Heavens

Soon after the Big Bang, the universe went completely dark.

The intense, seminal event that created the cosmos churned up so much hot, thick gas that light was completely trapped. Much later--perhaps as many as one billion years after the Big Bang--the universe expanded, became more transparent, and eventually filled up with galaxies, planets, stars, and other objects that give off visible light. That's the universe we know today.

How it emerged from the cosmic dark ages to a clearer, light-filled state remains a mystery.

During the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, captured an image of the Moon's shadow over a large region of the United States, centered just north of Nashville, Tennessee.

As LRO crossed the lunar south pole heading north at 3,579 mph (1,600 meters per second), the shadow of the Moon was racing across the United States at 1,500 mph (670 meters per second).

[Toronto] A team of astronomers has observed the magnetic field of a galaxy five billion light-years from Earth. The galaxy is the most distant in which a coherent magnetic field has been observed and provides important insight into how magnetism in the Universe formed and evolved.

The observation shows a magnetic field of a similar strength and configuration to that seen in our own Milky Way Galaxy, even though the distant galaxy is five billion years younger than ours. This is evidence that galactic magnetic fields form early in a galaxy's life and remain relatively stable.

ATLANTA--An international team of astronomers has used a new algorithm to enhance observations from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope in its K2 Mission and perform the most detailed study yet of the variability of the Seven Sisters star cluster.

What causes the accelerating expansion of our universe?

Solve that mystery and you reconcile two successful, yet incompatible, theories that explain how our universe works: quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of general relativity. But it isn't that simple. It may be that space-time itself is relative and if we zoomed in – way in – on the universe, we would realize it’s made up of constantly fluctuating space and time.

An exotic binary star system 380 light-years away has been identified as a white dwarf pulsar – yet those were believed not to exist anywhere in the universe.

Which means we still don't even know what we don't know.

White pulsars were discovered in the 1960s and associated with neutron stars.

Mars' largest moon, Phobos, has captured public imagination and been shrouded in mystery for decades. But numerical simulations recently conducted at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have shed some light on the enigmatic satellite.

The nearby star Proxima Centauri hosts an Earth-sized planet (called Proxima b) in its habitable zone but the star seems nothing like our sun. It's a small, cool, red dwarf star only one-tenth as massive and one-thousandth as luminous as the sun. However, new research shows that it is sunlike in one surprising way: it has a regular cycle of starspots.

With one billion stars mapped in a thousand days, European researchers have shown that they are not afraid to tackle the most daunting tasks. The work was carried out by 450 researchers from 25 European countries, including around a hundred scientists from France, mainly at the CNRS, Observatoire de Paris and Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur[1], with major participation by the French space agency CNES.

NASA's Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Super Typhoon Meranti as it continued to move toward Taiwan and the northern Philippines.