emanating from distant planetary systems and retrieve spectral information about the gases present in the exoplanet atmospheres.
When it comes to brown dwarfs, 'how far?' is a key question 27 June 2016, 6:51 pm Brown dwarfs are sometimes called failed stars. They're stars' dim, low-mass siblings and they fade in brightness over time. They're fascinating to astronomers for a variety of reasons, but much about them remains unknown. New work reports the distances of a number of brown dwarfs, as well as low-mass stars.
Glorious, glowing Jupiter awaits Juno’s arrival 27 June 2016, 3:59 pm Stunning new images and the highest-resolution maps to date of Jupiter at thermal infrared wavelengths give a glowing view of Juno's target, a week ahead of the NASA mission's arrival at the giant planet. The maps reveal the present-day temperatures, composition and cloud coverage within Jupiter's dynamic atmosphere, and show how giant storms, vortices and wave patterns shape the appearance of the giant planet.
Opal discovered in Antarctic meteorite 27 June 2016, 3:59 pm Planetary scientists have discovered pieces of opal in a meteorite found in Antarctica, a result that demonstrates that meteorites delivered water ice to asteroids early in the history of the solar system.