Latest light sources Stories
The holy grail of planetary astronomy is to find a solar system that mirrors our own. While a lot of effort has been placed on finding a planet with Earth-like properties – the right size, an atmosphere, the right temperature – of equal importance is the search for a Sun-like star.
The formation of planets of stars is still somewhat of a mystery to astronomers. While much progress has been made, particularly in the last few decades, there are still unanswered questions as to how the planetary building blocks form. But now, new research may be closing that knowledge gap.
In order to better understand what powers solar flares, NASA officials announced on Thursday that they were turning to the MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury in order to get a closer look at these intense bursts of radiation resulting from sunspot-related magnetic energy release.
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 12:20 p.m. EDT on July 8, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event.
Researchers have measured the highest levels of ultraviolet radiation ever recorded on the Earth's surface in the Bolivian Andes only 1,500 miles from the equator that are far above those normally considered to be harmful to both terrestrial and aquatic life.
A new “tsunami wave” generated by the sun has helped NASA scientists confirm that Voyager 1 is currently traveling through interstellar space, or the area between the stars that is filled with charged particles known as plasma, the US space agency reported on Monday.
An international team of astronomers using data from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray observatory has developed a powerful technique for analyzing supernova remnants, the expanding clouds of debris left behind when stars explode.
Observations of a Sun-like star through the Herschel Space observatory may have unlocked the mystery of meteorites in our own galaxy, according to European Space Agency (ESA) astronomers.
On June 27, 2013, NASA's newest solar observatory was launched into orbit around Earth. The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, observes the low level of the sun's atmosphere -- a constantly moving area called the interface region -- in better detail than has ever been done before.
Space appears to be an endless vacuum void of sound, but it’s not. Electric activity not visible to the naked eye emerges from asteroids drifting through space, and NASA is now in the process of sending astronauts to an asteroid to explore its electrical environment.
The prominent feature that allows for the existence of life on Earth is the Sun. Radiation from our closest star provides heat and energy to our planet, driving biological processes and providing the necessary conditions for liquid water to naturally exist. But our Sun is only but one star in this vast Universe. And as it turns out, most stars are quite different than the one that illuminates our day. For this reason, scientists have, for hundreds of years, attempted to study the other...
Supernova -- A supernova is a star that increases its brightness drastically within a matter of days, making it appear as if a "new" star was born (hence "nova"). The "super" prefix distinguishes it from a mere nova, which also involves a star increasing in brightness, though to a lesser extent and through a much different mechanism. Astronomers have classified supernovae in several classes, according to the lines of different elements that appear in their spectra. The first element...
The Sun -- intensely hot, self-luminous body of gases at the center of the solar system. Its gravitational attraction maintains the planets, comets, and other bodies of the solar system in their orbits. The sun is actually a star of about medium size; it appears larger than the other stars because of its relative nearness to the earth. The earth's distance from the sun varies from 91,377,000 mi (147,053,000 km) at perihelion to 94,537,000 mi (152,138,000 km) at aphelion (see apsis). The...
Crab Nebula -- The Crab Nebula (Messier 1, NGC 1952) is the object the which started Charles Messier logging non-cometary objects on his Messier Catalog. It is the expanding cloud of gas thrown off in the explosion that gave rise to the 1054 supernova recorded by Chinese astronomers, now more than 6 light years across (the nebula is currently expanding at 1000 km/sec and the total mass of ejected material is about 0.1 solar masses). The supernova which produced it was bright enough to...
- Monstrous in size or character; huge; prodigious; monstrously perverse, savage, cruel, etc.