Category: astronomy

Amateur Astronomy Gains Fans Who Bond Through Their Shared Love of the Starry Night

One evening, viewers of a virtual “star party” hosted from central Illinois got a glimpse of their host’s passion for the night sky when the patterned group of stars known as the constellation Orion the Hunter came into view. The regular Friday night gatherings of amateur astronomers observing celestial objects are hosted by Dr. John…


Gluttonous Cosmic ‘Black Widow’ Is Heaviest-Known Neutron Star

WASHINGTON—Astronomers have observed the most massive known example of an object called a neutron star, one classified as a “black widow” that got particularly hefty by gobbling up most of the mass of a stellar companion trapped in an unhappy cosmic marriage. The researchers said the neutron star, wildly spinning at 707 times per second,…


Space Scientists Map 4.4 Million Galaxies by Scanning Over a Quarter of the World’s Northern Skies

British scientists have created a map of 4.4 million galaxies by scanning more than a quarter of the world’s northern skies. They are revealed in astonishing detail—providing spectacular images of our universe. Most are billions of light-years away. They harbor massive black holes and rapidly growing new stars. In rare cases, two separate groups are…


Look Up! How Our Connections to the Stars and Nature Benefit Our Past, Present, and Future

With modern technology all around us, we often forget about the cycles of nature and the cosmos that our ancestors always relied on. But our health, knowledge, culture, and future are still impacted by our connection to the sun, moon, planets, and beyond. As humans, we’ve always looked up to the stars, to the planets,…


Nearby Planetary System May Have the Right Conditions to Host Life

Astronomers researched a planetary system only 35 light-years away that contains rocky exoplanets, and they found that it may have a planet in the habitable zone, the area around a star where conditions are suitable for liquid water to exist. Using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, a team of astronomers studied…


Man Takes Up Astronomy in Lockdown; Now Clicks Amazing Photos of Space From His Back Garden

A man who was inspired by his 6-year-old son to buy a telescope during the lockdown is now snapping mesmerizing photos of space from his back garden. Ian Phillips, 45, from Worle, North Somerset, took up astrophotography in October 2021. Ian’s son William asked for a telescope for his birthday after reading his favorite book, “There’s a…


First Polarized Image of Black Hole Hints at Its Magnetic Field Structure

Astronomers from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration have produced the first-ever polarized picture of a black hole. In 2019, the same team obtained the first-ever image of a black hole. Both images were taken of the same object in the center of the M87 galaxy. The 2019 image, which shows a bright ring-like structure…


Supermassive Black Holes May Form From Dark Matter, Study Suggests

Supermassive black holes are exotic astrophysical objects harbored at the centers of galaxies. Their masses can reach 1 million to 1 billion times larger than our sun, and their gravitational force is so strong that even light cannot escape; hence the name “black” holes. Dark matter is a mysterious form of matter that lurks in…


New Evidence Defies Theory of Galactic Evolution in Early Universe

A recent observation has challenged the current theory about the way galaxies formed in the early days of the universe. Many cosmologists believe that the universe began with a Big Bang. Therefore, galaxies forming in the early universe could experience very chaotic physical processes, which made them appear disordered. However, the new study has cast…


Giant Gamma-Ray Eruption Bursts From Nearby Magnetar

Our universe is not as peaceful as what we see in the night sky. Eruptions or catastrophes can happen anywhere at any second. This time, astronomers may have detected a giant gamma-ray flare from a nearby magnetar. A magnetar is a rapidly spinning type of neutron star, which is the remains of a star that…