How do you grow a supermassive black hole that is a million to a billion times the mass of our sun? Astronomers do not know the answer, but a new study using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has turned up what might be the cosmic seeds from which a black hole will sprout. The results are helping scientists piece together the evolution of supermassive black holes -- powerful objects that dominate the hearts of all galaxies.
In the spirit of Halloween, scientists are releasing a trio of stellar ghosts caught in infrared light by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. All three spooky structures, called planetary nebulas, are in fact material ejected from dying stars. As death beckoned, the stars' wispy bits and pieces were blown into outer space.
Galaxies have been known to take numerous forms. Indeed, elliptical blobs, swirling spiral arms, bulges, and disks are all known components of the wide range of galaxies astronomers have observed using telescopes like NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
A team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken an important step closer to finding the "birth certificate" of an ancient star.
The Russian RadioAstron space telescope - effectively, the biggest ever - has been successfully launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.
At a time when NASA's been fighting for every penny, an independent review panel has found that the James Webb Space telescope - the planned replacement for Hubble - is running one-third over its $5 billion budget and will likely be a year late.