Extreme power of black hole revealed

Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and a suite of other telescopes to reveal one of the most powerful black holes known. The black hole has created enormous structures in the hot gas surrounding it and prevented trillions of stars from forming.

Herschel telescope detects water on dwarf planet

Scientists using the Herschel space observatory have made the first definitive detection of water vapor on the largest and roundest object in the asteroid belt, Ceres. Plumes of water vapor are thought to shoot up periodically from Ceres when portions of its icy surface warm slightly. Ceres is classified as a dwarf planet, a solar system body bigger than an asteroid and smaller than a planet.

Bright star reveals new exoplanet

By studying the star around which the planet revolves, they found that the star's rotation appears to be well-aligned with the planetary movement. The object can be well-studied because the star is relatively bright, it can be seen if strong binoculars are used.

NASA-funded sounding rocket to catch aurora in the act

On Jan. 24, 2014, Marilia Samara will be waiting for the perfect aurora. Samara and her science team will be at the Poker Flat Research Range in Poker Flat, Alaska, looking for classic curls in the aurora in the night sky – curls that look like cream swirling in a cup of coffee.

NASA's Mars 2020 Rover instrument proposals

NASA has received 58 proposals for science and exploration technology instruments to fly aboard the agency's next Mars rover in 2020, twice the usual number submitted for instrument competitions in the recent past, and an indicator of the extraordinary interest in exploration of the Red Planet.

Massive galaxy cluster verifies predictions of cosmological theory

By observing a high-speed component of a massive galaxy cluster, Caltech/JPL scientists and collaborators have detected for the first time in an individual object the kinetic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, a change in the cosmic microwave background caused by its interaction with massive moving objects.

Hubble looks at Messier 65 and its history

The first day of March 1780 was a particularly productive night for Charles Messier. Combing the constellation of Leo for additions to his grand astronomical catalog, he struck on not one, but two, new objects.

The most important alarm clock in the solar system

At 10:00 GMT on Monday, the most important alarm clock in the Solar System will wake up ESA’s sleeping Rosetta spacecraft.

Himiko and the Cosmic Dawn

The Subaru Telescope, an 8.2-meter telescope operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, has been combing the night sky since 1999. Located at the Mauna Kea Observatories in Hawaii, the telescope has been systematically surveying each degree of space, whether it looks promising or not, in search of objects worthy of further investigation.

Space station MAXI-mizing our understanding of the universe

Look up at the night sky ... do you see it? The stars of the cosmos bursting in magnificent explosions of death and rebirth! No? Well, then maybe you are not looking through the "eyes" of the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) investigation, mounted on the exterior of the International Space Station Kibo module.

First planet found around solar twin in star cluster

Astronomers have used ESO's HARPS planet hunter in Chile, along with other telescopes around the world, to discover three planets orbiting stars in the cluster Messier 67.

Mapping the stars of the Milky Way

With a final, modest, thruster burn yesterday afternoon, ESA’s billion-star surveyor finalised its entry into orbit around ‘L2’, a virtual point far out in space. But how do you orbit nothing? And who can show you how to get there, anyway?

Ladies and gentlemen, boot your robots!

Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., was the place to be late last month for an unusual two-day competition: the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials. But if you went expecting high-octane cars zooming around the track at blazing speed, you might have been disappointed.

Video: The floodwaters of Mars

Ten years ago, on 14 January 2004, Mars Express took its very first images of Mars in color and in 3D.

Size of the Universe measured to within one percent

The distance to a set of 1.2 million galaxies that are more than six billion light years away from Earth has been measured to an accuracy of one percent, scientists will announce during a press conference on Wednesday, 8 January 2014.

An astronaut's rhythm

Anyone who has flown long distances will be familiar with the jetlag that comes with travelling across time zones. Our body clocks need time to adjust to different daylight times as high-fliers and frequent travellers know all too well. But what about astronauts, the highest fliers of all? Do they suffer from rocket-lag?

Probing the interior of the Tarantula Nebula

Like lifting a giant veil, the near-infrared vision of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope uncovers a dazzling new view deep inside the Tarantula Nebula. Hubble reveals a glittering treasure trove of more than 800,000 stars and protostars embedded inside the nebula.

Hubble views stellar genesis in the Southern Pinwheel

A photogenic and favorite target for amateur astronomers, the full beauty of nearby barred spiral galaxy M83 is unveiled in all of its glory in this Hubble Space Telescope mosaic image. The vibrant magentas and blues reveal the galaxy is ablaze with star formation. The galaxy, also known as the Southern Pinwheel, lies 15 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra.

Mars Orbiter images rover and tracks in Gale Crater

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover and its recent tracks from driving in Gale Crater appear in an image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Dec. 11, 2013.

A galaxy with two hearts

This new Hubble image shows the spiral galaxy Messier 83, otherwise known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy. One of the largest and closest barred spirals to us, this galaxy is dramatic and mysterious; it has hosted a large number of supernova explosions, and is thought to have a double nucleus lurking at its core.