Surface impressions of Rosetta’s comet 25 July 2014, 12:00 pm One of the most striking features of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is currently found in the comet’s neck region where it seems to be brighter than the rest of the nucleus.
Fermi finds a “transformer” pulsar 23 July 2014, 12:00 pm An exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed — the pulsar's radio beacon vanished while at the same time the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays.
Glow in space is evidence of a hot bubble in our galaxy 28 July 2014, 3:44 pm A recent study shows that the emission is dominated by the local hot bubble of gas -- 1 million degrees -- with, at most, 40 percent of emission originating within the solar system. The findings should put to rest the disagreement about the origin of the X-ray emission and confirm the existence of the local hot bubble.
New mass map of distant galaxy cluster is most precise yet 24 July 2014, 4:42 pm Astronomers have mapped the mass within a galaxy cluster more precisely than ever before. Created using observations from Hubble's Frontier Fields observing program, the map shows the amount and distribution of mass within MCS J0416.1-2403, a massive galaxy cluster found to be 160 trillion times the mass of the Sun.
Voyager spacecraft might not have reached interstellar space 23 July 2014, 5:41 pm In 2012, the Voyager mission team announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft had passed into interstellar space, traveling further from Earth than any other humanmade object. But, in the nearly two years since that historic announcement, and despite subsequent observations backing it up, uncertainty about whether Voyager 1 really crossed the threshold continues.
New approach in search for extraterrestrial intelligence: Target alien polluters 23 July 2014, 5:12 pm Humanity is on the threshold of being able to detect signs of alien life on other worlds. By studying exoplanet atmospheres, we can look for gases like oxygen and methane that only coexist if replenished by life. But those gases come from simple life forms like microbes. What about advanced civilizations? Would they leave any detectable signs? They might, if they spew industrial pollution into the atmosphere.
Lives and deaths of sibling stars 23 July 2014, 5:09 pm In a new image from ESO, young stars huddle together against clouds of glowing gas and lanes of dust. The star cluster, NGC 3293, would have been just a cloud of gas and dust itself about ten million years ago, but as stars began to form it became the bright group of stars we see here. Clusters like this are laboratories that allow astronomers to learn about how stars evolve.
Satellite galaxies put astronomers in a spin 23 July 2014, 5:08 pm Astronomers have studied 380 galaxies and shown that their small satellite galaxies almost always move in rotating discs. However, such satellite galaxy discs are not predicted by current models of the formation of structures in the Universe. This discovery could cause modelers serious headaches in the years ahead.
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory celebrates 15th anniversary 22 July 2014, 6:48 pm Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision.
NASA's Fermi finds a 'transformer' pulsar 22 July 2014, 6:04 pm In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at the same time the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, according to measurements by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.