Planets

Astronomers Confirm Orbital Details of TRAPPIST-1’s Least Understood Planet

cientists using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope identified a regular pattern in the orbits of the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system that confirmed suspected details about the orbit of its outermost and least understood planet, TRAPPIST-1h. TRAPPIST-1 is only eight percent the mass of our sun, making it a cooler and less luminous star. It’s home Read More

Planets

X-ray Telescopes Find Evidence for Wandering Black Hole

Astronomers have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory to discover an extremely luminous, variable X-ray source located outside the center of its parent galaxy. This peculiar object could be a wandering black hole that came from a small galaxy falling into a larger one. Astronomers think that supermassive black holes, with Read More

Planets

Studies Find Echoes of Black Holes Eating Stars

Supermassive black holes, with their immense gravitational pull, are notoriously good at clearing out their immediate surroundings by eating nearby objects. When a star passes within a certain distance of a black hole, the stellar material gets stretched and compressed — or “spaghettified” — as the black hole swallows it. A black hole destroying a Read More

Planets

Hubble Reveals Observable Universe Contains 10 Times More Galaxies Than Previously Thought

The universe suddenly looks a lot more crowded, thanks to a deep-sky census assembled from surveys taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories. Astronomers came to the surprising conclusion that there are at least 10 times more galaxies in the observable universe than previously thought. The results have clear implications for galaxy formation, Read More

Planets

Young Magnetar Likely the Slowest Pulsar Ever Detected

Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other X-ray observatories, astronomers have found evidence for what is likely one of the most extreme pulsars, or rotating neutron stars, ever detected. The source exhibits properties of a highly magnetized neutron star, or magnetar, yet its deduced spin period is thousands of times longer than any pulsar ever Read More

Planets

Vulcan may not be real, but Spock’s home system is

From NASA: The fictional planet Vulcan is set in the real star system 40 Eridani. 40 Eridani is a trinary star system made up of three dwarf stars. The orange and blue X’s in the visualization above indicate the barycenters, or the gravitational centers around which the stars orbit. Click 40 Eridani B or 40 Read More

Planets

Hubble Sees a Legion of Galaxies

Peering deep into the early universe, this picturesque parallel field observation from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals thousands of colorful galaxies swimming in the inky blackness of space. A few foreground stars from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, are also visible. In October 2013 Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Advanced Camera Read More