astronomy

October 15, 2019

Fancy a trip down a wormhole? We have never been quite sure whether these portals through space-time could exist long enough for anything to travel through. Now calculations suggest they could stick around for a while - perhaps as long as the universe itself.

October 10, 2019

Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the solar system's satellite king. Astronomers just discovered 20 previously unknown Saturn moons, boosting the ringed planet's tally of known satellites to 82 — three more than Jupiter. And there's more exciting news: You can help name these newfound objects.

October 09, 2019

A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into deep space.

October 07, 2019

Since the availability of material is key to star formation in a galaxy, knowing the rate at which it is added and lost is important to understanding how galaxies evolve over time. And as Michael Foley of Astrobites summarized, characterizing the rates at which material is added to galaxies is crucial to understanding the details of this "galactic fountain" model.

October 02, 2019

It was just this year that we got our first real look at a black hole, and it matched many of the theoretical predictions that came before the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project made history. An impressive new NASA simulation shows us what that black hole might look like if we were closer.

October 02, 2019

GJ 3512 b is a gas giant orbiting a tiny red dwarf, GJ 3512. The planet itself is in an eccentric, 204-day orbit around its star, but spends most of its time closer to its parent than Mercury is to Sol. GJ 3512, however, can only manage ~0.2 percent of our Sun’s solar output. But a planet the size of GJ 3512 b isn’t supposed to exist.

September 30, 2019

A rare trio of supermassive black holes has been caught in the act of coming together. Three of the light-gobbling monsters nuzzle shoulder to shoulder in SDSS J084905.51+111447.2, a system of three merging galaxies about 1 billion light-years from Earth, a new study reports.

September 25, 2019

It's a pulsar, named J0740+6620, and discrepancies in the timing of its pulses has allowed its mass to be calculated to 2.14 times that of the Sun, packed into a star just 30 kilometres (19 miles) across. To put that into perspective, the Sun has a diameter of 1.391 million km (~864,000 miles).

September 23, 2019

Try as we might, we just can’t prove Einstein wrong. One prediction of his theory of general relativity is that black holes are simple objects - and listening to them “ring” indicates this is true.

September 19, 2019

UCLA astronomers announced on September 11, 2019, that, last May, they caught the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy having an unusually large meal of interstellar gas and dust. They caught the feast on May 13 (although of course it happened some 25,000 years ago earlier, since the center of the galaxy is about 25,000 light-years away).

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