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Astronomy: April 2021



The luminous heart of the galaxy M61 dominates this image, framed by its winding spiral arms threaded with dark tendrils of dust.


A serendipitous discovery by citizen scientists has provided a unique new window into the diverse environments that produce stars and star clusters, revealing the presence of "stellar nurseries" before infant stars emerge from their birth clouds, according to Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Grace Wolf-Chase.


With the help of machine-learning techniques, a team of astronomers has discovered a dozen quasars that have been warped by a naturally occurring cosmic "lens" and split into four similar images.


A global science collaboration using data from NASA's Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) telescope on the International Space Station has discovered X-ray surges accompanying radio bursts from the pulsar in the Crab Nebula.


Using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists have identified the three fastest-spinning brown dwarfs ever found.


The universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, and while no one is sure why, researchers with the Dark Energy Survey (DES) at least had a strategy for figuring it out: They would combine measurements of the distribution of matter, galaxies and galaxy clusters to better understand what's going on.


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is "seeing double." Peering back 10 billion years into the universe's past, Hubble astronomers found a pair of quasars that are so close to each other they look like a single object in ground-based telescopic photos, but not in Hubble's crisp view.