Astronomers find solar storms behave like supernovae

Researchers at UCL have studied the behaviour of the Sun's coronal mass ejections, explaining for the first time the details of how these huge eruptions behave as they fall back onto the Sun’s surface. In the process, they have discovered that coronal mass ejections have a surprising twin in the depths of space: the tendrils of gas in the Crab Nebula, which lie 6500 light-years away and are millions of times larger.

Astronomers solve temperature mystery of planetary atmospheres

An atmospheric peculiarity the Earth shares with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is likely common to billions of planets, University of Washington astronomers have found, and knowing that may help in the search for potentially habitable worlds.

Astronomers discover planet that shouldn't be there

An international team of astronomers, led by a University of Arizona graduate student, has discovered the most distantly orbiting planet found to date around a single, sun-like star. It is the first exoplanet – a planet outside of our solar system – discovered at the UA.

Astronomers reveal contents of mysterious black hole jets

An international team of astronomers has answered a long standing question about the enigmatic jets emitted by black holes, in research published today in prestigious journal Nature. Jets are narrow beams of matter spat out at high speed from near a central object, like a black hole.

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

NASA's Kepler spacecraft, now crippled and its four-year mission at an end, nevertheless provided enough data to complete its mission objective: to determine how many of the 100 billion stars in our galaxy have potentially habitable planets.

Mystery world baffles astronomers

Kepler-78b is a planet that shouldn't exist. This scorching lava world circles its star every eight and a half hours at a distance of less than one million miles - one of the tightest known orbits. According to current theories of planet formation, it couldn't have formed so close to its star, nor could it have moved there.

Astronomers Uncover a 'Transformer' Pulsar

An international team of scientists using a fleet of orbiting X-ray telescopes, including NASA's Swift and Chandra X-ray Observatory, has discovered a millisecond pulsar with a dual identity. In a feat that has never before been observed, the star readily shifts back and forth between two mutually exclusive styles of pulsed emission -- one in X-rays, the other in radio.

Astronomers image lowest-mass exoplanet around a sun-like star

Using infrared data from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, an international team of astronomers has imaged a giant planet around the bright star GJ 504. Several times the mass of Jupiter and similar in size, the new world, dubbed GJ 504b, is the lowest-mass planet ever detected around a star like the sun using direct imaging techniques.

Astronomers witness birth of Milky Way’s most massive star

Astronomers used the new ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array) telescope in Chile – the most powerful radio telescope in the world – to view the stellar womb which, at 500 times the mass of the Sun and many times more luminous, is the largest ever seen in our galaxy.

Astronomers discover new type of variable star

A Swiss team from the Geneva Observatory has achieved extraordinary precision using a comparatively small 1.2-metre telescope for an observing program stretching over many years. They have discovered a new class of variable stars by measuring minute variations in stellar brightness.

The moment a galactic light went out

The further away scientists look, the further back in time they see. Astronomers use this method to study the evolution of the Universe by analyzing nearby and more distant galaxies and comparing their features.

Astronomers reassess history of early solar system

Scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory now believe the early days of our solar system might look quite different than previously thought.

Astronomers locate 50 new exoplanets

Astronomers using the HARPS planet hunter have discovered more than 50 new exoplanets, including 16 super-Earths, one of which orbits at the edge of the habitable zone of its star.