Recently in the astrophysics Category


Researchers from the University of Zurich have simulated the formation of our entire Universe with a large supercomputer.

Measuring a White Dwarf's Mass

Astronomers have used the sharp vision of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to repeat a century-old test of Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Axions are particles whose hypothetical existence was introduced in 1977 by Roberto Peccei and Helen Quinn.

A team led by Roberto Mignani from INAF Milan (Italy) and from the University of Zielona Gora (Poland), used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile to observe the neutron star RX J1856.5-3754, about 400 light-years from Earth.

Astronomers have found a pair of extraordinary cosmic objects that dramatically burst in X-rays. This discovery, obtained with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton observatory, may represent a new class of explosive events found in space.

In an effort to fill in the blanks of the Standard Model of particle physics, science has been conducting a diligent search for a hypothesized particle known as the "sterile neutrino."

ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission has demonstrated the technology needed to build a space-based gravitational wave observatory.

Nearly 10 billion years ago in a galaxy known as PKS B1424-418, a dramatic explosion occurred.

France's Microscope satellite, carrying a set of ESA high-tech thrusters, lifted off last night from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, taking advantage of the same Soyuz launch that took the EU's Sentinel-1B into orbit.

New Look at the Very High Energy Sky

HAWC observations show that a previously known gamma ray source in the Milky Way galaxy, TeV J1930+188, which is probably due to a pulsar wind nebula, is far more complicated than originally thought.

The recent detection of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) came from two black holes, each about 30 times the mass of our sun, merging into one.

Gravitational Waves Detected

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe.

What is the Universe Made Of?

Matter known as ordinary, which makes up everything we know, corresponds to only 5% of the Universe.

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), brief yet brilliant eruptions of cosmic radio waves from the distant universe, have baffled astronomers since they were first reported nearly a decade ago.

ESA's LISA To Test Gravity

ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission is a technology demonstrator that will pave the way for future spaceborne gravitational-wave observatories.

A team of astronomers working at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics have discovered, using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope, an extremely rare galaxy of gigantic size.

How small can a droplet shrink and remain a liquid?

A research group led by Aya Higuchi, a researcher at Ibaraki University, conducted observations of the massive-star forming region IRAS 16547-4247 with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

By combining observations of the distant Universe made with ESA's Herschel and Planck space observatories, cosmologists have discovered what could be the precursors of the vast clusters of galaxies that we see today.

Using the world's largest radio telescope, two astronomers from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia have detected the faint signal emitted by atomic hydrogen gas in galaxies three billion light years from Earth, breaking the previous record distance by 500 million light years. Their results appear in a paper published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The mystery about a thin, bizarre object in the center of the Milky Way headed toward our galaxy's enormous black hole has been solved by UCLA astronomers using the W. M. Keck Observatory, home of the two largest telescopes on Earth.

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a rapid-fire "storm" of high-energy blasts from a highly magnetized neutron star, also called a magnetar, on Jan. 22, 2009.

A mysterious X-ray signal has been found in a detailed study of galaxy clusters using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton. One intriguing possibility is that the X-rays are produced by the decay of sterile neutrinos, a type of particle that has been proposed as a candidate for dark matter.

Our Galaxy's magnetic field is revealed in a new image from ESA's Planck satellite. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of 'polarised' light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.

Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of our best telescopes. All this, of course, was just theory.

A Black Widow Pulsar Consumes its Mate

Black widow spiders and their Australian cousins, known as redbacks, are notorious for an unsettling tendency to kill and devour their male partners. Astronomers have noted similar behavior among two rare breeds of binary system that contain rapidly spinning neutron stars, also known as pulsars.

The 64th and final foundation for the MeerKAT telescope antenna was poured yesterday (Tuesday, February 11th, 2014) at South Africa's SKA site in the Karoo.

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Europe's Herschel Space Observatory have pieced together the evolutionary sequence of compact elliptical galaxies that erupted and burned out early in the history of the universe.

QSO 0957+561: Hubble's Double Take

In this new Hubble image two objects are clearly visible, shining brightly. When they were first discovered in 1979, they were thought to be separate objects -- however, astronomers soon realized that these twins are a little too identical!

A newly discovered system of two white dwarf stars and a superdense pulsar-all packed within a space smaller than the Earth's orbit around the sun-is enabling astronomers to probe a range of cosmic mysteries, including the very nature of gravity itself.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole was the first to discover ultrahigh-energy neutrinos which most likely were the result of cosmic acceleration in outer space.

On April 27, a blast of light from a dying star in a distant galaxy became the focus of astronomers around the world. The explosion, known as a gamma-ray burst and designated GRB 130427A, tops the charts as one of the brightest ever seen.

The Galactic Mosh Pit

Astronomers have discovered that our Galaxy wobbles. An international team of astronomers around Mary Williams from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) detected and examined this phenomenon with the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE), a survey of almost half a million stars around the Sun.

Searching for New Physics in the Universe

No one knows for sure, but it is not unlikely that the universe is constructed in a completely different way than the usual theories and models of today predict.

After nine days of intensive discussions, nearly 700 particle physicists from about 100 universities and laboratories concluded nine months of work with a unified framework for unmasking the hidden secrets of matter, energy, space and time during the next two decades.

Last June, attendees at the Neutrino 2012 international conference heard about two rare events observed by the IceCube neutrino telescope. Science-trained eyes immediately classified them as something they had never seen before.